State Sanctioned

A clearinghouse for information, analysis, and resources related to state sanctioned violence in the United States

Sample Curricula and Lesson Plans


Here you will find sample syllabi and lesson plans on a variety of topics related to violence.  If a link doesn’t work, try the “archived” version. To submit your own syllabus, please contact me.

See also: Films and Media for Classroom Use and Teaching About Lynching

A note on ethical practices & syllabus exchange.

Jump down to: GeneralGenderInterpersonalMediaPrison StudiesPoliticalRace — War & War CrimesK – 12 — Popular Education

Please note – some links open as a PDF. 

Sample Syllabi on Violence (General)

Empirical Studies of Violence – Dr. Scott Straus (archived)

Sociology of Violence – Dr. Jennifer Carlson (archived)

Violence: A Multidisciplinary Inquiry Course Syllabus – Emory University (archived)

Violence and NonViolence – Dr. Robert Garot

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Sample Syllabi on Gender and Violence

Consortium on Gender, Security & Human Rights – syllabus collection

Domestic Violence and the Black Community – Ms. Anquinetta Calhoun

Gender and the Culture of War – Dr. Deborah Cohler (archived)

Gender and Violence – Dr. Mahri Irvine (archived)

Gender Violence in Global Perspectives – Dr. Diane Knust (archived)

Gender-Based Violence on Campus – Dr. John Foubert (archived)

The Politics of Gender Violence – Dr. Andrea Krizsan

Sample Syllabus Gender Violence – Dr. Valli Kalei Kanuha

Violence Against Native Women – Dr. Sara Campbell (archived)

Violence Against Women – Dr. Cheryl MacFarland

Women and Violence – Dr. Pat Washington (archived)

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Sample Syllabi on Interpersonal Violence

Interpersonal Violence – Dr. Mike Maume

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Sample Syllabi on Media and Violence

Beholding Violence in Drama and Film – Dr. Eileen Joy (archived)

How to Read Violence – Dr. Bradley Gorski (archived2)

Sociology of Art and Literature (focuses on Prisons) – Dr. Avery Gordon

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Sample Syllabi on Prison Studies

Abolition- Slavery Supermax and Social Movements – Liman Public Interest Workshop (Yale)

America’s Death Penalty – Dr. Austin Sarat (PDF: Americas Death Penalty Sarat)

Imprisonment and Justice – Dean Spade

Police Violence and Social Control – Dr. David Correia (archived)

Policing Latinidad: From Border Wars to Mass Incarceration – Dr. Marisol LeBron

Prison Abolition Class – Black and Pink (Rev. Jason Lydon) (archived)

Race and the Criminal Justice System – Dr. Joao Vargas

The War on Crime: Crime, Criminalization, and Urban America – Dr. Pia Moller – for PDF: War on Crime Moller

War on Crime/War on Drugs – Dr. Matthew Lassiter – for PDF: Lassiter War on Crime War on Drugs

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Sample Syllabi on Political Violence

Drug Trafficking, Violence and Corruption: Comparative Perspectives in Mexico and Colombia – Dr. Carlos Flores

Ethnography of Political Violence – Dr. Erin Jessee (archived)

Political Violence – Dr. Macartan Humphreys

Political Violence – Dr. Cathy Schneider

Race Violence and the State – Dr. Justin Hosbey

The State & Violence – Dr. Sayres Rudy

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Sample Syllabi on Race and Violence (see also Teaching About Lynching)

Charleston Syllabus – African American Intellectual History Society (archived) – will soon be published as paperback reader

The Chicago Seven Conspiracy Trial – Teaching and Curriculum Activities from the Federal Judicial Center (archived23)

#ChicagoSyllabus – google doc for educators to find and share resources, esp. re: shooting of Laquan McDonald

Domestic Violence and the Black Community – Ms. Anquinetta Calhoun

Ferguson Syllabus: Teaching about Police ViolencePrison Culture Blog  (archived)

Ferguson Syllabus – Crowdsourced, reported in The Atlantic. (archived) Discussed also in Inside Higher Education

The Freddie Gray Course – discusses University of Maryland law school’s course examining Freddie Gray and the Baltimore uprising

Mizzou Syllabus – African American Intellectual History Society (racial justice on campus)

Native American Resilience and Violence in the West – UShistory.org (archived)

Performance, Race, Violence and the Body – Dr. Christen Smith

People-of-Color Campus Activism, “Teach-In” Bibliography, 2013 – present – Austin McCoy

Race, Riots, and Violence in the U.S. – Dr. Luis Alvarez

Racial Violence in Modern America – Dr. Jason Ward (archived) – for PDF: Racial Violence in Modern America

Syllabus Wiki from Racism Review

Violence Against Native Women – Dr. Sara Campbell – for PDF: Violence Against Native Women

What is Racial Difference? – Dr. Cord Whitaker (archived)

Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation (multimedia exhibit, includes ideas for teaching) – Dr. Matthew Delmont

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Sample Syllabi on War and War Crimes

U.S. War Crimes Policy and the Holocaust – Dr. Graham Cox

Violence, Human Rights, and Justice – Dr. Erica James (archived23)

War Crimes – Dr. James Meernik

War Crimes and Genocide – Dr. Erica Bruchko (archived2)

War Crimes and Prosecution – Dr. Jonathan Drimmer

War Crimes Genocide and Justice – Dr. Allan Ryan

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Lesson Plans for K – 12 Education

A Different Approach to School Safety – brief documentary (~15 mins) looking at a school that tries to build safety without employing police or metal detectors

Black and Blue Activity Guide – created by Project NIA for youth workers and educators to talk with young people about policing and violence (PDF: Black and Blue Activity Guide)

The Chicago Seven Conspiracy Trial – Teaching and Curriculum Activities from the Federal Judicial Center (archived23)

Native American Resilience and Violence in the West – UShistory.org (archived)

Police Violence Zine – connecting to the Black and Blue Activity Guide listed above (Project NIA) – archived

Sample Lesson Plan on the Bizbee Deportation of 1917 – Mitch Askew and Molly Goulden

Teaching About the Trayvon Martin Case – thoughts and examples from Hassan Adeeb, high school history teacher

From Teaching Tolerance:

Slavery as a Form of Racialized Social Control

Jim Crow as a Form of Racialized Social Control

Mass Incarceration as a Form of Racialized Social Control

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Popular Education

Ferguson Syllabus: Teaching about Police ViolencePrison Culture Blog

Historical Moments in Police Violence Pamphlet Series (broken link? try this: alt link)

Interrupt Violence: An Interactive Exploration into the Persistent Problem of Violence in American Cities – from project Interrupt Violence

Introduction to the Prison-Industrial Complex – curriculum guide created by the Chicago Prison-Industrial Complex Teaching Collective (PDF here)

People-of-Color Campus Activism, “Teach-In” Bibliography, 2013 – present – Austin McCoy, Dept. of History, University of Michigan

Something is Wrong: Exploring the Roots of Youth Violence, from Project NIA

Systems of Inequality: Criminal Justice, handout from Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Talking About Policing and Violence with Youth: A Resource and Activity Guide – Project NIA

Timeline of Policing and Resistance in the U.S. – created by the Chicago Prison-Industrial Complex Teaching Collective (archived)

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