Campaigns and ElectivesConstitutional Law: Civil Rights & Liberties
Are campaigns and elections in the United States a sign of democracy in action or a broken system in need of repair? Although presidential elections attract the most attention, campaigns and elections influence all levels of American political life. Grounded in the contested history of the right to vote, this course explores the American electoral process, the transformation of American campaigns, and modern campaign strategies. In conjunction with members of the mathematics and computer science departments, the course examines how data is gathered, analyzed, presented, and interpreted, most commonly in the form of polls, surveys and statistics. Students will learn how to graphically represent information, using data visualization tools like charts, graphs and maps as a means of understanding trends, outliers and patterns.
International Relations: Peace, Perception, and Power
Wars, epidemics, terrorism, economic globalization, human rights, refugees and genocides: How does the world deal with transnational issues? In this course, students explore the fundamental concepts and theories of international relations and analyze components of the international system: state and non-state actors, NGOs and intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations. The first part of the course uses historical events of the past hundred years to understand the variety of past approaches to global issues. Students then move into an examination of twenty-first century case studies that encapsulate current challenges and allow students to assess the policy, structures and strategies used to respond to a complex world of conflicting ideologies and goals.
American Cultural History
Representation has been central to America’s multicultural history. Whether in political campaigns, street parades, theater performances, music, or rituals, culture (that is, the ways that we make meaning of our experiences) has shaped and has been shaped by identity and intersectionality. Gesture, masquerade and reproductions can be alternatively empowering and deceiving. How has representation reflected and manifested power and privilege as well as oppression and resistance? In this course we we will explore how racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, and national identity in the United States during the nineteenth through the early twenty-first centuries show up in and influence our political culture, consumer culture and expressive cultures. We will seek to understand these developments within the context of an increasingly global economy.
Globalization During the Contemporary Era (1970s to present)
This course will explore the economic, political, and cultural processes of globalization through a few focal points--migration, gender, and the environment--from roughly the 1970s to the early twenty-first century We will seek to examine the broad social consequences of these transformations (such as climate change) particularly for marginalized groups, and the various ways that they have addressed and challenged the implications of globalization. Further, our assigned readings, group projects, and independent research will explore how responses to the consequences of globalization have intersected--for example: international climate treaties; maternal health research; building sustainable cities; and social impact investing. As writers in history, we will put traditional pencil to paper to document our own journeys, while we also learn how new digital technologies for data analysis can allow historians to grapple with the evidence. We will invite guest speakers as well as utilize resources throughout NYC.
History of New York City
What do Emma Goldman, James Baldwin, Tito Puente, Grace Meng and Alicia Keys - and you - have in common? All are New Yorkers who have experienced and represented the city in many political, economic, social and cultural ways. From subways, bridges and parks to skyscrapers and bike lanes, the five boroughs have shaped New York City. Local urban geographies have been crafted by ordinary people including: immigrants, social activists, public housing residents, construction workers, graffiti artists, pop stars, journalists, photographers, marketing agents, fashionistas, media and real estate moguls, deli owners, educators and students. What does it mean to be a New Yorker? Why is this city one of the most diverse and dynamic in the world? This course explores the tumultuous and remarkable evolution of the Big Apple as the global capital of capital and culture from consolidation in 1895 through the present. As our shared learning focus, we explore several key challenges that Gotham faces today, find and examine the historical roots of those problems and imagine how to address them for a better tomorrow.
This course is designed to develop a greater appreciation of the rights and liberties set forth under the United States Constitution, along with an understanding of the responsibilities that these rights and liberties engender. In order to achieve these objectives, we will focus on Supreme Court cases that interpret the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment, and we will consider these cases as part of the larger socio-political contexts in which they were decided. The class encourages students to connect Supreme Court decisions to the broader themes of individual empowerment, separation of powers and civic engagement. We will develop our critical and analytical thinking skills using case law and secondary sources (commentaries, current articles, and film) as well as class debates to sharpen our thinking. Topics include Freedom of Expression and Association; Freedom from and of Religion; Search and Seizure; Right to Counsel; Punishment; Right to Privacy; Equal Protection under the Law; and Affirmative Action.