About Special Topics Courses

The CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) has developed a number of special topics courses, available online for Spring 2021, designed to address the myriad of social, political and economic issues facing today’s workers. Courses are available both at the undergraduate and graduate level and can be taken as one of 4-courses for accredited certificate or degree programs (see below for more information).


Cooperative Management for a Changing World

Special Topics URB 651 – section E002 47440

In this course, students will foster and expand their leadership and management skills that apply to working in cooperatives, non-hierarchical organizations and self-managed teams. A deep exploration of the principles of “democratic control,” and “economic participation” will be applied in theory and practice.

Contact Rebecca Lurie for more information.


Race and Labor

LABR 302—Contemporary Labor Issues: Labor and Race (4-credit Undergraduate)
LABR 669 – Selected Topics in Labor Studies (3 Credits Graduate)

This survey course critically examines the relationship between the labor movement and people of color in the United States, with emphasis on African Americans. There is an emphasis on how the present situation has been shaped by earlier historical developments. The course also examines the impact of the civil rights movement on the labor movement, the history of the United Farm Workers, as well as more recent movements among workers of color and their relationship to the labor movement.

Contact Maureen LaMar or David Unger for more information.


Occupational Health and Safety in the time of COVID

LABR 331 (4-credit undergraduate)
LABR 669.003 (3-credit graduate)

The labor movement has always led the charge to protect working people from workplace injury, illness and death. Working with allies, labor has won strong protections against hazards and stronger rights for workers through organizing and collective bargaining, saving many lives. But COVID-19 has exposed the inadequacy of U.S. laws and regulations and their enforcement. This course will introduce students to the core knowledge areas of occupational health and safety, regulatory protections including OSHA and NLRA ……and what went wrong and what needs to be done.

Contact Maureen LaMar or David Unger for more information.


Labor Struggles and Labor Law

LABR 669.002 (3-credit Graduate)

In recent years, there has been an increase in worker union activity and militancy in the face of drastic declines in union membership. This course surveys significant events in U.S. labor history from the early 19th century to the present, analyzing key labor struggles and the role of labor law in advancing and limiting the outcomes of those struggles. The outcomes of many of these labor struggles are relevant today.

Contact Maureen LaMar or David Unger for more information.

Learn more about our Labor and Urban Studies programs