PSC 269/ABD 290, Topics in Public Law: Law and Politics of Mass Incarceration
Tue+Thur, 11:20-12:50, Lincoln Park, Christina Rivers, Ph.D.
This course features key Supreme Court decisions regarding the rights of the accused and how the Court has both expanded and contracted those rights. It examines the political and ideological aspects of the "War on Drugs", "three-strikes" laws, mandatory-minimum sentencing, and similar policies. Particular attention will be given to racial and class disparities in arrests, convictions, and sentencing length, and to police and prosecutorial misconduct. The course explores the implications of felon and ex-felon disenfranchisement laws and of prison-based gerrymanders on voting and representation. It considers restorative justice alternatives to mass conviction and incarceration.
PSC 319: Advanced Topics in Political Culture: Politics & Film
Tuesday, 6:00-9:00 p.m., Lincoln Park, James Block, Ph.D.
THE CINEMA OF POLITICAL FANTASY
In an age of educational standardization, cultural commodification, and political paralysis, it is hard to imagine alternatives to the existing system and to its “normal”-ized way of life. Many people, including many youth and young adults, thus express their criticisms and their visions of possibility in veiled forms--including fantasy. We will use the cinema of political fantasy to access visions of alternative individual and communal dreams and ideals as a guide to forms of transformation that are possible in the world today. The course will focus on choices from a list of films, including: Time Bandits, Groundhog Day, Pleasantville, Moonrise Kingdom, Kings of Summer, Eternal Sunshine, Tamasha, Dead Poet’s Society, Being John Malkovitch, Synechdoche New York, and Waking Life.
PSC 328, Advanced Topics in American Politics: Politics of Urban Education
Tuesday, 6:00-9:15, Lincoln Park, Valerie Johnson, Ph.D.
This course explores the role of public school education in the reproduction of urban problems. It examines the historical dynamics influencing inequality and inequities in educational resources and opportunities in metropolitan America. Students will explore some of the critical issues affecting the delivery of education (school segregation, funding disparities, school discipline policies, and privatization). They will have an opportunity to volunteer at an under-resourced inner-city public school in lieu of the research paper assignment.
PSC 349: Advanced Topics in International Relations: Latin American Political Economy
Mon+Wed, 9:40-11:10, Lincoln Park, Rose Spalding, Ph.D.
This course examines major development challenges in Latin America and explores new strategies and opportunities emerging in this region. Students will explore persistent questions about the impacts of free trade agreements (NAFTA, CAFTA), the stories behind shifting patterns of immigration and remittance flows, sources of the region’s enduring poverty and emerging wealth, and the fate of new community-level conflicts over natural resource extraction and the environment.
PSC 393: Honors Seminar: The Politics of Rights
Tue+Thur, 1:00-2:30, Lincoln Park, Joe Mello, Ph.D.
The strongest claim that Americans can make in politics is to say that their rights have been violated, but is it always a good idea to engage in the politics of rights? Rights-claims are defining features of American political and social life, but they are complex and contingent things. This course will challenge you to identify, understand, and critically evaluate how, why, and to what end rights are used in our political world. Particular attention will be paid to social movements that use rights-claims, as well as the various advantages, limitations, and problems that can accompany rights-based political appeals.
(This course requires the instructor's permission for registration.)