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
Professor of History; Tutor, College of Social Studies; 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; Professor, Medieval Studies; Tutor, College of Social 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; Chair, Government; Tutor, College of Social Studies; Professor, Environmental Studies

Wendy Rayack
BA, Oberlin College; MA, University of Wisconsin at Madison; PHD, University of Wisconsin at Madison
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
Associate Professor of History; Tutor, College of Social Studies; Associate Professor, Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian 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 Tutorial analyzes the emergence and functioning of the modern nation state, primarily in the West. We are interested in how the nation state came into being and what forms of government have evolved over the past 200 years or so. We will also examine a variety of challenges to the nation state, including modernization, the deepening of democracy and the development of the European Union. Throughout the class, our focus will be on the question of what is required for the emergence and maintenance of a democratic political system.

When political scientists approach these issues, we are looking for generalities and systemic explanations. We seek to draw out common theoretical principles from a variety of diverse empirical cases. Political scientists may ask questions such as: What forces in a society tend to produce democratic outcomes? Under what conditions is a revolution more or less likely? Where does sovereignty rest? There isn't general agreement among political scientists about how to attempt to answer these questions. In this course, we read both classic texts and newer works on these topics and consider which approaches are most enlightening.
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 tutorial sequence analyzes the formation of modern European society from the late 18th to the last quarter of the 20th century. Most attention will be placed on Britain, France, Germany and Russia as these countries were shaped by, and responded to, demographic, economic, social, political, and intellectual forces that led to revolutions, political and social reforms, new modes of production, changes in social hierarchies, and new forms of warfare. Much attention will be placed on the social and political consequences of the French Revolution and industrialization, but empire, the origins and consequences of the two world wars (including the Russian revolution and the rise and defeat of Nazism) will also come under extensive discussion, as will the creation of a more stable and prosperous postwar European order. Europe's links to Africa, Asia and the Americas will be discussed in the context of imperialism and the two world wars. In addition to developing knowledge of the most important processes that have shaped the modern world, this tutorial seeks to foster a critical awareness of the varieties of historical narrative, the skills needed to interpret historical primary sources, and the possibilities and limits of history as a tool of social investigation.
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: Wealth in a Global Context

The past 50 years of global income statistics reveal a dramatically altered landscape of economic winners and losers in both rich and poor nations. Incomes soared for factory workers in China. Yet the urban-rural divide in that country widened. At the same time, working-class incomes in post-industrial economies stagnated, and rich nations reported a hollowing-out of the middle class. While within-country inequality rose for wealthier nations, global inequality, by some reports, has declined.

This tutorial will explore competing economic views on why these changes occurred, whether they will persist, and what they portend for democratic institutions and economic prosperity. We ask whether mechanical economic forces are driving these trends in a manner that defies policy intervention or whether policy can make a difference.

Throughout the course, we consider a variety of proposals for addressing dislocation linked to high and rising inequality within and between nations. Our exploration will require us to address economic issues of refugees, migration and citizenship along with economic factors behind trends toward plutocracy and nativism.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-ECON
Prereq: None

CSS330 Junior Government Tutorial: Political Treatises that Changed the World

This CSS Junior Tutorial will explore Political Treatises that Changed the World.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-GOVT
Prereq: None

CSS340 Junior History Tutorial: World History

This course will give students a solid understanding of World History from the River Valley Civilizations, the Classical Period, and the Post-Classical Period, to the Early-Modern Period, the Long 19th Century, and the Contemporary Period. Emphasis will be placed on the development of major cultures around the world--and there will also be discussion of how the major cultures fail to explain much of World History.

In practical terms, students will learn how to assess a broad range of historical sources from varied places and times; how to debate these works in class discussion; how to produce concise and precise short papers; how to write longer papers based on an argument/counter-argument format; and how to work collaboratively on the group project.
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. It begins 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. It 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, it puts 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