Upcoming GIRI Seminar

You Mean It Or You Don't cover image

Spring 2023: James Baldwin and Global Inequality

Throughout the spring semester, GIRI students will interrogate the life and work of James Baldwin as an entry point into deeper understanding of global inequality. Baldwin (1924 – 1987) was an essayist, novelist, playwright, and activist in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States as well as liberation movements around the world. In addition to readings about Baldwin, the context of global inequality during his productive years, and the ongoing legacy of his work in humanities and social science inequality research, the course will draw upon a recent publication from Jamie McGhee and Adam Hollowell, You Mean It or You Don’t: James Baldwin’s Radical Challenge (Broadleaf Books, 2022).

Guest instructors will include scholars from institutions across the country who specialize in varying dimensions of inequality research.

More information about You Mean it or You Don’t can be found by clicking here.

Program Description

The Global Inequality Research Initiative (GIRI) seminar is an interdisciplinary, vertically integrated research course that emphasizes a judicious application of mixed methods from the social sciences and humanities, including quantitative, qualitative, and archival research.

Cross-listed in multiple departments, GIRI facilitates integrated study and research across fields of social, historical, and political inequality. The course, typically offered once each semester, invites students to produce a major paper that will qualify for submission to a refereed journal in the area relevant to the focus of the study. Past GIRI seminar themes have included reparations, genetics and neuroscience, racism in Europe, and social determinants of health.

Program Goals

  • The goal of the class is to navigate the students through a rigorous process that introduces them to the research process. This includes some exposure to qualitative and quantitative methodology.  It introduces students to data gathering, cleaning, analysis, and presentation.  When students complete the course, they should have a better understanding of inequalities and its connection to the course’s topic.  An advanced undergraduate student or graduate student should gain value from this course.
  • In all Global Inequality Research Institute courses, the goal is to immerse students in open-ended research, only with the guidelines of exploring a component of the semester’s theme.
  • Students should not only be able to conduct research, but also share it. GIRI courses always conclude with a capstone conference, where students present their research in a poster or presentation format. The final component of sharing is the goal of having the research paper published in a Social Science journal.


Teaching Assistants