Justice Studies Courses

Justice Studies

WCSBS 109 Imaging (In)justice (4)
Imaging (In)Justice is an exploratory course: the place where the student will be exposed to concepts, problems, and challenges of the ethics of justice. This will be accomplished by laying a phenomenological foundation to the study of justice. The student becomes familiar with (in)justice problems, critically analyze and challenge materials and images detailing the complexity of social constructions. By using critical analysis, students evaluate the ways in which race, ethnicity, class, (dis)ability, and gender intersect in the social structure. (WCore: WCSBS, DE)
WCSBS 213 Imaging Violence (3)
This research seminar course tracks the conceptualizations of justice that have been and are currently conveyed in films and television, including the relationship between violent crime and ethical notions of justice. This seminar depictions include identities such as gender and race or ethnicity. Throughout the length of this seminar, students will research historical and contemporary artifacts by using critical analysis and academic reading materials in order to develop a broader perspective on the use of violence in visual images. (WCore: WCSBS, RE)
JUST 221 Community Justice (3)
This course is designed to provide understanding to students regarding the meaning of social justice and community building to advocate for social equity. In regard to Justice Studies social equity is vital to the liberation of marginalized communities. This course is aimed at teaching students the history, theory and practice realities of community building locally and globally through discussion and exploration.  This course will have a service learning component with a nonprofit organization focused on providing junior high school students with the information, skills and understanding for college preparation through the mentoring of college students. Students will learn to critically analyze current social and economic conditions that are embedded in US societal structures. They will gain knowledge and insight of issues underlying oppression while learning approaches to social equity and advocacy. Students will study policy and politics that influence social injustices based on race, ethnicity, socio-cultural and gender characteristics. (WCore: EWRLD)
JUST 300 Special Topics in Justice Studies (1-4)
The exploration of issues, problems, and innovations in Justice Studies.
JUST 305 Intersectional Activisms (4)
Intersectionality has become an important way to talk about oppression, social location, and identity in feminist theory. In this course, we will explore the possibilities and limitations of intersectionality in terms that extend beyond talk: Does intersectionality help people and communities connect theory with practice, research with action? In what ways? To what extent? Through close analysis of primary texts, ethnographies, art, music, and film, we will engage with the work of activists and social justice movements where intersectionality emerges as a conceptual tool and a methodology to pursue social transformation. We will critically explore how intersectionality supports efforts to analyze and to address systematic structures of oppression. With particular attention to historical and global contexts that highlight intellectual and activist perspectives from marginalized communities, we will gain a nuanced understanding of intersectionality and its development.
JUST 310 Law and Society (4)
This course explores the relationship between the legal system, law, and current controversial issues in society as they relate to race, ethnicity, class, and gender. Students will learn to analyze contemporary American legal issues using the theories of Durkheim, Marx, and Weber in addition to critical legal studies and critical race theory. (WCORE: DE)
JUST 315 Global Ethics and Justice (4)
How do we define and uphold justice in a globalizing world? Gender/sexuality, race/ethnicity, genocide, self-determination, environmental concerns, class, and participatory rights become the concrete realities of global justice. Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives, the course challenges students to reflect on core problems such corporate governance, global distributive justice, the ethics of making and sustaining peace, and legal dimensions of ethics. Students will reflect on the rights, responsibilities, and challenges of global citizenship. Do we owe to the distantly needy? Do we have special obligations to our compatriots? Do political borders have normative significance? Moral cosmopolitanism attempts to determine the best way to redistribute resources needed for a good life. We will examine critically a cosmopolitan distributive justice proposal, the so-called 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We will consider critiques of this cosmopolitanism from the perspective of both nationalist and decolonial thinking, as well as from the feminist and environmentalist perspectives. We will examine various positions on global poverty including arguments from beneficence, distributive justice, harm, and the Capabilities Approach. In pursuing the latter analysis, we attend to the 2030 Agenda, the follow up to the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015). Framing our examination of global poverty will be the question: Is there a human (basic) right not to be impoverished?
JUST 318 Humanitarian Justice (4)
This course addresses the historical transformation of, and contemporary controversies concerning humanitarian law and politics, human rights, humanitarian intervention, and human security in a global context. In order to explore these fields, we will focus on several themes, topics, and issues of concern such as debates concerning the historical and political emergence of humanitarian law, the different theoretical, cultural, and ideological perspectives on human rights, the controversies over humanitarian intervention, and the contestations regarding the emerging framework of human security. In order to illustrate these fields and issues, we will explore historical accounts, Western and non-Western perspectives, environmental perspectives, gendered perspectives, and various contesting theoretical and ideological stances in the contemporary legal, political, diplomatic, and policy spheres regarding humanitarian law, human rights, humanitarian intervention, and human security. There are no prerequisites for this course. (WCore: EWRLD)
JUST 324 Gender, Work, and Justice (4)
Feminist economic social justice is a way of rethinking economics, rather than just an approach to make gender inequalities visisble. This course focuses on women’s experiences with work and justice around the world to ask critical questions about household economics, carework, the gender wage gap, occupational segregation, and gender and globalization. We will also explore the emergence of the solidarity economy – diverse practices and institutions, and the social movements and networks that advocate for them, that address and seek to transform exploitation under capitalist economics.
JUST 325 Justice in Everyday Life (4)
Though social justice practices can seem set apart – rallies, marches, protests, movements – they permeate everyday life. In this course, we will engage both text-based and experiential-learning opportunities to examine concepts of justice in everyday life. With attention to marginalized voices and experiences around the world, we will consider social justice as global praxis: reflection and action to acquire critical awareness about structures that connect people in systems of inequality. Students will develop critical and creative thinking skills and apply them to questions about how we do and should live our lives.
JUST 344 Environmental Justice (4)
This course provides an upper-division intensive reading and critique of environmental justice materials. An emerging national environmental justice movement has created frameworks for combating the inequitably distributed health risks of advanced industrial society. This course links disparate impact, unequal protection, and environmental discrimination in relation to issues of class, gender and race. Topics relate societal practices as they affect environmental racism, future generations, nonhuman life, and global/non-Western societies.
JUST 350 Criminal Law (4)
Critical examination that focuses on the structure and elements of criminal law. In-depth examination of evidence and jurisdiction. Close examination of the Constitution and its impact on federal and state criminal statues is accomplished through the analysis of case law.
JUST 401 Directed Studies (1-4)
A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive individual study of topics not otherwise offered in the Justice Studies Program. Requires consent of instructor and school dean. This course is repeatable for credit.
JUST 440 Internship (1-6)
Student placement in agencies or professional practices. Relevant research project required. Weekly seminar meetings with instructor to review agency progress. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, and consent of program director and Career Resource Center internship coordinator. This course is repeatable for credit.
JUST 490 Senior Capstone (4)
Students select, research, analyze, and discuss a topic or problem. The results of each student’s project will be written as a senior thesis and presented for a discussion in a seminar setting. Required for all majors in their senior year. (WCore: SC)