Questioning for the Common Good
Critical thinking, writing, and action are required to move the status quo toward social justice.
In this service-learning foundation seminar within the Social Justice Residential College, we will examine critically the need for dissent, the economic and political sources of inequalities and their relationships with well-being, the usually hidden sources of direct and structural violence, and the ongoing epidemic of sexual violence on college campuses. Collaborative service-learning projects will be conducted in offices/programs at Bucknell and provide experiences of working toward social justice on our campus.
Civil Disobedience and Social Justice
This interdisciplinary Foundation Seminar will analyze both the philosophical and the practical dimensions of civil disobedience, analyzing a number of related questions: What is social justice? What civic duty or moral obligation do we have to obey laws? How valuable is dissent? How effective are strategies of civil disobedience, and must they remain committed to nonviolence?
We will examined classical and contemporary debates concerning the nature of a just society; assess competing arguments concerning the moral duty of citizens to obey laws; and analyze both historical and current examples of movements that have sought to advance social justice through forms of civil disobedience.
Two Sides to Every Story
Recent political discourse has drawn a great deal of attention to alleged media bias and so-called "fake news." While this focus is intended to foster mistrust of mainstream information pathways, in reality American consumers rely on these outlets to explain and inform their opinions about complex current issues like immigration, terrorism, education, and religious extremism.
Aligning with the notion that there are at least two ways to tell any given story, this course helps students develop critical thinking and digital literacy skills that will allow them to assess differing viewpoints on controversial issues. In particular, the class explores scholarly and popular perspectives on recent debates related to Islam in the United States and beyond. Through critical reading and writing, class discussion and debate, and careful analysis and reflection, students will learn to weigh varying perspectives.