Obesity & Dementia: A Vicious Cycle

Obesity and cognitive dementia are currently among the most pernicious threats to human health and quality of life.  Despite many years of research at enormous financial cost, understanding of the causes of both disorders is limited and preventative and treatment interventions have been largely unsuccessful. Integrating scientific, medical, and social perspectives, students will explore the […]

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Antisemitism: Enduring Hatred

Hatred of the Jewish people and Judaism appeared in antiquity and continues to this very day.  The phenomenon puzzles scholars, pundits, politicians, Jews, and people around the world.  We will study this complex problem, focusing on specific episodes of this hatred in the past and present, emphasizing its long history in the U.S.  We will read different genres of literature—history (secondary and primary sources), fiction, and nonfiction—as we grapple with the multifarious […]

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Doing Better at Doing Good

This course examines the conversation on poverty in Washington, DC through scholarship, research, and community-based service-learning with an afterschool program. Horton’s Kids is a local nonprofit that serves families in Ward 8’s Wellington Park neighborhood, where the average household income is below $10,000 a year. Students discover how Horton’s Kids has evolved since 1989 using […]

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Fight Club: US War & Peace

This course provides an overview of the history and modern issues of peace and war with an emphasis on the institutions in Washington, D.C. (ie. Pentagon, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Amnesty International, State Department, CIA). Through reading ethnographic and historical case studies, as well as theoretical, journalistic, and polemical works, the course explores why and how the […]

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Wildlife Conservation

The World Wildlife Fund recently reported that total wildlife populations declined over 50% between 1970 and 2010.  Our class will explore the primary causes of habitat and wildlife loss including consumption, pollution, and climate change. We will then engage with diverse political, economic, and social approaches to preserving and protecting the remaining biodiversity. Our class […]

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Navigating Intimacy

The complexity of forming intimate relationships is an enduring topic of research, fascination and questioning throughout time. This course offers the unique opportunity for an intensive exploration of how the current state of navigating intimacy in emerging adults was shaped through the lens of modern history. “Navigating Intimacy” exposes students to an exciting and timely […]

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Religion and World Politics

Religion can mean different things to different people. While modern secular thought has permeated religious and communal life, traditional understandings of religion are still vibrant while fundamentalist and religion-based nationalisms have surged despite globalization. Wars of culture and power based on the different understandings of the interplay between religion, society and state rage in America […]

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