Courses in Race and Public Policy

Courses are not offered every semester, or every year. Refer to the Office of the Registrar for each term's specific offerings.

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AAS 202 / SOC 202
Introductory Research Methods in African American Studies

Taught by Professor H. Taylor

The purposes of this course are to assist the student in developing the ability to critically evaluate social science research on the black experience and to do research in African studies. To accomplish these goals, the course will acquaint students with the process of conceptualizing basic research techniques, and some of the unique issues in conducting research on the black experience. A variety of appropriate studies will be utilized.

AAS 235 / SOC 236
Race is Socially Constructed: Now, What?

Taught by Professor Ruha Benjamin

The truism that "race is socially constructed" hides more than it reveals. Have Irish Americans always been white? Are people of African descent all black? Is calling Asian Americans a "model minority" a compliment? Does race impact who we date or marry? In this course, students develop a sophisticated conceptual toolkit to make sense of such contentious cases of racial vision and division as the uprising in Ferguson. We learn to connect contemporary events to historical processes, and individual experiences to institutional policies, exercising a sociological imagination with the potential to not only analyze, but transform the status quo.

Lecture L01: 1:30 pm – 3:20 pm T

AAS 247 / POL 382
The New Jim Crow: US Crime Policy from Constitutional Formation to Ferguson

Taught by Professor Naomi Murakawa

This course explores the political development of America's racially disparate punishment regime. We trace the history US crime policy, moving through US constitutional formation, Reconstruction and lynch law, and Jim Crow punishment in the south and urban north. We focus on punishment in post-civil rights America, and we devote special attention to policing, the death penalty, and the interconnected wars on crime, drugs, immigration, and terror. Our overarching goal is to understand the political construction of crime, colorblindness, and legitimate state violence.

AAS 302/SOC 303/ANT 378/GSS 340
Political Bodies: The Social Anatomy Of Power & Difference

Taught by Professor Ruha Benjamin

In this seminar students will learn about the human body in its social, cultural, and political contexts. The framing is sociological rather than biomedical, attentive to cultural meanings, institutional practices, politics, and social problems. The course explicitly discusses bodies in relation to race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age, health, geography, and citizenship status, carefully examining how social differences come to appear natural. From clinics to prisons to borders to virtual realities, students develop a conceptual toolkit to analyze how society "gets under the skin", producing differential exposure to premature death.

Seminar S01: 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm Th

AAS 330 / HIS 455
Black Metropolis: African American Urban History

Taught by Professor J. Guild

In this seminar, we will examine historically the transformation of African Americans from a population rooted in the rural South to one overwhelmingly located in the cities of the North and West. Beginning in the period following the Civil War, and spanning the course of the twentieth century, we will explore critically the impact of urbanization on African American social relations, political expression, family life, and cultural production. Throughout the course we will be concerned not only with the "where" and "who" of the migration narrative, but the "how" and the "why" as well.

AAS 351 / GSS 351
Law, Social Policy, and African American Women

Taught by Professor Imani Perry

Journeying from enslavement and Jim Crow to the post-civil rights era, this course will learn how law and social policy have shaped, constrained, and been resisted by black women's experience and thought. Using a wide breadth of materials including legal scholarship, social science research, visual arts, and literature, we will also develop an understanding of how property, the body, and the structure and interpretation of domestic relations have been frameworks through which black female subjectivity in the United States was and is mediated.

AAS 362 / WWS 386 / POL 338
Race and the American Legal Process

Taught by Professor Imani Perry

This course examines the dynamic and often conflicted relationships between African American struggles for inclusion, and the legislative, administrative, and judicial decision-making responding to or rejecting those struggles, from Reconstruction to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. In tracing these relationships we will cover issues such as property, criminal law, suffrage, education, and immigration, with a focus on the following theoretical frameworks: equal protection, due process, civic participation and engagement, and political recognition.

11:00 am – 11:50 am MW

AAS 384 / PSY 384
Prejudice: Its Causes, Consequences & Cures

Taught by Professor Stacey Sinclair

Prejudice is one of the most contentious topics in modern American society. There is debate regarding its causes, pervasiveness, and impact. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the psychological research relevant to these questions. We will review theoretical perspectives on prejudice to develop an understanding of its cognitive, affective, and motivational underpinnings. We will also discuss how these psychological biases relate to evaluations of, and behavior toward, members of targeted groups. In addition, research-based strategies for reducing prejudice will be discussed.

1:30 pm - 2:20 pm TTh

AAS 386 / AMS 386
Race and the City

Taught by Professor Imani Perry

Race and the City examines how the politics of race and racialization shaped the development of American cities over the course of the 20th century. The course cover a diverse array of topics including: ghettoization, urban renewal, the creation of public housing, popular music (Jazz, Motown, Hip Hop), public art and graffiti, literature of urbanity, the fair housing movement, deindustrialization and gentrification. We will have particular foci on the following cities: Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

AAS 404/GSS 419 /POL 429
Intersectional Activisms and Movements For Social Justice

Taught by Professor Dara Strolovitch

Examines the role of intersectionality roots as a political intervention growing out of and based in movement politics. Begins with early articulations of intersectional perspectives on the part of Black feminists and feminists of colour, emphasizing its movement roots. Examines empirical research about social movements and political activism, focusing on scholarship that considers both the potential of and the challenges to movements that try to address the imbrication of racial inequalities with other forms of marginalization and domination, including (though not limited to) heteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, and the carceral state

Seminar S01: 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm W