Ronald Stanley Krabill
Study of special topics in interdisciplinary arts and sciences. Prerequisite: BIS 300.
Autumn 2007 The Washington, D.C. Human Rights Seminar
DESCRIPTION: Human rights have emerged in the last 50 years as a critical normative dimension of international politics and policy. This course will examine the underlying philosophical, political, and social assumptions of human rights, especially in the context of the process that forms public policy in U.S. institutions. Students will engage questions such as the following: What is the relation between international human rights and domestic U.S. rights? Who are the main actors—governmental, non-governmental—who set human rights policy? What are the current issues that challenge the human rights agenda in U.S. domestic and foreign policy?
FORMAT: The course is composed of four elements: first, extensive reading in August and early September; second, two full-day workshops on campus (Sept. 7 & 8); third, six and a half intensive days of seminars and briefings in Washington, D.C. (Sept. 9-15); and fourth, a policy research paper that is due in early December. The D.C. portion includes briefings by government and non-governmental organizations, foreign embassies, think tanks, and human rights activists.
STUDENTS ENROLL IN THIS COURSE BY PERMISSION ONLY; THE APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR THE COURSE IS APRIL 4, 2007.
COST: o room and board at conference center, program fees (estimated $550) o round trip airfare to D.C. (variable) o texts and materials (approximately $100) o tuition (variable--depends on number of credits for fall quarter) o incidentals and extra day(s) in D.C. (variable)
Spring 2007 The History, Politics and Ethics of Service
Humankind has often looked for meaning in life through serving others, yet our understanding of service has varied widely across cultures and time. This course will look at different ways in which service has been conceptualized, as well as the moral, ethical and political implications of these ideas. Our historical exploration of service will include religious traditions (most of which place a high value on some form of service and/or charity), the charity of noblesse oblige (obligation of the nobility), the ideas of the Progressive Era, the establishment of the Peace Corps and Americorps, and the recent trends toward service-learning in education and service as empowerment. We will also consider the different meanings of the term "service" in how it is used today, including community service, service-learning, civil service, armed services, the foreign service, service as social justice, service as criminal justice, voluntary service, etc. Throughout the course we will consider the positive and negative impacts of different kinds of service, on both those being served and those doing the serving.
Each of you will complete a major research project which allows you to focus on your particular interest in service in more detail. This project can be either a traditional research paper, or it can utilize service-learning through community action research. The instructor will work with you in choosing and executing an appropriate project.
Because this course is a research seminar, students will be expected to come to class having given the assigned readings some thought in preparation for discussion. In addition to general participation, students will serve as discussants for the readings and present their own research along the way. This policy comes out of the instructor's belief that the best learning is collective as well as individual. Class participation is not only a way to share what has been learned, but also a chance to ask questions, experiment with new ideas and explore issues which are unclear. Short writing assignments may also be included during the course.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading