Part 1 - Arguing Affirmative Action: Sandel describes the 1996 court case of a white woman named Cheryl Hopwood who was denied admission to a Texas law school, even though she had higher grades and test scores than some of the minority applicants who were admitted. Hopwood took her case to court, arguing the school’s affirmative action program violated her rights. Students discuss the pros and cons of affirmative action. Part 2 - What's ...more
This course introduces the viewer to African-American history, with particular emphasis on the political thought and protest movements of the period after 1930, focusing on selected individuals who have shaped and been shaped by modern African-American struggles for freedom and justice.
An intensive introduction to African American political thought that focuses on major ideological trends and political philosophies as they have been applied and interpreted by African Americans. Elements of the class include debates and conflicts in black political thought, historical contest of African American social movements, and discussions of the relationship between black political thought and major trends in Western thought. Mar...more
Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts (HIST 251)In this lecture Professor Wrightson discusses the Restoration settlement of 1660 and the reigns of Charles II and James II. He highlights the manner in which tensions between the crown and the political nation slowly escalated during Charles's reign (as a result of his attempts to grant religious toleration, unpopular wars against the Dutch and dip...more
The Apocalypse of John showed an anti-Roman, politically revolutionary perspective. This is in contrast with Paul's writing in Romans 13, which calls for submission to governmental authorities - although passages in 1 Corinthians may be said to contradict this. 2 Thessalonians, a pseudonymous letter, also preaches a politically conservative and accommodative message, as does 1 Peter. Interestingly, these letters do not discard or ignore ap...more
The Apocalypse, or the Revelation of John, shares many of the traits found in apocalyptic literature: it operates in dualisms--earthly events contrasted with heavenly ones, present time with the imminent future, and it calls for cultural and political resistance. Its structure is like a spiral, presenting cycle after cycle of building tension and reprieve, so that the reader who experiences the text also experiences crisis and then cathars...more
The final Enlightenment tradition left to be explored in this course is social contract theory, for which we must return to Locke and somehow secularize his views and reconcile them with the refutation of natural rights. Modern social contract theorists replace natural rights with Kant's categorical imperatives, and accept the Aristotelian notion that there is no such thing as pre-political man. They approach the social contract as a hypot...more
Milton's political tract Areopagitica is discussed at length. The author's complicated take on state censorship and licensing, both practiced by the English government with respect to printed materials at the time, is examined. His eclectic use of pagan mythology, Christian scripture, and the metaphors of eating and digestion in defense of his position are probed. Lastly, Milton's insistence that moral truths must be examined and tested in...more
The lecture begins with an introduction of Aristotle's life and works which constitute thematic treatises on virtually every topic, from biology to ethics to politics. Emphasis is placed on the Politics, in which Aristotle expounds his view on the naturalness of the city and his claim that man is a political animal by nature.