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.

Fall 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.

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.

Women in the Economy

ECON 251 - Shester, Katharine L.

Students explore how economic theory and analysis can be applied to examine the multiple roles that women play in our society. In particular, we examine linkages and changes in women's human capital, marriage, fertility, family structure, and occupation and labor supply decisions in the post-World War II era. We also investigate the magnitude and causes of the gender wage gap. We assess how much of the gender wage gap can be explained by education and occupational choice, and how much appears to be due to discrimination. We also learn about {and try to explain} the differences in labor-market outcomes for women with and without children. Finally, we access the causes and consequences of teenage pregnancy and single motherhood.

Development Economics

ECON 280 - Smitka, Michael J. (Mike)

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 in the Media

JOUR 240 - Colon, Aly A.

An in-depth examination of portrayals of poverty, chiefly in the United States, from the late 19th century to the present through an intensive review of distinguished print journalism, nonfiction books, documentary film, and movies. By consulting social science literature as well, students gain a deeper understanding of the various conceptual paradigms through which poverty has been understood and explained. Counts as part of the Shepherd Program in Poverty and Human Capability

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.

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 2017:

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 2017:

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.

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.

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?

Spring 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.

Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law

ECON 246 - Silwal, Shikha B. / Lubin, Timothy (Tim)

Social stratification touches every aspect of life, and South Asia's traditional caste structure is a special case: this highly complex, strictly-adhered-to system has been religiously legitimized and criticized over a 3,000-year history, and is nowadays seen as being at odds with the modern world. Yet it remains a crucial factor in social identity, economic roles, legal status, and religious practice. This course offers a 360-degree survey of caste both historically and in practice today in Nepal. The course addresses four themes, respectively providing for each a combination of historical background, social scientific analysis of the modern situation, and direct field experience for the students.

Urban Education and Poverty

EDUC 369 - Sigler, Haley W.

Not open to students with credit for ECON 234. In this course, students explore pedagogy, curriculum, and social issues related to urban education by working in schools in the Richmond area for three weeks. Students read about and discuss the broader social and economic forces, particularly poverty, that have shaped urban schools and the ramifications of those forces for school design. The Richmond schools provide the opportunity to observe critical components of teaching and learning in the urban classroom. Housing is provided with alumni during the week. Students return to Lexington for Friday seminars and for the fourth week of the term for seminars and discussion.

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 2017, POV 296-01: Special Topics in Poverty Studies: Profit and Punishment (4). Prerequisite: Instructor consent. This course is taught in a classroom at Augusta Correctional Center in Craigsville, VA. Students attend class together with prisoners who are pursuing higher education while in custody at the center. The punishment sector is large and profitable. This includes not just private prisons but also accessory services such as telephone and commissary services in prisons and jails, contracts for correctional medicine and transportation, and private bail and probation companies. Students in this course examine how the carceral apparatus, which impoverishes so many, simultaneously generates substantial market benefits. We analyze individual companies (Global Tel Link, Corizon, Securus, Geo, etc.) ethically and economically and consider related business-ethics topics such as prison labor and lethal-injection drug manufacturing. We consider whether and how market incentives can or should be removed from the punishment industry. (SS5) Brotzman .

Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law

REL 246 - Silwal, Shikha B. / Lubin, Timothy (Tim)

Social stratification touches every aspect of life, and South Asia's traditional caste structure is a special case: this highly complex, strictly-adhered-to system has been religiously legitimized and criticized over a 3,000-year history, and is nowadays seen as being at odds with the modern world. Yet it remains a crucial factor in social identity, economic roles, legal status, and religious practice. This course offers a 360-degree survey of caste both historically and in practice today in Nepal. The course addresses four themes, respectively providing for each a combination of historical background, social scientific analysis of the modern situation, and direct field experience for the students.

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.