Embrey Human Rights Program

Human Rights Course Descriptions

Courses that contribute to a major or minor in Human Rights

The human rights academic program was designed to be interdisciplinary, meaning students have the opportunity to learn about human rights from a variety of contexts. Below, read about some of the fascinating classes students can take in different areas while pursuing a degree in human rights.

ANTH 1321
First Year Seminar: Violence & Social Suffering in Global Perspectives
Offers beginning students an opportunity to pursue a specific, anthropological topic in depth in a small class setting. It will be both writing-and reading-intensive.

ANTH 2301
Introductory Cultural Anthropology
This course focuses on understanding the forces that shape cultures and societies, and how they adapt to a rapidly changing world.

ANTH 3301
Health, Healing and Ethics
Cross-cultural perspectives on sickness and society. Explores cultures and organization of medical systems, economic development and the global exportation of biomedicine and ethical dilemmas associated with medical technologies and global disparities in health.

ANTH 3310
Gender and Sex Roles
Cross cultural and historical comparison of women’s and men’s life experiences in the areas of family, marriage and kinship, economic and political participation, sexuality, reproduction, ritual and religion.

ANTH 3311
Mexico: From Conquest to Cancun
An introduction to the unity and diversity of Mexican society as it has developed through encounters with other cultures – from 16th century conquistadores to 21st century tourists and emigrants. Meets Human Diversity co-requirement.

ANTH 3327
Culture Change and Globalization: Social Science Perspectives
Introduction to anthropological perspectives on global transformations: world economic integration; economic development and sociocultural change; new patterns of hunger, poverty and disease; ethnic resurgence and nationalism; migration and transnationalism; the expansion of global religions and fundamentalist movements, and changes in gender and family patterns. Meets Human Diversity co-requirement

ANTH 3333
The Immigrant Experience
Course explores historical, social, cultural and political dimensions of the US immigrant experience, and America’s attitudes towards immigrants. Controversial issues such as bilingual education and illegal immigration will be examined. Meets Human Diversity co-requirement.

ANTH 3336
Gender & Globalization – Cultural & Ethical Issues
An analysis of the impact of globalizing forces on women’s lives and identities, as well as on patterns of gender relations and ideology in various cultures around the world. Meets Human Diversity co-requirement.

ANTH 3348
Health as a Human Right: Globalization, Health & International Ethics
This course examines the concept of human rights critically, with an eye for cross-cultural variation, and a particular focus on rights that are health-related.

ANTH 3351
Forensic Anthropology: Stories Told By Bones
Introduction to the identification of human remains, including conditions of preservation and decay. Estimating sex, stature, age and ethnicity. Indentifying pathology, trauma and other causes of death.

ANTH 3353
Indians of North America
A survey of American Indian and Eskimo life, past and present, with emphasis on the interaction of Indians and Whites since 1492 and contemporary American Indian problems and enterprises – reservation and urban life, gambling, health care and legal rights. Meets Human Diversity co-requirement.

ANTH 3354
Latin America: Peoples, Places and Power
Examines the development of Latin America in the context of global transformations since the 16th century. Special attention is given to the interaction of local communities with regional, national and international systems of power. Meets Human Diversity co-requirement.

ANTH 3358
Indians of the Southwest
An introduction to the non-Pueblo and Pueblo peoples of the Greater Southwest, with a focus on Indian-Indian and Indian-Euroamerican relations and the resultant transformations. Topics will include clash of cultures, tourism, gambling, legal rights and urbanism. Meets Human Diversity co-requirement.

ANTH 3388
Warfare & Violence: The Anthropology & Ethics of Human Conflict
An examination of the origins and development of human aggression, violence and warfare using interdisciplinary data and theories from prehistory, ethnology, history and political science.

ANTH 4303
Political Economy of Health
Course explores topics in health and healing from a political economy perspective. Addresses social and economic factors influencing culture change, health and healing practices within a society. Examines health inequities around the globe. Prerequisites: ANTH 2301, ANTH 3301 or approval by instructor.

ANTH 4305
Applied Anthropology
The application of anthropological theories and methods to problems in contemporary societies, including global business, community development, health care issues, agricultural/environmental programs, urban planning, tourism projects and education policy. Prerequisites: Advanced standing and ANTH 2301 (or permission of instructor for nonanthropology majors).

ANTH 4309
Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples, and Nation States
An examination of human rights issues among contemporary indigenous peoples, especially the impact of governmental and nongovernmental organizations, large-scale development programs and global tourism on their cultures and societies.

ARHS 4349
Seminar in Contemporary Art: Why We Go to Auschwitz: Art Trauma & Memory

CCJN 5305
Human Rights and the Journalist

CTV 2384
War on Film

ENGL 1365
Literature of Minorities
Representative works of African-American, Hispanic, American, Gay, Asian American, and Native American literature, both in their immediate cultural context and against the background of the larger American culture.

ENGL 3367
Ethical Implications of Children’s Literature
Examination of children’s literature with emphasis on notions of morality and evil, including issues of colonialism, race, ethnicity, gender and class.

ENGL 3383
Literary Executions: Imagination and Capital Punishment
The literary treatment of capital punishment in drama, poetry, novel and biography.

FL 3377
Shadows of Enlightenment: Human Rights in Germany

HIST 2391
Africa to the 19th Century
History of Africa south of the Sahara, focusing on culture and social organization, the Bantu migrations, African kingdoms, contacts with the world, Islam and the slave trade.

HIST 2392
Modern Africa
An introduction to the history of Africa since 1800. Focuses on a number of themes to enable a better understanding of the recent past of this vast continent. Major topics include the 19th-century social, political and economic revolutions in Southern and West Africa, the incorporation of the continent into the capitalist world economy, class formation under colonial rule, the rise of nationalism, and the politics of liberation.

HIST 2395
Modern East Asia
A survey of modern East Asia emphasizing an outline of the traditional societies, the Western impact, Japanese industrialization and imperialism, Pearl Harbor and the rise of Chinese communism.

HIST 3301
Human Rights: America’s Dilemma
This course examines violations of human rights within their historical contexts. From torture to terrorism and from slavery to genocide, the course explores the foundations of current human rights issues in the world today. Attention will be given to the evolution of both civil and human rights as entities within global political thought and practice.

HIST 3304
Blacks and the Civil Rights Movement
African Americans and the Civil Rights Movement with a focus on post-World War II migration, changing conceptions of race, increasing black prosperity, integration and black nationalism, and the lives of significant black leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.

HIST 3306
Colony to Empire: US Diplomacy 1789-1941
Examines major events in American foreign policy from the Early National period to Pearl Harbor, emphasizing 19th century continental expansion, early 20th century imperialism and American involvement in the World Wars.

HIST 3307
US and the Cold War, 1945-1989
An examination of major events in American foreign policy since World War II, emphasizing policy toward Western Europe, the Soviet Union, Asian and Latin America.

HIST 3313
African-Americans in the US 1607-1877
Examines the people of the African continent, uprooted and enslaved, who continually grappled with the problem of how to preserve their dignity and identity in a hostile environment. The African Americans’ adjustment to American society, their exterior struggle against political oppression, the interior nature of their group life, and the development of black institutions are critical to the course’s concerns.

HIST 3314
African-Americans in the US 1877-Present
Particular attention will be given to Populism, disfranchisement, segregation and lynching, black leadership ideologies, the influence of mass migrations, the impact of the Great Depression and two world wars on black life, the quest for equality in the 1950s and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and the flowering of black culture and nationalism.

HIST 3317
Women in Latin American Societies
The female experience in the formation of Latin American colonial societies. The theoretical explanation of womanhood within the ideology of the Spanish Counter-Reformation and its application to the daily life of women will be studied.

HIST 3322
Native American History
Examines the roles Native Americans played in the history of North American (excluding Mexico) from 1500 to present.

HIST 3327
Women in American History from 1900
Analyzes women’s changing social, economic, and political roles in American society from colonial times to the present.

HIST 3341
Soviet/Post-Soviet Society
Soviet/Russian/Eurasian experience from historical, ethnographic, economic, social and culture perspectives, beginning with the present and going back to the roots of the Soviet state and society in the Revolutionary
experience, 1917 to 1921.

HIST 3363
The Holocaust
This course examines the destruction of the European Jews as they emerged from pre-World War I anti-Semitism and Nazi racism and considers Jewish responses to genocide, the behavior of bystanders, and possibilities of rescue.

HIST 3371
Conflicts in the Modern Middle East
Examines the Arab-Israeli conflict, other regional conflicts and the U.S. – U.S.S.R. Cold War in the Middle East.

HIST 3390
Modern Middle East: 1949 to Present
This survey course introduces students to the history and politics of the contemporary Middle East.

HIST 3392
The African Diaspora
Examines the role of Black literature in bringing on the collapse of European colonial order and as a major force in the struggle against neocolonialism today. Explores links between literature and politics, literature and history, and thought and action in 20th century Africa and the Caribbean.

HIST 3393
China in Revolution
Examines the “century of revolution” in China, from the mid-19th century to the present, beginning with the unique political and social structure of “Old China,” and analyzing the impact of Western Imperialism and the creative responses of intellectuals, warlords and revolutionaries.

HIST 3401
The Good Society
Examines the values and ideals that have been fundamental to the historical concept of the “good society,” with an emphasis on themes to aid in understanding issues of race, gender, ethics and power essential to any meaningful evaluation of the society in which one lives.

HIST 4363
Inside Nazi Germany
The reality beneath the spectacle of the Nuremberg rallies and the efficiency of the totalitarian state.

HIST 5340
Seminar in American History: Women’s Rights in the US
Intensive examination of major topics in American history.

PHIL 3371
Social & Political Philosophy
This course will examine some of the basic questions in these fields, and most important answers that have been given to them. Topics may vary, but typical questions include the following: What forms of government are most reasonable and morally defensible? Are citizens in a modern state normally obligated to obey the law? What is justice and how might it be embodied in a system of government? Are there such things as "natural rights" and how do we know about them? What is the basis for saying that we have rights to freedom of speech and religion? When, if ever, is it legitimate for a state to go to war? These questions have been asked since antiquity, and we will be looking at the important answers that have been given to them since then.

PHIL 3374
Philosophy Law
An examination of central questions in philosophy of law. Topics vary, but the following are representative. What is law? What is the relationship between law and morality? To what extent may or must judges make value judgments in deciding what the law is? To what extent can or should “legislative intent” or “original meaning” constrain judicial interpretation of constitutional provisions? Whom should we punish, why should we punish them, and how much should we punish them?

PHIL 3377
Animal Rights
An examination of the moral status of nonhuman animals, and its implications for the common use of animals as food and experimental subjects for humans.

PHIL 3380
Ethical Theory
An examination of the more fundamental – and more abstract – questions in philosophical ethics.

PLSC 1380
Introduction to International Relations
A basic survey of the elements of international relations, including the nation-state system, international organizations, international law, diplomacy, foreign policy and various non-state actors such as multinational corporations.

PLSC 3345
Politics of the Middle East
A survey of modern Middle East governments and politics. Topics include the historical, ideological and economic and social influences on their domestic and foreign policies, analysis of emerging political forms, and modernization problems.

PLSC 3346
Government & Politics of Japan
A study of political institutions, foreign policies and international relations, and the economic and social problems of Japan.

PLSC 3347
Politics of Africa
The politics of Black Africa in an international context, emphasizing the problems of race, nationalism and economic development.

PLSC 3348
Politics of Latin America
The structure, functions and operations of governments in Latin American countries with emphasis on political practices and institutions.

PLSC 3352
Chinese Politics
Chinese contributions to Marxist-Leninist theory; analysis of Chinese institutions and policy making, with emphasis on recent political developments.

PLSC 3358
Government & Politics of Russia
Examines attempts to reform the former Soviet Union since 1985. Analyzes, in particular, the social and political processes behind the demise of the Soviet system. Emphasis is placed on sources for support of, as well as obstacles to, political, economic and social reform in post-communist Russia.

PLSC 3381
Current Issues in International Politics
An interdisciplinary survey of contemporary issues and challenges in the international arena. The student will research and propose solutions taking into account the multi-dimensional aspects of these international challenges.

PLSC 3383
The American Foreign Policy Process
A survey of the contemporary content and the conduct of American foreign policy.

PLSC 4321
Basic Issues in American Democracy
An analysis of current American public policy issues within a theoretical framework. Examines the foundations of concepts and value orientations within which policy considerations are made.

PLSC 4337
Civil Rights
Examines changes wrought in the American system of governance by the addition of the Fourteenth Amendment, particularly its Equal Protection Clause, and the ways the Supreme Court has interpreted and applied it over time. Topics include racial discrimination, sex discrimination and equality in the political process.

PLSC 4339
Women and the Law
The status of women in the American legal system, including an assessment of women defined as a legal category and the impact of increasing numbers of women lawyers, judges and criminals.

PLSC 4380
Special Studies in International Relations

PLSC 4381
National Security Policy
The historical background and development of national security policy in the United States. Emphasizes war powers and defense policy; the constitutional framework, precedents, and presidential-congressional authority; and Cole War and post- Cold War national security strategies and defense policy issues.

PSYC 3375
Human Rights from a Psychological Perspective
What motivates people to engage in evil behavior that violates others' human rights? How can other people just stand by while atrocities, such as genocide, occur? What motivates others to risk their lives to try to save strangers? Who do victims of violations respond in multiple ways -- with trauma symptoms, or violence, or perhaps forgiveness.  These are just some of the questions that we will be exploring as we use psychological concepts and research to better understand issues in human rights.

RELI 3321
Religion & The Holocaust
A study of responses to the Holocaust by Jews and Christians. The course will begin with an overview of the history of the Holocaust as it affected the Jewish communities of Central and Eastern Europe. Students will then read personal memoirs of survivors of ghettos, concentration camps and Nazi Germany. Post-war responses will include questions of faith after the Holocaust, Christian responsibility for modern anti-Semitism, the impact of the Holocaust on the creation of the State of Israel and Middle East politics today; and post-war relations between Jews and Germans.

SOCI 3305
Race and Ethnicity in the US
An interdisciplinary seminar designed to introduce students to the analysis of race and ethnicity in the United States within a global context. Meets Human Diversity co-requirement.

SOCI 3363
Crime and Delinquency
Extent of the problem, causal theories, prevention and public policy.

SOCI 3370
Minority-Dominant Relations
The nature, origins, and consequences of relationships between unequal groups; U.S. and other societies compared.

SOCI 4360
Gangs in the United States
An examination of the history, development and structures of gangs in the US, which incorporates explanatory theories, policy and models for prevention, intervention and suppression of gang activity. Prerequisites: Either SOCI 2300 or 2310, and either SOCI 3311 or 3312.

SOCI 4363
Administration of Justice
Law enforcement and criminal court systems; the ideal of justice and public policy. Prerequisites: Either SOCI 2300 or 2310, and either SOCI 3311 or 3312.

SOCI 4364
Correctional Systems
The history of punishment, adjustments to incarceration, and comparison of prisons for men and women. Constitutional issues of criminal punishment are discussed. Prerequisites: Either SOCI 2300 or 2310, and either SOCI 3311 or 3312.

SPAN 3374
Latin American Civilization:  Human Rights in its Place

WGST 3310
Gender and Human Rights
Introduction to global women’s human rights and other intersections of human rights and gender such as abuse of children’s rights, gender-based violence, health and reproductive rights and evolving concepts of sexual rights.