Upcoming GIRI Seminar

Fall 2022: The Pandemic Divide: An interdisciplinary examination of the disparate impact of COVID-19

The 2022 fall semester GIRI course will focus on the disparate impacts of global pandemic. The forthcoming book The Pandemic Dividewritten by faculty, researchers and collaborators of the Cook Center–examines the racial, gender and economic implications of COVID-19. The broad goals of the course are:

  • Examine past (and ongoing) inequalities within the book’s area of focus and how they made certain populations especially vulnerable to this pandemic
  • Identify and propose policy interventions to improve public health and social equality outcomes.
  • Conduct novel research related to economic inequality and the COVID-19 pandemic using methods across the social sciences

Guest instructors for the course will be drawn from the various contributors to The Pandemic Divide.

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