Peace and Social Justice Minor

This minor provides students with an opportunity to engage in critical inquiry around peace and social justice as a historical and contemporary topic. Through the lens of the social sciences, arts and humanities, political communication, media, and technology, students are introduced to key concepts, empirical realities and trends, and practical strategies linked with advocacy for peace and social justice.

For the Peace and Social Justice minor, four courses (16 credits) are required in designated courses, at least one of which must be at the 300 or 400 level.


  • CC 220 - Public Discourse in the United States
  • CC 263 - Argument and Advocacy
  • CC 303 - Survey Research Methods
  • CC 344 - Rhetoric of Social Movements*
  • CC 361 - Public Diplomacy and Grassroots Activism 
  • CC 471 - Advanced Topics in Leadership, Politics, and Social Advocacy**
  • HI 203 - Social Movements in the US
  • HI 227 - Radical Women in Contemporary World History
  • HI 310 - Demystifying Revolutionaries: Race, Imperialism, and Transformative Change in Latin America
  • IN 110 - Culture, the Arts, and Social Change 
  • IN 154 - Power and Privilege 
  • IN 155 - Post-Racial America? 
  • IN 208 - Rainbow Nation? Race, Class, and Culture in South Africa
  • IN 211 - Africana Thought and Practice
  • IN 235 - The Arab Uprisings 
  • IN 236 - Global Revolts and the Crisis of Neoliberalism
  • IN 326 - Too Thick to Navigate: The Ecology and Economics of Rivers*
  • IN 333 - Power and Public Spheres 
  • IN 336 - It’s Not Paranoia If They’re Really After You
  • IN 337 - In the News: The Fake, the Real, and the Spectacle
  • IN 351 - Global Social Movements and Radical Social Thought 
  • IN 353 - Topics in Peace and Social Justice**
  • IN 374 - LA Underrepresented: Social Justice and the City (topic)
  • JR 300 - History of the Alternative Press*
  • PL 222 - Human Rights 
  • PL 310 - Collective Action and Identity Politics*
  • PL 322 - Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation
  • PL 332 - Civil Rights
  • TH 404 - US Theatre and Performance
  • VM 308 - Cinema and Social Change*

Students are encouraged to engage with the Elma Lewis Center in the Social Justice Center, as well as programs such as Alternative Spring Break.

* Note prerequisites
** Check current course listings for specific topics


Sebastian Ferrada, assistant professor in Latinx Studies, specializes in queer of color critique, focusing on the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and language in the experiences of Latinx communities in the US. They teach courses on queer Latinx communities, as well as Latinx bodies, culture, and power.

Mneesha Gellman, associate professor in Political Science, researches comparative democratization, cultural rights movements, memory politics, and citizen formation in the Global South and the United States. She teaches courses on human rights, comparative restorative justice, and collective action and identity politics.

John Gianvito, professor in Visual and Media Arts, is a filmmaker, curator, and critic. His films include The Flower of Pain, Address Unknown, and The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein. He teaches a course on cinema and social change.

Jon Honea, associate professor in Environmental Science, is an ecologist interested in the response of communities, populations, and individual species to environmental change, as well as how humans use and influence ecosystem services such as clean water provisioning. He teaches a course on the ecology and economics of rivers.

Roger House, associate professor in History/Journalism, produces an interdisciplinary forum on social justice history to explore topics on the African American experience. He teaches courses on the history of the alternative press and social movements in the US.

Ioana B. Jucan, assistant professor in Interdisciplinary Studies, is a researcher and artist working across the fields of performance, digital media, and philosophy. Her research follows several different yet intersecting threads: mechanisms of knowledge production in the age of “Big Data”; feminist and decolonial aesthetics and epistemologies; aesthetic and political practices of world-making; and diasporic experience. She teaches the course In the News: The Fake, the Real, and the Spectacle.

Cara Moyer-Duncan, associate professor in Interdisciplinary Studies, is interested in Africana and cultural studies. She is currently working on a study of the representation of race and nation in post-apartheid South African film. She teaches courses on Africana thought and practice; culture, the arts, and social change; and race, class, and culture in South Africa.  

Yasser Munif*, associate professor in Interdisciplinary Studies, focuses his research on Middle Eastern politics and society, race theory, feminist studies, and social movements. He teaches courses on post-racial America, global revolts and the crisis of neoliberalism, and the Arab uprisings.

Russell Newman, associate professor in Interdisciplinary Studies, explores the intersections of the political economy of media, neoliberalism, the epistemological foundations of media policymaking, and activism surrounding communications policy. He teaches courses on technological politics of protest and surveillance and power and public spheres.

Greg Payne, associate professor in Communication Studies, is interested in soft power and how the environment serves as a connector among countries, cultures, and peoples as a bridge for dialogue and projects on commonalities. He teaches courses in public diplomacy and grassroots activism; argument and advocacy; and topics in leadership, politics, and social advocacy.

Joshua Polster, associate professor in Performing Arts, has published pieces in To Have or Have Not: Essays on Commerce and Capital in Modern Theatre, Old Stories New Readings: The Transforming Power of American Drama, and The International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest. He teaches a course on US theater and society.

Nejem Raheem, associate professor in Marketing Communication, is an environmental economist with expertise in economic analysis of natural resource and environmental issues, focusing on ecosystem services and traditional or indigenous economies. He teaches a course on the ecology and economics of rivers.

Please note this may not be a comprehensive list, as our affiliated faculty rotate on a semesterly basis. Please refer to the semester registration listings to identify any additional faculty participating in the minor.

* Minor Coordinator