Fall Semester History Courses

NOTE: Seniors may take history electives upon request; juniors may take history electives upon approval of the department.

A History of Human Rights

This student-centered course will provide a wide-ranging survey of conceptual foundations and issues in contemporary human rights. The class will examine the philosophical origins of human rights, contemporary debates, the evolution of human rights, key human rights documents, and the questions of human rights enforcement. Violations of human rights appear in many forms. They span the gamut from torture and human trafficking (modern-day slavery) to poverty and war atrocities, from religious persecution to gender and racial discrimination. Students will examine a wide array of topics including a history of human rights and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, historical examples of human rights violations, and contemporary issues in human rights (civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights (health care, education, housing, etc.], environmental rights [healthy environment, clean air, respect for the Earth, etc), and sexual rights. [Half credit.]

Introductory Economics

This course introduces the basic principles of economics and their application and relevance to public policy issues. Emphasis is placed on the development, current state and future position of political economy of the United States in an international context as well as introducing basic theoretical tools to aid analysis of central economic issues and debates. The theory includes basic micro-economic models to explain market behavior and macro-economic models to explain price levels and output in national economies. The objectives of this course are to provide the basic tools for understanding fundamental economic issues and to stimulate thinking and consciousness on the central areas of debate. [Half credit.]


Global Affairs

This course asks: how is the world connected through diplomacy, culture, war, and technology? To answer this question — and to understand how conflict and cooperation happen on a global scale — students will explore current events in historical perspective. Likely topics for study include, but are not limited to, the rise (and current troubles in) the European Union, the Arab Spring and the ongoing civil war in Syria, micro finance and development in Africa and South America, K-pop and global diffusion of culture, the global war on terror, amongst other topics. In addition, we will follow current events, incorporating worldwide changes and developments into the curriculum as they arise. A current subscription to The Economist will be required. Assignments will include nightly reading and reading responses, short papers (1-2 pages), and a 5-7 page research paper at the end of the semester. These assignments will help students to develop critical thinking skills, analytical writing skills, and a deeper understanding of their place in a globalized world. [Half credit.]

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