Courses

Fall 2015

Freshmen/Sophomore Seminar

The Social Lives of Dead Bodies in China and Beyond (HIST 0685A) – CRN 16392 – SCSO 0700D – S01

Interested students must register for HIST 0685A (CRN 15417 )

Associated Term: Fall 2015
Registration Dates: 
Levels: Extra Credit Graduate, Undergraduate

Corpses, much like the living, are not neutral bodies, but are managed into structures of social meaning. This course aims to uncover corpses as signifiers and actors during times of community upheaval. We will take modern China as our focal point, but also look elsewhere in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia since the 19th century, when the broadening scale and nature of warfare; state expansion; rapid urban and rural development; global circulations of technology; and the interplay of international philanthropies with older forms of charity and ritual pacification significantly affected the treatment, conceptions, and actions of the dead. WRIT SOPH

1100 Advanced Lectures

Astronomy, Divination and Politics in the Ancient World (ASYR 1700) – CRN 16310 – SCSO 1152 – S01

Interested students must register for ASYR  1700 (CRN 14845 )

Associated Term: Fall 2015
Registration Dates: 
Levels: Extra Credit Graduate, Undergraduate

This course will explore the relationship between astronomy, divination and politics in the ancient world. The sky provided ancient cultures with many possibilities for observing occurrences that could be interpreted as omens. In many cultures, celestial omens were directed towards the king and his government. As a result, interpreting and controlling celestial omens became an important political activity. In this course, we will explore how and why astronomical events were used politically in ancient Mesopotamia, the Greco-Roman world, and ancient and medieval China. No prior knowledge of astronomy is necessary for this course. WRIT

History of Medicine I: Medical Traditions in the Old World Before 1700 (HIST 0286A) – CRN 16311 – SCSO 1385 – S01

Interested students must register for HIST 0286A (CRN 14896)

Associated Term: Fall 2015
Registration Dates: 
Levels: Extra Credit Graduate, Undergraduate

People have always attempted to promote health and prolong life, and to ameliorate bodily suffering. Those living in parts of Eurasia also developed textual traditions that, together with material remains, allow historians to explore their medical practices and explanations, including changes in their traditions, sometimes caused by interactions with other peoples of Europe, Asia, and Africa. We'll introduce students to major medical traditions of the Old World to 1700, with emphasis on Europe, and explore some reasons for change.  A knowledge of languages and the social and natural sciences is welcome not required. Not open to first year students. P

Science at the Crossroads (HIST 1825M) – CRN 16393 – SCSO 1390 – S01

Interested students must register for HIST 1825M (CRN 15424)

Associated Term: Fall 2015
Registration Dates: 
Levels: Extra Credit Graduate, Undergraduate

This course will look closely at the dramatic developments that fundamentally challenged Western Science between 1859 and the advent of the Second World War in the 1930s. Its primary focus will be on a variety of texts written in an effort to understand and interpret the meanings of fundamentally new ideas including from the biological side--evolutionary theory, genetic theory, and eugenics; from the physical side relativity theory, and quantum mechanics. The class should be equally accessible to students whose primary interests lie in the sciences and those who are working in the humanities. WRIT 

1700 Advanced Seminars: Topics in Science and Society

Neuroethics  – CRN 16312 – SCSO 1700P – S01

Associated Term: Fall 2015
Registration Dates:
Levels: Graduate, Undergraduate
Attributes: Liberal Learning, Writing - Designated Courses

Main Campus
Primary Meeting Schedule Type
1.000 Credits
In this course, we will examine ethical, social, and philosophical issues raised by developments in the neurosciences. Topics will include: neurodevelopment and the emergence of persons; the impact of child abuse on brain development; aging, brain disease, and mental decline; life extension research; strategies and technologies for enhancement of human traits; "mind-reading" technologies; agency, autonomy, and excuse from responsibility; error and bias in memory; mind control; neuroscientific and evolutionary models of religious belief and moral judgement. Enrollment limited to 20. Instructor permission required. LILE

 Instructors: Jeffrey S. Poland, Arto Nurmikko  Day/Time: Tuesday 4-6:30pm

The First Scientific Americans: Exploring Nature in Latin America, 1500-1800– CRN – SCSO 1701C – S01

Associated Term: Fall 2015
Registration Dates:
Levels: Graduate, Undergraduate
Attributes: Liberal Learning, Writing - Designated Courses

Main Campus
Primary Meeting Schedule Type
1.000 Credits
Who were the “first scientists” in the Americas?, what exactly do we mean by “science” in this context?, and what has amounted to “America” in the past? Focusing on present-day Latin America, this seminar analyses the links between the exploration of the New World and scientific discovery in the early modern period. We will explore issues of primacy (why have both empires and scientists cared about “arriving first”); the nature of science (what kind of knowledge has been considered “scientific” in different periods); and locality in knowledge production (was there something special about the New World in fostering scientific thinking).

Instructor: Iris M. Montero Sobrevilla  Day/Time: Monday 3-5:30pm

Race, Difference, and Biomedical Research: Historical Considerations (BIOL 1920D) – CRN 16355 - SCSO 1701E – S01

Interested students must register for BIOL 1920D (CRN 15124)

Associated Term: Fall 2015
Registration Dates: 
Levels: Extra Credit Graduate, Undergraduate

This advanced seminar places the current debate over race, health, and genetics in historical context. An overarching goal is to understand how the social world informs the scientific questions we ask, design of research studies, and interpretation of findings. How have the theories and practices of biomedical science and technology produced knowledge of “race” and racial difference historically? How does race relate to gender and class? What are the implications of this debate for understanding health inequality? Previous coursework in Africana Studies, biomedical science, history of science, and/or science and technology studies preferred. Enrollment limited to 20; instructor permission. WRIT

The Nuclear Age (HIST 1974S) – CRN 16313 – SCSO 1701F – S01

Interested students must register for HIST 1974S (CRN 15428)

Associated Term: Fall 2015
Registration Dates: 
Levels: Extra Credit Graduate, Undergraduate

This is a course for students interested in questions about the development of atomic weapons, their use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Cold War arms race that followed, and debates over the risks associated with other nuclear technologies. We will look carefully at the scientific and military imperatives behind the Manhattan Project, the decisions that led to the use of atomic weapons on Japan, and subsequent efforts to reflect on the consequences of those choices. We will also explore how popular protest and popular culture after 1945 shaped our understanding of the terrors and promise of the nuclear age. WRIT

1900 Senior Seminar in Science and Society – CRN 16314 – SCSO 1900 – S01

This is an advanced senior seminar that explores real- world problems in STS. To solve assigned problems students will want to explore critical scholarship in areas such as laboratory studies, feminist science and technology studies, the rhetoric and discourse of science and technology, expertise and the public understanding of science. Course is intended for Science and Society senior concentrators, but is open to others with appropriate background. Enrollment limited to 20.

Associated Term: Fall 2015
Registration Dates:
Levels: Graduate, Undergraduate
Attributes: Liberal Learning, Writing - Designated Courses

Main Campus
Primary Meeting Schedule Type
1.000 Credits

Instructor: Sherine Hamdy     Day/Time: Monday 3-5:30pm

Independent Study in Science and Society – CRN – SCSO 1971 - S01

Associated Term: Fall 2015
Levels: Graduate, Undergraduate

Main Campus
Independent Study/Research Schedule Type
1.000 Credits
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