Ethics & Leadership in Law, Politics & Government

Bridging Disciplines Programs allow you to earn an interdisciplinary certificate that integrates area requirements, electives, courses for your major, internships, and research experiences.

In the interest of educating thoughtful and responsible leaders, the Ethics & Leadership in Law, Politics & Government BDP brings together resources from across campus to allow students to explore law, politics and government through the lens of leadership ethics. Topics may include leadership, civic participation, public policy, and social change. Through the Connecting Experiences component of the BDP, you may work with community and professional organizations or bring your interdisciplinary expertise to faculty research.

Upon completion of 19 credit hours from the options listed below, you will earn a certificate in Ethics & Leadership in Law, Politics & Government.

REQUIRED ETHICS AND LEADERSHIP COURSES: All students in the Ethics & Leadership in Law, Politics & Government BDP must, in the process of completing their certificate requirements, take at least one course designated as including a substantial focus on Ethics (E) and at least one course designated as including a substantial focus on Leadership (L).

Students in this certificate program must complete at least one Strand Course designated as focusing on social justice issues.

Note: Course descriptions available here are from a recent offering of the course, and they may not reflect the description for the next offering of the course.

View all courses

Forum Seminar Courses   (1 credit hours)

All students in the Ethics & Leadership in Law, Politics & Government BDP are required to take a Forum Seminar. Choose one Forum Seminar Course.

BDP 101 Intro to Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies
This course will survey the nature and role of conflict and its resolution at various levels, from the global to the interpersonal, focusing on certain key challenges, such as great power conflicts, civil wars, ethnic conflicts, and urban struggles. We will study the use of conflict as a tool by change agents as well as efforts to resolve conflicts in the interests of peace, justice, and welfare. Special attention will be given to nonviolent campaigns for social change. We will read interesting accounts of various conflicts and efforts to deal with them, along with writings by change agents employing conflict. Class sessions will include presentations by experts from various fields in the University community and beyond.
BDP 101 Narrative Leadership
Public narrative is a discursive practice that helps us construct identity and respond to social challenges. Leaders use it to link their own stories to stories of their community and to create hope as a catalyst for action. As an introductory course for the Ethics & Leadership Bridging Disciplines Programs certificates, this course will teach you to use interdisciplinary approaches to explore how public narrative can make you a more effective and ethical leader. Students will use behavioral ethics to examine public narratives that have brought profound social change to our country and work with the instructor to develop a public narrative that draws on their own lived experiences to address an issue important to them.

Foundation Courses   (3 - 6 credit hours)

Foundation Courses introduce key methodologies and issues related to Ethics & Leadership in Law, Politics & Government. Choose ONE or TWO Foundation Courses. If you choose to complete two Foundation Courses, you will complete only 6 credit hours each of Strand Courses and Connecting Experiences.

Foundation Course
CLD 301 Intro to Comm And Leadership
The term leadership circulates widely in our culture. At the same time, the ubiquity of statements and texts on leadership make it difficult for us to critically evaluate the concept of leadership, the underlying values and ethics inherent in definitions of leadership, and the suggestions for how to be a “great” leader. The purpose of this course is to introduce different theoretical perspectives on leadership, focusing in particular on the role that communication plays in leadership and the relationship between ethics and leadership. Taking a communication perspective, we will ask and answer the question, what makes an ethical, effective leader? Additionally, focusing on communication as the lens to understand leadership asks us to pay attention to questions of powerand privilege.
This course focuses on what leaders need to know how to do to be ethical and effective forces for positive change. Students will study concepts, frameworks, and theories related to a wide variety of skills that often vary based on the characteristics of the leader, the followers, and the context. Among the skills that will be studied are those related to making ethical decisions, communicating supportively to others, motivating and engaging others, leading teams, gaining power and influence, managing conflict, and leading positive change. Students will study cases that present perplexing leadership problems, and they will critically examine how exemplars of both good and bad leadership used these skills. The course will also focus on the value of good followership and its importance in the complicated interactions between leaders and followers
Postsecondary and Higher Education is a complex landscape for those studying communication and leadership. This course investigates the ways in which leadership and communication intersect with a range of audiences from students and faculty to parents and legislators. If in your journey through higher education, you’ve ever thought to yourself “I wish they communicated that better” this course is for you! This three-hour course is a study of both communication and leadership issues related in postsecondary institutions. Students will explore the theories, practices and policies used to communicate and lead in higher education. At its most basic level, this course will cover the issues and challenges related to communicating and leading in the complex intersection of a variety of programs, services and offices that provide support in achieving an institution’s mission.
Explores facilitation and consensus-building in leadership in the private, nonprofit, and public sectors; how to engage stakeholders in powerful, productive, and prudent ways; and how to collaborate with team members to advance a leader's vision. Includes experiential learning with a local company, organization, or public agency. In this course, students will learn how to integrate facilitation and consensus-building into their work as leaders in the private, nonprofit, or public sectors; how to engage stakeholders (like employees, financial supporters, customers, and voters) in powerful, productive, and prudent ways; and how to collaborate with team members to advance a leader’s vision. The course will include opportunities to apply lessons from the course in real-life scenarios and design and help implement a collaborative process for a local company, organization, or public agency.
CMS 322E Communication Ethics
This course examines the ethical issues involved in communication. How ought we to play our part in all of the interactions we are party to? How should the media cover issues of a sensitive or potentially harmful nature? How do our interactions with others reflect and shape who we truly are? We will build our examination of communication ethics from two fundamental premises: (1) we create the sort of person that we are through our actions and inactions, and (2) an ethical communicator is one who acts with integrity. We will examine the ethical theories of a variety of thinkers and consider what they have to say about the selves we are creating through how we communicate with others. We will also see what light they shed on the topic of living and communicating with integrity. Lively discussion will be encouraged by our frequent analysis of case studies. Additionally, students will be able to write a term paper on a topic of their choice in communication ethics.
CMS 338 Leadership Stories
This course is designed to help students develop a conceptual, practical, and personal understanding of leadership. We draw on public narratives and behavioral ethics to explore how media shape and present notions of leadership and the implications that process has for our society. We will use the lived experience of a traditionally marginalized group to examine how leadership plays out in all our daily lives, and you'll engage a process of ethical reflection as your write your own leadership story.
GOV 314 Competing Visions of the Good Life and Just Society
Introduction to varying topics in government and politics. Introduces the great rival conceptions of the moral basis and goals of political life as elaborated by revolutionary thinkers throughout the history of political philosophy, including Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, late modern critics of the Enlightenment, and others.
An interdisciplinary introduction to bias from the perspectives of psychology, political science, business, philosophy and linguistics. In psychology, we will study cognitive theories of biased judgment and decision making, as well as work in social psychology on theories of persuasion, effects of group membership, as well as implicit bias. We will introduce ideas from the study of meaning in linguistics and philosophy of language to understand how some of these effects work, e.g. the notion of framing, and also to study the philosophical question of what it means to be neutral or biased. We will then apply these ideas in the business and political arena, looking at how groups of people behave as groups, and examining both how those groups can be manipulated intentionally, and how bias can creep into what is supposed to be an objective process.
PHL 304 Contemporary Moral Problems
Philosophical examination of selected moral problems arising out of contemporary society and culture.
PHL 318 Introduction to Ethics
What sort of life should I live? What kind of person should I be? What sort of actions am I obligated to do or required to refrain from doing? Such questions are in the province of ethics. They ask not how you have lived, or who you are, or what you have done, but how you ought to live, what sort of person you should be, and what actions you are required to perform or refrain from. Moral theory—one of the topics of this course—attempts to provide systematic answers to these questions. In this course, we will critically evaluate competing theories, as well as ask questions about the nature of ethics itself and of moral responsibility as well as questions about the discipline of ethics and those who participate in it.
The History of Ethics course covers major figures and ethical theories in the Western Tradition. We will learn about different philosophers, their connections to each other, and the views that they promoted.
PHL 325K Ethical Theories
MAJOR TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY ETHICAL THEORIES DISCUSSED AND CRITICALLY EXAMINED. The course will deal with the development of major ethical theories from ancient to contemporary times. We will begin with Plato's Republic and his attempt to characterize the good "man" and the good state. We will proceed to consider the shift that took place with Augustine's focus on "will" rather than reason and his attempt to reconcile religious beliefs with Greek philosophical themes. We will then jump to the consideration of views characterizing debates in what has been characterized as the "age of enlightenment", reason and science (Hume, Kant, Mill) and proceed to Nietzsche's attack on previous philosophy and on "morality" in general. This will lead us to a consideration of his purported "nihilism" and to the "ethics of existentialism" (Sartre and Camus). In connection with the latter we will take up the dispute that arose between Sartre and Camus in the post world war II era over the justification of political violence.
R S 306C Comparative Religious Ethics
The aim of this course is to examine and contemplate ideas about right and wrong, concepts of the good and evil, and ways of thinking about ethical behavior as they are expressed in different religious traditions. We will use a case study approach to compare moral ideas related to: sexuality and gender, social justice, the environment, and violence. In looking at these topics we will discuss a variety of issues such as homosexuality, abortion, capital punishment, just war, responses to the ecological crises, and the relationship of humans to the natural world. The course will focus on comparison across four broad areas of religious practice: Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Native American religions.

Connecting Experiences   (6 - 9 credit hours)

Your BDP advisor can help you find internships and research opportunities that connect Ethics & Leadership in Law, Politics & Government to your major. We call these opportunities “Connecting Experiences” because they play such an important role in integrating your studies. Each Connecting Experience counts for 3 credit hours. You will need to complete at least two Connecting Experiences.

For more information and for examples of past Connecting Experiences, visit the BDP website and consult your BDP advisor. BDP students must propose Connecting Experiences to the BDP office. Current BDP students should view the BDP Advising Canvas site for Connecting Experience resources and proposal instructions.

Strand Courses   (6 - 9 credit hours)

In addition to your Foundation Courses and Connecting Experiences, you must complete 6-9 credit hours of Strand Courses, to bring your total credit hours toward the BDP certificate to 19 hours. You should work with your BDP advisor to choose Strand Courses that will focus your BDP on your specific interests, and that will provide you with an interdisciplinary perspective on your BDP topic.

In order to create an interdisciplinary experience, you must choose courses from a variety of disciplines. Only one of your Strand Courses may come from your major department(s), or from courses cross-listed with your major department(s).

Students in this certificate program must complete at least one Strand Course designated as focusing on social justice issues.

Social Justice Course

At least one Social Justice Course is required.

This course provides an overview and analysis of contemporary U.S. migration policies and practices, focusing particularly on the most recent period of crisis defined by bans, restrictions and retrenchments. The course begins with an overview of the major epochs in US immigration history. It then explores five thematic areas: 1) Refugees and Asylees; 2) Bans and exclusions; 3) Family Separation; 4) Raids, Detention; 5) Sanctuary and Resistance. Course materials are primarily historical and sociological.
ADV 378 Pop Star Activism
Since the oral poets of ancient Greece and the griot of pre-colonial Africa, singers have played a privileged role as messengers of news, sharers of wisdom, critics of war and advocates for the community. While romance is the standard topic of pop music today, we still see folk singers, soul crooners, rock rebels and hip-hop MCs leveraging their voices as spokespersons in the service of a cause, a people or an idea. This class will visit these moments when musicians take on that role and their art becomes advocacy. Fulfills the communica tion and culture requirement in the College of Communication.
The Black Power movement was a distinct period in African American life from the late 1960s and early 1970s that emphasized racial pride, the creation of black political and cultural institutions, self-reliance, and group unity. The expression of black power ideology ranged from the desire to create an all-black nation-state to the promotion of black economic power. This course will look at the major organizations, key figures, and ideologies of the black power movement.
AFR 317D MLK Jr: A Moral Obligation
This course will explore the Civil Rights Movement focusing on the specific work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The history of the MLK statue on the UT campus will be the main unit of the course. The course will incorporate the use of lectures, readings, video, simulation exercises, research and extensive class discussions to assist students as they explore the impact of the Civil Rights Movement, using The University of Texas at Austin as one case study.
This undergraduate seminar focuses on the impact of Barack Obama’s watershed presidency on American democracy. The course utilizes President Barack Obama’s personal biography and political trajectory as a prism to view larger conflicts, debates, transformations, and setbacks in the black freedom struggle and the relationship between race and democracy at the local, regional, national, and global levels. Barack Obama’s watershed 2008 presidential election inspired hopes for a “post-racial” future that confronted harsh political, cultural, and economic realities that at times reinforced entrenched racial divides. In other instances, Obama’s election opened new opportunities for Americans and citizens around the world to forge a more radically multicultural, multiracial, and multiethnic future. Students interested in black politics, civil rights, social policy and the deep connections between the historical development of racial justice struggles and contemporary policy debates and challenges would find this course of interest.
Black people have engaged in a centuries-long, global struggle for freedom. For many, the high tide of this struggle occurred in the United States from the 1950s into the 1970s. Others might look to the national liberation movements in Africa and the Caribbean, which created a series of autonomous Black nations, as the watermark of Black freedom. More recent commentaries have pointed to the global currency of Black Lives Matter to suggest that the quest for freedom by Black people continues. This course explores the history of Black people’s twentieth-century struggles for freedom, taking as its focus the U.S. Civil Rights and Black Power movements, and anticolonial movements in Africa and the Caribbean. This course will ask and seek to answer several questions, including: What is freedom? Is there a difference between liberation and freedom? How have Black people thought about these concepts? Why have the arts (music, literature, visual arts, film, sports, etc.) been so central to how Black people have thought about the possibility of freedom? This course will examine key historical events and figures in the U.S., Africa, the Caribbean, and to a lesser extent Europe, with particular attention to intellectual currents, organizational formations, the arts, and mass mobilization. We will also consider how culture, religion, and social deviance inform how we might think about Black freedom.
Race is a critical factor that affects the development and implementation of U.S. social policy. While its influence on public policy can be traced to the early colonization of the United States, its relevance continues to be observed in the contemporary period. The relationship between race and social policy is however multi-dimensional. On one hand, perspectives on racial difference can be used to develop policies that create or reinforce social inequality. On the other hand, public policies can be designed to have ameliorative effects that reduce racial and ethnic inequality. This course, therefore, examines how and why race influences various dimensions of U.S. social policy and how U.S social policy influences racial inequality. It begins by reviewing the origins of the development of racial minority status in the United States. Thereafter, it examines policy issues associated with specific domains of social wellbeing (e.g., housing, employment, wealth, the criminal justice system) that are critical for understanding the disadvantage of African Americans and other racial minorities. Where possible, the course draws insights from other societies to examine whether the implications of race for social policy in the United States are unique. Furthermore, it offers opportunities to students for critically thinking through the process of developing rudimentary policy solutions to everyday social problems.
AFR 372C Black Freedom Movement
It can be said that black people have engaged in a centuries-long, global struggle for freedom. For many, the high tide of this struggle occurred in the United States from the 1950s into the 1970s. Others might look to the national liberation movements in Africa and the Caribbean, which created a series of autonomous black nations, as the watermark of black freedom. More recent commentaries have pointed to the global currency of Black Lives Matter to suggest that the quest for freedom by black people continues. This course explores the history of black people’s twentieth century struggles for freedom, taking as its focus the U.S. Civil Rights and Black Power movements, and anti-colonial movements in Africa and the Caribbean. This course will ask and seek to answer several questions, including: What is freedom? Is there a difference between liberation and freedom? How have black people thought about these concepts? Why have the arts (music, literature, visual arts, film, sports, etc.) been so central to how black people have thought about the possibility of freedom? This course will examine key historical events and figures in the U.S., Africa, Caribbean, and to a lesser extent Europe, with particular attention to intellectual currents, organizational formations, the arts, and mass mobilization. We will also consider how culture, religion, and social deviance inform how we might think about Black freedom.
This course examines one of the most radical moments in civil rights history—the 1964 Mississippi Project. Widely known as “Freedom Summer,” this civil rights campaign organized a multi-faceted program that challenged white supremacy in one of the nation’s most racially oppressive and violent states through the development of Freedom Schools, voter registration drives, and an alternative political party called the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Even more, Freedom Summer called on Black women and men from the community, many of whom were poor and disenfranchised, to lead their own movement. It was during the Freedom Summer campaign that activists debated the merits of non-violence vs. self-defense; the limits of charismatic male leadership; and the role of white allies in the struggle for Black freedom. In the face of extraordinary violence and economic deprivation, Black Mississippians waged one of the most powerful, yet understudied, movements in civil rights history, and they modeled the maxim that “ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things.” Using scholarly texts, primary sources, film and music, students will explore the 1964 Freedom Summer Project in order to understand diverse struggles, leadership styles, and competing interpretations of what it means to be free. Borrowing directly from the original Freedom School curriculum, students will contemplate the “myths of society” as well as theoretical and conceptual frameworks necessary for the creation of a just society. This course also seeks to draw connections through a roaming classroom format in which we will gather at various sites in our surrounding community on occasion.
AFR 374D Black Lives Matter
This course will explore the UT Student Movement focusing on the history of student activism on the UT campus as the main unit of the course. The course will incorporate the use of lectures, readings, video, simulation exercises, research and extensive class discussions to assist students as they explore the impact of the UT Student Movement, using The University of Texas at Austin as its case study.
AFR 374E Frm Ferguson to The Favelas
This course will explore the range of black political mobilization in the Americas. It will begin by comparing the different racial orders developed in the U.S. and Latin America, and analyze the way in which black populations throughout the Americas have mobilized to escape slavery, to gain rights from the state, and to protect black life and resist various forms of dehumanization. In particular the course will focus on how blacks have responded to moments of racial terror, including lynching in the U.S. in the twentieth century, current protests against police violence that have crystallized in the Black Lives Matter movement, and analogous mobilization against “black genocide” in Brazil and other parts of Latin America. The course will also pay special attention to gender and sexuality, and to how black women and queer black folks have historically participated in and shaped black political movements even as they faced stigma as a result of misogyny and homophobia.
Socially Responsible and Ethical Student Leadership is a discussion-based seminar designed to develop student leaders who are ready to engage in and initiate social change. This Maymester course will provide a specific emphasis on global leadership issues in the context of socially responsible and ethical leadership. This class provides both the theoretical knowledge and the experiential skills for students to arrive at a personal definition of leadership, understand group values and dynamics, interact with cross-cultural communication styles, hone their interpersonal dynamism, and embody a code of ethics that promotes public good. Ethics and Leadership courses are designed to equip students with skills that are necessary for making ethical decisions in both their personal and professional lives. Students should therefore expect a substantial portion of their grade to come from assignments involving ethical issues and the process of applying ethical reasoning to real-life situations.
AMS 327I Religion and Social Justice in the United States-WB
This course examines the material relationships between religion and social justice in the United States. It compares the ways modern religion carries within itself the material possibility of liberated consciousness, radical democracy, and social equality, even as it often postpones these promises to the next life, or the next millennium, and ultimately reinforces the status quo. This course then will take as its topic the grand questions of religious practice and social change: Why is the world the way it is? And how has religion helped make it so? How can we change the world for the better? And does religion help us, or hinder us, in that pursuit? To answer those questions, we will pay particular attention to disruptive religious practices. That is, religions as practiced by those often deemed on the edge of society, outside the mainstream, or in the minority. These will include religious practices constitutive of social movements addressing Human and Civil Rights, including those historically related to the Abolition of Slavery, Anti-Lynching Campaigns, Prisoner Rights, Immigrant Rights, Gay Rights, Sustainable Food Systems, and Racial and Economic Justice.
This season marks the 50th anniversary of a pivotal moment on college campuses and civil rights activism around the nation and across the globe. Austin Jews in the Civil Rights Era asks the question: What role did Longhorn and Austin Jews play in the social changes of the 1960s and early 70s—both on campus and beyond? Revolution was in the air on college campuses in the 1960s and early 70s – UT included. De-segregation sit-ins, free love, anti-war protests, feminism, flower power, counter-culture were the (dis)order of the day. Were UT Jews allies or activists? Greeks or geeks? Feminists or Princesses? And what was the relationship between the campus and the wider Austin community? What about Austin’s Jewish merchants, bankers, lawyers, businessmen, synagogue leaders, and artist/entertainers? How were they involved in the movements for equity, justice and peace? Students will learn the art of oral history and digital storytelling to uncover the untold tales of Austin’s Jewish community in the Age of Aquarius. In this course, we will examine a small piece of Austin’s historical development, thinking critically about how history is researched, written and presented to public audiences. With a focus on civil rights activism in the Austin Jewish community of the 1960s and ‘70s, we will document stories of inclusion in a multi-media digital storytelling map that we hope will become a foundation for UT’s interdisciplinary and cross-racial research on this era in Austin’s civil right’s history. In the process, we will explore not only the impact of national civil rights struggles on UT’s campus and the wider Austin Jewish community, but also the involvement of Austin Jews in the struggle and the resistance. Our job will be to uncover some of the ways in which national protest marches, sitins, and other strategies for direct action catalyzed local action here in Austin, and the ways that local strategies became models for national movements. As a class we will research and discuss the legacy of these milestones and commemorations, build connections with individuals and organizations that continue to be involved in activism, and then work as a team to share our findings with the larger Austin community.
BDP 319 Human Rights: Theories and Practice
This course will introduce students to the interdisciplinary study and practices of human rights at home and around the world. Drawing on materials from the humanities, social sciences, law, fine arts, and public policy, the course will engage both historical precedents and contemporary debates over the relevance of a human rights discourse to academic inquiry and extracurricular advocacy. Divided into five sections, the syllabus is designed not only to encourage a broad understanding of human rights’ emergence into current public policy and persistent humanitarian narratives, but to facilitate as well the opportunity to research these concerns through specific topical examples, both issue-oriented and regionally-grounded.
CMS 356C Collective Action
Collective action is a fundamental part of our social behavior and refers to any process whereby groups of people attempt to make decisions and act towards a common good. Collective action covers a vast field and include both collaborative and contentious forms of social action. Two interrelated factors have irrevocably changed how we view collective action: globalization and digitization. In this class, students will obtain insight into how globalization and technology have impacted how we organize and communicate to achieve better collective outcomes about the public good. It will review a range of perspectives on collective action, and examine communicative elements of collective action in a variety of global contexts, focusing on India and New Zealand as global contexts in the last portion of the course.
We will devote ourselves in this course to the study of late twentieth and early twenty-first century novels about immigration, primarily but not exclusively to the United States, from a diverse range of home countries. We will think about these works of fiction within the contexts of U.S. history and literary history; immigration debates in the U.S. in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s; 9/11, terrorism, and surveillance; and the immigration policies of the U.S. presidents in the last three decades, for example. Key questions will include how class, education, gender and sexuality, race, and religion shape the content as well as the form of immigration narratives.
GEO 371T The Science of Environmental Justice
Environmental Justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, in the development of environmental policies and regulations. Central to advancing EJ is understanding the physical, chemical, biological, and other environmental processes that lead to the inequitable impacts of environmental degradation. This course explores the scientific basis for understanding these inequitable impacts through lectures and case studies, including field-based investigations focused on water quality in Austin-area communities.
GOV 312L Poverty and Politics
Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take. Its topic - Poverty and Politics - deals with questions concerning what poverty is and why it exists, with welfare policies in the US and in Texas, and with poverty and politics in the Third World. The course assumes the basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, but nothing more. Questions concerning the nature and cause of poverty and inequality and what to do about it are by definition controversial and subject to much debate. This course does not presume that either the instructor or the readings has The Answer to such questions. Rather, our collective goal for the semester is to identify the major schools of debate around such questions and for you to think about them. If you have already decided how you feel about poverty, the course may provoke you to think again; if you have never given the question any thought, the course may provoke you into thinking about such questions.
The purpose of this course is to develop a working knowledge of immigration policy in the United States; to understand the institutional development of immigration policy over the US’s history; and to explore the challenges posed for American democracy by immigration enforcement in the contemporary era. Such issues include the use of local police to enforce federal policy, the liminal legal space occupied by immigrants, the complicated relationship between federal, state and local agencies, and the relationship between historical institutional racial exclusion and the current era of mass detention and deportation. Throughout the course of the class, students will develop skills in project management, collaboration, critical analysis and research.
GOV 365N Religious Ethics and Human Rights
Do religions support human rights or conflict with human rights? This course examines the grounds for human rights, and the relations between rights and religions. Can religions reinforce human rights to protect against genocide, torture and disappearances, hate speech, and discrimination? Can religious leadership within religions effectively combat violence against women, even when the violence is upheld by that same religion? Students will study religions as providing grounds for human rights, as sometimes challenging conceptions of human rights, and as needing protections through human rights. With this basis in the relations between religion and human rights, students will study the significance of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations, and the following application of international human rights since the mid-twentieth century. The course will begin with key formulations of ethics and human rights, and examples in which religion, ethics, and human rights interact. The second unit of the course will study religious support or criticism of human rights by intellectual leaders. The third unit will situate the consideration of religion in a political science treatment of international human rights since 1948.
This course offers an introduction to environmental justice, the premise that all people have a right to an environment free from hazardous contamination as well as access to resources that sustain health and livelihood. Throughout the semester, we will examine the meaning of environmental justice as a spatial and land-based—that is, a geographical—project. We will also examine the definition and significance of its inverse: environmental racism, meaning unequal access to life-sustaining environment resources along racial lines. We will engage in an ethnic studies approach to together explore the geographies of indigeneity, race, and environmental justice. We will also highlight the relationship between environmental racism to capitalism and ongoing processes of colonialism and exploitation. Last, and importantly, this course highlights the role and importance of local and global movements for environmental justice.
HIS 314K History of Mexican Amers in US
Examines the origin and growth of the Mexican American community in the United States.
HIS 317L The Black Power Movement
The Black Power movement was a distinct period in African American life from the late 1960s and early 1970s that emphasized racial pride, the creation of black political and cultural institutions, self-reliance, and group unity. The expression of black power ideology ranged from the desire to create an all-black nation-state to the promotion of black economic power. This course will look at the major organizations, key figures, and ideologies of the black power movement.
HIS 317L Immigration and Ethnicity
Widely considered a wellspring for U.S. greatness, immigration has also been an abiding site of our deepest conflicts. The republican foundations of the United States with its promises of democracy and equality for all seem to strain against ever increasing numbers of immigrants from parts of the world barely conceived of by the Founding Fathers, much less as sources of new citizens. What is the breaking point for the assimilating powers of U.S. democracy and how much does national vitality rely upon continued influxes of a diversity of immigrants with their strenuous ambitions and resourcefulness? Today we remain embattled by such competing beliefs about how immigration shapes our nation’s well-being and to what ends we should constrain whom we admit and in what numbers. This course emphasizes the following themes: the changing population of the United States from colonial times; ethnic cultures, communities, and cuisines; ideologies concerning eligibility for citizenship and for restricting immigration; the development of immigration law as an aspect of sovereign authority; the entwining of immigration policy with international relations; and the evolution of institutions for immigration enforcement.
HIS 356P The United States in the Civil Rights Era
This upper-division lecture course allows students to gain deeper understandings of civil rights movements in the U.S. by placing them alongside significant historical developments from World War II to the 1970s such as postwar urbanization, economic change, new media technologies and more. We reassess well-known narratives of the Civil Rights Movement such as those in Black History Month annual commemorations and social studies textbooks. We reexamine the idea of King and Malcolm X as polar opposites and revisit the Montgomery Bus Boycott by taking a critical look at the identity of Rosa Parks as a seamstress too tired to give up her seat and Dr. King as the planner and leader of the boycott. We also explore lesser-known movements that may have involved more than desegregation and voting rights and we use original documents and oral histories to examine local struggles in Texas. That approach allows us to discern activism and perspectives of women and young people. Although the Black Freedom Movement forms the spine of the course we pay significant attention to Mexican American movements, considering the two on their own and in relation to each other. How many current UT students realize that 50 years ago Black, Mexican American, and white students demanded an end to what they considered racist practices here? By considering not only what people did, but their motivations and perspectives in specific historical contexts, we open possibilities for new understandings of today.
HIS 365G Women and Social Movements in the Twentieth-Century United States
IN 2018, THE SUBJECT OF WOMEN AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS is no abstract matter. Recently, in ways few anticipated, unprecedented numbers of women have joined marches, exposed sexual abuse, protested racial violence, organized strikes, and run for office. These movements seem spontaneous, but have deep roots in history, forged by immensely diverse women in myriad contexts, including not just solidarity and victory but clashes and contradictions. Exploring these tangled roots illuminates what is new and not new today and offers insights into current realities. IN THIS UPPER-LEVEL COURSE, we examine both well-known and barely-remembered social movements, from those that explicitly targeted women’s rights, like suffrage, to those that usually did not, like civil rights. Based on lectures, scholarly readings, memoirs, historical documents, and films, we consider not only distinctions and intersections but power relations among groups of women. THE TWIN GOALS OF THE COURSE are for students to deepen their knowledge of this history and to learn how scholars in this field have developed original interpretations by beginning to do so themselves.
M E 379M Issues in Humanitarian Engineering
This course examines the opportunities for engineering solutions to positively impact marginalized groups such as low- income communities, disaster areas, and refugee camps. The course will take place in Paris, France and will include visits to various humanitarian and development organizations. A two-day field trip is planned to Geneva where the class will visit the International Federation of the Red Cross and UN Refugee Agency, each of which will provide specialists to talk on a number of different subjects. Topics considered in the class will include the challenges faced in working with marginalized communities, appropriate technology for these communities, key humanitarian organizations and their roles in aiding communities. Class time will be divided between formal lectures by the instructor and guest speakers, field trips, and student presentations on key topics. What will I learn? Main skills and attitudes to be developed: • Awareness and knowledge of how engineering applies to marginalized communities • Awareness and knowledge of challenges faced in working with marginalized communities • Awareness and knowledge of major humanitarian aid organizations • Knowledge of appropriate technology for vulnerable communities • Expertise in literature and web research and evaluation of sources • Experience in making concise and clear presentations
S W 325 Foundations of Social Justice
This course focuses on recognizing injustice and constructing socially conscious responses to inequity using generalist social work practice. You will gain skills to identify and communicate about inequality affecting various identities and social statuses. You will understand different forms of marginalization by dominant groups and how unequal power relations adversely affect individuals, groups, and communities. You will also learn about frameworks that support discourse about inequity, marginalization, injustice, and exclusion, including the cycle of socialization, the tension between private troubles and public issues, systemic oppression, human rights, and strategies for socially conscious change. You will have the opportunity to explore your role in the promotion of social, racial, and economic justice.
S W 360K Social Workers in the Legal System
This course is intended to demystify the legal system by providing students with substantive knowledge and practical skills that are necessary for surviving in the legal system. In preparation for field education, it will cover confidentiality, disclosure of records, social work privilege, informed consent, subpoenas, witness preparation and testifying. There will be an emphasis on the following areas of law which have a significant impact on social work practice: 1) family law; 2) domestic violence; 3) child abuse; 4) juvenile justice; 5) guardianship; 6) mental health; and 7) Americans with Disabilities Act. The course will offer students an opportunity to observe actual courtroom dockets, read case law and statutes, and review legal documents. Finally, it will cover social worker liability such as civil rights violations, malpractice and sexual harassment.
S W 360K Confronting LGBTQ Oppression

*Must be admitted into Peers for Pride program.

S W 360K LGBTQ Oppressn: Facilit Dialog

*Must be admitted into Peers for Pride program.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people on the UT campus and beyond face many challenges due to homophobia, heterosexism, biphobia, and transphobia. Education and awareness are the first steps in combating hate and discrimination. This course is the second part of the “Peers for Pride” facilitation program. This course will serve as a way for students in the program to use the information and skills learned in the first course across campus. Students will continue to fine tune their facilitation skills and continue learning about LGBTQ people on the UT campus and beyond.
S W 460K Roots of Social and Economic Justice: An International Perspective
The course is designed to teach the historical roots of the professionalization of helping others and the profession of social work. The course focuses on the governmental social services delivery system and its impact on client populations, and the diverse cultures living in London that provide the context for social services. The course is taught through cultural immersion in ethnic neighborhoods, field visits, and seminars. The purpose of this course is to deepen students’ understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in an increasingly global society. A further goal is to promote cross-cultural learning, and to expand critical appreciation of the social framework in which we live as it relates to the moral and ethical problems encompassed by social justice.
SOC 336C American Dilemmas
This course examines critical American social problems that threaten the very fabric of our collective life as a nation. These include problems of the economy and political system, social class and income inequality, racial/ethnic inequality, gender inequality and heterosexism, problems in education, and problems of illness and health care. The course has three main objectives. One involves providing students with the theoretical and methodological tools needed to critically analyze these problems from a sociological perspective. A second involves providing students with current data and other information documenting the seriousness of these problems. The final objective focuses on evaluating social policies addressing these problems (e.g., affirmative action, welfare-to-work programs, pay equity legislation), with special reference to questions of social justice, the common good, as well as public and individual responsibility. Class format will be a mixture of lecture and discussion, with a very strong emphasis on the latter.
SOC 352 Social Movements
Protests and social movements are vital to public life. They are important sources of social change. They may even be prophetic. This course explores why people rebel, demonstrate, riot, occupy public spaces, boycott, sign petitions, organize trade unions, demand equal rights, block abortion clinics. In this course, we will ask what are protests and social movements? Why do people start them and join them? What are protesters motivated by? Are they after material or cultural goals, personal or group rewards? Do protesters act rationally, morally, and/or emotionally? We will review the major sociological theories for explaining the dynamics of protests and social movements. Using these theories, we will try to answer what triggers protests and movements? What structures or shapes them? Do they follow regular patterns of development? And what is the relationship between social movements that overlap in time and space? What affect do protests and movements have on society? Do they provide valuable insights into society? Do they advance social justice? Do they contribute to our social wellbeing? Or do they lead to disorder and exact costs that outweigh benefits? Can they foreshadow the future? We will explore these many questions by looking at a range of important social movements in US history. We will look in greater depth at a handful of movements and blend or retool theoretical approaches to explain them. In short, this course surveys American protests and theories of social movements trying to explain the dynamics of social movements.
Other Courses
In this course we will study critical case law and history pertaining to Asian American jurisprudence, how it has excluded and empowered people, and how the law affects our understanding of race and identity today. The course will also cover critical race theory, law and economics, as well as the advancement of civil rights. Other issues we will study include immigration, politics, and the criminal justice system. How does the law work with our understanding of self and with how others perceive Asian Americans? Students will come out of this course with a nuanced understanding of the important legal cases and issues in Asian American lives in history and be able to engage in an intellectual discourse concerning issues challenging us today.
Throughout the history of the United States, the law and legal system have shaped nearly every facet of Asian American life. The law can be used to exclude, to empower, and sometimes even to define the very meaning and definition of one’s community and identity. Apart from the law itself, the court system, as the main forum for the discussion and resolution of legal disputes has also had tremendous power to influence the lives and experiences of Asian Americans. Whether it is immigration, national security, or the pursuit of happiness, the law had and will continue to have a profound impact on the lives of Asian Americans everywhere, This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to the study of Asian Americans and the law. Students will examine the historical development of US law and its relationship to Asian Americans as well as the development of Asian American jurisprudence as an independent field of legal scholarship. In addition, the course will provide students with the tools to think critically about Asian Americans and the law by introducing students to principles of legal reasoning and analysis and the major schools of legal thought. Topics will include immigration, civil rights, affirmative action, and access to justice. Students will learn about the common law system, legal positivism, legal realism, economic analysis of law, and critical race theory. We will approach this course like a law school course. The majority of the readings consist of primary source court opinions, and class time will focus on deepening student understanding of the course material through the Socratic method of question and answer. Grading will be based on participation, five reading quizzes, a midterm, and a final. Participation will be measured by quality, not quantity; what matters is not whether a student can give a “right” or “wrong” answer, but whether student responses demonstrate a familiarity with the reading and a genuine effort to think critically about the subject matter.
AMS 315 Street Justice: Morals/The Wire
This lower-division large lecture course will examine the moral and philosophical dilemmas behind the concept of “justice” for Black, inner city communities in the United States, using Baltimore, MD in the popular TV program “The Wire” as a case study. Students will be expected to define the ethical subjects in real-world moral dilemmas surrounding justice, using introductions to political science, philosophy, and intellectual history as a structural guide (with special considerations of Critical Race Theory and Black Studies in their analyses). Students will be asked to think critically about the complicated concepts of justice in inner-city communities, as exemplified in “The Wire”. Students will be invited to apply their understandings of morality and justice to not only the fictional situations in this case study, but also to ethical decisions in historical, race-related cases in Black United States history, such as Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement, and modern-day Drug Wars. It is hoped that this course helps to parse out what is considered “right” and what is considered “wrong” when analyzing the concept of justice.
This course links the study of politics and civic engagement with the actual engagement of young people living in our community. This purpose will be pursued by administering the initiative RU Ready Texas in Austin ISD schools. Through this, UT Austin students will consider connections between theory and practice of civic education, collaborate with their peers, deliver effective oral presentations, develop facilitation skills, and equip and encourage high school students in our community to be active citizens. Participation for this course will include volunteer experiences and administering workshops for K12 students (completed virtually in spring 2021).
Whether it's political propaganda, journalistic satire or cultural commentary, so-called "fake news" has emerged as a controversial and provocative force in modern life. This course will look at social traditions surrounding this unique form of entertainment, the first amendment and laws that protect it form censorship, and an unfolding Congressional investigation into charges that social media has become infested with malicious actors using fake news as a tool to undermine civic participation and democratic institutions.
This course will examine how public memory is created, shaped, and shared through processes and forms like commemorations, public speech, museum exhibits, historic sites, and monuments. Our goal is to begin to understand how public memory creates shared understanding about our past, our culture, and our national purpose, and how this shared understanding is a tool of public leadership. Although the focus in this class is American public memory, you will have an opportunity to explore the same types of practices in other cultures through your own projects.
CMS 342K Political Communication
A study of the role of symbols in political communication and the techniques and strategies employed by politicians; special attention is given to recent election campaigns.
CMS 345G Communicating to Government
Examines stories and how they are told during political rituals, under campaign pressures, on the nightly news, and in the daily newspaper: visually, verbally, online, and in person.
CMS 345P Communication & Public Opinion
We will explore how public opinion changes and how the media affect public opinion. Further, we will examine whether we are influenced by our perceptions of public opinion. If we hold a minority viewpoint, will we behave differently than if we hold a major
CMS 372D Politics of National Memory

*Students must be admitted to the Archer Fellowship Program to take this course.

Explores issues of power in our nation's capital. Students study Washington, DC via visits to sites around the city.
E 360S Literature of Islamophobia
This class will consider how fiction from the post-9/11 era (widely called the “Global War on Terror”) has produced a particular vision of Islam and Muslims that both reproduces and challenges the ideology of Islamophobia and refines and critiques prior understandings of Muslims. The class will be divided into roughly two parts: Islamophilia in the Cold War (pre-9/11) and Islamophobia during the “Global War on Terror.” We will be interested in thinking about the deployment of Islam in political rhetoric; depictions of Islam and Muslims in popular culture; debates about Islam that have entered national life in the US; and novelistic representations of Islam over the last decade. We will be particularly interested in understanding how ideas about religion intersect but do not overlap with ideas about race, and how the question of opportunities for Muslim women has become a contemporary preoccupation. Assigned readings will be supplemented with short videos and images that have become a part of the Islamophobic archive.
ECO 321 Public Economics
Study of appropriate allocations of economic activity between government (federal, state, and local) and the private sector. The workings of social security, welfare, education, pollution control, deregulation, taxation; and proposals for reform.

*Only available for UTNY Program students. Taught in NYC.

New York City has long been a proving ground for leaders eager to show that “if I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” As a world capital of the arts, diplomacy, finance, and media, the city serves as home to many highly successful leaders and as a classroom for people seeking to cultivate leadership skills. In this unique hybrid course, we will study leadership concepts and strategies, meet NYC leaders who put these ideas into practice, and tour workplaces and other spaces in the city where leadership is on display.
GOV 330K The American President
Development of the power and influence of the president; nomination, election, and responsibility; case studies of presidential problems; comparison of president and other executives.
This course examines the philosophic origins of modern politics and culture by looking at the works of several authors whose writings played decisive roles in the rise and development of modern political philosophy. In our study of Machiavelli’s Prince, Hobbes’s Leviathan, Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, and selected political writings of Rousseau and Nietzsche, we will consider the ways in which modern political thought broke with the past and offered a new set of political visions. We will consider the differing views of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Nietzsche on issues such as the aims and limits of politics, the role of morality in the harsh world of political necessity, the proper place of religion and reason in political life, and the nature and basis of justice. Throughout the course, we will reflect of the impact that the revolutionary doctrines of modern political philosophy have had on the political world in which we live.
GOV 351L Morality and Politics
What is human virtue, and what is its relationship to politics? This course will introduce students to the debate that has taken place on this subject among great thinkers over the course of centuries. Specifically, the course will explore the competing viewpoints of ancient and modern authors, focusing on Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Hobbes. Aristotle famously maintains that moral virtue is the proper aim of life, both for the individual and for the community. The second half of the course will be devoted to examining the break with Aristotle begun by Machiavelli and continued, and modified, by Hobbes. By introducing students to powerful but contrasting conceptions of virtue and its relationship to political life, the course will better enable students to reflect for themselves on questions of central importance to their lives, both as individuals and as members of political communities.
GOV 357G Structure of Individual Liberties
In this class we examine the ways in which the Constitution protects individual rights while accommodating the often competing claims of state, groups and communities. A chronological survey of the work of the Supreme Court would reveal that most of the judicial exploration of the issues falling under the rubric of rights has occurred in the second half of the Court’s history. The one notable exception is the right to property, which, as the original debates over the Constitution reveal, was a right sufficiently important to the founders that it was provided several textually based protections. When even these were found inadequate to the task at hand, the Fourteenth Amendment eventually emerged as a bulwark of solid constitutional defense. How solid is, of course, a matter of considerable contention; the debate raging today is only the most recent incarnation of the historic contest between property rights and the regulatory authority of the state. One of the controversial jurisprudential issues surrounding the work of the modern Court has to do with the role of the judiciary in performing as an occasional counter- majoritarian institution in defense of individual rights. If it is important to defend a right -- for example, privacy – against the intrusive reach of the state, must all rights be so defended with equal vigilance? Is there a principled way to distinguish among rights, say between speech and the right to bear arms, such that the Court would be justified in treating them differently as far as a constitutional defense is concerned? By the end of the course students should have an informed judgment on such questions, which is to say, on the role of the Supreme Court in contemporary American politics. Some of you may have enrolled in this course to test your aptitude for the study of law. This is not, however, a pre-professional law course. It is designed as an important part of a liberal education. Indeed, if we do our jobs right, this course in constitutional law will be nothing less than an extended commentary on the meaning of America -- at least as understood and portrayed by the Supreme Court. Our purpose is to get clear what the Court has said about the Constitution’s meaning, to critically assess what the Court has held, and to identify and assess the underlying social, moral, and political theories that inform the opinions of the Supreme Court.
GOV 357M Law of Politics
This course is designed for government majors, students who are interested in some of the core issues of "retail" politics, students who want to become political practitioners or are political “junkies,” students who want a little taste of what law school might be like, future government teachers, and students who are interested in some of the difficult and current theoretical issues at the intersection of law and politics. There are many ways to conceptualize the structure of this course. One way is to see it as being about the way institutional structures affect or cause results in our political system. For example, how requiring a voter i.d. law may affect the outcome of elections. From another viewpoint, it is a course in constitutional and statutory interpretation with the subject matter being elections and electoral law. From still another point of view it is about what structures and processes are necessary or sufficient to create the American form of republican government. Of course, that also requires constantly defining what is "republican government." The course is a discussion course, not a lecture course. Students are expected to prepare for each day's assignments so they can discuss the assigned material in class. There is no way to be highly successful in this course without such preparation.
GOV 357M Constitutnl Struct of Power
Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary. The focus of this course is on one of the most vital aspects of politics: interpreting and applying the nation's fundamental rules. While the emphasis is on the United States Supreme Court, the class will also look at how other constitutional polities address similar issues. We examine constitutional structures of power by exploring contests over authority from John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson to Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr. Some of the topics to be considered include: the powers of the federal and state governments, the executive's emergency powers, and the Supreme Court's authority to nullify the acts of other branches. Under these general headings are to be found such issues as the power to regulate firearms, the power to establish an office of independent counsel, the power to overturn a judicial decision through congressional action, the power to deprive citizens of rights during wartime, the power to define the terms of impeachment, and the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election. Much of the reading is of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development.
GOV 370E Congressional Elections
This course takes an in-depth look at congressional elections. In addition to analyzing the congressional elections in 2016, we will develop a framework to understand the critical links among voters, candidates, campaigns, and Congress. The first half of the course discusses campaigns and elections the second half of the course deals with election outcomes and their consequences on policy-making. The readings for the class include both contemporary journalistic accounts of the election and analytic frameworks from political scientists. An energetic classroom requires student participation. If need be, I’ll compel you to participate.
GOV 370P Policy Making Process

*Students must be admitted to the Archer Fellowship Program to take this course.

Focus on the role of Congress and the President in the policy-making process. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Government 370L (Topic: Policy-Making Process) and 370P may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.
What’s wrong with American politics? Those who follow politics are familiar with the litany of complaints. Both liberals and conservatives find much that is wanting – though, naturally, they don’t always agree on what it is. Typically, these “normative” questions are downplayed – or treated gingerly – in political science. We shall place them front and center as a way of motivating the course. After all, political science should be of some practical value. We ought to be able to put science to work to make better judgments, and to pose possible solutions. In this course, we shall try to identify these potential problems, to conceptualize them clearly, to measure them in a systematic fashion, to chart their history, to compare their status in other countries, to understand their causes and their effects, and their possible solutions.
GOV 371G African American Politics
This course focuses upon the evolution, nature, and role of African-American politics within the American Political System. The concern is with African Americans as actors, creators and initiators in the political process. Specifically, this course will examine various political controversies that surround the role of race in American society and how these controversies affect public opinion, political institutions, political behavior, and salient public policy debates. This course will assess and evaluate the contemporary influence of race in each of these domains while also exploring their historical antecedents.
GOV 371L Latino Politics
An examination of the role of racial and ethnic minorities in politics and of the impact of politics on these minorities.
Examines the roles the media play in the U.S. political system. In an overview of the interaction of the print, video, and social media with politics, government, and the public, the course explains why Americans get the political news they do. It investigates the systematic factors involved in the production of the news and how the media, including the social media, came to where it is today.
HIS 357C African Amer History to 1860
This upper division course examines the history of African Americans in the United States from the West African Heritage to the Civil War and provides a critical examination on central issues under scholarly debate in the reconstruction of the Black experience in America. The course thus engages the debate on the evolution of African-American slavery as a social, economic and political institution, with special focus on antebellum slavery, including plantation slavery, industrial slavery, and urban slavery in addition to slave culture. Also, the course assesses the institutional development of the free black community, during the age of slavery, with emphasis on free black protest activities, organizations, and leaders. Equally important, information is provided on the business and entrepreneurial activities of both slave and free blacks before the Civil War to underscore the long historic tradition of black economic self-help. Invariably, those slaves who purchased their freedom were slaves involved in various business enterprises. Also emphasized in the course are the various ways in which slave and free black women responded to slavery and racism before the Civil War, giving consideration to gender issues within the intersection of the dynamics of race, class, and sex.
I 303 Ethical Foundations for Informatics
Recent advances in the production, use, and management of information present many new opportunities, and also raise ethical challenges that we must confront. Is it wrong to create technologies that replace human labor, leading to unemployment? Is it morally acceptable for law enforcement officers to pose as children online to catch child predators? Is it wrong to share music with friends using peer-to-peer networks? Is it morally acceptable to use body scanners that violate personal privacy to prevent acts of terrorism? Is it wrong to release software with known bugs that might have unintended consequences, potentially including loss of life? Is it morally acceptable to require citizens to vote online when there are security concerns and not every citizen has access to or the skills to use the Internet? This course covers past, current, and future issues in information ethics, and encourages you to develop your own standpoint from which to address the diverse range of ethical challenges facing us in the information age. During the course, you will learn about a wide range of ethical theories, including non-Western and feminist theories, and you will then apply these theories to confront ongoing critical information ethics issues.
Examines information as a cultural phenomenon. Topics may include e-commerce, privacy and secrecy, censorship, information as a commodity,Internet culture, access to cultural heritage, and control of the cultural record.
J 308D Data, Privacy, And You
Explores approaches to understanding what some have termed 'datafication'. Covers literacy of these types of data as well as the ways in which these data are transmitted, stored, compiled, aggregated, analyzed, and used in predictive analytics. Examines privacy aspects in terms of the increased blurring between the private and public in spacessuch as social media and explores the implication of this on news production and consumption.
Examine concepts and frameworks related to skills integral to ethical, effective leadership and management in news organizations. Explore making ethical decisions, communicating supportively to others, gaining power and influence, managing conflict, building effective teams, and leading positive change.
MAN 337 Leading for Impact
This course will enable you to understand, strengthen, and adapt your personal leadership style. There are two overarching course objectives. First, this course will expose you to topics, concepts, and findings that are central to understanding and practicing effective leadership. Second, this course will focus on your personal growth and leadership development. This will occur through a combination of classroom instruction in leadership concepts and frameworks, self-assessments, action planning, peer discussion, and (most importantly) personal reflection and learning. Through this work, you should gain greater awareness and mastery of your own leadership approaches and skills, better understand contextual demands and how different leadership styles and behaviors best meet those demands, and draw out personal learning based on tangible opportunities to practice the art of leading people. I view this second course objective – personal growth and leadership development – as the most critical because I believe that all leadership development begins with self-awareness and personalized goal setting.
MAS 362 Mexican Amer Policy Stds Smnr
This course examines public policy and the policymaking process in the United States, specifically in relation to the Mexican-American and Latino communities. It begins by examining policymaking in the United States, including issues such as the definition of public policy, how policy choices are made, how policy reflects values, agenda setting, policy formation, policy implementation, and policy evaluation. We will then discuss policy issues important to Mexican Americans and Latinos at both the state and national levels, including such topics as immigration, education, and health care.
Intellectual property law has four main subject matter areas: patents, trade secrets, copyrights, and trademarks. The first two are particularly germane to technologists. This course will address patent and trade secret law taught at the level of a non-lawyer who is studying or practicing science or engineering. The overriding objective of the course is to familiarize technologists with intellectual property concepts that will be relevant to them as practicing scientists or engineers, as well as to enable them to both protect their own intellectual property and evaluate the intellectual property of others. With respect to patent law, topics will include (1) the sources of the patent laws; (2) what a patent is, and how it is obtained; (3) text-based searching for issued patents and published patent applications on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) website; (4) patent ownership, assignment, licensing and standing to sue; (5) patent scope (both in terms of duration and subject matter); (6) patent infringement; (7) the dizzying array of defenses available to someone accused of patent infringement; and (8) remedies available for patent infringement. With respect to trade secret law, topics will include (1) what a trade secret is, and how it is obtained and maintained as a trade secret; (2) trade secret misappropriation; (3) defenses available to someone accused of trade secret misappropriation; and (4) remedies available for trade secret misappropriation.
P A 325 Introduction to Public Policy
The Bridging Disciplines Program in Public Policy has two goals: to introduce students to a substantive arena of policy, and to familiarize students with the policy-making process. The Fall 2014 Introduction will focus on three of the 20th century’s most transformative policies: the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1965 Immigration Reform Act. (Future introductory courses may focus on a different policy arena such as environmental policy or national security.)The policy changes of the 1960s were intended to correct problems created by earlier policies. Thus, we will begin the course with a brief journey through the nation’s history. At every point, men made choices (women tended to be excluded from politics and policy making until the 20th century) based on their personal interests, prejudices, and moral beliefs. At every point, they could have made different choices. For example, the Constitution did not have to perpetuate slavery or exclude Indians from citizenship, and there was nothing inevitable (or “Biblically ordained”) about racial classifications. We will spend the first few class sessions reviewing the choices that led to racial discrimination, the exclusion of Asians, and limits on naturalized citizenship. Then, we will move to the early 1950s. That was when a black woman’s refusal to yield her bus seat gave rise to the modern civil rights movement. It also was when Congress eliminated racial restrictions on naturalized citizenship, and when the Supreme Court struck down the Texas Democratic Party’s white primary system. This leads to the modern civil rights movement and the passage and implementation of the new policies. Toward the end of the course, we will look at the effects of the new policy regime and at current controversies over immigration reform, voting rights and equal opportunity.
PHL 325L Business, Ethics, and Public Policy
Issues in ethics and politics that are relevant to the organization of business and industry and the distribution of power in society; topics include the role of industry; concepts of profit, property, and moral responsibility.
PHL 347 Philosophy of Law
The significance and function of law in political and ethical contexts; comparison of common and statutory to scientific and moral law; readings from among Plato, Kant, Hegel, Bentham, Austin, Hart, Dworkin, Feinberg, and others.
RHE 330D Arguing With Liberals
The image of Justice, represented as a blindfolded woman holding a scale and double-edged sword, is ubiquitous. How does this figure function rhetorically and what relation does it have to the actual creation and practice of law? We often hear about law doing justice, but how is justice done, seen, and understood? And, what happens when we view law as neither blind nor balanced, especially in relation to social differences, such as gender, race, class, ability, and nationality? To address these questions, the course specifically examines the historical and current relationship between women, as gendered subjects, and law, as a man-made system. Drawing on court cases, social movements, legal theory, and history, we will analyze the connections linking representations of justice, claims of democracy, and ongoing tensions within the law. In other words, we will study how legal rhetoric and practice constitute both the law and subjects before the law. The course is also designed to enhance your reading and writing skills. Reading might appear to be a straightforward activity requiring no special training, but the analytical reading expected in academic contexts is a skill that must be learned and cultivated. Likewise, writing analytically is an advanced skill that requires instruction and exercise. These scholarly activities – close reading and analytical writing – are interconnected: to write well, you must be able to analyze the substance and structure of other people’s arguments. This course develops skills in these two vital academic areas.
This course examines some of the ways that law governs organizational and workplace life, as well as the ways that organizational practices may affect legal structures. We will focus on through domains in which law and organizational practices intersect. First, laws govern workplace life by specifying prohibited conduct in the workplace. We will explore why the law can dictate workplace practices as well as some common ways that it does so, for example through laws regarding sexual harassment, racial and other forms of discrimination, disability accommodations and workplace safety. Second, employees must make decisions about whether and how to enforce laws in organizations, and we will explore opportunities and barriers to helping organizations be law-abiding, particularly dilemmas about reporting wrongdoing. Finally, we will focus on how organizational practices shape norms in broader society and the ways we look to workplace practices to understand how we should behave. There are no prerequisites, but this class is for upper-division students and will include both writing assignments and exams. Required Texts and Readings McLean, B., & Elkin, P. (2004). The Smartest Guys in the Room. Portfolio Trade. Lau, T. & Johnson, L. (2014). The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business, v 2.0. Lipsky, Michael. ([1980] 2010). Street-Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services. New York: Russel Sage Foundation. Edelman, L B., & Suchman, M.C. (1999). “When the ‘Haves’ Hold Court: Speculations on the Organizational Internalization of Law.” Law & Society Review, 33: 941-991. Albiston, C. (2005). “Bargaining in the Shadow of Social Institutions: Competing Discourses and Social Change in Workplace Mobilization of Civil Rights.” Law & Society Review, 39: 11-50. Hirschman, D., Berrey, E., & Rose-Greenland, F. (2016). “Dequantifying Diversity: Affirmative Action and Admissions at the University of Michigan.” Theory and Society, 45: 265-301.
SOC 325L Sociology of Criminal Justice
This course is in two parts. The first will provide an introduction to the American criminal justice system, its policies and procedures. The primary focus will be on how the criminal justice system functions. This will include some discussion of crime and its correlates, policing, the court system, and corrections. The second part – which in my mind is the whole point -- traces where criminal justice policy has been, what it has accomplished, and where it should go in order to effectively prevent crime and promote public safety, and reduce recidivism, victimization, and cost. The primary focus of where we go from here is mainly on fundamentally changing or reinventing policing, pretrial, prosecution, indigent defense, the courts, and sentencing.
SOC 336P Social Psychology and the Law
In this course, I aim to give you a broad introduction to how and when the legal system focuses on and uses social science research, especially that from social psychology. I have three specific aims for the course: (1) I want to deepen your understanding of the legal system; (2) I want you to understand what types of legal issues make use of social science and which research methods are used to investigate law and social science questions; and (3) I want you to be able to describe the research and findings to others and to be able to apply your knowledge to other areas. Our primary focus will be on the use of social science by the courts; however, we will also discuss research into other legal areas, such as police procedures and how social science influences (and is influenced by) larger legal policy issues.

Integration Essay

A 3-4 page essay in which you reflect on what you learned and accomplished through your BDP experience.

Important Notes on Fulfilling Your BDP Requirements

For more information on courses, please consult your BDP advisor ( or the course schedule.