Fall 2010 Courses


010. Racism
H. Partridge T  1:00 - 2:25
TH 1:00 - 2:25
Examines issues of racism in the United States, with attention to the social psychology of racism, its history, its relationship to social structure, and its ethical and moral implications.
022. In the Facebook Age
Dhiraj Murthy T  1:00 - 2:25
TH 1:00 - 2:25
Explores new media forms through discourses of culture, race, space, and power. From the development of the first electronic messaging systems in the 1960s to the advent of interactive social networking Web sites such as Facebook, Bebo and hi5, the role of computer-mediated communication in shaping economies, polities, and societies is discussed. Uses a wide range of sources—recent social science research, Web sites, Facebook, YouTube videos—to examine the roles of new media both in the United States and abroad.
101. Introduction to Sociology
Debra Guckenheimer T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
The major perspectives of sociology. Application of the scientific method to sociological theory and to current social issues. Theories ranging from social determinism to free will are considered, including the work of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Merton, and others. Attention is given to such concepts as role, status, society, culture, institution, personality, social organization, the dynamics of change, the social roots of behavior and attitudes, social control, deviance, socialization, and the dialectical relationship between individual and society.
101. Introduction to Sociology
Ingrid Nelson M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
The major perspectives of sociology. Application of the scientific method to sociological theory and to current social issues. Theories ranging from social determinism to free will are considered, including the work of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Merton, and others. Attention is given to such concepts as role, status, society, culture, institution, personality, social organization, the dynamics of change, the social roots of behavior and attitudes, social control, deviance, socialization, and the dialectical relationship between individual and society.
120. War and Media
Wendy Christensen M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
The role of the media is perhaps never more crucial or contentious than during times of war. Examines how the media shapes war, military conflicts, homeland security, patriotism, and the United States as an international superpower. Included is a history of U.S. news coverage of war and war in popular films (from World War I to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). Particular attention paid to the military's use of the media to shape public opinion (propaganda posters and recruitment advertisements), and how new media technologies change the relationship between the media and the military. Takes an intersectional approach to understanding the relationship between the media and the military, looking at how assumptions about gender, race, and class shape media coverage of war.
208. Race and Ethnicity
Ingrid Nelson M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
The social and cultural meaning of race and ethnicity, with emphasis on the politics of events and processes in contemporary America. Analysis of the causes and consequences of prejudice and discrimination. Examination of the relationships between race and class. Comparisons among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States.
211. Classics of Sociological Theory
Dhiraj Murthy T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
An analysis of selected works by the founders of modern sociology. Particular emphasis is given to understanding differing approaches to sociological analysis through detailed textual interpretation. Works by Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and selected others are read.
215. Criminology and Criminal Justice
Craig McEwen M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
Focuses on crime and corrections in the United States, with some cross-national comparisons. Examines the problematic character of the definition of “crime.” Explores empirical research on the character, distribution, and correlates of criminal behavior, and interprets this research in the light of social structural, cultural, and social psychological theories of crime causation. Discusses the implications of the nature and causes of crime for law enforcement and the administration of justice. Surveys the varied ways in which prisons and correctional programs are organized and assesses research about their effectiveness.
219. Sociology of Gender
Wendy Christensen M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
Our ideas about gender – about women, men, masculinity, femininity –organize our social life in important ways that we often do not even notice. Critically examines the ways gender informs the social world in which we live and how beliefs about gender create and enforce a system of gender difference and inequality. Examines how gender is involved in and related to differences and inequalities in social roles, gender identity, sexual orientation, and social constructions of knowledge. Particular attention paid to exposing the gendered workings of institutions such as the family and the workplace, the link between gender and sexuality, and how race and class inform our ideas about gender.
223. Cultural Interpretations of Medicine
Susan Bell T  2:30 - 3:55
TH 2:30 - 3:55
Explores a series of topics in health studies from the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences: medical ethics, the development and use of reproductive technologies, relationships between doctors and patients, disability, public health, and the experience of illness. Encourages reflection about these topics through ethnographies, monographs, novels, plays, poetry, and visual arts, such as Barker’s Regeneration, Squiers’ The Body at Risk: Photography of Disorder, Illness, and Healing, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Bosk’s Forgive and Remember, and Alvord’s The Scalpel and the Silver Bear.
241. Making Social Change
Debra Guckenheimer T  2:30 - 3:55
TH 2:30 - 3:55
Explores how people organize to change the world around them. Focuses on efforts to create progressive social change over the last fifty years including social movements challenging racism, sexism, and global inequalities. Students will speak with local activists and develop a plan for creating effective change around an issue that they care about.
315. Seeing Social Life
Susan Bell W  1:00 - 3:55
Advanced seminar in visual sociology. In the early twentieth century visual images were included routinely in sociology journals, and photographers worked with sociologists to document rural poverty. In the late twentieth century, sociologists again began to employ visual analysis of organizations, institutions, communities, and popular culture; to use sociological theory in making, interpreting, and presenting visual evidence; and to develop a visual sociological imagination by learning how to read photographs, documentary and popular films, and other media. Why did the sociological imagination become text-based? What do visual images do? Particular attention given to photography and film as resources and topics of sociological knowledge. Readings will include theoretical works about the sociology of knowledge, including the colonial and ethnographic gaze.


101. Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Jan Brunson T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Cultural anthropology explores the diversities and commonalities of cultures and societies in an increasingly interconnected world. Introduces students to the significant issues, concepts, theories, and methods in cultural anthropology. Topics may include cultural relativism and ethnocentrism, fieldwork and ethics, symbolism, language, religion and ritual, political and economic systems, family and kinship, gender, class, ethnicity and race, nationalism and transnationalism, and ethnographic representation and validity.
201. Anthropological Research
Sara Dickey M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
Anthropological research methods and perspectives are examined through classic and recent ethnography, statistics and computer literacy, and the student’s own fieldwork experience. Topics include ethics, analytical and methodological techniques, the interpretation of data, and the use and misuse of anthropology.
202. Essentials of Archaeology
A MacEachern M  1:00 - 3:55
Introduces students to the methods and concepts that archaeologists use to explore the human past. Shows how concepts from natural science, history, and anthropology help archaeologists investigate past societies, reveal the form and function of ancient cultural remains, and draw inferences about the nature and causes of change in human societies over time. Will include a significant fieldwork component, including excavations on campus.
203. History of Anthropological Theory
Chad Uran T  8:30 - 9:55
TH 8:30 - 9:55
An examination of the development of various theoretical approaches to the study of culture and society. Anthropology in the United States, Britain, and France is covered from the nineteenth century to the present. Among those considered are Morgan, Tylor, Durkheim, Boas, Malinowski, Mead, Geertz, and Lévi-Strauss.
219. Anthropology of Science, Sex, and Reproduction
Jan Brunson T  2:30 - 3:55
TH 2:30 - 3:55
Explores anthropological approaches to reproductive health and procreation in developed and developing countries. Locates science as one epistemology among many and explores the hegemonic aspects of science in relation to sex and reproduction. Examines sex and reproduction as sites of intervention for public health, development, and biomedical specialists, while also considering local constructions and strategies. Topics include cervical cancer, family planning, and new reproductive technologies. Draws primarily from ethnographies.
225. Transnational Cosmologies: Andean Examples
Krista Van Vleet M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
Explores the ways various religious beliefs and practices have intersected at particular historical moments, using the Andean region as an exemplary case. Examples from pre-Columbian and Inca, Spanish colonial, and contemporary republican periods highlight the continuities and transformations in local and global religious institutions and the significance of religion to political-economic and social relationships. Uses scholarly readings in anthropology, archaeology, and history as well as novels and films to introduce anthropological theories of religion and globalization; analyze local cosmologies, rituals, and conceptions of the sacred alongside institutionalized global religions such as Catholicism and evangelical Protestantism; and interrogate the significance of popular cultural representations of religion to contemporary social, economic, and political processes.
232. Indian Cinema and Society: Industries, Politics, and Audiences
Sara Dickey M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
Explores Indian films, film consumption, and film industries since 1947. Focuses on mainstream cinema in different regions of India, with some attention to the impact of popular film conventions on art cinema and documentary. Topics include the narrative and aesthetic conventions of Indian films, film magazines, fan clubs, cinema and electoral politics, stigmas on acting, filmmakers and filmmaking, rituals of film watching, and audience interpretations of movies. The production, consumption, and content of Indian cinema are examined in social, cultural, and political contexts, particularly with an eye to their relationships to class, gender, and nationalism. Attendance at weekly evening screenings is required.
233. Peoples and Cultures of Africa
A MacEachern T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Introduction to the traditional patterns of livelihood and social institutions of African peoples. Following a brief overview of African geography, habitat, and cultural history, lectures and readings cover a representative range of types of economy, polity, and social organization, from the smallest hunting and gathering societies to the most complex states and empires. Emphasis upon understanding the nature of traditional social forms. Changes in African societies in the colonial and post-colonial periods examined, but are not the principal focus.
237. Family, Gender, and Sexuality in Latin America
Krista Van Vleet T  1:00 - 2:25
TH 1:00 - 2:25
Focuses on family, gender, and sexuality as windows onto political, economic, social, and cultural issues in Latin America. Topics include indigenous and natural gender ideologies, marriage, race, and class; machismo and masculinity; state and domestic violence; religion and reproductive control; compulsory heterosexuality; AIDS; and cross-cultural conceptions of homosexuality. Takes a comparative perspective and draws on a wide array of sources including ethnography, film, fiction, and historical narrative.
242. Metaphor, Language, and Identity
Chad Uran T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
Examines the role that metaphor plays in organizing our identities and our views of how the world works. Common metaphors in current use include the obvious ("Time is money") and the subtle (the nation as a body that is "born," "grows," and "gives birth"). We begin with some theories of language and identity drawn from across the globe that approach various axes of identity such as class, gender, and ethnicity. Second, we will look to metaphor as a tool used to understand our place in the world as individuals and as part of groups. Third, we will examine readings where these understandings of identity conflict with other identities. As we consider common themes of identity and the reproduction of identities, we will look for the part metaphor plays. The topics and themes covered in our readings may include: language politics in the United States, inter-ethnic differences in showing respect, racialized humor, and indigenous language revitalization. From this place of ethnographically informed reflection, we will develop individual writing projects that draw from our experiences, our readings, and critical application of theories of language and identity.
272. The Right to be Cold: Contemporary Arctic Environmental and Cultural Issues
Susan Kaplan M  6:30 - 9:25
Throughout the Arctic, northern peoples face major environmental changes and cultural and economic challenges. Landscapes, icescapes, and seascapes on which communities rely are being transformed, and arctic plants and animals are being affected. Many indigenous groups see these dramatic changes as endangering their health and cultural way of life. Others see a warming Arctic as an opportunity for industrial development. Addressing contemporary issues that concern northern peoples in general and Inuit in particular involves understanding connections between leadership, global environmental change, human rights, indigenous cultures, and foreign policies, and being able to work on both a global and local level.