Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies

Courses

Filter the courses by subject area

  • HS101 - First-Year Honors Seminar 1 (4 Credits)
    Introduces the interdisciplinary study of literature and cultural theory, addressing issues of power and ideology in various multicultural contexts.
  • HS102 - First-Year Honors Seminar 2 (4 Credits)
    Introduces the interdisciplinary study of literature and cultural theory, addressing issues of power and ideology in various multicultural contexts.
  • HS103 - Honors Writing Symposium (4 Credits)
    Taken in conjunction with HS 102, develops skills in research, critical thinking, and writing. Stresses revision, relies on frequent workshops of student writing, and aims to sharpen ability to research, evaluate, and use evidence in a reasonable and convincing way. Write an extended research paper on a topic related to HS 102.
  • HS201 - Sophomore Honors Seminar 3 (4 Credits)
    Engages critical thinking and research about philosophical, cultural, and scientific methods of generating knowledge and their ethical implications. Different areas of inquiry are examined each year. Recent topics include environmental ethics, evolution, astronomy, and epistemology.
    Instructor: Diana Sherry
  • HS202 - Sophomore Honors Seminar 4 (4 Credits)
    Engages critical thinking and research about philosophical, cultural, and scientific methods of generating knowledge and their ethical implications. Different areas of inquiry are examined each year. Recent topics include environmental ethics, evolution, astronomy, and epistemology.
  • HS490 - Honors Thesis (4 Credits)
    At the end of junior year or after completing the Junior Honors Seminar, students file an Honors Thesis Proposal with the Honors Program director. The proposal includes a description of the overall topic in terms of the general issue or project, the specific question or questions formulated, and the general ways in which the student will address the question(s) and accomplish the project. After a successful defense of their proposal, Honor students produce an Honors thesis in their senior year. Students work independently, but consult regularly with the thesis faculty advisor to evaluate and revise the work in progress. The final thesis represents the student's abilities and a commitment to serious intellectual work. At the time the student writes the thesis, he/she will be enrolled in and have previously taken the Honors Program Colloquia.
  • IN107 - Forbidden Knowledge (4 Credits)
    Addresses basic philosophical questions posed by Western civilization accustomed to unshakable faith in power of knowledge to provide solutions to fundamental challenges facing humanity. Addresses problem equating knowledge with power from its origins in Greek Judeo-Christian cultures to the quintessential modern story of Frankenstein. Sources drawn from poetry (Goethe and Shelley), drama (Aeschylus), literature (Mary Shelley and Voltaire), and philosophy (Descartes and Rousseau) provide an introduction to the heritage of textual and visual material for contemplating the meaning of knowledge for human existence.
    Instructor: Roseanne Montillo
  • IN108 - Love and Eroticism in Western Culture (4 Credits)
    Love and eroticism were once the epicenter of philosophy. Yet, since the 19th century, love and eroticism have been secondary to "desire," which suggests more of a structure than an individuated experience. Many theorists repeatedly state that one cannot know desire. Course explores the relationship between this alienating structure and the ego-validating interpersonal encounters we call love so as to rethink the roles that love, desire, and eroticism play in our lived experiences.
    Instructor: Roseanne Montillo
  • IN111 - The City (4 Credits)
    Explores the development of the modern city and the impact of urbanization on politics, perception, and spiritual dimension of human life. Examines conceptions of the postmodern city that emerged in the late 20th century and collapse of modernist ideals of architecture and urban life. Primary texts from sociology, urban planning, and architecture are explored.
    Instructor: David Kishik
  • IN117 - Women Artists in Cultural Contexts (4 Credits)
    How has the cultural construction of gender difference placed women at the margins of artistic practice? To what extent have philosophies of art and aesthetics sustained the paradox by which women are simultaneously doubted as artists and represented as muses? Occupying a position inside and outside the domain of artistic practice, the woman artist compels us to challenge both the meaning of gender and the nature of creativity. By engaging text drawn from feminist theory, literature, philosophy, cultural studies, memoir, and visual media, we will explore how women artists register, protest, and subvert the tension arising from pairing "women" and "artist."
    Instructor: Erika Williams
  • IN123 - Visiting Scholar Topics (4 Credits)
    Topics address the expertise of visiting scholars-in-residence in the Institute. These topics are offered on a rotating basis. Past topics include: American Popular Culture, Blook Rites, Ethics and Communication, and Shakespearean Exclusion.
  • IN126 - Literature of Extreme Situations (4 Credits)
    How are human identities shaped, transformed, distorted, and annihilated, or transformed by extreme personal and social experiences? How and why do people make meaning of such experiences through the creation of art, film, and literature? Reading/viewings include tales of obsession, addiction, and adventure, as told through memoir and fiction. Historic and journalistic accounts of genocide, natural disasters, cults, and other mass experiences are also explored. Primary thematic emphasis is on the integrity of the individual and the continuity of the community. Perspectives from the disciplines of psychology, sociology, and philosophy provide the conceptual framework for discussion.
    Instructor: Jason Roush
  • IN127 - The Politics of the Past: History, Memory, and the Arts (4 Credits)
    Moving from the micro-history of the family to the global history of war, this course examines multiple ways societies remember the past. While public memorials and monuments may tell national stories about Civil War battles, the trauma of the Holocaust, or Vietnam, students also study how personal memoirs, graphic novels, or poetry create counter-memories. Students approach these and other questions using the rich historical resources of Boston, looking for material history. Explores emergent new technologies of memory, asking how they may shape a future archive. Students produce their own creative historical projects at the end of the course
  • IN130 - Exoticism in Literature and Art (4 Credits)
    Explores the history of exoticism, the "charm of the unfamiliar" in literature and art, the specific relationship between the artist or author, the subject, and the intended audience that creates the essence of the "Other" and the fascination with the foreign. Explores colonial fascination with the exotic -- foreign landscapes, customs, cultures -- in 18th- and 19th-century fiction, nonfiction, painting; contemporary representations of exoticism, including photography and auto exoticism. Students discuss film, television, pornography, and performance art through interdisciplinary written and visual media (literature, painting, photography, advertising).
  • IN135 - Ways of Seeing (4 Credits)
    Investigates how we see and how to look. The aim of the course is to provide an interdisciplinary platform for exploring and examining visual language and visual culture. Explores the techniques used by the artist/producer to communicate meaning through visual means and the way images are received by the spectator in various cultural contexts. Focuses on how we apprehend and process visual information from our interior and exterior experience, from images as they appear in our dreams and through the lens of memory, to the kinds of images we are confronted with every day, from graffiti to photography, fine art to advertising. Students are encouraged to think critically about what makes up their visual world through mindful looking, reading, writing, and creative projects.
    Instructor: Mirta Tocci
  • IN138 - Staging American Women: The Culture of Burlesque (4 Credits)
    Investigates and traces roles and images of women in vaudeville and burlesque of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and their offshoots. Cultural contexts, performance contents, ideas about gender performed in burlesque genre and powerful role they played in shaping dominant ideologies. Parodies, gender roles and relationships, and the highly controlled social and cultural power of the female form and demeanor forecasted a range of interwoven performative and visual arts designed to elaborate, explore, and exploit American ideologies of sex and gender. Ziegfeld girls, pin-up art of Alberto Vargas, early sexploitation films of Sonney and Freidman.
  • IN146 - Making Monsters (4 Credits)
    From origins of Western literature to contemporary blockbuster films, the monster has been a cross-genre mainstay of storytelling. Monsters represent culturally specific fears in forms from prehistoric beasts running rampant in the modern world to the terrifying results of scientific experiments gone wrong. Through a broad sampling of fiction, poetry, academic writing in anthropology, history, cultural studies, and narrative and ethnographic films, students develop the understanding that monsters do not emerge from thin air, but are manifestations of racial, sexual, and scientific anxieties. Discusses cultural and historical roots of monsters from Beowulf to Frankenstein.
    Instructor: Cynthia Miller
  • IN150 - Creativity in Context (4 Credits)
    Why do people create? Literature, film, art, and psychology provide the conceptual framework for solving the mystery of the creative impulse. What are the hallmarks of the creative personality? Is there a causal relationship between mental illness and artistry? How does the larger community of artists -- muses, collaborators, and competitors -- inspire an individual creator? Must artists be motivated by a sense of duty to society? Orwell's Why I Write, Hemingway's A Movable Feast, Plath's journals, and interviews with artists from the Beatles to Joan Didion to Francis Ford Coppola further illuminate the inspirations, motives, and processes of great artists.
    Instructor: Meta Wagner
  • IN152 - Cultural Constructions of Identity (4 Credits)
    Explores the complex relations among different modalities of identity, focusing on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and nationality. Many individual groups assert their identities without articulating convincing arguments. Indeed, it is often assumed that such individuals need not defend their rights; that one's own identity is a private matter that does not tolerate any intrusion. Bases of belief systems are examined through a variety of interdisciplinary texts that span the fields of literature, cinema, history, sociology, philosophy, and popular culture.
  • IN154 - Power and Privilege (4 Credits)
    What forms does privilege take, and what is its relation to power and oppression? How can we identify the ways that we may benefit from privilege? What responsibility do people in positions of privilege bear with regard to the benefits they enjoy? Why might people in positions of privilege want to work against it, and what can they do? This course provides students with the tools and resources to identify and address questions of privilege and power as they arise in relation to social categories such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and physical ability.
    Instructor: Claudia Castaneda
  • IN155 - Rethinking Race (4 Credits)
    Introduces students to the multidimensional aspects of race in the contemporary United States. It has three main interrelated objectives: exploring the history of race and racism in the world and the United States; introducing students to concepts and theories of race; and analyzing race and racism in the contemporary United States. Using examples from the media, popular culture, and everyday life, students will investigate the different ways race and racism work with gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, space, and nation.
    Instructor: Yasser Munif
  • IN200 - Introduction to Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies (4 Credits)
    Introduces the interdisciplinary field of women's and gender studies. Topics include "common differences" uniting and dividing women and men; how womanhood has been represented in myth, literature, and media; how gender inequalities have been both explained and critiqued; how gender acquires meaning when connected to race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality; and how to address feminism's historical role in promoting gender studies. Explores central paradox of contemporary thinking: the necessity to make gender both matter and not matter.
  • IN203 - Post-Colonial Cultures (4 Credits)
    Investigates the historical, socioeconomic, and ideological contexts within which 20th-century post-colonial cultures have been produced and are negotiated. Providing geographical coverage and theoretical frameworks, it examines cultural production from formerly colonized nations. Analyzes primary material and critical contexts within which these materials can be read and understood.
    Instructor: Nigel Gibson
  • IN206 - Introduction to Digital Media and Culture (4 Credits)
    Helps students develop an informed and critical understanding of how interactive media shape and influence society and communication. Student are exposed to ideas around participatory technologies, collaborative media, social networks, mobile platforms and digital culture. The course looks at the evolution of communication and media industries in the interactive age and explore how the future of digital culture will influence daily civic life, national agendas, and global ideas.
  • IN208 - Rainbow Nation? Race, Class & Culture in South Africa (4 Credits)
    With the end of apartheid and the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president, South Africa became known as a "rainbow nation." While this "new" South Africa became a symbol of hope for the possibilities of racial reconciliation around the world, more than 15 years after the first multiracial election inequality remains a stark reality. This course examines the intersection of economic, political, social, and cultural forces shaping contemporary South African society. Through engagement of a variety of texts (including literature, memoir, and film), students explore topics such as apartheid and Afrikaner cultural identity; black intellectual, cultural and political resistance movements; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and, hope and disillusionment in post-apartheid South Africa.
    Instructor: Cara Moyer-Duncan
  • IN210 - Topics in Global Studies (4 Credits)
    Providing geographical and historical coverage as well as theoretical frameworks, these interdisciplinary courses examine contemporary issues in post-colonial and global studies through local, national, and regional contexts. Courses focus on such issues as globalization, cultural production, politics and power, multiculturalism and identity, and migration and immigration. Past topics include: Arab Uprisings; Race, Class, and Culture in South Africa; and Borders in Contemporary Latin America. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.
  • IN212 - Topics in Interdisciplinary St (4 Credits)
    Rotating topics explore interdisciplinary fields such as cultural studies, women's and gender studies, and urban studies/civic engagement. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.
    Instructor: Murray Schwartz
  • IN216 - Topics in Dig Media & Culture (4 Credits)
    Rotating topics examine one or more of the following: questions of digital citizenship, the networked public sphere, online communities, the history and aesthetics of new media, and how emerging media and technologies inform and reinvent social processes. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.
  • IN223 - Blacks, Whites, and Blues (4 Credits)
    Looks at U.S. social history, race relations, and blues culture as a reflection of social change. Explores historical and literary materials relevant to African American social and economic development and white American cultural and oral-expressive nature of African American culture, relationship to social experience, and influence on mainstream American culture. Topics include American social/musical culture, the plantation South, migration, urban adaptation, experience of women, New Deal and 1960s counterculture politics, and influence of blues culture internationally.
    Instructor: Roger House
  • IN235 - The Arab Uprisings (4 Credits)
    What are the origins of the spectacular Arab uprisings that millions of Americans followed closely, and which led to the toppling of authoritarian regimes in several countries? Are we witnessing real revolutions or simple regime change? What are the implications of these revolts on the Western world, U.S. foreign policy, and representative liberal democracy? This course explores the modern history of the Arab world to investigate the origins and significance of the recent uprisings. It examines the interplay of culture, political economy, and history to help us contextualize the ongoing Arab revolts. Drawing on interdisciplinary fields, it engages with debates and controversies about the changing contours of the Middle East and North Africa in a world fraught with an economic crisis.
    Instructor: Yasser Munif
  • IN319 - Feminist Cultural Theory (4 Credits)
    Considers feminist theoretical engagements with culture. Addresses issues that have become central to feminist theorizing, including "the body," "identity and difference," "technoscience," and "the gaze." Through close readings of key texts paired with uses in further theoretical work of these texts, students become familiar with feminist cultural theoretical work, learning how to read and understand it, as well as how to make use of its interdisciplinary and diverse offerings. The reading, discussion, and writing practices incorporated into the course provide students with a feminist theoretical "toolkit" for engaging with different aspects of culture -- from popular culture to technoscience to everyday life.
  • IN324 - Documenting Visual Culture (4 Credits)
    Examines art, performance, films, and television produced by minority and under-represented peoples from local and international contexts through the lens of anthropological and social theory to see how these acts of visual communication are also sites of cultural and social reproduction. Students are also encouraged to take ethnographic methodology, specifically participant observation and field writing, and incorporate it into their research practices and artistic production in their major.
    Instructor: Kathryn Ramey
  • IN326 - The Dammed Shawsheen: Blending Ecology and Economics in the Real World (4 Credits)
    Examines how to integrate ecological and economic perspectives to inform public decision-making related to natural resource management. Focuses on a proposed dam removal project on the Shawsheen River in northeastern Massachusetts. Students study the project background in the context of the history of New England, visit the current dams, and hear from different stakeholders. The course concludes with student mastery of a cost-benefit analysis that assesses the project from ecological, social-welfare, economic, and historical perspectives.
  • IN331 - Key Contempory Thinkers: Marx (4 Credits)
    This course is about Marx's theory through the writings of Karl Marx, introducing students to Marx's thought through close readings and discussions of Marx's texts. The course engages key concepts in Marx's thought, such as alienation, ideology, class struggle as well as his critique of capitalism.
  • IN332 - Key Contemporary Thinkers: DuBois (4 Credits)
    Explores the intellectual, cultural, and political contributions of W.E.B. Du Bois, as examined through a broad selection of his writings, drawn both from his greater- known works of political thought, sociology, and critical race theory and his lesser-known works of literature, which encompassed the genres of fiction, nonfiction (essay and memoir), and drama. Beginning with his early life and work, students trace his development as a thinker and writer through the Niagara and New Negro Movements, the Harlem Renaissance, and the post-WWII contexts of American and Black Atlantic political and intellectual histories. Special attention is paid to the role played by literary production and criticism in the larger interdisciplinary projects of promoting equality for African Americans (and indeed, for all people of African descent) and critiquing American democracy. How might art-especially literature-best serve the demands of social and ethical praxis? Why did Du Bois turn, again and again, to imaginative discourse, even as he continued to work as a civic leader and political thinker?
    Instructor: Erika Williams
  • IN333 - Civic Media (4 Credits)
    This course not only explores the various goals that campaigns are using digital tools to meet, but also focuses on what type of citizen these tools are enabling and encouraging people to become. Students look at academic research surrounding citizenship and engagement in a digital era and cover research into many genres of civic media, from citizen journalism to hackathons. Additionally, it focuses on questions of design: How best can we, as media creators, encourage certain behaviors? What type of citizens are we building when we make design choices?
    Instructor: Russell Newman
  • IN370 - Adv. Topics in Global Studies (4 Credits)
    Examination of causes and consequences of globalization viewed from interdisciplinary perspective. Assessment of impact of globalization on economic, political, social, cultural and natural environments of nations, regions, and the world. Impact and uses of technology and media on cultural production, cultural diversity and "multiculturalism," disparities in power and control among nations and peoples. Regional and cultural differences in human responses to globalization. Past topics include: Women and Global Studies, Global Cities, and Western Perceptions of Africa and Africans. Fulfills General Education Global Diversity requirement.
  • IN374 - Topics in Interdiscipl Studies (4 Credits)
    Rotating topics explore interdisciplinary fields such as European studies, women's and gender studies, and urban studies/civic engagement. May be repeated for credit if topic varies.
  • IN402 - Living Art in Real Space: Multidisciplinary Art and the Collaborative Process (4 Credits)
    Examines the development and language of multidisciplinary art from the early 20th century to the present day, with reference to specific artists, trends, and movements. Lectures, slide and video presentations, museum visits, student research, reading, writing, and in-depth experiential processes address how different artistic disciplines inform one another and come together in visual art performance and installations. Culminates in final presentations of multidisciplinary work by student groups documenting and mapping the sources, methods, and process of their collaborations.
    Instructor: Mirta Tocci
  • IN403 - The Shock of the Old: Representations and Renaissance Culture (4 Credits)
    Themes of identity and difference, meaning and paradox, and accommodation and strife are traced through Renaissance drama, poetry, painting, music, other visual media, and the speculative essay. Explores "period" attempts within these media to formulate vocabularies of representation and affect. Relates one's own interpretive practices and assumptions to the thematics of Renaissance representation through written and oral exercises and examination of modern critical and artistic representations and (re)interpretations of Renaissance texts.
    Instructor: Robert Dulgarian
  • IN406 - Queer Dreams: Politics, Culture and Difference (4 Credits)
    Who or what is queer? How is the term being used to identify ways of living, political goals, social practices and cultural productions? Is queer a new identity, or does it question the terms of identity itself? How do questions of difference - of race, class, gender, sexuality, embodiment, and geo-cultural location - shift or inflect the meaning of this term, and the ways it is mobilized politically and culturally? Just as the term "queer" has been reclaimed from its negative usage, it has also been taken up and revised in a variety of ways that both extend and transform its meanings. Taking up of theory as a way of dreaming, this course focuses on theoretical work in queer studies, offering students the opportunity to explore new possibilities for thinking and living "queer."
    Instructor: Claudia Castaneda
  • MT102 - College Mathematics (4 Credits)
    Applies mathematical methods to topics including set theory, mathematical logic, plausible and heuristic reasoning patterns, probability theory, and investment theory including simple interest, compound interest, basic annuities, and amortization.
  • MT106 - Business Mathematics (4 Credits)
    Applies mathematical methods to a wide variety of business decisions including reconciliation, taxation, property and casualty insurance, cash and trade discounts, simple interest, simple discount, compound interest, basic annuities, and amortization.
    Instructor: Eiki Satake
  • MT207 - Statistics (4 Credits)
    Prepares students to use, understand, and evaluate basic statistical techniques. Introduces the most common topics and procedures in descriptive and inferential data analysis, such as measures of central tendency and variability, shapes of distributions, correlation and simple linear regression, sampling distributions, hypothesis testing, effect size, statistical power, t-tests, and chi-square.
    Instructors: Michael Duggan, Eiki Satake
  • PH105 - Introduction to Ethics (4 Credits)
    Introduces important theories on nature of the good in human conduct. Theories belong to Western philosophical tradition and include works of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Mill, and others.
  • PH110 - Ethics and Justice (4 Credits)
    Considers ethical theories and theories of justice, especially those related to questions of economic, criminal, political, and social justice.
    Instructor: Robb Eason
  • PH112 - Religion in Eastern Cultures (4 Credits)
    Studies the origin and development of Hinduism in India; Buddhism in India, China, and Japan; Taoism and Confucianism in China; and Shintoism in Japan. Students read original texts; development of doctrine in each religious tradition; and literary, artistic, and cultural impact of each religion on Eastern civilizations.
    Instructor: Eric Michael Dale
  • PH115 - Islamic Ways of Life (4 Credits)
    Religious faith has been, and continues to be, a powerful force in human life. The Middle East gave birth to three monotheistic belief systems-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-which have had profound effect on fundamental ideas that eventually spread throughout the world. Course examines the historical contexts that gave birth to the Islam, playing particular attention to the philosophical underpinnings of Islam. Students are introduced to the ways in which each faith shapes moral, political, and aesthetic values.
    Instructor: M. Chloe Mulderig
  • PH116 - Christian Ways of Life (4 Credits)
    Religious faith has been, and continues to be, a powerful force in human life. The Middle East gave birth to three monotheistic belief systems-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-which have had profound effect on fundamental ideas that eventually spread throughout the world. Course examines the historical contexts that gave birth to the Christianity, playing particular attention to the philosophical underpinnings of Christianity. Students are introduced to the ways in which each faith shapes moral, political, and aesthetic values.
  • PH117 - Jewish Ways of Life (4 Credits)
    Religious faith has been, and continues to be, a powerful force in human life. The Middle East gave birth to three monotheistic belief systems-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-which have had profound effect on fundamental ideas that eventually spread throughout the world. Course examines the historical contexts that gave birth to the Judaism, playing particular attention to the philosophical underpinnings of Judaism. Students are introduced to the ways in which each faith shapes moral, political, and aesthetic values.
    Instructor: Albert Axelrad
  • PH200 - Contemporary Ethics (4 Credits)
    Examines contemporary ethical issues of abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, and affirmative action in light of major theories of ethics and morals from the history of Western philosophy.
    Instructor: Ian Blaustein
  • PH203 - Special Topics in Ethics (4 Credits)
    Topics announced prior to each term may include: Art and Politics, Media Ethics, Feminist Ethics, Political Philosophy, or Judaism. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.
    Instructor: David Kishik
  • PH204 - Environmental Ethics (4 Credits)
    Considers philosophical ethics in relation to environmental issues. Topics include: religious beliefs as a foundation for environmental commitments, duties, and obligations toward other species; "deep ecology"; ecofeminism; economic imperatives versus environmental concerns; and disproportionate burden of environmental problems borne by certain groups.
    Instructor: Charles Oliver
  • PH205 - Virtues, Vices & Temptations (4 Credits)
    A key assumption in traditional moral philosophy is that the acquisition of a virtuous character is necessary for a good life. Experimental results in social psychology, however, indicate that situational pressures may be more reliable predictors of human behavior than presence of stable character traits. This course surveys key concepts in the history of moral philosophy and examines criticism of those concepts arising from the situationist literature and our possible responses to them.
    Instructor: Pablo Muchnik
  • PH210 - Narrative Ethics (4 Credits)
    Provides overview of classical and modern approaches to ethical theory using examples from fiction and film to show how ethical theories can be applied. Connects abstract theory with "real life" through storytelling and story analysis to understand and evaluate moral issues.
  • PH300 - Special Topics in Philosophy (4 Credits)
    Topics in political theoryphilosophy vary by semester and may include: Aesthetics of Everyday Life; Art and Politics; Community, Communication, and Public Policy; Liberalism and Communitarianism; Logic; Censorship, Privacy, and the Public Good. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.
  • PH303 - Citizenship as Civic Engagement (4 Credits)
    What does it mean to be or become a citizen? Readings and discussions will include what it means to be a citizen in a local community, a national community, and, perhaps, a world community. What are the responsibilities involved in being an engaged citizen? This is a philosophy course, and we will be examining these issues on a theoretical and on a practical level. All students will be placed n a local non-profit for approximately 2-3 hours a week.
    Instructor: Elizabeth Baeten
  • PH304 - Political Philosophy (4 Credits)
    Examines basic themes in the tradition of political philosophy and their implication for our contemporary understanding of freedom, rights, citizenship, justice, legitimacy, the public sphere, and the public good.
  • PS101 - Introductory Psychology (4 Credits)
    Presents topics across the range of sub-disciplines that make up the field, including the history of psychology, research methods, attention and consciousness, learning, memory, language, motivation, emotion, social perception and interaction, child and adult development, and mental illness. Students engage in discussions, presentations, and demonstrations centered on key ideas in the field.
  • PS200 - Social Psychology (4 Credits)
    Introduces the discipline of social psychology. Examines how the behavior of individuals is influenced by their social environment. Topics include impression formation, persuasion, conformity, interpersonal attraction, helping behavior, aggression, and prejudice.
  • PS201 - Abnormal Psychology (4 Credits)
    Provides an introduction to the nature, etiology, and classification of abnormal behaviors and therapeutic methods used to treat them. An explanation of the relation between mental disorder and the social and cultural setting is also provided.
  • PS202 - Developmental Psychology (4 Credits)
    Explores the stage/age-related physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development of individuals. Topics include physical maturation and sensory-motor development; thinking, reasoning, and language processes; personality growth; social cognition; and interpersonal interaction. Attention is also given to the discussion of contemporary issues in developmental psychology.
    Instructor: Eileen McBride
  • PS203 - Cognitive Psychology (4 Credits)
    Studies the mental mechanisms and processes involved with perception, learning, memory, and thinking. Topics may include perception, attention, memory, language, problem solving, decision-making, mental representation and knowledge, reasoning, creativity, and intelligence. Highlights the close relationship between modern cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience that ties cognitive processes to brain systems.
    Instructor: Amy DiBattista
  • PS301 - Personal Growth and Adjustment (4 Credits)
    Reviews the recent shift in psychology from the classic disease or medical-model perspective to a "strengths-based" model emphasizing well-being and adjustment. Examines this theoretical development, but also explores the proposed conditions that enhance well-being, support resilience, and allow individuals and communities to thrive. Topics include intention and mindfulness, self-efficacy, self-regulation, creativity and flow, and attachment and love.
    Instructor: Elizabeth Donovan
  • PS306 - Psychology of Prejudice (4 Credits)
    Explores the psychological causes and consequences of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination through an analysis of psychological theory and empirical research. By focusing on the experiences of a wide range of groups, the course examines themes such as group identity and intergroup conflict; the nature of categorization; why stereotypes persist; the personal and societal impact of prejudice; and how prejudice might be overcome.
    Instructor: Aaron B. Daniels
  • PS380 - Advanced Topics in Psychology (4 Credits)
    Upper-level special offerings in psychology focus on important questions in contemporary psychology. Each course uses theory and methods within major psychological perspectives such as cognitive, biological, evolutionary, developmental, social, and clinical psychology to demonstrate how psychology addresses and responds to concerns of individuals and groups in real-world contexts. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.
    Instructor: Lindsey Beck
  • SC210 - Human Health and Disease (4 Credits)
    How is our human body designed and maintained and how is the intricate balance of this system disrupted in illness? This course explores the structure, function, and interrelationship between several body systems through the study of human disease. Several major non-infectious diseases are selected (for example, diabetes, Alzheimer's, heart disease, and lung cancer) as a platform for discussing the chemistry and anatomy of the body. Study of these diseases informs discussion on mechanisms of drug action, the nature of disease risk factors, ethics and politics of healthcare, and the role of mind-body relationships in health and disease.
    Instructor: Jamie Lichtenstein
  • SC211 - Food and Nutrition (4 Credits)
    Introduces food systems, diet, and nutrition. Helps students become informed consumers of food by discussing what we eat, why we eat, where our food comes from, how it is processed, and how it affects our health. Students learn principles of nutrition, including the function of nutrients, food composition and diet analysis, the workings of the digestive system, and the nutritional roots of disease. The environmental, sociological, and psychological implications of food are discussed, and emphasis is placed on dispelling common myths about food and on questioning information presented in the media.
    Instructor: Kimberly Dong
  • SC213 - The Brain and Behavior (4 Credits)
    Discusses the general structure of the human brain and perceptual, cognitive, and neurologic functions and disorders tied to various brain systems. Covers neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, basic sensory functions, brain development, mechanisms of drugs and hormones, sleep, consciousness, and investigative methods used to study the brain. Higher neurocognitive functions, including language and memory and a range of neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders are also explored.
    Instructor: Vinoth Jagaroo
  • SC214 - Plagues and Pandemics (4 Credits)
    Infectious diseases are a leading worldwide cause of human death. This course describes and discusses the role, origins, spread, and impact of infectious diseases. By examining how the human immune system guards against infectious disease, students gain an understanding of the complex interaction between host and pathogen. This foundation is a launching point for discussion of topics such as the rise of drug-resistant microbes, advances in diagnostic and vaccine development, the socioeconomic and political factors involved in disease progression, food preservation and safety, and the use of microbes and microbial products in bioterrorism.
  • SC215 - Personal Genetics & Identity (4 Credits)
    As it becomes increasingly possible to obtain personalized versions of our individual human genomes, it behooves us to consider how much weight this information carries in generating our physical uniqueness and individual identity. This course introduces the biological basis of inheritance and human variation while considering the personal and public implications of accessibility to one's genetic information. In particular, students explore what our DNA can and can't tell us about appearance, disease, ancestry, and behavior. Students consider the marketing of genetic tests, the use of DNA databases in forensic science, regulation of the personal genomics industry, and genetic privacy.
  • SC216 - DNA and Society (4 Credits)
    Explores the structure and function of DNA and the role of the genetic code in shaping the basic cellular units of life. Covers the molecular biology necessary to understand science developments that have garnered the attention of the media and the scientific community, including those relating to biotechnology, stem cells, and genetic engineering. Students discuss this science at its intersection with art, policy, marketing, medicine, and human experience. They gain an appreciation of how molecular biology impacts our society and obtain the tools necessary to make informed decisions about the science we encounter.
  • SC220 - Energy and Sustainability (4 Credits)
    Energy has emerged as one of the most important issues facing our society, as it is increasingly clear that our current patterns of energy use are not sustainable. The course examines the ways in which we use energy, as individuals and as a society, and discusses available and future energy technologies in terms of their environmental impact and technical, economic, and political viability. Students explore various energy sources, beginning with traditional fossil fuel-based technologies, then focusing on emerging technologies, such as hydropower, wind, biomass, solar, geothermal, oceanic, fuel cell, and nuclear.
  • SC221 - Meteorology (4 Credits)
    Introduces the basic concepts involved in the analysis of weather phenomena and climate patterns at global and local scales. Major topics of discussion include: atmospheric composition and dynamics; solar radiation; temperature, moisture, and condensation; optical phenomena in the atmosphere; weather patterns; severe weather; and weather forecasting techniques.
    Instructor: Benjamin Papandrea
  • SC223 - Climate Change (4 Credits)
    Climate change is a complex topic of enormous scientific interest, societal importance, and political debate. This course introduces the science of climate change and global warming, focusing in particular on: past environmental change, including abrupt changes and past intervals of warmth; the response of physical and biological systems to recent and ongoing changes in climate; future climate scenarios, forecasting uncertainties, and public-policy options; and critical evaluation of media coverage of climate-change issues.
    Instructor: Caitlin McDonough
  • SC225 - Science and Politics of Water (4 Credits)
    Explores the confluence of fundamental ecological, hydrological, and other environmental processes with policy and law at the watershed scale. Emphasis is placed on how natural pathways of the flow of water support vital freshwater ecosystem services such as clean drinking water and healthy fish populations. Students also seek insight toward improved management by weighing the trade-offs required for other valued uses such as recreation, agriculture, hydropower, and industrial uses.
    Instructor: Jon Honea
  • SC290 - Topics in Science (4 Credits)
    Special offerings in science focused on theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, and contemporary questions in science. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.
    Instructor: Jennifer Gordon
  • SC310 - Science in Translation: Health and Genetics (4 Credits)
    Refines and broadens students' ability to interpret scientific language and communicate critical scientific content to others. This course examines popular representations of molecular biology in various outlets such as film, fiction, and journalism. Conversation about any scientific inaccuracies provides motivation for delving deeper into the science, and discussion of creative intent provides a mechanism for discussing ethical, social, and political impact of related research. Students then apply such interpretative understandings to their own craft as they put scientific translation and communication into practice in select scenarios.
  • SC312 - Visual & Spatial Preception (4 Credits)
    Examines visual and spatial processes and the sensory, cognitive, and neurophysiologic aspects of vision and spatial perception. Reviews the anatomy and physiology of the eye and the visual system, including the brain systems responsible for processing and making sense of visual input. Focus is then given to perception of size, form, color, motion, and three-dimensional space, followed by perceptual and neurological disorders in the visuospatial realm. The course is relevant to students interested in the workings of the visual system, as well as to students in visual media or marketing interested in applied principles of visual perception.
    Instructor: Vinoth Jagaroo
  • SC320 - Science in Translation: Environmental Science (4 Credits)
    Refines and broadens students' ability to interpret scientific language and communicate critical scientific content to others. This course examines popular representations of environmental issues in various outlets such as film, fiction, and journalism. Conversation about any scientific inaccuracies provides motivation for delving deeper into the science, and discussion of creative intent provides a mechanism for discussing ethical, social, and political impact of related research. Students then apply such interpretative understandings to their own craft as they put scientific translation and communication into practice in select scenarios.
    Instructor: Jon Honea
  • SC392 - Advanced Topics in Envir Scien (4 Credits)
    Special offerings in science focused on theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, and contemporary questions in environmental science. Material is presented and discussed at an advanced level, assuming students have some knowledge and understanding of the scientific method. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.
  • SO150 - Principles of Sociology (4 Credits)
    Introduces key sociological concepts, methodologies that provide pivotal tools for critical analysis of structures, agents of power focusing on roles shaping relationships, and institutions in local and global communities. Explores historical biographies that shape worldviews. Brings history to bear on present to identify and shape sociological imagination. Hands-on approaches extend learning beyond classroom, ensuring theory linked to practice. Students learn and live sociology as an integral aspect of individual and community identities.
    Instructor: Courtney Feldscher
  • SO200 - Communities and Race Relations (4 Credits)
    Studies the history and sociology of racial and ethnic groups in United States, including consideration of group tensions and aggressions. Gives overview of social experiences of major ethnic groups that entered the United States and selected Native American societies. Modern issues of inter-group relations are examined.
  • SO206 - Gender in a Global Perspective (4 Credits)
    Examines gender in a comparative and global context framed by interdisciplinary perspectives from sociology, anthropology, psychology, and cultural studies. Studies social construction of gender across cultures and globalization as a web of complex forces shaping gender-construction activities and institutions. Students compare experiences with other cultures and analyze work, play, and intimacy and institutional structures, including religion, politics, military, media, and the economy.
    Instructor: Chun Yi Sum
  • SO208 - Visual Society (4 Credits)
    Social theories of economic cultural change describe increasing significance of visual images and decline of texts, oral communication, and face-to-face interactions. The visualization of culture is considered in connection to economic globalization and the shift from production to consumption economies examined in television, websites, billboards, clothing, and window displays. Visual-ethnographic studies explore effects of visual culture (electronic and digital images, video, film, photography, magazine images) on identity, race, sexuality, politics, opportunity, community, and tradition.
    Instructor: Sam Binkley
  • SO222 - Humor and Society (4 Credits)
    Explores humor as a window into key sociological questions. What do jokes, gags, clowns, comedians, pranks and cartoons have to do with social order, conflict, inequality, identity and interactions? How does the comedy, as a sociological perspective, illuminate the humor of social organizations and of our subjective states? Students study key sociological arguments and relate them to the humor they observe in their own lives and in the social world around them.
  • SO310 - Advanced Topics in Sociology (4 Credits)
    Topics announced prior to each term may include: Alienation and Fragmentation in the Individual; Theories of Love, Sex, and Intimacy; or Postmodern Religion and the Secularization of Society. May be repeated for credit it topics differ.
    Instructor: Tulasi Srinivas
  • SO360 - Deviance and Social Control (4 Credits)
    Examines various forms of social control, the use of power constructing normative boundaries that differentiate normal and deviant perspectives. Media roles within popular culture, and overviews of differing academic perspectives include specific grand theories evidenced through sociological imagination; varieties of violent forms; sexual configurations; mental disorders; substance usages; white-collar dysfunctions; governmental-economic forms. Ethical dimensions of choice change through personal self-critique or examination of career roles in chosen media specialties.