This writing intensive course explores a range of research tools to analyze human belief, behavior, and cultural practices, and the systems which they drive and are affected by to inform planning and critical inquiry. Students will learn to formulate appropriate research strategies and questions for conducting quantitative and qualitative research to explore a variety of approaches that address contemporary issues around all aspects of sustainability (economic, social, environmental, technical. Students will consider ethical, empathetic, and contextual sensitivities at all stages of the research process, from planning through to analysis and interpretation and will convey their findings through multi-modal means of communication as appropriate to the content and purpose of their research.
Animals: we encounter them in our backyards and on our plates; in sacred texts and as sports mascots. Given the many ways they figure in our societies, how should humans relate to their fellow animals? This course surveys how the treatment of animals across the domains of art, science, literature, philosophy, and/or culture produces both intersecting and contradictory understandings of the relationship between animals and humans. Students will consider issues of contemporary concern involving animals, particularly as regards students’ future professions.
We are constantly surrounded by stories in our daily lives - at home, at play, and in the workplace - and every day we create just as many stories of our own as we move through all of these spaces. In this course, we analyze, evaluate, and create narratives. We learn and discuss the parts that make up a narrative, and consider how these components are used by storytellers across media and disciplines to create narratives that are (or are not) effective, compelling, ethical, and successful at achieving their purpose. [Writing Intensive] Prerequisites: WRIT-20x, GDIV-2xx or GCIT-2xx
In this course, students will examine the theories and history of psychoanalysis –as well as the many social, cultural, scientific, medical, and philosophical dimensions surrounding this most influential and controversial of disciplines. Over the course of the semester, the class will chart the various schools of psychoanalysis, the different personalities involved (Freud, Jung, Klein, Lacan, Fanon, and others), the often-fierce debates and rivalries between them, how the discipline has changed as it has spread geographically and over the generations, and the various types of critique it has encountered (feminist, leftist, positivist, anti-psychiatry, et cetera).
How do cultures and societies shape experiences of illness and health? How do cultures affect and communicate conceptions of illness, health, and medicine? In this writing-intensive course, students will study social and cultural dimensions of health, illness and medicine to research the wider contexts in which individuals and societies view and respond to illness and health. Students will draw from multiple disciplines such as literature, rhetoric, anthropology, sociology, history, and philosophy to investigate and propose solutions to current medical and cultural issues that impact citizens and healthcare practitioners in the U.S. and around the globe. [Writing Intensive] Prerequisite: WRIT-2XX, GCIT-2XX or GDIV-2XX
This course surveys the philosophies, principles, perspectives, and values of sustainability as they relate to design, using Integral Sustainable Design to explore environmental, social/cultural, economic, and experiential frameworks across scale, time, and differing perspectives in the service of effective collaboration across disciplines and differences. Questions regarding the impact of design and designers on the pressing issues of social inequity, environmental justice, and structures of privilege are integrated into all course topics. Students will use integrative design, design thinking and co-creative design processes to apply sustainability concepts and values to the design of projects, products, processes and policies across all relevant scales.
Students will consider communication technologies and how and what people communicate using those technologies. We'll examine the role of communication technologies in society and culture, with an emphasis or how they function in the information age. This will include both the social and cultural influences that have shaped the development of various emerging media, information, and communication technologies.
In this course, students will study the impact of culture on the field of healthcare, examining notions of patient, practitioner, the body, disability, health and wellness. Students will perform close readings of artistic, narrative, and theoretical texts to explore how cultural artifacts shape and reflect health practices. How does storytelling engage with, respond to, and critique medical discourses? How are health outcomes influenced by money and power? How can we imagine a more empathetic version of medicine and care? This course focuses on skills of observation, analysis, contextualization, and reflection, and examines how the creative arts and humanities can be instruments in affirming trust, empowerment, and dignity, as well as effective models for true care. This course can be counted towards the Health Humanities certification.
The political use of conspiracy theories is not unique in American Politics. Baseless claims supported by conjecture and rumor instead of reliable evidence have colored public perception of events as disparate as the assassination of JFK, the Moon Landing, 9/11, the death of Vince Foster, the Boston Marathon Bombing, and the mass shooting at Sandy Hook, Once dismissed as a hobby for those wearing tinfoil hats, conspiracy belief now factors into electoral politics, policymaking, and even foreign policy. On the other hand, real conspiracies such as Watergate and Columbine have contributed to the problem by creating a climate of distrust in government and in the very notion of expertise. In this class the students will first learn the psychology of conspiracy theory formation and belief and then we will deconstruct each theory focusing on the reason its creation , those behind its dissemination and creation, and evaluate of credibility of supporting evidence. The student will learn how to vet sources, and apply logical analysis using verifiable, not alternative, facts.
This course considers how digital networked technologies have impacted our legal and social institutions. Subjects may include: global regulation of the Internet; domain names and trademarks; pornography and First Amendment Free Speech issues; platforms and third-party liability; platform governance and moderation; computer fraud and abuse; mass data collection and web scraping; digital evidence for criminal and civil cases; combatting online harassment; and privacy and surveillance.
This course examines sustainability issues in non-Western countries around the world. Students will consider how local economic, political and cultural factors help shape sustainability strategies and examine the relationship between economic development and sustainability in a comparative framework. [Writing Intensive] Prerequisites: WRIT-201/202 and GDIV-2xx or GCIT-2xx
This course provides an introduction to a range of viewpoints, concepts, and characteristics of human behavior in existing designed spaces. Cultural, social, and psychological factors are examined, e.g., relationships to water, responses to open and enclosed spaces (both interior and exterior), roles of textures and aromas, relationships to the natural environment, etc. Various theories and methods of environmental assessment and design are studied that are based on an understanding of mutually supportive relationships between people and their physical environment. This course looks at how people use and are impacted by various environments and stimuli from a range of cultural, psychological and physical perspectives. [Writing Intensive]