Classes

    The Dark Side of Big Data

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    Does it sometimes feel like Instagram ads are listening a little too closely to your conversations? Have you ever wondered if certain corporations might own images of your face? Today, fears abound that algorithms are not only populating our lives with annoying targeted advertisements but might also be creating the most unequal societies that have ever existed. In this interdisciplinary seminar, we will explore key methodological overlaps and differences between humanistic and...
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    Economic Justice

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    Which is more just: capitalism or socialism? And how does that question intersect with racial justice? Capitalism has long reigned as the ideological solution to organizing society, but it is also clear that the pursuit of seemingly boundless material gain for some comes at the expense of others. The US and other countries have seen growing discontent around an ever-widening gap between rich and poor, and around the racial dimensions of that situation. Socialism addresses this wealth gap, but has a complex relationship with racial justice, and has had a checkered past around the world....

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    Intermediate Portuguese I: Justice, Equity and Rights in the Lusophone world

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    In this intermediate-level language course, students will explore social justice issues in the Lusophone world related to education, environment, health, jobs, and food. Students will also interrogate topics such as immigration, racism, and gender by studying a range of texts (e.g. written, audiovisual, visual) from different sources (e.g., social media, newspapers). Through these materials, students will build vocabulary and review and refine various grammatical structures. Students will also build on...

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    History and Human Capital

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    Explores a range of subjects concerning human capital, historically, theoretically, and comparatively. Topics include human capital and economic growth, population and fertility, health and public interventions, education and training, economic inequality, gender and the family, slavery and race, and intergenerational mobility, all within the broad context of economic history. A research paper or significant proposal and a final exam are required. 

     

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    Early Stage Research and Discussion on the Economics of Health Equity

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    This is a reading group for students to discuss recent advances in the economics of health equity. Topics will include equity in all dimensions: race/ethnicity; gender orientation; disability status; and others. Students will read papers, present, and discuss them. Interested students should talk to Professor Alsan or Professor Cutler.
     
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    Asian American Theater and Performance

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    This seminar will explore Asian American theater and performance. We will examine how Asian American theater and performance artists have responded to popular images of Asian immigrants and cultures; how Asian American theater companies have cultivated and expanded our understanding of American theater and Asian American identity; and how artists and productions have experimented with conceptions of racial and gender performance. In addition to reading, viewing, and listening to a range of performances, students will participate in workshops led by artists and develop their own final...

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    Video Game Storytelling

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    Although this course touches on blockbuster games—“ludo-narrative dissonance” and India’s role in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy; racism, satire, and the white-saviour narrative in the Far Cry franchise; Ayn Rand, US history and the illusion of gamer choice in Bioshock—it’s primarily concerned with indie titles which explore alternative forms of storytelling. More specifically, it’s about games pilloried—rather as free verse poetry is bashed as “just chopped up prose”—as mere “walking...
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    Suburban Wars: The American Suburb in the Twentieth Century

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    For as long as suburbs have existed, they have been battlefields—sites of contestation where Americans have fought over their social significance, their place in the political economy of urban areas, and their role in the nation’s identity. This undergraduate seminar explores questions about the meaning of suburbs, their relationship with cities, and the ways that suburbs have intersected with the histories of race, class, gender, capitalism, architecture, political ideology, and...
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    History of Modern Latin America

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    This course surveys Latin America from its 19th-century independence movements through the present day. How did the powerful legacies of European colonialism, and the neocolonial economic order that emerged to replace it, shape the Americas' new nations? Themes include nationalism and identity, revolution and counterrevolution, populism, state formation, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, social movements, the role of foreign powers, inequality and social class, dictatorship, democratization, and human rights. 

     

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    Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    We coined the term implicit bias in 1995 to capture the idea that bias, i.e., a deviation from accuracy or values can be implicit, i.e., operate without conscious awareness or conscious control. The idea emerged from basic research on implicit social cognition (ISC), an area of scientific psychology that explores the hidden aspects of mental representations of self, other, and social groups. Today, 25 years later, the term implicit bias has transcended academic psychology and...
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    Law and American Society

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    At a time when the rule of law is imperiled, our democracy and equal rights of every kind under assault by multiple forces, the importance of understanding our constitutional system of rights and laws as essential to the fabric of the nation cannot be overstated. The course will examine law as a vehicle of political conflict and a defining force in American society in four dimensions: 1.) as it establishes individual rights, liberties, and the limits of toleration; 2.) as it attempts to resolve differences among competing constituencies; 3.) as it sets out terms of punishment and social...
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    Social Stratification: Seminar

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    This course examines the dimensions and magnitude of inequality in industrial societies, with a heavy emphasis on the United States since the mid-20th century. The readings and class discussion are designed to expose students to a broad range of influential pieces in the social stratification literature. In particular, we will study inequality through: pay for work, race, neighborhoods, gender, family, mobility, education, social capital, and rising income inequality since 1980. 

     

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    Leadership from the Inside Out: The Capacity to Lead and Stay Alive-Self, Identity, and Freedom-with a Focus on Anti-Black Racism and Sexism

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    Leadership can be exercised from many locations in a society–from authority positions and from the streets–yet in general, to lead is to live with danger. It often requires putting yourself on the line, disturbing the status quo, and working with conflict. Those who lead take risks and sometimes get silenced, marginalized, or killed. To lead through the dangers of change demands diagnostic integrity and skill. Many Kennedy School courses strengthen diagnostic skills by analyzing...
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    Advanced Topics in Women, Gender and Health

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    This interdepartmental, interdisciplinary seminar will provide a forum to analyze how diverse gender-related constructs (including identity and expression) influence public health research and practice. Invited speakers will give examples of cutting edge issues in public health research and practice, focusing on how gender contributes to understanding and intervening on population distributions of health, disease, and well-being, with an eye towards intersectionality in relation to racism, classism, heterosexism, transphobia, and other forms of social inequity and context. The structure...

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    Global Perspectives on Racism, Poverty, and Power

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    The course uses interdisciplinary, critical, and transnational/global perspectives to study racism and other systems of oppression, poverty, and the disempowerment of peoples subordinated based on race, gender, and class. The sessions include readings regarding the experiences of Black Americans, Burakumin people, Dalit people, Jewish people, Romani people, Palestinians, and other oppressed and racialized peoples.
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    Mass Incarceration and Sentencing Law

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    This course will first put 20th century sentencing law in sociological and historical context. It will examine the history, philosophy, and administration of the criminal sentencing process, the causes of growth in the US penal population, the historical roots of that grown from the mid 20th century to the present, and the impact of those policies on communities of color and the crime rate. We will then examine more closely the legal framework that enabled those policies, including the war on drugs, emphasis on retribution over rehabilitation, the changes in sentencing law and the...

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    Reproductive Rights and Justice

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    The course materials and discussions span constitutional law, the political and legislative processes, and health law. Course topics include abortion, contraception, pregnancy exclusion laws, rape and statutory rape laws, personhood and feticide laws, artificial reproduction, surrogacy, civil and criminal prosecution for fetal endangerment, and reproductive rights of incarcerated and detained populations. This course is historically grounded, spanning early matrilineality and hypodescent laws to the eugenics era, and concluding with contemporary debates related sex equality, racial...

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