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The Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights has six required courses: a gateway lecture course, four electives, and a senior colloquium. In their senior year, Scholars complete a capstone project informed by their coursework, extracurricular activities, and summer internships or research.
HMRT 100/PLSC 148 “Human Rights Theory and Politics,” offered in spring 2018, introduces students to the core ideas, issues, practices, and controversies regarding human rights. In doing so, its objective is to map the complex terrain that human rights and their study occupy, rather than (merely) to justify the concept’s existence.
Human Rights Scholars are required to take the course in spring of their sophomore year, unless they are studying abroad or receive permission from the Program Director for other extenuating circumstances.
Each Human Rights Scholar will undertake a capstone project in the fall of senior year, to be informed by the student’s extracurricular experience and developed in consultation with the Program Director. In order to complete the project, scholars will enroll in a weekly seminar (HMRT 400, ‘Advanced Human Rights Colloquium’) in which they will receive guidance from the Program Director, share progress reports, and provide each other with feedback.
Each Human Rights Scholar is required to take four electives, drawn from existing Yale courses. Each Scholar’s elective courses should reflect the interdisciplinary nature of human rights study, including a diversity of perspectives and methodologies across departments and disciplines. For example, Scholars are encouraged to select courses that explore different geographic or thematic areas and that introduce them to both theoretical and practical concerns. Our formal criterion for a Program elective is that a course “engage with the language, ideas, and methods of human rights.” We ask that you distinguish this from courses that address issues that affect people’s human rights, would be susceptible to a human rights analysis, or would simply be useful for understanding a human rights issue in which you are interested. Rather, with the Program’s goal of enabling a coherent study of human rights and with only four electives required, we expect your electives to focus on courses that will engage directly with and enhance your knowledge of and facility with the concepts, institutions, and development of human rights discourse.
Scholars will be required to have their electives approved by the Program Director and will also have the opportunity to petition for additional courses in Yale College or for graduate courses to count as electives. Please note that only courses taken following the student’s admission to the Program will satisfy the elective requirement.
Scholars complete the Program's requirements in addition to the coursework for their majors and may count a maximum of two courses as electives that also count toward their major requirements. Although Scholars may double major, we do not encourage it, and Scholars who double major may count only a total of two courses that fulfill their major requirements as Program electives.
The elective courses for fall 2017 and spring 2018 are listed below:
AFAM 125a / AMST 125a / HIST 136a, The Long Civil Rights Movement Crystal Feimster
Political, social, and artistic aspects of the U.S. civil rights movement from the 1920s through the 1980s explored in the context of other organized efforts for social change. Focus on relations between the African American freedom movement and debates about gender, labor, sexuality, and foreign policy. Changing representations of social movements in twentieth-century American culture; the politics of historical analysis. HU
AFAM 251b / AMST 397b, Critical Race Theory Crystal Feimster
Introduction to critical race theory, a radical critique of relations among race, law, and power in U.S. politics and society. Intellectual foundations of the field, with emphasis on African American perspectives; key juridical acts. The centrality of U.S. law in producing social hierarchies of race and racial difference, gender, sexuality, and class. The extension of critical race theory to global analysis of race, immigration, and cultural difference. HU
AFST 238a / AMST 238a / ER&M 238a, Introduction to Third World Studies Gary Okihiro
Introduction to the historical and contemporary theories and articulations of Third World studies (comparative ethnic studies) as an academic field and practice. Consideration of subject matters; methodologies and theories; literatures; and practitioners and institutional arrangements. SO
AFST 348b / MMES 291b / SOCY 232b, Islamic Social Movements Jonathan Wyrtzen
Social movement theory used to analyze the emergence and evolution of Islamic movements from the early twentieth century to the present. Organization, mobilization, political process, and framing of political, nonpolitical, militant, and nonmilitant movements; transnational dimensions of Islamic activism. Case studies include the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hizbollah, Al-Qaeda, Gulen, Al-Adl wa-Ihsann, Islamic State, and others. SO
AMST 196a / AFAM 196a / ER&M 226a / EVST 196a / SOCY 190a, Race, Class, and Gender in American Cities Laura Barraclough
Examination of how racial, gender, and class inequalities have been built, sustained, and challenged in American cities. Focus on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Topics include industrialization and deindustrialization, segregation, gendered public/private split, gentrification, transit equity, environmental justice, food access, and the relationships between public space, democracy, and community wellbeing. Includes field projects in New Haven. SO
AMST 206b / ER&M 221b / WGSS 222b, Introduction to Critical Refugee Studies Quan Tran
Reconfiguring refugees as fluid subjects and sites of social, political, and cultural critiques. Departing from dominant understandings of refugees as victims, consideration instead of refugees as complex historical actors, made visible through processes of colonization, imperialism, war, displacement, state violence, and globalization, as well as ethical, social, legal, and political transformations. Focus on second-half of the twentieth century. SO
AMST 318a / HIST 415Ja, The Problem of Global Poverty Joanne Meyerowitz
Study of the programs and policies that aimed to end global poverty from 1960 to the present, from modernization to microcredit to universal basic income. Topics include the green revolution, population control, the “women in development” movement, and the New International Economic Order. Extensive work with primary sources. May count toward geographical distributional credit within the History major for any region studied, upon application to the director of undergraduate studies. WR, HU
AMST 385b, Trauma in American Film and Television Christine Muller
Origins, multiple meanings, and influence of the notion of trauma in contemporary American culture. Relations between theories of popular culture and of trauma, particularly in discussions of war, social upheaval, and September 11, 2001. The conditions and implications of engaging trauma through everyday entertainment such as film and television; the ethics of representation. HU
AMST 454a / FILM 454a / ER&M 388a, Narrating the Lives of Refugees Jake Halpern and Zareena Grewal
ANTH 223b / ARCG 228b, The Anthropology of War David Watts, William Kelly, and Louisa Lombard
An integrated anthropological perspective on human conflict and organized violence. Questions include the definition of war, the inevitability of war, lessons to be learned from archaeological evidence, and the effects of war on individuals and groups. Source material includes the study of human evolution and nonhuman primates, the archeological record, and ethnography of the contemporary world. SO
ANTH 381b / WGSS 378b, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Human Rights Graeme Reid
Examination of historical, cultural, and political aspects of sexual orientation, gender identity, and human rights in the context of globalization. SO
CSBR 370, Exiles and Migrants in Literature and Film. Leah Mirakhor, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of Wooster. Lecturer in Yale College.
Examination of transnational literary texts and films that illuminate how migrants, refugees, and exiles remake home away from their native countries following displacement from various causes including war, genocide, famine, racial and ethnic conflict, religious conflict, and climate change. Students explore the possibilities and limitation of creating, contesting, and imaging home in diaspora.
ENGL 230a / ER&M 225a / HUMS 402a / LITR 319a, Selfhood, Race, Class, and Gender Marta Figlerowicz
Examination of the fundamental notion of “the self” through categories of race, class, and gender as dimensions for understanding personhood. Introduction to major philosophical frameworks for thinking about “the self” from antiquity to the present; case studies from across the world and in different media, placing contemporary debates about these issues in historical perspective. HU
ENGL 357a / LITR 426a / WGSS 340a, Feminist and Queer Theory Jill Richards
Historical survey of feminist and queer theory from the Enlightenment to the present, with readings from key British, French, and American works. Focus on the foundations and development of contemporary theory. Shared intellectual origins and concepts, as well as divergences and conflicts, among different ways of approaching gender and sexuality. WR, HU
English: Junior Seminar
EP&E 264a / GMAN 318a / PHIL 323a / PLSC 323a, Exile, Statelessness, Migration Seyla Benhabib
An interdisciplinary examination of exile, statelessness, and migration. Consideration of the meaning of exile as opposed to migration or banishment; whether a stateless person is also in exile, how the theme of exile is rooted in the Jewish condition of “Galut;” and how these conditions throw light on democratic societies. Authors include Hannah Arendt, Judith Shklar, Judith Butler, and contemporary authors such as Linda Zerilli and Bonnie Honig. Prerequisites: strong background in political philosophy, 19th or 20th century intellectual history, literary studies, or permission of the instructor. HU, SO
EP&E 267a / SOCY 216a / WGSS 314a, Social Movements Ron Eyerman
An introduction to sociological perspectives on social movements and collective action, exploring civil rights, student movements, global justice, nationalism, and radical fundamentalism. SO
EP&E 310b / PLSC 227b, Refugee Law and Policy Staff
Controversies and challenges in U.S. and international refugee law and policy, with a focus on asylum law and practice in the United States. Emphasis on legal reasoning and analysis through close reading of statutes, regulations, and case law. Final project is a legal brief on behalf of a client. SO
EPE: Advanced Seminar
ER&M 342a / HIST 372Ja / LAST 372a, Revolutionary Change and Cold War in Latin America Gilbert Joseph
Analysis of revolutionary movements in Latin America against the backdrop of the Cold War. Critical examination of popular images and orthodox interpretations. An interdisciplinary study of the process of revolutionary change and cold war at the grassroots level. WR, HU
ER&M 387a, Migrants and Borders in the Americas Alicia Camacho
Migration and human mobility across North America, with a focus on 1994 to the present. Critical and thematic readings examine Central America, Mexico, and the United States as integrated spaces of migration, governance, and cultural and social exchange. Migrant social movements, indigenous migration, gender and sexual dynamics of migration, human trafficking, crime and social violence, deportation and detention, immigration policing, and militarized security. HU, SO
ER&M 430b / AMST 450b / WGSS 461b, Islam in the American Imagination Zareena Grewal
The representation of Muslims in the United States and abroad throughout the twentieth century. The place of Islam in the American imagination; intersections between concerns of race and citizenship in the United States and foreign policies directed toward the Middle East. SO
FILM 363b / LITR 360b, Radical Cinemas of Latin America Moira Fradinger
Introduction to Latin American cinema, with an emphasis on post–World War II films produced in Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Examination of each film in its historical and aesthetic aspects, and in light of questions concerning national cinema and “third cinema.” Examples from both pre-1945 and contemporary films. Conducted in English; knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese helpful but not required. HU
GLBL 225b, Approaches to International Development Daniel Keniston
The unique set of challenges faced by households in developing countries, and the economic theories that have been developed to understand them. Health, education, and discrimination against women in the household; income generation, savings, and credit; institutions, foreign aid, and conflict. Recent econometric techniques applied to investigate the underlying causes of poverty and the effectiveness of development programs. Enrollment limited to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Prerequisite: GLBL 121. QR, SO
GLBL 279a / PLSC 141a, Global Governance Yuriy Sergeyev
Examination of global policy problems, the acceleration of interdependence, and the role, potential, and limits of the institutions of global governance to articulate collective interests and to work out cooperative problem solving arrangements. Consideration of gaps in global governance and controversies between globalization and state sovereignty, universality, and tradition. SO
GLBL 338b / EP&E 294b / PLSC 457b, Social Welfare and Nongovernmental Organizations Katharine Baldwin
The role of nonstate actors such as religious organizations, community associations, and international NGOs in the delivery of basic goods and services in developing countries. Welfare states in Europe and North America and reasons why states outside these regions have not developed similar institutions; causes of and logic behind various nonstate actors’ involvement in social welfare provision; economic, institutional, and political effects of having nonstate actors provide social services and public goods. SO
Global Affairs: Development
HIST 191Ja / WGSS 354a, Women, Gender, and Grassroots Politics in the United States after World War II Jennifer Klein
American politics and grassroots social movements from 1945 to the present explored through women’s activism and through gender politics more broadly. Ideas about gender identities, gender roles, and family in the shaping of social movements; strategies used on the local, regional, national, and international levels. Connections between organizing and policy, public and private, state and family, and migration, immigration, and empire. WR, HU
HUMS 287b / HIST 455J, The Theory and Practice of Resistance Terence Renaud
Exploration of the histories and theories of resistance in the modern world. How liberation movements, guerrillas, and oppressed groups appeal to resistance as an organizational strategy and as moral justification. Readings include Kant, Thoreau, Nietzsche, Luxemburg, Lenin, Gandhi, Fanon, Arendt, Marcuse, Foucault, A. Lorde, Said, and J. Butler. Themes include antifascism to terrorism; violence to nonviolence, the New Left to Black Lives Matter. HU Tr
LAST 368a / ER&M 368a / HIST 368a, Political Violence, Citizenship, and Democracy in Latin America Marcela Echeverri Munoz
Exploration of how and when definitions of citizenship and democracy have been shaped by violent conflicts; how local and global contexts have influenced individual and collective political action; and the transformation of leadership, ideologies, and utopias in different Latin American contexts. HU
PLSC 116a, Comparative Politics: States, Regimes, and Conflict David Simon
Introduction to the study of politics and political life in the world outside the United States. State formation and nationalism, the causes and consequences of democracy, the functioning of authoritarian regimes, social movements and collective action, and violence. SO
PLSC 118b, The Moral Foundations of Politics Ian Shapiro
An introduction to contemporary discussions about the foundations of political argument. Emphasis on the relations between political theory and policy debate (e.g., social welfare provision and affirmative action). Readings from Bentham, Mill, Marx, Burke, Rawls, Nozick, and others. SO
EPE: Intro Political Phil
PLSC 123a, Political Economy of Foreign Aid Peter Aronow
Introduction to modern quantitative research methods in international political economy, with a focus on empirical evidence related to foreign aid. The state of knowledge regarding the effects of development assistance on democratization, governance, human rights, and conflict. The challenges of drawing causal inferences in the domain of international political economy. SO
WGSS 206b, Globalizing Gender and Sexuality Andrew Dowe
Examination of transnational debates about gender and sexuality as they unfold in specific contexts. Gender as a category that can or cannot travel; feminist critiques of liberal rights paradigms; globalization of particular models of gender/queer advocacy; the role of NGOs in global debates about gender and sexuality.