The truism that "race is socially constructed" hides more than it reveals. Have Irish Americans always been white? Are people of African descent all black? Is calling Asian Americans a "model minority" a compliment? Does race impact who we date or marry? In this course, students develop a sophisticated conceptual toolkit to make sense of such contentious cases of racial vision and division as the uprising in Ferguson. We learn to connect contemporary events to historical processes, and individual experiences to institutional policies, exercising a sociological imagination with the Read more about Race is Socially Constructed: Now What? (Prof. Ruha Benjamin)
Should we be trying to live our lives so as to do the most good, and if so, what would that involve? Does a human embryo have a greater claim to protection than a chimpanzee? Should we be able to choose to end our own life, if we are terminally ill? Are we ethically required to limit our greenhouse gas emissions? What is an ethical diet? Are we justified in eating animals? Why should we act ethically, anyway? You will be encouraged to question your own ethical beliefs on these and other issues, and to explore the extent to which reason and argument can play a role in everyday ethical Read more about Practical Ethics (Prof. Peter Singer)
In addition to undergraduate courses, I have led writing workshops at the Bard High School Early College (NYC, NY) and taught language classes for primary, secondary, and adult students as part of the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Programme (Gifu, Japan). At Princeton, I have served as an advisor for the Politics Department's Senior Thesis Writing Group and currently, in my role as resident graduate student, mentor undergraduates of Princeton's Whitman College.
This course surveys the history of American political thought, with an emphasis on both recurring themes, such as liberal individualism and religiosity, and resurgent conflicts such as over the scope of government power and the meaning of political equality. Topics include the Puritan heritage, the Constitutional founding, the Hamiltonian, Jeffersonian, Jacksonian, and Whig visions, the slavery conflict, Populism, Progressivism, feminism, New Deal/Great Society liberalism, the Civil Rights, Black Power, and student revolts of the 1960s, and the conservative ascendency of the 1980s. Read more about American Political Thought (Prof. Alan Ryan)
The course explores ideas about justice, authority, freedom, and revolution in the work of classical and modern authors from Plato to Marx. It will be both thematic and historical in nature - and introductory. Sample reading list includes: Plato (Gorgias, Republic), Aristotle (Politics), Machiavelli (The Prince, Discourses on Livy), Hobbes (Leviathan), Mill (Liberty), Marx (Communist Manifesto).