Social Justice

Concentration Director: Lisa Uddin, Art History


About the Concentration

Students in the Social Justice concentration will acquire a foundational knowledge of social justice theory and practice, synthesizing coursework related to social justice from a variety of departments, and connecting academic exploration of social justice with work in education, activism, the nonprofit sector, and other community contexts. Students will consider the ways that structural power dynamics and policies produce and reproduce a variety of inequalities. Students will critically reflect on their own positionality and responsibility related to power and privilege, and study the ways that different power dynamics related to identity and difference function and intersect with one another. Finally, students will consider the relationship between social justice scholarship and practice both through studying historical and contemporary social movements and strategies for social change, and through a community engagement project that involves sustained work with a community organization or social movement.

Please contact the director of the Social Justice concentration for a complete list of concentration-affiliated faculty who are available to serve as advisors. Students may declare the concentration at any time until the first semester of their senior year.

Learning Goals

Students in the Social Justice concentration will:

  • Develop an understanding of the ways that systems, institutions, and policies (for example, historical, economic, political, cultural, or religious systems) produce and reproduce conditions of domination & inequality.
  • Reflect critically on their own positionality and responsibility in the context of power, privilege, and structures of inequity.
  • Bring theories and historical and contemporary movements for justice and liberation into critical dialogue with one another.
  • Consider the relationship between social justice scholarship and social justice practices outside of academic contexts.

Programs of Study


Credits 4

This course will introduce students to the basics of social justice work through engagement with a variety of intellectual traditions and models of practice. Topics covered will include: theorizing structural inequalities; power and privilege; social movements; and models of community organizing and advocacy for social change. The course will culminate in the student’s proposal of an “Action & Change” project that will engage course themes and concepts in a community context, and will form a core part of the remaining concentration work

Credits 1

This course will offer a space for reflection and critical engagement for students pursuing the Project for Action & Change in the course of their Social Justice concentration. The course will ask students to situate their project within a social justice framework and critically engage different approaches to social justice practice (e.g. through social movements, nonprofit work, education). The course will culminate in a reflective project that integrates the student’s work in the concentration and proposes a public-facing integrative component. Social Justice 310 must be completed by the end of fall semester of a student’s senior year and should be taken concurrently to or immediately after (in the case of a summer project) the student’s Project for Action & Change.


Social Justice 110; and consent of instructor.