Human Rights in Theory and Practice

The nature and value of human rights; examining some major debates over their status and meaning and assessing the role which the idea of human rights has played in changing lives, practices, and institutions. Questions considered include: whether commitments to human rights depend on a belief in moral truth; whether the idea of universal human rights makes sense in a culturally diverse world; and what forms of social action are most likely to achieve respect for human rights. One course.

The Holocaust

Antisemitism and the Jewish question in Central Europe, the development of Nazi policy, the Final Solution in its different sites (ghetto, labor camps, extermination camps) and institutions (SS, Judenrat), the Holocaust's legacy. Historiographical debates and documentary research. Class might take field trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. One course.

Course originates in History.

Life Within Capitalism: A History of its Values, Measures and Struggles

Examination of how capitalism has profoundly shaped people's ethical values, with focus on United States. Investigates central developments behind history of capitalism, explores key struggles that led to formation of capitalist logic (choices, values, goals); traces impact of capitalist goals and measures on ethical values and choices; examines discussions about possible future developments within capitalism. One course.

Course originates in Study of Ethics.

Putin's Russia: The History of Economic and Political Consolidation

The post-2000 decade examined as aftermath of political and economic turmoil and restructuring of the 1990s and as a period of consolidation of Russia's political and economic systems and business practices. Critically examines functioning of Russia's sovereign democracy, mechanisms of economic crime and corruption, radical political movements, and popular perceptions of democracy, capitalism, market and the West among Russian citizens. One course.

Course originates in History.

Constitutional Rights in U.S. History

Focus on impact of courts on interpretation of constitutional language concerning rights of individuals, especially religious liberty, freedom of speech, and press, civil rights and property rights. Explore history of court decisions, including extra-constitutional influences, contemporary understandings, and consequences.  One course.

Course originates in History.