Social Sciences Series

The Social Sciences Series offers two courses (“Revolutions” and “Constitutions”) to provide a complete picture of revolutions and constitutions in their historical and political contexts. The lectures are supplemented by speakers from a range of disciplines, from theater to Black studies.

GN_HON 2245H: Revolutions

An in-depth look at the American Revolution, this course has two primary goals: (1) To understand revolutions not as heroic endeavors but as messy, complicated affairs that introduce new problems as they solve old ones and circumscribe liberties for some as they secure them for others; (2) To think, in a global sense, about how revolutionary goals and movements not only feed off one another, but also diverge from one another to fit the needs and oppressive circumstances of different polities.

GN_HON 2246H: Constitutions

Constitutions shape practically every aspect of modern life. In the United States, the federal Constitution not only defines a political community – “We the People” – it also articulates laws, enumerates rights, scaffolds how we debate justice, and even helps outline principles for living a good life. Yet, we rarely stop to consider what a constitution is, how the idea of constitutions emerged, or what constitutions seek to achieve. This course invites students to explore these questions through an interdisciplinary examination of how early American constitution-making connects with and compares to a global history of constitutions.