Spring 2020 Course Offerings

Spring 2020 Core Electives

This course explores the role of religion in both fueling conflict and in fostering peace and justice. The rise of extremism and inter-religious 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 peace-builders, 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 peace-building. Drawing on a diversity of recent and current cases across contexts and religions, this course looks at the peace-building 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 peace-building as well as inter- and intra-faith approaches to transforming cultures of violence.

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.

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 vexed interchange between humans and animals in commodity culture. We encounter animals daily, although likely we pay little attention to, or don’t recognize, these encounters Each week we will review these practices of engagement between human and non-human animals. We eat animals, we wear them. Our beauty, health and home products are tested on them. Animals perform for us and satisfy our need for intimacy, as well as novelty. Human agency and indifference removes animals from their natural lives, and displays them for a variety of human pleasures. But in what sense can we say that we own them? Western culture– and its mix of theologies generally — positions animals as subservient to humans; post-colonial rhetoric subjugates their bodies in the same discursive frame that gave Harriet Beecher Stowe the sub-title for Uncle Tom’s Cabin: “The Man Who was a Thing”. The course is specific, practical, and political: Participants will be encouraged to see how their lives daily intersect with animals in terms of the fashions we wear, the foods we eat, the places we shop, the commodities we buy and how we choose our entertainments, and the pets we “keep.” Ultimately our questions are those of ethics and justice. Students will also be responsible for practicum work with an animal-agency of their own choosing.

Spring 2020 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.

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.

Recent years have seen more recognition of the impact of interpersonal violence on our culture and communities than ever before. This course will explore models of understanding interpersonal violence, media portrayals of interpersonal violence, the shortcomings of current approaches, and the tools we have to make change on both the local and national levels. Together, we will consider what and whose narratives of survivorship we encounter most often, and generate more inclusive policy and resources. We will hear from professionals working in varied capacities in the field of interpersonal violence response and prevention, both from Georgetown and the DC community. Class sessions will discuss how we can translate the theory from readings into the day-to-day of prevention work, and equip students with the practical ability to facilitate change in their communities.

Spring 2020 JUPS Cross Listed Courses

  • AFAM 260: Race and Politics
  • AFAM 318: Ta-Nehisi Coates: Writ Activis
  • ANTH 351: CBL-Refugees, Asylees, Migrants and Trafficked Persons
  • ENGL 168: Lit, Art, Film of WWI
  • ENGL 261: Intro to Queer Theory
  • ENGL 270: Disability Studies
  • ENGL 285: Writing for a Cause
  • ENGL 418: Queer Cinema
  • ENST 350: Gender and Sustainability
  • FMST 399: CBL-Social Justice Documentary
  • GOVT 406: Political Violence in the Name of God
  • GOVT 460: Ethical Issues in International Relations
  • GOVX 400: Prison Reform Project
  • HIST 209: The Atomic Age
  • IPOL 334: Just War Theory in the 21st Century
  • MUSC 115: Music in Multicultural World
  • PHIL 140: Crime and Punishment
  • SOCI 192: Law and Society
  • SOCI 193: Sociology of Criminal Justice
  • THEO 041: Struggle and Transcendance
  • THEO 177: CBL- Courage, Hope, and Justice
  • WGST 201: Feminist Thought 2
  • WGST 350: Gender and Sustainability