Washington Center

Fall Semester 2019

The American Presidency and Executive Power

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Tuesdays, 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Quarter Dates: 
September 24 - December 3, 2019
Semester Dates: 
August 28 - December 3, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

Most Americans can name several presidents and even have opinions on “good” versus “bad” presidents. But how do we evaluate and measure what presidents do and our expectations for their leadership? This course will put the modern presidency in historical and theoretical context, drawing on a variety of readings and approaches over time to determine which framework best explains presidential (in)action. At its core, this class is about the question of executive power in democratic government. In addition to studying and reflecting on the theme of presidential power in theory and practice, we will also consider the limits to this power and how presidents achieve their goals. Ultimately, we aim to understand the work of the presidency and some of the different perspectives by which we might analyze or assess presidents and their administrations.

Draft Syllabus

 

*Requirement for ALL semester students: 

The first four weeks of this semester (August 28 to September 18) will be spent in a special topics module taught by Professor Jennifer Diascro on Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. This module will account for 15% of the core seminar final course grade. Please contact Professor Diascro (jennifer.diascro.edu) with questions.

Professor Nunez will begin teaching the Presidency seminar on Tuesdays, beginning September 24, and he will officially be your instructor of record for the term, responsible for computing and submitting final course grades at the end of the term.

**NO additional registration required.

Course ID: 
UCDC191C01F18

Judicial Process and Politics

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Tuesdays, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Quarter Dates: 
September 24 - December 3, 2019
Semester Dates: 
August 28 - December 3, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

The theme of this course is that the judiciary is a political institution in the American scheme of government. This topic couldn’t be more relevant than it is now in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election as we witness courts across the country actively involved in resolving numerous and varied disputes arising from political conflicts. Our focus will be less on the substantive issues, per se (this is not a civil liberties or constitutional law course), and more on the institutional structures, personnel, and processes that affect the outcomes of court business. We will examine the organization of both state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels; the many actors who participate in courts, such as litigants, lawyers, judges, juries, and interest groups. Also, we will distinguish between civil and criminal courts to understand how and why disputes are resolved in court. By the end of the term, you will understand how the judiciary is as much a political as it is a legal institution and is a fundamental part of American politics.



Among the course requirements will be field assignments, so students should not schedule work hours on our seminar day.

Draft Syllabus

 

*Requirement for ALL semester students: 

The first four weeks of this semester (August 28 to September 18) will be spent in a special topics module taught by Professor Jennifer Diascro on Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. This module will account for 15% of the core seminar final course grade. Please contact Professor Diascro (jennifer.diascro.edu) with questions.

Professor Diascro will begin teaching the Judicial Process and Politics seminar on Tuesdays, beginning September 24, and she will officially be your instructor of record for the term, responsible for computing and submitting final course grades at the end of the term.

**NO additional registration required.

Course ID: 
UCDC191I02F19

International Policy

Credits: 
4
Day and Time: 
Tuesdays, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Quarter Dates: 
September 24 - December 3, 2019
Semester Dates: 
August 28 - December 3, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

"This seminar is designed to help you to engage critically and think systematically about crucial questions that are global in scope and to guide you through the process of developing a significant research paper. This is not a field seminar in international relations. Lectures and readings will touch on some foundational theories and concepts in comparative and international politics but will be heavily focused on principles of social science research. The issues and problems covered during class discussions and that you read and write about will be driven by your own geographical and substantive interests. The course is also designed to help you to connect your academic pursuits with your professional development in your internships and the broader political ecosystem of Washington, DC. Through the course, we will collectively engage with some of the most crucial problems facing the world’s peoples in the 21st century while examining their causes, consequences, and potential solutions.

Draft Syllabus

 

*Requirement for ALL semester students: 

The first four weeks of this semester (August 28 to September 18) will be spent in a special topics module taught by Professor Jennifer Diascro on Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. This module will account for 15% of the core seminar final course grade. Please contact Professor Diascro (jennifer.diascro.edu) with questions.

Professor Danielson will begin teaching the International Policy seminar on Tuesdays, beginning September 24, and he will officially be your instructor of record for the term, responsible for computing and submitting final course grades at the end of the term.

**NO additional registration required."

Course ID: 
UCDC191E01F19

International Development

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Thursdays, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Quarter Dates: 
September 26 - December 5, 2019
Semester Dates: 
August 28 - December 5, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

This is an introductory course to the international development field. The focus is on some of the key questions, challenges and achievements in this field. Materials from the course (readings, documentaries, discussions of current events) will enhance your understanding of the dominant approaches to poverty alleviation, the role of inter/national development actors, organizations and institutions, the promises of post-2015 Development Goals including the empowerment of women and youth. You will be exposed to the theoretical foundations of the field and will be required to make sense of these by following current events and drawing on your internship experiences in the nation’s Capital as well as your interactions with various experts, policy makers and development practitioners. The ultimate-goal of the course is to enhance your understanding of the various causes and consequences of development problems and encourage you to develop individual perspective on effective strategies for change.  

Draft Syllabus

*Requirement for ALL semester students: 

The first four weeks of this semester (August 28 to September 18) will be spent in a special topics module taught by Professor Jennifer Diascro on Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. This module will account for 15% of the core seminar final course grade. Please contact Professor Diascro (jennifer.diascro.edu) with questions.

Professor Skalli Hanna will begin teaching the International Development seminar on Thursdays, beginning September 26, and she will officially be your instructor of record for the term, responsible for computing and submitting final course grades at the end of the term.

**NO additional registration required.

Course ID: 
UCDC191E02F19

General Research

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Thursdays, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Quarter Dates: 
September 26 - December 5, 2019
Semester Dates: 
August 29 - December 5, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

Gathering knowledge and learning the truth about the world around us is a fundamental part of human development and progress. While most of us take knowledge and truth for granted, the process by which we understand our political, social, cultural, physical, biological environment has become particularly salient in the last couple of years as we’ve been confronted with an ever-increasing post-fact and post-truth world. While we are all affected by biases that obstruct critical thinking, challenging these biases is essential to making rational, evidence-based argument and decisions.

The focus of this seminar is writing and research. Students will choose a research topic related to the work of their internship organization and will spend the writing various parts of what will become a final research paper. This seminar is designed to hone the critical writing and thinking skills necessary for developing evidence-based arguments. Students of all majors and writing experience are welcome!

Draft Syllabus

*Requirement for ALL semester students: 

The first four weeks of this semester (August 28 to September 18) will be spent in a special topics module taught by Professor Jennifer Diascro on Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. This module will account for 15% of the core seminar final course grade. Please contact Professor Diascro (jennifer.diascro.edu) with questions.

Professor Diascro will begin teaching the General Research seminar on Thursdays, beginning September 26, and she will officially be your instructor of record for the term, responsible for computing and submitting final course grades at the end of the term.

**NO additional registration required."

Course ID: 
UCDC191A01F19

A Theater of Politics & The Politics of Theater

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Term or Semester: 
Day and Time: 
Thursdays, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Semester Dates: 
August 29 - December 5, 2019
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Semester Elective
Description: 

Since 2006, this course has canvassed the Washington DC theater scene and discovered a wealth of offerings, many of them—not surprisingly—political in focus.  Which prompts the question: What should the role of an arts community be in an essentially political town? To provide escape?  Emotional engagement? A dissident voice?  What might the impact (or challenge) of presenting politically-relevant work be in DC? What's the definition and the history of ""political theater"" and what distinguishes it from other entertainments (if anything)?  We'll figure that out.  What stories are being told now that reflect how we view the past, understand the present, and envision the future?  We’ll have a chance to think about the role of theater as it holds up a mirror to our society, as our focus moves from examinations inward and inter-personal, toward portraits which are more broadly regional and international in scope.

Important Note:

There is a $250 fee associated with the course which covers the cost of theater tickets for the semester.  This fee is covered by each program, with the exception of Mt. Holyoke.  Mt. Holyoke students are expected to pay the fee on their own.

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDCSEM7F19

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