Peace and Social Justice

Please note: no new Peace and Social Justice minor declarations will be accepted in the 2013/2014 academic year.

The goal of the Peace and Social Justice (PSJ) minor is to integrate the study of social inequity with the peaceful resolution of conflict. In a world threatened by ethnic and religious strife, a widening gap between rich and poor, and violent confrontations over dwindling resources, the need to solve conflicts fairly and nonviolently has never been more pressing. The PSJ minor takes an interdisciplinary approach to these problems, combining insights from political science, history, psychology, human physiology, environmental science, anthropology, and cultural studies, among others. Students may explore the roots of violence in human behavior, including the violence of racism and economic inequality, the origins and perpetuation of war and terrorism, approaches to nonviolent conflict resolution, and various paths to social and economic justice.

Peace and social justice are natural companions. Peace cannot last without the just resolution of conflict, and justice pursued through violent means all too often results in the same pattern that caused the original injustice: lack of respect and understanding between peoples, social and economic inequalities, and control of restive populations through violence or the threat of violence. Thus, students who pursue social justice should also study insights from peace studies, while those who are attracted to nonviolence should explore some of the political, social, and economic roots of conflict. The core courses and electives in the PSJ minor provide this breadth while allowing students to focus on either or both of these areas. The two core course alternatives, Nonviolence in Action (RCSSCI 35) and Global Justice (PHIL 224/RCSSCI 224), provide overviews of the fields of peace studies and social justice, respectively.

Students wishing to pursue an academic minor in Peace and Social Justice must develop a specific plan for its completion in consultation with one of the program's designated advisors.

Area A Electives address the psychology, sociology, and biology of interpersonal and organized violence, exploring questions that underlie the abuse of social and interpersonal power: Is physical violence innate to humans (or human males)? How is violence defined differently by perpetrators and victims? In what ways do religious, political, and cultural institutions glorify, perpetuate, and/or alleviate violence? Area B Electives give students background and historical facts about specific wars, intractable conflicts, and attempts at global or state control of the social order. These detailed examples from different historical periods and cultural contexts help students understand and apply the more general theories of power. Area C and Area D Electives give students an understanding of how these conflicts, inequalities, and injustices have been dealt with in different cultures and contexts, and in some cases, provide opportunities for experiential learning and activism. Area C comprises courses that address nonviolent responses to conflict: social justice movements, dialogues across differences, interpersonal conflict resolution, and legal means of addressing injustice. Courses in Area D center on the reasons for specific social and economic disparities, analyses of social and political movements that addrss injustice, and the ways that communities can be organized to pursue nonviolent social change.

Prerequisites to the Academic Minor: There are no prerequisites for the Academic Minor per se, although individual courses elected to meet the requirements of the Academic Minor may have course prerequisites.

Academic Minor Program: Students are required to complete at least 18 hours of ourse work. Twelve or more credits must be at the 300 level or above. These courses must include:

1. Core Course: Nonviolence: A Global Perspective (CICS 401) or PHIL 224 Global Justice
2. One course from Area A or Area B
3. At least two courses from Area C
or two courses from Area D
or one course from Area C AND one from Area D

Area A: Understanding Violence – Courses that address the psychology, sociology, and biology of interpersonal and organized violence.

• AMCULT 235/WOMENSTD 235. Representing the Middle East in Hollywood Cinema
• AMCULT 378/WOMENSTD 378. Violence Against Women of Color
• AMCULT 498. Why Do They Hate Us? Perspectives on 9/11
• ANTHRCUL 326/WOMENSTD 326. Politics of Health and Social Suffering
• ASIAN 253. Religion, Violence, and Media
• ASIAN 305/RELIGION 305. Religion and Violence in a Secular World
• ASIAN 480. Dialogue of Violence: Cinema in WWII&'s Pacific Theater
• CICS 401. The Violence of Believers: Religious Terrorism in the Modern World
• COMM 481/PSYCH 481. Media and Violence
• COMPLIT 490. The Imagination of Disaster: From The War of the Worlds to 9/11
• HISTORY 345/RCSSCI 357. History and Theories of Punishment
• ORGSTDY 495. Exploring the Psychological Underground of Power (limited enrollment)
• ORGSTDY 495. The Organization of Violence (limited enrollment)
• POLSCI 330. Psychological Perspectives on Politics
• PSYCH 393. Political Psychology
• PSYCH 401. Psychological Aspects of War and Peace
• RCHUMS 312/SLAVIC 312. Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Central European Cinema
• RCSSCI 280/SOC 280. Moral Choice in Context
• RCSSCI 356. Mind, Brain & Violence
• SLAVIC 225. Arts and Cultures of Central Europe
• SLAVIC 312/RCHUMS 312. Central European Cinema
• WOMENSTD 326/ANTHRCUL 326. Politics of Health and Social Suffering
• WOMENSTD 390/AAS 390. Homophobia in the Black World: The U.S., Africa and the Caribbean

Area B: Conflict And Control – Courses that explain 20th and 21st century wars, intractable conflicts, globalization, and attempts at world order.

• AAPTIS 361. Jihad in History
• AAPTIS 491. Islamic Movements in Comparative Perspective
• AAS 322/ENVIRON 335. Introduction to Environment Politics: Race, Class, and Gender
• AAS 328/WOMENSTD 328. Women, Agency, and Sexual Safety
• AAS 358. Atlantic Slave Trade: Histories and Legacies
• AAS 358. Examining Revolution, Its Aftermath, and Theories of Social Change


• AAS 408. African Development from the Pre-Colonial Era to Structural Adjustment and Beyond AAS 413. Theories of Cultural Nationalisms
• AAS 413. Theories of Black Nationalism
• AAS 432. Violent Environments: Oil, Development, and the Discourse of Power
• AAS 458. The Politics and Culture of Fair Trade
• AMCULT 301. The Global Cold War: Dreamworlds and Catastrophes
• AMCULT 356/HIST 356.  World War Two in the Pacific
• AMCULT 368/AAPTIS 368/WOMENSTD 369. Women and War in the Middle East
• ANTHRCUL 309. Anthropology of Europe: Nationalisms, Post-Socialisms, Multiculturalisms, & Refugees
• ANTHRCUL 309. Racialism, Post-Socialism, Refugees and Rights
• ANTHCUL 346/HIST 347. Latin America: The Colonial Period
• ASIAN 354/HIST 354. Rebellion and Revolution in China Through Two Centuries
• CICS 40.1 Islam, Media and Globalization
• CICS 401. Politics of Energy in the Developing World
• COMPLIT 430. The Arab-Israeli Conflict
• COMPLIT 490. Islam and the West: Critical Perspectives on European Literature
• ENGLISH 317. Writing Islam
• ENVIRON 490/HISTORY 440.  War and the Environment: A Lethal Reciprocity
• FRENCH 272. The Algerian War in Film and Literature
• HISTORY 224/PUBPOL 224 Global Nuclear Proliferation
• HISTORY 226. Twentieth-Century American Wars as Social and Personal Experience
• HISTORY 241. America and Middle Eastern Wars
• HISTORY 302. U.S. Interventions in Latin America and the World
• HISTORY 303. The Atlantic Slave Trade
• HISTORY 354/ASIAN 354 Rebellion and Revolution in China Through Two Centuries
• MENAS 491. Modern Islamic Movements in Comparative Perspective
• MENAS 59.1 Arab-Israel Conflict  
• NAVSCI 310/UC 310. Evolution of Warfare
• POLSCI 353. Arab Israeli Conflict
• RCLANG 324 Place, Identity and Rights in the “Americas”
• RCSSCI 360 & RCCORE 409. Struggles for Democracy in Mexico: Seminar and Field Study
• REES 405. Islamic Movements in Comparative Perspective
• SOC 495. Culture and Power
• WOMENSTD 368/AMCULT 368. Women and War in the Middle East

Area C: Conflict Resolution – Courses that address nonviolent responses to conflict: social justice movements, race relations, interpersonal conflict resolution, and legal paths to a just society.
• AAS 303/SOC 303. Race and Ethnic Relations
• AAS 324 Dealing With the Past and Doing Justice in Africa
• AAS 385/ENGLISH 385. African Literature: South Africa: Apartheid and After
• AAS 451. Law, Race and the Historical Process
• ANTHRCUL 349. Indigenous Political Movements
• ANTHRCUL 445. Examining Apartheid and Its Aftermath in South Africa
• ASIAN 259/HISTORY 255. The History of Modern South Asia
• CICS 401. The International Law and Politics of Human Rights
• ENVIRON 306. Global Water
• HISTORY 255. Gandhi's India
• POLSCI 364. Public International Law
• PSYCH 310/SOC 320/UC 320. Intergroup Dialogue Training and PSYCH 311/SOC 321/UC 311 Intergroup Dialogue Practicum (a two semester commitment)
• PSYCH 312/SOC 375/UC 375 Intergroup Conflict and Coexistence: Religion, Ethnicity and Culture

Area D: Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice – Courses that center on the reasons for social and economic disparities, social and political change, community empowerment, and human rights.
• AAPTIS 331 Introduction to Arab Culture: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Issues
• AAS 304/WOMENSTD 304 Gender and Immigration: Identity, Race, and Place
• AAS 323/HISTORY 338/WOMENSTD 323. Black Feminist Thought and Practice
• AAS 328/WOMENSTD 328. Women, Agency and Sexual Safety
• AAS 330/RCSSCI 330. Urban and Community Studies
• AAS 337/WOMENSTD 337/HISTORY 337. Black Women in the United States, Part II
• AAS 381/ENGLISH 380/WOMENSTD 381. The F Word: Exploring Feminism in Black Women’s Literature
• AAS 390/WOMENSTD 390. Homophobia in the Black World
• AAS 409/ANTHRCUL 408. Maternal/Child Health and Environmental Pollution in Africa
• AAS 418/POLSCI 324 Black Americans and the Political System
• AAS 426. Cities in Contemporary Africa
• AAS 443/WOMENSTD 443. Pedagogy of Empowerment
• AAS 458. Globalization and African Health
• AAS 458. The Algebra Project: Education, Citizenship, and Community Organizing for Social Justice in the 21st Century
• AAS 490 Back-to-the-City? Back to What? Envisioning a More Just and Inclusive City Ideal
• AMCULT 293/WOMENSTD 293. 20th-Century Writing by Women of Color
• AMCULT 311. Race and Mixed Race
• AMBULT 319/PSYCH 319. Empowering Families and Communities
• AMCULT 353/HISTORY 353. Asians in American Film and Television
• ANTHRCUL 370/LING 370. Language and Discrimination: Language as a Social Statement
• ANTHRCUL 436/WOMENSTD 436. Human Rights, Gender, and Culture
• CICS 401. Translating Human Rights
• CICS 401. Sexual Rights are Human Rights
• COMM 478. Race, Representation and the Media
• ENGLISH 303. Rhetorical Activism and U.S. Civil Rights Movement
• ENGLISH 310. Discourse and Society: The Henry Ford High School Project
• ENGLISH 319. Theatre and Social Change
• ENGLISH 326. Community Writing and Public Culture
• ENGLISH 407. Literature of the Holocaust
• ENGLISH 416. Autism, Culture, and Representation
• ENVIRON 222. Issues in Race & Ethnicity
• ENVIRON 391/RCIDIV 391. Sustainability and the Campus
• FRENCH 244. Race, Racism, and Ethnicity in the French Speaking World.
• HISTORY 303. Detroit Politics and Community Organizing
• HISTORY 337/AAS 337/WOMENSTD 337. Black Women in the United States, Part II
• HISTORY 477. The Boundaries of Citizenship: From Dred Scott to the Era of Plessy vs. Ferguson
• POLSCI 489. Advanced Topics in Contemporary Political Science: Law and Social Change
• PSYCH 319/AMCULT 319. Empowering Families and Communities
• PSYCH 488/SOC 465/WOMENSTD 465. Sociological Analysis of Deviance
• RCCORE 334. Community Empowerment Through the Arts
• RCHUMS 390. Postcolonial English-Language Drama
• RCIDIV 350 & RCIDIV 351. Pills, Profits, Politics, and the Public Good
• RCLANG 304. PALMA: Spanish in the Community
• RCLANG 306. Spanish Language Internship Program II
• RCLANG 324. Media, Terrorists, and Freedom Fighters
• RCSSCI 360. Social Science Junior Seminar: Theory and Practice of Community Organizing
• RCSSCI 360. Understanding Ethical Consumption
• RCSSCI 365. Excellence, Equity and the Politics of Education
• RCSSCI 463/SOC 453. Mexican Labor in North America
• SOC 270/WOMENSTD 270. Gender and the Law
• SOC 295. The Experience of Class in College and the Community
• SOC 325. Sociology of Service Learning
• SOC 335/WOMENSTD 335. Gender and Globalization
• SOC 350. Human Rights in the United Nations
• SOC 389. Sociology Practicum (choice of sections to be discussed with Minor advisor)
• SOC 495. Human Rights and Socioeconomic citizenship
• SOC 503. The Sociology of Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration
• WOMENSTD 331. Advanced Gender and the Law
• WOMENSTD 335/SOC 335. Gender and Globalization
• WOMENSTD 432. Sexual Rights and Reproductive Justice
• WOMENSTD 443/AAS 443. Pedagogy of Empowerment: Activism in Race, Gender, and Health
Other courses may be substituted for the electives listed above with the advice and consent of the PSJ advisor.