Difference and Justice in the World

Last updated: July 10, 2019 at 1:42 PM

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Objectives

As part of the global engagement requirement, difference and justice in the world courses will allow students to focus on the social, cultural, political, environmental and economic diversity of human experience within the global/transnational context. Looking beyond singular or dominant understandings of the world, students will engage in the study of peoples outside the U.S., their histories, arts, cultures, politics, economies, environments, and religions.

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Requirement Beginning Fall 2019

For students entering Brandeis beginning fall 2019, students will complete one semester course that satisfies the difference and justice in the world requirement. Courses that satisfy the requirement in a particular semester are designated "djw" in the Schedule of Classes for that semester.

There is no difference and justice in the world requirement for students entering Brandeis prior to fall 2019.

Courses of Instruction

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Difference and Justice in the World

AAAS 115a Introduction to African History
[ djw nw ss ]
Explores the history of African societies from their earliest beginnings to the present era. Topics include African participation in antiquity as well as early Christianity and preindustrial political, economic, and cultural developments. Usually offered every year.
Staff

AAAS 120a African History in Real Time
[ djw nw oc ss ]
This information literacy-driven course equips students with the skills to place current events in Africa in their historical context. Collectively the class builds 5-6 distinct course modules which entail sourcing and evaluating current newstories from a range of media outlets, selecting those that merit in-depth historical analysis, and developing a syllabus for each one. Usually offered every second year.
Carina Ray

AAAS 135a Race, Sex, and Colonialism
[ djw oc ss ]
Explores the histories of interracial sexual relations as they have unfolded in a range of colonial contexts and examines the relationships between race and sex, on one hand, and the exercise of colonial power, on the other. Usually offered every year.
Carina Ray

AAAS 146b African Icons
[ djw nw oc ss wi ]
From Walatta Petros, a seventeenth century Ethiopian nun turned anticolonial agitator to Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, this course introduces a broad range of iconic figures in Africa's history to students who also acquire the investigative and analytical skills associated with sound historical research and writing. Usually offered every year.
Carina Ray

AAAS 162a Assassination: A History of 20th Century Africa
[ djw nw oc ss ]
Examines the assassinations of a range of different political, cultural, and activist figures, such as Patric Lumumba, Steve Biko, and Ken Saro-Wiwa, and assesses the social, political, economic, and cultural implications and legacies this particular form of murder has had on twentieth-century Africa. Usually offered every second year.
Carina Ray

AAAS/ENG 80a Black Looks: The Promise and Perils of Photography
[ deis-us djw hum wi ]
Formerly offered as ENG 80a.
Explores photography and Africans, African-Americans and Caribbean people, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. This course will examine fiction that refers to the photograph; various photographic archives; and theorists on photography and looking. Usually offered every third year.
Faith Smith

ANTH 1a Introduction to the Comparative Study of Human Societies
[ djw nw ss ]
Examines the ways human beings construct their lives in a variety of societies. Includes the study of the concept of culture, kinship, and social organization, political economy, gender and sexuality, religion and ritual, symbols and language, social inequalities and social change, and globalization. Consideration of anthropological research methods and approaches to cross-cultural analysis. Usually offered every semester.
Jonathan Anjaria, Elizabeth Ferry, Sarah Lamb, or Janet McIntosh

ANTH 107a Wealth, Value, and Power in a World without Money
[ djw nw ss ]
Examines the relationships of value, wealth, power, and authority in the Aztec Empire, Inka Empire and Classic period Maya kingdoms of the Prehispanic Americas. In so doing it raises questions about the origins of these relationships in modern states. Usually offered every third year.
Charles Golden

ANTH 127a Medicine, Body, and Culture
[ djw nw ss ]
Examines main areas of inquiry in medical anthropology, including medicine as a sociocultural construct, political and economic dimensions of suffering and health, patients and healers in comparative medical systems, and the medical construction of men's and women's bodies. Usually offered every year.
Sarah Lamb or Anita Hannig

ANTH 144a The Anthropology of Gender
[ djw nw ss wi ]
This course offers a 2-credit optional Experiential Learning practicum.
Examines gender constructs, sexuality, and cultural systems from a comparative perspective. Topics include the division of labor, rituals of masculinity and femininity, the vexing question of the universality of women's subordination, cross-cultural perspectives on same-sex sexualities and transsexuality, the impact of globalization on systems, and the history of feminist anthropology. Usually offered every year.
Anita Hannig, Sarah Lamb, Keridwen Luis, or Ellen Schattschneider

ANTH 163b Economies and Culture
[ djw nw ss ]
Prerequisite: ANTH 1a, ECON 2a, ECON 10a, or permission of the instructor.
We read in newspapers and books and hear in everyday discussion about "the economy," an identifiably separate sphere of human life with its own rules and principles and its own scholarly discipline (economics). The class starts with the premise that this "common sense" idea of the economy is only one among a number of possible perspectives on the ways people use resources to meet their basic and not-so-basic human needs. In the course, we draw on cross-cultural examples, and take a look at the cultural aspects of finance, corporations, and markets. Usually offered every second year.
Elizabeth Ferry

ANTH 164a Medicine and Religion
[ djw nw ss ]
Prerequisite: ANTH 1a or equivalent.
Considers the convergence of two cultural spheres that are normally treated as separate: medicine and religion. The course will examine their overlap, such as in healing and dying, as well as points of contention through historical and contemporary global ethnographies. Usually offered every second year.
Anita Hannig

ANTH 165b Anthropology of Death and Dying
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Explores how different societies, including our own, conceptualize death and dying. Topics include the cultural construction of death, the effects of death on the social fabric, mourning and bereavement, and medical issues relating to the end of life. Usually offered every second year.
Anita Hannig

ANTH 166b Queer Anthropology: Sexualities and Genders in Cross-Cultural Perspective
[ djw ss ]
Explores ethnographic approaches to the study of sexuality and gender in diverse cultural contexts, such as the US, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Mexico. Examines how sexuality intersects with other cultural forms, including gender, race, ethnicity, labor, religion, colonialism and globalization. Explores also how the discipline of anthropology has been shaped by engagements with questions of sexuality and the field of queer studies. Usually offered every second year.
Brian Horton, Sarah Lamb, or Keridwen Luis

BIOL 39b Biology of Global Climate Change
[ djw sn ]
Prerequisites: ENVS 2a, BIOL 16a or BIOL 17b.
Examines the biology of global climate change from how biology informs understanding climate change to the evolutionary and ecological responses to climate change. This lecture course includes an exploration of the literature coupled with citizens science research. Usually offered every year.
Colleen Hitchcock

CLAS 140a Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Greek and Roman Art and Text
[ ca djw hum ]
An exploration of women, gender, and sexuality in ancient Greece and Rome as the ideological bases of Western attitudes toward sex and gender. Includes, in some fashion, Greek and Roman myth, literature, art, architecture, and archaeological artifacts. Usually offered every third year.
Ann O. Koloski-Ostrow

CLAS 144b Archaeological Ethics, Law and Cultural Heritage
[ djw hum ]
The material culture of the past is imbued with multitude of meanings and values for different groups, often at odds with each other. This class explores the ethical and legal context of heritage as well as the conservation, protection, or stewardship of our shared human experience. Usually offered every second year.
Alexandra Ratzlaff or Staff

CLAS 160a Race and Ethnicity in the Ancient World
[ djw hum ]
Introduces students to ancient attitudes toward race and ethnicity. Students will be challenged to consider how these categories are presented in literature and artistic works of Greece and Rome, and how ancient thinking remains current and influential today. Usually offered every second year.
Caitlin Gillespie

COML/ENG 70b Environmental Film, Environmental Justice
[ djw hum ]
Examines films that address nature, environmental crisis, and green activism. Asks how world cinema can best advance the goals of social and environmental justice. Includes films by major directors and festival award winners. Usually offered every third year.
Caren Irr

ECON 176a Health, Hunger, and the Household in Developing Countries
[ djw nw ss ]
Prerequisites: ECON 80a and ECON 184b or permission of the instructor.
Examines aspects of poverty and nutrition that are confronted by households in low-income countries. Examines these issues primarily from a microeconomic perspective, although some macroeconomic angles are explored as well. Usually offered every second year.
Nidhiya Menon

ENG 32a 21st-Century Global Fiction: A Basic Course
[ djw hum nw oc ]
Offers an introduction to 21st-century global fiction in English. What is fiction and how does it illuminate contemporary issues such as migration, terrorism, and climate change? Authors include Zadie Smith, Amitav Ghosh, Chimamanda Adichie, Mohsin Hamid, J.M. Coetzee and others. Usually offered every third year.
Ulka Anjaria

FREN 161a The Enigma of Being Oneself: From Du Bellay to Laferrière
[ djw fl hum wi ]
Prerequisite: FREN 106b or the equivalent, or permission of the instructor.
Explores the relationship of identity formation and modern individualism in texts by writers working in France, Francophone Africa and Canada. Authors range from modern and contemporary writers Sarah Kofman, Dany Laferrière, Achille Mbembe, Alain Mabanckou, and Edouard Glissant to early-modern writers like Joachim Du Bellay and Michel de Montaigne. Usually offered every year.
Michael Randall

GECS 188b Human/Nature: European Perspectives on Climate Change
[ djw hum ]
Open to all students.
Introduces European attitudes towards climate change as reflected in policy, literature, film, and art, with a focus on workable future-oriented alternatives to fossil-fueled capitalism. Usually offered every second year.
Sabine von Mering

HBRW 146a The Voices of Jerusalem
[ djw fl hum wi ]
Prerequisite: Four semesters of Hebrew or permission of the instructor.
Aims to develop students' language proficiency through analysis of selected materials that depict the unique tradition, literature and poetry, history, politics, art, and other features related to Jerusalem. Usually offered every second year in the fall.
Sara Hascal

HISP 111b Introduction to Latin American Literature and Culture
[ djw dl fl hum nw ]
Prerequisite: HISP 106b, or HISP 108a, or permission of the instructor.
Examines key Latin American texts of different genres (poems, short stories and excerpts from novels, chronicles, comics, screenplays, cyberfiction) and from different time periods from the conquest to modernity. This class places emphasis on problems of cultural definition and identity construction as they are elaborated in literary discourse. Identifying major themes (coloniality and emancipation, modernismo and modernity, indigenismo, hybridity and mestizaje, nationalisms, Pan-Americanism, etc.) we will trace continuities and ruptures throughout Latin American intellectual history. Usually offered every semester.
Jerónimo Arellano, Lucía Reyes de Deu, or Fernando Rosenberg

HIST 56b World History to 1960
[ djw nw ss ]
An introductory survey of world history, from the dawn of "civilization" to c.1960. Topics include the establishment and rivalry of political communities, the development of material life, and the historical formation of cultural identities. Usually offered every second year.
Govind Sreenivasan

HIST 66a History of South Asia (2500 BCE - 1971)
[ djw nw ss ]
Introduces South Asian history from the earliest civilizations to the independence of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Surveys the formation of religious traditions, the establishment of kingdoms and empires, colonialism and its consequences, and post-independence political and economic development. Usually offered every second year.
Govind Sreenivasan

HIST 71a Latin American and Caribbean History I: Colonialism, Slavery, Freedom
[ djw hum nw ss ]
Studies colonialism in Latin America and Caribbean, focusing on coerced labor and struggles for freedom as defining features of the period: conquest; Indigenous, African, and Asian labor; colonial institutions and economics; Independence and revolutionary movements. Usually offered every year.
Gregory Childs

HIST 71b Latin American and Caribbean History II: Modernity, Medicine, Sexuality
[ djw hum nw ss ]
Studies the idea of "modernity" in Latin America and Caribbean, centered on roles of health and human reproduction in definitions of the "modern" citizen: post-slavery labor, race and national identity; modern politics and economics; transnational relations. Usually offered every year.
Gregory Childs

HIST 80a Introduction to East Asian Civilization
[ djw dl hum nw ss ]
A selective introduction to the development of forms of thought, social and political institutions, and distinctive cultural contributions of China and Japan from early times to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Usually offered every year.
Heyward James

HIST 106b The Modern British Empire
[ djw oc ss ]
Surveys British imperial history from the Seven Years’ War through the period after decolonization. Explores economic, political, and social forces propelling expansion; ideologies and contradictions of empire; relationships between colonizer and colonized; and the role of collaboration and resistance. Usually offered every second year.
Hannah Muller

HIST 111a History of the Modern Middle East
[ djw nw ss ]
An examination of the history of the Middle East from the nineteenth century to contemporary times. Focuses on political events and intellectual trends, such as imperialism, modernity, nationalism, and revolution, that have shaped the region in the modern era. Usually offered every second year.
Naghmeh Sohrabi

HIST 111b The Iranian Revolution: From Monarchy to the Islamic Republic
[ djw dl nw ss ]
An examination of the roots of the Iranian revolution of 1979, the formation of the Islamic Republic, and its evolution over the past 30 years. Usually offered every second year.
Naghmeh Sohrabi

HIST 112a Nationalism in the Middle East
[ djw nw ss ]
Seminar examining the history of nationalism in the modern Middle East. Covers divergent theories and practices of nationalism in the region, and explores the roles of gender, memory, historiography, and art in the formation and articulation of Middle East nationalisms. Usually offered every second year.
Naghmeh Sohrabi

HIST 121a Breaking the Rules: Deviance and Nonconformity in Premodern Europe
[ djw ss wi ]
Explores the ways in which "deviant" behavior was defined and punished by some, but also justified and even celebrated by others in premodern Europe. Topics include vagrancy, popular uprisings, witchcraft, religious heresy, and the status of women. Usually offered every second year.
Govind Sreenivasan

HIST 135b The Middle East and Its Revolutions
[ djw nw ss ]
An examination of the various revolutions that have shaped the modern Middle East since the late 19th century. The course focuses on four different revolutionary moments: The constitutional revolutions of the turn of the century, the anti-colonial revolutions of mid-century, the radical revolutions of the 1970's, and most recently, the Arab Spring revolutions that have affected the region since 2011. Usually offered every second year.
Naghmeh Sohrabi

HIST 162a Writing on the Wall: Histories of Graffiti in the Americas
[ djw dl ss ]
Focuses on the history of graffiti in the U.S. from 1960s forward. Includes the historical role of Caribbean migration, the impact of criminology and economic recession of the 1970s on graffiti culture, and the relationship between private property, public space, and graffiti. Usually offered every second year.
Gregory Childs

HIST 165a Starting from Food: New Perspectives on the Middle East and Islam
[ djw ss ]
Studying food - consumption, production, distribution, regulation, representation - illuminates every aspect of human history. This course explores texts, images, objects, local supermarkets and your experience to consider questions of power, identity, faith, taste, and more in Middle Eastern and Islamic history. Usually offered every second year.
Amy Singer

HIST 172b Historicizing the Black Radical Tradition
[ djw ss ]
Introduces students to the many ways that people and scholars of African descent have historically struggled against racial oppresion by formulating theories, philosophies, and practices of liberation rooted in their experiences and understandings of labor, capitalism, and modernity. Usually offered every second year.
Gregory Childs

HIST 175b Resistance and Revolution in Latin America and the Caribbean
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Focuses on questions of race, gender and modernity in resistence movements and revolutions in Latin American and Caribbean history. The Haitian Revolution, Tupac Amaru Rebellion, and Vaccination Riots in Brazil are some topics that will be covered. Usually offered every second year.
Gregory Childs

HIST 178a The Middle East and the West: Historical Encounters
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Examines Middle Eastern and Western encounters from nineteenth century to the present. Topics include: travel, Orientalism, modernity, spectacles and world fairs, gender and sexuality, notions of sovereignty, and the immigrant experience. Usually offered every second year.
Naghmeh Sohrabi

HIST 178b Britain and India: Connected Histories
[ djw oc ss wi ]
Surveys the history of Britain and India from the rise of the East India Company to the present. Explores cultural and economic exchanges; shifts in power and phases of imperial rule; resistance and collaboration; nationalism; decolonization and partition; and postcolonial legacies. Usually offered every second year.
Hannah Muller

HIST 182b Modern China
[ djw nw ss ]
Surveys Chinese history from the Ming to Mao, with an emphasis on political, social, cultural, and literary trends; and attention toward ethnic minorities and overseas communities and diaspora. Usually offered every year.
Xing Hang

HIST 183a Empire at the Margins: Borderlands in Late Imperial China
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Explores Ming and Qing China's frontiers with Japan, Korea, Inner Asia, Vietnam, and the ocean from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries, examining the role of borderlands in forging the present-day multiethnic Chinese state and East Asian national identities. Usually offered every third year.
Xing Hang

HIST 184a Silk, Silver, and Slaves: China and the Industrial Revolution
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Examines why industrial capitalism, which underpins the current world order, first developed in Western Europe rather than China. Comparative treatment of commercialization, material culture, cities, political economies, and contingencies on both ends of Eurasia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Usually offered every second year.
Xing Hang

HIST 185a The China Outside China: Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Diaspora in the Making of Modern China
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Studies the history of Chinese outside Mainland China, from Hong Kong and Taiwan to Siberia and Africa, from fifteenth century to present day. Ambivalence to ancestral and adopted homelands made these communities valuable agents of transnational exchange and embodiments of Chinese modernity. Usually offered every third year.
Xing Hang

HIST 187b Unequal Histories: Caste, Religion, and Dissent in India
[ djw nw ss ]
Examines the religious, political, and social dimensions of discrimination in India. In order to study caste, power, and representation, we will look at religious texts, historical debates, film, and literature from the Vedic Age to contemporary India. Usually offered every second year.
Avinash Singh

HIST/SOC 170b Gender and Sexuality in South Asia
[ djw ss ]
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.
Explores historical and contemporary debates about gender and sexuality in South Asia; revisits concepts of "woman," "sex," "femininity," "home," "family," "community," "nation," "reform," "protection," and "civilization" across the colonial and postcolonial periods. Usually offered every second year.
Hannah Muller and Gowri Vijayakumar

IGS 165a Revolution, Religion, and Terror: Postcolonial Histories
[ djw nw ss ]
Examines religious conflict, revolutionary violence, and civil war in modern South Asia. It looks at Jihad, Maoist militancy, rising fundamentalism, and the recent refugee crisis. Usually offered every second year.
Avinash Singh

NEJS 143a Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain
[ djw hum ]
Examines interactions among the three religious communities focusing on political and social development, intra-religious conflict, and intellectual and artistic production. We will investigate the degree to which Castilian culture can be described as "Christian" or as "Muslim-Christian-Jewish" in character. Usually offered every second year.
Jonathan Decter

NEJS 184b Disability Cultures: Art, Film and Literature of People with Disabilities
[ djw hum ]
Explores cultural representations of disability in Israel, Europe, and the US. By focusing on literature, film, dance, and visual art, it explores physical, mental, and emotional disability experiences, and their relations to gender, sexuality, nationalism, and identity politics. Usually offered every second year.
Ilana Szobel

POL 134b The Global Migration Crisis
[ djw ss wi ]
Looks at immigration from the perspectives of policy-makers, migrants, and the groups affected by immigration in sender nations as well as destination countries. Introduces students to the history of migration policy, core concepts and facts about migration in the West, and to the theories and disagreements among immigrant scholars. Usually offered every second year.
Jytte Klausen

POL 141a Elections and Electoral Systems in Comparative Perspective
[ djw ss ]
Introduces students to the scientific study of elections and electoral systems from a comparative standpoint. Students will be exposed to social scientific literature on elections, analyze these processes from a comparative perspective, and learn how to use digital tools, such as ArcGIS and online mapping software (GIS) to analyze electoral processes. Usually offered every year.
Alejandro Trelles

POL 144a Latin American Politics
[ djw nw ss wi ]
Examines the development and deepening of democracy in Latin America, focusing on the role of political institutions, economic development, the military, and U.S.-Latin American relations. Usually offered every year.
Alejandro Trelles

POL 161b Good Neighbor or Imperial Power: The Contested Evolution of US-Latin American Relations
[ djw oc ss wi ]
Studies the ambivalent and complex relationship between the U.S. and Latin America, focusing on how the exploitative dimension of this relationship has shaped societies across the region, and on how Latin American development can be beneficial for the U.S. Usually offered every year.
Alejandro Trelles

POL 184a Seminar: Global Justice
[ djw ss wi ]
Prerequisites: One course in Political Theory or Moral, Social and Political Philosophy.
Explores the development of the topic of global justice and its contents. Issues to be covered include international distributive justice, duties owed to the global poor, humanitarian intervention, the ethics of climate change, and immigration. Usually offered every second year.
Jeffrey Lenowitz

RECS/THA 140a Russian Theater: Stanislavsky to Present
[ ca djw hum wi ]
Throughout its history, Russian theatre has tried to communicate truthfully in a mostly repressive society. This course introduces students to the achievements of theatre artists from Stanislavsky through Post-Modernism. We will examine the work of groundbreaking directors like Meyerhold, Vakhtangov, and Lyubimov. We will read and analyze representative works of major modern and contemporary playwrights. The course load consists of readings, discussions, papers and in-class projects. Usually offered every second year.
Dmitry Troyanovsky

SAS 100a India and Pakistan: Understanding South Asia
[ djw hum nw ss ]
An exploration of the history, societies, cultures, religions, and literature of South Asia--India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Uses perspectives from history, anthropology, literature, and film to examine past and contemporary life in South Asia. Usually offered every year.
Jonathan Anjaria, Ulka Anjaria, or Harleen Singh

SAS 150b Love, Sex, and Country: Films from India
[ djw hum nw ]
A study of Hindi films made in India since 1947 with a few notable exceptions from regional film, as well as some recent films made in English. Students will read Hindi films as texts/narratives of the nation to probe the occurrence of cultural, religious, historical, political, and social themes. Usually offered every third year.
Harleen Singh

SOC 124a Gender, Sexuality, and Globalization
[ djw ss ]
Introduces theories of gender, sexuality, and transnational feminism. Uses sociological research to examine labor, social movements, politics, and culture in global perspective, emphasizing Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Usually offered every second year.
Gowri Vijayakumar

SQS 6b Sexuality and Queer Studies
[ djw hum ss ]
Examines cross-cultural and historical perspectives on sexual meanings, experiences, representations, and activist movements within a framework forged by contemporary critical theories of gender and sexuality. Usually offered every year.
V Varun Chaudhry