Below are a few examples, but we urge you to talk to your major/departmental advisor and explore available courses in SPIRE. Remember not to constrain yourself to classes within your major.
LEGAL 375 - Human Rights and Wrongs: Introduction to humanitarian law. Topics include theory and history of international human rights law, growth and nature of human rights organizations, regional human rights schemes, etc.
COMM 387 - Media, PR, and Propaganda: This course looks at how the industries of media and public relations have been used as instruments of social control and propaganda by economic and political elites.
COMM 250 - Interpersonal Communication: This course introduces non-majors to a variety of competing theories of interpersonal behavior and everyday social interaction and provides them with new ways of thinking about the social situations in which they participate and interact
191 STPEC 2 - Pioneer Valley Political Activism & Community Organizing: In this seminar, you will attend four meetings with local people who identify as activists and/or community organizers. The other class sessions will provide opportunities to discuss the visitors' presentations along with related readings.
ANTHRO 380 - Grassroots Community Organizing: This course examines how marginalized communities organize to combat racial, economic, and political injustices. Student facilitation, grassroots community partnerships, and an alternative spring break experience enable a unique learning community.
SOCIOL 224 - Social Class & Inequality: The nature of social classes in society from the viewpoint of differences in economic power, political power, and social status. Why stratification exists, its internal dynamics, and its effects on individuals, subgroups, and the society as a whole. Problems of poverty and the uses of power.
RESECON 121 - Hunger in the Global Economy: Explores the causes of hunger (chronic under nutrition) from an economic perspective. Focus on how population growth and economic development are increasing demand for food and on the prospects for food production to supply those needs at affordable prices, while sustaining the environment.
Depending on your main area of interest, your academic pathway will shift. To explore this field, you can take courses that will provide you with knowledge and skills in:
- Critical thinking - you will learn to reflect upon and evaluate your own ideas and to analyze problems using evidence-based information.
- Communication skills - you will learn to actively listen to others and to articulate your ideas in writing and verbally in a way that will help you achieve your goals.
- Teamwork - advocacy and activism are all about working with others to achieve a common goal. Through class projects and discussions, community engagement, and internship experiences, you will learn to skillfully build community, exchange ideas, collaborate, and you will gain many more qualities of a person people want on their team.