Course Syllabi

  • Ethnographies of Police.  (Karpiak Winter/Spring 2013)This course will have two goals: First, to offer students an introduction to some of the basic issues involved in ethnographic representation; second, to explore these issues further through representation of police and policing across a variety of genres and media, including social science, fiction, television and film.
  • Global Criminology (Karpiak, Fall 2014).  This course is a global study of crime and justice from the perspective of transnational, international, and comparative criminologies as these examine the scope and structure of crime and justice worldwide.  In an effort to provide students with critical conceptual tools with which to approach issues in global criminology, this course will first provide a brief overview of theories of globalization, and explore how they might articulate to the field of criminology.  Finally, we will explore this intersection through a variety of case studies grouped loosely together by topic.
  • Liberalism, Punishment, Security (Karpiak Fall 2014).  This semester that topic will be “Liberalism, Punishment, Security”; what is the political ideology known as “liberalism” and how is it related to the contemporary phenomenon known as “neoliberalism”? What is the role of crime, punishment and security within these political ideologies? What debates have these problems served as the fulcrum for in the broader social sciences?
  • Police, Society.  (Karpiak, Fall 2010) (Update: 2014) This course examines the relationship between police and society by approaching the question from several different angles of approach: 1) A “Policed” Society? In this section we will explore the cultural and historical specificities of the idea, practice and institution we know in the U.S. today as “the police”; 2) Socializing Police. In this section, we will explore the various ways that police are shaped by and reflect larger social forces; 3) Policing Society. In this section of class we will explore the ways police shape the society we live in, especially along what we will call “cultural borderlands”; 4) Understanding Contemporary Debates about the Police. In this section of the class, we will attempt to take the issues discussed in the course in order to see if they can offer new insights into debates on contemporary policing. The overall goal of this class is to foster critical thinking and encourage new perspectives on the nature of policing and its place in the social world around us.
  • Police/State: genealogies of the post-social (Karpiak).  This course ask what does it mean to do policing “after the social”? What does the assemblage of institutions, actors, practices and functions understood as “the police” look like once its central object—”the social”—becomes only one of an array of governed and governing objects? The first part of the course will explore the premises on which this question is bases, while the final portion will ask students to explore these questions further in a final project which will incorporate class discussion as well as original research.
  • Policing & Statistics (Karpiak, Winter/Spring 2012).  As this is a writing course, the main goal will be to refine a set of critical reading, thinking, writing and research skills that will serve as a capstone to your undergraduate training in criminology. Other course goals will include: using an interdisciplinary framework in order to explore how shared problems in the humanities and social sciences can and do shed light on problems is criminology; becoming conversant and learning how to intervene in some of the central issues in criminology; learning about the complex nature of the research process as well as how students might experiment with different ways of structuring and narrating this exploration.
  • Policing: an international perspective (Martin, Fall 2009). This course examines policing in a broad social and cultural perspective, surveying a variety of ways that people have enforced order.  The focus of the inquiry is defined by two questions: (1) What is the “police function”? (2) How has this function been involved in forming and transforming the modern nation-state
  • The Idea of Police (Karpiak, Fall 2012).  This semester that topic will be “The Idea of Police”; what is the idea behind “police,” where and when did it come from? How has it changed? How does that idea shape our broader lives? How is it changing and being challenged?
  • Writing Police Power (Karpiak, Spring 2010).   This course critically examines several different ways that police and police work have been written about in the social sciences and humanities in order to make sense of the way that writers have attempted to depict and think through the question of power vis-à-vis the modern City. See also, the version from Summer 2009.

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