Course Offerings

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Core Courses

Note: there is a new course numbering system beginning in 2023

This gateway course surveys the histories, theories, concepts, actors, and pedagogies that compose the growing transdisciplinary field of justice and peace studies. We will familiarize ourselves with current issues in the field, as well as the movements and structures that both contribute to and provide obstacles to the creation and sustainability of a more just and peaceful world. The course presents a wide range of theoretical and practical perspectives on peace and social justice, including: poverty, hunger, and homelessness; racism, sexism, and homophobia; violence, oppression, slavery, and colonization; and complex issues of sustainable development and humanitarian aid. Through historical and contemporary analyses, the course addresses critical issues of militarism, inequality, and injustice, emphasizing the development of viable alternatives. This course is highly recommended for first-year students and sophomores interested in pursuing the JUPS major or minor. As an introductory course, it requires permission for seniors. (Offered Spring, Fall, and online in Summer).

This foundational seminar is taught each fall and spring semester; it is designed to introduce students to a perspective on nonviolence that integrates theory and practice, drawing upon a wide range of literature and examples. A central aim of the course is to develop a holistic view of nonviolence as a set of practices that range from the personal and local to the national and global. The course seeks to foster an experiential engagement with the tenets of nonviolence, through participation in workshops, activities, and projects in the community and region. The overarching objective is to develop a systematic analysis of nonviolence in order to cultivate effective approaches to addressing contemporary challenges in society through nonviolent means, as well as envisioning and animating a world built on the tenets of nonviolence. (Offered Spring, Fall)

This course offers a thorough grounding of Conflict Transformation as a philosophical orientation, practical approach, and theoretical framework, as well as an analysis of its recent developments. The course strives to “transform” our understanding of three major aspects of conflict: 1) what we think about conflict; 2) how we think about conflict; and 3) how we engage in conflict. Students focus their learning on various contexts as contested spaces for social change and transformation regarding issues of violence, oppression, injustice, development, and difference. Particular emphasis is placed on the work and philosophies of John Burton, John Paul Lederach, Johan Galtung, and Paulo Freire, with a grounding in Conflict Transformation’s foundation of ‘peace by peaceful means’. Drawing on Lederach’s idea that Conflict Transformation is a way of “looking and seeing” conflicts, the course explores the deep culture and structure (Galtung) of conflicts in different settings, and identifies approaches to positive and sustainable change through a social justice lens. (Offered Spring, Fall)

Offered in the fall and summer semesters, this course explores the theories, practices, and ethics unique to research methodologies in the JUPS field. The course examines both qualitative and quantitative research frameworks including: participatory action research, feminist research methods, ethnographic methodologies, community-based research, ethnomethodologies, phenomenology, and participant observation. Students gain knowledge and experience with various techniques appropriate to inquiries in peace studies and social justice, such as active interviewing, working in fragile contexts and conflict settings, considering context, constructing meaningful surveys, identifying cases appropriate for study, and utilizing research as a tool for social change. The course considers the ethical issues involved with such research, from informed consent and IRB concerns to “ownership” of data and responsible use of research results. Through theoretical and practical engagement, students acquire the research skills necessary for developing a research proposal as they move toward the completion of the JUPS major. Open to JUPS minors and majors, or by permission of the instructor. (Offered Fall)

Spring 2024 Core Electives

This course will examine historical and contemporary international, US, Palestinian, and Israeli efforts to resolve the conflicting issues between the Palestinian national movement and the Zionist movement/Israel over the past century. This course also will delve into the policies established and legislation enacted by the United States in relation to Israel and the Palestinian people to explore whether they have helped or hindered these efforts.

We use the terms human rights and justice every day, but what exactly do they mean? What are our human rights? What happens when they are violated? What do we mean when we ask for justice? Furthermore, what happens when our notions of justice clash with core concepts of fundamental human rights? This course will consist of a combination of theoretical and hands-on clinical explorations of domestic and international justice systems and international human rights standards, with the goal of better understanding the interplay between these two intertwined, but often divergent, concepts. Included in the course will be meetings with victims of crime, as well as conversations with justice system professionals, human rights lawyers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and law enforcement. The course will include a visit to D.C. Superior Court to view a criminal trial and culminates in a mock trial where students will search for the proper balance between human rights and justice.

This course examines the expression of resistance, dissent, and protest in American literature. A primary goal of protest literature is to convey the impact of oppressive social and legal policies in hopes of prompting reform. This course will consider protest literature from the perspective of multiple marginalized or “outsider” communities, including Native Americans, minorities, veterans, immigrants, individuals with disabilities, drug addicts and prisoners. Outsider narratives create empathy and offer a vicarious experience of the impact of social and legal policies; by drawing attention to injustice, the author hopes to prompt change. Second, we will consider protest literature that concerns itself with gender, environment, and health care—challenges that affect majority as well as minority populations. Protest literature typically conveys private pain and outrage; we will see how effective protest literature seeks to awaken a broader audience to the need for change. Where relevant we will also compare our readings to film portrayals to see how fiction and film work together to communicate protest.

Although reports on youth and development often focus on youth involvement and motivations for violence, engagement among youth in proactive peacebuilding is increasingly a reality at the local, national, and regional levels. Such peacebuilding is often initiated by youth themselves, and is supported by local, national and international development and other organizations. This course will explore: evidence-based factors associated with youth engagement in peacebuilding; the wide range of peacebuilding activities and their demonstrated outcomes; and the roles that public and private sector organizations play in supporting and/or presenting barriers to youth engagement in peacebuilding. The course will entail interactive lectures by both youth who have been engaged in peacebuilding and others who have collaborated with youth on their peacebuilding activities and virtual participation in an international conference regarding youth and peacebuilding. Students will write two brief discussion papers; prepare a critical review of a published report on youth engagement in peacebuilding; and design a community-based project for youth engagement in peacebuilding.

This course investigates the relationship between taste and hierarchies of race and gender. As we discuss television shows, novels, films, and print media like tabloids and magazines, we will ask the following questions: What is the relationship between taste and respectability? What is the history of the distinction between “lowbrow” and “highbrow” cultural texts? How does authorship influence the “value” of different kinds of texts? Upon completion of the course, students will be able to perform close reading and textual analysis in order to consider how cultural texts engage and challenge the broader sociopolitical contexts from which they emerge, be acquainted with some major modes of thought from cultural studies, and also be able to think critically about the stakes of the relationship between taste and identity hierarchies in today’s culture.

This course explores the role journalists, news organizations and social media platforms play in fostering conflict and promoting peace. The rise of misinformation and disinformation, the upheaval of the economic models supporting news coverage, and the surging popularity of new forms of information-sharing has contributed to a growing conversation about the real and the ideal conceptions of this role, including the ethical considerations governing the role of an observer and the tradition of journalistic objectivity in coverage of conflict, from culture and politics to war. Students will gain insight with discussion of real-world dilemmas faced by those reporting on conflict and peacemaking efforts in the United States and around the world, as well as the ethical guidelines currently guiding those processes.

Music, theater, and visual art have been a part of social change movements as far back as we have historical records. Fliers are created both to inform and inspire. Plays challenge the status quo. Films offer us inspiration, or new models of living. Street theater mocks the powerful, inspires the oppressed, and gives shape to resistance. Novels warn us of threats, imagine new worlds, and celebrate forgotten ancestors. Music provides the rhythm of resistance, inspires, and unites. This course will examine these phenomena, starting primarily in the 20th century and attempt to understand some of the most powerful ways that the arts contribute to movements for change. We will look mostly at film, novels, and music, but will also discuss a number of other genres. Students will both experience art and discuss it, both verbally and in writing. The culminating assignment for the course will be to produce something of your own – in any genre – that can be used to contribute to a movement for peace and justice.

This course examines the process of decolonization of peace and Justice. It considers what it means to decenter or dismantle and challenge the superiority of Eurocentric/ Western thoughts, frameworks, power and approaches, as well as how to bring into the center the worldviews, narratives and practices of those who have been marginalized or silenced. Students will learn the impact of colonization of peace and justice in communities in conflict, in order to support practices in developing meaningful, effective, and sustainable pathways for building inclusive communities and transformative possibilities in peacebuilding.

Spring 2024 JUPS Cross-Listed Courses

This course addresses prison literature—writings by established authors such as Franz Kafka and James Baldwin, as well as unpublished fiction by inmates. Many of the texts that we examine are written by people of color, women, or LGBTQ+ inmates. These stories, poems, and essays provide an impactful view of racial and socioeconomic injustice in the prison system. They provide a platform for critical analysis of mass incarceration and related policy issues. We also consider other carceral confinement, such as immigration detention, camps and internment. The course has an interdisciplinary reach and includes consideration of documentary and Hollywood film and other media.

This 5-credit course is intended for a small number of passionate and highly-motivated students. The class will not have readings, papers, or exams. Instead, students will spend an intensive semester as investigative journalists, documentarians, and social justice activists, with the goal of creating a public documentary (in addition to a website and social media campaign) that makes the case for the innocence of a wrongfully convicted person who is currently languishing in prison. Students will leave campus regularly and travel to visit their “client” (all travel expenses will be covered), as they reinvestigate the crime and conviction. Their task will be to portray the main issues, challenges, injustices, and human stories involved in each case. The course is co-taught by Professor Marc Howard and his childhood friend, Adjunct Professor Marty Tankleff, who was himself wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for almost 18 years before being exonerated. Previous versions of the course have resulted in the exoneration and release of Valentino Dixon, while also providing significant progress in the legal prospects of several other potential exonerees. The class is scheduled for Fridays 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Although we will not always meet as a full group each week for that full block of time, students must keep their Fridays open, free from other classes or regular commitments. Students will be meeting and working together within smaller groups, and consulting with the professors, on a regular basis throughout the semester. The output for the course—which will be prepared by five groups of students working closely together in teams of three—will include the production of short documentaries that are humanizing portraits of the lives, families, and complicated legal cases of five people who were likely wrongfully convicted. At the end of the semester, the students will present their final documentaries at a larger public event hosted by the Prisons and Justice Initiative. Throughout the semester, the production company will cover the efforts and activities of the Georgetown students as they investigate their cases. The show will track the students on their personal journeys as they experience the emotional ups and downs of pursuing truth and justice. The course will be restricted to a maximum of 15 Georgetown students. Priority will be given to those students who have a strong academic or practical background in this area, along with a passion for the issue of wrongful convictions and criminal justice reform. Having a background in investigative journalism and/or video production is a bonus, but not a requirement. The enrollment process for this course will take place this summer (with a secondary process in the late fall). Interested students should submit an application to Professor Howard at mmh@georgetown.edu by Monday, August 5 at 5pm, with the subject line “GOVX 400 application.” Your application should consist of a brief cover letter, a resume, an unofficial transcript, and a 3-minute webcam video (submitted as a link to a video on Google Drive) in which you explain why you want to take the course and what you have to offer, while also providing any background information that may be relevant or helpful. Please note that by submitting an application, you consent for us to share your application with the television production company (though we will not share your transcript or any other information that you ask us to keep private).

In consequence of its Catholic and Jesuit heritage and purpose, Georgetown University is committed to assisting students in exploring and probing the ethical dimensions and consequences of every field of human endeavor and scholarship. For those studying and preparing to work in the field of international relations, the ethical challenges are great, given phenomena like: genocide; terrorist attacks on non-combatants; state–sponsored brutalization of poor and/or powerless populations; famine; refugee and migrant outflows, and environmental degradation. Moreover, states continue to arm themselves with weapons of mass destruction capable of destroying the human community and the planet and “small arms”—ranging from machetes to anti-personnel landmines—capable of wreaking widespread harm. The purpose of “GOVT 420: Ethical Issues in International Relations” is to investigate three questions in world politics: To what extent are states (and their leaders) obligated to act in accord with moral principles in their relations with other states? What is the chief content of these obligations—as these constrain a state’s external and internal sovereignty—and what are the limits of obligation? What ethical frameworks have theorists and practitioners of world politics developed over the centuries that may assist students of international relations in developing a coherent perspective on the question of moral obligations between and among states? This course has been renumbered, effective Fall 2014. A student who earned credit for GOVT 420 Ethical Iss Intrnl Reltns in a prior term should not enroll and cannot earn credit in this class.

This listening-intensive course looks at music as a component of cultural identities and collisions through the dual lens of ethnomusicology (anthropology of music) and “world music” (a pop-cultural/journalistic/marketing view). The syntheses that arise from the interactions of the dominant Western culture with its “others” are politically charged as much as they may be musically potent and are increasingly dependent upon globalization and technology for their creation and dissemination. Case studies will examine the dynamics of different forms of cultural interaction over the past couple of centuries, from Cold War nationalism in the Bulgarian Radio Choir to the impact of the Chernobyl meltdown on the underground rock scene of the Belarusan intelligentsia, from the meteoric rise (and fall) of Anglo-Indian pop of the 1990s to the complex multi-ethnic mix that has driven flamenco across a millennium from Moorish Andalucía to the art-school scene of Barcelona of the 2000s. Other subjects include Javanese gamelan and its confluences with Western art music, South African township jive echoing the arc of apartheid, the alliance of dance forms with nationalism in 20th century South America, the colonial and diasporic sources of the Riverdance phenomenon, a Canadian First Nations songwriter’s foundational role in the genre we call “Americana,” and the multiple Francophone audiences of Cajun-American rocker Zachary Richard.

Sociology Core Topics Course: Law & Society, focuses on detailed examination of some of contemporary society’s most salient legal issues. Students learn legal history, socio-political influences, and Supreme Court decisions on issues including abortion, affirmative action, discrimination against same-sex couples, federal elections, gun rights/regulations, and voting rights, among others. Students read primary sources and journal articles, watch documentaries, do simulations, and keep up with current events. Of particular interest are cases before the Supreme Court currently whose decisions will be announced in the summer.

This introductory course offers a highly participatory laboratory for individual and group/ ensemble exploration of socially engaged, improvisational performance. Throughout the semester, we will explore how a wide variety of artists and cultural workers have advanced and are continuing to advance social change, civic engagement, and community-based dialogue. Students will be asked to examine their own values and convictions and will develop skills and tools to put them into practice through embodied performative interventions into the social world. By focusing our attention on students’ own life experiences and the issues in our own local/ campus, regional, national, and global communities (local/ campus, national, and global) that each student cares about most deeply, students will draw connections between the intimate personal register of their own creative selves, and their active participation in the communities they occupy. Case studies and performance activities will focus not only on the content but also on the form and the context of diverse creative processes. Class exercises and assignments will emphasize experiential learning as we both participate in guided improvisational workshops and develop skills in creating and facilitating our own original performance workshops, and ultimately a final ensemble creation as a class. Reading will draw on Brecht, Boal and Jan Cohen-Cruz, among others. Students wishing to pursue a fourth credit CBL experience may do so by coordinating at semester’s start with the professor and CSJ (via Amanda Munroe

This course explores creative approaches to the theatrical adaptation and embodiment of historical LGBTQ+ materials. Students are invited to serve as artist-investigators who research, adapt, and perform in short theatre works born verbatim from the oral histories and archival documents of LGBTQ+ activists, change-makers, and allies. Interview transcripts, letters, video recordings, newspaper coverage, diaries, and more will serve as creative material for short performances seeking to give voice to the many who have fought for queer justice at Georgetown, in the United States, and around the world. Students will engage with a range of core dramatic texts and primary source materials, harnessing the documentary theatre model (also called verbatim theatre, docudrama, ethnodrama) to illuminate our intersectional humanities in innovative and imaginative ways. Primary assignments include student-led creative research projects, live interviews and transcriptions, monologue-making, core text analysis, and self-reflection posts. Students will work solo, in pairs, and in small groups to produce work throughout the semester. Students are expected to attend plays, talks, and other events as relevant to the core curriculum. This course culminates in a sharing of works created over the course of the semester. Suitable for students with considerable performance experience and for beginners.

Material goods surround us; they are necessary for our well-being and express identity and status. In today’s global economic market, we are all entangled in webs of consumption, production, and the disposal of goods that often harm the environment and others. How do we ethically navigate this shifting terrain when the environment and human person are increasingly subject to commodification? In this course we seek to understand inequality and identity in consumer culture, particularly in light of Christian economic ethics. Practices of religious and secular resistance will be covered and special attention will be given to how both religion and dissent are also commodified. While there is an emphasis on Christian theology, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course has been previously offered as JUPS380: Justice and Consumer Culture. Content may be reshaped based on economic and social realities come fall.

This course provides an introduction to the body of knowledge that has come to be known as feminist theory. Throughout the course we will consider a wide range of feminist thought, focusing particularly on theory in action – that is, how theory becomes, how it influences and creates, and how it can both dismantle and (re)build. To do so, we will pay close attention to the spaces in and through which theories are articulated, as well as the ways in which theories themselves can construct and transform space. Through a range of feminist writing on such intersecting topics as gender, race, colonialism, capitalism, globalization, and emotion we will learn how theory can give us insight into the mechanisms of belonging, marginalization, and socio-material change. The course will culminate in a rigorously curated final project that interprets feminist theories into feminist practice aimed at affecting positive change in the Georgetown community.

Spring 2024 CBL Courses

CBL: The Art of Storytelling in Education Advocacy and Activism The ways education policies and initiatives are shaped hinge on narratives about communities, schooling outcomes, and the ways society expects students to engage in schools. Often these perceptions are influenced by media stories and data and research. However, storytelling can a powerful tool to reshape narratives to create positive social change in education advocacy and activism. In this course, students will learn how to become education advocates and activists through the use of storytelling. Students will work with organizations to better understand dominant narratives about historically disenfranchised communities in education. Through the use of asset- based framing, students will practice storytelling techniques designed to engage a wide-ranges of audience and change perceptions of communities for educational impact. By the end of the course, students will have a valuable advocacy skill set applicable to educational and social justice activism.

Educating the Whole Child is an intensive, experiential* CBL course. This course will give you the opportunity to experience firsthand education enacted with teachers and students in local public schools. Building upon a central tenet of education at Georgetown, ‘education of the whole person’, this course examines the extent to which a “whole child” view of education is at work in K-12 schools. Amid today’s push for college and career readiness and higher academic standards for all, how are schools educating the whole child? How do schools ensure that students are prepared to function effectively in society? What could education of the whole child look like? In this course you will examine these and other questions facing education today. Through readings, discussions, videos, and school based observation and volunteering, you will examine the education of the whole child in today’s public schools. *As a 4 credit CBL course, students volunteer in DC area public schools 4 hours per week for 10 weeks during the school day (typically 8:30-3:15). Most students schedule one day per week to complete the CBL required hours. Others go two days per week and serve 2 hours each day. Please note that transportation to and from the schools via public transportation typically takes an additional 45 minutes each way. CBL sites will be assigned during the first weeks of class.

Social Justice Documentary takes up three intersecting bodies of knowledge: • Documentary Filmmaking techniques and practices • Film and Media Studies scholarship • Social Justice Theory and the practices of Community Based Organizations in Washington, DC The course will enable students to collaborate with members of DC-based Community Organizations in order to create documentary video projects and learn about non-fiction video as a tool for social action. Students in Social Justice Documentary will work in small teams to produce short documentary videos about social justice issues as related to the work of Washington, DC-based Community Organizations. At the end of the course students should be able to define, summarize, and interpret documentary theories; have a working knowledge of pre-production, production, and post-production processes that are part of making a documentary video; and be able to formulate and demonstrate ways through which documentary video can be used to meet social justice ends. In addition, students will have gained experience in working as members of video production team—as successful video production heavily depends on cooperation, collaboration, and respect among team members. This is a 4-credit course and will require substantial time outside of scheduled class meetings. This course will include hands-on workshops on camera, lighting, sound, and editing scheduled in additional to regular course meetings.

As leaders, you will be confronted with challenging situations in which you may have to step up, find the courage from within, and take action to “do the right thing.” In taking action to do the right thing, you are responding with “moral energy to a crisis or challenge in way that has meant a lot to others” (Coles, Lives of Moral Leadership, p. xvii). The response you make in the face of crisis or challenge is at the core of moral leadership. The course has three key objectives. First, we will explore the importance of reflection in action, which is central to moral leadership. In addition to the course readings and exercises, this objective will be served in an off-campus retreat conducted by the Reverend Steve Spahn, S.J., Director of Ignatian Programs at Georgetown. Second, we will analyze when and why people engage in moral leadership, including the role of courage in undertaking such action—and how those actions changed the course of history or influenced the day-to-day quality of life in local communities, organizations, and nations. This objective will be served in the “Daring to Resist” and the “Moral Leadership Project” papers. The final objective of this course focuses on how you translate values into actions. More specifically, how to act on one’s beliefs—to resist that which is wrong or unjust, and convince others “to stand for something you believe in, the good, the right thing to do” (Coles, Lives of Moral Leadership, p. xxi). This objective will be served in the Community-Based Learning (CBL) project in this course.

This is a community-based learning (CBL) course conducted in Spanish that focuses on the dynamic interaction between language, society and identity among the Latinx communities in the U.S. This 4-credit course requires 20+ hours of community-based work with a local, community-based partner organization in addition to preparation for and attendance to two weekly class sessions. Community work contributes to course credit with the Registrar’s Office, but students will schedule their own time with their partner organizations, according to their needs. Topics include: migration, labor and U.S. national identity; access to education; bilingualism, language ideologies, language contact and language shift in the United States.

Spanish Sociolinguistics: Race, Nation and Language is a Community-Based Learning (CBL) course conducted in Spanish that focuses on the dynamic interaction between language, power and identity in the Spanish-speaking world. Language, at the intersection of power and identity, is never neutral and is central to our understanding of the concepts of race/ethnicity and nation. Using the lens of critical sociolinguistics and critical discourse studies, we will examine the social construction of Race, Nation and Language through the processes of capitalism, colonialism, racialization, and nation-building. We will study and contrast these processes in different speech communities in Latin America, the USA, Spain, and through the less well- known cases of Spanish-speaking communities in the Philippines and Africa, Judeo-Spanish or Ladino, and creole languages such as Palenquero. In each context, we will pay special attention to the way race/ethnicity, class and gender are used as tools in the unequal distribution of power, status and material goods, and how they are coded into language ideologies, linguistic usages and practices, and language prestige and stigma. We will analyze both the re/production of racism and other oppressive systems of power and the transformation of racial, ethnic, and linguistic phenomena and ideas. The learning goal of critical sociolinguistics is social change for the common good. Topics covered include, among others: social justice and the intersections of language and race, ethnicity, gender, empire, colonialism, and migration; language and identity (individual, group, and national identities); language ideologies and how they shape language and education policies and planning; multi/bilingualism; language contact and language shift; endangered languages and language death. Materials for class discussion are very diverse and include academic articles or chapters, documentary films, legal texts, popular culture products, press articles, internet blogs/vlogs, social networks posts, marketing and advertisements, and more. This 4-credit course has an additional community-engaged learning component, performed outside the classroom, working with organizations that focus on underserved and indigenous communities in Guatemala: Project Olas – a social impact language exchange program with women from Zona 3 in Guatemala City, and Guatemala Solidarity Project – an association of activists fighting for human and Earth rights from indigenous communities in Guatemala and the US. Course readings and other materials will delve into Guatemala as a case study to contextualize students’ community work.

How do we become courageous but not reckless? Maintain hope in a world full of despair? Discover how discourse, habits and Christian virtues sustain courage, hope, and justice in its religious, psychological and social dimensions. We will explore physical, moral, and spiritual courage, hope, and justice through the lives of individuals, such as Colin Kaepernick, and communities, such as the protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will look at how courage and hope manifest in everyday life—in addiction, in financial stress, playgrounds, and in the context of a warming planet. While there is an emphasis on Christian ethics, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course is a Community Based Learning course. Student volunteer over the course of the semester with local community organizations as part of regular course work. Partnering opportunities include working with after school programming, people experiencing homelessness, or through existing CSJ programs. Bus/metro costs are covered. Questions? Please email Kerry.Danner@georgetown.edu

UNXD 130 CBL: Social Action is a 1-credit, community-based, experiential course offered through Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service (CSJ): csj.georgetown.edu. UNXD 130 students integrate their academic studies with direct or indirect community engagement work of their choice in Washington, DC. Community work must enhance and deepen the classroom learning of a 3-credit course in which the student is currently enrolled. While most of the learning takes place in the community, UNXD 130 participants meet four times for reflective dialogue sessions, read pertinent scholarly work on critical social activism, compose three reflective activities and contribute to discussion board reflections over the course of the semester. Participation in UNXD 130 requires the completion of an interest form in which students explain the connection between coursework and community-based work. For more information and to complete this interest form, visit http://csj.georgetown.edu/unxd130. This course was previously known as the 4th Credit Option for Social Action, when it was “added” to a 3 credit course. It now stands alone, an is taken as a “pass/fail” type of course. https://csj.georgetown.edu/unxd1130 (new window)

Spring 2024 Theories & Theologies Courses

Material goods surround us; they are necessary for our well-being and express identity and status. In today’s global economic market, we are all entangled in webs of consumption, production, and the disposal of goods that often harm the environment and others. How do we ethically navigate this shifting terrain when the environment and human person are increasingly subject to commodification? In this course we seek to understand inequality and identity in consumer culture, particularly in light of Christian economic ethics. Practices of religious and secular resistance will be covered and special attention will be given to how both religion and dissent are also commodified. While there is an emphasis on Christian theology, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course has been previously offered as JUPS380: Justice and Consumer Culture. Content may be reshaped based on economic and social realities come fall.

The work of Mahatma Gandhi has influenced the struggle for civil rights, the elimination of apartheid, the struggle for freedom in Tibet and Burma and so forth. Peaceful or non-violent resistance has received most of the attention as ways of fighting injustice without resorting to violent action. However, the message of Gandhi himself was far more radical philosophically and more challenging from a spiritual or psychological perspective. “Soul Force” demands a great deal more than non-violence. It is rooted in ancient Indian philosophy and calls for new ways of thinking and a vigorous program of changing inner habits. For example, Gandhi was not content with resistance to injustice: he insisted on actually loving the men and women who commit injustice. This course will examine the Hindu philosophical and theological sources of Gandhi’s radical monism (Upanishads, Shankara, Yoga Sutras, Kabir) along with the works of Gandhi himself. We shall identify equivalent western documents (New Testament, Tolstoy, Buber) that may be put into a conversation with the Hindu material. Using these and contemporary secondary sources (including Martin Luther King Jr. and the Dalai Lama), students will put together a program for resolving a specific contemporary conflict in a manner that implements Gandhian thought, that is, that are far more radical than merely non-violent resistance.

Using case studies, this class examines contemporary organizations with religious mandates and a Pan-African ethos working to address common systemic issues faced by black people the world over such as hunger, poverty, and access to education. For example, the Pan-African Women’s Ecumenical Empowerment Network (PAWEEN) was established in 2015 and is a part of the World Council of Church’s Programme on Ecumenical Theological Education (ETE). PAWEEN sits at the intersection of classical formal theological education and advocacy work, and focuses on agency, identity, and advocacy in its approach versus charity. Its objective is to promote experience-based, historically conscious, holistic, innovative, and transformative theological education in all parts of the world, including the United States, from the Pan-African perspective. This class is important because understanding the work of organizations like PAWEEN is necessary as the majority of Christians are no longer located in the “global North.” The class is useful to students who desire an introduction to African diasporic studies and African diasporic religion. The class would also be of interest to students who want to better understand the role that global governments have in transforming injustices and promoting systemic structural change critical to obtaining sustainable just communities.

Religion has played a crucial role in shaping American discourses on social justice related to gender, race, and class. Religion is used to advocate for human equality and dignity, but it has also been used to justify oppressive structures, including the institutionalization of enslavement. This class examines the religious narratives, tropes, and themes that continue to animate the American imagination, appearing in political debates, popular culture, and storytelling. Our analysis will focus primarily on the foundational stories from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, such as the Creation Story, the Immaculate Conception, and the Exodus account. We will also consider primary sources from Hinduism and Buddhism, which have similarly shaped the contours of American popular culture. Students will bring these primary sources into conversation with American writers across history, grappling with the ethical issues presented by these stories or by the ways in which they are employed. We will engage with works from religious studies scholars, theologians, popular writers, and activists, who draw on an array of social justice lenses, such as feminist, womanist, and disability studies

This course will explore ethical approaches and critical ethical issues related to nonviolence and just peace. We will orient our exploration with theological contributions as we also draw from other disciplines. We will address various dimensions of human experience, such as interpersonal, communal, international, and global. Core ethical issues will include conflict transformation, nonviolent communication, unarmed civilian protection, nonviolent resistance, nonviolent civilian-based defense, restorative justice, sustainable peace, self-defense, policing, responsibility to protect, militarism and war, and environmental justice and integral ecology.

This course will involve an examination of the growing role of religion in international affairs and of ethical approaches to international politics. Topics to be covered include: Religion as a source of conflict, justice, and peace; debates about political realism vs. moral idealism; and religious and ethical contributions to the protection of human rights, the use of force, post-conflict reconciliation, global economic justice.

How do we become courageous but not reckless? Maintain hope in a world full of despair? Discover how discourse, habits and Christian virtues sustain courage, hope, and justice in its religious, psychological and social dimensions. We will explore physical, moral, and spiritual courage, hope, and justice through the lives of individuals, such as Colin Kaepernick, and communities, such as the protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will look at how courage and hope manifest in everyday life—in addiction, in financial stress, playgrounds, and in the context of a warming planet. While there is an emphasis on Christian ethics, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course is a Community Based Learning course. Student volunteer over the course of the semester with local community organizations as part of regular course work. Partnering opportunities include working with after school programming, people experiencing homelessness, or through existing CSJ programs. Bus/metro costs are covered. Questions? Please email Kerry.Danner@georgetown.edu

Fall 2023 Core Electives

This course explores the role of religion in both fueling conflict and in fostering peace and justice. The rise of extremism and interreligious violence in many places has brought growing attention and concern to the role of religion in promoting conflict. Yet across contexts, religious actors also play critical roles as peacebuilders, including as mediators and negotiators, peace educators, social justice advocates, and in supporting the healing and reconciliation of their communities. For many people in conflict, their religious and spiritual beliefs serve to strengthen their resilience, capacity for forgiveness, and their motivation for peace and justice. By studying this paradox of religion and the dynamic roles of religious identity, ideology, values and faith, students in this course strengthen their analysis of conflict and understanding of how to encourage more effective peacebuilding. Drawing on a diversity of recent and current cases across contexts and religions, this course looks at the peacebuilding approaches of different religious actors, including traditional institutions, interfaith networks, and religious individuals as both official and lay leaders. Particular attention will be paid to gender-inclusive religious peacebuilding as well as inter- and intra-faith approaches to transforming cultures of violence.

This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of post-conflict justice and reconciliation models including truth commissions, war crimes tribunals, reparations, and related responses to genocide, crimes against humanity, and other mass atrocities. To debate how to adequately deal with the past in newly democratizing countries, exploring the relative benefits of “forgetting” or “remembering” gross violations of human rights. Students will gain an understanding of the constraints on legal theory and practice in the context of the creation of a culture of human rights in post-conflict countries.

Full title Utopia and Dystopia: Peace and Justice in Literature and Film Dystopias portray an imagined society dominated by oppressive power, negative social and political control. This course addresses peace and justice with the reforming agenda of dystopian literature and film—specifically texts that highlight issues related to injustice. The dystopian texts that we will examine raise awareness about racism, income inequality, war crimes and war-mongering, misuse of A1s and drones, surveillance, disease and epidemic, environmental destruction, and the Anthropocene. We will read fiction and watch films that deal with conflict, real-world problems, and crises, couched in imaginative unrealities that point the way to urgent threats and potential solutions.

Fall 2023 One-Credit Modules

This course gives students a foundational understanding of the field of community organizing, as well as local knowledge around the issues and challenges of movements for social justice in D.C. and other U.S. cities. Students will be able to learn about prominent theories, current trends in organizing and gain hands on experience by meeting with local organizers and practicing critical skills for organizing. During the 2 day course, students will articulate the skills, vision and values of community organizing and describe the main contemporary tensions within organizing.

Full title: Immigrant Communities in DC: Digital Story Making Using a lens of social justice, students will learn about immigrant communities in DC and about the myriad of organizations that advocate for them. Students will learn about historical and contemporary immigration in DC, social justice issues in the past and present, and the many organizations that advocate for immigrants. Students will select an organization and create a digital story about what the organization does to promote social justice for immigrants in DC.

The objective is to equip students with the skill of compassionate communication, which clarifies feelings and makes concrete requests based on needs. Students will draw from their experience and learn basic theories of nonviolent communication. They will role-play various situations to practice this skill, as they also test, refine, and even develop theory. Students will track and assess their use of nonviolent communication in a personal conflict.

Restorative Justice is a community-based philosophy and approach to preventing and responding to harm with roots in indigenous traditions. It involves facilitated group processes that emphasize accountability through shared understanding and repairing the harm done. It has been used successfully in many contexts, including school and juvenile justice systems. This course is intended to introduce participants to the restorative justice movement, as well as to support participants in learning and integrating key concepts, tools, and skills related to restorative justice through an experiential, interactive, and self-reflective approach. Participants will be asked to think about the role of Restorative Justice in the modern US social context, as well as in their own personal lives.

When two or more individuals or groups are in conflict, the role of a mediator can be critical in restoring trust, rebuilding relationships, and reaching mutually-satisfying agreements. Mediation happens in international conflicts, peace processes, community centers, pre-court settings, government and labor disputes, schools, human resources departments and ombudsman offices, as well as in less formal ways dealing with family and interpersonal conflicts. Whether aiming for a career in mediation or peacebuilding – or simply wishing to enhance their personal and professional lives – students in this weekend intensive will receive basic concepts, skills, and hands-on practices of mediating conflicts. Both insider-multi-partial and outsider-impartial models, as well as notions of empathy, equity, power dynamics, trauma and the nervous system, and religion and spirituality, may be considered.

Fall 2023 JUPS Cross-Listed Courses

This course looks at mass movements & mass incarceration in tandem, exploring their many contestations, confrontations, and connections. Rather than framing mass movements strictly as responses to the U.S. police State, we will consider how groups that were deemed “ungovernable” from the perspective of the State became widely criminalized through pro-white patriarchal tropes produced and perpetuated by people with economic and political power. From this perspective, widespread imprisonment appears to be the engine, and not simply the response, of the U.S. police State. Course materials are organized such that, over the duration of the semester, we will read theories, histories, ethnographies, and journalistic endeavors alongside music, television shows, and documentaries with an aim toward crafting practical tools for understanding formations of collective life and for fighting against technologies of power and punishment in U.S. society today.

Realizing the American promise of equal access for all children to high quality education has been an ongoing struggle, even as the definitions of equal and everyone have broadened and shifted over time. Advocacy, defined here as “organized efforts and actions based on the reality of what is and a vision of what should be,” has long played a central role in the evolution of equitable, universal education. In this course students will examine historical trends and pertinent theoretical frameworks to explore ways that educational advocacy organizations have defined what is and worked to advance their respective goals for what should be regarding educational equity. A major component of this course involves students engaging in field-based learning as partners with a non-profit community group, organization, or institution that advocates for educational equity. Through work with their advocacy partners, students will have the opportunity to conduct in-depth research and complete a project on a specific topic as they work to advance their host organization’s efforts. In-class learning experiences for this course include professor and student-facilitated discussion, lecture, multi-media presentations, and guest speakers.

Priority given to EDIJ students. As the gateway course for the Program in Education, Inquiry, and Justice (EDIJ), EDIJ 241 Seminar in Urban Education (CBL) is a general introduction to education in urban schools. This course will use articles, books, discussions, podcasts, and videos to pry open the processes of education and explore the systemic, interrelated nature of learning and teaching in schools. As a 3-credit community-based learning (CBL) learning course, students in EDIJ 241 volunteer at a pre-selected DC public school a minimum of 20 volunteer hours (minimum 2 hours a week for 10 weeks evenly distributed across the semester) during the school day (typically 8:30am -3:30pm). The focal question that guides this course is: In what ways do schools reproduce or interrupt inequity in urban communities?

Priority given to EDIJ students. As the gateway course for the Program in Education, Inquiry, and Justice (EDIJ), EDIJ 241 Seminar in Urban Education (CBL) is a general introduction to education in urban schools. This course will use articles, books, discussions, podcasts, and videos to pry open the processes of education and explore the systemic, interrelated nature of learning and teaching in schools. As a 3-credit community-based learning (CBL) learning course, students in EDIJ 241 volunteer at a pre-selected DC public school a minimum of 20 volunteer hours (minimum 2 hours a week for 10 weeks evenly distributed across the semester) during the school day (typically 8:30am -3:30pm). The focal question that guides this course is: In what ways do schools reproduce or interrupt inequity in urban communities?

What’s it like to go to war? This course examines the experience of war through fiction, true accounts, documentary and Hollywood film. We examine how soldiers cope with the challenges of death and injury and the guilt of killing their enemies and often civilians. We discuss war tragedies and human rights abuses, including Mylai and Abu Ghraib. We consider how the experience of war may differ for women soldiers, LGBT +soldiers, and minorities. We will also see and hear war stories told by past enemies, those of German, Japanese, and Vietnamese soldiers. We consider the effects of war on the home front, including stories that address the impact of post traumatic stress disorder on veterans and their families. We discuss the drone operator’s perspective and speculate on the future of wars driven increasingly by technology. A wide gulf separates the myth of the heroic soldier who fought the “good war,” World War II from today’s more cynical, critical, and sophisticated film portrayals. Students will gain an appreciation of significant differences in how war narratives are constructed given the perspective and rhetorical agenda of authors and producers.

Law and Literature offers us the opportunity to consider the impact of law on those Othered by our society, to obtain an empathetic understanding of how law affects those who are most marginalized—the poor and powerless; racial minorities, prisoners; drug addicts, immigrants, and Native Americans. The readings range from canonical texts (Antigone, Merchant of Venice) to science fiction to Outsider fiction by prisoners and drug addicts. Many of the readings are by African American authors and are relevant to the Black Lives Matter Movement. We will also consider some outstanding film adaptations related to the assigned texts. The texts examined here invite us to consider important questions of public policy and criminal law, including civil disobedience, collateral damage in war, the insanity defense, domestic abuse, and the death penalty.

2.3 million Americans currently reside in jails and prisons, often under conditions of severe overcrowding, race-based segregation, and horrific physical and sexual violence. They are granted few (if any) educational opportunities or job training, in stark contrast to many European countries, which operate extensive rehabilitation programs that prepare inmates for their eventual release and reintegration into society. Yet even though prisoners and former prisoners (not to mention their family members) constitute a substantial portion of the American population, they are generally a powerless and forgotten group of people, with few rights or opportunities. Surprisingly, very little is known or taught about prisons and punishment—in the United States or elsewhere. This course will explore these issues in a comparative perspective. It will seek to answer the following questions: Why does the U.S. maintain an incarceration rate that is seven times higher than other democracies, even though Americans are no more likely to be the victims of crimes than are people in other societies? Why is the U.S. one of the few democratic countries to sanction the death penalty? In other words, why is the criminal justice system in this country so much more punitive than in comparable countries? This lecture course will also involve several different formats, including smaller group discussions of certain readings, the viewing of several excellent movies and documentaries that relate to prisons and punishment, and a class “field trip” to an actual prison. This course has been renumbered, effective Fall 2014. A student who earned credit for GOVT 361 Prisons and Punishment in a prior term should not enroll and cannot earn credit in this class.

The most powerful idea of the twentieth century—an idea that instantiates a watershed in international politics far more fundamental and transformative than the Treaty of Westphalia—is the following moral claim: All persons everywhere have basic and universal human rights; Thus, “we” (members of the human community) are obligated to find ways to within not only at the national, but also at the international level to devise guarantees for basic and universal human rights. Since World War II, the international community has instantiated the norm that an essential moral obligation of the society of states is to promote, protect, and extend Human Rights. Morally, this obligation to uphold human rights ought to trump, delimits, authorize and/or orient the exercise of so-called “state sovereignty.” The syllabus includes classic texts on human rights as well as contemporary literature on human rights in world politics. We study: key international human rights documents; content of rights claims; international strategies for human rights protection and advocacy, and implementation; and predictable challenges in international efforts to do so. In their presentations, students explore the ways various international actors work to support human rights, aid those whose rights have been violated, and shine the international spotlight on violators and their egregious acts.

Material goods surround us; they are necessary for our well-being and express identity and status. In today’s global economic market, we are all entangled in webs of consumption, production, and the disposal of goods that often harm the environment and others. How do we ethically navigate this shifting terrain when the environment and human person are increasingly subject to commodification? In this course we seek to understand inequality and identity in consumer culture, particularly in light of Christian economic ethics. Practices of religious and secular resistance will be covered and special attention will be given to how both religion and dissent are also commodified. While there is an emphasis on Christian theology, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course has been previously offered as JUPS380: Justice and Consumer Culture. Content may be reshaped based on economic and social realities come fall.

This course will examine intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking. We will examine theories about intimate partner violence, frequency and prevalence of rape, and social and cultural contributors to domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault on college campuses. We will also evaluate current systems and policies that exist to support survivors and hold perpetrators accountable. We will then discuss what we can do individually and collectively as a community to end gender violence.

This course explores how concepts of masculinity and femininity shape the U.S. legal system. We also examine other factors that influence how individuals view and encounter the law (race, religion, political outlook, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic status, etc.). Specific topics include the gender binary, sex discrimination in the workplace and educational institutions, intimate partner violence, reproductive justice, and marriage. Our academic focus is on legal analysis, public policy writing, and respectful dialogue about emotionally complex topics. There will be many opportunities to practice these skills during the semester. No prior legal knowledge is required. Please note: students who are on the waitlist must show up to the first class to be eligible for a spot in the class.

Anyone entering the thickets of argument relating to violence, gender, and human rights today has to contend with the range and variety of meanings that these concepts have accrued in current usage. While there is broad consensus that there does exist a contemporary crisis around global violence and the suspected gendered aspect of it, how the relationships between globalization and human rights violations, and between violence against women and redefinition of human rights, are to be interpreted, and what is to be done about it is matters of vigorous intellectual and political debate. This class aims to explore the gendered manifestations of violence in public and private spheres within the context of the more general relationship among globalization, development, and human/civil/citizen rights. We will pay attention to banal violence (that is, daily and “banal” violence in everyday life), spectacular violence at moments of crisis, and the type of violence that disrupts the boundary between the two. Special emphases will be given to the issues of racism, sexual exploitation, poverty, labor, health care, homophobia, militarism, and globalization. The readings will include _We Wish to Inform you That Tomorrow We will be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda_ by Philip Gourevitch, _A Problem from Hell_ by Samantha Powers, _Violence against Women_ by Stanley French et al., _Are Prisons Obsolete_ by Angela Davis, _The Sterilization of Carrie Buck_ by J. David Smith and K. Ray Nelson, and _Pathologies of Power: Health, Human rights, and the New War on the Poor_ by Paul Farmer. May also be taken as JUPS 260-01

Fall 2023 CBL Courses

Realizing the American promise of equal access for all children to high quality education has been an ongoing struggle, even as the definitions of equal and everyone have broadened and shifted over time. Advocacy, defined here as “organized efforts and actions based on the reality of what is and a vision of what should be,” has long played a central role in the evolution of equitable, universal education. In this course students will examine historical trends and pertinent theoretical frameworks to explore ways that educational advocacy organizations have defined what is and worked to advance their respective goals for what should be regarding educational equity. A major component of this course involves students engaging in field-based learning as partners with a non-profit community group, organization, or institution that advocates for educational equity. Through work with their advocacy partners, students will have the opportunity to conduct in-depth research and complete a project on a specific topic as they work to advance their host organization’s efforts. In-class learning experiences for this course include professor and student-facilitated discussion, lecture, multi-media presentations, and guest speakers.

Priority given to EDIJ students. As the gateway course for the Program in Education, Inquiry, and Justice (EDIJ), EDIJ 241 Seminar in Urban Education (CBL) is a general introduction to education in urban schools. This course will use articles, books, discussions, podcasts, and videos to pry open the processes of education and explore the systemic, interrelated nature of learning and teaching in schools. As a 3-credit community-based learning (CBL) learning course, students in EDIJ 241 volunteer at a pre-selected DC public school a minimum of 20 volunteer hours (minimum 2 hours a week for 10 weeks evenly distributed across the semester) during the school day (typically 8:30am -3:30pm). The focal question that guides this course is: In what ways do schools reproduce or interrupt inequity in urban communities?

This course involves getting to know and teaching reading and the language arts to a school aged child living in Golden Rule Apartments in Washington D.C. The teaching will be done either face-to-face, as we have done in the past, which involves travelling to Golden Rule twice weekly, or teaching virtually, as we did during the last academic year, 2020-2021, in which case we will avail ourselves of the Raz-kids reading program, so as to allow tutor and learner to address the same text from different locations. Traditionally, the course involves readings in pedagogy and literature, two tutorial sessions, a weekly seminar, a journal, a midterm and a final exam and a course paper.

This course focuses on community/public health nursing and the core public health functions, and is designed to examine practice with communities/populations. It provides an introduction to the specialty of public health nursing and public health sciences. Public health and nursing concepts provide the framework for the study and care of communities/populations with an emphasis on health promotion, protection, and disease prevention in communities and populations.

This is a community-based learning (CBL) course conducted in Spanish that focuses on the dynamic interaction between language, society and identity among the Latinx communities in the U.S. This 4-credit course requires 20+ hours of community-based work with a local, community-based partner organization in addition to preparation for and attendance to two weekly class sessions. Community work contributes to course credit with the Registrar’s Office, but students will schedule their own time with their partner organizations, according to their needs. Topics include: migration, labor and U.S. national identity; access to education; bilingualism, language ideologies, language contact and language shift in the United States.

UNXD 130 CBL: Social Action is a 1-credit, community-based, experiential course offered through Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service (CSJ): csj.georgetown.edu. UNXD 130 students integrate their academic studies with direct or indirect community engagement work of their choice in Washington, DC. Community work must enhance and deepen the classroom learning of a 3-credit course in which the student is currently enrolled. While most of the learning takes place in the community, UNXD 130 participants meet four times for reflective dialogue sessions, read pertinent scholarly work on critical social activism, compose three reflective activities and contribute to discussion board reflections over the course of the semester. Participation in UNXD 130 requires the completion of an interest form in which students explain the connection between coursework and community-based work. For more information and to complete this interest form, visit http://csj.georgetown.edu/unxd130. This course was previously known as the 4th Credit Option for Social Action, when it was “added” to a 3 credit course. It now stands alone, an is taken as a “pass/fail” type of course.

Fall 2023 Theories & Theologies Courses

In 2010, HarperCollins published The Green Bible, which claims to help readers “understand the Bible’s powerful message for the earth.” What precisely is the Bible’s “message for the earth”? Does the Bible even contain one unified message about the relationship between God, human beings, and the natural world? For many, the question of “what the Bible says” about the environment has become urgent in the midst of the intersecting environmental crises of our day, from global warming to the sixth mass extinction. And yet, there does not seem to be an easy answer to this question; the Bible has been used both to support ethics of conservation and to justify exploitation of the earth’s resources. In this course, we will analyze key passages employed in contemporary discourse about the Bible and the environment from a historical-critical perspective. At the same time, we will investigate how these texts are being invoked today in support of various agendas. Along the way, we will discover and interrogate the profound influence of biblical cosmologies, anthropologies, and eschatologies in shaping attitudes towards the earth and its nonhuman inhabitants. No prior knowledge of biblical literature is expected.

This half-semester module will examine Christian environmental ethics. Some topics we will cover are: Christian theological interpretations of creation/nature (including how/why nature is valued in a Christian perspective), methodological approaches to environmental ethics, and the interplay between environmental ethics narrowly understood and other ethical topics (e.g., climate change and its impact on the poor). We will use the recent encyclical by Pope Francis on the environment (Laudato Si ,“On Care for Our Common Home”) to frame some of these questions.

We are in the Anthropocene and humans have irrevocably wrecked the natural planetary balance. How do the different religions of the world face today’s ecological crisis? Environmental activism today is truly global and involves countless people in organizing efforts that are aimed at improving the health of the planet and assuring a safe environment for future generations. Environmental protection has been for decades an issue of science, global politics and international economics, but some voices speaking to the issue remind us that motivation for such activism can spring from deep moral concerns and religious sensibilities. Religious involvement in climate change is not new and is merely the latest manifestation of the intertwining of faith and nature. Religious thought has long attended to the natural world and the environment, whether in the Western Abrahamic traditions affirming the earth as a glorious product of God’s creative activity or in Indigenous and Asian religions that emphasize the interconnectedness of human beings and nature. Even while religion may not seem to be as relevant to the modern world as it once was, we need to consider that religions have been profoundly influential in shaping worldviews (beliefs, perspectives, values, understandings of the world and our place in it). This course will begin with an overview of religious thought and its relationship to nature in Christianity, Indigenous traditions and Asian religions before we look at more recent historical events and political actions. Combining environmental premises and comparative philosophy of religion, this course attempts to provide an answer to the importance of religion in our current ecological emergency.

Pope Francis, Catholic Social Thought and U.S. Public Life: Principles, Policies, and Politics is a seminar of less than 20 students that will analyze the principal themes of Catholic social thought in the context of Pope Francis’ leadership and priorities. The seminar will introduce these themes and then explore their application to key issues in American public life such as poverty and economic justice, human life and dignity, migration, religious freedom, war and peace, and environmental issues. We’ll also examine the role of faith in U.S. political life. The seminar will center around discussion among participants, and will be based on readings and other materials that can help us understand the influence of Catholic social thought and Pope Francis on U.S. public life. The seminar is taught by Kim Daniels, the Director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life.

Material goods surround us; they are necessary for our well-being and express identity and status. In today’s global economic market, we are all entangled in webs of consumption, production, and the disposal of goods that often harm the environment and others. How do we ethically navigate this shifting terrain when the environment and human person are increasingly subject to commodification? In this course we seek to understand inequality and identity in consumer culture, particularly in light of Christian economic ethics. Practices of religious and secular resistance will be covered and special attention will be given to how both religion and dissent are also commodified. While there is an emphasis on Christian theology, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course has been previously offered as JUPS380: Justice and Consumer Culture. Content may be reshaped based on economic and social realities come fall.

The course will explore philosophical and Christian perspectives on justice, with a particular focus on the Catholic social ethics tradition.

The unprecedented assault on the common goods of land, air, sea, and biological diversity endangers the shared ecological home of the community of life on earth and poses new challenges to the practice of religion and politics. This course will examine contemporary interpretations of religion and politics in relation to the ecological crisis threatening the common good of all creatures on earth. The course will begin with Sallie King’s presentation of the principles of Socially Engaged Buddhism for addressing the issues of philosophy and ethics, spirituality, war and peace, economics, ecology, human rights and criminal justice, and challenging tradition. We will study Daniel Scheid’s reflection on the cosmic common good as understood in Catholic social teaching in dialogue with Hindu, Buddhist, and American Indian traditions. We will explore how John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker analyze the transformed role of religion today in relation to ecological threats to the common good and their confidence in the resources of Christianity, Confucianism, Indigenous Traditions, and Hinduism to work together to respond to this situation. We will examine resources for shaping ecological and political solidarities in the aftermath of the history of colonialism in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and efforts to cultivate deep listening and shape appropriate identities.

This course will involve an examination of the growing role of religion in international affairs and of ethical approaches to international politics. Topics to be covered include: Religion as a source of conflict, justice, and peace; debates about political realism vs. moral idealism; and religious and ethical contributions to the protection of human rights, the use of force, post-conflict reconciliation, global economic justice.

In an age of rampant bloodshed, pollution, economic inequality, and human rights violations, how can we even begin to see the fullness of these problems clearly let alone move towards effective solutions for them? What resources are there within the Christian tradition to help us reorient our own perspectives and practices towards solidarity, attentiveness, equity, and justice? Liberation theology “is a theology done through the eyes of the poor” and it “originates in an epistemological presupposition that Christ has a particular identification with those who are marginalized – that is with those who are excluded” to quote Roberto Gozuieta. Therefore, in order to fully see Christ and understand his work and teachings of justice and mercy, the theologian must see and be in solidarity with the marginalized. This course will first examine the robust concept of the poor as presented in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. It will then go on to examine foundational works in liberation theology as well as apply those works to ethical dilemmas and problems of injustice someone living in contemporary American society must face. This class is primarily discussion-based, which means we will work through the texts and specific ethical cases together dialectically. Students will be asked to prepare discussion questions for each class.

Beginning with a close reading of the Black Christian theologian James Cone’s classic text, God of the Oppressed, this seminar also engages other major 20th and 21st century works of theology and religious theory that have arisen from the undersides of history. It considers how diverse experiences of oppression related to race, gender, class, and coloniality shape critical discourses about God and spiritual practices of resistance.

Spring 2023 Core Electives

This course will examine historical and contemporary international, US, Palestinian, and Israeli efforts to resolve the conflicting issues between the Palestinian national movement and the Zionist movement/Israel over the past century. This course also will delve into the policies established and legislation enacted by the United States in relation to Israel and the Palestinian people to explore whether they have helped or hindered these efforts.

We use the terms human rights and justice every day, but what exactly do they mean? What are our human rights? What happens when they are violated? What do we mean when we ask for justice? Furthermore, what happens when our notions of justice clash with core concepts of fundamental human rights? This course will consist of a combination of theoretical and hands-on clinical explorations of domestic and international justice systems and international human rights standards, with the goal of better understanding the interplay between these two intertwined, but often divergent, concepts. Included in the course will be meetings with victims of crime, as well as conversations with justice system professionals, human rights lawyers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and law enforcement. The course will include a visit to D.C. Superior Court to view a criminal trial and culminates in a mock trial where students will search for the proper balance between human rights and justice.

This course examines the expression of resistance, dissent, and protest in American literature. A primary goal of protest literature is to convey the impact of oppressive social and legal policies in hopes of prompting reform. This course will consider protest literature from the perspective of multiple marginalized or “outsider” communities, including Native Americans, minorities, veterans, immigrants, individuals with disabilities, drug addicts and prisoners. Outsider narratives create empathy and offer a vicarious experience of the impact of social and legal policies; by drawing attention to injustice, the author hopes to prompt change. Second, we will consider protest literature that concerns itself with gender, environment, and health care—challenges that affect majority as well as minority populations. Protest literature typically conveys private pain and outrage; we will see how effective protest literature seeks to awaken a broader audience to the need for change. Where relevant we will also compare our readings to film portrayals to see how fiction and film work together to communicate protest.

Although reports on youth and development often focus on youth involvement and motivations for violence, engagement among youth in proactive peacebuilding is increasingly a reality at the local, national, and regional levels. Such peacebuilding is often initiated by youth themselves, and is supported by local, national and international development and other organizations. This course will explore: evidence-based factors associated with youth engagement in peacebuilding; the wide range of peacebuilding activities and their demonstrated outcomes; and the roles that public and private sector organizations play in supporting and/or presenting barriers to youth engagement in peacebuilding. The course will entail interactive lectures by both youth who have been engaged in peacebuilding and others who have collaborated with youth on their peacebuilding activities and virtual participation in an international conference regarding youth and peacebuilding. Students will write two brief discussion papers; prepare a critical review of a published report on youth engagement in peacebuilding; and design a community-based project for youth engagement in peacebuilding. 

This course examines the process of decolonization of peace and Justice. It considers what it means to decenter or dismantle and challenge the superiority of Eurocentric/ Western thoughts, frameworks, power and approaches, as well as how to bring into the center the worldviews, narratives and practices of those who have been marginalized or silenced. Students will learn the impact of colonization of peace and justice in communities in conflict, in order to support practices in developing meaningful, effective, and sustainable pathways for building inclusive communities and transformative possibilities in peacebuilding.

Spring 2023 One-Credit Modules

History has shown that stories are inextricably linked to what it means to be human. Before there was formal communication, there were stories–on cave paintings, within ancient temples, and passed down verbally from every culture and generation our world has known. It should come as no surprise, then, that individuals, groups, and organizations looking to advance justice and peace should utilize storytelling as a key tool to drive influence and social action. This course will teach students how to create–and then practice telling–strategic stories that spark action in order to advance the issues they care about most. Upon course completion, students will have created a working portfolio of the key stories every change leader must know how to deliver while also reflecting upon topics like the ethics of storytelling, how storytelling will evolve in the future, and which story archetypes frame their own thinking.

This course aims to help students understand the importance of mental health advocacy from a social justice pedagogy. Mental health advocacy challenges practices that perpetuate stigma and discrimination. Students will analyze mental health stigma associated with cultural and systemic barriers that limit social inclusion, access, and healing. This course will equip students with the tools necessary to champion for mental health positive policy, structures, and resources.

It is estimated one in seven–or 100,000 and counting–of our DC neighbors are immigrants. In this course, students will explore the history of immigration in DC, learn about the various agencies and nonprofits who advocate for immigrants, and the ways in which immigrants are an integral part of D.C.’s economies and communities. Students will create and share a digital story that helps deepen our understanding about a particular aspect of DC immigration and immigrants’ lived experience. 

Restorative Justice is a community-based philosophy and approach to preventing and responding to harm with roots in indigenous traditions. It involves facilitated group processes that emphasize accountability through shared understanding and repairing the harm done. It has been used successfully in many contexts, including school and juvenile justice systems. This course is intended to introduce participants to the restorative justice movement, as well as to support participants in learning and integrating key concepts, tools, and skills related to restorative justice through an experiential, interactive, and self-reflective approach. Participants will be asked to think about the role of Restorative Justice in the modern US social context, as well as in their own personal lives.

Spring 2023 JUPS Cross-Listed Courses

Applications Due on July 31 for Spring 2020 “Making an Exoneree” Course (to be filmed for a multi-episode series to air on a major network) We are now accepting applications for the Spring 2020 GOVX 400 (Prison Reform Project) course, informally known as “Making an Exoneree.” The main enrollment process will take place much earlier this year, since the course will be fully covered by a professional film crew for a multi-episode documentary series that will air on a major network. This 5-credit course is intended for a small number of passionate and highly-motivated students. The class will not have readings, papers, or exams. Instead, students will spend an intensive semester as investigative journalists, documentarians, and social justice activists, with the goal of creating a public documentary (in addition to a website and social media campaign) that makes the case for the innocence of a wrongfully convicted person who is currently languishing in prison. Students will leave campus regularly and travel to visit their “client” (all travel expenses will be covered), as they reinvestigate the crime and conviction. Their task will be to portray the main issues, challenges, injustices, and human stories involved in each case. The course is co-taught by Professor Marc Howard and his childhood friend, Adjunct Professor Marty Tankleff, who was himself wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for almost 18 years before being exonerated. Previous versions of the course have resulted in the exoneration and release of Valentino Dixon, while also providing significant progress in the legal prospects of several other potential exonerees. The class is scheduled for Fridays 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Although we will not always meet as a full group each week for that full block of time, students must keep their Fridays open, free from other classes or regular commitments. Students will be meeting and working together within smaller groups, and consulting with the professors, on a regular basis throughout the semester. The output for the course—which will be prepared by five groups of students working closely together in teams of three—will include the production of short documentaries that are humanizing portraits of the lives, families, and complicated legal cases of five people who were likely wrongfully convicted. At the end of the semester, the students will present their final documentaries at a larger public event hosted by the Prisons and Justice Initiative. Throughout the semester, the production company will cover the efforts and activities of the Georgetown students as they investigate their cases. The show will track the students on their personal journeys as they experience the emotional ups and downs of pursuing truth and justice. The course will be restricted to a maximum of 15 Georgetown students. Priority will be given to those students who have a strong academic or practical background in this area, along with a passion for the issue of wrongful convictions and criminal justice reform. Having a background in investigative journalism and/or video production is a bonus, but not a requirement. The enrollment process for this course will take place this summer (with a secondary process in the late fall). Interested students should submit an application to Professor Howard at mmh@georgetown.edu by Monday, August 5 at 5pm, with the subject line “GOVX 400 application.” Your application should consist of a brief cover letter, a resume, an unofficial transcript, and a 3-minute webcam video (submitted as a link to a video on Google Drive) in which you explain why you want to take the course and what you have to offer, while also providing any background information that may be relevant or helpful. Please note that by submitting an application, you consent for us to share your application with the television production company (though we will not share your transcript or any other information that you ask us to keep private).

In consequence of its Catholic and Jesuit heritage and purpose, Georgetown University is committed to assisting students in exploring and probing the ethical dimensions and consequences of every field of human endeavor and scholarship. For those studying and preparing to work in the field of international relations, the ethical challenges are great, given phenomena like: genocide; terrorist attacks on non-combatants; state–sponsored brutalization of poor and/or powerless populations; famine; refugee and migrant outflows, and environmental degradation. Moreover, states continue to arm themselves with weapons of mass destruction capable of destroying the human community and the planet and “small arms”—ranging from machetes to anti-personnel landmines—capable of wreaking widespread harm. The purpose of “GOVT 420: Ethical Issues in International Relations” is to investigate three questions in world politics: To what extent are states (and their leaders) obligated to act in accord with moral principles in their relations with other states? What is the chief content of these obligations—as these constrain a state’s external and internal sovereignty—and what are the limits of obligation? What ethical frameworks have theorists and practitioners of world politics developed over the centuries that may assist students of international relations in developing a coherent perspective on the question of moral obligations between and among states? This course has been renumbered, effective Fall 2014. A student who earned credit for GOVT 420 Ethical Iss Intrnl Reltns in a prior term should not enroll and cannot earn credit in this class.

This course has three complementary parts. Students begin with an overview of the U.S. justice system. We pay special attention to the last 35 years and the impact of the War on Drugs on society, especially mass incarceration. This is followed by a section focusing on “Hot Topics” in the law. Students will read and brief landmark Supreme Court cases on such topics as, same sex marriage, gun ownership, climate change, campaign finance, and the criminalization of poverty. Students, in small groups, choose one topic they will be an expert in and create an informative website and accompanying short video informing fellow Millennials why they need to know about it and what they can do about it. Finally, students have the opportunity to make it real through mock trials. Playing the roles of attorneys and witnesses, students learn the mechanics of a trial and create legal strategies to best represent their clients. It all comes together when students enact the trials in courtrooms at Georgetown Law with legal professionals serving as judges.

This introductory course offers a highly participatory laboratory for individual and group/ ensemble exploration of socially engaged, improvisational performance. Throughout the semester, we will explore how a wide variety of artists and cultural workers have advanced and are continuing to advance social change, civic engagement, and community-based dialogue. Students will be asked to examine their own values and convictions and will develop skills and tools to put them into practice through embodied performative interventions into the social world. By focusing our attention on students’ own life experiences and the issues in our own local/ campus, regional, national, and global communities (local/ campus, national, and global) that each student cares about most deeply, students will draw connections between the intimate personal register of their own creative selves, and their active participation in the communities they occupy. Case studies and performance activities will focus not only on the content but also on the form and the context of diverse creative processes. Class exercises and assignments will emphasize experiential learning as we both participate in guided improvisational workshops and develop skills in creating and facilitating our own original performance workshops, and ultimately a final ensemble creation as a class. Reading will draw on Brecht, Boal and Jan Cohen-Cruz, among others. Students wishing to pursue a fourth credit CBL experience may do so by coordinating at semester’s start with the professor and CSJ (via Amanda Munroe

This course explores creative approaches to the theatrical adaptation and embodiment of historical LGBTQ+ materials. Students are invited to serve as artist-investigators who research, adapt, and perform in short theatre works born verbatim from the oral histories and archival documents of LGBTQ+ activists, change-makers, and allies. Interview transcripts, letters, video recordings, newspaper coverage, diaries, and more will serve as creative material for short performances seeking to give voice to the many who have fought for queer justice at Georgetown, in the United States, and around the world. Students will engage with a range of core dramatic texts and primary source materials, harnessing the documentary theatre model (also called verbatim theatre, docudrama, ethnodrama) to illuminate our intersectional humanities in innovative and imaginative ways. Primary assignments include student-led creative research projects, live interviews and transcriptions, monologue-making, core text analysis, and self-reflection posts. Students will work solo, in pairs, and in small groups to produce work throughout the semester. Students are expected to attend plays, talks, and other events as relevant to the core curriculum. This course culminates in a sharing of works created over the course of the semester. Suitable for students with considerable performance experience and for beginners.

Material goods surround us; they are necessary for our well-being and express identity and status. In today’s global economic market, we are all entangled in webs of consumption, production, and the disposal of goods that often harm the environment and others. How do we ethically navigate this shifting terrain when the environment and human person are increasingly subject to commodification? In this course we seek to understand inequality and identity in consumer culture, particularly in light of Christian economic ethics. Practices of religious and secular resistance will be covered and special attention will be given to how both religion and dissent are also commodified. While there is an emphasis on Christian theology, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course has been previously offered as JUPS380: Justice and Consumer Culture. Content may be reshaped based on economic and social realities come fall.

How do we become courageous but not reckless? Maintain hope in a world full of despair? Discover how discourse, habits and Christian virtues sustain courage, hope, and justice in its religious, psychological and social dimensions. We will explore physical, moral, and spiritual courage, hope, and justice through the lives of individuals, such as Colin Kaepernick, and communities, such as the protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will look at how courage and hope manifest in everyday life—in addiction, in financial stress, playgrounds, and in the context of a warming planet. While there is an emphasis on Christian ethics, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course is a Community Based Learning course. Student volunteer over the course of the semester with local community organizations as part of regular course work. Partnering opportunities include working with after school programming, people experiencing homelessness, or through existing CSJ programs.

This course provides an introduction to the body of knowledge that has come to be known as feminist theory. Throughout the course we will consider a wide range of feminist thought, focusing particularly on theory in action – that is, how theory becomes, how it influences and creates, and how it can both dismantle and (re)build. To do so, we will pay close attention to the spaces in and through which theories are articulated, as well as the ways in which theories themselves can construct and transform space. Through a range of feminist writing on such intersecting topics as gender, race, colonialism, capitalism, globalization, and emotion we will learn how theory can give us insight into the mechanisms of belonging, marginalization, and socio-material change. The course will culminate in a rigorously curated final project that interprets feminist theories into feminist practice aimed at affecting positive change in the Georgetown community.

Spring 2023 CBL Courses

How are ways of life changing on a rapidly heating planet? Drought, extreme heat, and wildfires are transforming food systems, exposing communities to toxins, and forcing people to migrate. This course highlights indigenous land management, the class and racial implications of “climate adaptation,” and the ever-increasing exploitation of the most vulnerable workers — including “disaster workers,” those who clean up after devastating floods and fires. As a community-based research course, students will have a chance to roll up their sleeves and work alongside climate activists.

Educating the Whole Child is an intensive, experiential* CBL course. This course will give you the opportunity to experience firsthand education enacted with teachers and students in local public schools. Building upon a central tenet of education at Georgetown, ‘education of the whole person’, this course examines the extent to which a “whole child” view of education is at work in K-12 schools. Amid today’s push for college and career readiness and higher academic standards for all, how are schools educating the whole child? How do schools ensure that students are prepared to function effectively in society? What could education of the whole child look like? In this course you will examine these and other questions facing education today. Through readings, discussions, videos, and school based observation and volunteering, you will examine the education of the whole child in today’s public schools. *As a 4 credit CBL course, students volunteer in DC area public schools 4 hours per week for 10 weeks during the school day (typically 8:30-3:15). Most students schedule one day per week to complete the CBL required hours. Others go two days per week and serve 2 hours each day. Please note that transportation to and from the schools via public transportation typically takes an additional 45 minutes each way. CBL sites will be assigned during the first weeks of class.

This course involves getting to know and teaching reading and the language arts to a school aged child living in Golden Rule Apartments in Washington D.C. The teaching will be done either face-to-face, as we have done in the past, which involves travelling to Golden Rule twice weekly, or teaching virtually, as we did during the last academic year, 2020-2021, in which case we will avail ourselves of the Raz-kids reading program, so as to allow tutor and learner to address the same text from different locations. Traditionally, the course involves readings in pedagogy and literature, two tutorial sessions, a weekly seminar, a journal, a midterm and a final exam and a course paper.

Social Justice Documentary takes up three intersecting bodies of knowledge: • Documentary Filmmaking techniques and practices • Film and Media Studies scholarship • Social Justice Theory and the practices of Community Based Organizations in Washington, DC The course will enable students to collaborate with members of DC-based Community Organizations in order to create documentary video projects and learn about non-fiction video as a tool for social action. Students in Social Justice Documentary will work in small teams to produce short documentary videos about social justice issues as related to the work of Washington, DC-based Community Organizations. At the end of the course students should be able to define, summarize, and interpret documentary theories; have a working knowledge of pre-production, production, and post-production processes that are part of making a documentary video; and be able to formulate and demonstrate ways through which documentary video can be used to meet social justice ends. In addition, students will have gained experience in working as members of video production team—as successful video production heavily depends on cooperation, collaboration, and respect among team members. This is a 4-credit course and will require substantial time outside of scheduled class meetings. This course will include hands-on workshops on camera, lighting, sound, and editing scheduled in additional to regular course meetings.

Education is a complex social institution that is responsible for a wide-range of individual and societal outcomes. The study of education has deep roots among the founders of sociology, including Emile Durkheim, who considered education as the basis of democratic society and public life. The study of education continues to be a major focus of sociological inquiry, with a frequently debated question of whether education is a tool for social mobility and the realization of one’s full potential, or a tool of oppression that reinforces inequality. This course will examine the institution of education using both theoretical and empirical texts, as well as applied examples of current policy issues. This course will also take a deeper dive into two urgent issues that are at the top of the education policy agenda: (1) the current and future impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) the improvement of civic education to preserve and advance our democracy and democratic institutions.

This is a community-based learning (CBL) course conducted in Spanish that focuses on the dynamic interaction between language, society and identity among the Latinx communities in the U.S. This 4-credit course requires 20+ hours of community-based work with a local, community-based partner organization in addition to preparation for and attendance to two weekly class sessions. Community work contributes to course credit with the Registrar’s Office, but students will schedule their own time with their partner organizations, according to their needs. Topics include: migration, labor and U.S. national identity; access to education; bilingualism, language ideologies, language contact and language shift in the United States.

Spanish Sociolinguistics: Race, Nation and Language is a Community-Based Learning (CBL) course conducted in Spanish that focuses on the dynamic interaction between language, power and identity in the Spanish-speaking world. Language, at the intersection of power and identity, is never neutral and is central to our understanding of the concepts of race/ethnicity and nation. Using the lens of critical sociolinguistics and critical discourse studies, we will examine the social construction of Race, Nation and Language through the processes of capitalism, colonialism, racialization, and nation-building. We will study and contrast these processes in different speech communities in Latin America, the USA, Spain, and through the less well- known cases of Spanish-speaking communities in the Philippines and Africa, Judeo-Spanish or Ladino, and creole languages such as Palenquero. In each context, we will pay special attention to the way race/ethnicity, class and gender are used as tools in the unequal distribution of power, status and material goods, and how they are coded into language ideologies, linguistic usages and practices, and language prestige and stigma. We will analyze both the re/production of racism and other oppressive systems of power and the transformation of racial, ethnic, and linguistic phenomena and ideas. The learning goal of critical sociolinguistics is social change for the common good. Topics covered include, among others: social justice and the intersections of language and race, ethnicity, gender, empire, colonialism, and migration; language and identity (individual, group, and national identities); language ideologies and how they shape language and education policies and planning; multi/bilingualism; language contact and language shift; endangered languages and language death. Materials for class discussion are very diverse and include academic articles or chapters, documentary films, legal texts, popular culture products, press articles, internet blogs/vlogs, social networks posts, marketing and advertisements, and more. This 4-credit course has an additional community-engaged learning component, performed outside the classroom, working with organizations that focus on underserved and indigenous communities in Guatemala: Project Olas – a social impact language exchange program with women from Zona 3 in Guatemala City, and Guatemala Solidarity Project – an association of activists fighting for human and Earth rights from indigenous communities in Guatemala and the US. Course readings and other materials will delve into Guatemala as a case study to contextualize students’ community work.

UNXD 130 CBL: Social Action is a 1-credit, community-based, experiential course offered through Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service (CSJ): csj.georgetown.edu. UNXD 130 students integrate their academic studies with direct or indirect community engagement work of their choice in Washington, DC. Community work must enhance and deepen the classroom learning of a 3-credit course in which the student is currently enrolled. While most of the learning takes place in the community, UNXD 130 participants meet four times for reflective dialogue sessions, read pertinent scholarly work on critical social activism, compose three reflective activities and contribute to discussion board reflections over the course of the semester. Participation in UNXD 130 requires the completion of an interest form in which students explain the connection between coursework and community-based work. For more information and to complete this interest form, visit http://csj.georgetown.edu/unxd130. This course was previously known as the 4th Credit Option for Social Action, when it was “added” to a 3 credit course. It now stands alone, an is taken as a “pass/fail” type of course.

Fall 2022 Core Electives

‘Yeah, right’, say the skeptics: dream on, all you pacifists. But are the pacifists dreaming? This course, taught by longtime peace educator and former Washington Post columnist Colman McCarthy, examines a wide range of the time-tested alternatives to violence—from military and governmental violence to domestic, sexual, and environmental violence. The course will be largely discussion-based, with all viewpoints welcomed and appreciated. Course texts include “Strength Through Peace” and –skeptics take note — “Peace Is Possible.” 

This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of post-conflict justice and reconciliation models including truth commissions, war crimes tribunals, reparations, and related responses to genocide, crimes against humanity, and other mass atrocities. To debate how to adequately deal with the past in newly democratizing countries, exploring the relative benefits of “forgetting” or “remembering” gross violations of human rights. Students will gain an understanding of the constraints on legal theory and practice in the context of the creation of a culture of human rights in post-conflict countries. 

Dystopias portray an imagined society dominated by oppressive power, negative social and political control. This course addresses peace and justice with the reforming agenda of dystopian literature and film—specifically texts that highlight issues related to injustice. The dystopian texts that we will examine raise awareness about racism, income inequality, war crimes, war-mongering, misuse of A1s and drones, surveillance, disease and epidemic, environmental destruction, and the Anthropocene. We will read fiction and watch films that deal with conflict, real-world problems, and crises, couched in imaginative unrealities that point the way to urgent threats and potential solutions. Instructor: Sara Schotland 

War, armed conflict, famine, violation of human rights and forced migration have direct consequences on the livelihood of people. Humanitarian action as a philosophy and practice has emerged as a new moral imperative to respond to such crises in a timely manner to alleviate suffering. But what does helping others mean? How does our understanding of humanity and our relationships in what we consider as a community affect the notion of “humanitarianism”? Is aiding others a responsibility or an act of charity? What are the challenges and ethics of this practice? We start with history and key ethical and policy debates underpinning the emergence of humanitarianism from multidisciplinary perspectives. We explore the root causes that lead to the breakdown of societies and the network of local, national, and international aid actors involved. Using multiple case studies including current issues such as military intervention, hunger, poverty alleviation, refugee education, and health crisis we broaden our scope and understanding of the potentials of incorporating justice in humanitarian action. 

Course Description: This course will examine the history, policies, and social forces that have shaped migration to the United States, focusing in particular on the post-1960s period. We will discuss global patterns of movement, migrants’ rights, and the sociopolitical and economic factors that contribute to the movement of people. We will review the history of U.S. immigration policy, responses to past and current waves of migration, and immigrant integration. Given the contentiousness of the issue of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., we will focus on understanding the social and legal construction of one’s immigration status, federal and local efforts to control unauthorized migration, and the immigration reform debate. The second half of the course will be spent exploring the life experiences of undocumented immigrants in the areas of education, health, housing, and employment. We will also discuss the DC-immigrant community, including the challenges they face and efforts to assist them by faith-based and community-based organizations. Class discussions will be based on guest speaker presentations, documentary films, and assigned readings, including books, research articles, reports, ethnographies, and testimonies. 

Fall 2022 One-Credit Modules

Instructor: Nawal Rajeh, contact: nrajeh@gmail.com Date/Time: Saturday Oct 1st and Sunday Oct 2nd (10.00am-6.00 pm) This course gives students a foundational understanding of the field of community organizing, as well as local knowledge around the issues and challenges of movements for social justice in D.C. and other U.S. cities. Students will be able to learn about prominent theories, current trends in organizing and gain hands on experience by meeting with local organizers and practicing critical skills for organizing. During the 2 day course, students will articulate the skills, vision and values of community organizing and describe the main contemporary tensions within organizing. 

Using a lens of social justice, students will learn about immigrant communities in DC and about the myriad of organizations that advocate for them. Students will learn about historical and contemporary immigration in DC, social justice issues in the past and present, and the many organizations that advocate for immigrants. Students will select an organization and create a digital story about what the organization does to promote social justice for immigrants in DC. Non-JUPS students may request permission to register from the instructor. This course meets two days: Saturday, October 15th, and Saturday, November 5th (10.00 am-6.00 pm). 

Instructor: (Eli McCarthy.) Date/Time: Sat. Sept. 10th and Sat. Sept. 24th ( 10.00 am-6.00 pm) Course Description: Just Peace calls us to a moral framework that invites us to see the integral relationship between justice and peace. This is particularly relevant for policy issues linked to conflict. Just peace offers a unique way of doing advocacy by challenging us to orient our initiatives by an ever-emerging vision of human flourishing. In turn, just peace provides norms such as virtues, principles, and practices to cultivate a way of being that is better enabled to develop the skills for fruitful advocacy toward just peace policies. The course is intended to introduce participants to the basic practice of just peace advocacy, as well as to support participants in learning and integrating the framework, key components, and skills. Meaningfully learning what just peace advocacy is, why it is relevant, and how to do it calls for an experiential and interactive format. In addition to intellectual exploration, participants will witness, experience, and practice alternative modes of just peace advocacy. They will also draw on their own experience to learn, apply, asses, and refine the practice of just peace advocacy. Oral, written, and experiential forms of assessment will be utilized. 

Instructor: (Tarek Massarani) Date/Time: Saturday Sept 17th and Sunday Sep 18th, (10.00-6.00 pm). Restorative Justice is a community-based philosophy and approach to preventing and responding to harm with roots in indigenous traditions. It involves facilitated group processes that emphasize accountability through shared understanding and repairing the harm done. It has been used successfully in many contexts, including school and juvenile justice systems. This course is intended to introduce participants to the restorative justice movement, as well as to support participants in learning and integrating key concepts, tools, and skills related to restorative justice through an experiential, interactive, and self-reflective approach. Participants will be asked to think about the role of Restorative Justice in the modern US social context, as well as in their own personal lives. Prerequisite: JUPS MAJOR AND MINORS Only or Permission of Instructor 

Fall 2022 JUPS Cross-Listed Courses

Students will be assigned to one of four weekly recitation sections: R 5:00pm – 5:50pm R 6:00pm – 6:50pm (two recitations available) R 8:00pm – 8:50pm 

2.3 million Americans currently reside in jails and prisons, often under conditions of severe overcrowding, race-based segregation, and horrific physical and sexual violence. They are granted few (if any) educational opportunities or job training, in stark contrast to many European countries, which operate extensive rehabilitation programs that prepare inmates for their eventual release and reintegration into society. Yet even though prisoners and former prisoners (not to mention their family members) constitute a substantial portion of the American population, they are generally a powerless and forgotten group of people, with few rights or opportunities. Surprisingly, very little is known or taught about prisons and punishment—in the United States or elsewhere. This course will explore these issues in a comparative perspective. It will seek to answer the following questions: Why does the U.S. maintain an incarceration rate that is seven times higher than other democracies, even though Americans are no more likely to be the victims of crimes than are people in other societies? Why is the U.S. one of the few democratic countries to sanction the death penalty? In other words, why is the criminal justice system in this country so much more punitive than in comparable countries? This lecture course will also involve several different formats, including smaller group discussions of certain readings, the viewing of several excellent movies and documentaries that relate to prisons and punishment, and a class “field trip” to an actual prison. This course has been renumbered, effective Fall 2014. A student who earned credit for GOVT 361 Prisons and Punishment in a prior term should not enroll and cannot earn credit in this class.

The most powerful idea of the twentieth century—an idea that instantiates a watershed in international politics far more fundamental and transformative than the Treaty of Westphalia—is the following moral claim:

All persons everywhere have basic and universal human rights;

Thus, “we” (members of the human community) are obligated to find ways to within not only at the national, but also at the international level to devise guarantees for basic and universal human rights. Since World War II, the international community has instantiated the norm that an essential moral obligation of the society of states is to promote, protect, and extend Human Rights. Morally, this obligation to uphold human rights ought to trump, delimits, authorize and/or orient the exercise of so-called “state sovereignty.”

The syllabus includes classic texts on human rights as well as contemporary literature on human rights in world politics. We study: key international human rights documents; content of rights claims; international strategies for human rights protection and advocacy, and implementation; and predictable challenges in international efforts to do so. In their presentations, students explore the ways various international actors work to support human rights, aid those whose rights have been violated, and shine the international spotlight on violators and their egregious acts.

This introductory course offers a highly participatory laboratory for individual and group/ ensemble exploration of socially engaged, improvisational performance. Throughout the semester, we will explore how a wide variety of artists and cultural workers have advanced and are continuing to advance social change, civic engagement, and community-based dialogue. Students will be asked to examine their own values and convictions and will develop skills and tools to put them into practice through embodied performative interventions into the social world. By focusing our attention on students’ own life experiences and the issues in our own local/ campus, regional, national, and global communities (local/ campus, national, and global) that each student cares about most deeply, students will draw connections between the intimate personal register of their own creative selves, and their active participation in the communities they occupy. Case studies and performance activities will focus not only on the content but also on the form and the context of diverse creative processes. Class exercises and assignments will emphasize experiential learning as we both participate in guided improvisational workshops and develop skills in creating and facilitating our own original performance workshops, and ultimately a final ensemble creation as a class. Reading will draw on Brecht, Boal and Jan Cohen-Cruz, among others. Students wishing to pursue a fourth credit CBL experience may do so by coordinating at semester’s start with the professor and CSJ (via Amanda Munroe)

Material goods surround us; they are necessary for our well-being and express identity and status. In today’s global economic market, we are all entangled in webs of consumption, production, and the disposal of goods that often harm the environment and others. How do we ethically navigate this shifting terrain when the environment and human person are increasingly subject to commodification? In this course we seek to understand inequality and identity in consumer culture, particularly in light of Christian economic ethics. Practices of religious and secular resistance will be covered and special attention will be given to how both religion and dissent are also commodified. While there is an emphasis on Christian theology, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course has been previously offered as JUPS380: Justice and Consumer Culture. Content may be reshaped based on economic and social realities come fall. 

This course will examine intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking. We will examine theories about intimate partner violence, frequency and prevalence of rape, and social and cultural contributors to domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault on college campuses. We will also evaluate current systems and policies that exist to support survivors and hold perpetrators accountable. We will then discuss what we can do individually and collectively as a community to end gender violence.

This course explores how concepts of masculinity and femininity shape the U.S. legal system. We also examine other factors that influence how individuals view and encounter the law (race, religion, political outlook, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic status, etc.). Specific topics include the gender binary, sex discrimination in the workplace and educational institutions, intimate partner violence, reproductive justice, and marriage. Our academic focus is on legal analysis, public policy writing, and respectful dialogue about emotionally complex topics. There will be many opportunities to practice these skills during the semester. No prior legal knowledge is required. Please note: students who are on the waitlist must show up to the first class to be eligible for a spot in the class. 

Anyone entering the thickets of argument relating to violence, gender, and human rights today has to contend with the range and variety of meanings that these concepts have accrued in current usage. While there is broad consensus that there does exist a contemporary crisis around global violence and the suspected gendered aspect of it, how the relationships between globalization and human rights violations, and between violence against women and redefinition of human rights, are to be interpreted, and what is to be done about it is matters of vigorous intellectual and political debate. This class aims to explore the gendered manifestations of violence in public and private spheres within the context of the more general relationship among globalization, development, and human/civil/citizen rights. We will pay attention to banal violence (that is, daily and “banal” violence in everyday life), spectacular violence at moments of crisis, and the type of violence that disrupts the boundary between the two. Special emphases will be given to the issues of racism, sexual exploitation, poverty, labor, health care, homophobia, militarism, and globalization.
The readings will include We Wish to Inform you That Tomorrow We will be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch, A Problem from Hell by Samantha Powers, Violence against Women by Stanley French et al., Are Prisons Obsolete by Angela Davis, The Sterilization of Carrie Buck by J. David Smith and K. Ray Nelson, and Pathologies of Power: Health, Human rights, and the New War on the Poor by Paul Farmer.
May also be taken as JUPS 260-01

Fall 2022 CBL Courses

Realizing the American promise of equal access for all children to high quality education has been an ongoing struggle, even as the definitions of equal and everyone have broadened and shifted over time. Advocacy, defined here as “organized efforts and actions based on the reality of what is and a vision of what should be,” has long played a central role in the evolution of equitable, universal education. In this course students will examine historical trends and pertinent theoretical frameworks to explore ways that educational advocacy organizations have defined what is and worked to advance their respective goals for what should be regarding educational equity. A major component of this course involves students engaging in field-based learning as partners with a non-profit community group, organization, or institution that advocates for educational equity. Through work with their advocacy partners, students will have the opportunity to conduct in-depth research and complete a project on a specific topic as they work to advance their host organization’s efforts. In-class learning experiences for this course include professor and student-facilitated discussion, lecture, multi-media presentations, and guest speakers. 

EDIJ 241, Essential Practices for Effective Instruction I, is a community based learning praxis course. Students will volunteer with a D.C. public school weekly throughout the semester. This course examines the relationship among the teacher, learner, and content. Through this course students create an asset-based approach to working with learners, develop as reflective practitioners, and strengthen inquiry skills as they relate to education issues. This course is designed to challenge students to reflect on their identities as learner and teacher and on their work with students in the community. 

For over thirty years Georgetown students have been teaching and learning from primary school aged children in Washington, D.C., first at Sursum Corda Apartments, and since 2017 at Golden Rule Apartments, focusing on reading and the language arts, with a primary focus on reading comprehension. This commitment has continued through the Covid-19 pandemic, with student tutors working with their younger learners online, though experimenting as well with what amounted to a kind of hybrid instruction, which functioned both and largely online, but involved as well carefully arranged in-person meetings. In Fall 2022 we hope and expect to return to in-person tutorials, in whole or in part, as circumstances and best practice shall indicate. But whatever comes about, the course will remain true to the two single attributes that have informed its work for over thirty years, that students shall go informed in tutoring goals and strategies into their tutorial sessions, and that they can expect to develop a mutually enriching, if professionally maintained, relationship with the young learner whom they will instruct. 

This is a community-based learning (CBL) course conducted in Spanish that focuses on the dynamic interaction between language, society and identity among the Latinx communities in the U.S. This 4-credit course requires 20+ hours of community-based work with a local, community-based partner organization in addition to preparation for and attendance to two weekly class sessions. Community work contributes to course credit with the Registrar’s Office, but students will schedule their own time with their partner organizations, according to their needs. Topics include: migration, labor and U.S. national identity; access to education; bilingualism, language ideologies, language contact and language shift in the United States.

UNXD 130 CBL: Social Action is a 1-credit, community-based, experiential course offered through Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service (CSJ): csj.georgetown.edu.

UNXD 130 students integrate their academic studies with direct or indirect community engagement work of their choice in Washington, DC. Community work must enhance and deepen the classroom learning of a 3-credit course in which the student is currently enrolled.

While most of the learning takes place in the community, UNXD 130 participants meet four times for reflective dialogue sessions, read pertinent scholarly work on critical social activism, compose three reflective activities and contribute to discussion board reflections over the course of the semester.

Participation in UNXD 130 requires the completion of an interest form in which students explain the connection between coursework and community-based work. For more information and to complete this interest form, visit http://csj.georgetown.edu/unxd130.

This course was previously known as the 4th Credit Option for Social Action, when it was “added” to a 3 credit course. It now stands alone, an is taken as a “pass/fail” type of course.

Spring 2022 Core Electives

This course will examine historical and contemporary international, US, Palestinian, and Israeli efforts to resolve the conflicting issues between the Palestinian national movement and the Zionist movement/Israel over the past century. This course also will delve into the policies established and legislation enacted by the United States in relation to Israel and the Palestinian people to explore whether they have helped or hindered these efforts. Professor Josh Ruebner will be teaching.

We use the terms human rights and justice every day, but what exactly do they mean? What are our human rights? What happens when they are violated? What do we mean when we ask for justice? Furthermore, what happens when our notions of justice clash with core concepts of fundamental human rights? This course will consist of a combination of theoretical and hands-on clinical explorations of domestic and international justice systems and international human rights standards, with the goal of better understanding the interplay between these two intertwined, but often divergent, concepts. Included in the course will be meetings with victims of crime, as well as conversations with justice system professionals, human rights lawyers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and law enforcement. The course will include a visit to D.C. Superior Court to view a criminal trial and culminates in a mock trial where students will search for the proper balance between human rights and justice. Taught by Brian Kritz. 

This course examines the expression of resistance, dissent, and protest in American literature. A primary goal of protest literature is to convey the impact of oppressive social and legal policies in hopes of prompting reform. This course will consider protest literature from the perspective of multiple marginalized or “outsider” communities, including Native Americans, minorities, veterans, immigrants, individuals with disabilities, drug addicts and prisoners. Outsider narratives create empathy and offer a vicarious experience of the impact of social and legal policies; by drawing attention to injustice, the author hopes to prompt change. Second, we will consider protest literature that concerns itself with gender, environment, and health care—challenges that affect majority as well as minority populations. Protest literature typically conveys private pain and outrage; we will see how effective protest literature seeks to awaken a broader audience to the need for change. Where relevant we will also compare our readings to film portrayals to see how fiction and film work together to communicate protest. 

Although reports on youth and development often focus on youth involvement and motivations for violence, engagement among youth in proactive peacebuilding is increasingly a reality at the local, national, and regional levels. Such peacebuilding is often initiated by youth themselves, and is supported by local, national and international development and other organizations. This course will explore: evidence-based factors associated with youth engagement in peacebuilding; the wide range of peacebuilding activities and their demonstrated outcomes; and the roles that public and private sector organizations play in supporting and/or presenting barriers to youth engagement in peacebuilding. The course will entail interactive lectures by both youth who have been engaged in peacebuilding and others who have collaborated with youth on their peacebuilding activities and virtual participation in an international conference regarding youth and peacebuilding. Students will write two brief discussion papers; prepare a critical review of a published report on youth engagement in peacebuilding; and design a community-based project for youth engagement in peacebuilding. 

Spring 2022 One-Credit Modules

History has shown that stories are inextricably linked to what it means to be human. Before there was formal communication, there were stories–on cave paintings, within ancient temples, and passed down verbally from every culture and generation our world has known. It should come as no surprise, then, that individuals, groups, and organizations looking to advance justice and peace should utilize storytelling as a key tool to drive influence and social action. This course will teach students how to create–and then practice telling–strategic stories that spark action in order to advance the issues they care about most. Upon course completion, students will have created a working portfolio of the key stories every change leader must know how to deliver while also reflecting upon topics like the ethics of storytelling, how storytelling will evolve in the future, and which story archetypes frame their own thinking. 

This course aims to help students understand the importance of mental health advocacy from a social justice pedagogy. Mental health advocacy challenges practices that perpetuate stigma and discrimination. Students will analyze mental health stigma associated with cultural and systemic barriers that limit social inclusion, access, and healing. This course will equip students with the tools necessary to champion for mental health positive policy, structures, and resources. Dates: Wednesdays 5:00-7:30 from January 12 to February 16th. 

It is estimated one in seven–or 100,000 and counting–of our DC neighbors are immigrants. In this course, students will explore the history of immigration in DC, learn about the various agencies and nonprofits who advocate for immigrants, and the ways in which immigrants are an integral part of D.C.’s economies and communities. Students will create and share a digital story that helps deepen our understanding about a particular aspect of DC immigration and immigrants’ lived experience. 

Restorative Justice is a community-based philosophy and approach to preventing and responding to harm with roots in indigenous traditions. It involves facilitated group processes that emphasize accountability through shared understanding and repairing the harm done. It has been used successfully in many contexts, including school and juvenile justice systems. This course is intended to introduce participants to the restorative justice movement, as well as to support participants in learning and integrating key concepts, tools, and skills related to restorative justice through an experiential, interactive, and self-reflective approach. Participants will be asked to think about the role of Restorative Justice in the modern US social context, as well as in their own personal lives.

Spring 2022 JUPS Cross-Listed Courses

Millennial and grassroots unrest is at the forefront of many of today’s radical and revolutionary social movements. Whether through new media, politics, or more traditional marches, activism is being heard at an extraordinarily high level. In this course we develop the necessary interpretive lenses to adequately frame the diversity of today’s multifaceted sites of resistance. These frames will reflect our appreciation for the intergenerational focus, the breadth of methods for mobilization and disruption, and the influential roles that people of color, women of color, and LGBT people of color are having on tactics, discourses, and organizing  the movement for Black lives, among others. 

This seminar examines anti-black racism within the criminal justice system to consider whether racial equity within the criminal justice system is even possible. In particular, we will analyze and debate how anti-black racism governs laws, policies, policing, juror selection, prosecutorial discretion, and the rights of the accused. We will think about how the norms and discourses we take for granted may reinforce and embed racism, and we will consider how philosophies that underwrite the criminal justice system parallel those of other American social institutions, including education. We will pay close attention to how race and racism intersect with other identities and oppressions as we attempt to understand the historical and contemporary dimensions of these problems. We will explore how humanistic and social science methodologies and theories can help us to contest ideas of color-blindness and race-neutrality that ultimately retrench black inequality. Beyond thinking about the problem, this course will challenge its participants to develop solutions to some aspect of the criminal justice system and/or a related institution. Students will have the opportunity to develop racial-bias training for police departments, juror bias-training, and other solutions that alleviate racial inequity in the criminal justice system. The purpose of the course is to provide thought-leadership on some of the key issues in criminal justice that stymie racial economic empowerment and justice and to propose new models for engaging these topics. While criminal justice remains our primary focal point, employment, housing, and education inequality and reform necessarily factors into our discussion. Students enrolling in the course can expect to attendance, participation, two-short papers, an in-class presentation, midterm exam, and final project to determine their grades. They should also expect roundtable discussions where we problem solve and flesh out solutions to the problems. 

Did you know that a mere few miles from GU, sunken ghost ships of WWI eerily crest a river’s surface at low tide – and a kayak will ferry you there to cavort with the herons, the eagles, and your own vision of a war fought 100 years ago? The somberly sonorous voice of Yeats in his 1920 “The Second Coming” perhaps most wondrously confronts both the horror of WWI, the brute itself, and the ensuing madness unleashed upon a new century perceiving its ideals lost but not gone: “Turning and turning in the widening gyre. . . Things fall apart. . . The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere [t]he ceremony of innocence is drowned. . . And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, [s]louches toward Bethelehem to be born?” Modernism’s vision ghosts the war’s bitter but resilient afterbirth, offering us a battlefield strewn with individual suffering and resurrection beside the mass shame and redemption. And we, the 2020 readers in English 168, enter the surreal fray begun in 1914 of chivalric courage that becomes the sacrificial charge to rescue friend and the barbaric attack to defeat foe. This course invites its participants to read a medley of perspectives and genres of WWI literature in order to ask how and why this war both reflected and catapulted change in the ways we understand and value life, provoking such questions as where is our present or immediate identity, both individual and collective, in light of this war’s influence? How did this particular war cause chivalry to give way to the monstrous? What happens to perception when the beautifully strong becomes the grotesque freak? Did we land in the abyss of the Great War’s aftermath because we leapt from Edwardian extravagance or Victorian hubris or even complacency? Why did this world experience (the Great War and its effects), which destroyed the lives of so many, also propel liberation for women? How and to what effect did its technological advances – even with humanitarian aims – participate in moral degradation? Why did so many artists respond NOT with anger or grief but instead with cynical detachment – did they reflect the sympathies of the masses or were they a movement unto themselves? And given the unique (Heroic? Showy? Game-Changing?) role of the U.S. in this war, how has our own nation’s history in global fighting been shaped by this war? How does the Great War’s Art of its own time and of our time provoke us to re-view this war and our role within it as well as on its borders? Isn’t it intriguing to consider that the language of the performing arts, such as theatre (a space of entertaining audiences and perspectives), resounds in identifying battlegrounds, often referenced as theatres of war, and the medical operating room, often marked as the surgical theatre? How were entertainment halls – theatres – sites of recruiting soldiers as were propagandist posters appealing to women’s power, the value of family, and an individual’s right and responsibility to enact moral duty? Participants will complete two short papers reflecting on our course readings, and one longer argumentative research paper embracing both course texts/discoveries and your own primary research, come to each class prepared to interact in critical thinking responses to texts and their ideas, and collaborate with colleagues to prepare a panel (see topics below on course calendar). Last, but not least, we will visit the new memorial in DC’s Pershing Park, The Weight of Sacrifice, personally led through its spaces and art by its amazing architect, Joe Weishaar. 

Social Justice Documentary takes up three intersecting bodies of knowledge:

• Documentary Filmmaking techniques and practices

• Film and Media Studies scholarship

• Social Justice Theory and the practices of Community Based Organizations in Washington, DC

The course will enable students to collaborate with members of DC-based Community Organizations in order to create documentary video projects and learn about non-fiction video as a tool for social action.

Students in Social Justice Documentary will work in small teams to produce short documentary videos about social justice issues as related to the work of Washington, DC-based Community Organizations.  At the end of the course students should be able to define, summarize, and interpret documentary theories; have a working knowledge of pre-production, production, and post-production processes that are part of making a documentary video; and be able to formulate and demonstrate ways through which documentary video can be used to meet social justice ends. In addition, students will have gained experience in working as members of video production team—as successful video production heavily depends on cooperation, collaboration, and respect among team members.  This is a 4-credit course and will require substantial time outside of scheduled class meetings. This course will include hands-on workshops on camera, lighting, sound, and editing scheduled in additional to regular course meetings.

In consequence of its Catholic and Jesuit heritage and purpose, Georgetown University is committed to assisting students in exploring and probing the ethical dimensions and consequences of every field of human endeavor and scholarship. 

For those studying and preparing to work in the field of international relations, the ethical challenges are great, given phenomena like: genocide; terrorist attacks on non-combatants; state–sponsored brutalization of poor and/or powerless populations; famine; refugee and migrant outflows, and environmental degradation. Moreover, states continue to arm themselves with weapons of mass destruction capable of destroying the human community and the planet and “small arms”—ranging from machetes to anti-personnel landmines—capable of wreaking widespread harm. 

The purpose of “GOVT 420: Ethical Issues in International Relations” is to investigate three questions in world politics: 

To what extent are states (and their leaders) obligated to act in accord with moral principles in their relations with other states? 

What is the chief content of these obligations—as these constrain a state’s external and internal sovereignty—and what are the limits of obligation? 

What ethical frameworks have theorists and practitioners of world politics developed over the centuries that may assist students of international relations in developing a coherent perspective on the question of moral obligations between and among states? 

This course has been renumbered, effective Fall 2014. A student who earned credit for GOVT 420 Ethical Iss Intrnl Reltns in a prior term should not enroll and cannot earn credit in this class.

Enrollment in this course is by permission of instructor. Copy and paste the application Link on your browser. **** Application Link: https://forms.gle/btRzu9QLfcdLvY9YA ***** This 5-credit course is intended for a small number of passionate and highly-motivated students. The class will not have readings, papers, or exams. Instead, students will spend an intensive semester as investigative journalists, documentarians, and social justice activists, with the goal of creating a public documentary (in addition to a website and social media campaign) that makes the case for the innocence of a wrongfully convicted person who is currently languishing in prison. Students will reinvestigate the original crime and conviction, and their task will be to portray the main issues, challenges, injustices, and human stories involved in each case. The course is co-taught by Professor Marc Howard and his childhood friend, Adjunct Professor Marty Tankleff, who was himself wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for almost 18 years before being exonerated. Previous versions of the course have resulted in the exoneration and release of Valentino Dixon, while also providing significant progress in the legal prospects of several other potential exonerees. The class is scheduled for Fridays 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Although we will not always meet as a full group each week for that full block of time, students must keep their Fridays open, free from other classes or regular commitments. Students will be meeting and working together within smaller groups, and consulting with the professors, on a regular basis throughout the semester. The output for the course—which will be prepared by five groups of students working closely together in teams of three—will include the production of short documentaries that are humanizing portraits of the lives, families, and complicated legal cases of five people who were likely wrongfully convicted. At the end of the semester, the students will present their final documentaries at a larger public event hosted by the Prisons and Justice Initiative. The course will be restricted to a maximum of 15 Georgetown students. Priority will be given to those students who have a strong academic or practical background in this area, along with a passion for the issue of wrongful convictions and criminal justice reform. Having a background in investigative journalism and/or video production is a bonus, but not a requirement. The enrollment process for this course will take place before live registration begins. Students who are admitted into the course will be automatically enrolled by the Registrar before the start of the live registration process. ***Application Deadline (including video) Friday, November 20 at 5:00pm EST*** 

This listening-intensive course looks at music as a component of cultural identities and collisions through the dual lens of ethnomusicology (anthropology of music) and “world music” (a popcultural/journalistic/marketing view). The syntheses that arise from the interactions of the dominant Western culture with its “others” are politically charged as much as they may be musically potent, and are increasingly dependent upon globalization and technology for their creation and dissemination. Case studies will examine the dynamics of different forms of cultural interaction over the past couple of centuries, from Cold War nationalism in the Bulgarian Radio Choir to the impact of the Chernobyl meltdown on the underground rock scene of the Belarusan intelligentsia; from the meteoric rise (and fall) of Anglo-Indian pop of the 1990s to the complex multi-ethnic mix that has driven flamenco across a millennium from Moorish Andalucía to the art-school scene of Barcelona of the 2000s. Other subjects include Javanese gamelan and its confluences with Western art music, South African township jive echoing the arc of apartheid, the alliance of dance forms with nationalism in 20th century South America, the colonial and diasporic sources of the Riverdance phenomenon, and the multiple Francophone audiences of Cajun-American rocker Zachary Richard. Fulfills HALC requirement. X-List: Justice and Peace Studies, Sociology. 

Sociology Core Topics Course: This course has three complementary parts. Students begin with an overview of the U.S. justice system. We pay special attention to the last 35 years and the impact of the War on Drugs on society, especially mass incarceration. Using the sociological theory of dramaturgy, students have the opportunity to make it real through mock trials. Playing the roles of attorneys and witnesses, students learn the mechanics of a trial and create legal strategies to best represent their clients. It all comes together when students enact the trials in courtrooms at Georgetown Law with legal professionals serving as judges. The last third of the course focuses on “Hot Topics” in the law. Students will read landmark Supreme Court cases on such topics as, gun ownership, climate change, campaign finance, immigration, and the criminalization of poverty. Students choose one topic they will be an expert in and, in small groups, create an informative website and accompanying short video or performance informing their peers why they need to know about the issue and what they can do about it. 

Sociology Advanced Seminar (students must also register for SOCI 305): This course is designed to deepen your understanding of gentrification and engage in a series of skills-based projects around it. Designed as both a seminar and a studio, the course will both introduce students to key ideas, debates and conversations about gentrification and enable students to apply those concepts to a series of projects about gentrification. The six-credit structure of the course acknowledges that, too often, our academic work is disconnected from the real world application of the topics we study. This course seeks to disrupt that model of education by critically studying the process of gentrification and engaging in a set of projects through a studio learning environment. The seminar portion of the course will investigate the racialized history of American cities to understand how persistent patterns of racial segregation and concentrated poverty emerged. Students will engage in conversations about creating more equitable cities by asking who has a right to shape, claim and occupy urban spaces, and how those contests are playing out in the contemporary urban landscape. Throughout the semester, we will keep an eye on public policies that have paved the way for gentrification, as well as those intended to ameliorate its negative effects. The studio portion of the course creates a hands-on opportunity for students to engage in project-based work on the topic. Students will have an opportunity to work independently and in groups on various research projects. For a portion of the semester, students will work on studio-based projects assigned by Professor McCabe; for the rest of the course, students will design and build their own project around gentrification. Students interested in enrolling in SOCI-222 and SOCI-305 may email Professor McCabe (mccabeb@georgetown.edu). Some seats in this class are reserved. 

Material goods surround us; they are necessary for our well-being and express identity and status. In today’s global economic market, we are all entangled in webs of consumption, production, and the disposal of goods that often harm the environment and others. How do we ethically navigate this shifting terrain when the environment and human person are increasingly subject to commodification? In this course we seek to understand inequality and identity in consumer culture, particularly in light of Christian economic ethics. Practices of religious and secular resistance will be covered and special attention will be given to how both religion and dissent are also commodified. While there is an emphasis on Christian theology, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course has been previously offered as JUPS380: Justice and Consumer Culture. Content may be reshaped based on economic and social realities come fall. 

How do we become courageous but not reckless? Maintain hope in a world full of despair? Discover how discourse, habits and Christian virtues sustain courage, hope and justice in its religious, psychological and social dimensions. We will explore physical, moral, and spiritual courage, hope, and justice through the lives of individuals, such as Colin Kaepernick, and communities, such as the protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will look at how courage and hope manifest in everyday life—in addiction, in financial stress, in playgrounds, and context of a warming planet. While there is an emphasis on Christian ethics, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course is a Community-Based Learning course through which students partake in 20 hours of work over the course of the semester with local community organizations as part of regular coursework. Partnering opportunities include working with after-school programming, people experiencing homelessness, or through existing CSJ programs. Transportation costs are covered. Questions? Please email Kerry.Danner@georgetown.edu 

This course provides an introduction to the body of knowledge that has come to be known as feminist theory. Throughout the course we will consider a wide range of feminist thought, focusing particularly on theory in action – that is, how theory becomes, how it influences and creates, and how it can both dismantle and (re)build.  To do so, we will pay close attention to the spaces in and through which theories are articulated, as well as the ways in which theories themselves can construct and transform space. Through a range of feminist writing on such intersecting topics as gender, race, colonialism, capitalism, globalization, and emotion we will learn how theory can give us insight into the mechanisms of belonging, marginalization, and socio-material change. The course will culminate in a rigorously curated final project that interprets feminist theories into feminist practice aimed at affecting positive change in the Georgetown community.

Spring 2022 Theories & Theologies Courses

This course will treat climate change as an ethical issue. Topics covered may include: the moral relationship between humans and non-human nature, obligations to humans that exist now and those that will likely exist in the future, cost-benefit analyses, and different types of responsibility. Specific topics and readings will vary by semester and instructor. Consult the relevant semester’s syllabus for more information.

This course is one of many courses in the yearlong Core Pathway on Climate Change, open to all students. Each semester in the pathway consists of pairing two 1.5 credit 7-week courses focused on the complex problem of Climate Change. The other courses for this semester are as follows: CHEM-015, HIST-007-01, HIST-008-13, THEO-074, FMST-230, and TPST-126. All courses in the Core Pathway on Climate Change are offered during the same timeslot TR: 2:00-3:15PM so that students can enroll in two over the course of the semester. To learn more about the courses and Core Pathways, visit www.corepathways.georgetown.edu. 

This question of distributive justice is at issue in current debates about income inequality, the proper level of taxation, access to health care, the financing of education, affirmative action, gender inequality, religious liberty etc. Most of us agree that justice is an important, if not the most important, standard for political and social life. But we disagree about the criteria for distributing benefits and burdens in society justly.

In this class, we will examine contemporary conceptions of justice that propose answers to this question: Utilitarianism, Liberal Egalitarianism, Libertarianism, Marxism, and Communitarianism. We will consider the connection between justice and other political ideals such as fairness, equality, liberty, well-being, inclusion, and recognition. We will have a look at the feminist critique of classical conceptions of justice, and consider whether justice is best thought of in terms of distribution at all. The readings will include texts by John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Gerald A. Cohen, Michael Sandel, Susan Okin, and Iris M. Young.

We will assess the strengths and weaknesses of these conceptions, and discuss their implications for some of the current political debates mentioned above. Throughout the class, you will be developing the skills to interpret arguments accurately and criticize them cogently. The overall goal of the class is to help you become a thoughtful and critical participant in political and social debates.

This course introduces students to feminist approaches to philosophical subfields such as philosophy of language, epistemology, philosophy of science, and political philosophy. It also explores philosophical dimensions of concepts such as misogyny, gender, oppression, and intersectionality. Topics will vary each time the course is offered and students should consult section descriptions for more information.

This course explores the relationship between feminism and environmental philosophy and questions the traditional association and devaluation of women and nature in a patriarchal culture. An intersectional approach will give us the opportunity of understanding the link between the destruction of the environment, sexism, racism, classicism, and colonialism. We will discover the ways in which feminists help us conceive of less predatory epistemologies of nature, re-think Western ontology centered on the human being, imagine new ethical relationships with any form of life, and explore spiritualities profoundly connected to the world around us. Ecofeminist literature will allow us to approach some important theoretical debates both in environmental and feminist studies while rereading major definitions and theories of nature in Western philosophy from Renaissance to contemporary philosophers. It will also lead us to debate very concretely the ways in which we can challenge our daily lives to start taking action. Among the questions that we will ask: What is the relationship between environmental crises and the oppression of women across the world? How has patriarchal culture alienated us from our bodies and our link to other natural beings? Is ecofeminism relevant in order to address issues such as climate change? Why is the witch such an important figure in ecofeminist mythologies? 

In Topics in Anti-Colonialism, students will be asked to engage with global anti-colonial resistance movements. This engagement will include researching primary source material from global anti-colonial resistance movements, reading anti-colonial, anti-imperial, and decolonial theory, and co-theorizing key threshold topics like: oppression, resistance, resurgence, coalition, and solidarity. Upon completion of this course, students will have gained insight into the social political, epistemological, and ethical philosophical underpinnings of global anti-colonial resistance and be able to make philosophical connections between historical and contemporary resistance movements. Since this course is often taught by different professors who specialize in anti-colonial, anti-imperial, and decolonial theory, the specific emphases of the course material will be subject to the given instructor’s expertise.

Material goods surround us; they are necessary for our well-being and express identity and status. In today’s global economic market, we are all entangled in webs of consumption, production, and the disposal of goods that often harm the environment and others. How do we ethically navigate this shifting terrain when the environment and human person are increasingly subject to commodification? In this course we seek to understand inequality and identity in consumer culture, particularly in light of Christian economic ethics. Practices of religious and secular resistance will be covered and special attention will be given to how both religion and dissent are also commodified. While there is an emphasis on Christian theology, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course has been previously offered as JUPS380: Justice and Consumer Culture. Content may be reshaped based on economic and social realities come fall.

This course is one of many courses in the yearlong Core Pathway on Climate Change, open to all students. Each semester in the pathway consists of pairing two 1.5 credit 7-week courses focused on the complex problem of Climate Change. The other courses for this semester are as follows: CHEM-015, HIST-007-01, HIST-008-13, FMST-230, PHIL-127, and TPST-126. All courses in the Core Pathway on Climate Change are offered during the same timeslot TR: 2:00-3:15 PM so that students can enroll in two over the course of the semester. To learn more about the courses and Core Pathways, visit www.corepathways.georgetown.edu. 

Pope Francis, Catholic Social Thought and U.S. Public Life: Principles, Policies, and Politics is a seminar of fewer than 20 students that will analyze the principal themes of Catholic social thought in the context of Pope Francis’ leadership and priorities. The seminar will introduce these themes and then explore their application to key issues in American public life such as poverty and economic justice, human life and dignity, migration, religious freedom, war and peace, and environmental issues. We’ll also examine the role of faith in U.S. political life. The seminar will center around discussion among participants and will be based on readings and other materials that can help us understand the influence of Catholic social thought and Pope Francis on U.S. public life. The seminar is taught by one of the co-directors of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life: John Carr (fall semesters) or Kim Daniels (spring semesters).

Feminist theologians have created a unique theological methodology characterized by three tools: Critiquing religious tradition; Recovering the roles and contributions of women in religious history made invisible by patriarchy; and Reconstructing new theologies more authentic to women’s spiritual and experiential realities.  By freeing theologies from patriarchal norms and lenses, feminist theologians have energized the search for the “divine feminine” in history through archeological investigation (e.g. Marija Gimbutas, Merlin Stone), have sparked movements to ordain women in Protestant organizations, and have triggered a Roman Catholic WomenPriest movement.

This course will have two foci: to examine core feminist theological principles and to examine the lived experience of feminist theology in the world. In order to understand that theologies evolve, we will trace the evolution of feminist theology from its early roots in political movements for recognition and for suffrage, through the political movements of the 1960s and 70s (e.g. Daly, Ruether, Schussler Fiorenza), to modern representations in mujerista, Asian feminist theology, and womanist theology. We will pose such questions of Asian religions as “Is the goddess a feminist?”; and of Western traditions “Is there a ‘feminine face of God in Judaism/Christianity/Islam? And if so, “What does this do to norms of leadership, service, and power?” Both male and female students are invited and will be made to feel welcome.

“Religion is the state of being grasped by an ultimate concern, a concern which qualifies all other concerns as preliminary and which itself contains the answer to the question of the meaning of life.” “Life remains ambiguous as long as there is life. The question implied in the ambiguities of life drives to a new question, namely, that of the direction in which life moves.” Paul Tillich, a twentieth-century Christian theologian, defined religion as our “ultimate concern.” In phenomenological terms, Tillich argued, it entails an encounter with that which is experienced as sacred or holy. But Tillich also recognized the ambiguities of life. Religion, like every other aspect of human life, is ambiguous. In terms of conflict, religion and the sacred can be both a source and a solution. This class will not be satisfied to stay situated in that ambiguity, however, but will be guided by the question of the direction in which life should move. To that end, theoretical and practical dimensions of conflict resolution and active religious peacebuilding will be fully integrated throughout the semester. In order to do so, we will be exploring the relationship between religion and conflict integrating theoretical and practical concerns. Through lectures, discussions, and student presentations we will engage a number of disciplinary lenses, including religious studies, theological studies, social theory, and political theory. Among the theoretical issues to be discussed will be the degree to which religion plays a role in global conflict, the impact of the modern nation-state, nationalism, and secularism to both religion and conflict, the concept of religious freedom in relation to conflict, and the role of women as agents of warfare and peacemaking. The class will conclude with several in-depth examinations of religious agents in various parts of the globe involved in peacemaking today.

How do we become courageous but not reckless? Maintain hope in a world full of despair? Discover how discourse, habits and Christian virtues sustain courage, hope and justice in its religious, psychological and social dimensions. We will explore physical, moral, and spiritual courage, hope, and justice through the lives of individuals, such as Colin Kaepernick, and communities, such as the protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will look at how courage and hope manifest in everyday life—in addiction, in financial stress, in playgrounds, and context of a warming planet. While there is an emphasis on Christian ethics, readings, and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course is a Community-Based Learning course through which students partake in 20 hours of work over the course of the semester with local community organizations as part of regular coursework. Partnering opportunities include working with after-school programming, people experiencing homelessness, or through existing CSJ programs. Transportation costs are covered. Questions? Please email Kerry.Danner@georgetown.edu 

This course will be an introduction to the growing role of religion in diplomacy and international affairs.  Subjects covered will be drawn from religion as a driver of conflict and as a resource for peace and reconciliation; religion as a moral source for regulating the use of force; religion as a moral source for promoting human rights; religion and global economic justice.  Attention will also be given to the contested analysis of religion in contemporary International Relations theory and in U.S. diplomacy. 

This seminar will examine the life and thought of Reinhold Niebuhr, the premier American Protestant political theologian of the twentieth century. We will critique Niebuhr’s analysis of race, international politics, and the role of theology in liberal democracy. We will also explore his continuing influence on contemporary theology and politics through the work of diverse figures such as Barack Obama, Cornel West, Andrew Bacevich, and David Brooks. 

Spring 2022 CBL Courses

This is a CBL course and will require an asynchronous, out-of-classroom element. This course tackles the intertwined issues of settler state formation, capitalist dispossession, mobility, and bodily sovereignty. We will read about native people’s refusal of state-imposed borders, enslaved individuals’ survival strategies through forced migration, contemporary migrants’ resistance to being criminalized, and the human toll of militarized borders. As a community-based learning class, students will work with community-based organizations that fight for migrant and racial justice. They also will help build an oral history archive on experiences with migration — and being separated from loved ones — in the COVID era.

Educating the Whole Child is an intensive, experiential* CBL course.  This course will give you the opportunity to experience firsthand education enacted with teachers and students in local public schools. Building upon a central tenet of education at Georgetown, ‘education of the whole person’, this course examines the extent to which a “whole child” view of education is at work in K-12 schools. Amid today’s push for college and career readiness and higher academic standards for all, how are schools educating the whole child? How do schools ensure that students are prepared to function effectively in society? What could the education of the whole child look like? In this course, you will examine these and other questions facing education today. Through readings, discussions, videos, and school-based observation and volunteering, you will examine the education of the whole child in today’s public schools.

*As a 4-credit CBL course, students volunteer in DC area public schools 4 hours per week for 10 weeks during the school day (typically 8:30-3:15). Most students schedule one day per week to complete the CBL required hours. Others go two days per week and serve 2 hours each day. Please note that transportation to and from the schools via public transportation typically takes an additional 45 minutes each way. CBL sites will be assigned during the first weeks of class.

Social Justice Documentary takes up three intersecting bodies of knowledge:

• Documentary Filmmaking techniques and practices

• Film and Media Studies scholarship

• Social Justice Theory and the practices of Community-Based Organizations in Washington, DC

The course will enable students to collaborate with members of DC-based Community Organizations in order to create documentary video projects and learn about non-fiction videos as a tool for social action.

Students in Social Justice Documentary will work in small teams to produce short documentary videos about social justice issues as related to the work of Washington, DC-based Community Organizations.  At the end of the course students should be able to define, summarize, and interpret documentary theories; have a working knowledge of pre-production, production, and post-production processes that are part of making a documentary video; and be able to formulate and demonstrate ways through which documentary video can be used to meet social justice ends. In addition, students will have gained experience in working as members of a video production team—as successful video production heavily depends on cooperation, collaboration, and respect among team members.  This is a 4-credit course and will require substantial time outside of scheduled class meetings. This course will include hands-on workshops on camera, lighting, sound, and editing scheduled in addition to regular course meetings.

The presence of Spanish and its speakers in what today constitutes the United States of America concerns different subdisciplines of linguistics, such as historical linguistics, language planning and policy, language attitudes and ideologies, language contact, variation and change, and language education (of both L2 and bilingual or heritage speakers of Spanish). In this community-based learning (CBL) course, students will approach these topics through a series of situated, practical activities designed to question enduring ideas about U.S. Spanish-speaking communities. Therefore, students will address these ideas in areas pertaining to, for example, public policies, social biases and exclusions, and think critically about viable solutions for the betterment of such communities 

This is a community-based learning (CBL) course conducted in Spanish that focuses on the dynamic interaction between language, society and identity among the Latinx communities in the U.S. This 4-credit course requires 20+ hours of community-based work with a local, community-based partner organization in addition to preparation for and attendance to two weekly class sessions. Community work contributes to course credit with the Registrar’s Office, but students will schedule their own time with their partner organizations, according to their needs. Topics include: migration, labor and U.S. national identity; access to education; bilingualism, language ideologies, language contact and language shift in the United States. 

Spanish Sociolinguistics: Race, Nation and Language is a Community-Based Learning (CBL) course conducted in Spanish that focuses on the dynamic interaction between language, power and identity in the Spanish-speaking world. Language, at the intersection of power and identity, is never neutral and is central to our understanding of the concepts of race/ethnicity and nation. Using the lens of critical sociolinguistics and critical discourse studies, we will examine the social construction of Race, Nation and Language through the processes of capitalism, colonialism, racialization, and nation-building. We will study and contrast these processes in different speech communities in Latin America, the USA, and Spain, and through the less well-known cases of Spanish-speaking communities in the Philippines and Africa, Judeo-Spanish or Ladino, and creole languages such as Palenquero. In each context, we will pay special attention to the way race/ethnicity, class and gender are used as tools in the unequal distribution of power, status and material goods, and how they are coded into language ideologies, linguistic usages and practices, and language prestige and stigma. We will analyze both the re/production of racism and other oppressive systems of power and the transformation of racial, ethnic, and linguistic phenomena and ideas. The learning goal of critical sociolinguistics is a social change for the common good. Topics covered include, among others: social justice and the intersections of language and race, ethnicity, gender, empire, colonialism, and migration; language and identity (individual, group, and national identities); language ideologies and how they shape language and education policies and planning; multi/bilingualism; language contact and language shift; endangered languages and language death. Materials for class discussion are very diverse and include academic articles or chapters, documentary films, legal texts, popular culture products, press articles, internet blogs/vlogs, social network posts, marketing and advertisements, and more. This 4-credit course has an additional community-engaged learning component, performed outside the classroom, working with organizations that focus on underserved and indigenous communities in Guatemala: Project Olas – a social impact language exchange program with women from Zona 3 in Guatemala City, and Guatemala Solidarity Project – an association of activists fighting for human and Earth rights from indigenous communities in Guatemala and the US. Course readings and other materials will delve into Guatemala as a case study to contextualize students’ community work. 

The presence of Spanish and its speakers in what today constitutes the United States of America concerns different subdisciplines of linguistics, such as historical linguistics, language planning and policy, language attitudes and ideologies, language contact, variation and change, and language education (of both L2 and bilingual or heritage speakers of Spanish). In this community-based learning (CBL) course, students will approach these topics through a series of situated, practical activities designed to question enduring ideas about U.S. Spanish-speaking communities. Therefore, students will address these ideas in areas pertaining to, for example, public policies, social biases and exclusions, and think critically about viable solutions for the betterment of such communities 

How do we become courageous but not reckless? Maintain hope in a world full of despair? Discover how discourse, habits and Christian virtues sustain courage, hope and justice in its religious, psychological and social dimensions. We will explore physical, moral, and spiritual courage, hope, and justice through the lives of individuals, such as Colin Kaepernick, and communities, such as the protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will look at how courage and hope manifest in everyday life—in addiction, in financial stress, in playgrounds and context of a warming planet. While there is an emphasis on Christian ethics, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. This course is a Community-Based Learning course through which students partake in 20 hours of work over the course of the semester with local community organizations as part of regular coursework. Partnering opportunities include working with after-school programming, people experiencing homelessness, or through existing CSJ programs. Transportation costs are covered. Questions? Please email Kerry.Danner@georgetown.edu 

Registration in the class requires Instructor approval. Sign up first required here: csj.Georgetown.edu/unxd130. Contact Andria Wisler (Andria.Wisler@georgetown.edu) to enroll. UNXD 130 CBL: Social Action is a 1-credit, community-based, experiential course offered through Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service (CSJ): csj.georgetown.edu. UNXD 130 students integrate their academic studies with direct or indirect community engagement work of their choice in Washington, DC. Community work must enhance and deepen the classroom learning of a 3-credit course in which the student is currently enrolled. While most of the learning takes place in the community, UNXD 130 participants meet four or five times for reflective dialogue sessions and complete three reflective activities over the course of the semester. Participation in UNXD 130 requires the completion of an interest form in which students explain the connection between coursework and community-based work. For more information and to express interest, visit http://csj.georgetown.edu/unxd130. This course was previously known as the 4th Credit Option for Social Action when it was “added” to a 3-credit course. It now stands alone, an is taken as a “pass/fail” type of course. 
Needs Instructor Approval. 

Fall 2021 Core Electives

‘Yeah, right’, say the skeptics: dream on, all you pacifists. But are the pacifists dreaming? This course, taught by longtime peace educator and former Washington Post columnist Colman McCarthy, examines a wide range of time-tested alternatives to violence—from military and governmental violence to domestic, sexual, and environmental violence. The course will be largely discussion-based, with all viewpoints welcomed and appreciated. Course texts include “Strength Through Peace” and –skeptics take note — “Peace Is Possible.” 

Over the past few decades, there has been substantial growth in the literature on gender and immigration. Contained within this vast body of literature are real stories of immigrant women and men that capture the diversity of experiences among immigrants and raise many questions about social justice. In this course, students will explore the intersections between gender, migration, and social justice by engaging with a variety of texts across a range of disciplines and methodologies. Readings will be drawn from disciplines including women’s and gender studies, history, sociology, justice and peace studies, theater and performance studies, and ethnic studies. Methodologies will include ethnographies, oral histories, film, narrative storytelling, and memoirs. Students will engage in a semester-long project that will require them to engage with this topic in a variety of contexts. 

This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of post-conflict justice and reconciliation models including truth commissions, war crimes tribunals, reparations, and related responses to genocide, crimes against humanity, and other mass atrocities. To debate how to adequately deal with the past in newly democratizing countries, exploring the relative benefits of “forgetting” or “remembering” gross violations of human rights. Students will gain an understanding of the constraints on legal theory and practice in the context of the creation of a culture of human rights in post-conflict countries. 

War, armed conflict, famine, violation of human rights and forced migration have direct consequences on the livelihood of people. Humanitarian action as a philosophy and practice has emerged as a new moral imperative to respond to such crises in a timely manner to alleviate suffering. But what does helping others mean? How does our understanding of humanity and our relationships in what we consider a community affect the notion of “humanitarianism”? Is aiding others a responsibility or an act of charity? What are the challenges and ethics of this practice? We start with history and key ethical and policy debates underpinning the emergence of humanitarianism from multidisciplinary perspectives. We explore the root causes that lead to the breakdown of societies and the network of local, national, and international aid actors involved. Using multiple case studies including current issues such as military intervention, hunger, poverty alleviation, refugee education, and health crisis we broaden our scope and understanding of the potential of incorporating justice in humanitarian action. 

Fall 2021 One-Credit Modules

This course gives students a foundational understanding of the field of community organizing, as well as local knowledge around the issues and challenges of movements for social justice in D.C. and other U.S. cities. Students will be able to learn about prominent theories, current trends in organizing and gain hands on experience by meeting with local organizers and practicing critical skills for organizing. During the 2 day course, students will articulate the skills, vision and values of community organizing and describe the main contemporary tensions within organizing. This course takes place only on Saturday October 2nd and Sunday October 3rd (10.00 am-6.00 pm). It is taught by Professor Nawal Rajeh. 

The objective is to equip students with the skill of compassionate communication, which clarifies feelings and makes concrete requests based on needs. Students will draw from their experience and learn basic theories of nonviolent communication. They will role-play various situations to practice this skill, as they also test, refine, and even develop theory. Students will track and assess their use of nonviolent communication in a personal conflict. This course takes place only on Saturday, September 11th and Sunday, September 26th (10.00 am-6.00 pm). It is taught by Professor Eli McCarthy.

Restorative Justice is a community-based philosophy and approach to preventing and responding to harm with roots in indigenous traditions. It involves facilitated group processes that emphasize accountability through shared understanding and repairing the harm done. It has been used successfully in many contexts, including school and juvenile justice systems. This course is intended to introduce participants to the restorative justice movement, as well as to support participants in learning and integrating key concepts, tools, and skills related to restorative justice through an experiential, interactive, and self-reflective approach. Participants will be asked to think about the role of Restorative Justice in the modern US social context, as well as in their own personal lives. Note that this course takes place only on Saturday, September 18th and on Saturday, September 25th, from 10am-6pm. 

Fall 2021 JUPS Cross-Listed Courses

This course will center on the writings of Coates, especially his important and influential essays in the Atlantic. As a public intellectual, Coates has used the power of his pen to advance a number of issues essential to African Americans, including reparations, politics, and mass incarcerations. We will examine the nature and effectiveness of his writerly activism as we learn from the public histories he proffers.

The course will provide a thorough introduction to economic thinking on poverty in the world and the policies used to fight poverty, from early times to the present day, spanning both (present-day) developed and developing countries. Students will learn about many key ideas of economic and philosophical thought—through the lens of understanding poverty. And they will learn how those ideas are put into practice.

While the course is offered by the Economics Department, no prior knowledge of economics will be assumed, and students can come from any academic field. While economics is important to understanding and fighting poverty, the course will also draw insights from many other fields, including philosophy, the social and political sciences, statistics, health, nutrition science and education.

The course counts as a lower-level elective toward the econ major and minor.

Realizing the American promise of equal access for all children to high-quality education has been an ongoing struggle, even as the definitions of equality and everyone have broadened and shifted over time. Advocacy, defined here as “organized efforts and actions based on the reality of what is and a vision of what should be,” has long played a central role in the evolution of equitable, universal education. In this course, students will examine historical trends and pertinent theoretical frameworks to explore ways that educational advocacy organizations have defined what is and worked to advance their respective goals for what should be regarding educational equity. A major component of this course involves students engaging in field-based learning as partners with a non-profit community group, organization, or institution that advocates for educational equity. Through work with their advocacy partners, students will have the opportunity to conduct in-depth research and complete a project on a specific topic as they work to advance their host organization’s efforts. In-class learning experiences for this course include professor and student-facilitated discussion, lectures, multi-media presentations, and guest speakers. 

EDIJ 241, Essential Practices for Effective Instruction I, is a community-based learning praxis course. This course examines the relationship between the teacher, the learner, and the content. Through this course, students create an asset-based approach to working with learners, develop as reflective practitioners, and strengthen inquiry skills as they relate to education issues. This course is designed to challenge students to reflect on their identities as learners and teachers and on their work with students in the community. 

This class will provide an introduction to the craft of fiction writing. Using short stories and prose excerpts by various writers as models, this course will show you how to create fiction for the purpose of social action. You need not be an experienced fiction writer in order to take this course; you need only be excited by the opportunity to advocate for a cause through thoughtful and intentional storytelling. You will write a brief (2-3 pages) response paper for each of 8-10 assigned readings, examining how these artists identify and address injustice in their work. You will also complete a few writing exercises to practice technique and approach. The primary goal of the course, however, will be for each student to produce, through extensive drafts, one solid, 20-page piece of short fiction that takes a position on a public issue. 

2.3 million Americans currently reside in jails and prisons, often under conditions of severe overcrowding, race-based segregation, and horrific physical and sexual violence. They are granted few (if any) educational opportunities or job training, in stark contrast to many European countries, which operate extensive rehabilitation programs that prepare inmates for their eventual release and reintegration into society. Yet even though prisoners and former prisoners (not to mention their family members) constitute a substantial portion of the American population, they are generally a powerless and forgotten group of people, with few rights or opportunities. Surprisingly, very little is known or taught about prisons and punishment—in the United States or elsewhere. This course will explore these issues in a comparative perspective. It will seek to answer the following questions: Why does the U.S. maintain an incarceration rate that is seven times higher than other democracies, even though Americans are no more likely to be the victims of crimes than are people in other societies? Why is the U.S. one of the few democratic countries to sanction the death penalty? In other words, why is the criminal justice system in this country so much more punitive than in comparable countries? This lecture course will also involve several different formats, including smaller group discussions of certain readings, the viewing of several excellent movies and documentaries that relate to prisons and punishment, and a class “field trip” to an actual prison.

The most powerful idea of the twentieth century—an idea that instantiates a watershed in international politics far more fundamental and transformative than the Treaty of Westphalia—is the following moral claim:

All persons everywhere have basic and universal human rights;

Thus, “we” (members of the human community) are obligated to find ways not only at the national but also at the international level to devise guarantees for basic and universal human rights.  Since World War II, the international community has instantiated the norm that an essential moral obligation of the society of states is to promote, protect, and extend Human Rights.  Morally, this obligation to uphold human rights ought to trump, delimits, authorize and/or orient the exercise of so-called “state sovereignty.” 

The syllabus includes classic texts on human rights as well as contemporary literature on human rights in world politics.  We study key international human rights documents; content of rights claims; international strategies for human rights protection and advocacy, and implementation; and predictable challenges in international efforts to do so.  In their presentations, students explore the ways various international actors work to support human rights, aid those whose rights have been violated, and shine the international spotlight on violators and their egregious acts.

Sociology Core Topic: This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of cities and urban life. Cities are socially and politically contested spaces, and researchers have sought for more than a century to understand the process of urban development and the consequence of urban life. Some argue that cities represent the crowning achievement of modernity; others suggest that cities are isolating and alienating, fostering anomie, rather than social cohesion. The course integrates work by urban planners, architects, political scientists, geographers and sociologists to provide a comprehensive set of tools to understand and analyze modern urban life. It begins with an analysis of the dynamics of capitalist urbanization and examines socio-spatial changes in the urban landscape in the early twentieth century. The course investigates the rise of urban ghettos in the post-War city, the growth of suburbia, and utopian schemes to reimagine the American urban landscape. Although the course focuses primarily on the United States, we will also discuss the rise of global cities, mega-cities and slums in the Global South. 

Sociology Advanced Seminar: While the term ‘public housing’ still conjures up images of high-rise developments in poor neighborhoods, most Americans living in publicly funded housing do not live in these types of units. In fact, public housing refers to a broad set of initiatives to create safe, affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans. Many of these policies emerged as a response to the perceived failures of large-scale public housing in the mid-twentieth century. This course examines the multiple types of policies designed to provide housing assistance in the United States. To do so, it interrogates the relationship between theory and practice – namely, how disciplines throughout the social sciences, including economics, sociology, architecture and urban planning, have informed the assumptions made by policymakers in their pursuit of better housing policies. After tracing the history of large-scale public housing developments, we will focus on several newer initiatives, including housing vouchers and the creation of mixed-income communities, that attempt to de-concentrate poverty and create opportunities for poor Americans. 

This introductory course offers a highly participatory laboratory for individual and group/ensemble exploration of socially engaged, improvisational performance. Throughout the semester, we will explore how a wide variety of artists and cultural workers have advanced and are continuing to advance social change, civic engagement, and community-based dialogue. Students will be asked to examine their own values and convictions and will develop skills and tools to put them into practice through embodied performative interventions in the social world. By focusing our attention on students’ own life experiences and the issues in our own local/ campus, regional, national, and global communities (local/ campus, national, and global) that each student cares about most deeply, students will draw connections between the intimate personal register of their own creative selves, and their active participation in the communities they occupy. Case studies and performance activities will focus not only on the content but also on the form and the context of diverse creative processes. Class exercises and assignments will emphasize experiential learning as we both participate in guided improvisational workshops and develop skills in creating and facilitating our own original performance workshops and ultimately a final ensemble creation as a class. Reading will draw on Brecht, Boal, and Jan Cohen-Cruz, among others. Students wishing to pursue a fourth credit CBL experience may do so by coordinating at the semester’s start with the professor and CSJ.

Material goods surround us; they are necessary for our well-being and express identity and status. In today’s global economic market, we are all entangled in webs of consumption, production, and the disposal of goods that often harm the environment and others. How do we ethically navigate this shifting terrain when the environment and human person are increasingly subject to commodification? In this course, we seek to understand inequality and identity in consumer culture, particularly in light of Christian economic ethics. Practices of religious and secular resistance will be covered and special attention will be given to how both religion and dissent are also commodified. While there is an emphasis on Christian theology, readings and discussion are not limited to Christian approaches. 

This course provides an introduction to the body of knowledge that has come to be known as feminist theory. Throughout the course we will consider a wide range of feminist thought, focusing particularly on theory in action – that is, how theory becomes, how it influences and creates, and how it can both dismantle and (re)build.  To do so, we will pay close attention to the spaces in and through which theories are articulated, as well as the ways in which theories themselves can construct and transform space. Through a range of feminist writing on such intersecting topics as gender, race, colonialism, capitalism, globalization, and emotion we will learn how theory can give us insight into the mechanisms of belonging, marginalization, and socio-material change. The course will culminate in a rigorously curated final project that interprets feminist theories into feminist practice aimed at affecting positive change in the Georgetown community.

This course explores how concepts of masculinity and femininity shape the U.S. legal system. We also examine other factors that influence how individuals view and encounter the law (race, religion, political outlook, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic status, etc.). Specific topics include the gender binary, sex discrimination in the workplace and educational institutions, intimate partner violence, reproductive justice, and marriage. Our academic focus is on legal analysis, public policy writing, and respectful dialogue about emotionally complex topics. There will be many opportunities to practice these skills during the semester. No prior legal knowledge is required.

Anyone entering the thickets of argument relating to violence, gender, and human rights today has to contend with the range and variety of meanings that these concepts have accrued in current usage. While there is broad consensus that there does exist a contemporary crisis around global violence and the suspected gendered aspect of it, how the relationships between globalization and human rights violations, and between violence against women and the redefinition of human rights, are to be interpreted, and what is to be done about it is matters of vigorous intellectual and political debate. This class aims to explore the gendered manifestations of violence in public and private spheres within the context of the more general relationship among globalization, development, and human/civil/citizen rights. We will pay attention to banal violence (that is, daily and “banal” violence in everyday life), spectacular violence at moments of crisis, and the type of violence that disrupts the boundary between the two. Special emphasis will be given to the issues of racism, sexual exploitation, poverty, labor, health care, homophobia, militarism, and globalization. 

The readings will include _We Wish to Inform you That Tomorrow We will be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda_ by Philip Gourevitch, _A Problem from Hell_ by Samantha Powers, _Violence against Women_ by Stanley French et al., _Are Prisons Obsolete_ by Angela Davis, _The Sterilization of Carrie Buck_ by J. David Smith and K. Ray Nelson, and _Pathologies of Power: Health, Human rights, and the New War on the Poor_ by Paul Farmer.

Summer 2021 Courses

This gateway course surveys the histories, theories, concepts, actors, and pedagogies that compose the growing transdisciplinary field of justice and peace studies. We will familiarize ourselves with current issues in the field, as well as the movements and structures that both contribute to and provide obstacles to the creation and sustainability of a more just and peaceful world. The course presents a wide range of theoretical and practical perspectives on peace and social justice, including poverty, hunger, and homelessness; racism, sexism, and homophobia; violence, oppression, slavery, and colonization; and complex issues of sustainable development and humanitarian aid. Through historical and contemporary analyses, the course addresses critical issues of militarism, inequality, and injustice, emphasizing the development of viable alternatives. This course is open to all students and highly recommended for first-year students and sophomores interested in pursuing the JUPS major or minor. (Offered online every Summer)

Title: Building and Transforming Community. Restorative and transformative approaches to living in a community are built on an understanding of human needs, complexity and interdependence, personal and systemic root causes of harm and conflict, and the potential of empathic connection. This course will explore these topics as they relate to building and sustaining relationships, engaging with conflict, promoting accountability, and transforming cultural and institutional structures to better serve all members of a community and align with their values. Course participants will learn a cross-disciplinary set of ideas and practices through an experiential, interactive, and self-reflective approach, and apply them to the Georgetown community.

Past Course Offerings

Consortium Courses 

The Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, includes American University, Catholic University of America, Gallaudet University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, Joint Military Intelligence College, Marymount University, National Defense University, Southeastern University, Trinity University, University of the District of Columbia, and the University of Maryland-College Park.

Consortium enrollment is available on a space-available basis to degree-program students currently enrolled in a Consortium member school visiting another member school. For Links to Consortium standard Cross-Registration rules and procedures, Consortium schools’ class schedules and academic calendars, plus a standing list of courses excluded from Consortium registration, see the Consortium website.

See our listing of DC-area Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies higher education programs under the Resources tab.