Summer 2019 Semester

Our credit bearing cohort is continuing on their Liberal Studies pathway during the Summer semester with two additional courses. This semester features a program-high 27 students in our credit bearing cohort! Additionally, we are currently offering 7 non-credit bearing courses and the weekly lecture series to an additional 20 students. 

Credit-bearing courses

In 1838, faced with rising debt from capital improvements and also declining profitability of their farms in Maryland and Pennsylvania, Jesuit leaders at Georgetown College made the decision to rid themselves of the burden of slave owning by selling 272 enslaved people to plantations in Louisiana. This course investigates the history of American religion and slavery during the colonial period through the first half of the nineteenth century by examining theological, ethical, and philosophical justifications for and against slavery and the slave trade. Our study aims to uncover how debates on slavery shaped and informed theological discussions about the nature of God, religious experience, public life and social justice. Course readings will include selections from the Georgetown Slavery Archives, and also selections from Musgroves’ Chocolate City; Murphy’s Jesuit Slaveholding in Maryland; Babb’s Black Georgetown Remembered; additional primary readings may include selections from Ball’s Slavery in the United States; Pennington’s The Fugitive Blacksmith; and Northrup’s Twelve Years a Slave.

This course is designed to introduce students to the concepts, theories, and processes of comparative politics, a subfield of political science. We begin by focusing on some general methodological and thematic frameworks. We confront questions regarding ideology and power, the state, legitimacy, identity, culture, society, and political economy in order to understand how complex social and political constructs function in the contemporary world. Next, we shift our attention to a variety of political forms such as democratic, authoritarian, totalitarian, and other non-democratic regimes, as well as towards their institutional dimensions such as electoral systems, political parties and party systems, executive-legislative relations, and prescriptions for divided societies. We will consider how institutional choices generally affect the ways in which political systems function. Finally, we will explore specific systems from around the world, all of which are characterized by a variety of challenges. These cases demonstrate that there are multiple avenues towards political development, some evolutionary and relatively peaceful and others revolutionary and violent. Throughout the case studies, we will analyze both the positive and negative consequences of political developments for societies. We will conclude by integrating the material covered throughout the course both methodologically and thematically.

Non Credit-bearing courses

May 28- “Unusually Cruel”: Marc Howard

June 4- “Managing Personal Finances”: William Feeley

June 11- “Advancing Opportunity Through Education”: Gerard Robinson

June 18- “How A Felony Conviction Changed My Life”: Sam Patten

June 25- “Why Are We Drawn to Religion? “: Michael Sigrist

July 2- “From Music Exec to Criminal Justice Reformer”: Jason Flom

Introduces microeconomics in the context of current problems. Explores how market mechanism allocates scarce resources among competing uses; uses supply, demand, production, and distribution theory to analyze problems.

“Tenacity” is a full service set of tools for success in the workplace. Incorporating such scenarios as: how to work as a team, working with people very different from you, what happens when you make a mistake, how to talk to your supervisor, “netiquette” or how to write an email in a professional and respectful manner. The workplace has a code of behavior that once you understand the rules, you will fit in and understand your role and responsibilities creating a successful work experience.

Rapid innovations in data gathering and analysis, machine learning, and AI are transforming the world. The purpose of this course is to explore the social and ethical impacts of technological change on multiple scales and in different domains. These innovations carry potential for both social good and ethical danger. By taking an interdisciplinary approach and drawing from contributions in philosophy, computer science, and social science, the course will comprehensively examine the challenges and opportunities technology presents. Funding for this course was provided by a Laura Fleming Grant. 

In this course we will study standard theories of policing and crime as well as situated criticism from those with direct experience of both the policing and prison systems. We will focus on public health models for stemming violence, local insights into the opioid epidemic, and developing students’ research methodologies and programmatic knowledge of potential value in advocacy. 

Introduction to journalism, newspapers and politics. A veteran journalist will lead a seminar that explores principles and practices of journalism. Focus will be on newspapers, with discussions of how to read and analyze articles of various kinds.

This course will introduce students to theological traditions in the modern era–from the 19th century to the present moment. Particular attention will be paid to the historical context from which these theologies arise. Questions raised in this course will include: what does faith in God mean in a world where scientific rationality reigns? How does a theology of human and societal progression make sense in light of two World Wars? What does it mean to believe in a God who liberates while living in a world filled with racial oppression and economic injustice? What does God’s justice mean in light of human injustice?  By reading works by theologians within each tradition, the course aims to show how theologies develop from the tension between particular historical traditions, sacred texts, and the existential conditions of the day that force theologians to reflect on who God is in their own time.

Mind-Body approaches – including meditation, guided imagery, biofeedback, breathing techniques, art, music and movement are skills that can alleviate stress and foster self-awareness and self-care. The purpose of this course is to introduce a variety of mind-body modalities so students can determine techniques that work to for them to reduce their own stress and anxiety. Each week, student will learn a new meditation or mindfulness technique, practice it and discuss their experiences with members of the small group. Students will have an opportunity not only for individual attention and instruction, but also for sharing what they are learning about mind-body connections and themselves. Students will be asked to practice these various techniques on their own between weekly classes.

The Lecture Series

Christopher Celenza

Kim Kardashian West

Rabbi Rachel Gartner