January 25, 2022
New Course with Professor Meira Levinson
Like many universities, Harvard has recently been grappling with the historical and contemporary legacy of slavery inscribed within our [sic] land and buildings, endowment, scholarship, teaching, and people. In Spring 2022, the University Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery (H&LS) will share materials, insights, and recommendations emerging from its work. How can students, staff, faculty, and alumni be encouraged to take these findings seriously and grapple with their (our) own roles in perpetuating or challenging these legacies? What curricular resources and pedagogical interventions can help members of the Harvard community—as well as those associated with other institutions of higher education—engage with one another across lines of difference in complex and meaningful ways? This course invites graduate and undergraduate students from across the University to collaborate on developing a series of normative case studies and accompanying teaching guides focused on the complicated and ambiguous ethical choices facing individuals, departments, and institutions in light of Harvard’s legacies. Students who take this course will learn about Harvard’s history as well as the responses of higher education institutions to histories of enslavement, colonialism, and white supremacy. Students will also learn how to research, write, and teach normative case studies that enable powerful deliberation about difficult ethical decisions. Support from Radcliffe and the H&LS Committee will enable outstanding work to be shared and used by diverse constituencies around the University and across the globe.