Enduring Global and American Issues

The US and the global community face a number of complex, interconnected and enduring issues that pose challenges for our political and policy governance institutions and society at large. These include sustainability, social justice, technology, public health, security and conflict, and globalization, among others. Students will investigate these issues, and the challenges they pose, through weekly case studies, class discussions, lectures and guest speakers, guided by a number of robust and generalizable analytical frameworks.

Sexuality and the Law

This course will explore how American law and policy have confronted and continue to confront issues of sexuality. The focus will primarily be on how law and policy treat lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. While 2015 brought marriage equality and 2020 brought federal protections in employment, the fight for full LGBTQ equality continues. The class will discuss this fight's legal history and current status. Current debates, Constitutional and otherwise, will also be explored around topics such as the First Amendment and LGBTQ family formation. The potential effects that the 2022 abortion rights decision may have on LGBTQ rights will also be addressed. This course will provide a grounding in the contours of current sexuality law and policy while delving into some emerging areas that remain ripe for new policy formation. Students will also learn how to read and brief legal opinions. The class will be taught primarily through a legal lens, but prior legal education or experience is neither required nor expected. The course will be taught through a hybrid combination of lecture and seminar-style discussion and a few guest speakers directly involved in the debate.