Colgate University

First-Year Course Offerings — Fall 2020

FSEM 186   Protest Injust/Waging Nonviol
RestrictionsNo 2023 2022 2021 Instr perm req during Drop/Add
DistributionSocial Relations,Inst.& Agents
Core AreaGlobal Engagements

Faculty Profile for Professor Thomson

Protesting Injustice, Waging Nonviolence

"Why, when and how do ordinary people organize collectively to challenge political, social, and economic injustice? Drawing on case studies, peace-building theories, and social justice-themed documentaries, students analyze popular mobilization against injustice in both American and international settings.

The course theorizes feminist modes of organizing across different case studies to ask, how can individuals organize to contest injustice. Students focus on intersectional modes of contestation, to illuminate the axes of class, gender, and race in challenging injustice. As such, students examine social justice organizing at the community and individual level.

Students explore theoretical approaches to understanding mobilization against injustice, including those centered on self-interest, moral outrage, social networks, political opportunity, and movement culture. Films that document the experience of injustice as well as the process of mobilization are an integral part of the course. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for PCON 240 and satisfy the social relations, institutions, and agents areas of inquiry requirement, as well as the global engagements requirement.

Susan Thomson is in her 9th year at Colgate, teaching courses in lived experiences of violence and war, research methodologies and feminist practice. Before becoming a professor, Professor Thomson worked as a human rights lawyer in the international system, at the Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. My research focuses on state-society relations in Africa, particularly in Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa. I also write about the ethics of fieldwork with violence-affected and marginalized communities. At Colgate, I direct two academic programs, Core Communities and Identities and the Women's Studies Program. I also direct the University of Cape Town study group.