What’s It Worth? How we determine value

How do we, as individuals and societies, determine the value of things, services, and experiences? Questions like the value of a national park, a child well-educated, or a life prematurely lost are central to both government policy and individual commitments. Through careful reading, critical discussion, short integrative essays, and interactions with local organizations involved in […]

Continue reading


Coming to Terms with Past Violence

Embedded in the fabric of every national narrative is the attempt to understand past violence. Words like reconciliation, reckoning, justice, impunity, accountability, and forgiveness all have distinct connotations depending on their specific national context and the actors who employ them. In this course, we analyze localized forms of interpreting violence through regional case studies from […]

Continue reading


What is Legitimate?

The course explores how and why equilibria around questions of legitimate action in the areas of domestic governance, foreign policy, and international interventions form and why they often remain contentious. The course encourages students to understand ideas of legitimacy as bound in time and space, i.e., what is considered legitimate by some societies at some […]

Continue reading


The Era of Bad Feelings

America is more divided than ever today. Or is that true? How far back does this phenomenon go? The course examines the politics, culture, and history behind the current Era of Bad Feelings from the Civil Rights and Vietnam era to the present. The class will explore these issues through critical readings, lectures, guest speakers, […]

Continue reading


Rhetoric in History of U.S. Women’s Rights Advocacy

This inquiry-based seminar examines enduring questions of argumentation and rhetoric in the history of U.S. women’s rights advocacy, with particular attention to questions of race and class. Topics include separate spheres ideology, the early suffrage and abolitionist movements, women’s initial entry into higher education, protective labor legislation, abortion access, and regulation of sexual violence. The […]

Continue reading