Courses - Fall 2020

STS 1101 Science, Technology, and Politics

From global warming to surveillance of citizens to health-care reform, issues in science, technology, and medicine are also political issues. This course uses contemporary scientific controversies to explore the intersections of science and politics. Issues explored may include the role of the military and private sector in funding research, the politics of experts and expertise, computer privacy and national security, and environmental politics.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Leuenberger (cal22)
Full details for STS 1101 : Science, Technology, and Politics
STS 1123 FWS: Technology and Society Topics

This seminar explores the ways in which Technology and Society shape one another and provides the opportunity to write extensively about this mutual shaping. Topics vary by section.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Catherine Coyle (cmc569)
Full details for STS 1123 : FWS: Technology and Society Topics
STS 1126 FWS: Science and Society Topics

This seminar explores the ways in which Science and Society shape one another and provides the opportunity to write extensively about this mutual shaping. Topics vary by section.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Lisa Avron (laa222)
Full details for STS 1126 : FWS: Science and Society Topics
STS 1128 FWS: Planetary Health: Plagues, Pandemics, Extinctions

The global movement of humans, animals, and goods has brought the world to our doorsteps. We can chat with a student from Pakistan, drink coffee from Tanzania, teach words to a parrot from Brazil, and wear wool from New Zealand. But moving with people, animals, and goods we want are viruses, bacteria, fungi, and invasive species that destroy forests, drive species to extinction, and make humans ill. This course examines global movements as a source of deep concern for environmentalists and public-health experts. It explores how human health and environmental health are deeply interconnected. Readings will include New Yorker environment writer Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction, novelist Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death," and others. Among other writing, students will write a personal essay based on their coronavirus experience and a position paper promoting and defending a public-health measure (such as vaccination).

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rachel Prentice (rep35)
Full details for STS 1128 : FWS: Planetary Health: Plagues, Pandemics, Extinctions
STS 1180 Evolution

Evolution is the central concept in biology. This course examines evolution as a science and places it in an historical context. Classes focus on descent with modification, the nature of natural selection, the history of the earth, the information content of the fossil record, and processes responsible for diversification (speciation and extinction). The science of evolutionary biology is presented in the context of a broader history of ideas in science. The course also explores the importance of evolutionary thinking in the 21st century, including discussion of antibiotic and pesticide resistance, personalized genomics, eugenics, and climate change.

Distribution: (PBS-AS, BIO-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Michelle Smith (mks274)
Full details for STS 1180 : Evolution
STS 1942 The History of Science in Europe: Newton to Darwin; Darwin to Einstein

What is modern science? And how did it get that way? This course examines the emergence of the dominant scientific worldview inherited by the 21st century, to trace how it, and its associated institutional practices, became established in largely European settings and contexts from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. It focuses on those broad conceptions of the universe and human knowledge that shaped a wide variety of scientific disciplines, as well as considering the twin views of science as "natural philosophy" and as practical tool. 

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, PHS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Dear (prd3)
Full details for STS 1942 : The History of Science in Europe: Newton to Darwin; Darwin to Einstein
STS 2011 What Is Science? An Introduction to the Social Studies of Science and Technology

This course introduces some central ideas in the field of S&TS. It is aimed at students from any background who are challenged to think more critically about what counts as scientific knowledge and why, and how science and technology intervene in the wider world. It also serves as an introduction to majors in Biology and Society or in Science and Technology Studies. The course mixes lectures, discussions, writing, and other activities. The discussion sections are an integral part of the course and attendance is required. A series of take-home written assignments and quizzes throughout the semester comprise the majority of the grade.

Distribution: (CA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Stephen Hilgartner (shh6)
Full details for STS 2011 : What Is Science? An Introduction to the Social Studies of Science and Technology
STS 2051 Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine

In the rapidly changing world of healthcare, complex ethical issues arise from interpersonal interactions between patients and clinicians to broad controversies that propel medicine into headline news.  This course will examine ethical challenges in contemporary medicine, healthcare, and biomedical research from the bedside to health policy.  Using case-vignettes, news stories, narratives, and readings from the healthcare, ethics, and social science literature we will examine issues from multiple vantage points. A range of topics will be explored including the patient-clinician relationship, heath care decision-making, issues at the beginning and end-of-life, technological advances, human experimentation, healthcare systems, and distributive justice. The course will also examine the fluidity of normative ethical boundaries, and how context and point of reference influence our perceptions of and approach to ethical issues. 

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kim Overby (kjo46)
Full details for STS 2051 : Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine
STS 2131 Science Fiction

Science fiction is not merely a literary genre but a whole way of being, thinking, and acting in the modern world. This course explores classic and contemporary science fiction from Frankenstein to The Hunger Games alongside a rich array of fiction and films from Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Our discussions will position these works vis-à-vis seminal thinkers, ranging from Plato to Descartes and Donna Haraway to Paul Crutzen, who ask the same questions as science fiction does about our selves, our world, and our future.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Anindita Banerjee (ab425)
Full details for STS 2131 : Science Fiction
STS 2280 What is Public Health?

How have different dimensions of our lives become matters of public health? Focusing on modern America, this course explores how public health has been bound up with histories of the state, the economy, and inequality. Most broadly, we will ask what is defined as a public health problem and why. The class examines early attempts to control infectious disease, the expansion of public health in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and new dimensions of public health in the post-war period. In the final portion, the class will explore recently recognized threats to the public's health. Throughout, we will pay attention to the practices of public health that have fostered or challenged hierarchies of race, gender, class, and ability.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Hannah LeBlanc (hfl22)
Full details for STS 2280 : What is Public Health?
STS 2451 Introduction to Bioethics

Bioethics is the study of ethical questions raised by advances in the medical field.  Questions we'll discuss will include:  Is it morally permissible to advance a patient's death, at his or her request, to reduce suffering?  Is there a moral difference between killing someone and letting someone die?  What ethical issues are raised by advance care planning?  What is it to die?  What forms of cognitive decline or physical change could you survive (and still be you)?  On the flip side, were you ever a fetus?  How should the rights of pregnant women be balanced against those of the fetus?  Should parents be given control over the genetic make-up of their children?  Are some forms of human enhancement morally troubling?  Should we aim to be better than well?  What is it to be disabled?  How should scarce health care resources or costly therapies be allocated to those in need?  Should organ sales be permitted?  Should medical treatment (or health insurance!) ever be compulsory, or is mandating treatment unacceptably paternalistic?  Should doctors or hospitals be permitted to refuse to provide certain medical services that violate their consciences?

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Julia Markovits (jm2476)
Full details for STS 2451 : Introduction to Bioethics
STS 2561 Medicine and Healing in China

An exploration of processes of change in health care practices in China. Focuses on key transitions, such as the emergence of canonical medicine, of Daoist approaches to healing and longevity, of "scholar physicians," and of "traditional Chinese medicine" in modern China. Inquries into the development of healing practices in relation to both popular and specialist views of the body and disease; health care as organized by individuals, families, communities, and states; the transmission of medical knowledge; and healer-patient relations. Course readings include primary texts in translation as well as secondary materials.

Distribution: (HA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tj Hinrichs (th289)
Full details for STS 2561 : Medicine and Healing in China
STS 2643 The Birth of Science: Discovering the World from Antiquity to Today

What can Aristotle, Archimedes, Hippocrates and other ancient scientists teach us about science as we know it today? In this course we will study the origins of scientific thought and experiment in mathematics, biology, medicine, astronomy and more in the ancient Mediterranean, comparing them to modern approaches as well as examples from classical China, the medieval Islamic world, Mesoamerica, and Africa. We will discuss questions about the philosophy of science and its socio-historical context and engage actively with ancient problem-solving methods.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Courtney Roby (car295)
Full details for STS 2643 : The Birth of Science: Discovering the World from Antiquity to Today
STS 2751 Robot Ethics

Covers the ethics of intelligent autonomous systems. Fulfills liberal studies credit – is not an ECE technical elective. As technologies and algorithms that can autonomously take in information, make decisions, and act on those decisions become more and more prevalent, questions arise as to the moral and ethical aspects of their use. What are the philosophical foundations for a new Robot Ethics? Topics covered include social and therapeutic robotics, search and rescue, surveillance, military decision making, financial markets, social media, robot artists, robot scientists, automation, medical robotics, and policing, among others.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Park Doing (pad9)
Full details for STS 2751 : Robot Ethics
STS 2831 Introduction to the Philosophy of Science

We will look at some central questions about the nature of scientific theory and practice. What makes a discipline a science? Does science discover the objective truth about the world? How, and why, do scientific theories change over time? To what extent do observation and experiment determine which theories we accept? What is a good scientific explanation? What are laws of nature? Does physics have a special status compared to other sciences?

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Shaun Nichols (sbn44)
Full details for STS 2831 : Introduction to the Philosophy of Science
STS 3020 Science Writing for the Media

How to write about science, technology, and medicine for the media. Writing assignments focus on writing news for web sites, blogs, magazines, and other media.

Distribution: (SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Danielle Eiseman (dle58)
Full details for STS 3020 : Science Writing for the Media
STS 3111 Sociology of Medicine

This course provides an introduction to the ways in which medical practice, the medical profession, and medical technology are embedded in society and culture. We will ask how medicine is connected to various sociocultural factors such as gender, social class, race, and administrative cultures. We will examine the rise of medical sociology as a discipline, the professionalization of medicine, and processes of medicalization and demedicalization. We will look at alternative medical practices and how they differ from and converge with the dominant medical paradigm. We will focus on the rise of medical technology in clinical practice with a special emphases on reproductive technologies. We will focus on the body as a site for medical knowledge, including the medicalization of sex differences, the effect of culture on nutrition, and eating disorders such as obesity and anorexia nervosa. We will also read various classic and contemporary texts that speak to the illness experience and the culture of surgeons, hospitals, and patients, and we will discuss various case studies in the social construction of physical and mental illness.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Leuenberger (cal22)
Full details for STS 3111 : Sociology of Medicine
STS 3231 Global Health Security and Diplomacy

This course analyzes the development of foreign policy at the nexus of global health and national security in an attempt to better define and understand the evolving concept of "Global Health Security and Diplomacy". Interdisciplinary in nature, the course covers a broad set of themes and their intersection, including science and technology policy, biodefense and counter terrorism, gender disparity and development, nonproliferation, food security, global health, and U.S. diplomacy. Emphasis is placed on the current U.S. administration's efforts to advance a national security and foreign policy agenda inclusive of global grand challenges. We will also pay particular attention to understanding to the role of non-governmental organizations in global health security.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jason Rao (jr797)
Full details for STS 3231 : Global Health Security and Diplomacy
STS 3311 Environmental Governance

Environmental governance is defined as the assemblage of institutions that regulate society-nature interactions and shape environmental outcomes across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Institutions, broadly defined, are mechanisms of social coordination including laws (formal) and social norms (informal) that guide the behavior of individuals. Participants in the course will explore the roles of governments, markets, and collective action in environmental management and mismanagement. We will emphasize interactions among leading environmental policy strategies: public regulation, market-based incentives, and community-based resource management. The course is focused around a set of analytic perspectives. These theoretical frameworks allow us to synthesize empirical observations and material changes in ways that inform our understanding of contemporary evolution of environmental policy and management.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Steven Wolf (saw44)
Full details for STS 3311 : Environmental Governance
STS 3650 History and Theory of Digital Art

In this course students will examine the role of mechanical, electronic and digital technologies in the arts of the late 20th and early 21st centuries with emphasis on Europe and North America. Beginning with kinetic art and the cybernetically inspired work of the late 1960s, we will explore early uses of computer technology, including early synthetic video in the 1970s. An overview of pre-internet telematic experiments will lead to an investigation of net.art. The ongoing development of behavioral art forms including interactive installations, robotics, generative art, artificial life art, responsive environments, bio art and video games will be a central theme. Students will be encouraged critically to evaluate a variety of theoretical discourses concerning modern technologies.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Maria Fernandez (mf252)
Full details for STS 3650 : History and Theory of Digital Art
STS 3991 Undergraduate Independent Study

Applications for research projects are accepted by individual STS faculty members. Students may enroll for 1–4 credits in STS 3991 with written permission of the faculty supervisor and may elect either the letter grade or the S–U option. Information on faculty research, scholarly activities, and undergraduate opportunities are available in the Science & Technology Studies office, 303 Morrill Hall. Independent study credits may not be used in completion of the major requirements.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Dear (prd3)
Full details for STS 3991 : Undergraduate Independent Study
STS 4101 The Entangled Lives of Humans and Animals

One animal behaviorist speculates that big brains develop when species are social; that is, when they must read cues from members of their group to understand when to approach, when to flee, when to fight, when to care. This course looks not only at animals in their social lives, but also at animals in their lives with us. We ask questions about how species become entangled and what that means for both parties, about the social lives of animals independently and with humans, about the survival of human and animal species, and about what it means to use animals for science, food, and profit. The course draws on readings from Anthropology, Science & Technology Studies, and animal trainers and behaviorists.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rachel Prentice (rep35)
Full details for STS 4101 : The Entangled Lives of Humans and Animals
STS 4131 Comparative Environmental History

One of the most troubling realizations of the 20th century has been the extent to which human activities have transformed the environment on a global scale. The rapid growth of human population and the acceleration of the global economy have meant that the 20th century, in environmental terms, has been unlike any other in world history. This course takes a comparative approach, examining crucial themes in the environmental history of the 20th-century world in different times, places, and ecologies.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sara Pritchard (sbp65)
Full details for STS 4131 : Comparative Environmental History
STS 4511 Topics in Media Arts

Topic - Biological Art (Bio Art): From the late 20th-century to the present, artists have made art using live entities including plants, animals, cells, tissue cultures and bacteria. They have designed habitats, plants, body organs, imaged new species and attempted to salvage extinct ones. Some artists also have produced works in traditional media such as painting, sculpture and photography. While artists always have depicted and sometimes directly engaged with aspects of the natural world in their art, bio art responds to recent developments in genetics and information technologies. Because of its foundation on the life sciences this art entails significant ethical, social and political dimensions. In this seminar students will explore the history of biological art as well as relevant literature with attention to pertinent artistic and critical literature and to the scientific practices in which the works are based. For this purpose, the class will consult with specialists working on fields relevant to the art covered in the course. We expect these interdisciplinary investigations to prepare students for a grounded assessment of bio art.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Maria Fernandez (mf252)
Full details for STS 4511 : Topics in Media Arts
STS 4653 The World as Image: Projection Technology, Media, Representation

The seminar investigates the historical force exerted by projection technologies on the definition of the world as an image. It explores a spectrum of projection theories, histories of projective mechanisms, and artistic deployments of projected images. Readings will traverse a broad theoretical and disciplinary terrain from histories of cartography, cinema, and climate modelling to linear perspective and psychoanalysis. For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Full details for STS 4653 : The World as Image: Projection Technology, Media, Representation
STS 4911 Vitality and Power in China

Chinese discourses have long linked the circulation of cosmic energies, political power, and bodily vitalities. In these models political order, spiritual cultivation, and health are achieved and enhanced through harmonizing these flows across the levels of Heaven-and-Earth, state, and humankind. It is when these movements are blocked or out of synchrony that we find disordered climates, societies, and illness. In this course, we will examine the historical emergence and development of these models of politically resonant persons and bodily centered polities, reading across primary texts in translation from these otherwise often separated fields. For alternate frameworks of analysis as well as for comparative perspectives, we will also examine theories of power and embodiment from other cultures, including recent scholarship in anthropology and critical theory.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tj Hinrichs (th289)
Full details for STS 4911 : Vitality and Power in China
STS 4991 Honors Project I

Students must register for 4 credits each semester (4991-4992) for a total of 8 credits. After the first semester, students receive a letter grade of "R"; a letter grade for both semesters is submitted at the end of the second semester whether or not the student completes a thesis or is recommended for honors. Minimally, an honors thesis outline and bibliography should be completed during the first semester. In consultation with the advisors, the director of undergraduate studies will evaluate whether the student should continue working on an honors project. Students should note that these courses are to be taken in addition to those courses that meet the regular major requirements. If students do not complete the second semester of the honors project, they must change the first semester to independent study to clear the "R" and receive a grade. Otherwise, the "R" will remain on their record and prevent them from graduating.

Academic Career: UG Full details for STS 4991 : Honors Project I
STS 6010 Borders Belonging Technoscience

This seminar considers technologies of placemaking, with an emphasis on borders and belonging. It takes technology as something that is not self-evident as a category or form: rather, technology is approached as a concept that must be interrogated. For this reason, while much of the course focuses on technoscience and its intersections with borders and belonging, we begin instead with how ideas like the West, modernity, the nation-state, and borders work in and of themselves as technologies of place, belonging, exclusion, and violence. Topics include technologies of power, making and crossing borders, and placing technoscience.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Noah Tamarkin (nt383)
Full details for STS 6010 : Borders Belonging Technoscience
STS 6511 Topics in Media Arts

Topic - Biological Art (Bio Art): From the late 20th-century to the present, artists have made art using live entities including plants, animals, cells, tissue cultures and bacteria. They have designed habitats, crops, body organs, created new species and attempted to salvage extinct ones. Some artists also have produced works in traditional media such as painting, sculpture and photography. While artists always have imaged and sometimes directly engaged with aspects of the natural world in their art, bio art responds to recent developments in genetics and information technologies. Because of its foundation on the life sciences this art entails significant ethical and political dimensions. In this seminar students will explore multiple areas of bio art with attention to pertinent artistic and critical literature and to the scientific practices in which the works are based. For this purpose the class will consult with specialists and visit laboratories on campus relevant to the art covered in the course. We expect these interdisciplinary investigations to prepare students for a grounded assessment of bio art.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Maria Fernandez (mf252)
Full details for STS 6511 : Topics in Media Arts
STS 6653 The World as Image: Projection Technology, Media, Representation

The seminar investigates the historical force exerted by projection technologies on the definition of the world as an image. It explores a spectrum of projection theories, histories of projective mechanisms, and artistic deployments of projected images. Readings will traverse a broad theoretical and disciplinary terrain from histories of cartography, cinema, and climate modelling to linear perspective and psychoanalysis. For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Academic Career: GR Full details for STS 6653 : The World as Image: Projection Technology, Media, Representation
STS 6751 Science, Race, and Colonialism

Scholarly work in the last two decades has increasingly focused on the oft-neglected linkages between technology and science on the one hand and the discourses and practices of colonialism and imperialism on the other. Texts of broad conception like Michael Adas' Machines as the Measure of Men and Gyan Prakash's recent Another Reason have made an attempt to provide an overview of many of the issues involved, but the field awaits a genuinely synthetic treatment. This course will aim to provide the framework for such a treatment by looking at a number of key areas of current interest. The first half of the course begins with a survey of the history of ideas of race and the development of "race-sciences" in the 19th century, including a sampling of primary materials on Darwinian theories of race and later formulations of social Darwinism. The latter part of the course will explore a number of specific themes, including the importance of social statistics and technologies of identification (fingerprinting), medicine and hygiene, scientific nationalism and nationalist science, the periphery as laboratory, and gender, savagery, and criminality. Readings will comprise a mixture of primary and secondary sources, and students are encouraged to contribute topics and texts of particular interest.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Suman Seth (ss536)
Full details for STS 6751 : Science, Race, and Colonialism
STS 6991 Graduate Independent Study

Applications and information are available in 303 Morrill Hall.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Peter Dear (prd3)
Full details for STS 6991 : Graduate Independent Study
STS 7005 STS Perspectives

This one-credit seminar is designed to introduce PhD students in Science & Technology Studies (STS) to the faculty in the STS graduate field and their scholarly interests and work. Faculty members will be invited to lead one week of the course during the fall semester. Course leaders will set the agenda for their week (e.g., discussing a reading of their choice, introducing their research agenda, or discussing emerging issues the field). Reading assignments will be minimal; no more than 40 pages each week.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Stephen Hilgartner (shh6)
Full details for STS 7005 : STS Perspectives
STS 7111 Introduction to Science and Technology Studies

Provides students with a foundation in the field of science and technology studies. Using classic works as well as contemporary exemplars, seminar participants chart the terrain of this new field. Topics for discussion include, but are not limited to, historiography of science and technology and their relation to social studies of science and technology, laboratory studies, intellectual property, science and the state, the role of instruments, fieldwork, politics and technical knowledge, philosophy of science, sociological studies of science and technology, and popularization.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Rebecca Slayton (rs849)
Full details for STS 7111 : Introduction to Science and Technology Studies
STS 7937 Proseminar in Peace Studies

The Proseminar in Peace Studies offers a multidisciplinary review of issues related to peace and conflict at the graduate level. The course is led by the director of the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies and is based on the Institute's weekly seminar series, featuring outside visitors and Cornell faculty. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Rebecca Slayton (rs849)
Full details for STS 7937 : Proseminar in Peace Studies
BSOC 1942 The History of Science in Europe: Newton to Darwin; Darwin to Einstein

What is modern science? And how did it get that way? This course examines the emergence of the dominant scientific worldview inherited by the 21st century, to trace how it, and its associated institutional practices, became established in largely European settings and contexts from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. It focuses on those broad conceptions of the universe and human knowledge that shaped a wide variety of scientific disciplines, as well as considering the twin views of science as "natural philosophy" and as practical tool. 

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, PHS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Dear (prd3)
Full details for BSOC 1942 : The History of Science in Europe: Newton to Darwin; Darwin to Einstein
BSOC 2051 Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine

In the rapidly changing world of healthcare, complex ethical issues arise from interpersonal interactions between patients and clinicians to broad controversies that propel medicine into headline news.  This course will examine ethical challenges in contemporary medicine, healthcare, and biomedical research from the bedside to health policy.  Using case-vignettes, news stories, narratives, and readings from the healthcare, ethics, and social science literature we will examine issues from multiple vantage points. A range of topics will be explored including the patient-clinician relationship, heath care decision-making, issues at the beginning and end-of-life, technological advances, human experimentation, healthcare systems, and distributive justice. The course will also examine the fluidity of normative ethical boundaries, and how context and point of reference influence our perceptions of and approach to ethical issues. 

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kim Overby (kjo46)
Full details for BSOC 2051 : Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine
BSOC 2131 Science Fiction

Science fiction is not merely a literary genre but a whole way of being, thinking, and acting in the modern world. This course explores classic and contemporary science fiction from Frankenstein to The Hunger Games alongside a rich array of fiction and films from Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Our discussions will position these works vis-à-vis seminal thinkers, ranging from Plato to Descartes and Donna Haraway to Paul Crutzen, who ask the same questions as science fiction does about our selves, our world, and our future.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Anindita Banerjee (ab425)
Full details for BSOC 2131 : Science Fiction
BSOC 2420 Nature-Culture: Ethnographic Approaches to Human Environment Relations

One of the most pressing questions of our time is how we should understand the relationship between nature, or the environment, and culture, or society, and whether these should be viewed as separate domains at all. How one answers this question has important implications for how we go about thinking and acting in such diverse social arenas as environmental politics, development, and indigenous-state relations. This course serves as an introduction to the various ways anthropologists and other scholars have conceptualized the relationship between humans and the environment and considers the material and political consequences that flow from these conceptualizations.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Paul Nadasdy (pn79)
Full details for BSOC 2420 : Nature-Culture: Ethnographic Approaches to Human Environment Relations
BSOC 2561 Medicine and Healing in China

An exploration of processes of change in health care practices in China. Focuses on key transitions, such as the emergence of canonical medicine, of Daoist approaches to healing and longevity, of "scholar physicians," and of "traditional Chinese medicine" in modern China. Inquries into the development of healing practices in relation to both popular and specialist views of the body and disease; health care as organized by individuals, families, communities, and states; the transmission of medical knowledge; and healer-patient relations. Course readings include primary texts in translation as well as secondary materials.

Distribution: (HA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tj Hinrichs (th289)
Full details for BSOC 2561 : Medicine and Healing in China
BSOC 3111 Sociology of Medicine

This course provides an introduction to the ways in which medical practice, the medical profession, and medical technology are embedded in society and culture. We will ask how medicine is connected to various sociocultural factors such as gender, social class, race, and administrative cultures. We will examine the rise of medical sociology as a discipline, the professionalization of medicine, and processes of medicalization and demedicalization. We will look at alternative medical practices and how they differ from and converge with the dominant medical paradigm. We will focus on the rise of medical technology in clinical practice with a special emphases on reproductive technologies. We will focus on the body as a site for medical knowledge, including the medicalization of sex differences, the effect of culture on nutrition, and eating disorders such as obesity and anorexia nervosa. We will also read various classic and contemporary texts that speak to the illness experience and the culture of surgeons, hospitals, and patients, and we will discuss various case studies in the social construction of physical and mental illness.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Leuenberger (cal22)
Full details for BSOC 3111 : Sociology of Medicine
BSOC 3231 Global Health Security and Diplomacy

This course analyzes the development of foreign policy at the nexus of global health and national security in an attempt to better define and understand the evolving concept of "Global Health Security and Diplomacy". Interdisciplinary in nature, the course covers a broad set of themes and their intersection, including science and technology policy, biodefense and counter terrorism, gender disparity and development, nonproliferation, food security, global health, and U.S. diplomacy. Emphasis is placed on the current U.S. administration's efforts to advance a national security and foreign policy agenda inclusive of global grand challenges. We will also pay particular attention to understanding to the role of non-governmental organizations in global health security.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jason Rao (jr797)
Full details for BSOC 3231 : Global Health Security and Diplomacy
BSOC 3311 Environmental Governance

Environmental governance is defined as the assemblage of institutions that regulate society-nature interactions and shape environmental outcomes across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Institutions, broadly defined, are mechanisms of social coordination including laws (formal) and social norms (informal) that guide the behavior of individuals. Participants in the course will explore the roles of governments, markets, and collective action in environmental management and mismanagement. We will emphasize interactions among leading environmental policy strategies: public regulation, market-based incentives, and community-based resource management. The course is focused around a set of analytic perspectives. These theoretical frameworks allow us to synthesize empirical observations and material changes in ways that inform our understanding of contemporary evolution of environmental policy and management.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Steven Wolf (saw44)
Full details for BSOC 3311 : Environmental Governance
BSOC 3751 Independent Study

Projects under the direction of a Biology and Society faculty member are encouraged as part of the program of study within the student's concentration area. Applications for research projects are accepted by individual faculty members. Students may enroll for 1 to 4 credits in BSOC 3751 Independent Study with written permission of the faculty supervisor and may elect either the letter grade or the S-U option. Students may elect to do an independent study project as an alternative to, or in advance of, an honors project. Information on faculty research, scholarly activities, and undergraduate opportunities are available in the Biology and Society Office, 303 Morrill Hall. Independent study credits may not be used in completion of the major requirements.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Dear (prd3)
Full details for BSOC 3751 : Independent Study
BSOC 4101 The Entangled Lives of Humans and Animals

One animal behaviorist speculates that big brains develop when species are social; that is, when they must read cues from members of their group to understand when to approach, when to flee, when to fight, when to care. This course looks not only at animals in their social lives, but also at animals in their lives with us. We ask questions about how species become entangled and what that means for both parties, about the social lives of animals independently and with humans, about the survival of human and animal species, and about what it means to use animals for science, food, and profit. The course draws on readings from Anthropology, Science & Technology Studies, and animal trainers and behaviorists.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rachel Prentice (rep35)
Full details for BSOC 4101 : The Entangled Lives of Humans and Animals
BSOC 4131 Comparative Environmental History

One of the most troubling realizations of the 20th century has been the extent to which human activities have transformed the environment on a global scale. The rapid growth of human population and the acceleration of the global economy have meant that the 20th century, in environmental terms, has been unlike any other in world history. This course takes a comparative approach, examining crucial themes in the environmental history of the 20th-century world in different times, places, and ecologies.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sara Pritchard (sbp65)
Full details for BSOC 4131 : Comparative Environmental History
BSOC 4682 Medicine and Healing in Africa

Healing and medicine are simultaneously individual and political, biological and cultural. In this class, we will study the expansion of biomedicine in Africa, the continuities and changes embodied in traditional medicine, and the relationship between medicine, science and law. We will explore the questions African therapeutics poses about the intimate ways that power works on and through bodies. Our readings will frame current debates around colonial and postcolonial forms of governance through medicine, the contradictions of humanitarianism and the health crisis in Africa, and the rise of new forms of therapeutic citizenship. We will examine the ways in which Africa is central to the biopolitics of the contemporary global order.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Stacey Langwick (sal54)
Full details for BSOC 4682 : Medicine and Healing in Africa
BSOC 4911 Vitality and Power in China

Chinese discourses have long linked the circulation of cosmic energies, political power, and bodily vitalities. In these models political order, spiritual cultivation, and health are achieved and enhanced through harmonizing these flows across the levels of Heaven-and-Earth, state, and humankind. It is when these movements are blocked or out of synchrony that we find disordered climates, societies, and illness. In this course, we will examine the historical emergence and development of these models of politically resonant persons and bodily centered polities, reading across primary texts in translation from these otherwise often separated fields. For alternate frameworks of analysis as well as for comparative perspectives, we will also examine theories of power and embodiment from other cultures, including recent scholarship in anthropology and critical theory.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tj Hinrichs (th289)
Full details for BSOC 4911 : Vitality and Power in China
BSOC 4991 Honors Project I

Students must register for 4 credits each semester (4991-4992) for a total of 8 credits. After the first semester, students receive a letter grade of "R"; a letter grade for both semesters is submitted at the end of the second semester whether or not the student completes a thesis or is recommended for honors. Minimally, an honors thesis outline and bibliography should be completed during the first semester. In consultation with the advisors, the director of undergraduate studies will evaluate whether the student should continue working on an honors project. Students should note that these courses are to be taken in addition to those courses that meet the regular major requirements. If students do not complete the second semester of the honors project, they must change the first semester to independent study to clear the "R" and receive a grade. Otherwise, the "R" will remain on their record and prevent them from graduating.

Academic Career: UG Full details for BSOC 4991 : Honors Project I