PUBPOL 263: Border Crossing

SYNOPSIS: “Border Crossing” is designed to provide students with the theoretical, analytical and practical framework necessary to facilitate community based social change. It is a preparatory course for students who plan to conduct community-based research and service projects for partner organizations in the U.S. or abroad, funded through the Service Opportunities in Leadership (SOL) program or other field research opportunities at Duke. This seminar course is oriented towards classroom activities and discussions based on narrative readings, case studies, film clips and reflective practice through which students will develop a framework for analyzing complex problems and value conflicts. With a nuanced mindset and humility, students will learn to navigate institutions and systems, and to mobilize groups and organizations to facilitate social change and for sustained lifelong leadership
The course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for engaging with local, national or global communities and conducting a community-based research and service project. Students will receive training in the basics of conducting community-based research (CBR) and in developing and writing effective grant proposals. They will then have the opportunity to develop and submit a grant proposal for a community-based research project in either the United States or abroad by late February.

READER REQUIREMENTS: Background in human rights, humanitarian work, NGO work, policy professionals in social justice, criminal justice, child and family issues, poverty, climate effects, activism and advocacy, equity and equality in income distribution, housing, and health care.

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: Students write 1) personal values essay (700-750 words), 2) video, 3) op-ed (700-750 words).

Students would profit most from help with writing the op-ed which is due to the instructor on 17. April.

INSTRUCTOR SUGGESTIONS FOR READERS: Students are writing for interested and informed lay readers with non-professional interest, writing would be published in non-academic magazines for non-experts


INTRODUCTORY MEETING: Please schedule your introductory meeting as soon as possible after you have received the matching email. Find details for the introductory meeting