Dr. Hope Fitz
Professor of Philosophy
Webb Hall, Room 356
Full CV Peace and Human Rights Program and Committee
Research and publications (recent details are in the Full CV)
Peace & Human Rights
Other Professional Activity
World Association of Vedic Studies (WAVES)
International Society for Universal Dialogue (ISUD)
I am a comparative philosopher, and my main areas of expertise are South Asian and Comparative Philosophy and the thought of Mahatma Gandhi.
AREAS OF TEACHING SPECIALIZATION:
Comparative Philosophy – Western and Non-Western
South Asian Philosophy – Hindu and Jain philosophy, and early Buddhist philosophy
Western (deontic, i.e., duty theory and aretaic, i.e., virtue theory)
Comparative (Western and Non-Western)
Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism
Ahimsa, as developed and practiced by the Hindus, Jains and Buddhists
Ahimsa in the thought of Mahatma Gandhi. (I am a Gandhi scholar and have lectured in the U.S. and India about Gandhi. I have also written numerous articles about his philosophy and am presently writing a book about ahimsa which involves his thought, practice on the subject.)
Peace Studies Focusing on Nonviolence
Comparative Metaphysics and Epistemology
History of Modern Western Philosophy – esp. Descartes, Spinoza, Hume, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche
The Philosophy of Martin Heidegger
Existentialism and Phenomenology
Critical Thinking and Creativity
Ph.D. May 1981 Asian & Comparative Philosophy, Claremont Graduate School
M. A. May 1978 Philosophy, Claremont Graduate School
B. A. June 1972 California State University, Los Angeles, Philosophy
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Book in Progress:
For the last twenty years, I have been doing research and presenting talks on ahimsa. A few of the major talks and in depth research are:
2009 – I signed a contract with Linus Publishers for the first volume of Ahimsa: a Way of Life. This volume is called: Ahimsa: A Way of Life; a Path to Peace. In this book, I give a brief summary of the origin and develoopment of ahimsa which culminates in the thought of Mahatma Gandhi . The origins of ahimsa are found in the ancient Hindu Vedic literature. The development of ahimsa
2006 – I studied Jainism for two months at the International Summer School of Jain Studies, ISSJS,in India. The Jain faith is grounded in ahimsa as non-harm to any living being by thought word or deed.
2006 – After the ISSJS session ended, I gave eight talks on ahimsa in three major cities in India, delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. After returning to the U.S. I gave another talk on ahimsa at the Gandhi Lecture Series, University of massachusetts, Dartmouth.
2001 – In the summer, I spent several weeks at the Gandhi Center at Panjab University, in Chandigarh, India, studying Gandhi’s thought about ahimsa.
1989 – I organized a panel, comprised of professors of philosophy from our four CSUP campuses, each of whom delivered papers on ahimsa at a conference at Dartmouth College.
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1. 2001 - Intuition: Its Nature and Uses in Human Experience. This book was published by Motilal Banarsidass.
November 2011 – Book review of a manuscipt having to do with ethical topics for
Oxford University Press.
Fall 2009 – Invited by Thomson/Wadsworth to submit an evaluation of the revised edition of Roots of Wisdom, by Helen Buss Mitchell.
January 2001 – Book review From Socrates to Wittgenstein, written at the behest of the editor of Journal of Religious Studies.
Spring 1999 – Invited by Prentice Hall to submit an evaluation of the revised edition of John Koller’s book, The Indian Way.
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1. Spring 2011 – An article, “A Comparison of Confucius’ Notion of Jen or Ren
with Gandhi’s View of Ahimsa as Compassion” was published in the peer reviewed, on-line journal, Dialogue and UniversalismE, Volume 2, Number 1/2011.
1. Spring 2011 – An article, “The Role of Virtue in Developing Trustworthiness in Public Officials,”published by the Oxford Forum, 2007, has been reprinted for future publication by Carnegie Learning/Nelson Education (a subsidiary of Carnege Nelson).
2. Spring 2011 – “A Comparison of Confucius’ Notion of Ren as Inner Humanity and Human-Heartedness with Gandhi’s View of Ahimsa as Compassion,” will be published in the new on-line version of Dialogue and Universalizaion.
3. Fall 2008 – a booklet, entitled, “Ahimsa: a Way of Life; a Path to Peace” was published by the Indic Studies, Gandhi Lecture Series, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
4. October 2008 – “Ahimsa and its role in overcoming the ‘Ego’: From Ancient Indic Traditions to the Thought and Practice of Mahatma Gandhi.” published in the Icfai University Journal of History and Culture, Hydrabad, India, Vol. II, No 4.
5. Fall 2008 – “The Role of Virtue in Developing Trustworthiness in Public Officials” was published by the Oxford Round Table Forum (on line).
6. May 2006 – “Nietzsche’s Philosophy of the Will to Power as a Kind of Elan Vital and Creative Expression” was published in the journal Dialogue and Universalization, Vol. XV. No. 5-6 by Warsaw University Press.
7. 2005 – “India’s Three Great Intellectual Contributions to the Contemporary Global Community” was published by the World Association of Vedic Studies, WAVES in India’s Contributions & Influences in the World,” a publication of WAVES, ed. by Professor BhuDev Sharma, the President of Waves.
8. 2004 – “Islam: Extreme Fundamentalism and the Problem of the ‘Other,” a paper published in Skepsis, a Greek journal, vol XV 2004.
9. 2003 – “The Importance of Ahimsa: in the Yoga Sutra, in Gandhi’s Thought and in the Modern World” was published in India’s Contributions & Influences in the World,” a publication of WAVES, ed. by BhuDev Sharma, President of WAVES.
10. 2003 – “Gandhi: Boundaries of the Self as They Affect Nonviolence and Peace,” published in “Contemporary Views on Indian Civilization,” ed. by BhuDev Sharma, pp. 11-19, a publication of WAVES.
11. February 2002 – “Kant’s Categorical Imperative,” by Dr. Hope K. Fitz and Dr. Margaret Jewett, published in the Journal of Religious Studies, Panjabi University, Patiala, India.
12. January 2001 – “Kant and Gandhi: Non harm and Love,”(paper sent at the request of the editor of Journal of Religious Studies, Panjabi University, Patiala, India) published in the Jounal of Religious Studies, Spring/Autumn 2001, Vol. XXXII, Nos. 1 & 2.
13. 1996 - “Gandhi’s Ethical/Religious Tradition” (A Mode of Thought and Practices Which Have Influenced Many Contemporary Thinkers) published in The Journal of Religious Studies, Vol. XXVII, Spring-Autumn, No’s. 1 and 2, Punjabi University, Patiala [Panjab], India. This is a revised copy of a paper which was delivered on a panel entitled “Inventing Traditions,” in the program “Philosophy and Religion in the Asian Context,” at the American Philosophical Association, Central Division, St. Louis, Mo., May 5-7, 1995.
14. 1995 - “The Nature and Significance of Intuition in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, and in the Philosophical Writings of Radhakrishnan,” published in The Journal of Religious Studies, Vol. XXVI, Spring-Autumn, No’s. 1 & 2, Panjabi University, Patiala [Panjab], India. This paper was first delivered at the Association of Asian Studies (AAS), in Los Angeles, Ca., at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, March 25-29, 1993. A revised and expanded version of the paper was delivered at the American Academy of Religion, New England Region Meeting, in Boston, April 23, 1993.
15. 1991 - “The Role of Self-Discipline in the Process of Self-Realization,” an article written by Dr. Bala Sunder Rai Bhalla ( a retired professor at Punjabi University) and me, published in The Journal of Religious Studies, Vol. XIX, Spring, No 1, Panjabi University, [Patiala], India.
16. 1990 - “The Mystical Experience From a Heideggerian Perspective,” an article published in The Journal of Religious Studies, Panjabi University, Patiala [Panjab], India, Vol. XVIII, Spring, No.1.
17. 1989 - “The Nature and Significance of Intuition” (A view Based on a Core Idea Held By Radhakrishnan), an article published in the Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Vol. VI, Number 3, May-August, New Delhi, India.
18. 1987 - “Intuition: Its Nature and Uses,” an article published in the Moksa Journal, U.S.A., Volume IV, Number I: November.
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Articles Published in Books:
1. 2007 – Mind Pollution, Delhi – The article which I wrote called, “Ahimsa as the Way to End Mind Pollution” was published in an anthology called Mind Pollution, by an independent publisher in Delhi, India.
2. 2006 – “Conditions for Individual Freedom as Applied to the European Union,” written with a colleague in Political Science, Professor Christopher Vasillopulos, was published in a book entitled, Humanity at the Turning Point: Rethinking Nature, Culture and Freedom, published by by the University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
3. 1995 - New Essays in the Philosophy of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Delhi, India: Indian Books Centre. (An article which I wrote was published in this anthology.)
1. 2012- 9th Congress of International Society for Universal Dialouge, Olympia, Greece. June 22nd – June 27th, 2012.
1. 2011- October 7th-12th, attendence at a Jain retreat in Vermont of scholars, administrators and benefactors considering the expansion of Jain studies in universities and colleges.
2. 2011- October 1st, guest speaking engagement at the Voluntown Peace Trust Gandhi Gala. The discussion topic presented is Gandhi: A Man of Ahimsa.
3. 2010 – The paper listed below was to be delivered in July of 2010, but at the last minute my husband was taken ill and I had to cancel my flight to Beijing.
4. 2009 – “A Comparison of Confucius’ Notion of Ren With Gandhi’s View of Ahimsa.” was published on line by the International Society of Universal Dialogue, ISUD. The paper was accepted to be given at a conference of ISUD in Beijing, China, in July. However, the University of Beijing postponed the conference for fear of swine flu.
5. 2009 – Delivered the foregoing talk at the Eighteenth International Vedanta Congress at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
6. 2007 – Presented a paper entitled “ The Role of Virtue in the Development of Trustworthiness in Public Officials” at the six day Oxford Round Table at Oxford University, Oxford, England. The paper was published in the Oxford Round Table Forum. (See above under published articles.)
7. 2006 – Presented eight talks in India on my book Ahimsa: a Path to Peace. The talks were organized and sponsored by N.P. Jain, one of the owners and publishers of Motilal Banarsidass. They were given in Mumbai, New Delhi and Ahmadebad. One was given in the famous Gandhi Museum and Institute for Research in Delhi where Gandhi was shot.
8. October 8th, 2006 – Presented a talk on my book Ahimsa: a Path to Peace at the Gandhi Lecture Series, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
9. April 6th-9th, 2006 – Presented one of two keynote addresses at the National Student Research Conference at SUNY Oneonta. The address was entitled: “Comparative Philosophy: Theory and Praxis.”
10. October 12th-15th, 2005 – Presented a paper entitled “Softening the ‘Boundaries of the Self’ as Necessary for Individual Well Being and Peace in the World” at Hindu University, Orlando, Florida, as part of the Sixteenth International Vedanta Congress.
11. July 15th-20th, 2005 – Presented a paper entitled “Conditions for Freedom of a Citizen as Applied to the European Union,” at the International Society of Universal Dialogue, Sixth International Meeting, Helsinki, Finland. The paper was co-authored with Professor Christopher Vasillopulos, a colleague at Eastern Connecticut State University, who teaches Political Science.
12. July 9th-11th, 2004 – Presented a paper at the World Association of Vedic Studies (WAVES) in Washington, D. C. The paper, entitled “India’s Three Great Intellectual Contributions to the Contemporary Global Community,” has to do with the great contributions of India to world peace.
13. December 29, 2003 – Delivered a paper entitled, “Ahimsa: A Vedic Source for a Peaceful World Order,” at the Seventh India Conference of WAVES (World Association of Vedic Studies), the theme of which was “Contemporary World Order: A Vedic Perspective,” at The University of Pondicherry, Pondicherry, India.
14. May 18th-23rd, 2003 – Presented a paper “Islam: Extreme Fundamentalism and the Problem of the ‘Other,” at the International Society for Universal Dialogue Fifth World Congress, held in Ancient Olympia, Greece.
15. January 2003 – Presented a paper, “India’s Three Great Jewels: Overcoming the Ego; Ahimsa, and Meditation,” at the University of Pondicherry, Pondicherry, India.
16. July 9th-12th, 2002 – A major guest speaker at the International Conference of the World Association of Vedic Studies, the theme of which was “India’s Contributions and Influences in the World.” Presented a paper entitled “The Importance of Ahimsa in the Yoga Sutra, in Gandhi’s Thought, and in the Modem World.” The conference was held at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Ma.
17. November 9th, 2002 – “Ahimsa: A Way of Life,’” presented at the ECSU Peace Conference,” Perspectives in Peace.”
18. July 2001 – “Nietzsche’s Will to Power as Elan Vital,” presented at the Fourth Congress of the International Society of Universal Dialogue, Krakow Poland.
19. September 14th-17th, 2000 – Presented a modified version of the paper “Gandhi: Boundaries of the Self as They Affect Nonviolence and Peace,” at the Twelfth International Congress of Vedanta held at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
20. July 28th-30th, 2000 – Presented a paper, “Gandhi: Boundaries of the Self as They Affect Nonviolence and Peace,” at the World Association of Vedic Studies, Inc. (WAVES), at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey.
21. January 6th-8th, 2000 – I presented a paper,” Kant and Gandhi: ‘Boundaries of the Self’/Non-harm and Love/ Violence and Conflict,” at the colloquium “Ethnicity in the First World, the Third World and Ex-Communist Countries,” held at Panjabi University, Patiala. India.
22. March 1999- I presented a paper, “Non-Harm and Love: as Viewed by Immanuel Kant and Mahatma Gandhi” at the Tenth International Congress of Vedanta, held at the International Congress of Vedanta. held at Port of Spain, Trinidad.
23. November 3rd, 1995 – Presented a paper, entitled “The Nature and Function of Intuition in the Yoga and Advaita Vedanta Schools of Philosophy,” at the Eighth International Congress of Vedanta, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
24. November 1st-2nd, 1991 – “Ahimsa in Buddhist and Gandhian Thought,” presented at the Association for Asian Studies, New England Conference, at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. Also organized this panel which had members from each of the CSU campuses.
25. March 25th, 1991 – “Gandhi’s View of Satyagraha, Satya, and Ahimsa,” (Gandhi’s view of Satyagraha is a force of resistance to oppression, used by those seeking Satya, i.e., truth, by means of Ahimsa, i.e., non-harm and love). Presented as part of a panel at the American Academy of Religion, New England Region, Trinity college, Hartford, Ct.
26. April 5th-8th, 1990 – “Development of the Self,” (a view of the self which the Vedanta [Hindu] tradition can offer to the Western world), presented at the International Congress of Vedanta, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
27. June 1st-4th, 1989 – “The False Self in Hindu Philosophy,” Annual Convention of the College of Theology Society, at Nazareth College, Rochester, New York.
28. April 20 1989 – “Community and Curriculum,” presented at the Connecticut State University Scholarly Meeting of Philosophers, at Farmington, Ct.
29. November 1988 – “Knowledge of Reality: A Comparative Study of the Naiyayikas’ View and Heidegger’s View of Reality,” presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Hilton Hotel, Chicago, Illinois.
30 . June 1988 – “The Relation of Dharma to Karma,” presented at a panel on Karma, at the Pacific Meeting of the Association of Asian Studies (concerning Asian countries and countries of the Pacific Rim), held at California State University, Northridge, Ca.
31. May 26th-29th, 1988 – “Religious Pluralism: A Constructive Criticism,” presented at the Theology Society, Thirty-Fourth Annual Convention. The theme of the convention was “Theology in World Perspective,” and it was held at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA.
32. April 1987 (original) and November 6th-8th, 1987(with revision) – “Detachment and the Nature of the Supreme Being, in the Baghavad Gita,” presented at the Southern California Seminar on South Asian Thought, at California State University, Long Beach, Ca. Also, a revised version of the paper was presented at the 16th Annual Conference on South Asia, held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wi.
33. November 6th-10th, 1986 – “Hinduism and Tolerance,” a response to a paper given by Professor Rama Rao Pappu, on a panel, at the 15th Annual Conference on South Asia, held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wi.
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Other Professional Activity:
1.. 2011 – October 1st, a guest speaking engagement at the Voluntown Peace Trust Gandhi Gala. The topic discussion is Gandhi: A Man of Ahimsa.
2. 2006 – 2009 – A member of the Jain Academic Council of North America.
3. 2006 – 2009 – Actively involved with the Critical Thinking group on campus. For two different semesters, we sought to assess the students’ abilities to think critically. We did both pre and post tests to determine if the students could think critically. The pre tests were to determine the critical thinking ability of the students at the beginning of the semester and the post tests were to determine if they had improved in that ability.
4. 2006 – Studied Jainism for two months in India at the International Summer School of Jain Studies.
5. 2006 – Delivered eight talks on Ahimsa: a Way of Life; a Path to Peace in India (New Delhi, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad), and at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
6. April 2006 – Gave the key-note address at the National Student Conference, SUNY, Oneonta. The title of the address was: “Comparative Philosophy: Theory and Praxis.”
7. May 2005 – Attended the New England Educational Assessment Network workshop at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst as a representative from the Philosophy Department.
8. 2004 – I was on Sabbatical Leave doing research for my book on ahimsa.
9. May 2001-2003 – Invited to address the Asian Pacific American Group (APAG) of Pfizer at Groton, CT.
10. 2000-Present – Serving as one of the Secretaries for the World Association for Vedic Studies, Inc. (WAVES).
11. October 2000 – Presented a paper entitled, “Gandhi’s Ahimsa: Its Effects on Conflict and Violence” at the 12th Vedanta Congress, Miami University, Oxford, OH.
12. July 2000 – Presented a paper entitled, “Gandhi’s Ahimsa: Its Effects on Conflict and Violence.” The theme of the conference was “Contemporary Views on Indian Civilization,” and the conference was held in Hoboken, NJ.
13. January 2000 – Presented a paper entitled, “Gandhi and Kant: Non-harm and Love/ ‘Boundaries of the Self’/ Conflict and Violence” at a conference on “Ethnicity and Violence”, Panjabi University, Patiala, India.
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Special Topics Courses:
1. Spring 2010 – “What We Can Learn From Gandhi’s Belief in and Practice of Ahimsa.”
2. Fall 2009 – “Freedom: Its Meanings and Dimensions.”
3. Spring 2009 - “Critical Thinking”
4. Spring 2001 – “Birth of Western Thought” (co-taught with Professor Christopher Vasillopulos).
5. Spring 2000 – “Peace and Nonviolence” (focused on the writings of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama, and other peace activists). This course was also taught at CLIRS (retired teachers at the University of Connecticut), Summer 2000.
6. Spring 1999 – “Nietzsche” (co-taught with Professor Christopher Vasillopulos).
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Peace & Human Rights:
I have been the Chair of the Peace & Human Rights Committee, PHRC, at Eastern for over twelve years. In that time, we have had two conferences, one on Human Rights, one on Peace, and sponsored or co-sponsored many events.
Also, in 2005, the Senate at Eastern accepted the Peace and Human Rights
1. Fall 2009 – Professor Cromwell Crawford was one of the featured Arts & Lecture Series speakers. He spoke about the role of religion in bioethics. The event was actually sponsored by the PHRC, but the A&L Series advertised and helped to organze his talk. Professor Crawford is one of the Directors of the North American Academic Council for Jain Studies and the International School of Jain Studies, India, who has been responsible for the decision, by the Jain administrators, to grant seven scholarships to members of our university community (three students, three professors, and this summer a staff member).
2. April 2009 – Several PHRC Members and the Asian Studies Department members at the University of Connecticut held a lunch at UConn for Dr. Shugan Jain, the Director of the International Summer School of Jain Studies, India. He had come to the United States to lecture to Dr. Fitz’s class on Jainism and both of her ethics classes.
3. March 2009 – Professor Manoug Manougian, from the University of South Florida, presented a lecture on genocide at the University Hour. His presentation was called, “Man’s Inhumanity to Man.”
4. December 2008 – Three Tibetan Monks spent one week building a Peace Mandala. At the end of the week, the mandala was destroyed and in a special ceremony, the leftover materials were placed in the Willimantic river with a blessing for all people and peace. The PHRC co-sponsored this event.
5. October 2, 2008 – Six persons from India, South Africa and the U.S. presented a panel entitled, “Gandhi’s Legacy of Ahimsa.” One of the speakers was Professor Uma Mesthrie, Gandhi’s great-granddaughter from South Africa. The other members were Dr. Usha Thakkar, the Director of the Gandhi Research Institute, Mumbai, India
6. March 2008 – Professor Ashok Malhotra, from SUNY Oneonta, came to speak at the University Hour. In his presentation, he told about the work done by his Ninash Foundation, which builds schools for former harijan (untouchable) children in India.
7. 2007 – PHRC wrote and submitted a second proposal for a Peace and Human Rights Center. (The first was written about 2003.) However, Dr. Elsa Nunez, the President of Eastern, questioned whether the Board of Trustees would want to back such a center because it is not self-sustaining and because there is a Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut. So we have decided to apply for grant funding for an institute.
8. 2006 – Professor Raouf Mama brought the former Ambassador and Prime Minister of Benin to speak to our university. The PHRC contributed to this event and the ambassador spoke to at least one of my classes.
9. 2005 – Dr. Amii Omara-Otunnu, the UNESCO Chair of Comparative Human Rights at the University of Connecticut and five of Eastern’s students presented a forum in which the students questioned Dr. Omara-Otunnu about human rights issues in the world.
10. 2004 – Alex Kellington, a renowned photo-journalist, spoke of the people in Haiti. Her expertise is based on many visits to Haiti and an understanding of the people based on a command of their language and an acquaintance with Haitians from various walks of life and varied interests.
11. 2003 – PHRC members spent the summer and fall working on a Peace and Human Rights Minor.
12. 2002 – PHRC presented an all day conference called, “Perspectives in Peace.” There were experts from India, Ireland as well as U.S. scholars who are experts on Africa, South America and India. Also, Dr. Eudora Pettigrew, who was then the Vice President of IAUP (the International Association of University Presidents)/ U.N. Commission on Conflict Resolution, Disarmament Education and Peace.
13. 2002 – Several of the PHRC members were invited to the IAUP/U.N. Commission listed above. We presented our ideas for a Peace and Human Rights Center at Eastern.
14. February 9th, 2001 – Members of the Peace and Human Rights Committee at Eastern Connecticut State University, ECSU President David Carter, Vice-President Dimitrios Pachis, and Dean Beverley Anderson, I met with Dr. L. Eudora Pettrigrew (Chair, IAUP/UN Commission on Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution and Peace) in order to discuss ideas having to do with the future development of a Peace Center on campus.
15. February 26th, 2000 – Directed a conference on Peace & Human Rights at Eastern, sponsored by the ECSU Peace and Human Rights Committee and the Philosophy/Ideas Club. This event was co-sponsored by the Dean’s Office of the School of Arts & Sciences, as part of the Millennium Activities.
16. 1999-Present – Started a Peace and Human Rights Committee on campus comprised of professors, students, and several staff.
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Courses Currently Taught or Courses Taught Within the Past Few Years
Ethics has some Non-Western content.
South Asian Philosophy
Modern Western Philosophy
Peace and Nonviolence (Gandhi’s Notions of Ahimsa and Satyagraha, and how they effected Martin Luther King and other political thinkers of this century.)
Perspectives (an Introductory Course)*
Perspectives has some Non-Western content.
Creativity has some Non-Western content.
Contemporary Moral Problems
Course on Contemporary Moral Problems has some Non-Western content.
*These courses are generally offered by me each semester or every other semester..