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.).

Radical Islam - A History

This course focuses on the history of Muslim groups and social movements which are often regarded as politically fundamentalists or radical in the twentieth-century Middle East. We shall critically survey the intellectual origins of radical ideologies, the social history of the "Muslim Bortherhood: in Egypt and Syria, the politics of Saudi Arabia, the rise of Hizbullah, the question of the caliphate, the interaction between foreign intervention and the approval of violence as a legitimate means in politics, a history of al-Qaeda, and finally of what we know about ISIS.

Roman Political Thought and Its Modern Legacy

Why does Rome still capture the imagination of modern political commentators and theorists? This course examines Roman political thought as it was conceived under the Republic, reimagined under the Empire, and transformed by Christianity. Topics may include the Roman constitution, liberty, equality, property, slavery, rights, citizenship, civil religion, political corruption, rhetoric, imperialism, just war theory, and cosmopolitanism. Instructor: Atkins. 

Citizenship, Patriotism, & Identity

This course introduces students to fundamental moral questions about nation states and individuals' membership in them. Do people owe more to their compatriots than to foreigners? It is desirable - or at least permissible - for countries to have and promote a national identity? What different forms can patriotism take, and in which (if any) of these forms is it a virtue? Should we all be "citizens of the world?" These questions will be explored primarily through readings in contemporary moral and political philosophy. Open only to students in the Focus Program. Instructor: MacMullen.

The Middle East Through Film

Film as access into the region through a series of direct, as well as poetic connections woven across films viewed, filmmakers featured, lectures, discussions, and texts read. By means of the integration of course components and students' weekly responses, an understanding of the region is developed by way of inquiry into and rigorous engagement with cultural production.  From feature length films to shorts, the breadth of the work we will engage with includes documentaries, dramas, and less traditional forms.

Law and Philosophy

Seminar will engage in an investigation of the concept of law. Employ both historical and conceptual analyses of several texts, both classic and contemporary.  Topics include: the nature and legitimacy of law; the relationship between law and morality; the relationship between law and politics and the concept of the rule of law.

Institutions and Self Governance

Study the history and development of institutions in self-governing communities and societies to gain a deeper understanding of the need for creating and maintaining institutions to resolve specific collection action problems and to achieve social security, political stability and economic prosperity in general for a community.