This seminar will examine how human rights have been articulated in distinct historical contexts in Latin America. We shall first review early notions of human rights and natural law as expressed during the Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the Americas. Second, the seminar will identify the main tenets of human-rights law and discourse, as comprehended in general terms since the establishment of the United Nations. Then we shall study how major concepts of human rights have been asserted in recent years in different countries across Latin America. This course fulfills the advanced seminar, Americas/Europe, and modern requirements for the major. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.
This is a mid-level lecture/discussion course intended to expose students to the intersection of media and the law within various social institutions and cultural contexts. Students enrolled in this course will examine the significant role that the media play in the American justice system as well as the critical socio-legal issues that journalists and other media figures face in pursuing their craft. Central to the course is an exploration of the meaning of the speech and press clauses of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Topics to be explored include government censorship, libel, invasion of privacy, obscenity, the impact of press coverage upon the right to a fair trial, and law and linguistics. A portion of this course will focus upon understanding the media in relation to crime and criminal justice, particularly through the advent of new technologies. Given pervasive depictions and representations of law in popular culture, students will research and examine society's perception of law and justice in both traditional and modern art forms (e.g., literature, film, humor, etc.). Prerequisite: sophomore standing.
This course has been designed as a discussion course with a series of mini-research assignments. The course focuses on the role and contributions of sociology and the social sciences to the conceptualization of law and legal policymaking. Course materials will draw upon research performed primarily within the context of the American civil and criminal justice system. We will also examine some prevalent notions about what law is or should be, legal behavior and practices, and justifications for resorting to law to solve social problems. Through the use of mini-research assignments, it is hoped that students will gain an appreciation for the complexity and far-reaching impact that the social sciences have upon social policy-making and legal policy-making as well as the difficulty of determining or measuring law and its impact. This course is highly recommended for students participating in the John W. Adams Summer Scholars Program in Socio-Legal Studies. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
This is an upper-level seminar that offers students in the concentration an opportunity to integrate the various topics and approaches to which they were exposed in the law-related courses they have taken. Each year, the senior seminar will be designed around a specific substantive theme or topic; the themes as well as the format and approach to the course will change from year to year, depending upon the faculty members teaching the course and their interests. This course is also listed as ENGL 491.01 and is team taught with Professor Ivonne Garcia. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
The central question in ethics is "How should I live my life?" This course explores this question by examining major ethical traditions such as honor ethics, Stoicism, Aristotelian virtue ethics, utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, and Nietzsche's genealogy of morality. The emphasis is on classical texts, as well as their connections with our contemporary life. This course is suitable for first-year students. Offered every year.
This course examines moral issues we encounter in our private as well as public lives from a philosophical point of view. We discuss various ethical approaches such as Kantianism, utilitarianism, and value pluralism through analyzing issues such as abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, the moral status of nonhuman animals, the environment, war, world poverty, inequality, and the ecology of rural life. There is a strong emphasis on discussion, and we use diverse methods such as Brandeis Brief and moral heuristics. This course is suitable for first-year students. Offered every year.
In this course we will study the history of political philosophy (with a focus on the period from about 1600 to about 1850). The course will address the following questions: What is the origiin of civil society and government? What role does consent play in establishing government? Are there any natural rights, or do rights depend on the conventions of civil society? Does the civil law depend on the natural law? What is the relation between the contraints of law and liberty? Are there economic preconditions for liberty? Our readings will be mostly from Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Kant, Hegel, and Marx. Offered every other year.
This mid-level course will explore the methods that sociologists use to study popular culture and media products, and will examine the connections of popular culture and media to broader social patterns within American society. Course material will cover a range of subjects, including movies, television, the news, novels, and advertising. Students will become familiar with several approaches to the study of popular culture and mass media, and examine what these cultural products can reveal about social norms, trends, and relationships. In addition to empirical assessments of the content of cultural products, the course will examine the institutional structures that shape their production and distribution, as well as patterns of audience consumption and interpretation. This work will culminate with the opportunity to design a research project that uses sociological methods to critically interpret and analyze popular culture products. Prerequisite: foundation course in sociology or permission of instructor.
There is more to our health than biology. In this course, we investigate social factors that influence physical and mental health. Specifically, we look into how various social factors shape race and class health disparities. In four main units, we discuss the influences of globalization, economics, neighborhoods, family and culture. At the end of the semester, students will write a paper that integrates the various perspectives to provide their own explanation of race and class health disparities. Prerequisite:100-level sociology course or permission of instructor.