Outlandish college courses: The Dirty Dozen for private (non-Ivy League) schools

Tufts University, Sociology: Making Social Change Happen: Grassroots Activism and Community Organizing

Workers; racial-ethnic groups; women; gays and lesbians; environmental, health, and food activists; immigrants; low-income people; and many other groups in their struggles for social and economic justice have made social change happen by the methods of grassroots activism and community organizing. These methods build power from the bottom up to create solutions to a wide range of local and global problems. In this way of doing social change, previously marginalized and under-represented people define and address their own issues on their own terms. Trained organizers help to identify and develop indigenous leaders, and build democratically run organizations that institutionalize permanent power for people who have lacked power. Organizing makes it possible for people to improve the conditions of their own lives. We will consider why and how people organize, the limits and possibilities of local and grassroots organizing, and how local and grassroots efforts can connect to larger macro-level social change and to politics.

University of Notre Dame, Peace Studies: Global Activism

Take action now! This course is about transnational networking, organizing, and campaigning for social change, with equal attention for conceptual and substantive issues. Conceptual issues include framing, strategies, tactics, and actors. The issue areas examined are labor, human rights, women’s rights, the environment, peace and disarmament, and anti-globalization. The course zooms in on specific campaigns like global warming, violence against women, and ban-the-bomb. Counter-campaigns are also reviewed and readings on any given issue or campaign always include a critical or dissident voice.

Rice University, History: Karl Marx in Context

Seminar examines the stages of Marx’s thought from 1841 to 1881. Topics include Hegelianism, Feuerbach, the break with ethical thought, the “discovery” of the proletariat, the party, the commodity, the working day, the crisis of capitalism, and alternative models of development.