Courses - Spring 2022

STS 1102 Histories of the Future

From Frankenstein to The Matrix, science fiction and film have depicted contemporary science, technology, and medicine for almost two centuries. This course introduces students to historical and social studies of science and technology using science-fiction films and novels, as well as key readings in science and technology studies. What social questions can fictional accounts raise that factual ones can only anticipate? How have "intelligent machines" from Babbage's Analytical Engine to Hal raised questions about what it means to be human? What can Marvel Comics teach us about changes in science and technology? When can robots be women and, in general, what roles did gender play in scientific, technological, and medical stories? How was the discovery that one could look inside the human body received? How do dreams and nightmares of the future emerge from the everyday work of scientific and technological research?

Distribution: (CA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rachel Prentice (rep35)
Full details for STS 1102 : Histories of the Future
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: Wanheng Hu (wh429)
Full details for STS 1123 : FWS: Technology and Society Topics
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)
Susan Meyer (ss30)
Full details for STS 2011 : What Is Science? An Introduction to the Social Studies of Science and Technology
STS 2061 Ethics and the Environment

Politicians, scientists, and citizens worldwide face many environmental issues today, but they are neither simple nor straightforward. Moreover, there are many ways to understand how we have, do, and could value the environment from animal rights and wise use to deep ecology and ecofeminism. This class acquaints students with some of the challenging moral issues that arise in the context of environmental management and policy-making, both in the past and the present. Environmental concerns also highlight important economic, epistemological, legal, political, and social issues in assessing our moral obligations to nature as well as other humans. This course examines various perspectives expressed in both contemporary and historical debates over environmental ethics by exploring four central questions: What is nature? Who counts in environmental ethics? How do we know nature? Whose nature?

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Juno Parrenas (jsp324)
Full details for STS 2061 : Ethics and the Environment
STS 2071 Introduction to the History of Medicine

This course offers an introductory survey of the history of medicine (principally in Europe and the United States) from classical antiquity to the early twentieth century. Using a combination of both primary and secondary sources, students will learn about the "Hippocratic Heritage" of contemporary western medicine; medicine in late antiquity; faith and healing in the medieval period; medicine and knowledge in the Islamic world; medicine during the Renaissance (particularly the rise of the mechanical philosophy); medicine in the age of Enlightenment; professionalization, women-doctors and midwives, and battles over 'quackery' in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; the role of medicine in colonialism and empire; and the promises and perils of modern medicine (dramatic decreases in mortality on the one hand, the rise of Eugenics and the importance of Medicine to the National Socialist State on the other). As well as this temporal survey, we will consider a number of ongoing themes: race, bodily difference, and medicine; medicine and the environment; women, gender, and medicine; the history of the body; the history of sexuality; and the close connections between forms of social order and forms of medical knowledge. The course meets three times a week (for two lectures and a section) and is open to all.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Suman Seth (ss536)
Full details for STS 2071 : Introduction to the History of 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 2468 Medicine, Culture, and Society

Medicine has become the language and practice through which we address a broad range of both individual and societal complaints. Interest in this medicalization of life may be one of the reasons that medical anthropology is currently the fastest-growing subfield in anthropology. This course encourages students to examine concepts of disease, suffering, health, and well-being in their immediate experience and beyond. In the process, students will gain a working knowledge of ecological, critical, phenomenological, and applied approaches used by medical anthropologists. We will investigate what is involved in becoming a doctor, the sociality of medicines, controversies over new medical technologies, and the politics of medical knowledge. The universality of biomedicine, or hospital medicine, will not be taken for granted, but rather we will examine the plurality generated by the various political, economic, social, and ethical demands under which biomedicine has developed in different places and at different times. In addition, biomedical healing and expertise will be viewed in relation to other kinds of healing and expertise. Our readings will address medicine in North America as well as other parts of the world. In class, our discussions will return regularly to consider the broad diversity of kinds of medicine throughout the world, as well as the specific historical and local contexts of biomedicine.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Alex Nading (amn242)
Full details for STS 2468 : Medicine, Culture, and Society
STS 2721 History of Mental Health and Mental Illness in the United States

This course examines the history of mental illness—its conception and treatment—in the United States, from the early 1800s to the present, focusing on four major questions: (1) How have understandings of mental illness been developed and deployed by psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and social workers, and how have those understandings varied across time and place? (2) How have understandings and treatments of mental illness shaped, and been shaped by, conceptions of race, class, gender, and sexuality? (3) In what ways have treatment of mental illness and "social deviance" operated as a form of social control? (4) How do conceptions of mental illness come to circulate in popular culture and everyday life? Pairing historical scholarship with autobiographical writing and case studies from the 1800s to the present, the course moves chronologically in order to track, and draw connections between, a wide range of movements within American psychological and social welfare history, including the creation and closing of mental hospitals, the pathologization of racial, gender, and sexual difference, psychopharmacology, anti-psychiatry, and the politics of diagnosis.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Stephen Vider (sv484)
Full details for STS 2721 : History of Mental Health and Mental Illness in the United States
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 2812 Hieroglyphs to HTML: History of Writing

An introduction to the history and theory of writing systems from cuneiform to the alphabet, historical and new writing media, and the complex relationship of writing technologies to human language and culture. Through hands-on activities and collaborative work, students will explore the shifting definitions of "writing" and the diverse ways in which cultures through time have developed and used writing systems. We will also investigate the traditional divisions of "oral" vs. "written" and consider how digital technologies have affected how we use and think about writing in encoding systems from Morse code to emoji.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Athena Kirk (aek238)
Full details for STS 2812 : Hieroglyphs to HTML: History of Writing
STS 2851 Communication, Environment, Science, and Health

Environmental problems, public health issues, scientific research-in each of these areas, communication plays a fundamental role. From the media to individual conversations, from technical journals to textbooks, from lab notes to the web, communication helps define scientifically based social issues and research findings. This course examines the institutional and intellectual contexts, processes, and practical constraints on communication in the sciences.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jonathon Schuldt (jps56)
Full details for STS 2851 : Communication, Environment, Science, and Health
STS 3042 The Politics of Technology

This course will examine the politics of technology, with an emphasis on dual use technologies such as social media, artificial intelligence, and facial recognition. It will look at political consequences of those technologies, including the way that social media can be manipulated in an electoral context, how AI and automation can affect public policies (e.g., predictive policing) and ways to mitigate algorithmic biases embedded in these technologies, and questions of whether the United States and China are locked in a technology arms race and if global governance proposals can defuse the adverse consequences of great power competition over technology.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sarah Kreps (sk2245)
Full details for STS 3042 : The Politics of Technology
STS 3181 Living in an Uncertain World: Science, Technology, and Risk

This course explores the history, sociology, and ethics of risk. In particular, we will focus on the complex and often ambiguous relationship between science, technology, and risk. A historical perspective shows how science and technology have generated risks while they have also played key roles in managing and solving those very risks. By examining several case studies, including 19th-century mining, the 1911 Triangle fire, nuclear science, the space shuttle disasters, asbestos litigation, Hurricane Katrina, and the contemporary financial crisis, we will consider how risk and ideas about risk have changed over time. By exploring different historical and cultural responses to risk, we will examine the sociopolitical dimensions of the definitions, perceptions, and management of risk both in the past and the present.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rebecca Slayton (rs849)
Full details for STS 3181 : Living in an Uncertain World: Science, Technology, and Risk
STS 3241 Environmental Sociology

Humans have fraught relationships with the animals, plants, land, water—even geological processes—around us. We come together to revere, conserve, protect the things many call nature. We struggle over who gets to use what, which resources to use or to keep intact, which scientific claims are true and worthy of action. Every environmental concern is on some level a social concern, and more social concerns than we often realize are environmental concerns. In this course, we will examine how people make and respond to environmental change and how groups of people form, express, fight over, and work out environmental concerns. We will consider how population change, economic activity, government action, social movements, and changing ways of thinking shape human-environmental relationships. The fundamental goal of this course is to give you knowledge, analytical tools, and expressive skills that make you confident to address environmental concerns as a social scientist and a citizen. 

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: John Zinda (jaz65)
Full details for STS 3241 : Environmental Sociology
STS 3601 Ethical Issues in Engineering Practice

Studies ethical issues involved in engineering practice. Explores the engineer's role in technical decision-making in organizations. Considers the engineer's relationship to the uses of technology in society, especially emerging technologies. Case studies covered include the Space Shuttle Challenger, the Space Shuttle Columbia, The Macondo Well Blowout, The Ford Pinto Case, The VW Emissions scandal, the Tesla Automatic Driving accident, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, and the Bhopal case, among others. Technology topics considered include brain-machine interface, human enhancement, genetic engineering, intelligent autonomous systems, privacy and surveillance, energy technologies, and environmental issues, among others. Codes of ethics in engineering, ethical theory, philosophical models of knowledge production, and sociological models of human and technological agency are introduced to analyze these issues.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Park Doing (pad9)
Full details for STS 3601 : Ethical Issues in Engineering Practice
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: Stephen Hilgartner (shh6)
Full details for STS 3991 : Undergraduate Independent Study
STS 4040 Digital Due Process Clinic

Automated scoring systems play an increasingly important role in ordering our lives. Whether we want to obtain a loan, rent an apartment, be found in search results, qualify for government assistance, or make the shortlist for a job – all of these decisions involve a range of computational techniques, including large-scale data analytics and predictive algorithms. So what to do when things go wrong and individuals feel mistreated by these systems? The Due Process Clinic is a semester-long, 4-credit course that focuses on the capacities of ordinary people to cope with, understand, and challenge automated scoring systems. It involves a mixture of hands-on fieldwork and seminar discussions, ranging from social and technical analyses of scoring practices to the ethical challenges of representing data subjects.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SCD-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Malte Ziewitz (mcz35)
Full details for STS 4040 : Digital Due Process Clinic
STS 4168 Race and Asia in World History

This course explores the development of the concept of "race" as applied by and to Asian populations and societies. We also examine the idea of "Asia" and its others in global discourse, including through lenses such as Orientalism, Occidentalism, Pan-Asianism, and Afro-Asianism. Our focus is on the history of East Asia and trans-Pacific entanglements with Western empires from the early modern era to the present. A major theme is race science, or the scientific investigation and construction of "race," as it was practiced on and by East Asian peoples. We also explore intersections of "race" with nationalism, imperialism, warfare, law and citizenship, and sex and the family.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kristin Roebuck (kar79)
Full details for STS 4168 : Race and Asia in World History
STS 4200 Information Policy: Applied Research and Analysis

This course will address a wide range of information policy issues such as privacy, security, antitrust, intellectual property, algorithmic fairness, net neutrality, risk mitigation strategies, and other legal and policy compliance concerns in a simulated project management environment. Patterned on life cycle project management for products and services in contemporary large-scale technology companies, students will adopt specific topic areas for applied research and analysis working dynamically with other team members. Course outcomes include conducting upper-level research in specific information policy domains, experiential group dynamics, persuasive analytic presentations, fundamentals of project management in the technology sector, and insights into corporate hierarchies, organization, and functionalities.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tracy Mitrano (tbm3)
Full details for STS 4200 : Information Policy: Applied Research and Analysis
STS 4231 Gender and Technology in Historical Perspectives

Why are some technologies such as cars and computers associated with men and masculinity? How did vacuums and sewing machines become gendered female? How do technological artifacts and systems constitute, mediate, and reproduce gender identities and gender relations? How do technologies uphold gender hierarchies and thus social inequalities? This class explores the relationship between gender and technology in comparative cultural, social, and historical perspective. Specific themes include meanings, camouflage, and display; socializations; industrialization, labor, and work; technologies of war; the postwar workplace; sex and sexuality; and reproductive technologies. Most course materials focus on Western Europe and the United States since the late 18th century, but the issues raised in this class will prepare students to think about the relationship between gender and technology in other contexts including our own.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Sara Pritchard (sbp65)
Full details for STS 4231 : Gender and Technology in Historical Perspectives
STS 4451 Making Science Policy: The Real World

This course focuses on what happens when science meet the policy-making world. We will discuss theoretical and empirical studies in Science & Technology Studies that analyze the interactions between science, society and politics. We will specifically investigate the mechanisms by which science may impact policy-making by focusing on: the rise of science diplomacy, initiatives to use science in order to further development goals, and efforts to produce evidence-based foreign policy. We will also focus on currently hotly debated political issues in government affairs, including the politization and militarization of space, the rise of big data, the politics of climate change, and the construction of border walls. As part of this course we will hear from experts in the federal government on how they attempt to integrate science into the everyday workings of governance.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Leuenberger (cal22)
Full details for STS 4451 : Making Science Policy: The Real World
STS 4561 Evaluation and Society

Evaluation is a pervasive feature of contemporary life. Professors, doctors, countries, hotels, pollution, books, intelligence: there is hardly anything that is not subject to some form of review, rating, or ranking these days. This senior seminar examines the practices, cultures, and technologies of evaluation and asks how value is established, maintained, compared, subverted, resisted, and institutionalized in a range of different settings. Topics include user reviews, institutional audit, ranking and commensuration, algorithmic evaluation, tasting, gossip, and awards. Drawing on case studies from science, technology, culture, accounting, art, environment, and everyday life, we shall explore how evaluation comes to order our lives – and why it is so difficult to resist.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Malte Ziewitz (mcz35)
Full details for STS 4561 : Evaluation and Society
STS 4634 Curating the British Empire

During Europe's colonial era, the modern museum emerged as a site of cultural and scientific authority. This course investigates the history of imperial collections and collectors, with a focus on Britain and the East India Company in the nineteenth century. Examples of topics include: the "supply chain" for artifacts and knowledge resources; changing conceptions of intellectual property, ownership and access; household versus public versus for-profit collections; museums and the narration of social values and cultural identities; debates over the function or aims of museums and related institutions; the collections and the administration of the empire; the collections and the growth of the sciences; the postcolonial legacies of colonial collections.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jessica Ratcliff (jrr47)
Full details for STS 4634 : Curating the British Empire
STS 4650 Advanced Topics in Clinical Ethics

In this advanced course, students will use their knowledge and analytical skills to explore complex value-laden issues in contemporary healthcare and health policy debate.  Case studies and news stories will springboard discussion around topics including the changing professional-patient relationship, medical decision-making, emerging technologies, contemporary health concerns, evolving care-delivery systems, and the healthcare experience of vulnerable populations.  Discussions will emphasize contextual issues and vantage point at the individual and societal levels, as well as the interconnections between bedside ethical dilemmas and broader health system, health policy, and sociocultural/political issues. Topics will encompass the life span from maternal-fetal to end-of-life. We will utilize speakers/field trips to enhance exposure to different voices.  Readings will be selected from the popular press and healthcare, ethics, social science, and law literatures.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kim Overby (kjo46)
Full details for STS 4650 : Advanced Topics in Clinical Ethics
STS 4667 Sonic Remains: Media, Performance, and Material Culture

Sonic Remains investigates how music/sound are mobilized to negotiate the passage of time, as well as how, by enduring and being retrieved through bodies, objects, and media formats, they challenge the pastness of the past. The course familiarizes students with key approaches to the material culture of music and sonic media, as well as with questions that animate critical thinking about the presence of the past across the disciplines. In addition to scholarship, we will consider how work by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Allora & Calzadilla, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Susan Schuppli, Lourdes Portillo, or Nadine Robinson, among other artists, intervenes in these questions (and remains). Topics include the sonic afterlives of imperial projects, sonic memorials, electronic waste, audio reenactments and revivals in living history, knowledge-production, and performance practices. For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Distribution: (LA-AS, ALC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Maria Edurne Zuazu Bermejo (mz373)
Full details for STS 4667 : Sonic Remains: Media, Performance, and Material Culture
STS 4670 Race and Justice After DNA

DNA has become a pervasive feature of our lives, and a critical object through which race and justice are imagined and contested. DNA shapes how we think about ancestral pasts, medical futures, identity, citizenship and belonging, and standards of evidence. This course considers how each of these concepts articulates with DNA, investigating each in turn as a form of genetic afterlives that reconfigures race, justice, and the relationship between them. For longer description and instructor bio, visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Distribution: (CA-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Noah Tamarkin (nt383)
Full details for STS 4670 : Race and Justice After DNA
STS 4691 Food, Agriculture, and Society

Multidisciplinary course dealing with the social and environmental impact of food production in the United States and developing countries. Agroecosystems of various kinds are analyzed from biological, economic, and social perspectives. The impacts of traditional, conventional, and alternative agricultural technologies are critically examined in the context of developed and developing economies. Specific topics include biodiversity and ecosystem services in agriculture, transgenic crops, biofuels, urban agriculture, and sustainable development.

Distribution: (PBS-AS, BIO-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Alison Power (agp4)
Full details for STS 4691 : Food, Agriculture, and Society
STS 4721 Peace Building in Conflict Regions: Case Studies Sub-Saharan Africa Israel Palestinian Territories

This course focuses on issues of conflict, peace, and reconciliation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. Both regions exemplify how issues ranging from nationalism and ethnocentrism to land, water and resource management, climate change and migration, as well as socio-psychological dynamics, can exacerbate conflicts. At the same time, these regions also exemplify how trans-border collaboration and regional integration, civilian peace building efforts, strategies for achieving historical justice, as well as science education and science diplomacy can become crucial tools for long-term peace-building, reconciliation and development. In this course we will work with and discuss issues of peace and conflict with policy-makers and local stakeholders involved in peace-building efforts.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Christine Leuenberger (cal22)
Full details for STS 4721 : Peace Building in Conflict Regions: Case Studies Sub-Saharan Africa Israel Palestinian Territories
STS 4992 Honors Project II

Students must register for the 4 credits each semester (BSOC 4991-BSOC 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: Suman Seth (ss536)
Full details for STS 4992 : Honors Project II
STS 6061 Science, Technology and Capitalism

This course examines the relationship between scientific development, technological innovation and maintenance, and the capitalistic forces that support and benefit from these activities.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jessica Ratcliff (jrr47)
Full details for STS 6061 : Science, Technology and Capitalism
STS 6101 Sense, Movement, Sociality

This course begins from the premise that bodies and sensing are the ground of sociality. Drawing on texts from Anthropology, Science & Technology Studies, Disability Studies, and Animal Studies, as well as some classics of social theory, this course brings bodies and senses to the fore in thinking about how humans live, work, relate, and create together. It considers all the senses from "the big five" (sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste) to the "hidden senses" (balance, kinesthesia, proprioception, and affect). The goal is to read and think materially, semiotically, and theoretically about how humans, as a social species, interact with our own and other species through our bodies, our senses, and our movements.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Rachel Prentice (rep35)
Full details for STS 6101 : Sense, Movement, Sociality
STS 6168 Race and Asia in World History

This course explores the development of the concept of "race" as applied by and to Asian populations and societies. We also examine the idea of "Asia" and its others in global discourse, including through lenses such as Orientalism, Occidentalism, Pan-Asianism, and Afro-Asianism. Our focus is on the history of East Asia and trans-Pacific entanglements with Western empires from the early modern era to the present. A major theme is race science, or the scientific investigation and construction of "race," as it was practiced on and by East Asian peoples. We also explore intersections of "race" with nationalism, imperialism, warfare, law and citizenship, and sex and the family.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Kristin Roebuck (kar79)
Full details for STS 6168 : Race and Asia in World History
STS 6311 Qualitative Research Methods for Studying Science

In this Graduate seminar we will discuss the nature, politics and basic assumptions underlying qualitative research. We will examine a selection of qualitative methods ranging from interviewing, oral history, ethnography, participant observation, archival research and visual methods. We will also discuss the relationship between theory and method. All stages of a research project will be discussed - choice of research topic and appropriate methods; human subject concerns and permissions; issues regarding doing research; as well as the process of writing up and publishing research findings.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Trevor Pinch (tjp2)
Full details for STS 6311 : Qualitative Research Methods for Studying Science
STS 6410 Bending Instruments

What is a sounding object or musical instrument and how does human culture shape these unique human-made material sources of sound? How can instruments and sound objects be modified or "bent" to produce yet more sounds? In a workshop environment participants will treat these topics through practical exploration as well as reading the history and culture of instruments/sound objects or devices. By using ideas from the new interdisciplinary field of sound studies, and inspired by visiting instrument makers, we will explore what instruments are and could be. Students, working alone or in collaboration, will design and build (could include a conceptual reworking) their own instrument or sounding object that they will learn to operate and modify to make new sounds.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri (mp955)
Trevor Pinch (tjp2)
Full details for STS 6410 : Bending Instruments
STS 6634 Curating the British Empire

For description, see STS 4634. 

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jessica Ratcliff (jrr47)
Full details for STS 6634 : Curating the British Empire
STS 6667 Sonic Remains: Media, Performance, and Material Culture

Sonic Remains investigates how music/sound are mobilized to negotiate the passage of time, as well as how, by enduring and being retrieved through bodies, objects, and media formats, they challenge the pastness of the past. The course familiarizes students with key approaches to the material culture of music and sonic media, as well as with questions that animate critical thinking about the presence of the past across the disciplines. In addition to scholarship, we will consider how work by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Allora & Calzadilla, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Susan Schuppli, Lourdes Portillo, or Nadine Robinson, among other artists, intervenes in these questions (and remains). Topics include the sonic afterlives of imperial projects, sonic memorials, electronic waste, audio reenactments and revivals in living history, knowledge-production, and performance practices. For longer description and instructor bio visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Maria Edurne Zuazu Bermejo (mz373)
Full details for STS 6667 : Sonic Remains: Media, Performance, and Material Culture
STS 6670 Race and Justice After DNA

DNA has become a pervasive feature of our lives, and a critical object through which race and justice are imagined and contested. DNA shapes how we think about ancestral pasts, medical futures, identity, citizenship and belonging, and standards of evidence. This course considers how each of these concepts articulates with DNA, investigating each in turn as a form of genetic afterlives that reconfigures race, justice, and the relationship between them. For longer description and instructor bio, visit the Society for the Humanities website.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Noah Tamarkin (nt383)
Full details for STS 6670 : Race and Justice After DNA
STS 6991 Graduate Independent Study

Applications and information are available in 303 Morrill Hall.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Stephen Hilgartner (shh6)
Full details for STS 6991 : Graduate Independent Study
STS 7001 Special Topic I: Science Studies and the Politics of Science

The field of Science & Technology Studies (STS) has called attention to the contingent and socially embedded character of knowledge and technology. This seminar explores the consequences of these findings for the analysis of politics, considering such issues as trust and skepticism, political and legal agency, science and norms, responsible research and innovation, and the co-production of knowledge and social order. A prominent theme will be the role of science and technology in ordering the politics of democratic societies. What role does technical knowledge play in underwriting democracy? What problems of legitimacy arise from the interpretive flexibility of knowledge? How are stable settlements (sometimes) achieved in contexts of contingency? How are science and technology implicated in structuring power relations and shaping relationships between citizens and the state?

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Stephen Hilgartner (shh6)
Full details for STS 7001 : Special Topic I: Science Studies and the Politics of Science
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 2061 Ethics and the Environment

Politicians, scientists, and citizens worldwide face many environmental issues today, but they are neither simple nor straightforward. Moreover, there are many ways to understand how we have, do, and could value the environment from animal rights and wise use to deep ecology and ecofeminism. This class acquaints students with some of the challenging moral issues that arise in the context of environmental management and policy-making, both in the past and the present. Environmental concerns also highlight important economic, epistemological, legal, political, and social issues in assessing our moral obligations to nature as well as other humans. This course examines various perspectives expressed in both contemporary and historical debates over environmental ethics by exploring four central questions: What is nature? Who counts in environmental ethics? How do we know nature? Whose nature?

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Juno Parrenas (jsp324)
Full details for BSOC 2061 : Ethics and the Environment
BSOC 2071 Introduction to the History of Medicine

This course offers an introductory survey of the history of medicine (principally in Europe and the United States) from classical antiquity to the early twentieth century. Using a combination of both primary and secondary sources, students will learn about the "Hippocratic Heritage" of contemporary western medicine; medicine in late antiquity; faith and healing in the medieval period; medicine and knowledge in the Islamic world; medicine during the Renaissance (particularly the rise of the mechanical philosophy); medicine in the age of Enlightenment; professionalization, women-doctors and midwives, and battles over 'quackery' in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; the role of medicine in colonialism and empire; and the promises and perils of modern medicine (dramatic decreases in mortality on the one hand, the rise of Eugenics and the importance of Medicine to the National Socialist State on the other). As well as this temporal survey, we will consider a number of ongoing themes: race, bodily difference, and medicine; medicine and the environment; women, gender, and medicine; the history of the body; the history of sexuality; and the close connections between forms of social order and forms of medical knowledge. The course meets three times a week (for two lectures and a section) and is open to all.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Suman Seth (ss536)
Full details for BSOC 2071 : Introduction to the History of 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)
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BSOC 2201 Society and Natural Resources

The actions of people are crucial to environmental well-being. This course addresses the interrelationships between social phenomena and the natural (i.e., biophysical) environment. It is intended to (1) increase student awareness of these interconnections in their everyday lives; (2) introduce students to a variety of social science perspectives, including sociology, economics, psychology, and political science, that help us make sense of these connections; (3) identify the contributions of each of these perspectives to our understanding of environmental problems; and (4) discuss how natural resource management and environmental policy reflect these perspectives.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Richard Stedman (rcs6)
Full details for BSOC 2201 : Society and Natural Resources
BSOC 2211 Early Agriculture

Throughout most of the human career, people survived by hunting and gathering wild foods. The advent of food production is one of the most profound changes in history and prehistory. This course examines the current evidence for the appearance and spread of agriculture - plant and animal domestication - around the world. We will consider definitions of agriculture and domestication, the conditions under which it arises, the consequences for those who adopt it, and why it has spread over most of the world. 

Distribution: (HA-AS, GLC-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Nerissa Russell (nr29)
Full details for BSOC 2211 : Early Agriculture
BSOC 2468 Medicine, Culture, and Society

Medicine has become the language and practice through which we address a broad range of both individual and societal complaints. Interest in this medicalization of life may be one of the reasons that medical anthropology is currently the fastest-growing subfield in anthropology. This course encourages students to examine concepts of disease, suffering, health, and well-being in their immediate experience and beyond. In the process, students will gain a working knowledge of ecological, critical, phenomenological, and applied approaches used by medical anthropologists. We will investigate what is involved in becoming a doctor, the sociality of medicines, controversies over new medical technologies, and the politics of medical knowledge. The universality of biomedicine, or hospital medicine, will not be taken for granted, but rather we will examine the plurality generated by the various political, economic, social, and ethical demands under which biomedicine has developed in different places and at different times. In addition, biomedical healing and expertise will be viewed in relation to other kinds of healing and expertise. Our readings will address medicine in North America as well as other parts of the world. In class, our discussions will return regularly to consider the broad diversity of kinds of medicine throughout the world, as well as the specific historical and local contexts of biomedicine.

Distribution: (CA-AS, GLC-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Alex Nading (amn242)
Full details for BSOC 2468 : Medicine, Culture, and Society
BSOC 2581 Environmental History

This lecture course serves as an introduction to the historical study of humanity's interrelationship with the natural world. Environmental history is a quickly evolving field, taking on increasing importance as the environment itself becomes increasingly important in world affairs. During this semester, we'll examine the sometimes unexpected ways in which "natural" forces have shaped human history (the role of germs, for instance, in the colonization of North America); the ways in which human beings have shaped the natural world (through agriculture, urbanization, and industrialization, as well as the formation of things like wildlife preserves); and the ways in which cultural, scientific, political, and philosophical attitudes toward the environment have changed over time. This is designed as an intensely interdisciplinary course: we'll view history through the lenses of ecology, literature, art, film, law, anthropology, and geography. Our focus will be on the United States, but, just as environmental pollutants cross borders, so too will this class, especially toward the end, when we attempt to put U.S. environmental history into a geopolitical context. This course is meant to be open to all, including non-majors and first-year students.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Aaron Sachs (as475)
Full details for BSOC 2581 : Environmental History
BSOC 2721 History of Mental Health and Mental Illness in the United States

This course examines the history of mental illness—its conception and treatment—in the United States, from the early 1800s to the present, focusing on four major questions: (1) How have understandings of mental illness been developed and deployed by psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and social workers, and how have those understandings varied across time and place? (2) How have understandings and treatments of mental illness shaped, and been shaped by, conceptions of race, class, gender, and sexuality? (3) In what ways have treatment of mental illness and "social deviance" operated as a form of social control? (4) How do conceptions of mental illness come to circulate in popular culture and everyday life? Pairing historical scholarship with autobiographical writing and case studies from the 1800s to the present, the course moves chronologically in order to track, and draw connections between, a wide range of movements within American psychological and social welfare history, including the creation and closing of mental hospitals, the pathologization of racial, gender, and sexual difference, psychopharmacology, anti-psychiatry, and the politics of diagnosis.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Stephen Vider (sv484)
Full details for BSOC 2721 : History of Mental Health and Mental Illness in the United States
BSOC 3181 Living in an Uncertain World: Science, Technology, and Risk

This course explores the history, sociology, and ethics of risk. In particular, we will focus on the complex and often ambiguous relationship between science, technology, and risk. A historical perspective shows how science and technology have generated risks while they have also played key roles in managing and solving those very risks. By examining several case studies, including 19th-century mining, the 1911 Triangle fire, nuclear science, the space shuttle disasters, asbestos litigation, Hurricane Katrina, and the contemporary financial crisis, we will consider how risk and ideas about risk have changed over time. By exploring different historical and cultural responses to risk, we will examine the sociopolitical dimensions of the definitions, perceptions, and management of risk both in the past and the present.

Distribution: (HA-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rebecca Slayton (rs849)
Full details for BSOC 3181 : Living in an Uncertain World: Science, Technology, and Risk
BSOC 3235 Bioarchaeology

Bioarchaeology is the study of human remains from archaeological sites. Like forensic scientists at the scene of the crime, bioarchaeologists search for clues embedded in human bone and mummified tissues to reconstruct how ancient peoples lived and died. As a dynamic living system, the human skeleton responds not only to hormones that govern human development but also to physiological stress brought on by disease, malnutrition, and trauma. The human body is also an artifact molded by cultural understandings of gender, prestige, self-expression, and violence. In this course, students will learn the scientific techniques for estimating skeletal age and sex, diagnosing pathology, and reconstructing diet and migration patterns. This course emphasizes the critical integration of biological and cultural evidence for understanding past individuals and societies.  

Distribution: (PBSS-AS, BIO-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Matthew Velasco (mcv47)
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BSOC 3390 Primate Behavior and Ecology with Emphasis on African Apes

The course will investigate all aspects of non-human primate life. Based on the fundamentals of evolutionary theory, group and inter-individual behaviors will be presented. In addition, an understanding of group structure and breeding systems will be reached through an evaluation of ecological constraints imposed on primates in different habitats. Subjects include: primate taxonomy, diet and foraging, predation, cooperation and competition, social ontogeny, kinship, and mating strategies.

Distribution: (PBSS-AS, BIO-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Adam Arcadi (apc13)
Full details for BSOC 3390 : Primate Behavior and Ecology with Emphasis on African Apes
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: Stephen Hilgartner (shh6)
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BSOC 4634 Curating the British Empire

During Europe's colonial era, the modern museum emerged as a site of cultural and scientific authority. This course investigates the history of imperial collections and collectors, with a focus on Britain and the East India Company in the nineteenth century. Examples of topics include: the "supply chain" for artifacts and knowledge resources; changing conceptions of intellectual property, ownership and access; household versus public versus for-profit collections; museums and the narration of social values and cultural identities; debates over the function or aims of museums and related institutions; the collections and the administration of the empire; the collections and the growth of the sciences; the postcolonial legacies of colonial collections.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jessica Ratcliff (jrr47)
Full details for BSOC 4634 : Curating the British Empire
BSOC 4650 Advanced Topics in Clinical Ethics

In this advanced course, students will use their knowledge and analytical skills to explore complex value-laden issues in contemporary healthcare and health policy debate.  Case studies and news stories will springboard discussion around topics including the changing professional-patient relationship, medical decision-making, emerging technologies, contemporary health concerns, evolving care-delivery systems, and the healthcare experience of vulnerable populations.  Discussions will emphasize contextual issues and vantage point at the individual and societal levels, as well as the interconnections between bedside ethical dilemmas and broader health system, health policy, and sociocultural/political issues. Topics will encompass the life span from maternal-fetal to end-of-life. We will utilize speakers/field trips to enhance exposure to different voices.  Readings will be selected from the popular press and healthcare, ethics, social science, and law literatures.

Distribution: (CA-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kim Overby (kjo46)
Full details for BSOC 4650 : Advanced Topics in Clinical Ethics
BSOC 4691 Food, Agriculture, and Society

Multidisciplinary course dealing with the social and environmental impact of food production in the United States and developing countries. Agroecosystems of various kinds are analyzed from biological, economic, and social perspectives. The impacts of traditional, conventional, and alternative agricultural technologies are critically examined in the context of developed and developing economies. Specific topics include biodiversity and ecosystem services in agriculture, transgenic crops, biofuels, urban agriculture, and sustainable development.

Distribution: (PBS-AS, BIO-AS, GLC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Alison Power (agp4)
Full details for BSOC 4691 : Food, Agriculture, and Society
BSOC 4992 Honors Project II

Students must register for the 4 credits each semester (BSOC 4991-BSOC 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: Suman Seth (ss536)
Full details for BSOC 4992 : Honors Project II