Social Science

Peace and Justice Studies

Fall 2019 Criminal Justice Reform Panel on stage

Fall 2019 Criminal Justice Reform panel co-sponsored by PJS, AAUW, Shelby County NAACP, and Montevallo Progressive Alliance.

Peace and Justice Studies at the University of Montevallo examines causes and consequences of economic disparity, institutionalized inequality, and strategies of peace building and conflict resolution.

UM’s location at the heart of the civil rights triangle in rural Alabama and our institutional history of working toward gender equity and inclusivity provides unique opportunities to pursue the work of a peace and justice studies minor. Our students explore community issues within global contexts to critically analyze race, gender, and class relations.

We offer students spaces for experiential education and community partnerships as well as scholarly engagement to learn the history of and techniques for conflict resolution, mediation, social change, and critical thinking. Minors may enhance their major field of study through our social justice framework and go on to become negotiators, community mediators, government officials, educators, businesspeople, organizers, and professionals in organizations focused on human rights, dispute resolution, environmental protection, international law, and human and economic development.

Course Requirements

PJS 200 Introduction to Peace and Justice Studies (3 credits) – required

Exploration of issues, methods, and terminology essential to Peace and Justice Studies. Consists of readings, projects, and lecture-based study. Interdisciplinary course taught by UM professors in selected fields.

PJS 370/470 Special Topics in Peace and Justice Studies (3 credits) – required

Topics vary. Course may be repeated for credit as often as the topic changes.

Electives (12 credits) – list of approved electives announced each semester

Students must take four elective courses in at least three different disciplines. No more than two courses may be taken in any one discipline (includes cross-listings).

  • AAS 200 – Introduction to African American Studies
  • ART 326 – Special Topics**
  • BIO 405 – Biological Topics in Environmental Studies**
  • BL 283 – Legal Environment of Business
  • COMS 141 – Interpersonal Communication
  • COMS 355 – Intercultural Communication
  • COMS 410 – Environmental Communication
  • COMS 420 – Interpersonal Conflict Management
  • COMS 435 – Social Movement Rhetoric
  • COMS 460 – Seminar in Communication Studies**
  • ENG 232 – Global Literature: Perspectives Within a Period or Location**
  • ENG 405 – Studies in One or Two Authors**
  • ENG 471 – African-American Literature
  • ENG 472 – Literature from the Margins
  • ENG 473 – Postcolonial Literature
  • ENG 474 – Anglophone Literature**
  • ENG 475 – Literature of Sexuality and Gender**
  • ES 200 – Environment and Society
  • ES 300 – Interdisciplinary Approaches to Environmental Studies
  • HIST 424 – Colonial Latin America
  • PHIL 220 – Ethics
  • PHIL 300 – Special Topics in Philosophy**
  • POS 333 – Gender in World Politics
  • POS 335 – Identity Politics
  • POS 340 – World Politics
  • POS 350 – Model United Nations
  • POS 360 – Citizenship and Public Service
  • POS 446 – The Politics of Social Policy
  • POS 455 – International Relations
  • SOC 322 – Group Identities, Power and Difference
  • SOC 324 – Social Stratification
  • SOC 360 – Social Change
  • MG 308 – Business and Society
  • MG 371 – Nonprofit Organizations
  • MG 400 – Globalization: National and International Issues
  • MG 420 – Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability
  • MG 464 – Leadership and Organizational Change**
  • NPS 371 – Nonprofit Organizations – Overview and Operations
  • NPS 420 – Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability
  • SWK 203 – Introduction to Social Welfare and Social Work
  • SWK 301 – Selected Topics in Social Work**
  • SWK 373 – Social Policy

**Requires approval by PJS Coordinating Committee

Total: 18 credits

Spring 2024 PJS Courses

ART 305 History of 17th- & 18th-Century Art, Walsh

(PJS elective; email course substitution request to

TR, 11 – 12:15 p.m.

This course will examine artworks produced during the 17th and 18th centuries in a global context. We will study paintings, sculptures, illustrations, prints, buildings, and landscape design from Europe and the Mediterranean, Africa, Central and South America, and East Asia. The course will emphasize particularly the roles that artistic exchange, trade, and exploration played in shaping art of this period. The course also will introduce students to key critical debates relative to these artworks with special focus upon women and gender, colonialism, otherness, and art’s relationship to the natural environment.

The course focuses on both Europe and the “global Baroque,” including interactions between European courts and colonizers and extra-European cultures. Students are introduced to a variety of critical theories to analyze race, gender, and class relations in visual art of the period, as well as to the roles of institutions such as the Catholic church, the Spanish crown, the Dutch East India Company, and others, in creating institutionalized inequalities. Prerequisite: ART 219 or ART 220

ART 447 Documentary Photography, Graffeo

(PJS elective; email course substitution request to

TR 2 – 4:30 pm

A seminar and studio course that presents traditions and techniques in documentary photography with use of the film and digital camera to explore cultural and personal themes.

COMS 460/HNRS 409: Public Memory, Jeff Walker

(PJS elective; email course substitution request to

TR 12:30-1:45 p.m. in Strong Hall 113

From the musical sensation Hamilton to the myriad of memorials on the National Mall, the United States is teeming with public memory artifacts that reconstruct the past for present use. The interdisciplinary field of memory studies is concerned with how such artifacts reflect and influence cultural identity by telling us who, what, and how to remember. This course introduces students to public memory through the rhetorical examination of media, memory sites, and other artifacts.

ENG 232-001 and -002: Global Literature: Perspectives within a period or location – Unquiet: Voices of Conscience and Protest Since 1950, Murphy

(PJS elective; email course substitution request to

231-001: TR 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

231-002: TR 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

“What goes around comes around” may be a pop karma standard, but in cases of prejudice, discrimination, injustice, and wars of many kinds, the history of humanity often seems to move in a dark and foolish circle.  Small lies turn into big ones.  Bad ideas turn into beliefs.  And power exercised on both ends of the political spectrum creates enormous harm.  But then, just as often, voices of protest arise that attempt to restore dignity and try to remind us of our shared humanity.  From Harlem to the Caribbean to the Middle East and many places in between, we will explore authors and singers whose voices seek peace and justice and offer inspiration for others who do the same.  They may be writing directly for the rights of women, Jews, African Americans, LGBTQ+ people, or those living under totalitarian regimes (and sometimes nearly all at once), but their lessons are universally important for those who think critically, express themselves clearly, and dream hopefully.  Our texts will include those listed below, and our assignments will be short responses to the texts, an engaged scholarly research paper, and spaces for students to offer their own examples of artists such as these.

James Baldwin Vintage Baldwin

Yehuda Amichai The Selected Poetry

Allen Ginsberg Howl and Other Poems

Adrienne Rich Diving into the Wreck

Jamaica Kincaid At the Bottom of the River

Lucille Clifton How to Carry Water:  Selected Poems

Terrance Hayes American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

The music of Nina Simone, Bob Dylan and Bob Marley

ENG 232-005 and -006 Global Literature: Shakespeare’s Influence on Contemporary Society, Atwood

(PJS elective; email course substitution request to

The theme for this section of Global Literature is Shakespeare and Contemporary Society. Throughout the semester, we will explore Shakespeare’s influence on contemporary society, looking at ways Shakespeare has been repurposed as a tool for social justice and cultural critique since the turn of the 21st century. In addition to reading a selection of Shakespeare’s plays, we will consider a variety of film and theater adaptations, non-fiction personal and political essays, interviews with theater professionals, and more, always asking the question: why and how does Shakespeare still matter?

ENG 456/PJS 470 (AAS approved elective, Professional Writing minor elective, Creative Writing minor elective): Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Writing Process Theories and Practices, Mwenja 

MWF 11–11:50 a.m., HH 208

This course grapples with current vital discussions in composition studies scholarship: whose language is valued and emulated in composition classrooms—and whose ways of communicating have long been belittled and ignored in these spaces? Whose stories and lived experiences are recognized, and whose are often excluded? How can we engage with the breadth and depth of multiple World Englishes within the limitations of a single composition course? In addition to discussing recent articles from journals such as College Composition and Communication, Research in the Teaching of English, and College English, students will observe tutoring sessions and composition classes, explore an individual research question, and develop a personal statement outlining their own tutoring or teaching philosophy.

By the end of this course, students will

  • Demonstrate a strong understanding of current composition pedagogy scholarship focusing on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Communicate knowledge of composition practice and pedagogy gained through observing and interviewing practitioners
  • Complete a research project related to DEI considerations in composition practice, theory, and/or instruction
  • Articulate a set of ethics and principles to guide the practices of mentoring other academic researchers and writers

ENG 456 fulfills one elective for the Minor in Professional Writing as well as the Minor in Creative Writing, and it is pre-requisite or co-requisite to working in the Harbert Writing Center.

HIST 455/555/PJS 470 French Revolution & Napoleon, Hultquist

R 5 – 7:30 p.m.

This course is a selected focus on the birth of the modern political era. We will examine the political, economic, intellectual, and cultural origins of the French Revolution & the Napoleonic era and the consequences for Europe and the world at large as a result. Although history is the disciplinary focus of the course, it is not strictly a historical survey of events, but an interdisciplinary study melding together art, philosophy, literature, music, religion, and the media.

POS 455/PJS 470 International Relations, Turner

TR 11 – 12:15 pm

A broad range of traditional and contemporary theories of international relations will be investigated. Students will discover that the evolution of thinking about international relations is marked by both change and continuity, and they will gain new perspective on current events in world affairs through application of the theoretical method.

SOC 417/PJS 470: Thinking about Crime, Chris Bounds

TR 2 – 3:15 p.m.

The primary objectives of this class include exposing students to the various theories of criminal behavior, situating these theories within their proper historical and social contexts, outlining their key concepts, assumptions and propositions, and reviewing their possible policy implications. In addition to the stated objectives above, the course will examine how various theories are utilized in empirical research.

Please contact instructor regarding prerequisites.

SWK 373/PJS 370 Social Policy, Tetloff

TR, 12:30 – 1:45 p.m.

An introduction to the study of social policy with emphases on:  1) how social policy influences the lives of citizens; 2) how social policy influences the practice of social work, and 3) the resulting responsibilities of social work to try to influence social policy. Utilizing Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality Theory, and Conflict Theory, the course examines historical and structural causes of inequalities, especially based on race, ethnicity, and gender, and explores policy-based solutions for social problems such as poverty, systemic racism, and barriers to social needs.

2023-2024 Peace and Justice Studies Committee Members

The charge of the Peace and Justice Studies Committee is to guide and support the interdisciplinary Peace and Justice Studies Program. Peace and justice studies at University of Montevallo will examine causes and consequences of economic disparity, institutionalized inequality, and strategies of peace building and conflict resolution. Specifically, committee members will develop and approve peace and justice course curricula; teach, co-teach, or guest lecture courses for credit in the Peace and Justice Studies Program; assist with creating, utilizing, and maintaining community partnerships; and serve as ambassadors of the Peace and Justice Studies Program on the University of Montevallo campus and in the community. The committee will approve by consensus the courses accepted for credit in the Peace and Justice Studies Program on a semester-by-semester basis. The committee member structure is designed to collaborate with and enhance other programs on and off campus and to co-sponsor events and activities related to peace and justice scholarship and practice. The committee reports to the Provost.

Committee Member Term* Term # Position


Jennifer Rickel

22-25 NA Co-Coordinator, ex officio, & Co-Chair
Meredith Tetloff 22-25 NA Co-Coordinator, ex officio, & Co-Chair
Susan Caplow 22-25 2 CAS, representing ES
Andrea Eckelman 22-25 2 CAS
Paul Mahaffey 23-26 1 CAS, representing African American Studies
Deb Lowry 22-25 2 CAS
Leonor Vazquez-Gonzalez 22-25 2 CAS, representing LAS
Milad Jasemi Zargani 21-24 1 COB, representing Nonprofit Studies
Latofia Parker 22-25 1 CEHD
Catherine Walsh 22-25 2 CFA
Joyce Jones 23-26 1 Community Outreach
Madyson Moye 23-24 1 Student (non-voting)