Courses

Spring 2015

0100 Introductory Lectures
 

Introduction to Environmental Social Science 
Scott Frickel, T, Th 09:00 am - 10:20 am
SCSO 0292 - 26321 (ENVS 0495)
Interested students must register for ENVS 0495 (CRN 26193)

 This course introduces students to core areas of theory and research in the environmental social sciences. It also challenges students to think carefully about what we learn and don’t learn when we apply different disciplinary lenses to interdisciplinary environmental challenges.

The Philosopher's Stone: Alchemy from Antiquity to Harry Potter
Tara Nummedal, M, W, F 01:00 pm - 1:50 pm
SCSO 0381 - 25571 (HIST 0150B)
Interested students must register for HIST 0150B (CRN 25460)

Alchemy today conjures Harry Potter or Full Metal Alchemist, not the serious scholarly tradition that captivated Isaac Newton and Carl Jung. We will explore alchemy’s long history, examining how it has endured and adapted to different cultural, social, intellectual, economic, and religious contexts. What did alchemists do? How did they explain their art? And why has alchemy come to represent fraud and folly in some circles and wisdom in others? Students will answer these questions by conducting research in the Hay. HIST 0150 courses introduce students to methods of historical analysis, interpretation, and argument. Presumes no previous history courses. E

Digital Media
TBA, W 02:00 pm - 2:50 pm
SCSO 0470 - 25049 (MCM 0230)
Interested students must register for MCM 0230 (CRN 24257)

This course introduces students to the crtiical study of digital media: from surveillance to hactivism, from cyberpunk fiction/films to art installations, from social media to video games. We will analyze the aesthetics, politics, protocols, history and theory of digital media. Special attention will be paid to its impact on/relation to social/cultural formations, especially in terms of new media’s “wonderful creepiness,” that is, how it compromises the boundaries between the public and private, revolutionary and conventional, work and leisure, hype and reality.

0700 Freshmen/Sophomore Seminars

 

Controversies in Medicine
Lundy Braun, Th 04:00 pm - 06:30 pm
SCSO 0700A - 26320 (BIOL 0920A)
Interested students must register for BIOL 0920A (CRN 25769)

Why and how do controversies in medicine emerge at specific moments in time? Why do scientists come to different conclusions based on the same data? Does it matter how we interpret controversies? This sophomore-level seminar critically analyzes contemporary controversies in medicine and public health. Using a case study approach, we will examine the social and political assumptions that inform important controversies. Questions related to the relationship between science, media, activism, and health inequality will be woven into the case studies. Enrollment limited to 20 sophomores. (For theme, not biology, credit in Health and Human Health and Biology only.)

Gender, Nature, the Body
Sherine Hamdy, W 12:00 pm - 1:20 pm
SCSO 0700C - 26322 (ANTH 1223)
Interested students must register for ANTH 1223 (26221 )

This course is an interrogation of the ways in which gender difference comes to be conceived of as “natural” in modern science and different cultural contexts. What is the connection between the science of gender difference and the colonial encounter? What are some different ways of imagining gender difference? How are gender inequalities structured and perpetuated by science and political economy? Through careful reading of historical and anthropological texts, we will learn about various ways in which gender systems are constructed and resisted, how science is used to construct gender, and how gender politics influence scientific outcomes and practices.    

1000 Introduction to Science and Society

 

Introduction to Science and Society: Theories and Controversies
Jeffrey Poland,  T, Th 10:30 am - 11:50 am
SCSO 1000 - 25633

What is "science"? How do scientific ideas become knowledge? What is the nature of scientific objectivity, how can it be compromised? What is a scientific community, scientific consensus, and scientific authority? What roles does science play in our culture, and how is science related to other social institutions and practices? The interdisciplinary field of science studies is introduced through exploration of topics that include: gender and race, psychiatric classification, the drug industry, science and religion, and the use of nuclear weapons during World War II. Enrollment limited to 30 sophomores, juniors, seniors; other may enroll with permission of instructor. LILE WRIT

1100 Advanced Lectures

 

AIDS in Global Perspective
Adia Benton,  T, Th 9:00 am - 10:20 am
SCSO 1121 -  (ANTH 10200)
Interested students must register for ANTH 1020 (CRN 24427)

Communities around the world are affected in different ways by the HIV-AIDS pandemic. This course is concerned with cross-cultural variation in knowledge, perception, and treatment of AIDS in a global context. Twenty-five years into the global epidemic, how does social and cultural variation influence the continued spread or management of the disease? In addition to reading significant anthropological works related to the meaning of AIDS in cultural context, the course will address major public health initiatives related to the global AIDS pandemic, and offer an anthropological critique of their design, implementation and success. Enrollment limited to 40.

Time in the Ancient World
John M. Steele,  T, Th 10:30 am - 11:50 am
SCSO 1150 - 26323 (AWAS 1650)
Interested students must register for AWAS 1650 (CRN 26028)

Time plays many roles in civic and everyday life: calendars provide a way of regulating activities ranging from gathering taxes to knowing when to perform religious rituals. This course will provide an introduction to the way time was measured, used, regulated and conceived in the ancient world. We will cover topics such as the calendars used in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and China, sundials and other instruments used for measuring time in the ancient world, and the way time is used in scientific and non-scientific texts. WRIT

Roots of Modern Science
Joan Richards,  T, Th 1:00 pm - 2:20 pm
SCSO 1382 - 26400 (HIST 1190)
Interested students must register for HIST 1190 (CRN 25756)

This course explores the ways theories of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics grew in relation to the natural, cultural and social worlds of the 18th and 19th centuries. There are no formal pre-requisites for the course, which is designed to be equally open and accessible to science and humanities students. WRIT M 

Science and Capitalism
Lukas Rieppel,  M, W, F 2:00 pm - 2:50 pm
SCSO 1384 - 25572 (HIST 1783)
Interested students must register for HIST 1783 (CRN 25464)

We will explore the longstanding relationship between science and commerce from the 17th century to our own asking when the modern notion of science as a disinterested pursuit of objective truth took root. We will also explore how knowledge of the natural world has been shaped by personal, financial, and other kinds of self-interest in a number of diverse contexts ranging from Galileo’s invention of the telescope in Renaissance Italy to the patenting of genetically engineered organisms in today's world, paying special attention to the diverse mechanisms that have been devised to guard against fraud and disinformation. E

History of Medicine II: Development of Scientific Medicine in Europe and the World
Harold Cook,  M, W, F 9:00 am - 9:50 am
SCSO 1386 - 25574 (HIST 1491)
Interested students must register for HIST 1491 (CRN 24189)

From the 18th century onward, Western medicine has claimed universal validity due to its scientific foundations, relegating other kinds of medicine to the status of "alternative" practices. The course therefore examines the development of scientific medicine in Europe and elsewhere up to the late 20th century, and its relationships with other medical ideas, practices, and traditions. Students with a knowledge of languages and the social and natural sciences are welcome but no prerequisites are required. Not open to first year students. E

From Medieval Bedlam to Prozac Nation: Intimate Histories of Psychiatry and Self
Jennifer Lambe,  M, W, F 2:00 pm - 2:50 pm
SCSO 1388 - 26324 (HIST 1681)
Interested students must register for HIST 1681 (CRN 25909)

Humankind has long sought out keepers of its secrets and interpreters of its dreams: seers, priests, and, finally, psychiatrists. This lecture course will introduce students to the history of psychiatry in Europe, the United States, and beyond, from its pre-modern antecedents through the present day. Our focus will be on the long age of asylum psychiatry, but we will also consider the medical and social histories that intersect with, but are not contained by, asylum psychiatry: the rise of modern diagnostic systems, psychoanalysis, sexuality and stigma, race, eugenics, and pharmaceutical presents and futures. M

1700 Advanced Seminars
 

Descartes' World
Harold Cook,  M 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
SCSO 1700T - 25050 (HIST 1979H)
Interested students must register for HIST 1979H (CRN 24190)

An exploration of history and historical fiction through the examination of the early life of René Descartes, one of the most famous “French” philosophers of the 17th century. Little is known about his personal life, however, especially before he left France for good in 1628, despite many hints about his years as a soldier, his extensive travels in Europe, and his possible political and occult associations. This seminar is designed as a collective exploration into the small pieces of evidence about his early life and the lives of his friends and enemies in order to understand it imaginatively but truthfully. P

Science and Performance
Coleman Nye,  
SCSO 1700Z - 26327 (TAPS 1450)
Interested students must register for TAPS 1450 (26297)

Performance is everywhere – on television, in theatres, in rituals such as weddings and graduations, and in everyday acts like dating, eating, and shopping. Performance also happens in less expected spaces, such as scientific laboratories and surgical theatres, where some of our most privileged forms of knowledge are produced. Indeed, one definition of a fact is “a thing done, made, or performed.” The readings, writing assignments, group exercises, field trips, and guest lectures in this course will give us the tools to think critically about how seemingly neutral, objective, and universal scientific truths and medical technologies are produced and transformed through performances in labs and clinics, on media and theatre stages, and in everyday life. Some topics will include the physics of dance, performance as a mode of research, the dramaturgy of scientific discovery, theories of mimesis, realism, and second natures, critical feminist approaches to scientific modes of representing and intervening, and feminist, queer, and anti-racist uses of performance to subvert, challenge, or reimagine scientific knowledge and expertise. 

Environmental History of Latin America
Daniel Rodriguez, Th 04:00 pm - 06:30 pm
SCSO 1701A - 26328 (HIST 1979N)
Interested students must register for HIST 1979N (CRN 26033)

From the development of sugar as the major slave commodity of the 18th century Caribbean to the “Water Wars” in the Bolivian highlands at the turn of the 21st century, race, labor, and imperialism in Latin America have been shaped in relation to the natural environment. This course explores the role of the environment in the colonial and modern history of Latin America. Together, we will examine how the environment shaped the processes of conquest, displacement, settlement, and trade, as well as how these processes transformed the natural environment throughout the hemisphere. E

Techno-Ecologies: Health, Environment and Culture in the Digital Age
Amy L. Moran-Thomas,  T, Th 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm
SCSO 1701B -  (ANTH 1551)
Interested students must register for ANTH 1551 (26223)

This course examines how people's health and lived experiences are impacted today by global environments in flux-and how these interconnected ecologies are deeptly shaped and scrutinized in turn through various networks of technoscience. Topics will include food and nutrition in post-industrial economies; "conservative medicine" and the health of animals; energy and art; the global health implications of climate change; representations of race and indigeneity amid  the "politics of nataure"; society and microbiome; oil leaks and water wars; chemical exposures and disease; hybridity and nano-technology; and debates surrounding corporate social responsibility in practice. DPLL LILE

Independent Study
 

1971 Independent Study
Independent reading and research work in Science and Society is available to students who have completed introductory and intermediate level work in Science and Society. A decision to enroll must be made via consultation with the concentration advisor and the faculty advisor for the course. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course. Prerequisite: SCSO 1000. Open to junior and senior concentrators in Science and Society; instructor permission required.

2700 Graduate Seminar in Science and Society
 

The Politics of Knowledge
Lukas Rieppel, Th 04:00 pm - 06:30 pm
SCSO 2700A - 26329 (HIST 2981F)
Interested students must register for HIST 2981F (CRN 25819)

The seminar offers an introduction to fundamental theoretical texts and exemplary works in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies. Readings will be drawn from a range of time periods and geographical areas, and students will be asked to deploy the theoretical insights of our readings in working with sources in their own fields for a final research paper. Topics include: the gendered dimensions of knowledge, the moral economy of science, claims to expertise, and the stakes of "objectivity."

Environmental History
Nancy Jacobs, T 06:00 pm - 08:30 pm
SCSO 2700B - 26330 (HIST 2981E)
Interested students must register for HIST 2981E (CRN 25871)

The seminar offers an introduction to fundamental theoretical texts and exemplary works in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies. Readings will be drawn from a range of time periods and geographical areas, and students will be asked to deploy the theoretical insights of our readings in working with sources in their own fields for a final research paper. Topics include: the gendered dimensions of knowledge, the moral economy of science, claims to expertise, and the stakes of "objectivity."