Course Offerings

This is a listing of all current POV course offerings. There is a separate list of discipline based courses that will count towards the minor either automatically or with permission from your POV advisor. Please be sure to consult your advisor in selecting courses for the poverty minor.

Winter 2019

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity

PHIL 242 - Bell, Melina C. (Melina)

An exploration of the different range of opportunities available to various social groups, including racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, women, and the poor. Topics include how to define fair equality of opportunity; the social mechanisms that play a role in expanding and limiting opportunity; legal and group-initiated strategies aimed at effecting fair equality of opportunity and the theoretical foundations of these strategies; as well as an analysis of the concepts of equality, merit and citizenship, and their value to individuals and society.

Poverty, Oppression, and Privilege

PHIL 249 - Pickett, Howard Y.

This seminar asks one overarching question: Are the increasingly common - and contested - concepts of "oppression" and "privilege" useful in poverty studies and in the pursuit of justice? Along the way, we consider the following more specific questions: Is poverty a form of oppression? Is systemic disadvantage always oppressive or is it sometimes justifiable? What is the relationship between privilege and moral responsibility? Is privilege blameworthy? Do the privileged have distinct responsibilities to advocate for the just treatment of the disadvantaged? For that matter, do the oppressed have their own distinct responsibilities or would such a burden be an additional form of oppression? Is advocating for the disadvantaged privileged and (sometimes) oppressive? If so, is failing to advocate even worse? Who is responsible for the pursuit of justice and what, if anything, should be done?

Migration, Identity, and Conflict

POL 268 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

This course focuses on the complex relationship between migration, political institutions, group identities, and inter-group conflict. The course is a hybrid of a seminar and research lab in which students (a) read some of the key social-scientific literature on these subjects, and (b) conduct team-based research making use of existing survey data about the integration of migrant populations into various polities.

Poverty and Human Capability: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

POV 101 - Pickett, Howard Y.

An exploration of the nature, scope, causes, effects and possible remedies for poverty as a social, moral, political and policy, economic, legal, psychological, religious, and biological problem. The course focuses on domestic poverty but also considers poverty as a global problem.

Fall 2018:

POV 101A: FS: Poverty and Human Capability: An Interdisciplinary Introduction (3). First-Year seminar.

Poverty and Human Capability: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

POV 101 - Taylor, Erin P.

An exploration of the nature, scope, causes, effects and possible remedies for poverty as a social, moral, political and policy, economic, legal, psychological, religious, and biological problem. The course focuses on domestic poverty but also considers poverty as a global problem.

Fall 2018:

POV 101A: FS: Poverty and Human Capability: An Interdisciplinary Introduction (3). First-Year seminar.

Fieldwork in Poverty and Human Capability

POV 102 - Charley, Marisa S.

Sustained critical reflection on pivotal issues in poverty studies based on supervised volunteer work, journals, and weekly discussions and papers related to the readings in 101.

Poverty, Oppression, and Privilege

POV 249 - Pickett, Howard Y.

This seminar asks one overarching question: Are the increasingly common - and contested - concepts of "oppression" and "privilege" useful in poverty studies and in the pursuit of justice? Along the way, we consider the following more specific questions: Is poverty a form of oppression? Is systemic disadvantage always oppressive or is it sometimes justifiable? What is the relationship between privilege and moral responsibility? Is privilege blameworthy? Do the privileged have distinct responsibilities to advocate for the just treatment of the disadvantaged? For that matter, do the oppressed have their own distinct responsibilities or would such a burden be an additional form of oppression? Is advocating for the disadvantaged privileged and (sometimes) oppressive? If so, is failing to advocate even worse? Who is responsible for the pursuit of justice and what, if anything, should be done?

Child Abuse and Neglect Seminar

POV 295 - Shaughnessy, Joan M.

This seminar examines the response of the legal system to issues of child abuse and neglect. Attempts by courts and legislators to define abuse and neglect are reviewed and critiqued. The seminar also explores the legal framework which governs state intervention to protect children from abuse and neglect. Attention is paid to both state and federal law, including the federal constitutional issues which arise in many child abuse and neglect proceedings. Issues relating to the professional responsibilities of lawyers involved in abuse and neglect proceedings are examined.

Poverty and Human Capability: A Research Seminar

POV 423 - Goldsmith, Arthur H. (Art)

An inquiry into principal factors or agents responsible for the causes, effects, and remedies of poverty. This examination is conducted through reading appropriate in-depth studies from various disciplines and perspectives, and it culminates with an independent research project into specific aspects of poverty drawing on students' internships and respective areas of study and looking forward to their professional work and civic engagement. This seminar serves as a capstone for undergraduate poverty studies and includes second- and third-year law students in Law 391.

Poverty and Human Capability: A Research Seminar

POV 423 - Perez, Marcos E.

An inquiry into principal factors or agents responsible for the causes, effects, and remedies of poverty. This examination is conducted through reading appropriate in-depth studies from various disciplines and perspectives, and it culminates with an independent research project into specific aspects of poverty drawing on students' internships and respective areas of study and looking forward to their professional work and civic engagement. This seminar serves as a capstone for undergraduate poverty studies and includes second- and third-year law students in Law 391.

Migration, Identity, and Conflict

SOAN 268 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

This course focuses on the complex relationship between migration, political institutions, group identities, and inter-group conflict. The course is a hybrid of a seminar and research lab in which students (a) read some of the key social-scientific literature on these subjects, and (b) conduct team-based research making use of existing survey data about the integration of migrant populations into various polities.

Health and Inequality: An Introduction to Medical Sociology

SOAN 278 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

This course introduces sociological perspetivies of health and illness. Students examine topics such as social organization of medicine; the social construction of illness; class, race and gender inequalities in health; and health care reform. Some of the questions we address: How is the medical profession changing? What are the pros and cons of market-driven medicine? Does class have an enduring impact on health outcomes? Is it true that we are what our friends' eat? Can unconscious racial bias affect the quality of care for people of different ethnicities? What pitfalls have affected the way evidence-based medicine has been carried out?

Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity

WGSS 242 - Bell, Melina C. (Melina)

An exploration of the different range of opportunities available to various social groups, including racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, women, and the poor. Topics include how to define fair equality of opportunity; the social mechanisms that play a role in expanding and limiting opportunity; legal and group-initiated strategies aimed at effecting fair equality of opportunity and the theoretical foundations of these strategies; as well as an analysis of the concepts of equality, merit and citizenship, and their value to individuals and society

Fall 2018

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

The Economics of Social Issues

ECON 235 - Goldsmith, Arthur H. (Art)

This seminar is based on readings that set out hypotheses developed by economists and other social scientists regarding the causes and consequences of a wide range of social problems. Evidence examining the validity of these hypotheses is scrutinized and evaluated. The course is writing intensive and interdisciplinary since readings are drawn from a wide variety of fields. Topics discussed include, but are not limited to, poverty, education, health, crime, race, ethnicity, immigration, and fiscal matters.

Economics of Education

ECON 236 - Diette, Timothy M. (Tim)

Investigation of the role of education on outcomes for both nations and individuals. Understanding of the factors in the education production function. Emphasis on the challenges of pre-K-12 education in the United States; secondary coverage of postsecondary education. Analysis of the effect of existing policies and potential reforms on the achievement and opportunities available to poor and minority students.

Development Economics

ECON 280 - Casey, James F. (Jim)

A survey of the major issues of development economics. Economic structure of low-income countries and primary causes for their limited economic growth. Economic goals and policy alternatives. Role of developed countries in the development of poor countries. Selected case studies.

Literary Approaches to Poverty

ENGL 260 - Miranda, Deborah A.

Examines literary responses to the experience of poverty, imaginative representations of human life in straitened circumstances, and arguments about the causes and consequences of poverty that appear in literature. Critical consideration of dominant paradigms ("the country and the city," "the deserving poor," "the two nations," "from rags to riches," "the fallen woman," "the abyss") augments reading based in cultural contexts. Historical focus will vary according to professor's areas of interest and expertise.

Fall 2018, ENGL 260-01: Literary Approaches to Poverty: The Radical Power of Storytelling (3). Dorothy Allison, Appalachian poet and novelist, writes, "...stories are the one sure way I know to touch the heart and change the world." In this course, we examine contemporary American literature concerned with historic poverty, and subsequent trauma, as a condition of material lack that troubles the nation's founding commitments to individual freedom and social equality. These writers are especially preoccupied with tracking and expressing the physical, psychological, and political effects of want. To better understand the literary treatment of poverty, we consider this writing in relation to ongoing scholarly and political debates about the origins and remedies of economic inequality. We are also especially attentive to the ways that representing poverty creates formal and rhetorical problems that definitively shape this literature: who is telling this story? who is represented? how accurate are those representations? what makes a particular narrative accessible, meaningful or powerful? what is the goal of writing such literature? who is the intended audience? Given the diversity of U.S. populations, we consider dynamics such as race, gender, class, sexuality and political movements along with traditional literary analysis and research. For minors in poverty and human capability, this course supports the program objective of developing critical social consciousness through analysis of fictional and nonfictional literary texts. (HL) Miranda.

Poverty and Human Capability: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

POV 101 - Pickett, Howard Y.

An exploration of the nature, scope, causes, effects and possible remedies for poverty as a social, moral, political and policy, economic, legal, psychological, religious, and biological problem. The course focuses on domestic poverty but also considers poverty as a global problem.

Fall 2018:

POV 101A: FS: Poverty and Human Capability: An Interdisciplinary Introduction (3). First-Year seminar.

Fieldwork in Poverty and Human Capability

POV 102 - Charley, Marisa S.

Sustained critical reflection on pivotal issues in poverty studies based on supervised volunteer work, journals, and weekly discussions and papers related to the readings in 101.

Poverty Law

POV 280 - Shaughnessy, Joan M.

Historical and contemporary policy debates about poverty in the United States. Topics include the constitutional treatment of poverty, as well as the legal and policy treatment of questions of access to specific social goods, such as housing, health care, education, and legal services. Coverage of those topics include a look at the federalism dimensions of the legal approach to poverty in the United States. We also examine the intersection of the criminal justice system and poverty and touch on international perspectives on poverty.

Childhood

SOAN 288 - Goluboff, Sascha

This course explores the experience of childhood cross culturally, investigating how different societies conceptualize what it means to be a child. Our readings progress through representations of the lifecycle, starting with a discussion of conception, and moving through issues pertaining to the fetus, infants, children, and adolescents. We discuss socialization, discipline, emotion, education, gender, and sexuality, with special attention given to the effects of war, poverty, social inequality, and disease on children and youth.

 

Spring 2018

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Ethnographic Study of Modem Day Slavery in Ghana: Creating Short Documentary Film

FILM 251 - Sandberg, Stephanie L.

Spring Term Abroad. This course examines culture and social-justice issues in Ghana, particularly focusing on issues of modern day slavery. Together, we study Ghanaian culture, visiting cultural sites and learning about how the country is faring with modern-day slavery. We collect true stories through ethnographic study, interviewing and filming to create short documentaries for presentation on campus at the end of the spring term. We examine the development of modern-day slavery in Ghana, visiting organizations and government programs that are working on the issue as well as listening to the stories of those who have been rescued from slavery.

Medicine, Research, and Poverty

PHIL 247 - Taylor, Erin P.

This seminar introduces students to central ethical issues in the provision of medical care and the conduct of medical research in the context of poverty. Specific topics include medical research on prisoners and the indigent; ancillary care obligations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); meeting the standard of care in LMICs; access to essential medicines; allocation of scarce medical resources; and compensated donation for organs or tissues.

Medicine, Research, and Poverty

POV 247 - Taylor, Erin P.

This seminar introduces students to central ethical issues in the provision of medical care and the conduct of medical research in the context of poverty. Specific topics include medical research on prisoners and the indigent; ancillary care obligations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); meeting the standard of care in LMICs; access to essential medicines; allocation of scarce medical resources; and compensated donation for organs or tissues.

Special Topics in Poverty Studies

POV 296 - Pickett, Howard Y.

An intensive, in-depth examination of particular thinkers, approaches, policies or debates in the field of poverty and human capability studies.

Spring 2018, POV 296-01: Special Topics in Poverty Studies: Martin Luther King Jr.: Justice, Love, and Forgiveness (4). Prerequisite: POV 101. This interdisciplinary, community-based seminar takes place at Augusta Correctional Center in Craigsville, VA (approx. 35 miles from campus). a level 3 (out of 6) medium-security state prison. W&L undergraduates attend class with inmates who are pursuing higher education. Participants read and discuss together the writings of Martin Luther King Jr, a great social-justice thinker and practitioner. We ask: What is justice and what does it require from us, individually and collectively? What does love have to do with justice? Does love require forgiveness? Is forgiveness sometimes unjust? What role should non-violence and religion play in the pursuit of justice and love within a pluralistic society? How might one's view of human dignity and community inform that pursuit? Are love and justice ever In conflict? If so, how then should we live? (HU) Pickett.