Classes on War & Peace

The College's curriculum features a number of courses focusing on issues of war and peace. 

The Dickey Center supports the course War and Peace in the Modern Age, which stresses the study of both the global state system as well as the human condition as essential to understanding the phenomenon of collective violence.

Below, is a list of illustrative courses that are regularly offered by the College; in the interest of saving space and highlighting lesser known courses on war and peace, we have NOT included descriptions of the large number of courses in the Government Department that address these issues.


AAAS 87.05 - Politics of Africa

This course examines post-colonial politics in sub-Saharan Africa, with particular focus on the events of the last decade. The course will be structured around three main themes: (1) patterns of economic growth and decline; (2) the transition to democratic political systems; and (3) political violence and civil conflict. While the course covers broad trends across the continent, it will also draw on case studies from particular countries. 


ANTH 08: Rise and Fall of Prehistoric Civilizations

One of the most intriguing questions in the study of human societies is the origins of cities and states or the transformation from small kinship-based societies to large societies that are internally differentiated on the basis of wealth, political power, and economic specialization. This course examines the explanations proposed by archaeologists for the development of the first cities and state societies through a comparative study of early civilizations in the Old World and the Americas.

ANTH 28: Ethnography of Violence 

Violence is widely recognized as a problem in modern society, with policies and interventions to combat violence, or employ it, dominating local and global politics. Yet the meaning of violence is seldom analyzed. Using an ethnographic lens, this course explores violence as both an embodied experience and a culturally and politically mediated event. We examine spectacular and everyday violence forms of violence in terms of manifestations of power, structures of inequality, perceptions of difference, and politics of representation. Ethnographic studies are drawn from, among others, Mozambique, Haiti, and Harlem. An introduction to the cultural anthropology of violence, this course raises key questions about violence in a globalized world and explores how to study it anthropologically. 

ANTH 37: Legacies of Conquest in Latin America

Despite nearly five hundred years of conquest, colonialism, and change, native peoples still survive in culturally distinct enclaves within the dominant Iberian traditions of Latin America. This course examines the roots as well as the endemic social inequalities and prejudices that resulted. Selected case studies will relate to such contemporary problems as international drug trafficking, deforestation of the Amazon basin, and ongoing political repression and revolution in Central America. The course draws on the insights of local ethnographic studies to shed light on global problems, while anthropologically situating native cultures of Latin America in their larger historical and geopolitical context. 

Art History

ARTH 28.06 - European Art in the Age of Revolution (1750-1850)

Visual arts were transformed in the second half of the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth century by dramatic upheavals in social, political and cultural life. In addition to taking account of stylistic movements such as Rococo, Neo-classicism and Romanticism, we will devote our attention to relationships between artistic and social change, political and institutional pressures upon artists, changing ideas of art's purpose and audience, and artists' shift to direct engagement with modern life. 

ARTH 42.01 - Unmaking History: Contemporary Art in the Middle East 

This course focuses primarily on the work of contemporary artists who make work in or about the so-called Middle East. It includes recent works by artists from nations as diverse as Algeria, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Turkey and the UAE. One of the main objectives of the course is to look at art practices that attempt to deepen our understanding of the varied cultures, ethnicities and societies that are found in this part of the world. The geographic focus of the course–mostly the Muslim nations of the Arabian peninsula and North Africa–is not meant to perpetuate the assumptions about this region as a monolithic geopolitical entity, nor to blindly label its production according to existing ethnic, religious or national categories. Against media stereotypes of the region, the artists studied in this course have made work that function as a critical platform for rethinking traditional identity formations and extending the space of cultural encounter across borders (territorial, political, linguistic). In many cases these artists may not be living and working in their country of birth but their ethnicity, religion or citizenship continues to inform both their own sense of identity and the terms of their art practice. Some of the topics to be discussed include: artistic responses to the Arab-Israeli conflict, representations of everyday life in times of war, the movement and obstruction of people, goods and information across borders, the rise of new art markets in the Middle East, the politics of gender and sexuality in the Arab world, and the of use archival documents to rethink the meaning of evidence, truth and testimony. 

ARTH 48.03 - The Arts of War

Walt Whitman said of the American Civil War: "the real war will never get in the books." This course will raise core questions about how war is remembered and represented through text, performance, and visual culture. Our questions will be anchored in concrete case studies but will also raise far-ranging philosophical, ethical, and historical questions that examine instances of war in relation to the aesthetics of war. 

ARTH 83.02 - Contemporary Art: Disaster, War, and the Ethics of Witnessing

This seminar focuses on the relationship between lens based media and moments of catastrophe in order to think creatively about how both operate pictorally. What constitutes the category of catastrophe—as opposed to crisis, war, etc.—and how does that category structure but also exceed photographic representation? We will look at photographs and films that bear witness to massacres, genocides and terrorist attacks. Some of the case studies include Auschwitz, Hiroshima, Apartheid South Africa, the Vietnam War, the Palestinian Nakba, the Cambodian Genocide and the Lebanese Civil War. We will also look at the role images play in documenting more recent events such as the Gulf War, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, the 2011 earthquake in Fukushima, the Syrian Civil War and the European migrant crisis. Readings will take us through photographic history, critical theory, and art history. Our study will conclude in considering how artist themselves have theorized the place and purpose of photography and film in historical catastrophes. Underlying the arc of our study are three interrelated categories of questions. These concern: 1) the relationship of aesthetics to ethics and politics; 2) the relationship of those models of visuality and visibility to subaltern ways of understanding history 3) the ways in which art relates to questions of alterity and agency, which is to say how art might speak to without speaking for the victims of catastrophy. 


ASCL 7.02 - International Conflict and Cooperation in Asia

This First-year Seminar will focus on the dynamics of international cooperation and conflict in modern Asia. The course will include independent research, intensive writing, and debates on the relations between Asian powers and the status of sub-state zones of conflict. It will critically examine the interplay of Asian powers, including China, the US, India, Japan, Taiwan, and North and South Korea. It will also evaluate a number of key zones of sub-state conflict in territories such as Kashmir, Hong Kong, Eastern Myanmar, Aceh, and Mindanao. The course will emphasize the need for writing clarity, clear organization of ideas, revision, the use of evidence, strong counterargument refutation, and enrichment from scholarly sources. Students will write interpretive memos, short essays, and a term paper. They will also engage in peer review, make oral presentations, and participate in writing workshops. 


CLST 21 - From Disaster to Triumph: Greek Archaeology from the Destruction of Mycenae to the Persian Wars

This course examines in detail through archaeology the cultural process whereby Greece evolved from a scattered group of isolated and backward villages in the Dark Ages (ca. 1100-750 B.C.) to a series of independent, often cosmopolitan city-states united against the threat of Xerxes' invasion of Greece in 480 B.C. Where did the Greeks acquire the concept of monumental temple architecture and why did they choose to build temples in only two or three different architectural styles? Where did the Greeks learn to write in an alphabetic script and what did they first write down? Who taught the Greeks the art of sculpture and why did they begin by carving what they did? When and why did the Greeks begin to portray their myths in art? May be taken in partial fulfillment of the major in Art History.  


COLT 42.03 - Robbers, Pirates, and Terrorists: Forms of Individual Resistance in Literature and Film

Robin Hood, the archetypal, courteous, pious and swashbuckling outlaw of the medieval era, has become an English (literary) folk hero by way of robbing the rich to provide for the poor and fighting against injustice and tyranny. From Robin Hood via actual and legendary robbers, rebels, pirates, and corsair in the 17th and 18th centuries, to present day pirates, terrorists and guerilla groups in Somalia, Latin America, Italy, Germany, and the U.S., individuals have always been involved with what they considered legitimate (though illegal) resistance against poverty, authority, patriarchy, feudalism, capitalism, and imperialism. Whether one calls them rebels or outlaws evokes a question that has already been at the center of Aeschylus' Orestes: what legitimizes individual justice versus socially controlled jurisdiction, vigilantism versus politics, or antinomianism versus legalism? Starting from the political-philosophical dichotomy between legitimacy and legality—what is ethically or religiously legitimate isn't necessarily legal, and vice versa—this course will focus on representations of rebels in different cultural and historical contexts and genres such as novels, movies, dramas, and diaries, and operas. 

COLT 42.05 - Cultures of Surveillance: Globalization and Film Trilogies

Who's watching whom, and why does it matter? A number of 21st century popular film trilogies highlight cultures of surveillance within the context of globalization. Is there a relationship between plots based on global surveillance techniques and the fact that these plots are so successfully developed through film per se? What is the implied role of the viewer in such films? In what way does trilogy as a form of fragmented storytelling contribute to our understanding of surveillance across borders? Who identifies with whom in these tripartite visual narratives of globalization? What is the relationship among intertwined plotlines, global/international intrigue, geo-political borders, the role of the hero, and the role of viewers? 

COLT 57.05 - Migration Stories

With over 50 million displaced people today, migration is one of the most compelling problems of our time. Filmic and literary representations of migration focus on borders, different types of migrants, and their border crossing experiences. We will study migration from Latin America to the U.S.; from Africa and Eastern Europe to Western Europe; and internal migration within these countries. We will also analyze how Hollywood cinema itself creates images and values that drive migration.

COLT 57.08 - The Humanities and Human Rights

This course will focus on the deep connections between democracy and the role of the arts in the public sphere. Never has the public sphere been so challenged by the logic of an all-encompassing economic rationale. This course will cross disciplinary boundaries as we read literature with care and learn how to read literarily a wide array of theoretical and filmic texts. Our goal will be to travel from the theoretical to the particular and vice-versa, from the literary and filmic stories to the suprapersonal, to the wider polity and back to the personal, with texts that share a passion for change through recognizing our shared vulnerability and humanity, and bear witness to how the experience of crisis is also a gendered one. 

COLT 64.01 - The Burden of the Nazi Past: World War, Genocide, Population Transfer, and Firebombing

This course studies the main events of World War II and the different stages of processing that past in the post-1945 period. In an interdisciplinary and comparative fashion we take up selective controversies in order to understand the formation of postwar German identity, e.g., the Nuremberg, Eichmann, and Frankfurt trials, the Berlin Jewish Museum and Holocaust memorial, Neonazism, and current efforts to remember German civilian casualties. Taught in English. By special arrangement, this course can also be used to count toward a German Studies major or minor. 

COLT 64.02 - Writing at the Extreme: Jewish and Japanese Responses to Crisis and Catastrophe

A comparative study, through fictional works, of various responses to crisis, catastrophe, and breakdown. Jewish history is marked by the large-scale catastrophes of exile and the Holocaust, and by the smaller crises that come with living as a minority in various cultures and nations. The recent history of Japan is also marked by a pronounced sense of crisis and anxiety engendered by its encounter with the West and by the traumas of war, atomic bombing, and occupation. We will trace out these histories through the works of a number of important writers, including Babel, Fink, Singer, Bellow, Malamud, Shabtai, Roth, Yokomitsu, Tanizaki, Endô, Ibuse, Mishima, and Ôe. In the course of our examination of this subject we will analyze aesthetic and ethical issues related to the problems that arise from the effort to create a literary representation of extreme situations. Distributive: Dist:LIT; WCult:CI

COLT 64.03 - War Stories

What is a "true" war story? This course surveys stories of deployment and return from antiquity to the present, to think about the genre of the war story, and especially to think about the self-fashioning narratives of individuals who have witnessed the realities of war and return home. Through close reading we examine the interactions of the returning soldier with his community, and the kinds of stories that soldiers will and will not tell. The historical, cross-cultural study of war stories allows the problem of homecoming to emerge more clearly as problems of the human condition across cultures and political or social organizations, the problem of homecoming emerges as a product of war. 

Computer Science

COSC 55 - Security and Privacy

The migration of important social processes to distributed, electronic systems raises critical security and privacy issues. Precisely defining security and privacy is difficult; designing and deploying systems that provide these properties is even harder. This course examines what security and privacy mean in these settings, the techniques that might help, and how to use these techniques effectively. Our intention is to equip computer professionals with the breadth of knowledge necessary to navigate this emerging area. 

COSC 62 - Applied Cryptography

Cryptography is the fundamental building block for establishing and maintaining trustworthy connections and communications in the Internet; it's the first line of defense for keeping adversaries from spying on credit card numbers being sent to Amazon or on whistleblower reports sent to journalists. This course will examine what's in this toolkit: symmetric ciphers, public-key cryptography, hash functions, pseudorandomness. To enable the well-cultured computer scientist to understand how these tools are used in the real world, this course will cover these topics from multiple perspectives: theoretical foundations, use in practical computing, implementation and management challenges, weaknesses and attacks, censorship circumvention, public policy questions, and prospects for the future. 

COSC 76 - Artificial Intelligence 

An introduction to the field of Artificial Intelligence. Topics include games, robotics, motion planning, knowledge representation, logic and theorem proving, probabilistic reasoning over time, understanding of natural languages, and discussions of human intelligence. 


ECON 24 - Development Economics

This course uses economic analysis to understand contemporary issues in low-income countries. We consider why extreme poverty and hunger, child mortality, low levels of education, gender inequality, environmental degradation, high fertility, and child labor are pervasive in the developing world. We also examine the economic consequences of globalization and infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. For each topic, we seek to understand the factors and constraints influencing decision-making in developing countries. We use this understanding to discuss the role of markets, civil organizations, government policy, and international institutions. 

ECON 39 - International Trade

This course deals with the causes and consequences of international trade and factor movements. Topics covered include theories of why nations trade, the consequences of trade for economic welfare and the distribution of income, the determinants of trade patterns, the tariff and other forms of commercial policy, trade policies of selected countries, and the formation of the multinational corporation. 

ECON 49 - Topics in International Economics

This seminar will cover selected topics in international trade and finance beyond those covered in ECON 29 and ECON 39. Offerings in the next few years are expected to include current research on (1) financial crises in emerging markets, (2) the role of trade, open capital markets, and financial development on growth in developing countries, (3) the determinants and consequences of foreign direct investment, (4) the impact of the multilateral trade agreements on world trade, and (5) issues related to globalization. Will require writing a major paper. 

ECON 73 - The Political Economy of Development

Why are some nations rich and others poor? Answering this question requires an understanding of the process of economic development and growth and also of the obstacles—predominantly political—that are placed in its way. This course develops such an understanding using the evidence of preindustrial Europe and China and building on the insights of Adam Smith. It then applies this understanding to analyze the problems of developing and developed countries today.


ENGL 19 - Writing, Resistance, and (digital) Revolution

This course explores a multicultural history of the technologies of "writing" in North America from 1500-1800. We study three strands of that history (the pre- Columbian world; conquest and religion; European settler colonialism and the Atlantic slave trade) by focusing on four figures: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Samson Occom, and Phillis Wheatley. All used writing in different ways to make "revolutions." Finally, we consider and contribute to the recent turn to digital archives of Early America.

ENGL 52.02 - The Civil War in Literature

Surveys in American literature often omit the Civil War. Yet the war called forth a vast range of literary responses, in genres as diverse as poetry, popular song, novels, and other prose genres. This course will examine how literature depicts the war, and where the limits of that depiction lie. Readings include Walt Whitman's Drum Taps, Herman Melville's Battle Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866), Louisa May Alcott's "Hospital Sketches," Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage. 

ENGL 53.20 - Indian Killers: Murder and Mystery in Native Literature and Film

This course explores the abundant crime fiction and murder mysteries by contemporary Native American artists. These works imagine a democratized space where colonial violence is avenged, American law is malleable, and intellect triumphs over racism. While most critics applaud such decolonizing efforts, we will ask more difficult questions: do these sensational narratives do real cultural work? Do they suggest that colonial violence begets only more violence? And in the end, who are its true victims? 

ENGL 55.07 - The Arts of War

Walt Whitman said of the American Civil War: "the real war will never get in the books." This course will raise core questions about how war is remembered and represented through text, performance, and visual culture. Our questions will be anchored in concrete case studies but will also raise far-ranging philosophical, ethical, and historical questions that examine instances of war in relation to the aesthetics of war. Instructor: Boggs, Edmondson, Hornstein, Will. 

ENGL 55.11 - Hamilton: The Revolution As a Work of Art

In Hamilton: The Revolution (the book of annotated lyrics and account of the musical's production), Lin-Manuel Miranda and his collaborators create two frames for their work's significance. One is the historical American Revolution of the 18th century, which the musical rereads via the figure of the orphan-immigrant; the other references their own musical, which they describe as an act of cultural revolution in its engagement with the racial politics of the early millennium. What does it mean to read revolution as a work of art, and Hamilton as its artistic reinterpretation? In this course, we will develop frames for thinking analytically about Hamilton's artistic engagement with class, gender and ethnicity in the historic past as well as our own moment.

ENGL 62.01 - British Fictions of Revolution

The year 1848 was, for most of Western Europe, a year of revolution. In England, one of the few countries to escape widespread violence, 1848 was a year of rampant publication. The texts published in the UK, ranging from Marx and Engels' The Communist Manifesto to Gothic novels and Pre-Raphaelite poems, do not always seem obviously radical or even similar to one another in theme and mood. Are these texts in fact revolutionary? Are any of the texts politically or socially conservative, or do they represent conservative characters or perspectives? Do they take revolutionary forms or structures? To what extent are the texts participating in the same public sphere and historical moment? In responding to these questions, this colloquium will read literary texts (by Gaskell, Dickens, Emily Bronte, Christina Rossetti, Browning, and Tennyson) alongside artistic and political manifestos, popular political poetry, visual images, scientific and critical prose, and contemporary literary criticism (feminist, Marxist, psychoanalytic, poststructuralist). Students will work toward a substantial research project (12-15 pages) focused on a topic related to the course and of their choosing.

ENGL 74.02: Understanding Biopolitics

Biopolitics, loosely defined as the reciprocal incorporation of politics and life, describes not merely the dominant form that politics takes today but also, arguably, the form that politics has always taken. Healthcare, reproduction, immigration, security, racialization, risk management, emotional wellbeing, property and the common: There is no aspect of embodied existence that has not been affected, if not created (or at least grasped), by biopolitics. Nevertheless, the concept of biopolitics itself, introduced into the critical lexicon by Foucault and still subject to revision and working-through, remains far from settled. Accordingly, students in this seminar will read foundational texts of the burgeoning biopolitical canon — texts by Foucault, Arendt, Agamben, Esposito, Hardt and Negri, to name but a few — as a way of understanding biopolitics not as the basis for a new epistemology but as the term we accord a set of predicaments that emerge at the point where politics and life intercept one another. To facilitate that understanding, students will rely on the texts collected in Biopolitics: A Reader, supplemented by Esposito's Terms of the Political and Melinda Cooper's Life as Surplus. For their final paper, students will have the option of writing either an essay assessing the treatment of a biopolitical predicament across a range of texts or a biopolitical case study. 

ENGL 74.03 - On Cruelty

What is cruelty? How can we understand the relation between cruelty and other forms of violence, such as sadism, masochism, and terrorism, all of which straddle the difficult boundary between pleasure and displeasure, enjoyment and pain. In this course, we will explore the concept of cruelty through a study of literary, filmic, psychoanalytic, and philosophical texts. We will also interrogate how appeals to cruelty underwrite various rights discourses, including debates on the death penalty, human and animal rights, and various international treatises that put a limit on the violence of war. 


ENGS 6 - Technology and Biosecurity

This course will introduce students to the technologies used to combat biological threats to security ranging from pandemic influenza to bioterrorism. In particular, this course will explore the dual role that technology plays in both enhancing and destabilizing security. Specific technologies covered include the use of nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and mass spectrometry. The course considers questions such as: Where can technological solutions have the greatest impact? When can defensive technologies have offensive applications? And, how can we balance the need to regulate potentially dangerous technologies against the need for academic freedom and high tech innovation? 

ENGS 18 - System Dynamics in Policy Design and Analysis

This course introduces systems dynamics, an approach to policy design and analysis based upon feedback principles and computer simulation. The approach is useful for gaining an understanding of the underlying structural causes of problem behavior in social, economic, political, environmental, technological, and biological systems. Goals of this approach are to gain better understanding of such problem behaviors and to design policies aimed at improving them. Lectures and exercises illustrate applications of the approach to real, current problems such as urban decay, resource depletion, environmental pollution, product marketing and distribution, and agricultural planning in an expanding population. The similarity and transferability of underlying feedback characteristics among various applications is emphasized.


ENVS 39: Natural Resources Development and the Environment

How do countries develop their natural resources and also maintain environmental quality? How are water resources and food security maintained in the face of pressures for economic development? Using a multidisciplinary and comparative approach, this course explores the social, political, and scientific issues behind economic development and environmental preservation. Agricultural practices, resource conservation strategies, and tensions between development and conservation are interrogated. The course examines these issues in the historical, social, and political contexts of developed and developing countries, with an emphasis on the emerging nations of sub-Saharan Africa. 

ENVS 60: Environmental Law

Environmental law aims to protect and enhance the environment, reduce the risk to human health from pollution, and achieve sustainable development of natural resources. The success of environmental law depends upon balancing the three components of sustainability: ecological, economic, and social/cultural. Today, the primary sources of this balancing act are federal, state, and local ordinances and their myriad regulations. However, these statutes and regulations overlay a common, judgemade, law of property that establishes a system of private and public property, a law of contracts that governs transactions, and a tort law that provides remedies for intentional and unintentional harms. In addition, there is a growing body of international environmental law with both similarities and differences to U.S. environmental law. The major objectives of this course are to survey today's major environmental laws, explore their history, determine how well they balance ecological, economic, and social sustainability and, finally, to discuss how to improve environmental law to better deal with biodiversity loss, human population growth, energy needs, and climate change in the future.

ENVS 67: Political Ecology

Political ecology is an approach to human-environment relations that links a broad understanding of biophysical systems (e.g., tropical forests, coastal ecosystems, river basins) to knowledge regarding the political and economic forces that drive ecological change. Drawing on examples from North America, Southeast Asia, Africa and other regions, this course employs a political ecology framework to examine contemporary debates over urbanization, water resources, the role of science in environmental conflicts and the cultural landscape. 

ENVS 65 - Global Environmental Politics

This course will examine the global politics associated with environmental issues such as desertification, wildlife management, biodiversity conservation, oceans and fisheries, shared water resources, and climate change. Specifically, we will engage these topics using theories from international relations and comparative politics. A major goal of the course is to give students a firm understanding of the linkages between the policy preferences of governments and the outcomes of international negotiations regarding the global environment.

ENVS 56 - Environmental Economics and Governance

This course explores how concepts from economics and political science can be integrated and applied to issues of environmental governance. Classroom activities and assignments are designed to foster critical thinking about 1) the tools used in environmental economics and 2) the interplay between economic and political forces in human environment systems. Students will learn how concepts such as cost-benefit analysis, incentive-based regulation, and interest-based politics are applied to problems ranging from pollution reduction to international environmental negotiations. 


GEOG 15: Food and Power

In a world glutted with food, why do millions still suffer chronic hunger? In an international community committed to free trade, why is food the most common source of trade wars and controversies? In a country where less than five percent of the population farms, why does the "farm lobby" remain so politically powerful? In societies where food has never been faster or more processed, why are organic and "slow" foods in such demand? These are among the questions this course will consider, drawing on the insights of both political economy and cultural analysis. 

GEOG 16 - Moral Economies of Development

During the past quarter century, the gap between the world's richest and poorest regions has steadily widened, even as technological advance has shrunk the distances between them. This class begins by examining how globalization has shaped awareness and expressions of care for distant strangers. It then focuses on the moral economies underlying practices such as Fair Trade, corporate social responsibility, and transnational labor justice campaigns. Some background in international development is recommended. 

GEOG 17 - Geopolitics and Third World Development  

Political geographers have recently recovered a critical understanding of "geopolitics" in order to highlight how geographical representations - and the construction of spaces and places - are a constitutive part of politics from the global to the local scale. In keeping with this, this course will examine the mutual constructions of places, identities, and politics from a Third World perspective. The course will begin with an overview of geopolitical discourses that underpinned the processes of Western imperialism and colonialism such as "civilization" and "social darwinism." It will then examine contemporary geopolitical (dis)orders through the lens of topics such as globalization, gender, environmental security, humanitarian aid, and terrorism. Finally, the course will examine alternative geopolitical imaginations as constructed through social movements and grassroots politics. Instructor: Lopez. Distributive: Dist:INT or SOC; WCult:NW Offered: 19S: 10

GEOG 21 - Geographies of Violence

Violence appears to be a constant problem for human society, although its forms, mechanisms and objects change over time. The last decade has seen the unprecedented increase of the use of targeted killing as the US has expanded its drone strike operations around the globe, and events such as those in Ferguson and Charlottesville have led police brutality and racialized violence to remerge as national concerns. The aim of this course is to study the problem of violence through a geographic lens. it explores a range of topics relating to violence at three scales: the global, the national, and the body. The goal is to interrogate how each scale of unit of analysis reveals different ways of understanding violence and to draw connections between them; and the course will focus particular attention on the historical and political geographies of Western violence. Topics include drone warfare, humanitarian intervention and peacekeeping, police, fascism, the ethics of killing, slavery, colonialism, and the politics of nonviolence.   

GEOG 61 - Global Movements: Migrants, Refugees, and Diasporas

The focus of this course is the voluntary and involuntary movement of people around the globe. Questions of borders, nativism, transnationalism, the global economy, and legality thread will through our discussions as we consider the factors shaping decisions to leave a home or homeland. Creative works, case studies, and theory regarding these topics will inform and animate our discussions. 

GEOG 65 - Catastrophe and Human Survival

Climate change, terrorist attacks, genocides, contagious outbreaks, and economic collapse preoccupy narratives about human survival. As a result, we are told that our lives are increasingly unstable and precarious—our futures, uncertain. Examining historical evocations of catastrophic events, and how future calamities therefore become imagined, this course examines the relationship between thinking about the future as a yet undetermined sequence of events, and the ways that humans attempt to secure their own survival, or become more resilient to the inevitable. Drawing texts from geography, international relations, literature, political philosophy, and ethics, this course surrounds the phenomena of catastrophe and human survival to ask: What does it mean to live in an age of extreme instability? 

German Studies

GERM 15 - Nazis, Neonazis, Antifa and the Others: Exploring Responses to the Nazi Past

Why do the Nazis remain the world's epitome of evil? What did they actually do? And how specifically are they remembered, depicted, emulated, despised or ignored since the catastrophes of the mid-twentieth Century? In this course we will examine the main events connected with the Second World War, the genocide of European Jewry and Roma-Sinti, forced resettlements of various populations, and the Allied attacks on the German civilian population. We will analyze the different stages of coming to grips with that past on the part of German and some other postwar societies, by examining together a number of controversies like those surrounding the Nuremberg, Frankfurt, Eichmann and Barbie trials, the campaign to build a Holocaust memorial in Berlin, Neonazism, the Wehrmacht photo exhibition, and the current campaign to remember German civilian casualties and losses. Approaching our topic with interdisciplinary and comparative methodology, that is, by utilizing history, journalism, video testimony, music, literature, and art, including film, photography and architecture, students will develop their own perspectives on the formation of postwar German identity and why Nazis remain the epitome of evil. An individual midterm project will allow students to practice the skill of summarizing different sides of a debate, and a final group project will invite students to solidify what they have learned in the course about the formation of national identity by creatively staging a contemporary debate about the Nazi past. 

GERM 45 - The Burden of the Nazi Past: World War, Genocide, Population Transfer, and Firebombing

This course studies the main events of World War II and the different stages of processing the past in the post-1945 period. In an interdisciplinary fashion we take up selective controversies in order to understand the formation of postwar German identity, e.g., the Nuremberg, Frankfurt, and Eichmann trials, the Berlin Jewish Museum and Holocaust Memorial, Neonazism, and current efforts to remember German civilian casualties. Taught in English. 


GOVT 4: Politics of the World

GOVT 5: International Politics

GOVT 20.05: Revolution, Reform, and Reaction

GOVT 30.07: State Making and State Breaking

GOVT 30.13: Immigration Policy in the United States

GOVT 40.09: Politics of Israel and Palestine

GOVT 40.08: Politics of China

GOVT 40.14: Latin America's Search for Democracy and Development: The Andean Region

GOVT 40.19: State Building in the Middle East and North Africa

GOVT 40.21: Perception and Misperception: Politics of the Cold War

GOVT 40.23: Energy and Policy in the Middle EastGOVT 49.01: Politics of Latin America

GOVT 49.04: Sex and the State in Latin America

GOVT 50: International Conflict and Cooperation

GOVT 50.08: International Institutions

GOVT 50.02: Civil War, Insurgency, and Response

GOVT 50.04: War and Peace in the Modern Age

GOVT 50.06: Nuclear Weapons

GOVT 50.16: Rise and Fall of Great Powers

GOVT 50.17: Weapons of Mass Destruction

GOVT 52: Russian Foreign Policy 

GOVT 53: International Security

GOVT 54: US Foreign and Military Policy

GOVT 58: International Political Economy

GOVT 59: Foreign Policy and Decision Making

GOVT 60.04: Ethics and Public Policy

GOVT 60.17: Arab Political Thought

GOVT 60.22: Law, Power, and Society

GOVT 81.16: The Rise of Populism in Europe

GOVT 81.25: Defying Convention: Human Rights in the United States and United Nations

GOVT 84.35: Latin America and the United States: The Dynamics of Foreign Policy

GOVT 85.12: Military Statecraft in International Relations

GOVT 85.38: Gender and War

GOVT 84.14: Foreign Aid

GOVT 84.xx: Vladimir Putin: Russia in the 21st Century

GOVT 84.26: Ethnic Conflict

GOVT 85.15: Economic Statecraft in International Relations

GOVT 85.39: Foreign Policy & the Mass Public


HIST 3.03 - Europe in the Age of Violence

The last two centuries were an era of dramatic transformations and contradictions: while Europeans enjoyed unprecedented prosperity, technological advances, and social mobility, they also unleashed and experienced empire, terror, total war, foreign occupations, and mass murder. Throughout these 100 years, contrasting visions of a new society ushered in a range of different regimes— monarchical empires, liberal republics, murderous and racist dictatorships, Communist autocracies, and a democratic welfare states—yet these visions also led to the emancipation of women, the development of a new consumer society, the creation of environmentalist movements and new counter-cultures, and the transformation of everyday lives. 

HIST 4.01 - The Crusades  

The crusades, launched by European Christians who sought to secure military control over the Holy Land, led to a period of sustained and largely inimical contact between Christian and Muslim cultures. Covering the period from 1095-ca.1350, this course explores the cultural, religious, and ideological contexts of crusade history which shaped notions of religious violence, holy war, and ethnic cleansing, along with a long history of distrust between the peoples of Christian Europe (or the Christian West) and the Islamic Middle East. 

HIST 5.09 - Colonialism, Nationalism and Revolution in Southeast Asia

This course offers an overview of the political history of Southeast Asia from the early nineteenth century to the present. It examines the character of pre-colonial states, the development of European imperialism and the nature of colonial rule, the emergence of nationalism, the process of decolonization (with a focus on the Vietnamese Revolution), authoritarian and non-authoritarian regimes in post-colonial Southeast Asia, the mass killings in Cambodia and Indonesia, and movements for democracy in the Philippines, Indonesia and Burma (Myanmar). 

HIST 8.05 - The International History of Human Rights

In this course, students will study the history of human rights in the modern era, tracing the idea of the "Rights of Man" from the time of the Enlightenment; the uneasy coexistence of democracy and slavery; 19th century humanitarian movements, including abolitionism; the internationalization of humanitarianism and the Red Cross; the socialist challenge to "liberal" human rights; and the development of the international human rights movement per se since World War II. 

HIST 11 - The Age of the American Revolution

This course begins with an examination of relations between England and its American Colonies in the middle of the eighteenth century. It deals with the collapse of British authority in America, emphasizing the social and intellectual sources of rebellion. Treatment of the war years focuses more on the problem of political and economic adjustment than on military history. The final topic covered is the adoption of a federal Constitution. 

HIST 12 - The American Civil War

The American Civil War was a defining moment in American history. This course examines the causes of the conflict, the war itself, and the period of Reconstruction up to 1877. Topics to be discussed include the diplomatic conduct of the war, political developments in both the north and the south, military developments, the question of race and slavery, emancipation, the participation of African Americans in the war, the women's rights movement and the involvement of women in the war, and medical advances. The social and economic aspects of the war will receive as much emphasis as military and political developments. 

HIST 24 - The Cold War and American Life

This course will examine the diverse ways that the Cold War changed how Americans lived, understood, and experienced their lives at home and abroad from 1945 – 1968. It will explore issues like the rise of the national security state; the impact of the Cold War on thinking about race, gender and sexuality; Cold War consumerism; nuclear cultures; the Cold War and higher education; conflicts in Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam; and new concepts of American internationalism. 

HIST 25.01 - The United States and the World from the Colonial Era to 1865

This course examines the colonial origins of the United States and the ways in which Americans perpetuated, challenged and transformed empire in their dealings with non-American nations and peoples between the American Revolution and the Civil War. Key topics include U.S. relations with Indian nations, the Mexican-American War, the pursuit of informal empire in East Asia and the Pacific, and the colonization of Liberia. 

HIST 25.02 - The United States and the World, 1865-1945

This course explores America's interactions with the world and its emergence as a global imperial power in the decades after the end of the U.S. Civil War. Key topics include the conquest of the Great Plains, the War of 1898, U.S. colonialism in the Philippines, Wilsonianism and the U.S. embrace of "total war" during World War II.

HIST 25.03 - The United States and the World since 1945

This course examines U.S. relations with the wider world during the Cold War and the post-Cold War era. In addition to America's global rivalry with the Soviet Union, students will investigate American responses to decolonization, globalization and the emergence of global norms of human rights. They will also study U.S. interventions in "Third World" nations such as Cuba, Guatemala and Vietnam, as well as U.S. efforts to exercise unprecedented forms of global hegemony in the post-Cold War period. 

HIST 26 - The Vietnam War

This course examines the conflict which Americans call "The Vietnam War" as a major event in the 20th century histories of both the United States and Vietnam. In addition to exploring the key decisions made by U.S. and Vietnamese leaders, students will also learn about the experiences of ordinary soldiers and civilians. This course incorporates multiple American and Vietnamese sources and perspectives, and also investigates multiple explanations of the war's origins and outcome. 

HIST 53 - World War II: Ideology, Experience, Legacy

This course will explore the origins, nature, and legacies of the most dramatic war in modern times. Rather than focusing only on the military aspect, we will discuss the different ideological, cultural, political, and social factors that intersected in this monumental conflict. Students will learn about the worldviews that led to the war; the experiences of soldiers, policymakers, and ordinary people at the home fronts; and the institutions and cultures that emerged at the war's aftermath. 

HIST 62 - The First World War

The First World War was fought in Europe for the most part but it involved belligerents from every continent and had global effects, many of which bedevil our world today. This course introduces you to the vast subject of what the British still call The Great War, its causes, combat, homefronts and far-reaching consequences as well as to some of the unresolved questions that continue to propel our research. 

HIST 64 - The Great War and the Transformation of Europe

The Great War and the Transformation of Europe explores how the First World War redefined warfare, destroyed empires, and profoundly altered the political, social, and cultural landscape of Europe. The course will analyze this crucial period in the development of Europe by examining political re-alignments. 

HIST 71 - Conflict and Violence in the Middle East

This course will explore the major episodes that have transformed the Middle East since World War I through the prisms of conflict and violence. Challenging the discourses that characterize Middle Eastern societies as essentially stagnant, authoritarian and violent, this course will look critically at the complexities and dynamism of the conflicts with respect to their origins, the actors involved, and the key historical and political factors that have shaped them. 

HIST 78.02 - North Korea: Origins and Transitions

This course explores the history of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) from a global perspective. Topics include the Japanese colonial legacies; liberation, division, and foreign occupation between 1945 and 1950; the meanings of the Korean War; comparing Kim Il-Sung's North Korean revolution with Park Chunghee's state building in the South; the reality of "Self-Reliance"; social control and everyday life; and issues around human rights. 

HIST 79 - Postwar Japan: From Occupied Nation to Economic Superpower

This course examines the internal and external forces that have shaped Japan's government, economy, and society since 1945. Topics to be treated include American Occupation reforms, the conservative hegemony in politics, rapid economic growth and its costs, the mass middle-class society, and Japan's changing world role. 

HIST 83 - Twentieth-Century Latin America

This course seeks to address major issues in twentieth century Latin America through the history of three or four countries. Topics discussed will include development, imperialism, nationalism, revolution, state formation and violence. 

HIST 91.01 - Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Age of the Crusades

This course will focus on the interactions of the three major religious communities of the medieval Mediterranean—Christians, Jewish, and Muslim— beginning with the First Crusade in 1096 and ending with the arrival of the Black Death in 1347. By examining topics such as pilgrimage, crusade, and jihad, the status of minority communities, and intellectual life, we will explore how Christians, Jews, and Muslims clashed, cooperated, influenced, and misunderstood each other. 

HIST 92.04 - Partition in South Asia

In the years leading to 1947, nationalist activism against the British and tensions between Hindus and Muslims escalated in the Indian subcontinent. This culminated in Partition and the emergence of the nations of India and Pakistan. Independence was marred, however, by the bloodshed accompanying the mass movements of Muslims into Pakistan and Hindus into India. What were the factors leading to this juxtaposition of triumphal Independence with shameful Partition? What were the implications of Partition for ordinary people? How have memories of Partition continued to affect powerful politics and culture in the subcontinent? This seminar investigates such questions using a wide variety of materials including films, memoirs, fiction and scholarly works. This course follows recent scholarship in focusing on the long-term implications of Partition for the subcontinent. Hence, while we certainly will investigate the events leading up to Partition, our emphasis will be on understanding the effect of Partition on the lives of ordinary people during and after. 

HIST 94.02 - Science, Technology and Culture in the Nuclear Age

An examination of the social, political and cultural dimensions of nuclear technology from the discovery of fission in 1938 through the 1980s. We will consider how contexts and politics shaped the development of nuclear weapons and power reactors, and how these technologies in turn affected politics and culture. Topics include efforts in Germany, USA, USSR, Japan and England to build fission weapons during World War II; Hiroshima and Nagasaki in American and Japanese memory; the arms race, atomic scientists and the Cold War; the nuclear power industry in international comparison; living in and resisting the Nuclear Age; literary and film representations of the Nuclear Age; and the impact of the Nuclear Age on the development of science and technology since 1945. 

HIST 94.10 - Jews and Arabs in Israel-Palestine: Past and Present

This course aims to study the modern history of Jewish-Arab relations in Palestine/Eretz Israel, aka the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is not an easy task, if only because of the wide gap between the national narratives and the contradictory historical views of the conflicting. We will try to take advantage of the existence of these contradictions and gaps, in order to explore the very creation of national narratives, the belief systems and perceptions of justice of both parties, their self-images and the way they try to present themselves to international audiences. 

HIST 94.15 - History of the Holocaust 

The focus of this course will be on the history of the murder of European Jews and the destruction of European Judaism at the hands of the Nazis. After surveying the history of racism in European society from the 18th to 20th century, the course investigates, from perspectives of history, psychology, literature, philosophy, and religion, how bureaucracy could exterminate six million Jews. 

HIST 96.22 - Nazism: Culture, Society, War

HIST 96.25 - World War II in the Pacific, 1931-1945

This seminar examines the origins, experiences, and consequences of World War II in the Pacific from 1931 – 1945. Moving beyond a U.S.-Japanese framework, we will explore the Pacific War's complex cultural, diplomatic, and geopolitical roots, examining it as a clash between empires, liberation movements, and Communist organizations. Course materials will include both primary and second sources, along with films, comics, and memoirs that examine the experience and legacies of these wars.

HIST 96.26 - Ritual and Violence in Crusader Jerusalem

HIST 96.33 - Global History of Human Rights

This course aims to complicate histories of human rights that imagine that such rights only or primarily exist in Euro-American contexts and have to be exported — either through humanitarian or military intervention — to the Global South. To this end, we will look at rights movements in Middle East, Latin America, and Asian contexts, and attend to the often-complicated history of such movements in the context of imperialism and war. In this course, we will ask: What are human rights, and what is their history? What is the relationship between human rights and earlier languages of rights? What counts as a human right? Can there be a universal standard for human rights despite social difference? What political and ethical possibilities have been opened for marginalized communities by the language of human rights, and what possibilities have been foreclosed by the often-singular focus on human rights as a panacea against all social ills? And finally: do our demands for human rights work to make the world a more just place, and are these demands enough?

Jewish Studies

JWST 37.02 - Burden of the Nazi Past: World War, Genocide, Population Transfer, and Firebombing

Identical to COLT 64 and GERM 45. 

JWST 37.03 - Representing the Holocaust: History, Memory, and Survival

JWST 40.01 - Politics of Israel and Palestine

This course explores the century-old conflict as seen from the political structures and changing narratives of Israelis and Palestinians, including the Zionist movement and the responses of the Palestinian Arab community to it; the formation of the Arab national movement as a whole—and within this, the claims of Palestinians before and after the British Mandate; the founding of the state of Israel and the formation of the post-1948 Palestinian national movement; the aftermath of the 1967 war; the start of the Israeli occupation and the latter's impact on Israeli institutions, economy, and political parties; and the Palestine Liberation Organization and the founding of Hamas. We will explore contemporary political and economic developments in light of the global forces operating on the region, and consider the plausibility of a two-state solution. 

JWST 40.02 - Israel and Palestine: The Media as a Battlefield

The role of the media in violent conflict situations The role of the media in violent conflict situations has become an increasingly critical area of study and research over the past generation. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the role of the media within that conflict will serve as the central focus of this course. Comparing current conflicts to previous wars – including wars such as Korea and Vietnam, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya - we find that they relatively limited in scope. Yet, while violent conflicts in almost every part of the world, including Asia, Africa, Europe (the Ukraine and Russia), most of the world's attention focuses on the Middle East.

JWST 40.04 - Jews and Arabs in Palestine-Israel: Past and Present

The course will cover more than hundred years of struggle between the Jewish national movement, aka the Zionist movement, and the Arab-Palestinian national movement, through exploration of the belief systems, political and military practices, perceptions of justice, and narratives of both movements and of political and religious factions within each of them. 

JWST 42 - Film, Fiction and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

This course explores Israeli cinema in the context of the social and historical backdrop of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the painful emergence of a new Jewish-Israeli identity in the shadow of the Holocaust and constant warfare. We will study a dozen films in depth, situate them in the evolution of an Israeli cinema, and consider the problems of turning fiction into film. 

JWST 68.02 - Sociology of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The course aims to comprehend Israeli-Palestinian relations from the first moments of Zionist-Palestinian encounter. It presents different approaches to the interpretation of these relations, the beginning of the conflict before the establishment of the Jewish State, and its further developments. The course will enter key debates on military-society relations, Jewish democracy, economic relations, and the failure of the peace process, ending with a discussion of options for the future.


LACS 50.09 - Revolution, Reform and Reaction: The Cold War in Latin America

This course examines and analyzes the key variables that determined the course of Latin America's political, economic, and social evolution during the period of the Cold War (1946-1990). It focuses on the relationship of Latin America to the global Cold War, the manifestation of U.S. and Soviet foreign policy in the region, and the responses of key actors in Latin America to the geostrategic, ideological and political rivalry between the two superpowers. 

Middle Eastern Studies

MES 7.01 - Arab Revolutions: Dependency, Despotism and the Struggle for Democracy

This course explores the long struggle of Arabs to build independent and democratic states. After long cycles of revolutions and repression, the Arab World still suffers from despotism and dependency, and its people still yearn and struggle for freedom and good governance. Why have Arab revolutions failed? Are Arabs condemned to live under tyranny or is there hope for those who seek democratic, accountable governments and rule of law? To answer this question, we will dig into the complex political and cultural realities of the Arab World. We will read about old and new Arab revolutions; from Prince Abdul-Qader's armed revolt in Algeria (1832 -1847); Egypt's multiple revolutions (1882 and 1919); Lawrence of Arabia's Arab revolt (1914 -1918); the bleak revolution of Palestine (1936), all the way to the Arab Spring of 2011 and its subsequent collapse into civil war and despotism. The readings cover these revolutions and the deep dynamics that shape Arab societies and states. As such, this course introduces students to the politics and culture of one of the most turbulent regions of our world. 

MES 8.01 - Introduction to Middle East Politics

This is a gateway course to the political life of the Middle East. It will introduce students to the main political issues and dynamics of the region, including: Conflict and civil wars, from the Arab-Israeli conflict to the Syrian collapse; security arrangements, especially in oil-rich countries; the political economy of (mal)development; political ideologies and the conflict between liberalism, nationalism and Islamism; international politics and the American presence in the region; rivalries and alliances among Middle Eastern powers, including Iran and Turkey; the return of authoritarianism and stalled democratic processes; terrorism; and anti-colonialism. We will cover the basic contours and intellectual debates around these issues, analyzing the main texts tracing their development. The aim of this course is not only to familiarize students with the basic political features of the Middle East but also to equip students with the tools necessary to pursue future academic and analytical work on the politics of the region.  

MES 16.08 - Women and War in Modern Arabic Literature and Film

Women are central figures in the political upheavals of the modern Middle East; their images have had a remarkable hold on national and international imaginations. This course investigates the representations of women and war in literature and film through such topics as colonialism and decolonization, Third Wave feminism, civil war, gendered spaces, the gender politics of national symbolism and liberation, as well as the politics and aesthetics of documentary film.  

MES 12.04 - America and the Middle East

The United States has played a major role in shaping the political, economic and cultural development of the Middle East. Oil, global security, Israel's survival, and promotion of democracy, all have drawn the US into the complex politics of the Middle East since the 1920s. This course introduces students to various aspects of this role and the reactions it triggered. It covers the role played by American missionaries and travelers/immigrants around the turn of the 20th century. It analyzes the transformative impact of the discovery of Oil, the establishment of the state of Israel, the Cold War, Turkey's integration into NATO and the US attempts to establish a security regime for the Middle East. It also examines how Americans viewed the Middle East and their role in its life. In addition, the course then takes the students in a tour d'horizon of US role in Middle East politics: its involvement in the Arab-Israeli Peace Process, its responses to Radical Islamism and 9/11, the invasion of Iraq and its consequences, the uneasy relationship with a changing Turkey, and its policy of "democracy promotion". It discusses the doctrines defining US role in Combining academic books with novels and movies, this course should give students a rounded view of the role and lasting impact of the United States in one of the world's most turbulent regions.

Native American Studies

NAS 14 - The Invasion of America: American Indian History Pre-Contact to 1800 

This course surveys Native American history from precontact times to 1800. It offers a chronological overview of major trends and developments, supplemented by case studies and readings that illustrate key issues and events. The overall context of the course is the conflict generated by the colonial agendas of various European nations and the early republic, but the primary focus will be the historical experiences of the diverse Indian peoples of North America in the wake of European invasion and their struggles to survive in the new world that invasion and created. 

NAS 36 - Indigenous Nationalism: Native Rights and Sovereignty

This course focuses on the legal and political relationship between the indigenous peoples of Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand and their respective colonial governments. Students will examine contemporary indigenous demands for self-government, especially territorial claims, within the context of the legislative and political practices of their colonial governments. The course will begin with an examination of the notion of Aboriginal self-government in Canada and develop it in light of the policy recommendations found in the recent report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996). Using the Canadian experience as a benchmark, students will then compare these developments to indigenous peoples' experiences in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. An important theme of the course will be to develop an international approach to the issue of indigenous rights and to explore how colonial governments are responding to indigenous demands for justice. 


PHIL 9.08 - Ethics and Information Technology

How do we understand moral agency and moral responsibility in the context of the internet? What rights, protections, and obligations govern, or should govern, social media? Readings and discussions will include: privacy, harm, surveillance, consent, pornography, freedom of expression, accountability, anonymity, games, violence, and activism. Instructor: Brison. Distributive: Dist:TMV Offered: 19X: 3A

PHIL 16.02 - Kant on Moral, Legal, and Political Philosophy

According to Kant's influential account of morality, how an agent understands her own actions determines their moral status. An act that is innocuous in its external guise might be morally problematic because of its internal principle. Kant supplements this with an account of how we ought to relate to other persons in external respects. This "doctrine of right" offers a compelling alternative to more widely known political and legal philosophies. This class will provide a unified introduction to both parts of Kant's attempt to understand the normative implications of agency. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy, or permission of the instructor. 

PHIL 36 - Metaethics

This course explores foundational questions about ethics. For instance: What, if anything, makes an ethical judgment correct? Are ethical facts created or discovered? Can ethical judgments ever be objectively true, or are they only true "from a point of view?" How are ethical judgments related to natural science and the picture of the world it offers us? How can we come to justified beliefs about ethics?

PHIL 37 - Ethical Theory

This course is broadly concerned with questions about what is right, good and virtuous. Some instances of the course will treat abstract questions. For example: Are moral principles universal or relative to a particular group? Is an act right just in case it maximizes happiness? Do we have good reason to be moral? More focused instances might include: Do we have duties to non-humans? When is it morally permissible to kill a person? 

PHIL 38.01 - Equality, Justice, and Democracy

What is the nature of equality? How much does equality matter in ethics and politics? And why (if at all) does equality matter in the first place? This course concerns these and related questions about the role of equality in evaluating the social and political world. One of our central concerns will be how equality relates to other (purportedly important) ethical and political values, including justice, democracy, and freedom. 


REL 11 - Religion and Morality

How can we claim that something is good, evil, right, wrong, just, or unjust? What is our basis for evaluation and judgment, and how can we hope to persuade others who hold different perspectives? This course explores the challenges of making moral judgments and offering ethical codes of conduct. We consider problems raised in Western philosophical and religious traditions primarily. Topics covered include foundationalism and post-foundational ethics, narrative and virtue ethics, and traditional vs. postmodern approaches. Issues explored may include: poverty and injustice, just war theory, race/class/gender concerns, biomedical ethics, business ethics, posthumanism, and environmental and animal rights. 

REL 40.07 - Hindus and Muslims in India

Hindu nationalist rhetoric in India today claims that India has always been an inherently "Hindu state," and that "Hindu" and "Muslim" are two distinct, mutually exclusive, and oppositional identities locked in a relationship of eternal conflict. These claims raise a host of difficult questions: Was there any such thing as a collective "Hindu" identity prior to the arrival of Islam? What was the relationship between "Hinduism" and "Islam" during the medieval period? To what extent was British colonialism responsible for creating "Hindu" and "Muslim" identities in the modern period and then projecting them into the past? This course will examine "Hindu" and "Muslim" identities in both medieval and modern India. 

Public Policy

PBPL 82.01 - Military Statecraft in International Relations

Finding answers for many complex foreign policy questions requires weighing a set of political goals against an estimate of the potential military costs and risks. The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the missions and capabilities of military forces, and to teach them how to estimate the likely costs, risks, and outcomes of military operations. This course will use theoretical works and historical cases to familiarize students with some of the principles of air, ground, and naval operations. Students will use the tools which they learn in class to conduct a detailed military analysis that bears on an important current foreign policy question.


SOCY 49.18 - Third World Revolutions  

This course presents a comparative analysis of the three major revolutions of the latter part of the twentieth century: Iran, Nicaragua, and the Philippines. The course begins with a discussion of major theories of revolutions, including works that focus on class analysis, ideological conflicts, and the state. In the second half of the term, the course explores the revolutions in Iran, Nicaragua, and the Philippines, focusing on the causes of the conflicts, the revolutionary processes, and their alternative outcomes: Islamic fundamentalism in Iran, revolutionary socialism in Nicaragua, and the restoration of liberal democracy in the Philippines. The latter part of the course relies on documentary films that contain actual footages of the revolutionary struggles and their outcomes in the three countries.

SOCY 49.24 - Sociology of Human Rights

In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights called on the world's nations to respect the "inherent dignity and…the equal inalienable rights" of all people. But while the declaration helped globalize human rights, the world continues to experience genocide, torture, slavery, discrimination, and the wide-scale displacement of people. The course seeks to gain a greater appreciation of the complex social forces that impede human rights while also imagining new strategies to address current-day human rights challenges. Students will critically examine human rights case law, develop a non-governmental organization, and participate in a simulation of the United Nations Security Council. 


SPEE 27 - Intercultural Communication

In our increasingly diverse world, cultural and intercultural literacy is an urgent necessity, not an option. To help fulfill this exigency, the goal of this class is for students to explore how diverse underlying cultural orientations and patterns influence communication behaviors within and between cultures.Theoretical and practical aspects of intercultural communication will be addressed with a focus on how students can apply alternative communication strategies that result in deliberate and fruitful intercultural outcomes. 


THEA 19 - Human Rights and Performance

What can theatre do for human rights, and human rights for theatre? How do playwrights translate violations of human rights to the stage? Through class discussion and creative exercises, we will explore selected plays from around the world that address human rights through various genres and dramatic forms, including theatre of testimony, documentary theatre, realism, allegory, and surrealism. 


WGSS 42.06 - Gender and the Global War on Terror

This course examines the gendered and sexual politics of "The Global War on Terror" in post-9/11 worlds. We will critically examine how everyday people and feminist activists/scholars identify, theorize, and challenge the systems of value and power relationships that historically and presently structure the ongoing U.S.-led "Global War on Terror," with a particular focus on the effects of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We also explore how the "Global War on Terror"––America's longest "official" war, which has been ongoing for sixteen years––is diffuse and continually changing as those persons deemed internal/external "threats" to national security shift over periods of time. In order to examine these relationships of power, we turn to the stories of women and men in the U.S. military, women in Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans, and de-militarization activists and artists in the U.S. and globally over the course of these sixteen years.