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Past Courses

The following is a list of all Brandeis courses related to the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life that have been offered over the years.

AAAS 124b: The Rupture of Silence: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa
Instructor: Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela.
Examined memory and the language of trauma from the perspectives of victims, perpetrators, and bystanders of apartheid. Students read and watched videotapes of actual testimony presented to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Explored theories arising from several contexts of political trauma, including the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, and Guatemalan civil war, racism in the United States, and theories arising from studies of gender-based violence. This course was offered on a one-time basis. The instructor, a South African social psychologist, and former member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, was a visiting faculty associate at the Center. (Spring 2000)

AMST 141b: The Native American Experience
Instructor: Mark Power Robison
Survey of Native American history and culture with focus on the social, political, and economic changes experienced by Native Americans as a result of their interactions with European explorers, traders, and colonists.

AMST 186a: Topics in Ethics, Justice and Public Life:
Topic: Literature, Education and Moral Inquiry
Instructor: Daniel Terris
Explored the challenge of teaching fiction and poetry to young people, in light of American debates over the meaning of literature, the politics of schooling and the purpose of education. Included classroom observation. (Spring 2000)

COEX 210A: Coexistence and Conflict Theory and Analysis
Core Course 1
Instructor: Mari Fitzduff
Addressed the local and global contexts that make coexistence work a necessity. Participants reflected upon the different kinds of ethnic, religious, and cultural intercommunal conflicts that have emerged around the world, particularly since the end of the Cold War. They looked at the reasons for their emergence, and the likelihood of their continuance. They also looked at the various theories about contemporary intercommunal conflict, and assessed existing analytic approaches to such conflicts. (Fall 2004)

COEX 220A: Strategies for Coexistence Interventions
Instructor: Mari Fitzduff
*Open only to students enrolled in the M.A. program in coexistence and conflict.
Other students considered with permission of the instructor.
Studied the utilization of a variety of multifaceted approaches to policy and practice in coexistence and conflict interventions as well as the strategic design and evaluation of such interventions. (Spring 2005)

COEX 230A: Coexistence Research Methods
*Open only to students enrolled in the M.A. program in coexistence and conflict. May yield 1/2 course credit toward rate of work and graduation. Two semester hour credits.
Preparation for the research necessary for the required field project in the Master's program in coexistence and conflict. (Spring 2005)

COEX 240A: Dialogue and Mediation Skills
Open only to students enrolled in the M.A. program in coexistence and conflict.
Other students considered with permission of the instructor.
Addressed the theoretical and practical approaches to mediation and facilitation skills for people and organizations working in areas of intercommunal conflict. (Spring 2005)

COEX 250A: Coexistence, Cultural Work and the Arts
Instructor: Cynthia Cohen
*A graduate level course, open to undergraduates with background in a variety of fields, including Peace, Conflict & Coexistence Studies, politics, NEJS, and creative writing.
This course examined the theory and practice of promoting coexistence and reconciliation through cultural work and the arts. Participants explored how a variety of cultural and artistic forms and processes such as music, drama, visual arts, memorials, rituals, literature, and storytelling can 1) enhance capacities required for building trust; 2) invite former adversaries to understand and empathize with each other's suffering; 3) support people to confront painful and contested history; and 4) extend the impact of transformations accomplished in small groups to larger segments of society. Participants read and critiqued theories linking the arts to personal transformation and social change, and studied local and global case studies. In addition, they engaged in experiential activities designed to underscore the transformative potential of the arts and to ensure understandings that cannot be achieved on the cognitive level alone. (Spring 2005)

ED 150b: Public Schools and Democracy: Whither Education for the People?
Instructors: Jay Kaufman, Theodore R. Sizer, and Sarah Cannon Holden
Explored fundamental questions about public education, considering what is pedagogically sound and politically achievable. Drew from the policy studies arising from the new Brandeis-based project to define "A New Public Education." (Spring 2001)

ED150b: Public Schools and Democracy
Instructors: Sarah Cannon Holden, Jay R. Kaufman, and Theodore R. Sizer
This seminar explored fundamental questions about public education, considering both what is pedagogically sound and politically achievable. It examined the need and opportunities for -- and obstacles to -- major structural changes in our system of public schooling. Our basic question is this: Is it possible to make fundamental changes in public education? We have faith that the answer to this question is "yes," but, in all honesty, this course is part of our effort to answer this critical question. The semester will culminate in a student-led presentation on how to implement large-scale education reform in Massachusetts. The course draws on policy studies arising from a Brandeis-based project, "A New Public Education," which is designed to bring focus and a set of new ideas to the debate about the future of public education in Massachusetts and the nation. This seminar is an integral part of "A New Public Education" and engages students in the project’s research and policy-development activities. Learn more about A New Public Education, view course details, and meet the instructors. (Fall 2001)

EL 94a  – Immigrant Support Services Practicum (ISSP)
Instructor: Marci McPhee, Associate Director, International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life

This is a 2-credit course that may be taken in conjunction with a base course, which changes 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.

Students spend 3 hours a week in the community working with an organization that supports immigrants in some way, and 1 hour a week in class reflecting upon the experience and integrating it with the learning in the base course. (Every Semester)

FA 192: Contemporary South African Art in a Global Context
Instructor: Pamela Allara
This seminar studied contemporary art in South Africa as a case study in post-colonialism in the visual arts. Held in conjunction with the exhibition, "Coexistence: Contemporary Cultural Production in South Africa," the seminar addressed the social and critical issues pertaining to creating visual art in all media. The class satisfied the arts distribution as well as the fine arts history seminar requirements. The seminar studied the art first-hand at the Rose and at other exhibitions of South African art in the area. There were four visiting artists and the opportunity to participate in a number of related activities. (Spring 2003)

HOID 111b: September 11: Roots and Aftermath
Instructors: Kanan Makiya and Daniel Terris
Lecture series

An exploration of the antecedents, meaning and possible future repercussions of what happened on September 11, 2001 through the perspectives of politics, history, literature, the arts, religion, regional studies, and other disciplines. The course combined lectures and discussions, with guest speakers from both the Brandeis faculty and from outside the University including: Christopher Hitchens, Thomas Friedman, James Carroll, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and others. Some sessions of this course were lectures that were free and open to the public.

Topics included: Thinking about Political Violence, The War and the American Left, Islam and its Radical Variants; Religion, Violence and Peacemaking; Civil Liberties and Homeland Security; The Middle Eastern Context: The Arab-Israeli Conflict and The Gulf War; Fighting Terrorism: Arms. Money, Diplomacy, and Weapons of Mass Destruction; and Artistic Responses to Catastrophe. (Spring 2002)

HS264b, Natural Resource Management and Coexistence
Instructor: Attilla Klein
Focused on the historical and political backdrop to conflict over resources and on generalizations derived about these conflicts. Students examined several case histories on basic principles of cooperation in the management of natural resources. Students identified potential areas of future cooperation that could lead to coexistence of ethnic or economic groups within a country, between neighboring countries using the same resources, or of larger regions where group members may have different requirements. (Spring 2003, 2005)

HS 278: Human Rights, Coexistence and Sustainable Development
Instructor: April Powell-Willingham
Examines existing principles that may support integration of the related but sometimes divergent field of human rights, coexistence and sustainable development. In addition, the course explored new foundations for theoretical synthesis and application of integrated best practices. These theoretical inquiries were framed in the context of an examination of the pressing development and international social justice issues of our time.

LGLS 127b: Law and Letters in American Culture: Rape and the Written Word
Instructor: Mary Davis
*Cross-listed with Women's Studies and English Department
Examined all kinds of writings about rape from police reports to media reports to judicial opinions, as well as diaries, autobiographies, fiction, etc. in order to assess issues of justice within the legal/judicial system, which often tries rape victims as well as defendants. Library intensive course. (Spring 2000)

LGLS127b: Law and Literature: Family Conflict
Instructor: Mary Davis
Using current court cases and selected American, French, and Latin American literature, the course explored four main topics: parents as positive and negative role models; domestic violence, abuse and punishment; family unity amidst adversity; and the role of the state. (Spring 2001)

NEJS 171b: Describing Cruelty
Instructor: Kanan Makiya
Grappled with the difficult subject of cruelty. Focused on political or public cruelty in the non-Western world. The method was comparative and involved critical examination of the intellectual, visual, and literary works that engage the phenomenon. (Spring 2000)

PAX 89a - Internship in Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies
Instructor: Mitra Shavarini
Fall 2010 syllabus
Fall 2011 syllabus
Weekly seminar for students who have undertaken a summer internship related to peace, conflict, coexistence, and related international issues. Examples of internship sites include arts organizations, international courts and tribunals, human rights organizations, and democracy organizations. Students write extensively about their internship experience in the context of previous academic work that they have done in PAX, politics, anthropology, and other disciplines.

Prerequisite: Students must complete an eight- to ten-week full-time internship during the summer before the semester in which the student plans to enroll in this course. (Fall semester, annually)

PAX 120b: Inner Peace and Outer Peace
Instructors: Reya Stevens and Robin Moulds
Inner Peace and Outer Peace was a course on a leading edge of peace, conflict, and coexistence studies. Students examined the relationship between peace within oneself and the creation of peace in interpersonal relationships as well as in community, national, and global arenas. It was the first time a course linking personal awareness to social and political aspects of peace and reconciliation has ever been offered at Brandeis.

Our primary approach to looking at inner peace was the experiential practice of mindfulness meditation. Students were guided through a progressive development of mindfulness skills and required to meditate regularly both inside and outside of class. The meditation was designed to develop self awareness, compassion, and other qualities related to inner peace. In looking at peacebuilding and coexistence in the world, students used readings and participatory exercises to explore the key elements and ethical challenges of coexistence and reconciliation processes and to practice inter-communal dialogue and facilitation of bi-communal conflict resolution. Throughout the course, Students examined the applicability of meditative or contemplative practices to peace and conflict resolution. (Spring 2004)

PAX 186a: Introduction to Intercommunal Coexistence
Instructor: Cynthia Cohen
Spring 2003 Syllabus

Spring 2003 Assignments

Spring 2004 Syllabus

Students investigated the concepts, practices and dilemmas that are at the core of the emerging field of intercommunal coexistence. Analyzed concepts such as 'coexistence,' 'tolerance,' 'reconciliation,' and 'respect.' Students explored methods of intercommunal work - partly through hands-on activities - including encounter, dialogue, activism, economic cooperation and the arts. Considers tensions between coexistence and values of equity and justice. (Spring 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003) 

POL 127b Seminar: Managing Ethnic Conflict
Instructor: Mari Fitzduff
Comparative study of the sources and character of interethnic conflict, with emphasis on the processes by which groups become politicized, and the strategies and techniques for managing conflict in a democratic system. (Spring 2004) 

WMNS 185a: Harmonies and Tensions: Contemporary Issues in Black Jewish Relations in the United States
Analyzed the relationships between Blacks and Jews with the hope of developing new theories about how inter-ethnic connections and disconnections are maintained and/or disrupted. Using material from several disciplines as well as popular culture, students considered specific historical events where Blacks and Jewish worked together, clashed, or were pitted against each other. (Spring 2000)