Courses to Consider

The following are just a few courses that you might consider while exploring the Government, Politics, & Public Policy pathway. Please note that course numbers and titles are subject to change. Consult the Course Catalog for current course information.


Economics|Educational Studies|Environmental Studies |History |Mathematics and Statistics |Political Science


Computer Science

CS 314. Data Visualization
Understanding the wealth of data that surrounds us can be challenging. Luckily, we have evolved incredible tools for finding patterns in large amounts of information: our eyes! Data visualization is concerned with taking information and turning it into pictures to better communicate patterns or discover new insights. It combines aspects of computer graphics, human-computer interaction, design, and perceptual psychology. In this course, we will learn the different ways in which data can be expressed visually and which methods work best for which tasks. Using this knowledge, we will critique existing visualizations as well as design and build new ones.

CS 324. Data Mining
How does Google always understand what it is you’re looking for? How does Amazon.com figure out what items you might be interested in buying? How can categories of similar politicians be identified, based on their voting patterns? These questions can be answered via data mining, a field of study at the crossroads of artificial intelligence, database systems, and statistics. Data mining concerns itself with the goal of getting a computer to learn or discover patterns, especially those found within large datasets. We’ll focus on techniques such as classification, clustering, association rules, web mining, collaborative filtering, and others.

Economics

ECON 110. Principles of Macroeconomics
This course gives students a foundation in the general principles of economics as a basis for effective citizenship and, when combined with 111, as a preparation for all advanced study in economics. Topics include analysis of the measurement, level, and distribution of national income; the concepts of inflation and depression; the role and structure of the banking system; fiscal and monetary stabilization techniques; implications of and limits to economic growth; and international economic relations.

ECON 111. Principles of Microeconomics
This course gives the students a foundation in the general principles of economics as a basis for effective citizenship and, when combined with 110, as a preparation for all advanced study in economics. Topics include consumer choice theory; the formation of prices under competition, monopoly, and other market structures; the determination of wages, profits, and income from capital; the distribution of income; and an analysis of policy directed towards problems of public finance, pollution, natural resources, and public goods.

ECON 246. Economics of Welfare
This course presents economic theory on how society as a whole ranks and chooses between different alternatives. It delves into the realm of normative economics analyzing objectives society may want to pursue, mechanisms designed to reach those objectives, and the resulting welfare of individuals affected by the choices made. The theoretical tools discussed will be used to study different mechanisms of voting, redistributing income, government intervention, auctions, and trade. Among other things, students will be exposed to the Pareto criterion, Arrow's impossibility theorem, the Vickery-Clarke-Grove mechanism, the Coase theorem, utilitarianism, Rawlsian ethics, and welfare theorems.

ECON 268. Economics of Cost Benefit Analysis
Cost-benefit analysis is a tool commonly used by economists and policy makers to compare and choose among competing policy options. This course will cover the basic theory and empirical techniques necessary to quantify and aggregate the impacts of government policy, especially as related to the environment. Topics covered include the time value of money; uncertainty; sensitivity analysis; option value; contingent valuation; hedonic estimation; basic research design. Throughout the course case studies will be used to elucidate and bring life to the theoretical concepts.

ECON 270. Economics of the Public Sector
This course provides a theoretical and empirical examination of the government's role in the U.S. economy. Emphasis is placed on policy analysis using the criteria of efficiency and equity. Topics include rationales for government intervention; analysis of alternative public expenditure programs from a partial and/or general equilibrium framework; the incidence of various types of taxes; models of collective choice; cost-benefit analysis; intergovernmental fiscal relations.

ECON 273. Water and Western Economic Development
This course examines a number of important aspects of water as a legal/political/economic factor in the development of the western United States. The topics include western water law, the evolution of water supply institutions, state and local water planning, the role of the federal government, and a number of current water problems, including surface and groundwater pollution, impediments to market transfers of water, and state/regional/international conflicts over water.

ECON 274. Labor Economics
Why do some people choose to work and others do not? Why are some people paid higher wages than others? What are the economic benefits of education for the individual and for society? How do government policies, such as subsidized child care, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the income tax influence whether people work and the number of hours they choose to work? These are some of the questions examined in labor economics. This course will focus on the labor supply and human capital decisions of individuals and households.

Educational Studies

EDUC 250. Fixing Schools: Politics and Policy in American Education
This course will survey current approaches to educational change. Students will explore the current systems and structures that constitute the policy framework, scrutinize the assumptions and ideological underpinnings of different political camps, and examine the dynamic interactions between and among those shaping American education. Additionally, they will look at various reform efforts and models, considering their use in the effort to transform schools. Prerequisite: Education 110 or by permission of instructor.

Environmental Studies

ENTS 209. Public Rhetoric and Environmental Science
In this course, students will pursue projects based in environmental science and aimed at public audiences. Forms may include grant proposals, articles for the popular press, talks aimed at peer scientists, the general public, or school groups, and posters for various audiences. In all cases, purpose, audience, and form will be carefully considered for effective communication of science. Students can expect frequent revision, assiduous peer review responsibilities, and presentation of individual projects orally and in more than one form of writing.

ENTS 271. Environmental Economics and Policy
This course will explore the economic and political institutions affecting the environment. The major questions of the course will be: When are individual economic incentives not aligned with society's environmental interests? How can policies and regulations be changed to best accomplish environmental goals? Will the economic development of economies like India and China lead to more or less environmental destruction? How can we best balance costs and benefits over long time horizons as we must in issues of non-renewable resource management and climate change? Topics to be discussed may include: climate change, agriculture, transportation, energy efficiency, population growth, and water.

ENTS 310. Environmental Law and Policy
This seminar will examine topical issues in domestic and international environmental law and policy. We will aim to understand how environmental laws work to achieve policy objectives, with attention also to debates about the role of markets and community-based environmental management. The specific topics may change from year to year, but may include approaches to sustainable development, sustainable agriculture, protection of endangered species, and conservation and management of water resources. This course has no prerequisites and is suitable for students of environmental studies, political science, international relations and political economy.

Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies

GWSS 334. Feminist Theory
This seminar explores key feminist theoretical perspectives and debates, using a historical framework to situate these ideas in relationship to philosophical and political discourses produced during specific cultural moments. Focusing primarily on American feminist thought, this seminar ultimately aims to interrogate the positionality of the theorists we study, considering the cultural privileges as well as vectors of marginalization that influence those viewpoints. We follow feminist thinkers as they propose, challenge, critique, subvert, and revise theoretical traditions of liberalism, Marxism, Socialism, radicalism, separatism, utopianism, multiculturalism, postmodernism, queerness, and post-colonialism. We ask: What gets counted as feminist theory? What gets left out?

History

HIST 100. Black History in Labor History
This course explores labor history in relation to black people, spanning the colonial period to the early twenty-first century. Though the course is not a comprehensive survey, it racializes the history of work by tracing the long story of black labor in the U.S. from the plantation to the plant. Whereas the bulk of the course will analyze black labor and labor movements in the twentieth century, specifically focusing on the push for economic inclusion and mobility amid employment, societal and union-related racial discrimination, we will examine what involuntary black labor meant in the context of slavery and the construction of a capitalist economy. We will devote attention to black workers with regard to such topics as antiunionism, deindustrialization, economic inequality, Fordism, labor radicalism and violence, New Deal and unemployment insurance, the rise of civil rights unionism, and slavery and capitalism, among other themes.

HIST 100. Slavery and the Old South
This seminar studies the differences in approach and emphasis of historians and the history of the history of antebellum slavery in the United States South. The main theme is revisionism since Ulrich Bonnell Phillips’s foundational study American Negro Slavery (1919). Our understanding during the 1970s accentuated slave culture, community, and enslaved females. Current scholarship zeroes in on topics such as commodification, violence within the slave community, and white women as slave owners. Special attention paid to analytical thinking skills.

HIST 120. Rethinking the American Experience: American History, 1607-1865
A survey of the American experience from before Christopher Columbus' arrival through the Civil War. Some of the topics we will cover include: contact between Native and European cultures; the development of the thirteen mainland British colonies; British, French, and Spanish imperial conflicts over the Americas; slavery; the American Revolution; religious awakenings; antebellum politics; and the Civil War.

HIST 137. Early Medieval Worlds
Through the intensive exploration of a variety of distinct "worlds" in the early Middle Ages, this course offers an introduction to formative political, social, religious, and cultural developments in Europe between c.300 and c.1050. We will pay special attention to the structures, ideologies, practices, and social dynamics that shaped and energized communities large and small.  We will also focus on developing the ability to observe and interpret various kinds of textual, visual, and material primary sources.

HIST 138. Crusades, Mission, and the Expansion of Europe
This course examines the complex and sometimes contradictory roles of crusade and mission in the gradual expansion of Europe (eleventh -fifteenth century) into the eastern Mediterranean, the Iberian peninsula, the Baltic, and even Central Asia. We will examine questions like: What did "crusade" or "mission" mean? How did people respond to, resist, or co-opt these enterprises? Did crusade and mission expand Europeans' knowledge of other cultures? In addition to critical analysis of primary sources and current scholarship, the course will offer opportunities to share knowledge with a broader public.

HIST 142. Women in Modern Europe
An exploration of women’s lives in Europe from 1700 to the present. We will focus on changes in women’s work before and after the industrial revolution, women as revolutionaries in 1789, 1848, and 1871, and campaigns for women’s rights. Why did Virginia Woolf say it was worse “perhaps” to be locked in than to be locked out? Why did Bertolt Brecht’s character known simply as "the mother" take up the flag of revolution in Russia in 1905? We will investigate these questions from the Early Modern era to the European Union through a variety of sources: philosophical treatises, novels, plays, and political tracts, as well as historical monographs.

HIST 151. History of Modern Japan
This course explores the modern transformation of Japanese society, politics, economy and culture from the Meiji Restoration of 1868 to the present. It is designed to provide students with an opportunity to explore basic issues and problems relating to modern Japanese history and international relations. Topics include the intellectual crisis of the late Tokugawa period, the Meiji Constitution, the development of an interior democracy, class and gender, the rise of Japanese fascism, the Pacific War, and postwar developments.

HIST 152. History of Early China
At what point can we talk about the formation of China as an organized political entity? What did it mean to be a Chinese at different points in time? This course is an introduction to the history of China from its beginnings to the end of the Han dynasty in 220. Students will examine the emergence of philosophical debates on human nature, historical consciousness of time and recording, and ritual theories in formation. Students will focus on the interplay between statecraft and religion, between ethnicity and identity, and between intellectual (e.g., Confucianism) and socio-cultural history (e.g., feminine and popular mentalities).

HIST 152. History of Early China
At what point can we talk about the formation of China as an organized political entity? What did it mean to be a Chinese at different points in time? This course is an introduction to the history of China from its beginnings to the end of the Han dynasty in 220. Students will examine the emergence of philosophical debates on human nature, historical consciousness of time and recording, and ritual theories in formation. Students will focus on the interplay between statecraft and religion, between ethnicity and identity, and between intellectual (e.g., Confucianism) and socio-cultural history (e.g., feminine and popular mentalities).

HIST 153. History of Modern China
This course offers a critical survey of the modern transformation of the trajectory of China's recent past spanning from the eighteenth century through the present. Students will analyze deep structural issues that cut across political narratives of Chinese elites. Themes for discussion will include the debates on Chinese "capitalism," new religious currents as a form of legitimation (e.g., Tibetan Buddhism), bureaucratic behaviors, cultural refinements, peasant and sectarian rebellions, the interaction with the West, the (non-)existence of civil society, nationalism, party politics, the dynamics of Communist rule, and alternative Chinese societies both inside and outside of Mainland China.

HIST 156. History of Modern Korea
A comparative historical survey on the development of Korean society and culture from the nineteenth century to the present. Key themes include colonialism and war, economic growth, political transformation, socio-cultural changes, and historical memory. Issues involving divided Korea will be examined in the contexts of post-colonialism and Cold War. Students are also expected to develop skills to analyze key historical moments from relevant primary sources against broader historiographical contexts.

HIST 158. Cold War in East Asia
How is the Cold War in East Asia related to the global Cold War? Many argue that Cold War came prematurely in East Asia and outlasts the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Students will examine evolving patterns of the region's engagement with global dimensions of war, diplomacy, and trade and conduct a case study (e.g., Roosevelt on China, Stalin on North Korea, Kennedy on Japan, Khrushchev and Nixon on China, or Bush on North Korea). Themes may be drawn from sports and pop culture or urban renewal projects in terms of post-colonial nation building, market fundamentalism, and new empire formation.

HIST 161. From the Mughals to Mahatma Gandhi: An Introduction to Modern Indian History
This is an introductory survey course; no prior knowledge of South Asian History required. The goal is to familiarize students with some of the key themes and debates in the historiography of modern India. Beginning with an overview of Mughal rule in India, the main focus of the course is the colonial period. The course ends with a discussion of 1947: the hour of independence as well as the creation of two new nation-states, India and Pakistan. Topics include Oriental Despotism, colonial rule, nationalism, communalism, gender, caste and race.

HIST 165. From Young Turks to Arab Revolutions: A Cultural History of the Modern Middle East
This course provides a basic introduction to the history of the wider Muslim world from the eighteenth century to the present. We will discuss the cultural and religious diversity of the Muslim world and its varied interactions with modernity. We will find that the history of the Muslim world is inextricably linked to that of its neighbors, and we will encounter colonialism, anti-colonialism, nationalism, and socialism, as well as a variety of different Islamic movements.

HIST 204. Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Medieval Mediterranean
The Mediterranean was a dynamic hub of cultural exchange in the Middle Ages. We will draw on Jewish, Muslim, and Latin Christian sources to explore this contact from 1050-1492 and the role of the sea itself in joining and separating the peoples who surrounded it. What did it mean to be a Muslim pilgrim in Christian-held Palestine? A Jewish vizier serving a Muslim ruler in Spain? A Christian courtier courting martyrdom in North Africa? We will explore lives led between coexistence and violence, intellectual and legal structures that helped to negotiate difference, and the textures of daily life.

HIST 204. Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Medieval Mediterranean
The Mediterranean was a dynamic hub of cultural exchange in the Middle Ages. We will draw on Jewish, Muslim, and Latin Christian sources to explore this contact from 1050-1492 and the role of the sea itself in joining and separating the peoples who surrounded it. What did it mean to be a Muslim pilgrim in Christian-held Palestine? A Jewish vizier serving a Muslim ruler in Spain? A Christian courtier courting martyrdom in North Africa? We will explore lives led between coexistence and violence, intellectual and legal structures that helped to negotiate difference, and the textures of daily life.

HIST 209. The Revolutionary Atlantic
Students in this course will investigate social conflicts, political struggles, and protest movements from the Age of Revolution, 1776-1848 ranging over four continents. We will read pamphlets from the Dutch Patriot Revolution, eye witness accounts of slave insurrections in the Caribbean, novels and plays describing/provoking changes in families on both sides of the Atlantic, and newspaper articles written by Karl Marx. We will compare histories of revolutions on both sides of the Atlantic, including the newest research on West Africa and Latin America.

HIST 212. The Era of the American Revolution
How Revolutionary was the American Revolution? This class will examine the American Revolution as both a process and a phenomenon. It will consider the relationship of the American Revolution to social, cultural, economic, political, and ideological change in the lives of Americans from the founding fathers to the disenfranchised, focusing on the period 1750-1790. Students currently enrolled in History 212 are eligible to take the optional three-credit digital lab, History 210, “Boston Massacre in 3D.” We will use 3D modeling and GIS to create a Boston Massacre digital game.

HIST 213. The Age of Hamilton
This course will examine the social, political, and cultural history of the period 1783-1830 with special consideration of the framing and ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the new nation’s transnational connections, especially to France and Haiti. Other topics include partisan conflict, political culture, nation-building, the American character, and domestic life. We will also consider the contemporary interest in this period in both politics and musical theater. Some previous knowledge of American history assumed.

HIST 216. History Beyond the Walls
This course will examine the world of history outside the walls of academia. Looking at secondary-school education, museums, and public policy, we will explore the ways in which both general and specialized publics learn and think about history. A central component of the course will be a civic engagement project. 

HIST 270. Nuclear Nations: India and Pakistan as Rival Siblings
At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947 India and Pakistan, two new nation states emerged from the shadow of British colonialism. This course focuses on the political trajectories of these two rival siblings and looks at the ways in which both states use the other to forge antagonistic and belligerent nations. While this is a survey course it is not a comprehensive overview of the history of the two countries. Instead it covers some of the more significant moments of rupture and violence in the political history of the two states. The first two-thirds of the course offers a top-down, macro overview of these events and processes whereas the last third examines the ways in which people experienced these developments. We use the lens of gender to see how the physical body, especially the body of the woman, is central to the process of nation building. We will consider how women’s bodies become sites of contestation and how they are disciplined and policed by the postcolonial state(s).

HIST 280. African in the Arab World
This course examines African people's existence as religious, political, and military leaders, and as slaves and poets in Arab societies from ancient to modern times. It also interrogates the experiences of men as eunuchs, and of women as concubines and wives. Beginning with the pre-Islamic era, it highlights the movement of Africans from the Sahara Desert to the Nile valley, from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean. It traces the experiences of peoples whose dark skin became equated with slave status (and the legacy of slavery) even as they became loyal followers of Islam in the Arab world.

HIST 287. From Alchemy to the Atom Bomb: The Scientific Revolution and the Making of the Modern World
This course examines the growth of modern science since the Renaissance with an emphasis on the Scientific Revolution, the development of scientific methodology, and the emergence of new scientific disciplines. How might a history of science focused on scientific networks operating within society, rather than on individual scientists, change our understanding of “genius,” “progress,” and “scientific impartiality?” We will consider a range of scientific developments, treating science both as a body of knowledge and as a set of practices, and will gauge the extent to which our knowledge of the natural world is tied to who, when, and where such knowledge has been produced and circulated.

HIST 330. Ideas Incarnate: Institutional Formation, Reform, and Governance in the Middle Ages
Institutions emerge from the translation of ideas, ideals, needs, and values into human communities living in particular conditions, equipped with certain resources, guided and controlled by certain norms, and protected and challenged by particular ideas and actions. Once formed, institutions encounter further issues of governance and change as they evolve and encounter new realities, success, and failure. This seminar examines the complex histories and cultures of medieval institutions—churches, monasteries, secular and religious courts, households, and the universities. Through theoretical readings and case studies we will examine how, over time, questions of purpose, leadership, the distribution of power and authority, the acquisition and disposition of material and human resources, record keeping, and legitimacy are encountered and resolved. This course will be of interest to anyone interested in the dynamics of institutions and the dialogue between concepts and material conditions as they play out in time.

HIST 335. Ireland: Land, Conflict, Memory
This course explores the history of Ireland from Medieval times through the Great Famine, ending with a look at the Partition of Ireland in 1920. We examine themes of religious and cultural conflict and explore a series of English political and military interventions. Throughout the course, we will analyze views of the Irish landscape, landholding patterns, and health and welfare issues. Finally, we explore the contested nature of history and memory as the class discusses monuments and memory production in Irish public spaces.

Linguistics

LING 288. Structure of Dakota

This course examines the nature of the endangered language Dakota, which was once spoken on what is today Carleton land. We will study several aspects of the language, including phonology, morphology, and syntax, with the assistance of speakers of the language from the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation. The goal of the course is to produce an array of careful, accurate, and clear descriptions of parts of the language, working towards a new pedagogical grammar of the language to be used in the construction of teaching materials for Dakota children.

Mathematics and Statistics

STAT 120. Introduction to Statistics (Formerly MATH 215)
Introduction to statistics and data analysis. Practical aspects of statistics, including extensive use of statistical software, interpretation and communication of results, will be emphasized. Topics include: exploratory data analysis, correlation and linear regression, design of experiments, basic probability, the normal distribution, randomization approach to inference, sampling distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, and two-way tables. Students who have taken Mathematics 211 are encouraged to consider the more advanced Mathematics 240/Statistics 250 (formerly Mathematics 265 and 275) Probability/Statistical Inference sequence. Prerequisite: Not open to students who have already received credit for Psychology 200/201, Sociology/Anthropology 239 or Statistics 250 (formerly Mathematics 275).

Philosophy

PHIL 113. The Individual and the Political Community
Are human beings radically individual and atomic by nature, political animals, or something else? However we answer that question, what difference does it make for our understanding of the ways in which larger political communities come into existence and are maintained? In this course we will explore these and related questions while reading two of the most foundational works in political theory, Plato’s Republic and Hobbes’s Leviathan, as well as several contemporary pieces influenced by these thinkers.

PHIL 214. Ecology, Ethics, and Economics
In this course we will explore the hypothesis that the current ecological crisis is, at least in part, the product of an economic system that champions continual growth (hence ever increasing levels of production and consumption) and that the economic system is in turn supported by a specific set of materialist values. The course thus takes a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to its subject, and will include readings from across the disciplines of environmental science, economics, and ethics.

PHIL 228. Freedom and Alienation in Black American Philosophy
The struggle of freedom against forms of alienation is both a historical and contemporary characteristic of Black/African-American philosophy. In this course we will explore how a variety of Black/African-American philosophers theorize these concepts. The aim of the course is to both offer resources for familiarizing students with African-American philosophers and develop an appreciation for critical philosophical voices in the Black intellectual tradition. The course will range from slave narratives, reconstruction, and civil rights to contemporary prison abolitionism, intersectionality, and afro-pessimism. The texts of the course will include: Angela Davis’ Lectures on Liberation, Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells Southern Horrors, George Yancy’s African-American Philosophers 17 Conversations, and Afro-Pessimism: An Introduction. As well as select articles from historical and contemporary Black/African-American philosophers.

Political Science

All courses in this department are relevant to this pathway. The courses below are simply a small selection of those classes offered by the Political Science department.

POSC 120. Democracy and Dictatorship

An introduction to the array of different democratic and authoritarian political institutions in both developing and developed countries. We will also explore key issues in contemporary politics in countries around the world, such as nationalism and independence movements, revolution, regime change, state-making, and social movements.


POSC 122. Politics in America: Liberty and Equality

An introduction to American government and politics. Focus on the Congress, Presidency, political parties and interest groups, the courts and the Constitution. Particular attention will be given to the public policy debates that divide liberals and conservatives and how these divisions are rooted in American political culture.


POSC 201. Lobbyists, Wonks, and Social Media: Public Policy Making in Democracy

This course explores the process of policy making in the United States. We will also explore the diffusion of U.S. policy ideas and technology across the globe. The effectiveness of elected officials, lobbyists, idea entrepreneurs, and grass roots activists will be contrasted; techniques of agenda setting and agenda denial will be emphasized. Students from all majors interested in careers in public policy are welcome.

POSC 208. Presidential Elections, Gridlock and Policy Strategy
Part One will focus on the process of candidate nomination and explanations for presidential elections. Part Two will focus on gridlock, Executive Branch tools, and strategies for governance in the midst of division.

POSC 210. Misinformation, Political Rumors, and Conspiracy Theories
Why do people believe in conspiracy theories, hold on to misinformed beliefs even in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, and/or spread political and social rumors that may have little basis in fact? Who is most vulnerable to these various forms of misinformation? What are the normative and political consequences of misperceptions (if any)? This course explores the psychological, political, and philosophical approaches to the study of the causes, consequences, and tenacity of conspiracy beliefs, misinformation, and political rumors, as well as possible approaches that journalists could employ to combat misperceptions.

POSC 218. Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States
What can scholarship tell us about educational strategies to reduce achievement gaps and economic opportunity? Do the policies promoted at the city, state and federal levels reflect that knowledge? How are these policies made? What is the relationship between schools and the economic class, racial composition and housing stock of their neighborhoods?

POSC 219. Poverty and Public Policy in the U.S.
Deindustrialization, inequality, housing policy, and welfare will be major topics.

POSC 230. Methods of Political Research
This course is intended to introduce students to the “science” side of political science. Over the course of the term, you will learn how to think like social scientists while developing various skills required by the discipline: how to chose and frame appropriate questions, how to undertake original research (complete with data collection and analysis), and how to present your findings to colleagues in a customary fashion. You will also analyze the work of other scholars (and of your peers in this class), think critically about the strengths and weaknesses of various methodological approaches and the application of the scientific method to the study of politics, and how to apply these various insights to your own work.

POSC 231. American Foreign Policy
An introduction to the actors and processes of American foreign policymaking and to the substance of American foreign policy. The course aims to provide students with an understanding of how knowledge of the past, the global policy environment, the processes of foreign policymaking, and the specifics of a foreign policy issue come together to help determine modern American foreign policy. The course will review the structure of the international system of states, state power and interests, the historical context of American foreign policy, actors in American foreign affairs, models of foreign policy decision making, and the instruments of foreign policy.


POSC 265. Public Policy and Global Capitalism

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to comparative and international public policy. It examines major theories and approaches to public policy design and implementation in several major areas: international policy economy (including the study of international trade and monetary policy, financial regulation, and comparative welfare policy), global public health and comparative healthcare policy, institutional development (including democratic governance, accountability systems, and judicial reform), and environmental public policy. This course serves as the gateway for the Political Economy Minor.

POSC 268. Global Environmental Politics and Policy
Global environmental politics and policy is the most prominent field that challenges traditional state-centric ways of thinking about international problems and solutions. This course examines local-global dynamics of environmental problems. The course will cover five arenas crucial to understanding the nature and origin of global environmental politics and policymaking mechanisms: (1) international environmental law; (2) world political orders; (3) human-environment interactions through politics and markets; (4) paradigms of sustainable development; and (5) dynamics of human values and rules.

POSC 271. Constitutional Law I
Covers American constitutional law and history from the founding to the breakdown of the constitution in secession crisis. Extensive attention will be paid to the constitutional convention and other sources of constitutional law in addition to Supreme Court cases.


POSC 272: Constitutional Law II

Covers American constitutional law and history from Reconstruction to the contemporary era. Extensive attention will be paid to the effort to refound the American constitution following the Civil War as manifest in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments, and to the successive transformations which the Supreme Court worked in the new constitutional order. Political Science 271 is not a prerequisite.


POSC 273: Race and Politics in the U.S.
This course addresses race and ethnicity in U.S. politics. Following an introduction to historical, sociological, and psychological approaches to the study of race and ethnicity, we apply these approaches to understanding the ways in which racial attitudes have been structured along a number of political and policy dimensions, e.g., welfare, education, criminal justice. Students will gain an increased understanding of the multiple contexts that shape contemporary racial and ethnic politics and policies in the U.S., and will consider the role of institutional design, policy development, representation, and racial attitudes among the general U.S. public and political environment.

POSC 276: Imagination in Politics

The course explores the bipolarity of imagination, the fact that imagination can be both a source of freedom and domination in contemporary politics. The main focus of the course is the capacity literature and film have to either increase the autonomous capacity of individuals to engage culture and language in a creative and interactive manner in the construction of their identities, or in a direction that increases their fascination with images and myths and, consequently, the escapist desire to pull these out of the living dialogue with others.

POSC 303. Political Communication: Political Advertising in Elections and Public Policy*
Crosslisted with POSC 203.  How does political advertising influence the electorate? How does political advertising influence our understanding of policy proposals? Election ads along with the 6-second "sound bite" are now among the major forms of political communication in modern democracies. Add to these forms a battery of visual "arguments" seen in news media, film, and paid ads aimed at persuading us to adopt various policy positions. We will study how ads are created and "work" from the standpoint of political psychology and film analysis. Our policy focus for 2016 will be on climate change and the 2016 general election. Students enrolled in the 303 version will conduct more extensive analysis of data for their seminar papers.

Religion

RELG 100. Global Pursuit of Happiness

We will study different conceptions of "happiness," as well as the practices related to its pursuit, found in both Western and non-Western religions and philosophies, posing such questions as: Is "happiness" a universal concept, pursued in all cultures of all times? Does religion, as Marx argued, only provide "illusory" happiness? Can "happiness" be quantifiably measured? Is happiness a psychologically-, socially-, or genetically-determined condition? In probing these questions, we will analyze not only scholarly writings but also cartoons, novels, films, and TED talks, and critically examine our own definitions of "happiness."

RELG 264. Islam, Politics, and the Secular

From the Islamic state to Islamic secularism, from progressivism to jihadism, this course examines a broad range of Islamic political thought and practice. Through exploring thinkers and movements both classical and modern who have shaped contemporary conversation, students will get beneath the headlines and come to a robust understanding of the role of Islam in modern politics across the globe.

Sociology & Anthropology

SOAN 272. Sociological Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in the United States
This course considers the construction of race and ethnicity from a sociological perspective. We examine the changing boundaries of racial and ethnic identities, with a particular emphasis on whiteness and post-racial politics, as well as how immigration and multiracial identities complicate and potentially challenge the black/white paradigm. In addition, we will incorporate intersectional perspectives that show the importance of gender, class, and other differences in the construction of race. We will specifically examine these processes and constructions by focusing on inequality, identity, and racial discourse and politics. Finally, we will briefly consider race and ethnicity in various non-U.S. contexts.

SOAN 278. Urban Ethnography and the American Experience
American sociology has a rich tradition of focusing the ethnographic eye on the American experience. We will take advantage of this tradition to encounter urban America through the ethnographic lens, expanding our social vision and investigating the nature of race, place, meaning, interaction, and inequality in the U.S. While doing so, we will also explore the unique benefits, challenges, and underlying assumptions of ethnographic research as a distinctive mode of acquiring and communicating social knowledge. As such, this course offers both an immersion in the American experience and an inquiry into the craft of ethnographic writing and research.

SOAN 288. Diversity, Democracy, & Inequality in America
Does social difference always lead to conflict and inequality? Can we forge common ground with justice across deep differences? What forms of respect, recognition, reciprocity, and redistribution do democratic citizens owe one another? We will explore these and related questions through a roughly equal mix of democratic theory and empirical studies of race/class/gender/religion diverse grassroots democratic movements in the U.S. We will consider the demands and challenges of "different types of difference" (racial-ethnic, gender-sexuality, class-culture, citizenship, language, and religion) for fighting inequity and pursuing ethical democracy in the United States (and beyond).

Women's & Gender Studies

WGST 130. Politics of Sex
The politics of sex are everywhere--in media, law, medicine, and everyday life. To say that sex is political is to imply that sex intersects with other interests--nation and market building, globalization, and so forth. In this course, we will explore various "sex panics," as they ask us to revisit the boundaries of the "normative" in relation to sex and its intersections with race, class, gender, sexuality, nation, and ability. Sex panics--and, as we'll also explore, "sex scandals" occasion not only the revision of discourses on sex but on identity, politics, and cultures more broadly.

WGST 140. The Politics of Women's Health
This course will explore the politics of women's health from the perspective of women of different races, ethnicities, classes and sexual orientations in the U.S. The organization of the health care system and women's activism (as consumers and health care practitioners) shall frame our explorations of menstruation, sexuality, nutrition, body image, fertility control, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. We will cover basic facts about the female body and pay particular attention to adjustments the body makes during physiological events (i.e. menstruation, sexual and reproductive activity, and menopause). We will focus on the medicalization of these processes and explore alternatives to this medicalization.