HASS Inquiry (1000 LEVEL, first year students only or permission of instructor)

Environment and Politics (IHSS1240, 4cr, Gowdy) M 2:00-3:50PM, R 2:00-3:50PM or 4:00-5:50PM
Students in this course participate in a series of class debates, presenting and cross-examining the arguments of people who have a stake in different 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. SUST. Communication intensive.

Global Health Challenges (IHSS 1961, 4cr)TF 4:00-5:50PM
This course explores current and emerging global health problems and possible solutions. We will compare problems in low, middle and high income countries, examining different health challenges (associated with malaria and child birth, for example), ethnomedical practices, medical ethics, and ways environmental problems impact human health.

Religion in a Global World (IHSS 1967, 4cr, Royer) MR 4:00-5:50PM
This course explores the role of religion in the everyday lives of people around the world, and ways religion becomes interlaced with media and politics.


Science, Technology, & Society (STSH/S1110-01, 4cr, 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. SUST. Communication intensive.

IT and Society (IHSS1220, 4cr, Malazita) TF 2:00-2:50/3:00-3:50
Will IT increase prosperity? For whom? What role should governments play in IT development? Do corporations have new responsibilities in the Information Era? What about IT professionals? This course explores the issues, the arguments, and working solutions. The first section examines macro indicators and trends. The second section examines the microeconomics and politics of specific arenas—the software industry, the automated work place, telemedicine, television. The last section explores opportunities for improving society, using IT. Communication intensive.


Design, Culture and Society (STSS 2210, 4cr, Winner) MR 10:00-11:50AM
Students in this course develop a critical understanding of the relationships between design, culture, and society seen in both historical and contemporary contexts. 'Design' is defined broadly, touching on product/industrial design, urban design, and today’s alternative design approaches such as ecological and feminist design. Communications intensive. Restricted to DIS majors.

Environment & Society (STSH 2300, 4cr, Mascarenhas) TF 2:00 -4:50PM
Society and the natural environment are crucially linked in a number of ways. Environmental problems such as pollution and natural resource depletion are not only problems for society, affecting the way we live our lives; they are also problems of society—the result of patterns of social organization and social practices. In this course, we will explore these society/environment interactions at various levels, from the local to the global, using the concepts and insights of environmental sociology. SUST.

Environment and Law (STSH 2320, 4cr, Howard) MR 2:00-3:50PM
This is an introductory environmental law and policy course, with emphasis on the practical use and application of legal concepts. SUST.

Laws, Values and Public Policy (STSS 2350, 4cr, Howard) MR 12:00-1:50PM
This course explores an array of ethical, legal and policy issues. Cases include patent infringement, medical malpractice, product liability, pollution, and land use. SUST.

Medicine and Society (STSS 2400, 4cr) TF 12:00-1:50
This course explores the social dimensions of health and medicine, examining factors shaping disease, access to health care, and therapeutic choices. It also explores the different stakeholders in health (doctors, nurses, patients, parents) and their interaction.

Century of the Gene (STSH 2410, 4cr, M.Fortun) MR 10:00-11:50AM
This course explores the scientific and social history of genetics, from Darwin and Mendel to the Human Genome Project. Topics include: plant and animal breeding in the early twentieth century; eugenics movements; bacterial and fruit fly genetics; the development of molecular biology; the invention of recombinant-DNA technologies; the emergence of the biotechnology industry; the sociobiology controversies; genetics and evolutionary theory; and the Human Genome Project and contemporary genomics.


STS in the World (STSS 4962, 1 cr, Kinchy) M 4:00-4:50
This 1-credit course is open to students majoring in Science and Technology Studies, Sustainability Studies, and Design, Innovation and Society. The course will prepare students to apply the knowledge gained in their degree programs to real-world issues and problems. Participants will investigate, present, and discuss contemporary issues relating to science and technology, such as: fracking, drones, reproductive technologies, genetic engineering, surveillance technologies, climate adaptation, water infrastructure, and emerging public health threats. Restricted to STSO, SUST and DIS majors.

Race in Culture (STSS 4968, 1cr, Costelloe-Kuehn) W 6:30-9:30
This course revolves around documentary films that explore how race and culture intersect in settings around the world. Following film screenings, facilitated discussion and writing exercises will encourage critical perspective and personal reflection, including analysis of how race plays out at RPI and in daily lives. All of the work for the course will be completed within the class time. Students wishing to dive deeper can sign up for the companion seminar “Race as Global Challenge.”

Design in Culture (STSS/H4963, 1cr, Costelloe-Kuehn) T 6:30-9:30PM W 12:30-2:30
This course revolves around documentary films that explore diverse design challenges and solutions in settings around the world, focusing on sustainable and regenerative design. Following film screenings, facilitated discussion and writing exercises will encourage critical perspective and personal reflection. All of the work for the course will be completed within the class time. Students wishing to dive deeper can sign up for the companion seminar Sustainability by Design.

Senior Project ( (STSH/S4966, 4cr, Malazita) W 2:30-6:20PM
This course is designed to support the development of STS senior thesis projects. Independent research supervised by a faculty member, culminating in a written thesis. Communication intensive. Restricted to STSO, SUST and DIS majors with senior standing.

Senior Project II (STSS 4971, 4cr, Malazita) W 2:30-6:20
This course is the second semester thesis/project course for STSO and SUST full-year thesis students.

PDI Studio VI (STSS 4610 / ENGR 4610, 4cr, Malazita) MR 2:00-4:50PM
The sixth design studio in the interdisciplinary Programs in Design and Innovation sequence, this course introduces students to organizational dimensions of new concept design, development and dissemination, including entrepreneurship, organization planning, product management, and branding and marketing. The course requires students to synthesize social, technical, business, and formal concerns in the design of innovation objects, environments, or systems. Restricted to DIS majors: Non-engineering dual-majors elect STSS 4610; Engineering dual-majors elect ENGR 4610.

Race as Global Challenge (STSS 4969, 4cr) W 6:30-9:3-PM + R 4:00-5:50
This course is designed to compliment Race in Culture, a one credit film-based course (that students will be auto-enrolled in) exploring how race and culture intersect in settings around the world. Race as Global Challenge will provide an opportunity to dive deeper into the topics covered by the films, discussing resonant readings and conducting original research. Researchers, activists and other members of the community will join the class as guest discussants.

Sustainability by Design (STSS 4962, 4cr, Costelloe-Kuehn) W 12:30-2:30
This course is designed to compliment Design in Culture, a one credit film-based course that students will be auto-enrolled in. Sustainability by Design will provide an opportunity to dive deeper into the topics covered by the films, discussing resonant readings and conducting project-based research. Students will present original research and design work to the campus community. Design researchers and practitioners will join the class in a series of guest lectures.

Social Movements (STSH/S4961/4970, 4cr) TF 2:00-3:50
This course explores social movements around the world activated by students, workers, communities of color, and communities impacted by environmental destruction.

Engineering Ethics STSH 4210, 4cr, Nieusma) MR 2:00-3:50PM
This course explores the ethical issues that engineers encounter in their professional practice. It also examines social values and law and policy issues that shape engineering and technological decision making. Using case studies, professional codes of conduct, and scholarly literature, the course examines the responsibilities of engineers in relation to their employers, clients, and co-professionals and their responsibility for public safety and welfare. SUST.

Bioethics (STSH/S 4250, 4cr) MR10:00-11:50AM
This course explores historical and contemporary perspectives on bioethics. Topics include death-with-dignity and physician-assisted suicide; human experimentation, including prisoners, the sick, and the disabled; neuroethics; animal research; and emergent topics such as stem cell research, prenatal diagnostics, and genetic testing. Communications intensive.

Sustainability Education (STSS 4280, 4cr, K.Fortun) MR 4:00 - 5:50 + lab W 9 - 11:50AM
This course examines needs for and challenges of delivering environmental education in different settings. Students critically review existing environmental education curricula then design and deliver their own to K-12 students. The history of public education in the United States, factors shaping contemporary education, various approaches to environmental education, and the complex challenge of interdisciplinary curriculum design are examined. Students in the course develop and demonstrate their own educational and environmental values. SUST. Communications intensive.

Globalization & Development (STSH 4500, 4cr, Mascarenhas) TF 10:00-11:50AM
This course examines tensions between economic development and environmental protection in settings around the world, highlighting challenges in Africa, India, and other countries in the Global South. SUST. Communications intensive.

Self-Organization in Science & Society (STSH/S 4580, 4cr, Eglash) MR 12:00-1:50PM
Self-organization has become an increasingly important phenomenon in both the natural sciences and engineering. Self-assembly of molecular structure is critical to nanotechnology; self-regulating ecosystems are modeled in biology, and so on. But recursive loops in which things govern themselves are also foundational to society: democracy is the people governing the people; social networks on the internet arise by self-assembly, and many indigenous societies use self-organization to create sustainable ways of life. This course will introduce students to models of self-organization in natural science and engineering, and examine their potential application to society, politics, and ethics. SUST

Consumer Culture (STSH 4720, 4cr, Akera) TF 12:00-1:50PM
What is consumer culture? What are its roots, its consequences, and alternatives? Documentaries and the research of anthropologists, historians, and religious scholars examine consumer culture in the US and UK including recognition of the global locations in which our consumer goods are made. Topics include buying and selling, shopping, retail, manufacture, material culture, pricing, consumer goods, disposal, kinship, identity, exchange, and advertising, with attention paid to differences in race, class, and gender.

Public Service Internship (STSS/S 4800, 4cr, Howard) R 4:00-5:50 PM
In this course, students do an internship in a non-profit organization then produce a report in which they analyze both their internship organization and the social problem it addresses. Prerequisites: STSH-1110/STSS- 1110 or permission of instructor. SUST

China and the US (STSS 4961, 4cr, Winner) MR 2:00-3:50PM
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.

Sustainability Careers (STSS 4964, 4cr, Costelloe-Kuehn) MR 12:00-1:50 Costello
Advancing environmental sustainability will depend on many kinds of expertise. In this course, students will explore the evolving terrain of green jobs, and diverse sustainability-oriented career pathways they could purse that leverage the expertise they have developed through their undergraduate studies. This course provide students the opportunity to conduct sustained research that examines where sustainability-oriented work is being done, and how people with varied expertise are making a contribution.

Environmental and Resource Economics (ECON 4260 / STSS4965, 4cr, Gowdy) MR 10:00-11:50AM
Introduces students to the basic analytical approaches to environmental issues and natural resource use. Emphasis is on economic valuation and public policy. Covers traditional approaches based on assumptions of economic rationality and market efficiency as well as current approaches from the fields of environmental science behavioral economics. Emphasis is on active student participation and examination of current environmental controversies. Prerequisite: ECON 2010 or equivalent or permission of instructor.

International Economics and Globalization (STSS 4966, 4cr, Duchin) MR 10:00-11:50
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. SUST.

Economics, Tech and Sustainability (STSS 4967, 4cr, Duchin) MR 2:00-3:50
This course explores the relationships between the economy and the material world. It identifies the most critical challenges to sustainable economic development on local to global scales and ways of addressing them. The course examines options surrounding material and energy flows, technological alternatives, livelihoods, consumption behavior, public policy, civil society institutions and social movements as avenues for meeting the major challenges to sustainability. SUST.


Writing Practicum (STSS 696O, 1cr, Kinchy) M 10:00 - 10:50AM
Set writing goals, complete a writing project, and exchange constructive feedback on works in progress. Students enrolled in this course are expected to make consistent progress toward their own writing goals and will receive peer review at various stages of their writing. Enrolled students are also expected to provide peer review for about two papers each month. Restricted to STS graduate students.

Teaching Practicum (STSS 6961, 1cr, Kinchy) M 11:00 - 11:50 AM
In this course, students will explore a variety of approaches to teaching STS and will exchange constructive feedback on lesson plans, classroom management strategies, grading techniques, teaching statements, syllabus design, and other key issues related to effective pedagogy in traditional and non-traditional course settings. Restricted to STS graduate students.

Presentation Practicum (STSS 6965, 1cr, Kinchy) W 2:30-3:30PM
Students in this course will participate in the weekly STS Brown Bag seminar series. Students are expected to attend the seminar weekly, give one research presentation, and provide constructive feedback on other presentations over the semester. Restricted to STS graduate students.

Environment and Health (STSS 6400, 3cr, M.Fortun) T 9:00-11:50
This course explores how the health impacts of environmental problems are understood and responded to through medical, legal, and regulatory intervention. Case studies are used to highlight different strategies for dealing with environmental illness, comparing the perspectives of affected people, medical professionals, scientists, lawyers, government officials, industry representatives, and media. Readings are both empirical and theoretical, drawn from multiple disciplines and interdisciplinary perspectives, including anthropology, feminist and postcolonial theory, public health, data science, and history.

Design Seminar (STSS 6963, 3cr, Nieumsa) R 9:00-11:50
This seminar provides a weekly forum for participants from diverse backgrounds to develop skills thinking about, practicing, and researching design. We will work together to understand better the various factors that shape design practice, research, teaching, and outcomes. We will aim to develop a collaborative language for studying design and promoting both improved scholarship and smarter design practice.

Policy Studies (STSS 6100, 3cr, Breyman) F 9:00-11:50
An overview of the field of science and technology policy studies from various disciplinary perspectives and a survey of various policy types or arenas. The texts, theories, and arguments that were important for the historical development of the field are covered, as well as contemporary issues. The seminar provides the resources and develops the skill needed for understanding, criticizing, constructing, and developing research in the field.