ES.246 | Fall 2004 | Undergraduate

Current Events and Social Issues


Regular Assignment

In addition to the weekly readings and other assignments, students are expected to read, watch, or listen to the news from multiple sources every day of the week. We encourage you to read news media from around the world.

Some English language news sources that we recommend include:



The Boston Globe

The Economist

The Guardian


The L.A. Times

Le Monde Diplomatique

The Nation

National Review

The New York Times



The Wall Street Journal

The Washington Post

You can also see for an enormous list of newspapers, magazines, and other news sources from around the world.

1 Introduction and Political Systems of Thought Take the quiz at The Political Compass.
2 What is a just war? Were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan just?  
3 What is a just war? Were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan just? (cont.)  
4 Is pornography sexist? Should it be regulated?  
5 How should we treat criminals? What constitutes “cruel and unusual” punishment?  
6 Should we legalize marijuana? How should we treat other drugs? Movie: Mann, Ron. Grass. 1999.

What is the future of Social Security

Guest Speaker: Toh Ne Win from Goldman Sachs

8 In what forms does discrimination exist in our society today? Should the government step in to stop discrimination?

Look around at Black People Love Us.

Find a modern-day work of fiction, movie clip, website, essay, piece of art, song, or other work that you find racist or sexist. Please bring it in if possible and be prepared to discuss it in class.

9 Is outsourcing of jobs a problem? If so, what should we do? Class Debate: Prepare a ten minute argument, coordinated with your assigned group.
10 The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Where can we go from here?  
11 Should abortion be regulated?  
12 Genocide in Rwanda and Sudan: How should we react? Movie: Bradshaw, Steve. Rwanda: The Triumph of Evil. PBS Frontline. 1998.
13 Is it ever right to break the law?  

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2004
Learning Resource Types
Activity Assignments