Course Offerings

This is a listing of all current POV course offerings. There is a separate list of discipline based courses that will count towards the minor either automatically or with permission from your POV advisor. Please be sure to consult your advisor in selecting courses for the poverty minor.

Fall 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

The Economics of Social Issues

ECON 235 - Goldsmith, Arthur H. (Art)

This seminar is based on readings that set out hypotheses developed by economists and other social scientists regarding the causes and consequences of a wide range of social problems. Evidence examining the validity of these hypotheses is scrutinized and evaluated. The course is writing intensive and interdisciplinary since readings are drawn from a wide variety of fields. Topics discussed include, but are not limited to, poverty, education, health, crime, race, ethnicity, immigration, and fiscal matters.

Economics of Education

ECON 236 - Naven, Matthew

Investigation of the role of education on outcomes for both nations and individuals. Understanding of the factors in the education production function. Emphasis on the challenges of pre-K-12 education in the United States; secondary coverage of postsecondary education. Analysis of the effect of existing policies and potential reforms on the achievement and opportunities available to poor and minority students.

Development Economics

ECON 280 - Casey, James F. (Jim)

A survey of the major issues of development economics. Economic structure of low-income countries and primary causes for their limited economic growth. Economic goals and policy alternatives. Role of developed countries in the development of poor countries. Selected case studies.

Literary Approaches to Poverty

ENGL 260 - Miranda, Deborah A.

Examines literary responses to the experience of poverty, imaginative representations of human life in straitened circumstances, and arguments about the causes and consequences of poverty that appear in literature. Critical consideration of dominant paradigms ("the country and the city," "the deserving poor," "the two nations," "from rags to riches," "the fallen woman," "the abyss") augments reading based in cultural contexts. Historical focus will vary according to professor's areas of interest and expertise.

Poverty and Human Capability: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

POV 101 - Sanchez, Shaundel

An exploration of the nature, scope, causes, effects and possible remedies for poverty as a social, moral, political and policy, economic, legal, psychological, religious, and biological problem. The course focuses on domestic poverty but also considers poverty as a global problem.

Poverty and Human Capability: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

POV 101 - Taylor, Erin P.

An exploration of the nature, scope, causes, effects and possible remedies for poverty as a social, moral, political and policy, economic, legal, psychological, religious, and biological problem. The course focuses on domestic poverty but also considers poverty as a global problem.

Fieldwork in Poverty and Human Capability

POV 102 - Charley, Marisa S.

Sustained critical reflection on pivotal issues in poverty studies based on supervised volunteer work, journals, and weekly discussions and papers related to the readings in 101.

Poverty Law

POV 280 - Shaughnessy, Joan M.

Historical and contemporary policy debates about poverty in the United States. Topics include the constitutional treatment of poverty, as well as the legal and policy treatment of questions of access to specific social goods, such as housing, health care, education, and legal services. Coverage of those topics include a look at the federalism dimensions of the legal approach to poverty in the United States. We also examine the intersection of the criminal justice system and poverty and touch on international perspectives on poverty.

Health and Inequality: An Introduction to Medical Sociology

SOAN 278 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

This course introduces sociological perspectives of health and illness. Students examine topics such as social organization of medicine; the social construction of illness; class, race and gender inequalities in health; and health care reform. Some of the questions we address: How is the medical profession changing? What are the pros and cons of market-driven medicine? Does class have an enduring impact on health outcomes? Is it true that we are what our friends' eat? Can unconscious racial bias affect the quality of care for people of different ethnicities? What pitfalls have affected the way evidence-based medicine has been carried out?

Spring 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Medicine, Research, and Poverty

PHIL 247 - Taylor, Erin P.

This seminar introduces students to central ethical issues in the provision of medical care and the conduct of medical research in the context of poverty. Specific topics include medical research on prisoners and the indigent; ancillary care obligations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); meeting the standard of care in LMICs; access to essential medicines; allocation of scarce medical resources; and compensated donation for organs or tissues.

Medicine, Research, and Poverty

POV 247 - Taylor, Erin P.

This seminar introduces students to central ethical issues in the provision of medical care and the conduct of medical research in the context of poverty. Specific topics include medical research on prisoners and the indigent; ancillary care obligations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); meeting the standard of care in LMICs; access to essential medicines; allocation of scarce medical resources; and compensated donation for organs or tissues.

Special Topics in Poverty Studies

POV 296 - Pickett, Howard Y.

An intensive, in-depth examination of particular thinkers, approaches, policies or debates in the field of poverty and human capability studies.

Spring 2020, POV 296-01: Special Topics in Poverty Studies: Justice and Mercy: Philosophical and Religious Perspectives (4). Prerequisite: POV 101. This interdisciplinary community-based seminar takes place at Augusta Correctional Center in Craigsville, Virginia (approximately 35 miles from Lexington), a level-3 (out of 6) medium-security state prison. W&L undergraduates attend class with inmates who are pursuing higher education while in custody at the center. Our focus is mainly on questions related to justice and forgiveness as they relate to governmental/political injustices and atrocities (e.g., the Holocaust, white supremacy, colonialism). (HU) Howard Pickett .

Winter 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity

PHIL 242 - Bell, Melina C.

An exploration of the different range of opportunities available to various social groups, including racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, women, and the poor. Topics include how to define fair equality of opportunity; the social mechanisms that play a role in expanding and limiting opportunity; legal and group-initiated strategies aimed at effecting fair equality of opportunity and the theoretical foundations of these strategies; as well as an analysis of the concepts of equality, merit and citizenship, and their value to individuals and society.

Poverty and Human Capability: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

POV 101 - Pickett, Howard Y.

An exploration of the nature, scope, causes, effects and possible remedies for poverty as a social, moral, political and policy, economic, legal, psychological, religious, and biological problem. The course focuses on domestic poverty but also considers poverty as a global problem.

Fieldwork in Poverty and Human Capability

POV 102 - Diette, Timothy M. (Tim)

Sustained critical reflection on pivotal issues in poverty studies based on supervised volunteer work, journals, and weekly discussions and papers related to the readings in 101.

Respect, Community and the Civic Life

POV 202 - Charley, Marisa S.

This course facilitates improved student understanding of the important intersections of community engagement, respect, and deepening conceptions of the civic life, and focuses on intentional synthesis of students' community engagement and community-based learning experiences (including POV 102, POV 453, and other discipline-based and co-curricular opportunities). Students consider what it means to live in community with others and explore topics of respect and responsibility on individual, institutional, and global scales in ways that unite their own experiences and questions with continued examination of the problems associated with poverty and marginality. A variety of perspectives are provided on what it means to live into the mission of Washington and Lee and the Shepherd Program as thoughtful, engaged citizens prepared to understand and address the causes and consequences of poverty in ways that respect the dignity of all. Students in this course engage in significant reflective work around their own community engagement experiences. As such, it is the expectation that all students enrolled engage in the Rockbridge Area through coursework, continuing community engagement, or other community-based learning opportunity.

Poverty and Human Capability: A Research Seminar

POV 423 - Pickett, Howard Y.

An inquiry into principal factors or agents responsible for the causes, effects, and remedies of poverty. This examination is conducted through reading appropriate in-depth studies from various disciplines and perspectives, and it culminates with an independent research project into specific aspects of poverty drawing on students' internships and respective areas of study and looking forward to their professional work and civic engagement. This seminar serves as a capstone for undergraduate poverty studies and includes second- and third-year law students in Law 391.

Poverty and Human Capability: A Research Seminar

POV 423 - Perez, Marcos E.

An inquiry into principal factors or agents responsible for the causes, effects, and remedies of poverty. This examination is conducted through reading appropriate in-depth studies from various disciplines and perspectives, and it culminates with an independent research project into specific aspects of poverty drawing on students' internships and respective areas of study and looking forward to their professional work and civic engagement. This seminar serves as a capstone for undergraduate poverty studies and includes second- and third-year law students in Law 391.

Race and Ethnic Relations

SOAN 228 - Mondal, Lipon K.

An examination of why and how society creates and maintains racial and ethnic boundaries in the US. We discuss some of the crucial questions, which include: What conditions constitute a privileged group and an oppressed group? Why and how do racial/ethnic minority groups, the poor, and women experience discrimination, oppression, and exclusion in social life? Is there any racial discrimination against privileged racial/ethnic groups? How can ordinary people, policymakers, and social scientists contribute to improving race and ethnic relations among different social groups in the US?

Neighborhoods, Culture, and Poverty

SOAN 266 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

This course examines social-scientific research on the determinants of poverty, crime, and ill health by focusing on neighborhoods as the sites where many of the mechanisms impacting these outcomes operate. In addition to engaging with key readings and participating in seminar discussions, students conduct their own exploratory analyses of neighborhood level processes using a variety of spatial data analysis tools in R.

Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity

WGSS 242 - Bell, Melina C.

An exploration of the different range of opportunities available to various social groups, including racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, women, and the poor. Topics include how to define fair equality of opportunity; the social mechanisms that play a role in expanding and limiting opportunity; legal and group-initiated strategies aimed at effecting fair equality of opportunity and the theoretical foundations of these strategies; as well as an analysis of the concepts of equality, merit and citizenship, and their value to individuals and society