Activism and Christianity in Modern America

An exploration of the relation of Christian belief and practices with agitation for social change, with a focus on the United States from the colonial period to the present. Attention given to how identity, power, and suffering shape historical judgments about the intersection of religion and ethics. Close readings of primary sources drawn from autobiographies, letters, sermons, poems, and treatises. Figures may include John Wesley, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Pauli Murray, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, Daniel Berrigan.

Chinese Culture and Ideology

Exposes students to cultural and literary expressions and representations of modern China from the beginning of the 20th century to the present; focus on issues of politics and ideology and the formation of Chinese exceptionalism; the beginning of the 20th century (1900-1949) and the Mao era (1949-1976); contemporary China since the era of reform and opening up (1978-present); comparative, interdisciplinary approaches of intellectual and cultural history, literary and cultural studies, and political science.

Toleration, Freedom of Conscience, and Religious Liberty

Explores the ideas of toleration, freedom of conscience, and religious liberty through a careful study of philosophers and theologians in the Roman world, where arguments for these concepts first emerged. Also considers the important contributions of early modern political philosophers and discussions by contemporary theorists. Readings may include Cicero, Seneca, Epictetus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Lactantius, St. Augustine, Spinoza, Locke, Rousseau, Roger Williams, Jefferson, Nussbaum, and Forst.


Study of the republican political theory and its historical tradition. Emphasis on key concepts of this tradition, including freedom as non-domination, virtue, the mixed constitution and the common good. Study and comparison of the Roman Republic, English, American, Italian and French republic trends. Readings include Cicero, Machiavelli, Milton, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Arendt and contemporary neo-republican scholarship. Instructor: Rousseliere.

South African Life Histories

Explores the last century of South African history through the lens of biography and autobiography.  Protagonists range from little known South Africans like the sharecropper Kas Maine, an African prophetess, and the self-styled godfather of Soweto to political artists and writers, and will include some of the country's most famous citizens like Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko and Helen Suzman.  Readings are a mix of scholarly and non-scholarly writings.

Political History of Modern Architecture: From Revolution through Neoliberalism

Given the needs for labor, materials, and legal permissions, architects in the modern period by definition intersect with interests of power. This course explores the role of political institutions and ideologies in the history of modern architecture. While the course focuese on European and North American examples, we will also include key case studies of non-Euroamerican architecture and politics. The course provides a foundational knowledge of the history of modern architecture as well as how political institutions and ideologies have influenced that development. Instructor: Jaskot.

Inequality in Western Political Thought

Study of egalitarian and inegalitarian theories in the history of Western Political Thought. Distinction between forms of inequality (political, economic, social, racial, gender, etc.). Analysis of what kind of equality should be achieved (resources, opportunities, rights, respect, etc.). Connection of equality with other political and moral issues (freedom, responsibility, class conflict, well-being, poverty, exclusion, solidarity, difference, etc.).

Legal Analysis for Development Governance

Using case scenarios, we apply a legal analytical framework to development-related governance challenges in investment, trade, environment, land, community and human rights, health, corruption, corporate social responsibility, consumer literacy, children's legal personality and other sectors. "Rules of the Game" and legal rules. Three levels: international, national (constitutional), community.

Chinese Media and Popular Culture: Politics, Ideology, and Social Change

Examines contemporary Chinese media traditional news press, radio and TV, new media such as the Internet and social media, and popular culture, including cinema, popular music and fashions. Uses cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and comparative approach.  Focuses on how China views itself and constructs its global images, and how the world views China through media and popular culture. Primary objective is to understand political, ideological, and social changes since the Reform Era that began in 1978.  No foreign language prerequisites are required.  Instructor: Liu.