Director: J.C. Salyer
Committee on Human Rights Studies: Elizabeth Bernstein (Women's Studies), Alex Cooley (Political Science), Ayten Gündoğdu (Political Science), J. Paul Martin (Human Rights Studies), Rachel McDermott (Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures), Anupama Rao (History), Rajiv Sethi (Economics), Paige West (Anthropology)

Additional members of the faculty offering courses on human rights:

Nadia Abu El-Haj (Anthropology), Séverine Autesserre (Political Science), James Basker (English), Sheri Berman (Political Science), Kaiama Glover (French), Larry Heuer (Psychology), Janet Jakobsen (Women's Studies), Brian Larkin (Anthropology/Africana Studies), Xiaobo Lü (Political Science), Kimberly Marten (Political Science), J. Paul Martin (Human Rights), José Moya (History), Jonathan Rieder (Sociology)

Requirements for the Combined Major

A minimum of six courses in the Human Rights Program, including either HRTS BC1025 Human Rights in Theory and Practice or  HRTS UN3001 Introduction to Human Rights and at least two other courses from among those designated "core courses"; three "related" courses; and a complete major in a relevant department. Where courses in the Human Rights Program also satisfy departmental requirements, no more than three Human Rights courses may count toward the major. Besides the six courses in the Human Rights Program, students submit a senior thesis or project in the area of human rights, written in the major department. Those interested in a combined major should consult with the Director or other members of the Committee on Human Rights Program. 

Designated Core Courses:

HRTS BC1025Human Rights in Theory and Practice3
HRTS UN3001Introduction to Human Rights3
HRTS BC3099Independent Study1-4
POLS UN3173Power, Rights, and Social Change: Achieving Justice4
HRTS UN3190International Human Rights Law3
POLS BC3254First Amendment Values (T 4:10-6:00pm)3
POLS UN3285Freedom of Speech and Press3
POLS BC3410*Colloquium on Human Rights in a Diverse World (M 2:10-4:00pm)4
POLS BC3505* Colloquium on Making Democracy Work4
POLS BC3521Civil Rights and Civil Liberties3
POLS BC3601International Law and the United Nations in Practice4
POLS UN3690International Law4
HRTS BC3850Human Rights and Public Health4
HRTS BC3855Religion, Social Justice, and Human Rights4
ANTH BC3911The Social Contexts of U.S. Immigration Law and Policy4
ANTH BC3913Inequalities: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality in U.S. Law and Society4
HRTS BC3931Seminar for Internships in Social Justice and Human Rights3
ANTH BC3932Climate Change, Global Migration, and Human Rights in the Anthropocene4
HRTS GU4185Human Rights and Global Economic Justice3
HRTS GU4195Topics in History, Memory and Transitional Justice3
HRTS GU4215NGOs and the Human Rights Movement: Strategies, Successes and Challenges3
HRTS GU4230Refugees, Forced Migration, and Displacement3
HRTS GU4270 Social Media and Human Rights: Actors, Advocacy and Analytics3
HRTS GU4300Economic and Social Rights in Policy and Practice3
HRTS G4320Human Rights and Foreign Policy3
HRTS GU4340Human Rights Accountability & Remedies3
HRTS GU4360Menstruation, Gender, and Rights: Interdisciplinary Approaches3
HRTS GU4380Advocating and Campaigning for Social and Economic Rights3
HRTS GU4400Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Human Rights3
HRTS GU4500SOCIO-ECONOMIC RIGHTS3
HRTS GU4600Human Rights in the Anthropocene3
HRTS GU4650Children's Rights Advocacy3
HRTS GU4700Ethical Dilemmas in Healthcare: A Human Rights Approach3
HRTS GU4810Religion and Human Rights3
HRTS GU4880Human Rights in the United States3
HRTS GU4900UN HUMAN RIGHTS BODIES: IMPACT – REFORM – ADVOCACY4
HRTS GU4910Children's Rights, Armed Conflict, and Peacebuilding3
HRTS GU4915Human Rights and Urban Public Space3
HRTS GU4930International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights4
HRTS GU4950Human Rights and Human Wrongs3
HRTS GU4955Narrative and Representation in Post-Conflict Societites3

Core Courses

HRTS BC1025 Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.

Provides a broad overview of the rapidly expanding field of human rights. Lectures on the philosophical, historical, legal and institutional foundations are interspersed with weekly presentations by frontline advocates from the U.S. and overseas.

Spring 2020: HRTS BC1025
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 1025 001/00061 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
328 Milbank Hall
J. Paul Martin 3 46/56
Fall 2020: HRTS BC1025
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 1025 001/00682  
Alice Brown 3 12/60

HRTS UN3001 Introduction to Human Rights. 3 points.

Evolution of the theory and content of human rights; the ideology and impact of human rights movements; national and international human rights law and institutions; their application with attention to universality within states, including the U.S., and internationally.

POLS UN3002 Human Rights and Immigration. 3 points.

Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

Prerequisites: Not open to students who have taken or are currently taking POLS BC3410. Prerequisites: POLS V1013 or HRTS UN3001 or the equivalent. Enrollment limited to 25 students

Examination of human rights within the context of international migration. The course covers topics such as citizenship, state sovereignty, border control, asylum-seekers, refugees, and undocumented immigrants. 

HRTS BC3099 Independent Study. 1-4 points.

Independent research and writing project. See the website or the program office for application details and deadlines.

POLS UN3173 Power, Rights, and Social Change: Achieving Justice. 4 points.

This lecture course, accompanied by its weekly discussion section, will introduce students to the field of justice. It will combine an intellectual history of conceptions of justice and modes of political change with an exploration of the main areas of public interest and advocacy. The course is intended to serve as a bridge from the Columbia Core to present issues of social justice. Throughout, the discussion will question how we—contemporary subjects and citizens—can improve our social and political condition and achieve justice.

HRTS UN3190 International Human Rights Law. 3 points.

This course will introduce students to the international law of human rights, and give a basic orientation to fundamental issues and controversies. The course has two principal focal points: first, the "nuts and bolts" of how international law functions in the field of human rights, and second, the value and limitations of legal approaches to a variety of human rights issues. Throughout the course, both theoretical and practical questions will be addressed, including who bears legal duties and who can assert legal claims, how these duties might be enforced, and accountability and remedy for violations. Attention will be given to how international law is made, what sorts of assumptions underlie various legal mechanisms, and how the law works in a variety of contexts.

Spring 2020: HRTS UN3190
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3190 001/11967 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
703 Hamilton Hall
Dinah Po Kempner 3 18/22
Fall 2020: HRTS UN3190
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3190 001/12877 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Joann Ward 3 12/22

POLS BC3254 First Amendment Values. 3 points.

Prerequisites: POLS W1201 or an equivalent. Not an introductory course. Not open to students who have taken the colloquium POLS BC3302.

Examines the first amendment rights of speech, press, religion and assembly. In-depth analysis of landmark Supreme Court rulings provides the basis for exploring theoretical antecedents as well as contemporary applications of such doctrines as freedom of association, libel, symbolic speech, obscenity, hate speech, political speech, commercial speech, freedom of the press and religion. (Cross-listed by the American Studies Program.)

Spring 2020: POLS BC3254
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3254 001/00385 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Ll103 Diana Center
Paula Franzese 3 54/60

POLS UN3285 Freedom of Speech and Press. 3 points.

Examines the constitutional right of freedom of speech and press in the United States. Examines, in depth, various areas of law, including extremist or seditious speech, obscenity, libel, fighting words, the public forum doctrine, and public access to the mass media. Follows the law school course model, with readings focused on actual judicial decisions.

Fall 2020: POLS UN3285
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3285 001/14026 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Lee Bollinger 3 199/199

POLS BC3410 *Colloquium on Human Rights in a Diverse World. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Not open to students who have taken or are currently taking POLS UN3002. Prerequisites: POLS V1013 or HRTS UN3001 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

 Examination of human rights within the context of international migration. The course covers topics such as citizenship, state sovereignty, border control, asylum-seekers, refugees, and undocumented immigrants. (Cross-listed by the Human Rights Program.) 

Fall 2020: POLS BC3410
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3410 001/00475 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Ayten Gundogdu 4 13/16

POLS BC3521 Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. 3 points.

Prerequisites: POLS W1201 or the equivalent. Not an introductory-level course. Not open to students who have taken the colloquium POLS BC3326. Enrollment limited to 25 students; L-course sign-up through eBear. Barnard syllabus.

Explores seminal caselaw to inform contemporary civil rights and civil liberties jurisprudence and policy.  Specifically, the readings examine historical and contemporary first amendment values, including freedom of speech and the press, economic liberties, takings law, discrimination based on race, gender, class and sexual preference, affirmative action, the right to privacy, reproductive freedom, the right to die, criminal procedure and adjudication, the rights of the criminally accused post-9/11 and the death penalty. (Cross-listed by the American Studies and Human Rights Programs.)

Fall 2020: POLS BC3521
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3521 001/00650 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Paula Franzese 3 55/50

HRTS BC3601 International Law and the United Nations in Practice. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS UN1601 or HRTS UN3001 An equivalent course to POLS UN1601 or HRTS UN3001 may be used as a pre-requisite, with departmental permission.

Examines the development of international law and the United Nations, their evolution in the Twentieth Century, and their role in world affairs today. Concepts and principles are illustrated through their application to contemporary human rights and humanitarian challenges, and with respect to other threats to international peace and security.  The course consists primarily of presentation and discussion, drawing heavily on the practical application of theory to actual experiences and situations. For the Barnard Political Science major, this seminar counts as elective credit only. (Cross-listed by the Human Rights Program.)

Spring 2020: HRTS BC3601
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3601 001/00062 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
308 Diana Center
Martin Flaherty 4 22/20

HRTS BC3850 Human Rights and Public Health. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Enrollment in the course is open to 18 undergraduates who have completed at least one core course in human rights and /or international law.

This seminar introduces students to the field of health and human rights.  It examines how to advocate for and implement public health strategies using a human rights framework. It takes note of current international and domestic debates about the utility of a “human rights-based approach” to health, discusses methods and ethics of health-related human rights research, and examines case studies of human rights investigations to explore the role of human rights analysis in promoting public health.  

Spring 2020: HRTS BC3850
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3850 001/00063 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
903 Altschul Hall
Alice Brown 4 20/20
Fall 2020: HRTS BC3850
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3850 001/00435 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Alice Brown 4 21/20

HRTS BC3855 Religion, Social Justice, and Human Rights. 4 points.

Prerequisites: At least one course on Human Rights or Religion, or permission of the instructor

This seminar will provide students with the concepts and methodologies necessary to assess some of the different, often ambiguous, roles that the world's major religions play in contemporary international affairs, notably in relation to poverty alleviation and human rights abuses in general as well as to the use of violence and community relations.

ANTH BC3911 The Social Contexts of U.S. Immigration Law and Policy. 4 points.

Examines the historical and contemporary social, economic, and political factors that shape immigration law and policy along with the social consequences of those laws and policies.  Addresses the development and function of immigration law and aspects of the immigration debate including unauthorized immigration, anti-immigration sentiments, and critiques of immigration policy.

Fall 2020: ANTH BC3911
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3911 001/00427 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
J.C. Salyer 4 19/25

ANTH BC3913 Inequalities: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality in U.S. Law and Society. 4 points.

This class will examine the historical roots and ongoing persistence of social, economic, and political inequality and the continuing role that it plays in U.S. society by examining how such issues have been addressed both in social science and in law.

HRTS BC3931 Seminar for Internships in Social Justice and Human Rights. 3 points.

Corequisites: Students must have an internship related to social justice or human rights during

This class is intended to complement and enhance the internship experience for students working in internships that relate to social justice and human rights during the Spring 2016 semester. This course will meet bi-weekly to provide an academic framing of the issues that students are working on and to provide an opportunity for students to analyze their internship experience.

Spring 2020: HRTS BC3931
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 3931 001/00064 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
111 Milstein Center
J.C. Salyer 3 5/25

ANTH BC3932 Climate Change, Global Migration, and Human Rights in the Anthropocene. 4 points.

While the existence of processes of anthropogenic climate change is well established, predictions regarding the future consequences of these processes are far less certain. In no area is the uncertainty regarding near and long term effects as pronounced as in the question of how climate change will affect global migration. This course will address the issue of climate migration in four ways.  First, the course will examine the theoretical and empirical literatures that have elucidated the nature of international migration in general.  Second, the course will consider the phenomena of anthropogenic climate change as it relates to migration.  Third, the course will consider how human rights and other legal regimes do or do not address the humanitarian issues created by anthropogenic climate change.  Fourth, the course will synthesize these topics by considering how migration and climate change has arisen as a humanitarian, political, and economic issue in the Pacific.  Human Rights elective.  

Fall 2020: ANTH BC3932
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3932 001/00428 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
J.C. Salyer 4 20/25

SOCI UN3937 Sociology of Human Rights. 4 points.

Sociology came to the study of human rights much later than law, philosophy, or political science. In this course, you’ll learn (1) what constitutes a sociology of human rights and (2) what sociology, its classics, and its diverse methods bring to the empirical study and theory of human rights.


We’ll explore the history, social institutions and laws, ideas, practices, and theories of human rights. We’ll become familiar with the social actors, social structures, and relationships involved in practices such as violation, claims-making, advocacy, and protection. We’ll consider how social, cultural, political, and economic forces affect human rights issues.


We’ll learn about the questions sociologists ask, starting with the most basic (but far from simple) question, “what is a human right?”


We’ll tackle key debates in the field, considering – for instance – whether human rights are universal and how human rights relate to cultural norms/values, national sovereignty, and national security.


Finally, we’ll apply the concepts we’ve learned to a wide range of issues (ex: how racial, ethnic, gender, and other social inequalities relate to human rights), rights (ex: LGBTQ rights, the rights of laborers, the rights of refugees), and cases (ex: enslavement, the separation of children from their families, circumcision, sterilization, the use of torture). We’ll consider human rights cases in the United States and across the globe, and how events and actions in one place relate to human rights violations in another.

Spring 2020: SOCI UN3937
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3937 001/16190 F 12:10pm - 2:00pm
302 Fayerweather
Rosemary McGunnigle-Gonzales 4 19/21

HRTS GU4185 Human Rights and Global Economic Justice. 3 points.

The world economy is a patchwork of competing and complementary interests among and between governments, corporations, and civil society.  These stakeholders at times cooperate and also conflict over issues of global poverty, inequality, and sustainability. What role do human rights play in coordinating the different interests that drive global economic governance?  This seminar will introduce students to different structures of global governance for development, trade, labor, finance, the environment, migration, and intellectual property and investigate their relationship with human rights.  Students will learn about public, private, and mixed forms of governance, analyze the ethical and strategic perspectives of the various stakeholders and relate them to existing human rights norms.  The course will examine the work of multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and the International Financial Institutions, as well as international corporate and non-governmental initiatives.

Spring 2020: HRTS GU4185
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4185 001/11824 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
309 Hamilton Hall
Rainer Braun 3 16/22
Fall 2020: HRTS GU4185
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4185 001/15659 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Rainer Braun 3 0/22

HRTS GU4195 Topics in History, Memory and Transitional Justice. 3 points.

How do societies address their “bad pasts” in order to create “good futures” in the aftermath of conflict, state-sponsored repression, dictatorship, and genocide? Transitional Justice has generated numerous strategic and tactical approaches for redressing often irreparable harms.  These include: international criminal tribunals, national or local legal proceedings, truth commissions, restitution, the accurate revision of history, public apologies, the establishment of monuments and museums, and official commemorations.


The aim of this course is to examine and analyze from a historical perspective the characteristics and problems of transitions from non-democratic/dictatorial/totalitarian/criminal political regimes to the beginnings of democracy and civil society. We shall focus on concepts and comparative cases, and current and past transitional justice-related questions, including historical reconciliation. We will study, among others, the experience of Germany at and after the Nuremberg proceedings, transitional justice in Africa, post-Soviet efforts at coming to terms with its Communist past, the ICTY/ICTR/ICC, amnesty and amnesia, and the legacy and memory of genocide and mass political repression.  Students will gain a substantive framework for understanding the questions and challenges related to transitional justice today.

Spring 2020: HRTS GU4195
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4195 001/11552 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
309 Hamilton Hall
Nanci Adler 3 15/22

HRTS GU4215 NGOs and the Human Rights Movement: Strategies, Successes and Challenges. 3 points.

This class takes a social movement perspective to analyze and understand the international human rights movement. The course will address the evolution of the international human rights movement and focus on the NGOs that drive the movement on the international, regional and domestic levels. Sessions will highlight the experiences of major human rights NGOs and will address topics including strategy development, institutional representation, research methodologies, partnerships, networks, venues of engagement, campaigning, fundraising and, perhaps most importantly, the fraught and complex debates about adaptation to changing global circumstances, starting with the pre-Cold War period and including some of the most up-to-date issues and questions going on in this field today.

Fall 2020: HRTS GU4215
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4215 001/11123 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Louis Bickford 3 8/22

HRTS GU4230 Refugees, Forced Migration, and Displacement. 3 points.

Refugees, forced migration, and displacement: these subjects top the headlines of the world’s newspapers, not to mention our social media feeds. Over a million refugees have reached Europe’s shores in recent years, and conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere continue to force people to flee their homes. In the aftermath of the financial crisis and 9/11, politicians in the Global North have focused on borders: who crosses them and how. Walls are being erected. Referendums are being held. We are consumed with thorny questions about who gets to join our political communities. Today there are over 65 million refugees, displaced persons, and stateless persons in the world, represented at last summer’s Olympics by their own team for first the time, a testament to their increasing visibility on the world stage. Global forced displacement recently hit a historical high. And while numbers are increasing, solutions are still elusive. The modern refugee regime, the collection of laws and institutions designed to address the problems faced by refugees, has developed slowly over the course of the last 100 years, first in response to specific crises. That regime has been shaped by a changing geopolitical landscape. At the end of the Cold War, institutions in the field expanded their mandates and preferred solutions to the “problem” of refugees changed. And yet today many scholars and policy makers argue the regime is not fit for purpose. They point to the European refugee crisis as the latest case in point. Why? What went wrong and where? Can it be fixed? This course will largely focus on the issues of forced migration, displacement and refugees related to conflict, although this subject is inevitably intertwined with larger debates about citizenship and humanitarianism. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective, this course will address both scholarly and policy debates. Utilizing human rights scholarship, it will draw on work in history that charts the evolution of institutions; legal scholarship that outlines international and domestic laws; work in political science that seeks to understand responses in a comparative perspective, and anthropological studies that address how refugees understand these institutions and their experiences of exile and belonging. These topics are not only the purview of those in the academy, however. Investigative journalists have most recently provided trenchant coverage of the world’s refugees, especially the current European crisis, where many have reported from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Policy makers scramble to keep up with a crisis literally in motion. We will read their communiqués as well. While we will only begin to skim the surface of these issues, in this course you should expect to gain the following expertise: 1) Knowledge of the modern refugee regime and its origins 2) An analysis of actors and institutions who are tasked with responding to refugee crises and how their roles have changed 3) An understanding of a few critical historical case studies, both in the United States and abroad 4) Critical analysis of the current refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East 5) Knowledge of the asylum process in the US and in comparative perspective 6) An understanding of the debates about conducting research with vulnerable populations such as refugees and displaced persons 

Fall 2020: HRTS GU4230
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4230 001/11124 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Lara Nettelfield 3 9/22

HRTS GU4270  Social Media and Human Rights: Actors, Advocacy and Analytics. 3 points.

PRIORITY:HRSMA. GRAD & UNDERGRAD(3&4YR) ON 1ST DAY OF TERM

This course examines how changes in information and communications technology have, over the past two decades, fundamentally transformed the practices of civil society actors engaged with human rights issues. New communications tools such as Twitter, blogs, and Facebook have changed the ways that organizations communicate with their followers and seek to influence public debate. The increasing accessibility of analytic tools for researching and visualizing changing patterns of human rights abuse has empowered groups to better understand and respond more forcefully to these issues. Indeed, the use of social media as a communications tool has made it a data source for those monitoring and analyzing patterns of activity, in ways that draw increasingly on the techniques of big data analysis.

Spring 2020: HRTS GU4270
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4270 001/11553 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
402 Hamilton Hall
Ted Perlmutter 3 16/22

HRTS GU4300 Economic and Social Rights in Policy and Practice. 3 points.

This course will address economic and social human rights through the lens of what is happening now in the early 21st century, in light of the enormous shifts that have taken place since the modern human rights movement first emerged in the aftermath of WWII. The course will address many of the central debates about economic and social rights and then examine how those debates apply to specific rights and topics including development, health, housing, work, food and education. Throughout, the course will examine how activists and policymakers have responded to all these changes, and ask what might lie ahead for the human rights movement in addressing economic and social rights in a multilateral, globalized world.

HRTS GU4340 Human Rights Accountability & Remedies. 3 points.

Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

Effective remedies for violations of human rights is a core tenet of human rights law. Yet in practice, victims are rarely able to rely on formal accountability mechanisms to deliver remedies. This course examines how advocates combine political, legal and reputational accountability strategies to hold violators accountable where formal enforcement mechanisms are unavailable. The course will look beyond the international criminal legal system, and instead draw on case studies from contexts where the accountability gap is particularly stark: transnational actors who lack direct accountability relationships with rights-holders, including in international development, peacekeeping and corporate activities.


By delving into practical and tactical considerations, students will build an understanding of how various strategies work together to build a successful campaign for accountability that results in remedies for victims.  Students will engage in simulated exercises in media advocacy, political lobbying, engaging with the UN human rights system, and public campaigning.  Students will learn how to build empowering narratives that shape public opinion, center victims in their work, and nurture transnational partnerships to overcome power differentials.  Through discussions grounded in both theory and practice, students will also critically interrogate the practice of human rights advocacy.

HRTS GU4360 Menstruation, Gender, and Rights: Interdisciplinary Approaches. 3 points.

The course will explore the contemporary discourse around menstruation in global and local contexts. The recent shift in public discourse around menstruation is crucial because efforts to support menstruators across the lifespan not only confer health benefits but are also part of an enduring project of pursuing gender equality and women’s rights. Centering attention on menstrual health resists pernicious social control of women’s bodies and recognizes the body as foundational, urgent and politically relevant. This is why menstruation matters: it unites the personal and the political, the intimate and the public, the physiological and the socio-cultural.


The course examines gender justice and women’s rights through the lens of menstruation, discussing questions of gender stereotyping, transnational feminism, and gender identity. Students will gain an understanding of the relevance of menstruation across different spheres of life combining bio-medical and socio-cultural factors. We will ask: What is the relationship between menstruation, human rights and gender equality? What does it mean to approach menstrual health research from an interdisciplinary perspective? -- Over the course of the semester, we will examine different spheres of life, including health, education, equality in the work place, freedom of religion, and cultural rights. In doing so, the course will pay particular attention to the intersection of gender and other markers of inequalities, including disability, socio-economic status, age, caste, and gender identity.

Spring 2020: HRTS GU4360
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4360 001/11554 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Inga Winkler 3 19/22

HRTS GU4380 Advocating and Campaigning for Social and Economic Rights. 3 points.

This course will examine practical issues, opportunities, tactics and strategies to advocate for economic and social rights. The course will incorporate central debates about economic and social rights, such as how to identify violators and define state responsibility, whether these rights can be litigated, and how to make implementable recommendations for change, measure implementation and measure impact. The course will also look more in depth at the standards and fulfillment challenges on several of the key rights including health, housing, education, and labor.  


Throughout the course, you will focus on one economic and social rights topic of your choice. Through the lens of your chosen topic, you will review how organizations and social movements have engaged to affect change on similar issues, and use that research to explore many of the practical skills of advocacy and campaigning: framing recommendations and calls to action; drafting policy briefs; crafting media pitches and social media content; and designing and evaluating an overall advocacy strategy.  

Spring 2020: HRTS GU4380
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4380 001/14096 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
402 Hamilton Hall
Mila Rosenthal 3 12/22

HRTS GU4400 Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Human Rights. 3 points.

PRIORITY:HRSMA. GRAD & UNDERGRAD (3&4YR) ON 1ST DAY OF TERM

Debates over the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have never been more visible in the international arena. Advocates are beginning to have some success in putting sexual orientation and gender identity on the agenda for inclusion in human rights instruments. But in many local and regional contexts, state-sanctioned homophobia is on the rise, from the official anti-gay stance of Russia featured during the Sochi Winter Games to the passage of Mississippi’s anti-gay bill and Uganda’s anti-homosexuality act. This course examines these trends in relation to strategies pursued by grassroots activists and NGOs and the legal issues they raise, including marriage and family rights, discrimination, violence, torture, sex classification, and asylum. We will also focus on current debates about the relation between sexual rights and gender justice, tensions between universalisty constructions of gay/trans identity and local formations of sexual and gender non-conformity, and legacies of colonialism.

Fall 2020: HRTS GU4400
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4400 001/11125 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Paisley Currah 3 6/22

CSER GU4484 Cultural Rights as Human Rights. 4 points.

The seminar will situate the historical, legal and political analysis within the context of current debates of human rights theory, cultural relativism, racism, “dialogue among civilizations”, the post- September 11th era and the increasingly prominent phenomenon of destruction of cultural heritage.  Reviewing international legal instruments, national and international practice, jurisprudence and literature of the last sixty years, and using a multidisciplinary approach, the seminar will explore what cultural rights mean both as individual and as collective human rights, with special references to the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples, women, migrants and other groups, offering a vision for pluricultural democratic and peaceful societies.

Spring 2020: CSER GU4484
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 4484 001/11370 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Elsa Stamatopoulou 4 17/23

HRTS GU4500 SOCIO-ECONOMIC RIGHTS. 3 points.

Socio-economic rights have emerged from the margins into the mainstream of human rights. We will explore conceptual issues through the lens of specific rights which will help us ground these principles and ideas in concrete cases. We will discuss developments on socio-economic rights and examine their relevance in the United States as well as selected other countries, particularly those with progressive legislation, policies and jurisprudence. 

CLEN GU4550 Narrative and Human Rights. 3 points.

(Lecture). We can't talk about human rights without talking about the forms in which we talk about human rights. This course will study the convergences of the thematics, philosophies, politics, practices, and formal properties of literature and human rights. In particular, it will examine how literary questions of narrative shape (and are shaped by) human rights concerns; how do the forms of stories enable and respond to forms of thought, forms of commitment, forms of being, forms of justice, and forms of violation? How does narrative help us to imagine an international order based on human dignity, rights, and equality? We will read classic literary texts and contemporary writing (both literary and non-literary) and view a number of films and other multimedia projects to think about the relationships between story forms and human rights problematics and practices. Likely literary authors: Roberto Bolaño, Miguel de Cervantes, Assia Djebar, Ariel Dorfman, Slavenka Drakulic, Nuruddin Farah, Janette Turner Hospital, Franz Kafka, Sahar Kalifeh, Sindiwe Magona, Maniza Naqvi, Michael Ondaatje, Alicia Partnoy, Ousmane Sembène, Mark Twain . . . . We will also read theoretical and historical pieces by authors such as Agamben, An-Na'im, Appiah, Arendt, Balibar, Bloch, Chakrabarty, Derrida, Douzinas, Habermas, Harlow, Ignatieff, Laclau and Mouffe, Levinas, Lyotard, Marx, Mutua, Nussbaum, Rorty, Said, Scarry, Soyinka, Spivak, Williams.

Fall 2020: CLEN GU4550
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CLEN 4550 001/10035 M W 5:40pm - 6:55pm
Room TBA
Joseph R Slaughter 3 75/90

HRTS GU4600 Human Rights in the Anthropocene. 3 points.

In August 2016, a working group of the International Geological Congress voted to acknowledge a new geological epoch, following 11,700 years of the Holocene, and that it would be called The Anthropocene. The announcement indicated a new era in the earth’s chronology marked by the consequences of human activity on the planet’s ecosystems. Closely related to discussions of sustainability, investigations into the Anthropocene tend to focus on environmental and ecological issues while ignoring its social justice dimensions. This course will investigate how Human Rights has and will be impacted by the Anthropocene, with special attention paid to the human dimensions and consequences of anthropogenic change. Do new and troubling revelations about anthropogenic mistreatment of the earth and its resources modify or amplify the kinds of responsibilities that govern activity between individuals and communities? How do we scale the human response from the urban, to the periurban, to the rural? How must the study of Human Rights evolve to address violence and mistreatment associated not just among humans but also amid human habitats? What sorts of juridical changes must occur to recognize and respond to new manifestations of social injustice that relate directly to consequences of anthropogenic changes to the Earth system? Topics will include discussions of the Environmental Justice movement, agribusiness, access to (and allocation of) natural resources, population growth; its global impact, advocacy for stronger and more accountability through environmental legal change, biodiversity in urban environments, and the growing category of environmental refugees.

Spring 2020: HRTS GU4600
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4600 001/11555 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
201 80 Claremont
Noah Chasin 3 25/22

HRTS GU4650 Children's Rights Advocacy. 3 points.

This course is designed to introduce contemporary children’s rights issues and help students develop practical advocacy skills to protect and promote the rights of children. Students will explore case studies of advocacy campaigns addressing issues including juvenile justice, child labor, child marriage, the use of child soldiers, corporal punishment, migration and child refugees, female genital mutilation, and LBGT issues affecting children. Over the course of the semester, students will become familiar with international children’s rights standards, as well as a variety of advocacy strategies and avenues, including use of the media, litigation, and advocacy with UN, legislative bodies, and the private sector. Written assignments will focus on practical advocacy tools, including advocacy letters, op-eds, submissions to UN mechanisms or treaty bodies, and the development of an overarching advocacy strategy, including the identification of goals and objectives, and appropriate advocacy targets and tactics.

Fall 2020: HRTS GU4650
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4650 001/11126 F 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Michael Bochenek, Jo Becker 3 3/22

HRTS GU4700 Ethical Dilemmas in Healthcare: A Human Rights Approach. 3 points.

This course examines major ethical dilemmas that emerge in the convergence between human rights and public health at the national and international levels. Using specific case studies, Attention will be given to the rationales, meaning and implementation of the right to health across borders; the theories and practices of allocation of scare resources; the challenges of providing care for minority groups—including sexual minorities, children, and persons with disabilities; and the ethical, legal, and social implications of international health governance. This is an interactive course, with interdisciplinary scholarship and exploration of issues in historical, cultural and political contexts. 

HRTS GU4810 Religion and Human Rights. 3 points.

Priority given to human rights studies M.A. students. Open to 3rd and 4th year undergraduates on first day of term with the instructor's permission.

The resurgence of religion over the past three decades has had a transformative influence globally and within nations. Religious nationalism, fundamentalism, and communalism have arisen to forcefully compete with secular democracy. With the fall of the Soviet bloc and the bilateralism of the Cold War, ethnic particularism, often of a religious character, has emerged as the locus of identity for people on all continents. These rapid changes engendered by a new, often commanding, role for religion challenge the very concept of individual and universal human rights. They raise difficult theoretical and painfully practical questions as to the preservation of individual human rights, and the relationship of democracy to religion. At the same time, recent currents such as economic globalization, the triumph of the free market, and the communications revolution promote individual autonomy, a cornerstone of human rights. There can be no doubt that religion will occupy an increasingly salient role in the social and political life of nations during the course of the 21st century. The relevance of religion to human rights in our time cannot be undervalued. The course examines the relationship of religion to human rights from several standpoints, including religion's role in abetting intolerance, religious minorities as victims of human rights violations, and religion as a framer of human rights ideals which inspire action.

Spring 2020: HRTS GU4810
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4810 001/11556 Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
607 Hamilton Hall
Joseph Chuman 3 15/22

HRTS GU4880 Human Rights in the United States. 3 points.

The United States sees itself as a country founded on the norms of equality under the law and inalienable rights but the modern reality is quite different. Police brutality in Ferguson, Executive Orders banning Muslims, protests at the Dakota Pipeline, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, high levels of domestic violence, wage stagnation, and the lack of a right to health care, all point to a human rights crisis at home. Some scholars have even argued that, for the majority of its citizens, the United States has the standards of a “third world” country.


In which areas are the most violations of human rights occurring and why? How have long term trends, including historical legacies, contributed to the current state of affairs? This survey course will provide an overview of contemporary human rights issues in the United States and will analyze them through the theoretical lenses of scholarship in the fields of comparative politics (including social movements) and law and society. It will outline the different actors in the human rights landscape, and focus on the various forms and strategies of mobilization around human rights issues with an eye to what has helped increase the enjoyment of rights.

Spring 2020: HRTS GU4880
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4880 001/11557 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
607 Hamilton Hall
Lara Nettelfield 3 15/22

HRTS GU4900 UN HUMAN RIGHTS BODIES: IMPACT – REFORM – ADVOCACY. 4 points.

The course is part of the program's offerings in experiential learning. Students will engage in an applied research project with an NGO partner focused on the role of UN Special Rapporteurs and the strategies they employ. Students will become familiar with the intricacies of the UN human rights system, while also taking a bird's-eye view on the system, its challenges and the need for reform, The course seeks to combine critical reflection with practical application, including through the perspectives of practitioners and guest speakers who discuss their strategies for advocacy.

Fall 2020: HRTS GU4900
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4900 001/11127 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Inga Winkler 4 7/22

HRTS GU4910 Children's Rights, Armed Conflict, and Peacebuilding. 3 points.

According the UN Secretary-General’s (SG) annual report on children and armed conflict last year armed conflicts around the world led to at least 4,000 verified rights violations against children committed by government forces and over 11,500 by non-state armed groups. The violations include killing or maiming, recruitment or use of children in hostilities, sexual violence, using children as human bombs, abductions, the denial of humanitarian access, and attacks on schools and hospitals. About 50 per cent of the estimated 26 million people currently displaced by armed conflicts and violence are children. 


This course examines global approaches, challenges and problems associated with providing resources, implementing laws and guidelines, and ensuring education to children before, during and after armed conflicts. Students will be asked to interrogate current approaches and literature in light of critical theories of childhood, human rights and children’s rights more specifically.  The course utilizes case studies that show the failures of international human rights and NGOs to address the needs of children before, during, and after conflict, as well as the problems with not taking into account children’s perspectives and lived experience. The course seeks to the extent possible to incorporate children’s views on conflict through a review of children’s drawings, writing, and interviews.  It questions the common representations about children and armed conflict that mass media, international development literature, children’s literature, and film promote. The course will also explore the international norms for protecting children in emergencies which have also been strengthened considerably, by a number of UN Security Council resolutions, notably resolutions 1612 and 1820, aimed at ending the abuse of children and civilians in the context of war. What are the responsibilities of the International Community to protect and support children of war? What preventative measures can be taken to better ensure children do not fall victims to armed conflict?  Finally, the course takes a special look at education prior to, during conflict, and post-conflict, to understand how and whether the root causes of conflict-- discrimination, intolerance, economic inequality-- are addressed by educational systems.

HRTS GU4915 Human Rights and Urban Public Space. 3 points.

Priority for 3rd & 4th yr CC/GS HUMR studs & to HRSMA studs

The course will explore the often-contested terrain of urban contexts, looking at cities fron architectural, sociological, historical, and political positions. What do rights have to do with the city? Can the ancient idea of a "right to the city" tell us something fundamental about both rights and cities? Our notion of citizenship is based in the understanding of a city as a community, and yet today why do millions of people live in cities without citizenship? The course will be organized thematically in order to discuss such issues as the consequences of cities' developments in relation to their peripheries beginning with the normative idea of urban boundaries deriving from fortifying walls, debates around the public sphere, nomadic architecture and urbanism, informal settlements such as slums and shantytowns, surveillance and control in urban centers, refugees and the places they live, catastrophes natural and man-made and reconstruction, and sovereign areas within cities the United Nations, War Crimes Tribunals. At the heart of our inquiry will be an investigation of the ways in which rights within urban contexts are either granted or withheld.

Fall 2020: HRTS GU4915
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4915 001/11128 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Noah Chasin 3 5/22

HRTS GU4930 International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. 4 points.

This seminar will cover various issues, debates, and concepts in the international law of armed conflict (known as international humanitarian law), particularly as it relates to the protection of non-combatants (civilians and prisoners of war). In doing so, we will examine how international humanitarian law and human rights law intersect. Both sets of legal norms are designed to protect the lives, well-being, and dignity of individuals.However, the condition of armed conflict provides a much wider set of options for governments and individuals to engage in violent, deadly action against others, including killing, forcibly detaining, and destroying the property of those designated as combatants. At the same time, the means of waging war are not unlimited, but rather are tightly regulated by both treaty and customary law. This course will examine how these regulations operate in theory and practice, focusing on the principles of distinction, proportionality, and military necessity.

Spring 2020: HRTS GU4930
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4930 001/11559 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Bruce Cronin 4 17/22

HRTS GU4950 Human Rights and Human Wrongs. 3 points.

MAIL INSTR FOR PERM.PRIORITY:3&4YR HUMAN RIGHT & HRSMA

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. Please e-mail the instructor at bc14@columbia.edu.

This course will examine the tension between two contradictory trends in world politics. On the one hand, we have emerged from a century that has seen some of the most brutal practices ever perpetrated by states against their populations in the form of genocide, systematic torture, mass murder and ethnic cleansing. Many of these abuses occurred after the Holocaust, even though the mantra "never again" was viewed by many as a pledge never to allow a repeat of these practices. Events in the new century suggest that these trends will not end anytime soon. At the same time, since the middle of the twentieth century, for the first time in human history there has been a growing global consensus that all individuals are entitled to at least some level of protection from abuse by their governments. This concept of human rights has been institutionalized through international law, diplomacy, international discourse, transnational activism, and the foreign policies of many states. Over the past two decades, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and international tribunals have gone further than any institutions in human history to try to stem state abuses. This seminar will try to make sense of these contradictions.

Fall 2020: HRTS GU4950
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HRTS 4950 001/11129 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Bruce Cronin 3 10/22

HRTS GU4955 Narrative and Representation in Post-Conflict Societites. 3 points.

This course explores the relationship between narrative and the legacy of violence and atrocity in post-conflict societies, focusing particularly on the Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia (and more briefly Indonesia and Armenia). Examining a range of medium – including, but not limited, to eye-witness accounts, memoirs, history books, government reports, film, theater, memorials - we will consider how different narratives address issues of history and memory, justice and judgment. We will also discuss how narrative influences efforts to achieve reconciliation and come to terms with the past on both personal and societal levels. Does revisiting the past allow people who either suffered or inflicted terrible violence – or both – once again live together? Are there particular modes or genres of narrative that are particularly successful in terms of enabling societies to reflect on their past and respond adequately? Can justice and accountability ever be achieved?These are some of the questions we will consider as we examine the ways in which atrocities are written about, remembered, judged and interpreted.

 Related Courses

POLS UN1101 Political Theory I. 4 points.

What is the relationship between law and justice? Are capacities of political judgment shared by the many or reserved for the few? What does human equality consist of and what are its implications? Can individual freedom be reconciled with the demands of political community? What are the origins and effects of persistent gender inequalities? These are some of the crucial questions that we will address in this introductory course in political theory. The course is divided into five thematic sections, each addressing an enduring political problem or issue and centered on a key text in the history of political thought: 1. Laws, Obligations, and the Question of Disobedience; Sophocles, Antigone; 2. Democratic Citizenship and the Capacities of Political Judgment; Plato, Republic; 3. Origins and Effects of (In)equality; John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government; 4. Paradoxes of Freedom; Jean Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract; 5. The Woman Question; John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women.

ECON BC2010 The Economics of Gender. 3 points.

Examination of gender differences in the U.S. and other advanced industrial economies. Topics include the division of labor between home and market, the relationship between labor force participation and family structure, the gender earnings gap, occupational segregation, discrimination, and historical, racial, and ethnic group comparisons.

Spring 2020: ECON BC2010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 2010 001/00162 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
202 Altschul Hall
Homa Zarghamee 3 156

ECON BC2075 Logic and Limits of Economic Justice. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.

Prerequisites: Introduction to Economic Reasoning (ECON BC 1003) or Principles of Economics (ECON W1105). An introductory course in political theory or political philosophy is strongly recommended, but not required.

Introduce students to problems of economic justice under capitalism.  Course has three goals: (1) expose students to debates between economics and philosophers about the meaning and nature of justice, (2) explore conflict between efficiency and justice, (3) examine implications of justice for gender equality, intergenerational equity and climate change.

PHIL UN2110 Philosophy and Feminism. 3 points.

Is there an essential difference between women and men? How do questions about race conflict or overlap with those about gender? Is there a "normal" way of being "queer"? Introduction to philosophy and feminism through a critical discussion of these and other questions using historical and contemporary texts, art, and public lectures. Focus includes essentialism, difference, identity, knowledge, objectivity, and queerness.

HIST UN2222 Nature and Power: Environmental History of North America. 4 points.

Environmental history seeks to expand the customary framework of historical inquiry, challenging students to construct narratives of the past that incorporate not only human beings but also the natural world with which human life is intimately intertwined.  As a result, environmental history places at center stage a wide range of previously overlooked historical actors such as plants, animals, and diseases.  Moreover, by locating nature within human history, environmental history encourages its practitioners to rethink some of the fundamental categories through which our understanding of the natural world is expressed: wilderness and civilization, wild and tame, natural and artificial.


For those interested in the study of ethnicity, environmental history casts into particularly sharp relief the ways in which the natural world can serve both to undermine and to reinforce the divisions within human societies.  Although all human beings share profound biological similarities, they have nonetheless enjoyed unequal access to natural resources and to healthy environments—differences that have all-too-frequently been justified by depicting such conditions as “natural.”

Spring 2020: HIST UN2222
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2222 001/12049 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
413 Kent Hall
Karl Jacoby 4 39/75

HIST BC2401 The Politics of Crime and Policing in the US. 3 points.

This course will examine the historical development of crime and the criminal justice system in the United States since the Civil War. The course will give particular focus to the interactions between conceptions of crime, normalcy and deviance, and the broader social and political context of policy making.

Fall 2020: HIST BC2401
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2401 001/00046 M W 6:10pm - 7:25pm
Room TBA
Matthew Vaz 3 60/60

ECON BC3011 Inequality and Poverty. 3 points.

Prerequisites: ECON BC3035 or ECON BC3033, or permission of the instructor.

Conceptualization and measurement of inequality and poverty, poverty traps and distributional dynamics, economics and politics of public policies, in both poor and rich countries.

Fall 2020: ECON BC3011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3011 001/00261 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Ashley Timmer 3 60/60

ECON BC3029 Empirical Development Economics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: (ECON BC3035 or ECON BC3033) and ECON UN3412 ECON BC3035 or ECON BC3033 and Econometrics, or permission of the instructor.

Examination of new challenges in the global economy from unequal income distribution and poor institutions to health epidemics and natural disasters. Accessing and analyzing real-time and historic data to understand the current global economy.  Applied econometric techniques.

HIST UN3030 Immigration and Citizenship in American History. 4 points.

This course explores the meaning of American citizenship in connection with the country’s immigration history. Topics include historic pathways to citizenship for migrants; barriers to citizenship including wealth, race, gender, beliefs and documentation; and critical issues such as colonialism, statelessness, dual nationality, and birthright citizenship. We will ask how have people become citizens and under what authority has that citizenship been granted? What are the historic barriers to citizenship and how have they shifted over time? What major questions remain unanswered by Congress and the Supreme Court regarding the rights of migrants to attain and retain American citizenship?

Spring 2020: HIST UN3030
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 3030 001/12106 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Jessica Lee 4 15/15

ECON BC3039 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: ECON BC1003 or ECON W1105. Prerequisite for Economics majors: ECON BC3035.

Link between economic behavior and environmental quality: valuation of non-market benefits of pollution abatement; emissions standards; taxes; and transferable discharge permits. Specific problems of hazardous waste; the distribution of hazardous pollutants across different sub-groups of the U.S. population; the exploitation of commonly owned natural resources; and the links between the environment, income distribution, and economic development.

Spring 2020: ECON BC3039
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ECON 3039 001/00169 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Ll103 Diana Center
Belinda Archibong 3 30/50

EESC BC3043 Water, Sanitation, and Health. 3 points.

This course focuses on understanding water, sanitation and health in the developing world and how these factors interact to afect people's lives.  Specifically, what are the options for providing cleaner water and improved sanitation in order to reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases in the developing world?

ECON BC3049 Economic Evaluation of Social Programs. 3 points.

Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

Prerequisites: ECON BC3035 Intermediate Micro Theory and ECON BC2411 Statistics for Economics, or the equivalents

A study of the effectiveness of social programs and the different quantitative techniques economists use to evaluate policy interventions. Cost-benefit analysis, testing predictions of economic theories. Specific examples of successful and unsuccessful social programs in the U.S. and around the world.

EDUC BC3055 Arts and Humanities in the City: Critical Literacy and Digital Storytelling. 4 points.

Using the theme of “Arts and Humanities in the City”, this seminar will build participants’ knowledge of critical literacy, digital storytelling methods, and ways to use New York City as a resource for teaching the Arts (Dance, Theatre, Music, and Visual Arts), Social Studies, and English Language Arts in grades K-12. Critical literacy is an approach to teaching and learning that focuses on developing students’ abilities to read, analyze, understand, question, and critique hidden perspectives and socially-constructed power relations embedded in what it means to be literate in a content area.

Spring 2020: EDUC BC3055
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EDUC 3055 001/00413 W 2:10pm - 5:00pm
516 Milstein Center
Maria Rivera Maulucci 4 21/24
Fall 2020: EDUC BC3055
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
EDUC 3055 001/00174 W 4:10pm - 7:00pm
Room TBA
Maria Rivera Maulucci 4 18/24

POLS UN3100 Justice. 3 points.

An inquiry into the nature and implications of justice in areas ranging from criminal justice to social justice to the circumstances of war and peace, considering issues such as abortion, the criminalization of behavior, the death penalty, climate change, global poverty, civil disobedience, and international conflict.

Spring 2020: POLS UN3100
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3100 001/10557 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
209 Havemeyer Hall
David Johnston 3 115/110

POLS BC3102 * Colloquium on Race and Modern Political Thought. 4 points.

Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Prerequisites: POLS 1013 or the equivalent.

Race and Modern Political Thought is a Political Theory colloquium that explores how the concept of race became available to modern thought as a legitimate conceptualization of human being and difference and to political thought as an idea useful to structuring political communities.  Is race best understood in ideological terms, i.e., as a viewpoint shared by philosophers and lay-persons alike about difference that usefully reflected the needs and aspirations of slaveholders and colonialists?  Or is race instead an artifact of modern forms of reasoning?  Or should we ignore questions of origin and simply take seriously the notion that the only practical—ethically correct or politically progressive—approach to theorizing race is to attend critically to the organization of racial power?   What kind of idea is race?

POLS UN3122 Citizenship, Rights, and Immigration. 3 points.

Our political discourse is inundated with talk of citizenship. In this course we will examine various theories of citizenship, paying particular attention to the way the increasing complexity and multiculturalism of societies have challenged our understanding of this concept. We will also consider how different conceptions of citizenship address the challenges raised by both global and local forces. After an overview of different theories of citizenship, we explore the debates about political rights and representation for oppressed groups and minorities and consider the nationalist and cosmopolitan understandings of civic identity. What should be the criteria for citizenship? What rights should citizens have? Does citizenship require boundaries? Does democratic citizenship demand a particular kind of patriotism? What rights should illegal immigrants have? What role does the court play in defining citizenship rights? Can there be global or transnational citizenship? Though the primary focus will be to explore normative theories of citizenship, we will briefly consider how the European Union and the United States are dealing with some of the pressing issues regarding citizenship: immigration and assimilation. 

WMST BC3132 Gendered Controversies: Women's Bodies and Global Conflicts. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I).

Investigates the significance of contemporary and historical issues of social, political, and cultural conflicts centered on women's bodies. How do such conflicts constitute women, and what do they tell us about societies, cultures, and politics? - D. Ko

Spring 2020: WMST BC3132
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3132 001/00455 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
502 Diana Center
Rebecca Young, Janet Jakobsen 4 16/25

SOCI BC3214 Sociology of African American Life. 3 points.

Emphasizes foundations and development of black communities post-1940, and mechanisms in society that create and maintain racial inequality. Explores notions of identity and culture through lenses of gender, class and sexual orientation, and ideologies that form the foundation of black politics. Primarily lecture with some discussion.

Spring 2020: SOCI BC3214
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3214 001/00003 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
324 Milbank Hall
Mignon Moore 3 41/45

SOCI UN3217 Law and Society. 3 points.

Examines how people use law, how law affects people, and how law develops, using social scientific research.  Covers law in everyday life; legal and social change; legal subjects such as citizens and corporations, and the legitimacy of law.  Recommended for pre-law and social-science majors.  No required prerequisites or previous knowledge.

SOCI UN3235 Social Movements. 3 points.

Prerequisites: One introductory course in Sociology suggested.

Social movements and the theories social scientists use to explain them, with emphasis on the American civil rights and women's movements.  Topics include theories of participation, the personal and social consequences of social movements, the rationality of protest, the influence of ideology, organization, and the state on movement success, social movements, and the mass media.

Fall 2020: SOCI UN3235
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3235 001/00051 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Debra Minkoff 3 45/45

POLS UN3245 Race and Ethnicity In American Politics. 3 points.

This course examines the role of race in American politics and the political behavior of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Topics will include, but are not limited to, minority political participation, segregation, gentrification, group identity, implicit bias, political representation, media effects, and the role of race in political campaigns.This course examines the role of race in American politics and the political behavior of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Topics will include, but are not limited to, minority political participation, segregation, gentrification, group identity, implicit bias, political representation, media effects, and the role of race in political campaigns.The course focuses on the historical and contemporary roles of various racial and ethnic groups; and the initiation, demands, leadership and organizational styles, orientation, benefits, and impact on the structures and outputs of governance in the United States.

Spring 2020: POLS UN3245
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3245 001/14437 T Th 4:10pm - 5:25pm
413 Kent Hall
Yamil Velez 3 55/70

POLS BC3307 *Colloquium on Racial Violence. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS 1201 Intro to American Politics or an equivalent American Politics course. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

This colloquium examines two particular episodes of racial violence, each of which situates the political differently: lynchings and prisons. The goal is to not only explore how to bring the state back in but also examine the differences, similarities and points of intersections across disciplines.

WMST UN3312 Theorizing Activism. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Critical Approaches or Feminist Theory or permission of instructor.

Helps students develop and apply useful theoretical models to feminist organizing on local and international levels.  It involves reading, presentations, and seminar reports.  Students use first-hand knowledge of the practices of specific women's activist organizations for theoretical work.

WMST UN3335 Gender and Wars: Perspectives from the Global South. 3 points.

Wars are salient features of globalization. But, how can we understand the relationship between gender and war? How do notions of masculinities and femininities operate in the organizing, waging, protesting, and commemorating war? Starting from the premise that gender is crucial to explaining what happens in national revolutionary wars, postcolonial conflicts and civil wars, peacekeeping and humanitarian interventions, and the social and personal aspects when wars come to an end; this course considers a transnational feminist analysis to reflect on the relationship between gender and militarism. It pulls together literature from different disciplinary fields to explore the gendered dimensions of wars of national liberation, armed conflicts, wartime gender based/sexual violence, politics of victimhood, anti-war activism, resistance and agency. We will pay particular attention to case studies from the global South.


The gendered analyses of war will be explored from a multi-disciplinary framework including history, anthropology, sociology, political science, international relations, philosophy, literature and film. We will utilize film, journalistic accounts, ethnographic narratives and other resources to explore the complex ways in which people, especially men and women experience and respond to wars differently. 

Spring 2020: WMST UN3335
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3335 001/13603 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
754 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Selina Makana 3 12/20

POLS UN3401 Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe. 3 points.

Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

This course will examine the development of democracies and dictatorships in Europe from the French Revolution to the present day. It will analyze the nature and dynamics of European political history and use the European experience as a foundation upon which to build a broader understanding of how different types of political regimes emerge, function and are sustained over time. Prior knowledge of European history and comparative politics is welcome, but not presumed.

Fall 2020: POLS UN3401
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3401 001/00244 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Sheri Berman 3 70/70

POLS BC3402 The Comparative Politics of Gender Inequality. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I).

Prerequisites: Not an introductory-level course. Not open to students who have taken the colloquium POLS BC 3507. Enrollment limited to 20 students; L-course sign-up through eBear. Barnard syllabus.

Uses major analytical perspectives in comparative politics to understand the persistence of gender inequality in advanced industrial states. Topics include: political representation and participation; political economy and capitalism; the historical development of welfare states; electoral systems, electoral quotas; the role of supranational and international organizations; and social policy.

RELI UN3407 Muslims in Diaspora. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Consideration of controversies surrounding mosque-building, headscarves, honor killing, and other publicized issues that expose tensions surrounding citizenship and belonging for Muslims in North America and Europe. Exploration of film and other media representations of Muslims in the West. There will be additional meeting times for film screenings

Spring 2020: RELI UN3407
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
RELI 3407 001/14368 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
Aud Earl Hall
Derek Mancini-Lander 4 36/60

POLS BC3411 *Colloquium on Building Peace. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS 1601 (Intro to International Politics) or equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students.

How can we build peace in the aftermath of extensive violence? How can international actors help in this process? This colloquium focuses on international peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding efforts in recent conflicts. It covers general concepts, theories, and debates, as well as specific cases of peacebuilding successes and failures. Cross-listed with Human Rights.

Spring 2020: POLS BC3411
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3411 001/00387 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
308 Diana Center
Severine Autesserre 4 6/16
Fall 2020: POLS BC3411
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3411 001/00240 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Severine Autesserre 4 14/12

POLS BC3435 Law and Violence. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Admission by application through the Barnard Political Science Department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Requires POLS 1011 (Political Theory) or equivalent.

This colloquium examines how the law can participate in the justification of various forms of violence, exclusion, and inequality. It focuses on the power of law to determine which subjects get recognized as persons entitled to rights. Possible topics include slavery, migration, gender, sexual orientation, disability, homelessness, and nonhuman animals. 

Spring 2020: POLS BC3435
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3435 001/00388 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
406 Barnard Hall
Ayten Gundogdu 4 9/16

WMST UN3450 Topics in Sexuality and Gender Law. 3 points.

As society shifts in its views about sexuality and gender, so too does the law.  Indeed, legal developments in this area have been among the most dynamic of the past couple of decades.  Yet law does not map easily or perfectly onto lived experience, and legal arguments do not necessarily track the arguments made in public debate.


In this seminar, we will explore the evolving jurisprudence of sexuality and gender law in a variety of areas.  Our goal throughout the semester will be to understand and think about these issues as lawyers do - with our primary focus on understanding and evaluating the arguments that can be made on both (or all) sides of any particular case, with some attention to the factors outside of the courtroom that might shape how courts approach their work.  Related to this, we will also seek to understand how and why some of the jurisprudence has changed over time.

Fall 2020: WMST UN3450
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3450 001/10011 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
754 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Suzanne Goldberg 3 20/20

ANTH UN3465 Women and Gender Politics in the Muslim World. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

Practices like veiling that are central to Western images of women and Islam are also contested issues throughout the Muslim world. Examines debates about Islam and gender and explores the interplay of cultural, political, and economic factors in shaping women's lives in the Muslim world, from the Middle East to Southeast Asia.

Spring 2020: ANTH UN3465
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3465 001/11189 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
717 Hamilton Hall
Lila Abu-Lughod 3 54/75

URBS UN3480 From Homelessness to Foreclosure: NYC Geographies of Shelter and Home. 4 points.

This course will examine the social, political, and economic elements that have aligned in New York City to produce the most expansive infrastructure of homeless shelters in the United States, as well as ongoing changes in the city’s homeless policy since the housing foreclosure crisis. While we will focus primarily on the past 30 to 40 years in New York City, we will consider the history of homelessness and housing in the United States since the Great Depression. Major themes will include criminalization, origin myths, and representations of people who are experiencing homelessness. Key questions will include: In what ways is the current geography of homelessness the result of historical patterns of racism and discrimination? How does studying homelessness provide insight into the ways urban spaces are made? Why have shelters become the primary public response to homelessness in New York? How are race and gender central to the project of building a shelter infrastructure in New York? How are shelters experienced by those living in them? What are some of the ways people living in shelters organize to advocate for their rights and to resist mainstream representations?

Fall 2020: URBS UN3480
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
URBS 3480 001/00004 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Room TBA
Christian Siener 4 20/20

CSER UN3490 Post 9/11 Immigration Policies. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 22.

Since September 11, 2001, there has been an avalanche of immigration enforcement policies and initiatives proposed or implemented under the guise of national security. This course will analyze the domino effect of the Patriot Act, the Absconder Initiative, Special Registration, the Real I.D. Act, border security including the building of the 700-mile fence along the U.S./Mexico border, Secured Communities Act-that requires the cooperation of state and local authorities in immigration enforcement, the challenge to birthright citizenship, and now the congressional hearings on Islamic radicalization. Have these policies been effective in combating the war on terrorism and promoting national security? Who stands to benefit from these enforcement strategies? Do immigrant communities feel safer in the U.S.? How have states joined the federal bandwagon of immigration enforcement or created solutions to an inflexible, broken immigration system?

Fall 2020: CSER UN3490
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3490 001/11309 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Room TBA
Elizabeth OuYang 4 22/22

POLS BC3505 * Colloquium on Making Democracy Work. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Examination of democratic consolidation and promotion. What makes democracy work and what, if anything, can outside actors do to help this process along? Topics include the theoretical literature on democratic consolidation, historical cases of intervention, debates about America’s role in promoting democracy, and examination of some of the research on democracy promotion. (Cross-listed by the Europen Studies and Human Rights Programs.)

Fall 2020: POLS BC3505
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3505 001/00245 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Sheri Berman 4 14/12

WMST BC3514 Historical Approaches to Feminist Questions. 4 points.

This course will provide students with a comparative perspective on gender, race, and sexuality by illuminating historically specific and culturally distinct conditions in which these systems of power have operated across time and space. In particular, the course seeks to show how gender has not always been a binary or primary category system.  Such approach is also useful in understanding the workings of race and sexuality as mechanisms of differentiation.  In making these inquiries, the course will pay attention to the intersectional nature of race, gender, and sexuality and to strategic performances of identity by marginalized groups.

Spring 2020: WMST BC3514
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3514 001/00453 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
502 Diana Center
Alexander Pittman 4 20/20
Fall 2020: WMST BC3514
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3514 001/00297 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Neferti Tadiar 4 18/18

POLS UN3528 New and Old Forms of Political Protest. 3 points.

This course will introduce the students to the important topic of political protest. Each week we will address different aspects of the phenomenon: from the determinant to the actors and strategies of protest. We will discuss how the forms of protest have changed and the current role of the internet in general and social media in particular. Finally, we will discuss the role of the state and state repression, in particular censorship in the dynamics of protest. Since this is a comparative politics course, we will cover a range of different countries, including the United States, as well as both democratic and authoritarian regimes.

Spring 2020: POLS UN3528
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3528 001/10551 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
310 Fayerweather
Chiara Superti 3 69/70

AFRS BC3589 Black Feminism(s)/Womanism(s). 4 points.

Black Feminism(s)/Womanism(s)

POLS UN3604 War, Peace, and International Interventions in Africa. 4 points.

Prerequisites: At least sophomore standing, except in consultation with the instructor. Interested students should join the wait list; attendance at the first class is required in order to secure a spot in the class. Registration to discussion section is mandatory.

This course analyzes the causes of violence in wars and examines the debates around emergency aid, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. In addition, it focuses on recent conflict situations in Africa -- especially Congo, Sudan, and Rwanda -- as a background against which to understand the distinct dynamics of violence, peace, and international interventions in civil and international conflicts.

PSYC UN3615 Children at Risk (Lecture). 4 points.

Prerequisites: PSYC UN1010, PSYC UN2280, PSYC UN2620, or PSYC UN2680, and the instructor's permission.

Considers contemporary risk factors in children's lives. The immediate and enduring biological and behavioral impact of risk factors.

POLS UN3619 Nationalism and Contemporary World Politics. 3 points.

The causes and consequences of nationalism. Nationalism as a cause of conflict in contemporary world politics. Strategies for mitigating nationalist and ethnic conflict.

Spring 2020: POLS UN3619
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3619 001/10556 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
633 Seeley W. Mudd Building
Jack Snyder 3 54/70

POLS UN3623 Ending War & Building Peace. 3 points.

This course provides an introduction to the politics of war termination and peace consolidation. The course examines the challenges posed by ending wars and the process by which parties to a conflict arrive at victory, ceasefires, and peace negotiations. It explores how peace is sustained, why peace lasts in some cases and breaks down in others and what can be done to make peace more stable, focusing on the role of international interventions, power-sharing arrangements, reconciliation between adversaries, and reconstruction.

Fall 2020: POLS UN3623
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 3623 001/14028 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Sarah Daly 3 40/40

PHIL UN3752 Philosophy of Law. 3 points.

This course explores philosophical reflection on the relationship between law, society and morality. We discuss the nature of law, the nature of legal reasoning, the relationship between law and social policy, and central concepts in civil and criminal law. Readings are drawn from such sources as the natural law tradition, legal positivism, legal realism, and Critical Legal Theory. Readings will be supplemented by analysis of classic cases.

Fall 2020: PHIL UN3752
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3752 001/10376 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Michele Moody-Adams 3 80/80

POLS BC3810 *Colloquium on Aid, Politics & Violence in Africa. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS UN1601 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only.

Explores the concepts, theoretical traditions and debates around development and humanitarian aid, focusing on the relationships between aid, politics, and violence. It looks at the political and military impacts of aid, the linkage between humanitarian aid and conflict resolution, and aid's contribution to perpetuating subtle forms of domination. (Cross-listed by the Africana Studies and the Human Rights Programs.)

ANTH UN3878 Neoliberal Urbanism and the Politics of Exclusion. 4 points.

Enrollment limit is 20.

This seminar examines the impact of neo-liberal strategies and practices of urban development and governance on contemporary American cities with special emphasis on the dividing practices that have led to the segregation, stigmatization and exclusion of urbanites on the basis of class, race, sex/gender and other power-laden ascriptions of difference and pathology. We will situate the formative period of neoliberal urbanism in the urban renewal or "slum clearance" programs of the 1950s and 1960s-initiatives that registered post-war anxieties concerning civil defense, urban disinvestment and growing populations of racial-cum-ethnic "minorities." Through a reading of key anthropological ethnographies and other literature across disciplines, we will examine topics including: deindustrialization and the construction of the inner city and "ghetto underclass," the cultural politics of neo-liberal governance, the privatization and policing of public space, gated communities, gentrification and socioeconomic polarization, and homelessness

Spring 2020: ANTH UN3878
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 3878 001/11459 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Steven Gregory 4 11/20

SOCI BC3909 Ethnic Conflict and Unrest. 4 points.

Not offered during 2020-21 academic year.

Prerequisites: Sophomore Standing. SOCI BC1003 or permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 20 students.

Post-1965 immigration in the U.S. has prompted conflicts between new immigrant groups and established racial and ethnic groups. This seminar explores ethnic conflict and unrest that takes place in the streets, workplace, and everyday social life. Focus is on sociological theories that explain the tensions associated with the arrival of new immigrants.

SOCI UN3915 Stigma and Discrimination. 4 points.

This course considers stigma and discrimination as general processes that apply to a broad range of phenomena, from mental illness to obesity to HIV/AIDS to racial groups. We will use a conceptual framework that considers power and social stratification to be central to stigma and discrimination. We will focus on both macro- and micro-level social processes and their interconnections, and we will draw on literature from both sociology and psychology.

Spring 2020: SOCI UN3915
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3915 001/16187 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
516 Hamilton Hall
Mark Hatzenbuehler 4 15/20

WMST UN3915 Gender and Power in Transnational Perspective. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 15.

Prerequisites: Instructor approval required

Considers formations of gender, sexuality, and power as they circulate transnationally, as well as transnational feminist movements that have emerged to address contemporary gendered inequalities. Topics include political economy, global care chains, sexuality, sex work and trafficking, feminist politics, and human rights.

,

If it is a small world after all, how do forces of globalization shape and redefine both men’s and women’s positions as as workers and political subjects? And, if power swirls everywhere, how are transnational power dynamics reinscribed in gendered bodies? How is the body represented in discussions of the political economy of globalization? These questions will frame this course by highlighting how gender and power coalesce to impact the lives of individuals in various spaces including workplaces, the home, religious institutions, refugee camps, the government, and civil society, and human rights organizations. We will use specific sociological and anthropological case studies, to look at how various regimes of power operate to constrain individuals as well as give them new spaces for agency.This course will enable us to think transnationally, historically, and dynamically, using gender as a lens through which to critique relations of power and the ways that power informs our everyday lives and identities. 

Spring 2020: WMST UN3915
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 3915 002/00676 W 11:00am - 12:50pm
Ll017 Milstein Center
Neferti Tadiar 4 14/18

SOCI BC3918 Gender and Inequality in Families. 4 points.

Critical exploration of contemporary US families. Analyzes the ways gendered forces structure relations between and among family members. Investigates changes over time in roles and expectation for family members. Topics include social class differences, LGBT families, transnational families, parent-child relationships, domestic violence, racial/ethnic variation in men’s experiences.

CSER UN3924 Latin American and Latina/o Social Movements. 4 points.

In Latin America, a wave of new popular social movements have been transforming politics and social reality. In the United States, latino/as are building on decades of organizing and demographic growth to claim a new public persona and challenge their marginal status. What are the significant areas of political action, and how can we understand them? What claims can those disenfranchised for reasons of race, class, or national origin make on societies? Indigenous survival movements in Brazil, multi-ethnic electoral alliances in Bolivia, growing Afro-Colombian assertion, Dominican community organizing in New York City, and poetic post-marxist guerrillas in Mexico are just a few of the new forms of social activism that are transforming class, ethnic identity, and citizenship throughout the Americas, and combating the dominance of free-market social and economic policies. We will discuss a number of important social movements throughout the region, while developing tools for understanding social movements and their possibilities. This class is designed to give you an opportunity to do independent research; as a result, it will demand your intensive engagement, and your willingness both to master the information and tools we go over in class, and to pursue a specific topic of your own choosing. Students will all write a term paper based on independent research.

Spring 2020: CSER UN3924
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3924 001/11364  
Stuart Rockefeller 4 12/22

CSER UN3928 Colonization/Decolonization. 4 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Enrollment limited to 22.

Prerequisites: Open to CSER majors/concentrators only. Others may be allowed to register with the instructor's permission.

This course explores the centrality of colonialism in the making of the modern world, emphasizing cross-cultural and social contact, exchange, and relations of power; dynamics of conquest and resistance; and discourses of civilization, empire, freedom, nationalism, and human rights, from 1500 to 2000. Topics include pre-modern empires; European exploration, contact, and conquest in the new world; Atlantic-world slavery and emancipation; and European and Japanese colonialism in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The course ends with a section on decolonization and post-colonialism in the period after World War II. Intensive reading and discussion of primary documents.

Fall 2020: CSER UN3928
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3928 001/12187 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Manan Ahmed 4 22/22

HIST UN3928 Comparative Slavery and Abolition in the Atlantic World. 4 points.

Prerequisites: seminar application required. SEE UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR SECTION OF THE HISTORY DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE.

This seminar investigates the experiences of slavery and freedom among African-descended people living and laboring in the various parts of the Atlantic World. The course will trace critical aspects of these two major, interconnected historical phenomena with an eye to how specific cases either manifested or troubled broader trends across various slaveholding societies. The first half of the course addresses the history of slavery and the second half pertains to experiences in emancipation. However, since the abolition of slavery occurs at different moments in various areas of the Atlantic World, the course will adhere to a thematic rather than a chronological structure, in its examination of the multiple avenues to freedom available in various regions. Weekly units will approach major themes relevant to both slavery and emancipation, such as racial epistemologies among slaveowners/employers, labor regimes in slave and free societies, cultural innovations among slave and freed communities, gendered discourses and sexual relations within slave and free communities, and slaves’ and freepeople’s resistance to domination. The goal of this course is to broaden students’ comprehension of the history of slavery and freedom, and to promote an understanding of the transition from slavery to freedom in the Americas as creating both continuities and ruptures in the structure and practices of the various societies concerned. 

SOCI BC3934 Global Activism. 4 points.

This seminar explores social movements and political protest on the global stage. We will bring together the literatures on social movements and the sociology of globalization and transnationalism to explore the emergence, development, dynamics and consequences of global activism.

CSER UN3940 Comparative Study of Constitutional Challenges Affecting African, Latino, and Asian American Communities. 4 points.

This course will examine how the American legal system decided constitutional challenges affecting the empowerment of African, Latino, and Asian American communities from the 19th century to the present. Focus will be on the role that race, citizenship, capitalism/labor, property, and ownership played in the court decision in the context of the historical, social, and political conditions existing at the time. Topics include the denial of citizenship and naturalization to slaves and immigrants, government sanctioned segregation, the struggle for reparations for descendants of slavery, and Japanese Americans during World War II.

Spring 2020: CSER UN3940
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 3940 001/50620 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
467 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Elizabeth OuYang 4 19/20

AHIS BC3949 The Art of Witness: Memorials and Historical Trauma. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Undergraduate seminar course. Course limited to 15 Students with instructor's permission. Application process required. Applications are due in the Barnard Art History office April 9, 2015.

Examines aesthetic responses to collective historical traumas, such as slavery, the Holocaust, the bombing of Hiroshima, AIDS, homelessness, immigration, and the recent attack on the World Trade Center. Studies theories about trauma, memory, and representation. Explores debates about the function and form of memorials.

Fall 2020: AHIS BC3949
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AHIS 3949 001/00367 W 11:00am - 12:50pm
Room TBA
Rosalyn Deutsche 4 53

SOCI UN3960 Law, Science, and Society. 4 points.

This course addresses basic contemporary social issues from several angles of vision: from the perspective of scientists, social scientists, legal scholars, and judges. Through the use of case studies, students will examine the nature of theories, evidence, "facts," proof, and argument as found in the work of scientists and scholars who have engaged the substantive issues presented in the course.

Spring 2020: SOCI UN3960
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3960 001/16192 T 10:10am - 12:00pm
101 W & J Warren(Law & Business)
Jonathan Cole 4 8/20

WMST GU4000 Genealogies of Feminism. 4 points.

Even before Laura Mulvey’s classic feminist essay on the “male gaze,” feminist artists and filmmakers, as well as theorists of visuality, have analyzed, critiqued and contested the association of vision with power and knowledge. Creatively reframing the gaze and subverting conventions of visual representation, they have reimagined the relationship of media technologies to embodied and social difference, and to social constructions of gender, race, class and sexuality. This course will study these theories and practices by looking at late 20th and early 21st century painting, film, television, photography, comics, performance, activism and social media in transnational perspective.

,This course is open to all graduate students and meets the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies. Priority will be given to those fulfilling the certificate. 

WMST GU4317 Advanced Topics: Bodily Disruptions. 4 points.

At once material and symbolic, our bodies exist at the intersections of multiple competing discourses, including the juridical, the techno-scientific, and the biopolitical. In this course, we will draw upon a variety of critical interdisciplinary literatures—including feminist and queer studies, science and technology studies, and disability studies—to consider some of the ways in which our bodies are both constituted by such discourses, and themselves serve as the substratum for social and political life. Our point of departure will be the precariousness of embodied existence, in which precarity is understood as both an existential condition and as the socially uneven culmination of neoliberal political and economic trends. Within the context of current pandemic crises relating to both public health and to political economy, we will also consider appeals to the beneficence of science, technology, medicine, and the rational governance of disease. What can critical histories of plagues, epidemics, and quarantines teach us about emergent forms of biopolitics? We will conclude by considering the interventions of contemporary disability and social justice activists, and the alternative possibilities that they have posited for self-care and mutual aid.

Fall 2020: WMST GU4317
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 4317 001/10046 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
754 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Elizabeth Bernstein 4 16/25

CSER GU4340 Visionary Medicine: Racial Justice, Health and Speculative Fictions. 4 points.

In Fall 2014, medical students across the U.S. staged die-ins as part of the nationwide #blacklivesmatter protests. The intention was to create a shocking visual spectacle, laying on the line “white coats for black lives.” The images were all over social media: students of all colors, dressed in lab coats, lying prone against eerily clean tile floors, stethoscopes in pockets, hands and around necks. One prone student held a sign reading, “Racism is Real.” These medical students’ collective protests not only created visual spectacle, but produced a dynamic speculative fiction. What would it mean if instead of Michael Brown or Eric Garner or Freddie Gray, these other, more seemingly elite bodies were subjected to police violence? In another viral image, a group of African American male medical students from Harvard posed wearing hoodies beneath their white coats, making clear that the bodies of some future doctors could perhaps be more easily targeted for state-sanctioned brutality. “They tried to bury us,” read a sign held by one of the students, “they didn’t realize we were seeds.” Both medicine and racial justice are acts of speculation; their practices are inextricable from the practice of imagining. By imagining new cures, new discoveries and new futures for human beings in the face of illness, medicine is necessarily always committing acts of speculation. By imagining ourselves into a more racially just future, by simply imagining ourselves any sort of future in the face of racist erasure, social justice activists are similarly involved in creating speculative fictions. This course begins with the premise that racial justice is the bioethical imperative of our time. It will explore the space of science fiction as a methodology of imagining such just futures, embracing the work of Asian- and Afroturism, Cosmos Latinos and Indigenous Imaginaries. We will explore issues including Biocolonialism, Alien/nation, Transnational Labor and Reproduction, the Borderlands and Other Diasporic Spaces. This course will be seminar-style and will make central learner participation and presentation. The seminar will be inter-disciplinary, drawing from science and speculative fictions, cultural studies, gender studies, narrative medicine, disability studies, and bioethics. Ultimately, the course aims to connect the work of science and speculative fiction with on the ground action and organizing.

Spring 2020: CSER GU4340
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
CSER 4340 001/50621 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
420 Hamilton Hall
Sayantani DasGupta 4 21/20

MDES GU4349 Concentration Camps from Cuba to East Asia. 3 points.

Forcibly moving civilians to designated areas as a wartime measure has constituted a widely practiced military strategy for centuries. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, colonial powers increasingly provided more structure and organization to these policies of relocation and internment in the Americas, Africa, and East Asia. This course provides a social history of civilian internment and mass murder from late-19th century colonial cases to World War II.


Through case studies of the Spanish-Cuban war, the South African War, the Philippines-American War, the genocide of the Herrero and Nama in Southwest Africa, the Armenian Genocide, and the Holocaust, the course traces the evolution of the concentration camp from a counter-insurgency strategy in wartime to a weapon of mass murder. The course also examines the internment of Japanese Americans, and the Japanese “comfort stations” in comparative perspective.

 

Fall 2020: MDES GU4349
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MDES 4349 001/15548 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Khatchig Mouradian 3 1/30

POLS GU4409 Political Activism and Social Movements. 3 points.

How do ordinary citizens participate in democratic politics? The course examines main concepts in the comparative study of political participation and social and political movements to address this question. The first part of the course focuses on normative and methodological aspects related to the study of political activism. In this part, we examine the role that citizens’ political activism plays in democratic politics and look at how these normative views are reflected in the methods used to study political activism (individual and organizational surveys, protest event analysis, participant observation). In the second part of the course, we focus on the individual-level political participation. Here we discuss various modes of political action available to citizens of contemporary democracies and examine micro-, meso-, macro-factors that determine people’s willingness to get involved in politics. The third part of the course focuses on the meso-level of political actors that organize and coordinate people’s political activism – social movements, interest groups and civil society organizations. This part of the course discusses the role of organizational resources, strategic action repertoire, political opportunities and framing and campaigning strategies of mobilizing actors.

POLS GU4474 Politics, Justice and Human Rights in Southeast Asia. 4 points.

The course starts from the premise that questions of justice are essentially political, and their study cannot be safely left in the sole hands of lawyers and legal experts. In recent years, a number of important global trends have become evident in the study of justice. These include a growing focus on transitional justice – especially how the transition from an authoritarian regime, or from conditions of violent conflict, may best be handled. Another important trend is the so-called ‘new constitutionalism’ – efforts to strengthen checks and balances through establishing new institutions such as constitutional courts. A third trend concerns disturbing developments in the use of the criminal justice system for essentially political purposes. This course will explore how these recent trends are being played out in various parts of Southeast Asia.

ECON GU4480 Gender and Applied Economics. 3 points.

Prerequisites: ECON UN3211 and ECON UN3213

This course studies gender gaps, their extent, determinants and consequences. The focus will be on the allocation of rights in different cultures and over time, why women's rights have typically been more limited and why most societies have traditionally favored males in the allocation of resources.

WMST GU4506 Gender Justice. 3 points.

This course will provide an introduction to the concrete legal contexts in which issues of gender and justice have been articulated, disputed and hesitatingly, if not provisionally, resolved. Readings will cover issues such as Workplace Equality, Sexual Harassment, Sex Role Stereotyping, Work/Family Conflict, Marriage and Alternatives to Marriage, Compulsory Masculinity, Parenting, Domestic Violence, Reproduction and Pregnancy, Rape, Sex Work & Trafficking. Through these readings we will explore the multiple ways in which the law has contended with sexual difference, gender-based stereotypes, and the meaning of equality in domestic, transnational and international contexts. So too, we will discuss how feminist theorists have thought about sex, gender and sexuality in understanding and critiquing our legal system and its norms.

Spring 2020: WMST GU4506
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 4506 001/13598 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
546 Jerome L Greene Hall
Katherine Franke 3 29/30

HIST GU4518 Research Seminar: Columbia and Slavery. 4 points.

In this course, students will write original, independent papers of around 25 pages, based on research in both primary and secondary sources, on an aspect of the relationship between Columbia College and its colonial predecessor King's College, with the institution of slavery.

Spring 2020: HIST GU4518
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 4518 001/12175 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Elizabeth Blackmar, Thai Jones 4 13/15

POLS GU4852 Insurgencies and Civil Wars. 3 points.

Civil wars have become the predominant type of conflict in recent years and decades, as exemplified by the civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Yemen, among others. Invariably, these civil wars feature insurgencies, i.e., organized, protracted politico-military struggles designed to weaken control and legitimacy of an established government, occupying power, or other political authority, while increasing insurgent control.

The purpose of this course is to examine the causes, nature, and termination of civil wars and the insurgencies that characterize them. Special emphasis is placed on the conduct of civil wars—the nature of insurgency and counterinsurgency (COIN). The course offers different theoretical perspectives and provides historical and contemporary case studies.