Spring 2016 Courses

Supported by the Ethics Center

CASTCAST 150b – Introduction to Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation

Instructor: Cynthia Cohen, CAST chair and Director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts
Time: Tuesdays, 2:00 PM–4:50 PM

How can music, theater, poetry, literature, and visual arts contribute to community development, coexistence, and nonviolent social change? In the aftermath of violence, how can artists help communities reconcile? Students explore these questions through interviews, case studies, and projects. Usually offered every year. This is the core course for the minor in Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST). More about CAST.

May not be taken for credit by students who took PAX 250b in prior years. Open to undergraduates and graduate students

EL 16a  – The Immigrant Experience in Waltham: A Service-based Practicum  
Instructor: Marci McPhee, Associate Director, International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life   EL 16a photo
Time: Wednesdays, 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM

This is a 2-credit course that may be taken in conjunction with or following one of several base courses, which change each semester. This supplemental practicum is designed to provide students with hands-on experience with community work and applying some of the frameworks and analysis methods they are learning about in the base course. The practicum is also intended to provide students with an opportunity to realize a social justice aim by collaborating with an organization that is addressing needs of immigrants, and other social justice/social policy issues of interest to the student.

Hands-on community work (3 hours/week) may include opportunities such as: Tutoring immigrant mothers and/or their preschool children learning English at Waltham Family School, Moody Street OR Supporting technology access for underserved populations at Charles River Public Internet Center, Moody Street OR Assisting with after-school enrichment for elementary and middle school children at Prospect Hill Community Center, a low-income housing neighborhood in Waltham OR Assisting with adult English classes at "Breaking Barriers" at WATCH CDC, off Moody Street.

LGLS 123bImmigration and Human Rights

Instructor: Douglas L Smith
Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30 PM–7:50 PM

Examines American immigration policy in the context of international human rights treaties and global practices. Practical exercises highlight social and cultural controversies surrounding refugee status and asylum seeking. Explores tensions between domestic politics and international law in guiding immigration reform. Usually offered every second year.

LGLS 161b – Advocacy for Policy Change

advocacyInstructor: Melissa Stimell
Time: Tuesdays and Fridays, 11:00 AM  12:20 PM

This is an experiential learning course. This hands-on course invites students to address concrete social problems through public policy reform. It provides background in theories, advocacy skills, networks, and key players that drive the legislative process. Focusing on policy change at the statehouse level, students engage with elected officials and community organizations to advance key legislation affecting social welfare, health, education, and economic justice. Usually offered every year.

Interested students should email the Legal Studies Program administrator at bsheehan@brandeis.edu for the registration code before early registration. There are no prerequisites. Priority is given to juniors and seniors and students majoring or minoring in Politics, Legal Studies, and Social Justice Social Policy. This course can satisfy the internship requirement for Legal Studies, HSSP, and SJSP. Students can contact Professor Stimell with additional questions: stimell@brandeis.edu

Of Related Interest:

AMST 188b - Louis Brandeis: Law, Business and Politics
Instructors: Daniel Breen

Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30 PM - 4:50 PM


Brandeis's legal career serves as model and guide for exploring the ideals and anxieties of American legal culture throughout the twentieth century. Focuses on how legal values evolve in response to new technologies, corporate capitalism, and threats to personal liberty. Usually offered every second year.

Brandeis University is presenting an exciting series of events in the winter and spring of 2016 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the nomination and confirmation of Louis D. Brandeis to the United States Supreme Court. The Ethics Center is playing a special role in this celebration. More about Louis D. Brandeis 100: Then and Now.

POL 197a - The Supreme Court ColloquiumSupreme Court columns
Instructors: Paul Emerson Herron
Time: Tuesdays, 2:00 PM -4:50 PM

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Yields half-course credit. May be repeated once for credit. Two semesters of POL 197a are required to fulfill the social science distribution requirement.

Intensive interdisciplinary study of the Supreme Court, with a particular emphasis on its current docket. After introducing students to the procedures of Supreme Court decision-making, the clash of interpretive methods, and the ebb and flow of the breadth and depth of the court’s power, the course will evaluate select cases from the 2015-2016 docket in real time, focusing on, among other things, social and political origins, institutional factors, legal argument and advocacy, and likely rulings and their possible effects. The Colloquium will also host numerous distinguished speakers to present on individual cases. Special yearlong offering in 2015-2016.

Brandeis University is presenting an exciting series of events in the winter and spring of 2016 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the nomination and confirmation of Louis D. Brandeis to the United States Supreme Court. The Ethics Center is playing a special role in this celebration. More about Louis D. Brandeis 100: Then and Now.