Current Events and Social Issues

Skulls of Rwandan genocide victims, lined up on shelves.

The skulls of genocide victims are lined up on shelves at the Ntarama Church Memorial in Rwanda, where 5000 people were slaughtered in 1994. The Rwandan Genocide killed 800,000 people in only three months, many of whom were massacred in schools and churches like this one, where they crowded in hoping for sanctuary. (Photo courtesy of Scott Chacon. Used with permission.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2004



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

The goal of this seminar is to have open discussions of controversial political and social issues and raise awareness of current world events in an informal setting. Discussions for the first part of each class will focus on current events from that week, while in the second part of class students will discuss a scheduled issue in greater detail. Scheduled issues include the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the regulation of marijuana, how our society should punish criminals, genocide in Rwanda and Sudan, discrimination in our society today, the future of social security, whether pornography is sexist, and where we can go from here in the Arab/Israeli Conflict. Discussions will be supplemented by readings, films, and public speakers. Students will also be encouraged to read news media from around the world.

Related Content

Claudia Gold, Jocelyn Rodal, and Lee Perlman. ES.246 Current Events and Social Issues. Fall 2004. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.