Request for Designation as a Community Interest (CI) Course in Explorations



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Request for Designation as a Community Interest (CI) Course in Explorations

Name Natalie Davis

Course number and title PS 307/HON 307 Civil Rights and Justice

Departmental endorsement___yes (political Science)______________________________

Has this course been submitted for any other Explorations designation? no


If so, which one? ______________

Please list which of your course assignments or activities addresses each of the guidelines, state briefly how this is accomplished, and attach a syllabus or a preliminary redesign plan for the course.



The criterion for a global perspectives CI course is a primary focus on interests in competing ethical, moral, or community interests.

As is evident from the title of the course, CIVIL RIGHTS AND JUSTICE, this class explores issues which directly affect community. We explore the civil rights movement in America as a way to directly address “competing ethical, moral, or community” interests. A simple example: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that owners of restaurants must serve all customers, regardless of race. If I own a restaurant, shouldn’t I have the “right” to serve whom I wish. This is not an archaic debate. There are elected officials in the U.S. Senate today who believe I should have that right. Should a more affluent school district be required to divert some of its funding to a less affluent district in order to assure “equity”—the so-called “Robin Hood” principle.

We also deal at a more macro level by examining movements toward democratization. Here, we review what’s happening in the Middle East right now, the “Arab Spring,” go back a little to the “Prague Spring,” and later to the events of 1989.

The two essay assignments directly address the CI emphasis of the course. The first focuses on the Civil Rights Movement itself (see syllabus). It asks students to be a modern day deToqueville and comment on the state of the American community. The second essay requires students to take one equal access issue (see syllabus)—such as education, same sex marriage, comparable pay—and lay out both sides of the issue, and then take a stand. While elements of the major research paper have not been formulated, it will likely be an extension of the second essay.



Return this form as one electronic file with a syllabus appended to shagen@bsc.edu by 30 May 2011.

Natalie Davis ndavis@bsc.edu ext. 4837; HB 307

HON 307/PS 307

Fall 2011
[NOTE: This syllabus is a draft. It is my adaption of Ed LaMonte’s syllabus; I will be teaching the course in the Fall, and so, this should be viewed as a work in progress. However, I am definitely adding some international content, and the essay which I have developed will not change.]

PS 307/HON307 CIVIL RIGHTS AND JUSTICE


PURPOSE OF COURSE

This seminar has four major objectives. First, it will provide students with a history of the Civil Rights Movement with emphasis on the American South from 1954 – 1965. Second, the seminar will explore the judicial process and the role of American courts more broadly in responding to civil rights issues to the present day—we draw attention to race and ethnicity, gender, and political dissent. To do this, we will examine contemporary issues related to education, immigration, and political representation which reflect our country’s continuing struggle with the issues of human rights, civil rights, and justice. Third, the course moves beyond the American case to explore political and human rights in global context by focusing on the “Arab Spring” (2011) and the movement toward democratization there. Fourth, the seminar will explore the topic of leadership and how it connects to securing civil and human rights; HON 307/PS 307 is a designated Leadership Studies course.

An ongoing theme throughout the entire term will be the topic of leadership, as we identify specific leaders and consider various types of leadership. The course will include guest lecturers and a field trip to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Regular seminar attendance and participation; two essays during the term based on the readings; a research paper on a major civil rights and justice issue; a 1-2 page reaction paper based on your visit to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; and an Honor Code Statement that you have completed the assigned readings. The first essay will be due October 11th; the second will be due November 15th; research papers will be due December 7thth by 12:00 noon.

Topics for all three written assignments must be approved by the instructor. The two shorter essays should be in the 1500 - 2000 word range (about 6-8 typed and double- spaced); the research paper should be approximately 10-15 pages long. Each student will make a brief report in class on November 22nd, November 29th, or December 6th on the civil rights/human rights issue which is the basis of the research paper.

GRADE

Each of the two briefer papers represents 20% of the final grade; the major paper represents 40%; and class participation accounts for the remaining 20%.



GENERAL OUTLINE OF COURSE

PART I: UNDERSTANDING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
READINGS: SIMPLE JUSTICE

COMMON GROUND

Collateral pieces

“Letter from Birmingham Jail”


VIDEOS: portions of “Eyes on the Prize”

“Freedom Riders”

“The Shooting of Father Coyle at St. Paul’s”
ESSAY #1: Alexis deTocqueville is often cited as a key observer of American political culture in the 19th century. Pretend you are a foreign visitor to the United States who knows a great deal about the history of the American Civil Rights Movement. What would you say about its impact on the American political system as well as on the American community. You need to sort through the question of what brings Americans together and what divides them. This essay is not intended to be an exercise in patriotism.

PART II: ASSURING EQUAL ACCESS TO THE AMERICAN DREAM: GENDER,

ETHNICITY, and REPRESENTATION
READINGS: COMMON GROUND

Peters and Wolper, eds., WOMEN'S RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS:

INTERNATIONAL FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES

David Jacobson, ed., THE IMMIGRATION READER: AMERICA IN A

MULTIDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVE

Research Proposals Due
Excerpt from Stephen Carter, THE CULTURE OF DISBELIEF

(He raises the question of the role of religion in the public square.)

Excerpt from Christopher Lasch, THE REVOLT OF THE ELITES

(Attention is drawn to his criticism of affirmative action)


ESSAY #2: Take one equal access issue where you fairly, substantively, and objectively explain both sides of the issue and then offer your own view and why you take the position you do?
PART III: CIVIL RIGHTS IN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT
READINGS: James Petras, The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack

Additional Readings TBA



PART IV: WHAT MAKES FOR LEADERSHIP: MLK, GHANDI, BELLA, AND GOLDA

Would there have been a civil rights movement without Martin Luther King? A Protestant Reformation without Martin Luther? An independent India without Mohatma Ghandi? Increasing numbers of women in political office without Bella Abzug? An independent state of Israel without Golda Meir? [OK—that’s a stretch.] To what extent are major civil rights movements a function of the skills and abilities of individual leaders or is securing civil rights an inevitable feature of modern society?


READINGS: excerpts from Gary Wills, CERTAIN TRUMPETS

Excerpts from

Victor Wolfenstein, THE REVOLUTIONARY PERSONALITY

December 7th: RESEARCH PAPERS DUE by noon.



HONOR CODE

The Honor Code is strictly observed throughout the course. All papers turned in must have a signed Honor Code statement at the end. I invite students to use their laptops or IPADS to take notes or to do class work. However, I consider use of electronic equipment in class for other purposes (texting, FACEBOOK, etc.) a violation of the HONOR CODE.


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