Courses - Fall 2018

STS 1117 FWS: From Hiroshima to the Internet

The seminar will explore the history of science, technology, and society in the United States during the Cold War.  Students will write about such themes as government funding, promotion, and regulation of new military and civilian technologies, gender and technology, the entwining of technology and politics, and the mutual relationship between technological change and social change.  Topics include nuclear weapons, the space race with the Soviets, the transformation of the social sciences, and the commercialization and further development of such military-funded information technologies as the personal computer, Internet and GPS by AT&T, IBM, Apple, Google, and other firms.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Ron Kline (rrk1)
Full details for STS 1117 : FWS: From Hiroshima to the Internet
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: Derek Parrott (dtp39)
Full details for STS 1123 : FWS: Technology and Society Topics
STS 1941 The History of Science in Europe: From the Ancient Legacy to Isaac Newton

How did the approaches to knowledge of nature that developed in medieval and early-modern Europe create an enterprise that associated the practical manipulation of nature with scientific truth? This course surveys intellectual approaches to the natural world from the theologically-shaped institutions of the Middle Ages to the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries. Ancient Greek authors such as Aristotle and Archimedes were used in diverse ways that came to usher in an era of European global expansion. By the late 17th century, a new kind of practically applicable science attempted to demonstrate Francis Bacon's famous claim that "knowledge is power." 

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Dear (prd3)
Full details for STS 1941 : The History of Science in Europe: From the Ancient Legacy to Isaac Newton
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)
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 today's rapidly changing world of health and medicine, complex ethical issues arise in many contexts from the private, interpersonal interactions between doctor and patient to the broad, mass-mediated controversies that make medicine into headline news. This course examines ethical problems and policy issues that rise in contemporary medicine, health care, and biomedical research. Tools for ethical research are applied to a variety of topics and fundamental questions in bioethics. Perspectives from social science, history, and law also inform the course, which will consider ethical issues in their social and institutional context. We will explore problems that arise in a number of substantive areas, including the doctor-patient relationship, end-of-life decision making, distributive justice and health care, human experimentation, reproductive technology, public health, and human genetics. The course will also examine the relatively new field of bioethics itself, raising questions about what issues count as ethical ones and exploring the role of ethical expertise in contemporary societies.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kim Overby (kjo46)
Full details for STS 2051 : Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine
STS 2751 Ethical Issues in Intelligent Autonomous Systems

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 interactions with people and society. 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, robot artists, robot scientists, automation, medical robotics, policing, robot smog, and attention dilution.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Park Doing (pad9)
Full details for STS 2751 : Ethical Issues in Intelligent Autonomous Systems
STS 2871 Evolution

Evolution is the central concept in biology. This course examines evolution as a science and places it in an historical context. Lectures 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, climate change, and the conflict between creationists and evolutionists.

Distribution: (PBS-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nicholas Fletcher (nkf32)
Full details for STS 2871 : Evolution
STS 3011 Life Sciences and Society

Biology and biotechnology are major influences on modern life. In addition, socio-political and historical conditions have shaped biological research and its applications in medicine, agriculture, environmental science, etc. Life science research is itself a social process involving complex human dynamics, different kinds of work and an array of social and natural systems. The course aims to introduce students to critical science and technology studies (S&TS) perspectives on the knowledge and practices of life sciences. The course is designed to prepare students for more advanced courses in the Biology & Society and S&TS majors, but students who do not plan to take further courses in those subjects can get critical insight into biology's profound role in both science and society.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Roebuck (cr566)
Full details for STS 3011 : Life Sciences and Society
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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Norman Porticella (nap28)
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)
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)
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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Steven Wolf (saw44)
Full details for STS 3311 : Environmental Governance
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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rachel Prentice (rep35)
Full details for STS 4101 : The Entangled Lives of Humans and Animals
STS 4120 Scientific Revolution in Early - Modern Europe

Modern science is often seen as having been originally developed in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Copernicus, who set the Earth in motion around the sun in the early 16th century, and Newton, who made the universe an infinite expanse filled with gravitational attractive forces, at the end of the 17th, frame this crucial period of European expansion. The new universe was invented at the same time as the discovery and exploitation of the New World and the establishment of new trading relationships with the East. This course, a weekly 400-level seminar, examines the new ideas and approaches to nature promoted by European philosophers and mathematicians as part of this outward-looking enterprise aimed at the practical command of the world. We will read works by such people as Copernicus, Kepler, Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, and others, as well as important secondary literature, in order to understand how European thought attempted to integrate nature, God, and the state into new ways of making usable knowledge of the world.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Dear (prd3)
Full details for STS 4120 : Scientific Revolution in Early - Modern Europe
STS 4240 Designing Technology for Social Impact

The social impact of technologies is typically thought about fairly late, if ever, in the design process. Indeed, it can be difficult at design time to predict what effects technologies will have. Nevertheless, design decisions can inadvertently "lock in" particular values early on. In this course, we will draw on science & technology studies, technology design, and the arts to analyze the values embodied in technology design and to design technologies to promote positive social impact. What social and cultural values do technology designs consciously or unconsciously promote? To what degree can social impact be "built into" a technology? How can we take social and cultural values into account in design?

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Phoebe Sengers (pjs54)
Full details for STS 4240 : Designing Technology for Social Impact
STS 4301 Social Studies of Space, Technologies and Borders

In this course we will discuss how society, culture and politics shape technological artifacts and the natural and built environment, such as bridges, roads, and landscapes in diverse cultural contexts. We will examine reasons for the rise in bordering mechanisms - ranging from walls, barriers to fences within cities as well as along national borders, in such countries such as Ireland, Korea, Germany, the US, and Israel. We will compare how such 'strategies of exclusion' impact local communities, transnational relations and social connectivity across such divides. We will also examine how the growth of gated communities has reconfigured urban spaces and given rise to new forms of spatial and social segregation.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Leuenberger (cal22)
Full details for STS 4301 : Social Studies of Space, Technologies and Borders
STS 4511 Topics in Media Arts

Topic for Fall 2018: 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.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Angela Douglas (aes326)
Maria Fernandez (mf252)
Full details for STS 4511 : Topics in Media Arts
STS 4801 Water Societies: Ecology, Technology, History

This course offers conceptual and analytical tools to study environment-society relations with a focus on water. We will confront water from both disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, examining different—and often less common and discriminated against—points of view and weaving together different perspectives from our readings, discussions, fieldtrips, guest lectures, and encounters around and about water. To this goal, we will engage with water from both a local and a global perspective: immersing ourselves in how several specific societies have interacted with water, we will compose and compare these representations. We will also encounter the closest possible water, that of Ithaca and surroundings: during the course we will conduct several fieldtrips, and, as a course project, each student will conduct a semester-long individual ethnographic project.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Luisa Cortesi (lc937)
Full details for STS 4801 : Water Societies: Ecology, Technology, History
STS 4841 What is (an) Epidemic? (Infectious Diseases in Historical, Social, and Political Perspective)

The term "epidemic" travels widely and wildly in contemporary worlds.  But, what, when and where is "the epidemic"? How and why does epidemic unfold? This senior seminar offers an interdisciplinary exploration of infectious diseases.  Our investigations take us from medieval Europe's "Black Plague," to Tuberculosis in early twentieth century United States and its global resurgence at the turn of the twenty-first, to Ebola and its ongoing, periodic outbreaks today. We consider the consequences epidemics have for how we live and imagine shared ecological futures.  Examining work from the life sciences, social sciences, and arts & humanities, we explore the ways in which life and death, disease and survivability, health and thriving are shaped by infectious microbes, embodied eco-social forces, and contingent regimes of knowledge-power. 

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Roebuck (cr566)
Full details for STS 4841 : What is (an) Epidemic? (Infectious Diseases in Historical, Social, and Political Perspective)
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 Instructor: Rachel Prentice (rep35)
Full details for STS 4991 : Honors Project I
STS 6131 Posthumanism, Cybernetics, Systems Theory

This graduate course is dedicated to an in-depth exploration of the recent emergence of Posthumanism as a new theoretical paradigm in cultural and literary studies. Hardly a unified theory, Posthumanism draws on a wide variety of precursors and inspirations—in the natural sciences, the philosophy and history of science, the social sciences, and different theory paradigms in the humanities. They all have in common the intention of transcending a worldview that is exclusively premised on human needs and measures. Thus, posthumanist theorizing in the widest sense includes many recent additions to the critical canon, such as eco-criticism and animal studies. It is the underlying hypothesis of this course that much posthumanist thinking is recapitulating—consciously or unconsciously—many of the insights of cybernetics and systems theory, and that tracking this genealogy helps in clarifying the stakes and challenges of posthumanist theory.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Peter Gilgen (pg33)
Full details for STS 6131 : Posthumanism, Cybernetics, Systems Theory
STS 6301 Social Theory

Sociologist C. Wright Mills challenged his readers to develop their "sociological imagination" to understand the social and historical forces at work in seemingly individual events, such as the receipt of a pink slip, a draft card, or a drug prescription. Within science and technology studies, scholars have documented how social issues can become scientific, technological, or medical, often appearing to leave the social realm naturalized, normalized, or pathologized. This course introduces graduate students to classic texts and concepts in social theory with a focus on how scholars apply such theories to empirical research. It will consider major thinkers and schools of social thought, such as Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Mannheim, Foucault, and the Frankfurt School. It will also consider how a nuanced interplay of theory and empirical data can bring critically important insights to both theoretical and empirical understandings of the world. The course is relevant for students in sociology, history, and anthropology who are interested in social theory.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Rachel Prentice (rep35)
Full details for STS 6301 : Social Theory
STS 6321 Inside Technology

Rather than analyze the social impact of technology upon society, this course investigates how society gets inside technology. In other words, is it possible that the very design of technologies embody assumptions about the nature of society? And, if so, are alternative technologies, which embody different assumptions about society, possible? Do engineers have implicit theories about society? Is technology gendered? How can we understand the interaction of society and technology? Throughout the course the arguments are illustrated by detailed examinations of particular technologies, such as the ballistic missile, the bicycle, the electric car, and the refrigerator.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Trevor Pinch (tjp2)
Full details for STS 6321 : Inside Technology
STS 6511 Topics in Media Arts

Seminar topics rotate each semester.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Angela Douglas (aes326)
Maria Fernandez (mf252)
Full details for STS 6511 : Topics in Media Arts
STS 6902 Environmental Humanities: Theories and Methods

Designed for an interdisciplinary audience, this seminar explores the theoretical and methodological potentials of a broad range of scholarship in the environmental humanities. Together we will discuss a number of foundational texts in this rapidly emerging field, which will in turn facilitate and develop students' own research projects. The course will feature visits from prominent scholars and end with a mini-symposium.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Anindita Banerjee (ab425)
Full details for STS 6902 : Environmental Humanities: Theories and Methods
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 7003 Special Topic 3: Issues in the Cultural History of Technology

The special topic for this semester's seminar is The History of Digitalization.  We will read mostly secondary sources on the transition from analog to digital forms of electronic media, focusing on the United States.   We begin with the (digital) telegraph system of the 19th century as a reminder that the historical arc we are studying ran from digital to analog to digital (not simply analog to digital).  We then consider the analog telephone system and analog computing of the early to mid-20th century, before spending the remainder of the course on the digitization of communications, computation, and the media from World War II to the present.  We consider the social, cultural, political, and economic, aspects of the construction and use of these technologies.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Ron Kline (rrk1)
Full details for STS 7003 : Special Topic 3: Issues in the Cultural History of Technology
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: Bruce Lewenstein (bvl1)
Full details for STS 7111 : Introduction to Science and Technology Studies
STS 7201 Studying Emerging Technologies

This course will examine the peculiar speculative world of emerging technologies-a social and technical "space," found at the edges of expanding technological systems, where new technologies are being most actively constructed and transformed. In this dynamic world, emerging technologies exist in a state of flux as a mixture of blueprint and hardware, plan and practice, the nearly on-line and the almost obsolete, surrounded by speculation and speculators, who make often-contested claims about their promises, perils, and possibilities. Among the characteristics of this space are:  the frequent appearance of unverifiable claims about technologies that have yet to materialize; an entrepreneurial drive for commercial implementation; ongoing institutional innovation; frequent public controversies; and problems of political legitimacy. The course will examine the epistemic, discursive, institutional, and political dimensions of emerging technologies in an effort to understand the social worlds that shape technological change. Open to graduate students in the social sciences, sciences, and humanities.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Stephen Hilgartner (shh6)
Full details for STS 7201 : Studying Emerging Technologies
BSOC 1941 The History of Science in Europe: From the Ancient Legacy to Isaac Newton

How did the approaches to knowledge of nature that developed in medieval and early-modern Europe create an enterprise that associated the practical manipulation of nature with scientific truth? This course surveys intellectual approaches to the natural world from the theologically-shaped institutions of the Middle Ages to the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries. Ancient Greek authors such as Aristotle and Archimedes were used in diverse ways that came to usher in an era of European global expansion. By the late 17th century, a new kind of practically applicable science attempted to demonstrate Francis Bacon's famous claim that "knowledge is power." 

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Dear (prd3)
Full details for BSOC 1941 : The History of Science in Europe: From the Ancient Legacy to Isaac Newton
BSOC 2051 Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine

In today's rapidly changing world of health and medicine, complex ethical issues arise in many contexts from the private, interpersonal interactions between doctor and patient to the broad, mass-mediated controversies that make medicine into headline news. This course examines ethical problems and policy issues that rise in contemporary medicine, health care, and biomedical research. Tools for ethical research are applied to a variety of topics and fundamental questions in bioethics. Perspectives from social science, history, and law also inform the course, which will consider ethical issues in their social and institutional context. We will explore problems that arise in a number of substantive areas, including the doctor-patient relationship, end-of-life decision making, distributive justice and health care, human experimentation, reproductive technology, public health, and human genetics. The course will also examine the relatively new field of bioethics itself, raising questions about what issues count as ethical ones and exploring the role of ethical expertise in contemporary societies.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kim Overby (kjo46)
Full details for BSOC 2051 : Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine
BSOC 2245 Health and Disease in the Ancient World

The history of humankind is also a history of health and disease; the rise of agricultural societies, ancient cities, and colonial empires had wide-ranging effects on diet and nutrition, the spread of infectious diseases, and occurrence of other health conditions. This history has also been shaped by complex interactions between environment, technology, and society. Using archaeological, environmental, textual, and skeletal evidence, we will survey major epidemiological transitions from the Paleolithic to the age of European conquest. We will also examine diverse cultural experiences of health, illness, and the body. How do medical practices from "pre-modern" societies, such as the medieval Islamic world and the Inca Empire, challenge dominant narratives of scientific development? The implications of past health patterns for modern-day communities will also be explored.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Matthew Velasco (mcv47)
Full details for BSOC 2245 : Health and Disease in the Ancient World
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/or 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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Paul Nadasdy (pn79)
Full details for BSOC 2420 : Nature/Culture: Ethnographic Approaches to Human-Environment Relations
BSOC 3011 Life Sciences and Society

Biology and biotechnology are major influences on modern life. In addition, socio-political and historical conditions have shaped biological research and its applications in medicine, agriculture, environmental science, etc. Life science research is itself a social process involving complex human dynamics, different kinds of work and an array of social and natural systems. The course aims to introduce students to critical science and technology studies (S&TS) perspectives on the knowledge and practices of life sciences. The course is designed to prepare students for more advanced courses in the Biology & Society and S&TS majors, but students who do not plan to take further courses in those subjects can get critical insight into biology's profound role in both science and society.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Roebuck (cr566)
Full details for BSOC 3011 : Life Sciences and Society
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)
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)
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)
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)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rachel Prentice (rep35)
Full details for BSOC 4101 : The Entangled Lives of Humans and Animals
BSOC 4121 Scientific Revolution in Early - Modern Europe

Modern science is often seen as having been originally developed in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Copernicus, who set the Earth in motion around the sun in the early 16th century, and Newton, who made the universe an infinite expanse filled with gravitational attractive forces, at the end of the 17th, frame this crucial period of European expansion. The new universe was invented at the same time as the discovery and exploitation of the New World and the establishment of new trading relationships with the East. This course, a weekly 400-level seminar, examines the new ideas and approaches to nature promoted by European philosophers and mathematicians as part of this outward-looking enterprise aimed at the practical command of the world. We will read works by such people as Copernicus, Kepler, Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, and others, as well as important secondary literature, in order to understand how European thought attempted to integrate nature, God, and the state into new ways of making usable knowledge of the world.

Distribution: (HA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Peter Dear (prd3)
Full details for BSOC 4121 : Scientific Revolution in Early - Modern Europe
BSOC 4841 What is (an) Epidemic? (Infectious Diseases in Historical, Social, and Political Perspective)

The term "epidemic" travels widely and wildly in contemporary worlds.  But, what, when and where is "the epidemic"? How and why does epidemic unfold? This senior seminar offers an interdisciplinary exploration of infectious diseases.  Our investigations take us from medieval Europe's "Black Plague," to Tuberculosis in early twentieth century United States and its global resurgence at the turn of the twenty-first, to Ebola and its ongoing, periodic outbreaks today. We consider the consequences epidemics have for how we live and imagine shared ecological futures.  Examining work from the life sciences, social sciences, and arts & humanities, we explore the ways in which life and death, disease and survivability, health and thriving are shaped by infectious microbes, embodied eco-social forces, and contingent regimes of knowledge-power. 

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christopher Roebuck (cr566)
Full details for BSOC 4841 : What is (an) Epidemic? (Infectious Diseases in Historical, Social, and Political Perspective)
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 Instructor: Rachel Prentice (rep35)
Full details for BSOC 4991 : Honors Project I