Science, Technology, & Society – 4cr (STSH/STSS 1110) Breyman TF 2-3:50pm
An introduction to the social, historical, and ethical influences on modern science and technology. Cases include development of the atomic bomb, mechanization of the workplace, Apollo space program, and others. Readings are drawn from history, fiction, and social sciences; films and documentary videos highlight questions about the application of scientific knowledge to human affairs. The class is designed to give students freedom to develop and express their own ideas.
PDI Design Studio I - 4cr (IHSS 1610) Bennett/Costelloe-Kuehn/Nieusma MR 2-4:50pm
The first design studio in the Product Design and Innovation Program introduces students to general design through a series of short projects. The projects stress creative thinking and invention, observation and perception, communication and visualization, sketching, photography, model-making, and especially open-ended exploration.
Public Health & War on Drugs-4cr (IHSS 1962) Campbell MR 10-11:50 am
This course examines the history of social, political, and economic conditions of the War on Drugs. The television series “The Wire” serves as a major text for this course. By raising the question of what a public health approach to drugs might look like, this course challenges first-year students to play a policy-making role in the creation of evidence-based drug policy and public health policy.
Social Problems & the Wire-4cr (IHSS 1963) Kinchy M 10-11:50am R 10-10:50am & 11-11:50am
This course introduces students to sociology and its use in analyzing contemporary social problems in the United States. Using the acclaimed TV series, The Wire, as a text, in combination with more traditional readings in sociological theory and research, we will examine economic, gender, and racial inequality and how these problems intersect within the criminal justice system, electoral politics, and urban development.
Environment & Politics-4cr (IHSS 1966) Costelloe-Kuehn T 2-2:50pm & 3-3:50pm F 2-3:50pm
Students in this course participate in a series of class debates, presenting and cross-examining the arguments of those who have a stake in various environmental controversies (about energy, toxic chemicals, consumption, etc.) Students also work in groups to design a proposal for a project to help solve an environmental problem. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to develop their own environmental values and ideas. COMMUNICATION INTENSIVE.
Nature & Society - 4cr- (IHSS 1970) Akera TF 2-3:50pm
This course focuses on the social and ecological aspects of humans in the natural world. We emphasize critical thinking about where we come from and where we are going as a species. The course draws on historical perspectives and addresses contemporary issues such as climate change, our national energy resources, and the local foods movement. The course includes readings as well as student projects, field trips, guest lectures, and “ethnographic” assignments about our consumer society. The course is limited to first-year students enrolled in the Vasudha Living & Learning Community, or by permission of the instructor.
Environment and Society – 4cr, (STSS 2300) Mascarenhas MR 10-11:50am
The course's main theme is ecological sustainability: what it is, how it might be achieved, how it can be maintained. The theory and practice of sustainability are explored in three parts: through an examination of the concepts, actors, and processes of society-environment interactions; through an analysis of environmental philosophies and models for action; and by addressing the problems of and prospects for building sustainable societies. This course prepares students for advanced environmental humanities and social sciences courses.
PDI Design Studio III - 4cr (IHSS 2610) Neiusma TF 2-4:50pm
This studio design course focuses on an enriched sense of problem definition through an emphasis on the reach and interconnectedness of technology, and the conditionality of design selection criteria. Its design exercises, readings, and discussion press beyond marginal substitutions toward a broadened sense of possibility from, for example, “hypercars” and human-powered homes to small-scale local agriculture and extreme ecological living systems. This is a communication-intensive course.
Environment & Law – 4cr, (STSS 2960) Staff TF 10-11:50am
This is an introductory environmental law and policy course, with emphasis on the practical use and application of legal concepts.
American Politics & Society in Crisis- 4cr (STSS 2961) Winner MR 2-3:50pm
This course analyzes the workings of major institutions in American society and politics during a period in which key parts of our society seem dysfunctional, having lost their integrity and ability solve problems. Through a careful reading of texts in political science and social criticism we discuss symptoms, causes and possible remedies.
Readings in Science and Technology Studies - 1-6cr (STSH/STSS 2940/4940/6940) Staff TBA
With an individual faculty member on an agreed-upon topic.
Sustainability Problems– 4cr, (STSS 4270) Staff TF 12-1:50pm
In this course students will map the matrix of problems that make sustainability difficult – problems with the U.S. political, legal, and educational system, with media, culture, and individual behavior. Students will also identify sustainability pathways in transportation, urban design, education, alternative energy, etc. Throughout, students will analyze and try to produce effective environmental communication.
PDI Design Studio V - 4cr (STSH 4610) Eglash MR 9-11:50am
PDI studio V focuses on an enriched sense of program and user needs definition through methodologies of the humanities and social sciences. Studio projects, presentations and readings explore the relation of race, class, and gender to technology, and the potential of design to address societal problems. The course has often focused on incorporating information technology in educational tools for low-income primary school students.
Public Service Internship – 4cr, (STSH/STSS 4800) Staff T 4-5:50pm
This course offers insight into the public, policy process from the vantage point of a part-time internship in the public or private sector as well as an opportunity to explore a career option before actually embarking upon it. The following is a partial list of the large number of possible internships: airport planning, architecture, banking, biological research, clinical psychology, computer science, consumer protection, corporate management, engineering, environmental planning, geology, local government, materials and mechanical engineering, noise pollution abatement, personnel management review, premedical, public finance and taxation, public health management, public relations, social work, state legislature, stock market, transportation planning, and urban planning.
A Social Animal– 4cr, (STSS 4960) Caporael MR 2-3:50pm
Drawing on biological and cultural perspectives, this course considers continuities and discontinuities between humans, animals, and digital beings from a number of perspectives, including those relating cognition, sociality and embodiment. Broadly we explore the attribution of human characteristics to non-humans and machine characteristics to humans. We consider what makes an entity a "social animal" through comparative studies, experiments in cognitive science, and observations in the wild, and how such work influence, and is influenced by, familiar concepts such as society, innateness, mating, ethics and what constitutes "normal.” Prerequisites: Phil 1120 Minds and Machines, STSS 1510 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (or equivalent), STSS 2200 Engineering, Design, and Society; LITR 2150 or LITR 4160 The Human Mind in Fiction; Psych 2730 Social Psychology or Permission of the instructor.
Evolution, Cognition & Culture – 4cr (STSH/STSS 4961) Caporael MR 10-11:50am
What does evolutionary theory add to our understanding of human behavior, cognition, organization, and society? This course presents new perspectives in the philosophy of biology, particularly as they relate to humans, levels of selection, epigenetics and cultural evolutionary theories. A pervasive question posed throughout the course is the comparison and application of evolutionary and developmental perspectives as well as the relationship between biology and society. Prerequisites: Biology 1010 or equivalent or PHIL 296x Philosophy of Biology or permission of the instructor.
China & the US – 4cr, (STSS 4962) Winner MR 12-1:50pm
This class studies the social relations, politics, and economics of China in its relationship to the United States. Beginning with readings on modern Chinese history, the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Communist Party, Cultural Revolution, new opening of relations between the U.S. and China, and economic reforms of the past three decades, we will discuss a range of contemporary issues of concern to both the American and Chinese people.
Energy Politics– 4cr, (STSS 4963) Breyman TF 10-11:50am
Through lectures and in-class discussions, this course explores the history, domestic and international politics, policy, philosophy, economics, environmental consequences, media coverage of, and alternatives to, the US addiction to fossil fuels. Students, who may earn either humanities or social science credit, maintain analytical blogs with twice-weekly posts or write and present semester-length research papers, take a midterm exam and a comprehensive final exam. Four credit hours. Communications Intensive.
Sustainability Research Design – 4cr, (STSS 4964) Costelloe-Kuehn W 4-5:50pm
This course guides students through research design for a social science thesis, resulting in a thesis proposal and plan of work. The course helps students think about and focus their research goals, and identify sources of data. Students produce extensive research memos every week, which feed into the proposal due at the end of the semester. Restricted to STS, SUST and DIS majors. Meets with ‘Senior Project’ (STSH/STSS 4980).
Environmental Justice – 4cr (STSS 4965) Mascarenhas MR 2-3:50pm
Over years of painstaking research and emotionally charged activism, environmental justice scholars have been able to successfully link questions of social justice, equity, rights and people’s quality of life. For environmental justice scholars and activists, environmental problems are social problems; the two are inseparable. This is because “toxic victims are, typically, poor or working people of modest means. Thus their environmental problems are inseparable from their economic condition. The purpose of this course is to explore how racial, economic, and cultural background can influence people’s access to clean, safe, and productive environments. We will pay particular attention to Indigenous peoples issues both in North America and around the world.
International Econ & Global– 4cr (STSS 4966) Duchin MR 12-1:50pm
This course investigates the significance of economic globalization, covering the following topics: international trade and financial flows, technological innovation and intellectual property, technology transfer, national government and transnational corporations, natural resources, health and the environment, impacts on selected industries and countries, and roles of the world trade organization and international monetary fund. The major controversies surrounding globalization are identified, and alternative arguments are evaluated based on available evidence. Meets w/ ECON 4190 Prereq: ECON 1200 or permission of instructor.
Senior Project – 4cr (STSH/STSS 4980) Costelloe-Kuehn W 4-5:50pm
Ordinarily consists of independent research, supervised by a faculty member, culminating in a written thesis. A creative endeavor such as a videotape or computer program may be substituted with departmental permission. This is a communication-intensive course. Meets with ‘Sustainability Research Design’ (STSS 4964).
Concepts in STS - 3cr (STSS 6020) Kinchy T 9-11:50am
A two-semester graduate seminar designed primarily for matriculates in the department’s M.S. program in Science and Technology Studies. Introduces students to the literature and the current issues in the constituent disciplines of Science and Technology Studies. Considers applications of this scholarship to current practical problems involving the human dimensions of science and technology. The first semester culminates in a bibliographic essay. In the second semester, students conduct research under the supervision of individual faculty members on topics of mutual interest.
Engineering Studies - 3cr (STSH 6960) Akera F 10-12:50pm
Since the founding of the International Network for Engineering Studies (INES), “Engineering Studies” has emerged as a significant area of inquiry within STS. While developed in contradistinction to Science Studies, with a focus on the epistemic culture of engineering that distinguishes it from the sciences, the Engineering Studies community has also been highly international in its outlook, and has embraced aspects of social justice and action that distinguishes it from mainstream work in Science Studies. In Engineering Studies, we intentionally shift the focus from “technology” to engineering and engineers (including engineering education), although the instrumental nature of engineering knowledge and expertise remain central to our analysis. In this graduate seminar, we will review key works in the field that encompass historical, anthropological, sociological, and other approaches to the study of engineers. Though primarily a readings seminar, approximately 1/3 of the course emphasis will be on student directed research involving, at minimum, a synthesis of the secondary literature on a specific topic within the general domain of Engineering Studies. (For example, this might be on engineering and sustainability, or engineering and disasters; Topic to be negotiated with instructor.) Please note that work on engineering design, green design, and international development will be covered in STSS-69xx Design Seminar (Nieusma), by arrangement, although we may decide to have one or more joint meetings on these topics. (x credits)
Design Seminar- 3cr (STSS 6960) Nieusma R 10-12:50pm
For more information, please contact instructor.
STS Colloquium- 1cr (STSS 6962) Breyman W 1-2:50pm
For more information, please contact instructor.
Energy Politics– 3cr, (STSS 6963) Breyman TF 10-11:50am
Through lectures and in-class discussions, this course explores the history, domestic and international politics, policy, philosophy, economics, environmental consequences, media coverage of, and alternatives to, the US addiction to fossil fuels. Students, who may earn either humanities or social science credit, maintain analytical blogs with twice-weekly posts or write and present semester-length research papers, take a midterm exam and a comprehensive final exam. Four credit hours. Communications Intensive.