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 2017

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.

Urban Economics

ECON 229 - Shester, Katharine L.

A study of the economics of cities. Students discuss why cities exist, what determines city growth, and how firms make city location decisions. We then shift our focus to within-city location decisions, and we discuss land-use patterns, housing, and neighborhoods. Our discussion of housing and neighborhoods focus on a number of issues related to urban poverty, including the effects of segregation and housing policies on the poor.

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.

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, Dignity, and Human Rights

PHIL 245 - Pickett, Howard Y.

Is severe poverty a human rights violation? This course examines that question and others by means of an investigation of the main philosophical and religious debates about human rights. More broadly, the course provides students with the opportunity to examine our duties (individually and collectively) to those said to suffer from any human rights abuse. Questions considered include: Are human rights universal or culturally specific? What (if anything) grounds human rights? Are religious justifications of rights permissible in a pluralistic world? Is dignity a useful concept for defending and/or discerning human rights? Do we only have liberty rights (to be free of mistreatment) or do we also have welfare rights (to claim certain positive treatment from others)? What are the practical (moral, political. and legal) implications of identifying severe poverty as a human rights violation?

International Development

POL 215 - Dickovick, James T. (Tyler)

A study of international development and human capability, with a focus on Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The course analyzes theories to explain development successes and failures, with a focus on the structures, institutions, and actors that shape human societies and social change. Key questions include measuring economic growth and poverty, discussing the roles of states and markets in development, and examining the role of industrialized countries in reducing global poverty. The course explores links between politics and other social sciences and humanities.

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 - Brotzman, Kelly L.

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 2016:

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

Fieldwork in Poverty and Human Capability

POV 102 - Pickett, Howard Y.

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.

Fieldwork in Poverty and Human Capability

POV 102 - Brotzman, Kelly L.

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, Dignity, and Human Rights

POV 245 - Pickett, Howard Y.

Is severe poverty a human rights violation? This course examines that question and others by means of an investigation of the main philosophical and religious debates about human rights. More broadly, the course provides students with the opportunity to examine our duties (individually and collectively) to those said to suffer from any human rights abuse. Questions considered include: Are human rights universal or culturally specific? What (if anything) grounds human rights? Are religious justifications of rights permissible in a pluralistic world? Is dignity a useful concept for defending and/or discerning human rights? Do we only have liberty rights (to be free of mistreatment) or do we also have welfare rights (to claim certain positive treatment from others)? What are the practical (moral, political. and legal) implications of identifying severe poverty as a human rights violation?

Poverty and Human Capability: A Research Seminar

POV 423 - Brotzman, Kelly L.

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 - Pickett, Howard Y.

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.

Shepherd Summer Internship

POV 453 - Pickett, Howard Y.

Eight-week summer internship working with individuals and communities. Supervised work with agencies in business and economic development, community organizing, education, environmental advocacy, health care, law, religious ministry, and social services that engage impoverished persons and communities. Eight weeks of full-time work is preceded by an orientation to prepare the interns and followed by a closing conference for interns to reflect critically on what they have learned. W&L students work with students from other participating colleges. Students keep journals reflecting on their work. Financial support is available; in rare instances the Shepherd Program director may approve other internship programs to meet this requirement, but approval must be in advance with special conditions and stipulations. This course may not be repeated, but students who complete POV 453 may apply for a different second internship and receive recognition without credit for POV 450.

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.

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

Advanced Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies

WGSS 396 - Bell, Melina C. (Melina)

This course provides an opportunity for advanced students to explore in detail some aspect of women's studies. Specific topics may vary and may be determined, in part, by student interest. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Advanced Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies

WGSS 396 - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

This course provides an opportunity for advanced students to explore in detail some aspect of women's studies. Specific topics may vary and may be determined, in part, by student interest. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2016

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.

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.

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 2016:

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

Poverty and Human Capability: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

POV 101 - Brotzman, Kelly L.

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 2016:

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

Fieldwork in Poverty and Human Capability

POV 102 - Pickett, Howard Y.

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.

Fieldwork in Poverty and Human Capability

POV 102 - Brotzman, Kelly L.

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.

Shepherd Summer Internship

POV 450 - Pickett, Howard Y.

Eight-week summer internship working with individuals and communities. Supervised work with agencies in business and economic development, community organizing, education, environmental advocacy, health care, law, religious ministry, and social services that engage impoverished persons and communities. Eight weeks of full-time work is preceded by an orientation to prepare the interns to reflect critically on what they have learned. W&L students work with students from other participating colleges. Students keep journals reflecting on their work. Financial support is available; in rare instances the Shepherd Program director may approve other internship programs to meet this requirement, but approval must be in advance with special conditions and stipulations.

Shepherd Summer Internship

POV 453 - Pickett, Howard Y.

Eight-week summer internship working with individuals and communities. Supervised work with agencies in business and economic development, community organizing, education, environmental advocacy, health care, law, religious ministry, and social services that engage impoverished persons and communities. Eight weeks of full-time work is preceded by an orientation to prepare the interns and followed by a closing conference for interns to reflect critically on what they have learned. W&L students work with students from other participating colleges. Students keep journals reflecting on their work. Financial support is available; in rare instances the Shepherd Program director may approve other internship programs to meet this requirement, but approval must be in advance with special conditions and stipulations. This course may not be repeated, but students who complete POV 453 may apply for a different second internship and receive recognition without credit for POV 450.

Race and Ethnic Relations

SOAN 228 - Novack, David R.

An analysis of minority groups in America. Theories of ethnicity are examined focusing on the relationship between class and ethnicity, and on the possible social and biological significance of racial differences. Attention is also given to prejudice and discrimination, as well as to consideration of minority strategies to bring about change.

Spring 2016

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.

Urban Education: Poverty, Ethnicity and Policy

ECON 234 - Diette, Timothy M. (Tim)

Students explore the determinants of education achievement and attainment in urban education through three weeks of fieldwork in schools in the Richmond area (Monday through Thursday each week) and seminar meetings in Lexington. Students observe and work to understand critical components of teaching and learning in the urban classroom. The readings and experience challenge students to consider factors including early childhood development, the role of the family, school finance, teachers, and curriculum. The students then evaluate the current policy proposals for school reform in the United States such as teacher merit pay, charter schools, and student accountability. In addition, students develop and present their own policy proposal for improving public schools. Housing is provided through alumni in Richmond.

Special Topics in Poverty Studies

POV 296 - Brotzman, Kelly L.

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

Spring 2016, POV 296-01: Special Topics in Poverty Studies: Freedom and Unfreedom (4). Prerequisite: POV 101 and instructor consent required. This course is taught in a classroom at Augusta Correctional Center in Craigsville. VA. Students attend class together with offenders who are pursuing higher education while in custody at the center. Poverty and incarceration both raise essential questions about scope, nature, and limits of human freedom: Students consider several classic and contemporary theories of freedom with special attention to the human capabilities approach, a cornerstone of the poverty studies program. We explore where freedom comes from, whether and to what extent poverty and incarceration are forms of unfreedom, and whether certain forms of freedom are compatible with these conditions. Students are challenged to articulate the conditions they consider necessary for living freely as well as the sources of unfreedom in their own lives. (HU) Brotzman.