Social Justice Themes Course List

The School of Social Sciences knows that many of our students are interested in social justice issues. To that end, we have compiled a list of Social Science courses that contain content with a social justice focus. Social justice covers a wide variety of issues related to inequality, including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, health/healthcare, climate/environment, politics, income. You will see the social justice focus of each course noted. If you have questions about a specific course on this list, please contact the department that offers it.

If social justice is important to you, please check back! We continue to add courses to this list.

Social Science Courses with a Social Justice Focus
Dept & Course Number Course Title  Restricted to Majors? Social Justice Topics Covered
ANTH 309 Health and Disease in the Past No The course discusses inequities in health care and outcomes in the past, due to racism, sexism, ableism, etc.
ANTH 348 Foundations in Critical Medical Anthropology No Students examine the ways in which socially-constructed categories of difference such as race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ability shape the experiences of group health outcomes and access to health care and develop a more nuanced understanding of how society, social categories, and power impact the health of individuals and communities.
COUN 570 Multicultural Counseling Yes Topics include: implicit bias, mental health disparities, racialized trauma, intergenerational transmission of trauma, achievement gaps
GEP 203 Introduction to Human Geography No; GE-D2 The course examines power relations at embodies and wider scales through the historical geographies of colonization and globalization
GEP 206 Society, Environment, and Sustainable Development No; GE-E Through the semester-long question of “how do we understand unsustainable development” we take a deep dive into environmental (in)justice, while also explores prescriptions to address those issues
GEP 280
(formerly GEP 202)
Quantitative Methods Yes This quantitative class includes a module working with data around social justice issues (e.g., killings by police officers, racial statistics of people who are incarcerated in the U.S.)
GEP 318
(formerly GEP 443)
Agroecology in Practice No Social justice is a foundational core to agroecology and is woven into nearly every class meeting.
GEP 320 Geopolitics No The course focuses upon a critical deconstruction of spaces of insecurity, first on the scale of bodies enduring insecurity, and then upscale to look at communities, nation-states, and global processes catalyzing insecurity at a variety of scales. 
GEP 324 Climate Change and Society No Climate injustice is a central theme throughout the course. Understanding the specific geographies of costs imposed upon specific places and social groups is a primary underlying theme
GEP 336 Environmental Law No This course addresses race, ethnicity, climate, environmental, political, and income issues.
GEP 371 Social Geography No; GE-E Fundamental to the study of social geography is considering who gets what, where, and why. In this course, we examine processes of exclusion, exploitation, and deprivation that construct difference and inequality in relation to race, class, gender, and spirituality. Linking economic, social, and political systems, we discuss the core areas of community and nationalism, health and wellbeing, environment and society, and social activism and resistance to help us determine the manner in which social structures connect society to space.
GEP 422 
(formerly GEP 322)
Globalization and Environments No Through the lens of development, students learn about people and places around the world that have been and are still being exploited by others and about the efforts by exploited groups to improve their well-being.
GEP 447 Conservation Biology No Social justice issues as they relate to conservation are discussed throughout the course
GEP 360 Introduction to Planning Yes Equity and race issues are brought up with some frequency during this course.
GEP 372 Transportation Planning Yes Equity and race issues are brought up with some frequency during this course.
GEP 379 Land Use and Water Resources Planning Yes

Equity is a central theme in the discussions and analysis of cases throughout the course. For example, students discuss the causes and impacts of inequality in water access and water quality issues and how to solve them.

HIST 424 Tolerance and Intolerance in Europe No This class explores discrimination in European Middle Ages.
HIST 446 Women in American History No This class explores the role of women in American history.
HIST 468 Blacks in American History No This class explores African-American history from slavery to freedom.
HIST 498 The Civil Rights Movement
(Senior Seminar)
Yes The Civil Rights Movement is the focus of this class.
PSY 490 Diversity Leadership Yes Project-based learning with a focus on the Big 8 of Diversity. Assignments, guest speakers, videos, lectures, and reflections educate and empower students to become diversity leaders for underrepresented groups.
WGS 200 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies No; GE-E Foregrounds intersectional feminist analyses: how gender is co-constituted with race, sexuality, nation, ability, economy, and other forms of social power. Students learn about the field of WGS, feminist analysis, interdisciplinary methods, and social justice.
WGS 201 Feminist Lecture Series No This course consists of presentations and discussions of current issues from feminist and/or queer perspectives.
WGS 255 Introduction to Queer Studies No; GE-D1 This course is an introduction to the field of Queer Studies by analyzing the role of race, gender, sexuality, and nationalism in the social construction of modern gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (GLBTQ) identities
WGS 300 Gender, Race, and Representation No; GE-C1 and Ethnic Studies In this course, students learn and apply intersectional feminist theory, critical race studies, and cultural studies approaches to media and arts.
WGS 302 Queer Studies Lecture Series No This course consists of presentations and discussions of ethical, literary, activist, intellectual, and artistic approaches to society and culture from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer perspectives.
WGS 305 LGBTQ U.S. History No; GE-D3 This course explores historical development of institutions, ideals, social and cultural transformations, and economic and political processes in the U.S. since colonization with a focus on the evolution of sexual and gender diversity.
WGS 325 Youth: Gender Perspectives No This course examines youth, focusing on the complex interconnections of gender, race/ethnicity, social class, sexuality, and other factors in understanding the experiences and social conditions of youth in the U.S.
WGS 370 Gender in Asian America  No This course examines gender, race, class, and sexuality in Asian America. We consider how Asian American women and men fit into debates about sexism and racism in the United States - historically and contemporarily. 
WGS 375 Gender, Race, and Class No; GE-D1 and Ethnic Studies An exploration of the intersection of gender, race, and class through a historical approach to the formations of social and political movements, the construction and policing of identity categories, and demands for equality and justice.
WGS 385 Transnational Feminisms Yes Through feminist analytical lenses, this course examines transnational movement of goods, bodies, practices, ideologies, and culture. Explores connections between lives and cultures of people in diverse places with those in the U.S. Topics may include labor, migration, cultural production, diasporic literature and art, activism, and state violence.
WGS 425 Feminist Research Methodologies Yes (WIC) A feminist critique of traditional methods of constructing knowledge & research practices and a discussion of gender-inclusive research strategies.
WGS 450 Woman of Color Feminisms No Taking an interdisciplinary approach centering theory, writing, and literature by women of color, we examine intersections of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality and other categories of power for U.S. women of color. Key themes include: politics of representation, stigmatization, state and interpersonal violence, economic justice, reproductive justice, queerness/sexuality, and strategies of empowerment and resistance.
WGS 455 Queer and Trans Theory and Lives No This advanced interdisciplinary course explores historical and contemporary queer and transgender theory to better engage with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender culture, lives, and politics. Particular focus is given to intersecting analyses of race, class, ability, nation, and other forms of social power.
WGS 474 Foundations of Feminist Thought No Exploration of concepts and authors in diverse feminist theory and praxis from the past three centuries.
WGS 475 Contemporary Feminist Theory No Students examine how feminist theory addresses the complex relationship between race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and nation as they relate to the production of knowledge, the implementation of theory and practice, and social change/activism.