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 2020

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.

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 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.

Fieldwork in Poverty and Human Capability

POV 102 - Diette, Timothy M. (Tim)

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.

Respect, Community and the Civic Life

POV 202 - Charley, Marisa S.

This course facilitates improved student understanding of the important intersections of community engagement, respect, and deepening conceptions of the civic life, and focuses on intentional synthesis of students' community engagement and community-based learning experiences (including POV 102, POV 453, and other discipline-based and co-curricular opportunities). Students consider what it means to live in community with others and explore topics of respect and responsibility on individual, institutional, and global scales in ways that unite their own experiences and questions with continued examination of the problems associated with poverty and marginality. A variety of perspectives are provided on what it means to live into the mission of Washington and Lee and the Shepherd Program as thoughtful, engaged citizens prepared to understand and address the causes and consequences of poverty in ways that respect the dignity of all. Students in this course engage in significant reflective work around their own community engagement experiences. As such, it is the expectation that all students enrolled engage in the Rockbridge Area through coursework, continuing community engagement, or other community-based learning opportunity.

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.

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.

Race and Ethnic Relations

SOAN 228 - Mondal, Lipon K.

An examination of why and how society creates and maintains racial and ethnic boundaries in the US. We discuss some of the crucial questions, which include: What conditions constitute a privileged group and an oppressed group? Why and how do racial/ethnic minority groups, the poor, and women experience discrimination, oppression, and exclusion in social life? Is there any racial discrimination against privileged racial/ethnic groups? How can ordinary people, policymakers, and social scientists contribute to improving race and ethnic relations among different social groups in the US?

Neighborhoods, Culture, and Poverty

SOAN 266 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

This course examines social-scientific research on the determinants of poverty, crime, and ill health by focusing on neighborhoods as the sites where many of the mechanisms impacting these outcomes operate. In addition to engaging with key readings and participating in seminar discussions, students conduct their own exploratory analyses of neighborhood level processes using a variety of spatial data analysis tools in R.

Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity

WGSS 242 - Bell, Melina C.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Narrating Our Stories: Culture, Society, and Identity

POV 253 - Goluboff, Sascha

Taught at Augusta Correctional Center with an equal number of W&L and incarcerated students. Use insights from sociology, anthropology, and the humanities, students uncover how cultural metaphors, socioeconomic inequalities, and global realities inform and shape our identities and experiences. By reading different story-telling formats, we work towards recognizing how the ways we tell our stories impact our ability to see new outcomes and reshape cultural scenarios for ourselves, our families, and our communities. We utilize the Inside-Out Model for class instruction and assignments.

Narrating Our Stories: Culture, Society, and Identity

SOAN 253 - Goluboff, Sascha

Taught at Augusta Correctional Center with an equal number of W&L and incarcerated students. Use insights from sociology, anthropology, and the humanities, students uncover how cultural metaphors, socioeconomic inequalities, and global realities inform and shape our identities and experiences. By reading different story-telling formats, we work towards recognizing how the ways we tell our stories impact our ability to see new outcomes and reshape cultural scenarios for ourselves, our families, and our communities. We utilize the Inside-Out Model for class instruction and assignments.

Poverty and Marginality in the Americas

SOAN 263 - Perez, Marcos E.

In recent decades, some global transformations have increased inequality and marginality in various regions of the world. Neoliberalism has generated both opportunities and challenges to human development In different countries. This course focuses on how the undermining of safety nets, the decline of models of economic growth centered on state intervention, and the internationalization of labor markets have affected societies in Latin America and the United States. Students analyze the structural causes of marginality and how the experience of poverty varies for people in both regions. We rely on anthropological and sociological studies to address key questions. How do disadvantaged individuals and families in the Americas deal with the challenges brought about by deindustrialization, violence, and environmental degradation? How do their communities struggle to sustain public life? What are the processes causing many people to migrate from one region to the other?

Spring 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.

Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law

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

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.

Poverty and Human Capability: An Interdisciplinary Introduction and Fieldwork

POV 103 - Charley, Marisa S.

Students may not take for degree credit both this course and POV 101 and 102. 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 in the United States but also considers poverty as a global problem. This spring term version of the course integrates service fieldwork into the introductory course taught in the fall and winter and offers the same credit as POV 101 and 102 combined.

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.

Caste at the Intersection of Economy, Religion, and Law

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

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.