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 2021

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.

Economics of Education

ECON 236 - Naven, Matthew (Matt)

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.

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.

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.

Introduction to Community-Based Poverty Studies

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.

Poverty and Marginality in the Americas

SOAN 263 - Perez, Marcos E.

In recent decades, some global transformations have increased inequality and marginality in various regions of the world. Neoliberalism has generated both opportunities and challenges to human development In different countries. This course focuses on how the undermining of safety nets, the decline of models of economic growth centered on state intervention, and the internationalization of labor markets have affected societies in Latin America and the United States. Students analyze the structural causes of marginality and how the experience of poverty varies for people in both regions. We rely on anthropological and sociological studies to address key questions. How do disadvantaged individuals and families in the Americas deal with the challenges brought about by deindustrialization, violence, and environmental degradation? How do their communities struggle to sustain public life? What are the processes causing many people to migrate from one region to the other?

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 2021

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.

Ethnographies of Global Poverty

POV 258 - Sanchez, Shaundel

When we research poverty, we tend to look first to large international organizations, such as the World Bank and United Nations, but given their emphases on data, statistics, and economic theory, we are left with an understanding of poverty without a human face. One rarely comes across discussions of global poverty derived from the everyday lives of people living in poverty. In this course, we learn about poverty through ethnographic accounts written by anthropologists. These accounts demonstrate that people living in poverty have names, ambitions, and histories, and their everyday lives are interconnected with our own in more ways than we imagine.

Ethnographies of Global Poverty

SOAN 258 - Sanchez, Shaundel

When we research poverty, we tend to look first to large international organizations, such as the World Bank and United Nations, but given their emphases on data, statistics, and economic theory, we are left with an understanding of poverty without a human face. One rarely comes across discussions of global poverty derived from the everyday lives of people living in poverty. In this course, we learn about poverty through ethnographic accounts written by anthropologists. These accounts demonstrate that people living in poverty have names, ambitions, and histories, and their everyday lives are interconnected with our own in more ways than we imagine.

Winter 2021

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.

Urban Economics

ECON 229 - Shester, Katharine L.

A study of the economics of cities. Students discuss why cities exist, what determines city growth, and how firms make city location decisions. We then shift our focus to within-city location decisions, and we discuss land-use patterns, housing, and neighborhoods. Our discussion of housing and neighborhoods focus on a number of issues related to urban poverty, including the effects of segregation and housing policies on the poor.

Health Economics

ECON 237 - Yewell, Katherine G. (Katie)

An overview of the determinants of health using standard microeconomic models to analyze individual behavior, markets, institutions, and policies that influence health and health care. The primary focus of the course is the United States but also includes comparisons to health systems in other developed countries and very limited coverage of developing countries. Particular emphasis is given to challenges faced by disadvantaged groups. The course includes an optional service-learning component with placements involving health issues and/or health care services in Rockbridge County.

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 - 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.

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.

Anthropology of Public Policy

POV 257 - Sanchez, Shaundel

Traditionally, political scientists, economists, and even sociologists have mainly studied policy. In this course, we explore how anthropologists are uniquely positioned to read, understand, and interpret different policies and their effects through anthropological training. By using a variety of methods, anthropologists provide essential contributions to the field of public policy. We analyze how anthropologists have provided a unique perspective on problems caused particular policies, the success of some policies, the meanings policies hold for various types of actors, and the ways people engage with policies. Additionally, we learn how policies create social spaces and actors, manage populations, and transform political systems. Some of the policies we will discuss involve welfare, the family, the environment, humanitarianism, and immigration. We conclude by discussing ethical dilemmas related to the anthropology of policy. Upon completing this course, students will understand how anthropology contributes to the critique, analysis, and implementation of various types of policies.

Child Abuse and Neglect Seminar

POV 295 - Buske, Sheryl L.

This seminar examines the response of the legal system to issues of child abuse and neglect. Attempts by courts and legislators to define abuse and neglect are reviewed and critiqued. The seminar also explores the legal framework which governs state intervention to protect children from abuse and neglect. Attention is paid to both state and federal law, including the federal constitutional issues which arise in many child abuse and neglect proceedings. Issues relating to the professional responsibilities of lawyers involved in abuse and neglect proceedings are examined.

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.

Poverty and Human Capability: A Research Seminar

POV 423 - Goldsmith, Arthur H. (Art)

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.

Anthropology of Public Policy

SOAN 257 - Sanchez, Shaundel

Traditionally, political scientists, economists, and even sociologists have mainly studied policy. In this course, we explore how anthropologists are uniquely positioned to read, understand, and interpret different policies and their effects through anthropological training. By using a variety of methods, anthropologists provide essential contributions to the field of public policy. We analyze how anthropologists have provided a unique perspective on problems caused particular policies, the success of some policies, the meanings policies hold for various types of actors, and the ways people engage with policies. Additionally, we learn how policies create social spaces and actors, manage populations, and transform political systems. Some of the policies we will discuss involve welfare, the family, the environment, humanitarianism, and immigration. We conclude by discussing ethical dilemmas related to the anthropology of policy. Upon completing this course, students will understand how anthropology contributes to the critique, analysis, and implementation of various types of policies.

States, Data, and Population Policies in the Americas

SOAN 264 - Eastwood, Jonathan R. (Jon)

While concentrating on the societies of the Americas, students focus on two of the main domains within which states seek to understand and influence populations: policies governing the collection of information about their residents, such as the census, and those governing migration. The course is made up of two interwoven parts, a traditional seminar portion that examines such policies from the perspective of historical sociology and a data-lab portion in which we perform exploratory visualization of historical and contemporary census and migration data from the region, using the "tidyverse" suite of R packages. We reflect critically on our own work, making use of perspectives afforded by the historical sociology portion of the course.

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

Advanced Seminar in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

WGSS 396 - Bell, Melina C.

This course provides an opportunity for advanced students to explore in detail some aspect of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Specific topics may vary and may be determined, in part, by student interest. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.