College of Social Studies

The College of Social Studies (CSS) offers a distinctive blend of teaching methods, subject matter, and educational structure. Its collegial organization combines tutorials and courses in social theory within the college with individually selected courses from other departments and programs in the University to achieve an integrated education in the social sciences. Founded in 1959, the CSS has provided an unusual educational opportunity for many Wesleyan students whose careers upon graduation have ranged from medicine to law, forestry to college teaching, international business to screenwriting.

Faculty

Richard P. Adelstein
BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; JD, University of Pennsylvania; MAA, Wesleyan University; MAT, Harvard University; PHD, University of Pennsylvania
Woodhouse/Sysco Professor of Economics; Professor of Economics; Tutor, College of Social Studies

John P. Bonin
BA, Boston College; MA, University of Rochester; PHD, University of Rochester
Chester D. Hubbard Professor of Economics and Social Science; Professor of Economics; Tutor, College of Social Studies; Professor, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Sonali Chakravarti
BA, Swarthmore College; MA, Yale University; MPHIL, Yale University; PHD, Yale University
Associate Professor of Government; Tutor, College of Social Studies

Douglas C. Foyle
AB, Stanford University; MA, Duke University; PHD, Duke University
Associate Professor of Government; Tutor, College of Social Studies

Giulio Gallarotti
BA, Hunter College; PHD, Columbia University
Professor of Government; Co-Chair, College of Social Studies; Tutor, College of Social Studies; Professor, Environmental Studies

Erik Grimmer-Solem
BA, Brigham Young University; DPHIL, Oxford University; MPHIL, Cambridge University; MSC, London School of Economics and Political Science
Associate Professor of History; Tutor, College of Social Studies; Associate Professor, German Studies

Kerwin Kaye
BA, University of Colorado Boulder; MA, University San Francisco; PHD, New York University
Assistant Professor of Sociology; Tutor, College of Social Studies; Assistant Professor, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Ioana Emy Matesan
MA, Arizona State University; PHD, Syracuse University
Assistant Professor of Government; Tutor, College of Social Studies

Cecilia Miller
BA, LeTourneau College; DPHIL, Oxford University; MPHIL, University of St Andrews
Professor of History; Co-Chair, College of Social Studies; Tutor, College of Social Studies; Professor, Medieval Studies; Professor, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

J. Donald Moon
BA, University Minnesota Mpls; MA, University of California, Berkeley; PHD, University Minnesota Mpls
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Professor in the College of Social Studies; Professor of Government; Professor, Environmental Studies; Tutor, College of Social Studies

Wendy Rayack
BA, Oberlin College; MA, University of Wisconsin; PHD, University of Wisconsin
Associate Professor of Economics; Tutor, College of Social Studies

Peter Rutland
BA, Oxford University; DPHIL, York University
Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought; Professor of Government; Director, Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life; Professor, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies; Tutor, College of Social Studies

Damien Francis Sheehan-Connor
BA, Amherst College; MD, Tufts University; PHD, University Calif Santa Bar
Associate Professor of Economics; Tutor, College of Social Studies

Gilbert L. Skillman
BA, University Kentucky Lexngt; MA, University of Michigan; PHD, University of Michigan
Professor of Economics; Tutor, College of Social Studies

Victoria Smolkin
BA, Sarah Lawrence College; PHD, University of California, Berkeley
Assistant Professor of History; Assistant Professor, Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies; Tutor, College of Social Studies

Sarah E. Wiliarty
BA, Harvard University; MA, University of California, Berkeley; PHD, University of California, Berkeley
Associate Professor of Government; Tutor, College of Social Studies; Associate Professor, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Associate Professor, German Studies

Departmental Advising Experts

Giulio Gallarotti; Cecilia Miller

CSS220 Sophomore Economics Tutorial: Topics in the History of Economic Thought

This tutorial will consider alternative visions of capitalism as they have unfolded in the economic literature since Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations in 1776. By ¿capitalism¿ is meant, loosely, an economic system based on market exchange and the private ownership of productive assets; that is, the system which arose in Western Europe roughly five hundred years ago and which now increasingly pervades human society. Necessarily this survey is somewhat selective. In particular, rudimentary knowledge of the neoclassical paradigm (the basis of modern mainstream economics) is taken for granted, and fans of such stalwarts as Thorstein Veblen and Joan Robinson are likely to be disappointed. Our strategy for dealing with severe strictures of time will be to focus our studies primarily on the work of three thinkers who have defined much of the ground for subsequent analysis and debate in political economy, i.e. Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes. We will also study some of the contributions of Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo to the classical school of thought, as well as the contributions of American economist John Bates Clark to the neoclassical ¿marginalist¿ framework. You are encouraged to make regular, though not exclusive, use of the analytical tools acquired in introductory microeconomics; these may serve to provide a common ground for assessing arguments emerging from vastly different conceptual and analytical frameworks.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.50
Gen Ed Area: SBS-ECON
Prereq: None

CSS230 Sophomore Government Tutorial: State and Society in the Modern Age

This course analyses the core political institutions of Western democracy as they have evolved over the past 200 years. The European model of the nation-state and capitalist economy became something which other countries around the world were forced to emulate or combat.

Political scientists pose the same questions as do philosophers and historians: the relationship between the individual and society, and the conditions under which efficient and just systems of government emerge. Political scientists range over the same historical evidence as the other disciplines, although they tend to spend less time on dead people than do historians. The difference is mainly in method and approach. Political scientists look for systemic explanations, for structural patterns across many cases. Historians revel in the specificity of individual cases and the uniqueness of history, but political scientists feel uncomfortable when forced to deal with specific cases. While philosophers judge empirical reality against abstract principles, political scientists stick with evidence from the material world.

The purpose of this course is to introduce some of the most important ideas and authors on the evolution of the modern state and political movements. Unlike economics, which has a set of very clear and unified theoretical principles, there is no agreement among political scientists about how to analyze these topics. Liberalism is broadly accepted as the only legitimate frame of reference, having fought off the Marxist challenge, but within liberalism there are divergent approaches as to the scope for democracy, the role of the state, and the relative merits of stability and change. Mid-range theories, more exactly approaches, come in and out of fashion. This tutorial introduces you to some of the most influential writers in the political science tradition and the box of tools they have used to tackle these problems.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.50
Gen Ed Area: SBS-GOVT
Prereq: None

CSS240 Sophomore History Tutorial: The Emergence of Modern Europe

This intensive survey of European history from the French Revolution to the present will consider European history in terms of many types of history, often from conflicting perspectives, including, for example, political history, economic history, social history, women's history, intellectual history, and psycho history. Throughout the history tutorial, emphasis will be placed on developing students' skills in reading, writing, and debating. The history tutorial is designed to ground students in modern European history and also to develop students' ability to master related materials in the future.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.50
Gen Ed Area: SBS-HIST
Prereq: None

CSS271 Sophomore Colloquium: Modern Social Theory

This colloquium examines a number of competing conceptual frameworks in the social sciences derived from major political philosophers and social theorists, such as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Freud.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-GOVT
Prereq: None

CSS320 Junior Economics Tutorial: Economics of the Welfare State

The role that government plays in the lives of ordinary citizens has evolved dramatically over the past several decades. Even in the "free market" United States, spending on income security, health, and public pensions has increased from less than 10 percent of government spending in the 1950s to more than half of spending today. This tutorial will explore the economic justifications for, and impacts of, this evolution of the role of government. Particular attention will be paid to the theory of social insurance with emphasis on government involvement in the healthcare system. Additional topics will include public pensions, unemployment insurance, and antipoverty programs.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-ECON
Prereq: None

CSS330 Junior Government Tutorial: Political Leadership

Political leadership is a term we often hear from journalists, politicians, and even friends and family. It's commonly heard as part of the phrase "failure of political leadership." But, what does political leadership mean? If the concept of political leadership is to be useful, it has to mean more than "I think it's that politician's fault that I did not get my desired outcome." This course explores a variety of frameworks for understanding political leadership. We will address questions such as: What makes good or bad leadership? Does political leadership depend on context? What is the relationship between leadership and followership? Not a course focused on American political leadership, this course examines leadership in a range of different cross-national contexts.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-GOVT
Prereq: None

CSS340 Junior History Tutorial: Post-Imperial History, 1945--1990

This tutorial will survey selected themes and subjects in the postwar history of former European colonies and imperial possessions, focusing specifically on the process of decolonization and nation building in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. The tutorial will consider the legacy of imperialism, the development of nationalism and independence movements, and the challenges posed to newly independent states in the context of the Cold War. It will also analyze the problems of trade relations with the West and the challenge of sustained economic development. The tutorial aims to compliment the sophomore history tutorial (CSS 240) by building on its methods and foundations to broaden the horizon in order to consider the process of modernization in a non-European setting. Throughout we will be testing the possibilities and limits of postcolonial theory as a tool for analyzing the postwar history of modern Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and former Indochina. The tutorial aims to impart a basic understanding of the postwar history of former European colonies and to develop some of the skills needed to write longer research papers.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-HIST
Prereq: None

CSS371 Junior Colloquium: Liberalism and Its Discontents

This course presents an overview of social and political theories developed in the post-World War II period. It focuses particular attention upon developments within Liberal political theory during this time, examining this scholarship both for the insights it offers and for the ways in which these ideas have been used to obscure oppressive social relations. Considering the general contours of the Liberal tradition--particularly its relationship to forms of social domination such as colonialism, racism, class inequality, and gender and sexual oppression--the course moves through an examination of canonical thinkers who have both challenged and contributed to Liberal social thought. Taking the ruminations of Nazi jurist Carl Schmidt as a problematic yet demanding provocation, the course asks in part how successfully Liberal theorists have resolved the dilemmas Schmidt identifies within Liberalism (or if, indeed, fascist tendencies pervade Liberal social thought, as Schmidt contends). Theorists within the Liberal tradition such as Friedrich Hayek, Hannah Arendt, and Jürgen Habermas are joined by critics such as Franz Fanon, Carole Pateman, and Michel Foucault in this critical overview of contemporary Liberal social theory. Through this examination of recent interventions in Liberal thinking regarding the social, this class is meant to provide students with an opportunity to think through ways in which various contemporary approaches to social issues both invoke and reformulate political debates of long standing.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-PHIL
Prereq: None

CSS391 Senior Colloquium: Crime and Punishment

This course considers the American criminal law, the procedures through which it is enforced and the nature of criminal punishment from a variety of perspectives. We will begin with the criminal law itself, its moral foundations and assumptions, the essential elements of criminal liability and several of the law's more important doctrines and rules. We will then turns to the institutions of enforcement and punishment, the police, the public prosecutor, the criminal courts and the system of punishment, to see how they work "on the ground" and compare this to the ideals of the law. Finally, we will put the American system in international perspective by comparing it to European institutions of criminal justice.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-ECON
Prereq: None

CSS401 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F

CSS402 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F

CSS407 Senior Tutorial (downgraded thesis)

Downgraded Senior Thesis Tutorial - Project to be arranged in consultation with the tutor. Only enrolled in through the Honors Coordinator.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

CSS408 Senior Tutorial (downgraded thesis)

Downgraded Senior Thesis Tutorial - Project to be arranged in consultation with the tutor. Only enrolled in through the Honors Coordinator.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F

CSS409 Senior Thesis Tutorial

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F

CSS410 Senior Thesis Tutorial

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F

CSS411 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

CSS412 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

CSS419 Student Forum

Student-run group tutorial, sponsored by a faculty member and approved by the chair of a department or program.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U

CSS420 Student Forum

Student-run group tutorial, sponsored by a faculty member and approved by the chair of a department or program.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U

CSS465 Education in the Field, Undergraduate

Students must consult with the department and class dean in advance of undertaking education in the field for approval of the nature of the responsibilities and method of evaluation.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

CSS467 Independent Study, Undergraduate

Credit may be earned for an independent study during a summer or authorized leave of absence provided that (1) plans have been approved in advance, and (2) all specified requirements have been satisfied.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

CSS469 Education in the Field, Undergraduate

Students must consult with the department and class dean in advance of undertaking education in the field for approval of the nature of the responsibilities and method of evaluation.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: None
Prereq: None

CSS491 Teaching Apprentice Tutorial

The teaching apprentice program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to assist in teaching a faculty member's course for academic credit.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U

CSS492 Teaching Apprentice Tutorial

The teaching apprentice program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to assist in teaching a faculty member's course for academic credit.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT