Instructor(s):Gerald Wilson

MoWe 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. | Social Sciences 136

What does it mean to be an “American?” A  French political scientist said, “To be a Frenchman is a fact; to be an American is an ideal.” What commonly shared ideals, ideas, “myths” define us as “Americans?”  This course examines the role of some commonly shared myths as “rags to riches,” the “agrarian way of life,” the “frontier,” the “foreign devils” and the “City on a Hill” in defining the American character and determining our hopes, fears, dreams and actions through our history.


Attention is given to the surface consistency of these myths as accepted by each immigrant group versus the shifting content of the myths as they change to reflect the hopes and values of each of these groups.


Instructor(s):Gerald Wilson

TuTh 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. | Perkins Link 087 (Classroom 3)

The seminar will focus on political, social, business, and artistic leaders in American history and problems, which have called for leadership. In addition to selected short readings, students will examine closely the following: James MacGregor Burns’ “Leadership”; Walter Clark’s “Ox Bow Incident”; Niccolo Machiavelli’s “The Prince”; May and R. Neustadt’s “Thinking in Time”; Robert Penn Warren’s “All the King’s Men”; Gary Wills’ “Certain Trumpets”; and David Gergen’s “Eyewitness to Power.” Permission Required


Instructor(s):Suzanne Katzenstein

TuTh 10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Rubenstein Hall 151

How should we understand the role of corporations in society and what role should they play—particularly with regard to equity, social justice, and human rights?  What is the most effective way to regulate corporate respect for human rights, and what are the challenges? What impact do various actors – companies, NGOs, consumers – have in preventing human rights abuses, and what impact do they – do we – have in enabling such abuse? Business and Human Rights Advocacy Lab is a hands-on, project-based course in which we will explore these pressing questions both in text and in practice, working in teams on policy projects for community partners.


Instructor(s):Dirk Philipsen

TuTh 10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Rubenstein Hall 153

Examination of how capitalism has profoundly shaped people’s ethical values, with focus on United States. Investigates central developments behind history of capitalism; explores key struggles that led to formation of capitalist logic (choices, values, goals); traces impact of capitalist goals and measures on ethical values and choices; examines discussions about possible future developments within capitalism.


Instructor(s):Alexandra Zagbayou

TuTh 10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Sanford 150

Because they are women or despite their being women? What explains how women achieve leadership positions in politics, in the boardroom, in local movements of resistance? What does it mean that in four short years, the number of women running for the House of Representatives surged from 167 to 237, and yet the two last candidates standing in the 2020 Democratic primary elections are both older white men? In this course, we will study the dynamics of women leadership with a focus on the U.S. What do we mean by leadership and how do narratives of leadership gain traction? What do they allow us to see and what do they obscure, how might they limit our understandings of the processes and possibility for change? What are the particular barriers that women face as they work towards and reach leadership positions? How are these barriers, and the strategies that women use to confront them, shaped by historical and institutional contexts? How do societal forces shape our own opportunities and choices to lead? This class will engage diverse topics both academically and personally, connecting the two approaches as we reflect on our own experiences of leading, and following, in our studies, our extracurricular commitments, our work, and in our lives. To discuss these issues, we will use autobiographies, documentaries, academic articles, and visits by guest speakers.


Instructor(s):Shane T. Stansbury

Tu 5:15 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. | Sanford 150

Ethical and practical issues of social and organizational change, including conflicts about power and authority, violence, gender, race, fairness, wealth and work. How imagination, fictional and historical narratives, anger, friendship, and teaching skills can be useful in working for change. Problems of group dynamics, integrity, responsibility, and self-understanding faced by those supporting or opposing changes.


Instructor(s):Alexandra Zagbayou

TuTh 1:45 p.m. – 3:00p.m. | Sanford 150

Border Crossing is designed to provide students with a theoretical framework, practical models and exemplars for leadership and public engagement. This is a foundational course for students to conduct community-based research and service projects in the U.S. or abroad, funded through the Service Opportunities in Leadership (SOL) program or other field research opportunities at Duke. Through classroom activities and discussions based on narrative readings, case studies, film/media clips and reflective practice, students will develop a framework for analyzing complex problems and value conflicts. They will also consider ways and means to navigate these, and to mobilize groups, organizations and institutions to facilitate social change. Through a process of reading, reflection and analysis, students will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate community based social change and a mindset for sustained lifelong leadership.


Instructor(s):Gunther Peck

TuTh 1:45 p.m. – 3:00p.m. | Languages 211

Historical roles of nature—as a cultural construct and a set of biological relationships—in shaping human choices in North America, from colonial times to the present. Special attention to historical origins of contemporary environmental politics, including the origins of wilderness; environmental justice movements; the changing politics of food, animal rights, and pollution; and tragedies of the commons, and the ethical challenges posed by global warming and population growth.


Instructor(s):Adam Hollowell

TuTh 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. | Rubenstein Hall 153

The course considers the question, “How can we fix poverty?” It begins by exploring the nature of poverty through a variety of descriptive metaphors (for example, poverty as a “trap” or a “disease”). It then considers the word “we,” and in doing so introduces several basic understandings of ethics (deontology, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, etc.) Finally it considers the word “fix” and offers three models for responding to poverty: working for, working with, and being with. Each model explores several examples of good practice followed by critical reflection as students engage with opportunities in Durham displaying each approach.


Instructor(s):Andrew Nurkin

W 3:30p.m. - 6:00p.m. | Rubenstein Hall 153

This community-engaged course explores two parallel questions of equal weight: what kinds of leadership do the arts require now, and what can we learn from the arts, broadly defined, about leadership in other contexts? Through case studies, readings, and critical engagement with art works across disciplines, students will learn about effective leadership practices—and leadership challenges—in the arts, from anchor cultural institutions like museums to informal artistic collectives. We will also experience and discuss the arts in practice—performance, visual arts, literature, film/video, dance, music, and multidisciplinary/genre expansive works—to understand how each work is both produced by and expressive of a specific vision of leadership. The course will be augmented by guest lectures from leading practitioners in the arts. We will pay particular attention to the impacts of 2020—the pandemic, uprisings for racial justice, severe climate events, and the political environment—on how arts leaders are reimagining fundamental questions of value(s), ethics, audience, context, authorship/authority, ownership, curation, access, form, production, urgency, funding, and community. Assignments include short critical responses to each work examined in class, a research project on an area of arts policy, and a leadership analysis.

This is not a course in art history, nor is any background in the arts required. You need only bring an openness to exploring a range of works that interrogate how creative expression relates to power and community, and a willingness to critically reflect on what the arts can teach us about leadership. Attendance at a few group outings to performances and exhibitions outside of the regular class meeting time will be required. These excursions will be arranged in advance depending on the schedules of all students enrolled in the class.

This course is open to all students and is offered by the Hart Leadership Program, within the Sanford School of Public Policy.


Instructor(s):Faulkner Fox

Tu 3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Allen 317

This creative nonfiction course focuses on a fundamental challenge:  how can a member of one culture effectively and ethically write about another culture?  How can Duke students, in particular, become even more cognizant of the dynamics involved in observing then writing about cultures they encounter?  While this class is open to any student who wants to improve his or her writing and observational skills, it may be of particular value to those who have participated in—or plan to participate in—DukeEngage, a study abroad program, or Duke’s Hart Leadership Program.

Over the course of the semester, students will write multiple drafts of two final essays, as well as weekly shorter, more informal exercises and reading responses.  The class will also have a workshop component in which students discuss drafts of each other’s work, as well as several individual conferences with the professor, peers, and the Duke Writing Studio.

We will begin with an exercise of traveling to a location (of each student’s choosing) that constitutes crossing a border within Durham, then writing about what was found there.


Instructor(s):Andrew Nurkin

Tu 10:15 a.m. – 12:45p.m. | Sanford 05

Exploration of the attributes of leadership, why some leaders fail and other succeed; identification of the core values each student possesses which will bring success to organizations throughout their lives. Case study format, class participation is critical to success. Each student will develop a personal perspective on leadership, learn from examples of success and failure, look at the ethical challenges facing leaders today, learn the tools leaders use to support successful cultures, enhance self-awareness, and prepare to become successful leaders. Strong emphasis on writing skills, how to communicate briefly and effectively in written memos. Students will also work in teams.


Instructor(s):Suzanne Katzenstein

TuTh 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. | Rubenstein 149

We live in a remarkable moment in the life of our nation and our planet, one defined by existential threats and extraordinary opportunities. The institutions of democracy seem to be failing the stress test confronting them. Genuine leadership has never been more important and necessary.


Democracy Lab is a hands-on, project-based course. Students will be involved in the practice of revitalizing our democracy on campus, in Durham, and in our nation. The lab-based model will allow students to experiment with solutions, working together in teams to create innovative projects addressing political issues. Teams will produce a substantial report or equivalent activity that contributes to the health of political processes. In previous semesters, team-based projects have included working on felony disenfranchisement, disinformation on social media, language rights, government transparency, and drafting sections of the NC “Fix Our Democracy” voting rights bill.


The course will include instruction on reflective writing as well as an integration of interdisciplinary readings from the fields of history, law and political science. This course, offered through the Hart Leadership Program, will get students to think and do, leveraging their own unique talents and interests to make change.