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Theme Semester Course Offerings

Fall 2020: Justice

Select a course below to learn more about how it relates to this semester's theme of Justice.

** Denotes Theme Semester Course Development Grant Recipients

Section 001
Instructor: Terrance Weik
Several themes dealing with social (in)justice are examined. we take a historical and cultural approach to inequalities (e.g. economic or political), violence (physical, symbolic, structural), and oppression (e.g. ideological rationales for racial privilege). we examine dispossession and displacement created by centuries of enslavement and racism. At the same time, we examine the responses and initiatives of freedom-seeking and self-emancipated people. Slavery and civil rights activism on U of SC's campus, and in the United States are addressed. Liberatory practices are examined, as they manifest through religion, (personal or group) identity, material culture (e.g. artifacts used in defense of freed communities) and oral traditions (e.g. storytelling). Theoretical perspectives are derived from gender and Black feminist concepts such as intersectionality.

Finally, comparative insights are gathered from examinations of the trans-atlantic and American contexts of Africans (and their descendents') struggles for human rights, wellbeing, and peace. "

Section 001 
Instructor: Deena Isom Scott
The central goal of this course is to examine the complex race-crime relationship and the controversies surrounding it from orthodox and critical criminological perspectives. This course is divided into four primary sections. In the first, we will answer one basic question: What is the relationship between race and crime? We will determine what crime is, how it is measured, who is a criminal, and how each of these is influenced by and perpetuates racial and ethnic inequality in American society. Next, we will answer what is justice? Within this framework, we will examine inequality in society and the criminal justice system. We will then discuss why individuals offend and become entangled in the criminal justice system. We will also spend time discussing issues surrounding gender and immigration. And finally, we will close by examining the indirect costs and effects of involvement with the criminal justice system.

Section 204
Instructor: Sharon DeWitte
This course will examine how disease emergence, treatment, and intervention reflect (in)justice on a global scale, including how persistent structural inequalities elevate risks of disease and death for marginalized people and populations during epidemics and pandemics.

Section 001
Instructor: Gail Wagner
We can't talk about food without talking about the people who produce, distribute, consume, and attach meaning to food. Access to local, healthy, and culturally meaningful food lies at the heart of food security and human rights. Food commodification and globalization result in asymmetrical access to food, knowledge, power, and ultimately health. We focus equally on cultural and ethical issues relevant to the topics covered. 

Section 01
Instructor: Eric Jones
Is everything we’ve been taught about the past wrong? Do ancient myths, stone ruins, and human DNA preserve evidence of an advanced global civilization that was wiped out by a disaster? Is there a worldwide conspiracy among academics to suppress knowledge about what really happened in the past? This semester, we will explore three major fraudulent ideas about the human past--all connected to this semester's theme of justice--and evaluate them using the theories and methods of archaeological science. First, we will explore the connections between white supremacy, colonialism and imperialism, and fantastic claims about ancient aliens and lost civilizations, such as Atlantis. Second, we will explore the historical origin, context, and legacy of the Moundbuilder Myth--the claim that Native Americans did not build the earthen mounds of eastern North America--and how it was used to dispossess Native societies of their lands and cultural property. Finally, we will explore how pseudoarchaeology has been used for nationalistic purposes, including the promotion of violent conquest and genocide. 

Section 001
Instructor: Courtney Lewis
Course highlights include contemporary Indigenous activism movements, ranging from the American Indian Movement, to Idle No More, to Standing Rock. 

Section 002 and H01
Instructor: Jennifer Reynolds
This course introduces students to cross-cultural and intercultural forms of (mis)communication and advances critical understandings to how these can mediate dispossession.  Cross-cultural and intercultural forms of communication give sociolinguistic shape to transnational geopolitical and political economic shifts that have resulted in highly mobile people - from postcolonial citizens making demands of the metropole, to those recruited to perform all kinds labor with and across nation-state boundaries as well as displaced peoples due to war, famine, and escape from other forms of social stigma and persecution. We will address how various discourse practices in the pursuit of justice mediate access to important social, cultural, and economic resources.

Section 001
Instructor: Magdalena Stawkowski
"Humans Going Nuclear" provides students with an opportunity to study the social, political, and economic legacies of the Cold War from the perspective of individuals and communities that hosted the circuit of nuclear production, from uranium mining and reprocessing, to weapons development and nuclear testing. At the core of this course is an anthropological engagement with ethnographic works that pay particular attention to issues of power, identity, and inequality, and to understanding the dynamic processes of social, historical, ecological, and biological change resulting from nuclear weapons production and its attendant technological developments that characterize much of the 20th and 21st centuries. 

Section TBD
Instructor: Sherina Feliciano-Santos
This course studies how language and interaction mediate sociocultural inclusion and  discrimination by looking at how people use language and how they evaluate others' use of language. We consider the historical, economic, and political bases of how language use and evaluations become channeled in ways that allow access or exclusion from institutions, relationships, and legal rights.

Section 001 and 002
Instructor: Krista Van Fleit
This course is designed to bring together two groups of students on our campus: international students coming from China and American students learning Chinese at UofSC. The chief goal in the course is to facilitate American/Chinese cross-cultural understanding of justice through a dialogue between domestic and international students with the shared foundation of engagement in one another's cultures.  We will use texts both in Chinese and in English to interrogate our assumptions about the meanings of justice in our own cultures, and also to learn about conceptions of justice in another culture.  We will begin with readings on traditional conceptions of justice in both China and in the United States, and then move on to an examination of cultural products such as films and short stories that are heavily engaged with the theme of justice.  We will ask questions such as: Is there an overlap in conceptions of justice between Chinese martial artists and American vigilantes?  How are gender issues resolved differently in both countries depending on concepts of justice?  Do people in the US and people in China seek justice in similar places such as the courts?  The course will be taught mainly in English, but primary materials will be made available in Chinese, and, depending on the proficiency of individual students, I will encourage discussions in Mandarin.  The course will enhance internationalization among UofSC's domestic students, and also help to integrate Chinese international students into American campus life through a sharp focus on the issue of justice. 

Section 004
Instructor: Philip Berry
Almost directly, as it is already present as an introductory course in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice to provide a baseline template of knowledge regarding the entirety of the American Criminal Justice system. Topics of 'Justice' (or rather INjustice) are rampant throughout the criminological literature at the moment, some of which has been supported and some of which have not. All of these topics will be covered in this course. 

Section 001,  Instructor: Kaitlin Boyle
Section J10,  Instructor: Barbara Koons-Witt
The Women and Crime course explores the status of women as victims and/or offenders in the criminal justice system. We examine important gender differences in terms of involvement in the legal system and importantly, different responses to victimization and/or offending by the legal system.Justice can be shaped by gender, race and ethnicity, class, and age.

Section 001
Instructor: Deena Isom Scott
Following the historical and racialized road from slavery to mass incarceration, this course will provide a broad investigation into the various constructs of justice and realities of errors in justice. We will highlight three central themes - lynching and racial terror, capital punishment, and wrongful convictions - though other forms of miscarriages of justice will also be discussed. This course will provide a critical and interdisciplinary examination of the historical and current functioning of the American criminal justice system as well as develop historical, structural, social, and ethical analyses of justice applicable to contemporary social issues, institutional case studies, and social processes. Theoretical concepts are considered alongside, or in tension with, assessments of practice, with the contradictions between these two serving as a primary scene for critical thought. This course considers the ways that society has created different kinds of justice and how practices and standards of justice have been used for the social control of marginalized populations. By developing ideas about how contemporary kinds of justice constitute an evolution, rather than an abolition, of chattel slavery, lynching, the Jim Crow era, and mass incarceration, the course challenges students to analyze the historical roots of contemporary forms of racial profiling, vigilantism, and state control. 

Section 001
Instructor: Dianne Johnson-Feelings
The focus of the course is contemporary American young adult literature. Students will examine texts that are in some way related to central ideas about the United States of America and the idea of Americanness.  Discussion topics will include the politics of the children's book publishing industry, current issues and controversies in the field, including awards, censorship, gender, race, and more. Most importantly, students will explore the relationship between YA literature and social justice. 

Section 001
Instructor: Monica Barra
From pollution to rising seas, many of the most pressing environmental problems today are faced by minority and low income communities. The study of environmental racism and justice examines the creation and consequences of unequal exposure to environmental risks for these communities. This course will focus on the emergence of the environmental justice movement in the United States and its transformation into a global social movement to address political and environmental inequality from the mid twentieth century to the present. The class will explore local and global case studies of environmental injustice and follow how different communities confront environmental discrimination on the basis of race, class, gender, and geography. 

Section 003
Instructor: Christoper Krause
Injustice is prevalent around the world. Sounds cliché, right? It isn't meant to; the phrase "around the world" was deliberately chosen to emphasize the geographic component of (in)justice. Geospatial technologies enable these geographies of (in)justice to be quantified, visualized, interpreted, and analyzed. This course will take-on the spatiality of (in)justice head-on to develop students' problem-solving skills so they can critically approach these geographies of (in)justice and efficiently communicate their findings using map-based technologies.

Section 001
Instructor: Meredith DeBoom
Half of the world's population growth between now and 2050 will occur in Africa. The continent hosts both the world's richest deposits of resources essential to the global economy - from oil to cobalt - and the greatest number of people living in extreme poverty. Through a series of summits and case studies, students in this class will analyze the historical and contemporary causes of this unjust outcome and learn how they can contribute to its resolution.

Section 001
Instructor: April Hiscox
This course is a holistic introduction to Geography.  While the topics will be diverse we will spend two weeks discussing the history and effectiveness of addressing social justice through arts. We will be using the sewcial justice sewing academy as our case study. 

Section 001
Instructor: Conor Harrison
This course explores the social, environmental, and economic aspects of making cities more sustainable. I have received a 2020 Theme Justice grant to incorporate citizen science efforts around detecting natural gas leaks in urban environments.

Section 001
Instructor: Caroline Nagel
This course explores how the built environment of American cities reflects the power of dominant groups to organize space, and how ordinary people use urban space to contest existing power relationships. A key theme in the course is the use of housing, transportation, and urban redevelopment policies to enforce racial and class segregation.  The course will also examine debates and struggles around homelessness, gentrification, and the marginalization of women and youth in public spaces.

Section 001 / H02
Instructor: Agnes Mueller
We will read selected texts that address the following questions: How does our sense of "justice" get altered when faced with global pandemics? How do societies adapt, and how does their judicial system adapt? What policies get altered, what injustices in societies are laid bare with the advent of pandemics? 

Section 001
Instructor: Myisha Eatmon
This course pushes students to learn the history of Jim Crow as it relates to Americans of all races and parse out the continuities and discontinuities between the Jim Crow era and twenty-first-century U.S. policy. Course materials demonstrate how Jim Crow oppression of African Americans laid the groundwork for the oppression of other minority groups in the U.S. Injustice is rooted in systems of injustice. The way forward is rooted in confronting history.

Section 002
Instructor: Elaine Chun
This course centrally addresses the them of justice by examining the intersection of language, race, and power. Focusing primarily on communities in the United States, this course will address the following topics: (1) definitions of race and racism; (2) psychological aspects of racism; (3) microaggressions; (4) colorblindness; (5) racial code words and dog whistles; (6) derogatory and reappropriated uses of ethnic slurs; (7) linguistic appropriation; (8) racism in public space; (9) accent-based discrimination; (10) structural racism in media and education; (11) anti-racist strategies. In other words, we will investigate what racism is, how it can be based in language practices (sounds, words, rants), why it is often difficult to see and hear, and what we can do to counter it.

Section 001 / 001
Instructor: Scott Dunn
A fundamental part of this course will be looking at the justice aspect of elections - gerrymandering, voter suppression, and various constitutional amendments.

Section 001
Instructor: Matt Kisner
Climate change causes injustice. Those most harmed by climate change bear little responsibility for it and reap few benefits from the current system. This includes the poor and future generations, who will suffer most from climate change, but will enjoy few of the benefits of today's cheap energy and thriving fossil fuel industry.  The course examines what climate justice demands in our local community, who should bear the costs, and what is owed to those harmed by climate change. 

Section 002
Instructor: Thomas Burke
This course will explore how sovereign nations might write or revise their Constitutions so as to foster the rule of law and promote just governance. We will use the US Constitution in a case study, reading through it systematically to investigate how such a document might be revised to better promote just governance, etc. 

Section 002
Instructor: Miki Kitchen
Do you want a different type of class?  Rather than hearing a lecture, this course offers the ability to discuss, debate, explore, and offer solutions regarding the current state of Hate, Prejudice, and Discrimination that we experience in our society.  To accomplish this, there are two overarching goals for this course, one goal of the course is to sensitize each individual to their own dynamics with respect to societal issues and to increase awareness of their pervasiveness in the community and larger society. A further goal is to suggest ways that the individual can intervene with themself and with others to reduce the occurrence of prejudicial attitudes and their possible escalation to hatred and to violence. Conducted in a safe environment where all ideas, thoughts, comments are welcomed, this course provides a unique opportunity to explore the sensitive topics of our society. (Prerequisite: Junior or Senior status.)

Section H01
Instructor: Scott Dunn
A fundamental part of this course will be looking at the justice aspect of elections - gerrymandering, voter suppression, and various constitutional amendments.

Section 01
Instructor: Laura Brashears
Sociology of Education is an introduction. It covers the basic organization and functions of schools, but the largest focus is on the inequalities that students bring with them to school, as well as the inequalities that get reproduced within the educational context. These are fundamentally issues related to social justice, and by the end of the course, students are asked to consider how such injustices can be ameliorated.

Section 002
Instructor: Jaclyn Wong
"Stratification" refers to the way enduring inequalities are systematically built into our society. Students will read current sociological research on social stratification and will discuss and write about what it would mean to deliver justice to structurally disadvantaged communities.

Section J10
Instructor: Mathieu Deflem
The course offers an overview and discussion issues surrounding criminal justice, both in the US and internationally. Topics include prison and punishment, surveillance, policing, and counterterrorism. 

Section 001
Instructor: Courtney Lewis
Course highlights include the Southern labor rights movement and the Civil Rights movement. 

Section 001
Instructor: Dawn Campbell
The Harassment and Consent course connects to the Justice theme through an exploration of historical and contemporary cases and social movements surrounding workplace and sexual harassment, gender, power, and consent. Themes explored include: gender norms, gender inequality, privilege and oppression, culture of silence and shame, and accountability and restorative justice. 

Section J10
Instructor: Carla Pfeffer
In this course, we will use sociological and gender studies lenses to focus on the topics of sex and gender. While our focus will be on sex and gender, we will also study how other identities influence and affect gendered identities and experiences. A primary goal of this course is to introduce students to the perspectives and empirical findings on sex and gender, as well as to apply this empirical evidence to real-world experiences. Of critical importance is the goal of cultivating your skills for analyzing social situations and events that students encounter in their everyday lives in order to work toward greater social justice. Throughout this course, emphasis will be placed on developing critical and integrative ways of thinking about sex and gender as social processes in our everyday lives. This is not a course exclusively about women and women's experiences. In this course, we will consider how sex and gender shape and affect the experiences of women, men, girls, boys, and individuals who live in the spaces in-between these categories (e.g., those who are intersex, transgender, transsexual, etc.), thereby incorporating a gender justice framework. 

Section 001
Instructor: Ed Madden
We will discuss ideas of justice and injustice in relation to the evolving social, cultural, and political status of LGBTQ peoples. 


Course Development Grant Recipients

The following faculty members received support to develop new courses or course materials for Theme Semester 2020.  We are excited about the ways that these innovative new courses and diverse methods of instruction will engage our campus community with issues of Justice.

Course Faculty Name Affiliation(s)
ENVR 348 / AFAM 348
Environmental Racism and Justice
Monica Barra, Assistant Professor School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment,
SCHC 311, MATH 399 and MATH 599
Voting and Elections: Theory, Mathematics
and Social Justice
Scott Dunn, Instructor Mathematics
HIST 463 / AFAM 463
Jim Crow: Histories and Revivals
Myisha Eatmon, Instructor History
GEOG 321
Sustainable Cities
Conor Harrison, Assistant Professor Geography
PHIL 370
Special Topics in Philosophy: Climate Justice in SC
Matthew Kisner, Professor Philosophy
CRJU 591 / AFAM 397
Miscarriages of Justice
Deena Isom Scott, Assistant Professor Criminology and Criminal Justice


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