Anthro 101-6 – First Year Seminar - Biological Thought & ActionScience is a process by which people make sense of the world. Scientists examine evidence from the past, work to understand the present, and make predictions about the future. Integral to this process are the methods they use to collect and analyze data, as well as the ways in which scientists work together as a community to interpret evidence and draw conclusions. In this class, we will take a multidisciplinary approach to examining biological thought and action and their social remifications.
Anthro 307-0-20 – Anthropology of PeaceCultural and ethnographic approaches to peace, peace building and peace activism. Topics of investigation include the concept of “peaceful societies,” cultural mechanisms for conflict resolution, truth and reconciliation, the relationship between peace and commerce, and the role of literature, art and material culture in peace activism.
This course includes one guest lecture on global peace activism to be scheduled outside of the normal class meeting times. Students are required to attend the event and prepare two or three questions for the guest speaker.
Anthro 315-0 – Medical AnthropologyHow do Anthropologists understand and investigate the social and cultural contexts of health and illness? This course will examine the diverse ways in which humans use cultural resources to cope with pain, illness, suffering and healing in diverse cultural contexts. In addition, we will analyze various kinds of medical practices as cultural systems, examining how disease, health, body, and mind are socially constructed, how these constructions articulate with human biology, and vice versa. The course will provide an introduction to the major theoretical frameworks that guide anthropological approaches to studying human health-related behavior. Theory will be combined with case studies from a number of societies, from India, Japan, Brazil, and Haiti to the U.S. and Canada, enabling students to identify similarities across seemingly disparate cultural systems, while at the same time demonstrating the ways in which American health behaviors and practices are socially embedded and culturally specific. The course will emphasize the overall social, political, and economic contexts in which health behavior and health systems are shaped, and within which they must be understood.
Anthro 315-0-20 – Medical Anthropology
Anthro 343-0-20 – Anthropology of Race
Anthro 390-0 – Anthropology of MoneyWhat is money? How do people use money in the real world? How are technological innovations changing people's perceptions of money? This course introduces anthropological perspectives on economy and society through a variety of ethnographic studies of money and finance. Topics of discussion include "primitive money," the uses of money in religious and ritual practices, social and cultural meanings of numbers, mobile money, crypto-currency and other alternative currency systems, and the politics of central banking.
Anthro 390-0-22 – Archaeology of Food and DrinkFood is a universal requirement for humans to survive, yet different cultures have developed radically divergent cuisines. In this course, we will use archaeology to explore the diversity of human foodways, and the various roles food has played throughout time. You will learn about topics like the 'real' Paleo diet, how the Incas used beer at parties to build social alliances, and how Columbus's discovery of the Americas spurred global scale shifts in food and agriculture. The course begins with an overview of how anthropologists and archaeologists study food, and then moves through time, beginning with our hunting and gathering ancestors and ending with colonialism.
Anthro 290-0-24 – Fire and Blood: Resources, Energy, and SocietyClimate crisis, directly linked to CO2 emissions from centuries of burning fossil fuels, has brought energy resources to the center of public attention. This course will survey works of anthropology, history, and geography as well as films and novels to understand how various resources and energy systems relate to sociocultural practices and politics throughout the world. Focusing on one energy resource each week, Fire and Blood will examine how uranium, wind, coal, light, oil, water, and other materials are made into sources of power?both physical and political. It will trace the movement of resources from the subsoil, atmosphere, or riverbeds to pipelines, power plants, dams, turbines, or other kinds of energy infrastructures; and finally, to the electrified streets of urban Mumbai, the wastelands of Navajo County, or the melting ice sheets of the Arctic. After discussing the toxic legacies of fossil fuels and nuclear things, we will end the course by reading texts on "energy transition" and post-carbon futures. By the end of the course, each student will have produced a research paper on an existing, past, or planned energy resource project of their choice from anywhere in the world.
Art Hist 349-0 – Early Modern Art: Materiality and ExperienceThe materiality of art is evident and central to how art looks, how it means, and how it endures. This new course is intended as an introduction to the materiality of objects and works of art made during the early modern era (c. 1400-1700) and to concepts for understanding and interpreting them. Works in a variety of materials, ivory, wax, woods, feathers, shells and mother-of-pearl, oil paint, lacquer, metal, fresco, stone, porcelain and earthenware populate a series of case studies drawn from European, Mesoamerican, and East Asian workshops. In addition to learning about what goes into making an early modern work of art, students will trace the geographies of materials, and the ways in which materials, format, and durability all affect the viewer's experience. Students will read, analyze, and discuss current research on the makings of art, on theories of the materiality of art, and problems in art conservation and will participate in close examination of works in museum and special collections. Our specific focus is on the materiality of early modern art works, and on what sorts of experiences that materiality represents. How were the materials sourced? acquired? prepared? valued? appreciated? This course will introduce students to some of the central topics in early modern art history as it is practiced by scholars/historians *and* by archaeologists, museum curators, archivists, and conservators. Students will be introduced to a wide data set of objects and art works, and will learn how to analyze, articulate, discuss, and research aspects of their materiality. Rather than focusing on memorization, this course encourages using concepts from a set of assigned readings to reflect on the objects we discuss together. Students will work in small groups and as a class to advance their own vocabulary for and understanding of early modern materiality.
Asian Am 376-0 – Techno-OrientalismTechno-Orientalism names a variant of Orientalism that associates Asians with a technological future. This seminar will explore how Techno-Orientalist tropes are used by, played with, and rewritten by Asian American authors. We will study how twentieth-century and contemporary issues of technology, globalization, and financial speculation collide with a history of yellow peril and Asian Invasion discourse, as well as how these tensions manifest in figures and tropes such as robots, aliens, and cybernetics. Texts include poetry, novels, short stories, comics, and film.
Bio Sci 101-6 – First Year Seminar - Values of BiodiversityOne of the major challenges of our changing world is the loss of biological diversity. An overwhelming majority of people agree that we should work to save biodiversity, but their views are largely based on vague, positive feelings about nature rather than concrete justifications. This course investigates those concrete justifications.
Chem 105-6 – Sci Writing for Non-Tech AudienceIn this course, we will read and discuss works on technical subjects written for a general audience with no special scientific training; the authors we will be reading include Sam Kean, John McPhee, Don Norman, Richard Rhodes, and Lewis Thomas. Although the course is not targeted exclusively to science majors, students enrolling in it should have enough of a background in the fundamental sciences to feel comfortable writing about technical topics.
Comm St 394-0-22 – Science Communication: A Compassionate Scientist'sWith the increasing threats to the future of our planet and humanity, including global warming, preventable diseases, and limited resources, effective science communication is the ethical responsibility of all scientists. However, effective and ethical science communication is only possible with compassion, willingness to engage with the public, and making meaningful connections. Throughout the quarter students will learn more about tools they need to be better communicators. They will also work on their topic of interest as it relates to science communication and craft a fifteen-page final paper, while also learning more about skills related to developing a research paper.
Comp Lit 302-0-20 – Tales of Oil and WaterWhat can a dystopian film like 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road tell us about how to change our actions, today? How can we recognize urgent questions from our own world in such a surreal cinematic assault on the senses? How do such imaginary prophecies of near-future worlds "memorialize" the present? As interlocking narratives of globalization, resource competition, and ecological crisis collide in the news, the natural resources on which human lives and social relationships depend have increasingly preoccupied recent fiction, film, and criticism. Whether it's a question of "too much" or "not enough", of deluge or scarcity, the tales we will read and watch together in this course depict resource wars and dystopian imaginaries through everyday, intimate events and encounters. They zoom in, in other words, from geopolitical power struggles caused by oil and water, to their effects on a human scale, helping us see how our actions count in both distantly mediated and effectively immediate ways. Featuring stories composed of fast-paced action, futuristic sci-fi, film noir mystery, devastating satire, and the aesthetics of the surreal, these works cannot be captured by a single mood. Instead, they collectively intensify our awareness of the ecological path we are on, as if to say: remember this tomorrow. Our discussions of essays, novels, stories and films will be guided by how each represents pressing problems of compromise and control, agency and activism, competition and coexistence, in a "now" viewed as the future's past.
Earth 102-6 – Climate Change: The Scientific EvidenceAnthropogenic climate change represents a massive global experiment. In this course we will discuss the scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change, including atmospheric composition changes, sea level rise, melting ice sheets, temperature records, and extreme weather events such as hurricanes.
Earth 390-0-06 – Natural Hazards PolicyDefending society against natural hazards is a high-stakes game of chance against nature, involving tough decisions. How should a developing nation allocate its budget between building schools for towns without ones and making existing schools earthquake-resistant? Does it make more sense to build levees to protect against floods, or to prevent development in the areas at risk? Would more lives be saved by making hospitals earthquake-resistant, or by using the funds for patient care? What should scientists tell the public when, as occurred in L'Aquila, Italy, and Mammoth Lakes, California, there is a real but small risk of an upcoming earthquake or volcanic eruption? This course uses general principles and case studies to explore how we can do better by taking an integrated view of natural hazards issues, rather than treating the relevant geoscience, engineering, economics, and policy formulation separately. We will consider thought-provoking questions that confront the complex issues involved.
Econ 307-0-20 – Economics of Medical CareThis class will help students understand the key economic forces that have shaped the US health care and health insurance industry. What role do the particularities of health care and health insurance as economic goods play in explaining the size and growth rate of the health care sector? What's the effect of private incentives, adverse selection, moral hazard, and regulation? What's the effect of different organizational structures of health care provision? What can we learn from comparing the US health care / health insurance system to other countries' systems? Students will learn that these issues are important in the current public policy discussion.
Econ 324-0-20 – Western Economic HistoryThis course will deal with the economic history of Europe in the Twentieth Century, such as growth, economic crises, unification, and the economics of war. The readings will consist of a number of books and essays.
Envr Pol 309 – American Environmental HistoryThis course will survey American history from the colonial era to the present with two premises in mind: that the natural world is not simply a passive background to human history but rather an active participant, and that human attitudes toward nature are both shaped by and in turn shape social, political, and economic behavior. The course will cover formal schools of thought about the natural world - from transcendentalism to the conservation and environmental movements - but also discuss the many informal intersections of human activity and natural systems, from European colonialism to property regimes, migration and transportation, industry, consumer practices, war, technological innovation, political ideology, and food production.
Envr Pol 390-0-21 – International Environmental Law and PolicyGlobal environmental problems, including the looming threat of climate change, the biodiversity crisis, and increasing pressures on ocean ecosystems due to human activities, have become pressing concerns in recent decades. In response, a sophisticated architecture of global governance has emerged, including through the establishment of hundreds of multi-lateral treaties to confront these threats. As a consequence, nation-States have begun to cooperate with each other to an unprecedented extent, although not without facing significant obstacles, and not without domestic political agendas sometimes delaying or thwarting progress at the international level. This class examines the array of legal regimes, politics, governance processes and policy tools that have emerged in the arena of global environmental law and politics. We will focus on a number of different discrete international environmental problems, as well as how international environmental law is formulated and enforced at the international level.
Envr Pol 390-0-22 – Climate Change Law and PolicyThis course focuses on international treaty regimes for responding to climate change as well as the role of domestic law, with a focus on the United States. It includes a review of the history of international responses to climate change, highlights the negotiations, what is agreed, what is outstanding, and where the fault lines exist, and then examines efforts at integrating climate change into various international institutions. The course also examines the role of a range of international organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, regional bodies, international river and lake basin organizations, the UN Security Council, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. On the domestic side of the equation, it focuses on national, regional, and state-based legislation and regulations to address climate change, including the policies of the Trump administration.
Envr Pol 390-0-23 – Maple Syrup and Climate ChangeSesipâskw'pêskân is the Nehiywa (Cree) word for a maple sugar camp. It's the time in between late winter and early spring when families gather to collect maple sap, and to harvest fish, beavers, and early spring plants, or at least it used to be. As the earth's climate changes, maple trees and the subsequent maple syrup industry in the U.S. and Canada are being affected, in both good and bad ways. To compound this, the demand for maple syrup is rising in Asia. The class will cover these effects, their impact on Native American and non-Native communities, the maple syrup industry, and maple species themselves. Students will work in groups, to collect data from three maple species on campus and examine sugar ratios, sap flow rates, species differentiation in sap quality, the presence of heavy metals, soil quality, bud development, and bloom times in relation to campus micro-climates, ambient temperature and precipitation. Students would also learn about how to utilize outdoor space as an informal science classroom and develop community based citizen science methods and curriculum. The final product for the class would be a group data report. A copy of the report will go to facilities management to be added to their campus tree inventory.
Gbl Hlth 301-0-20 – Introduction to International Public HealthThis course introduces students to pressing disease and health care problems worldwide and examines efforts currently underway to address them. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the course identifies the main actors, institutions, practices and forms of knowledge production characteristic of what we call "global health" today, and explores the environmental, social, political and economic factors that shape patterns and experiences of illness and healthcare across societies. We will scrutinize the value systems that underpin specific paradigms in the policy and science of global health and place present-day developments in historical perspective. Key topics will include: policies and approaches to global health governance and interventions, global economies and their impacts on public health, medical humanitarianism, global mental health, maternal and child health, pandemics (HIV/AIDS, Ebola, H1N1, Swine Flu), malaria, food insecurity, health and human rights, and global health ethics.
Gbl Hlth 302 – Global BioethicsThis course introduces students to pressing disease and health care problems worldwide and examines past and current efforts to address them. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the course identifies the main actors, institutions, practices and forms of knowledge production characteristic of what we call “global health” today, and explores the environmental, social, political and economic factors that shape patterns and experiences of illness and healthcare across societies. We will scrutinize the value systems that underpin specific paradigms in the policy and science of global health and place present-day developments in historical perspective.
Gbl Hlth 307-0-1 – International Perspectives on Mental HealthThis course will explore issues of mental health in cross-cultural, international perspective and examine the impact of psychological illness on the global burden of disease. Students explore the following questions: how do cultural systems of meaning and behavior affect the vulnerability of individuals within the population to mental illness and the mental illnesses to which they are vulnerable? How does culture influence the way that mental illness is expressed and experienced and how does this affect our ability to measure psychological illness cross-culturally? How do cultural factors affect the way that mental illnesses are diagnosed and labeled, and the degree to which they are stigmatized? And how do such factors affect our ability to create effective public health interventions? Finally, how do healing practices and the efficacy of particular treatments vary across cultures? By examining these and related questions, in the context of specific mental illnesses including schizophrenia, depression, and PTSD students are exposed to a unique set of ideas otherwise unrepresented in the current global health curriculum. Mental health is crucially linked to physical health, and represents an enormous global health burden in its own right. It is crucial, therefore, that global health students be introduced to central issues related to epidemiology and intervention in this area.
Gbl Hlth 322 – The Social Determinants of HealthThis upper-level seminar in medical anthropology examines the role of social markers of difference including race, class, nationality, gender, sexuality, age and religion in current debates and challenges in the theory and practice of global health. We will explore contemporary illness experiences and therapeutic interventions in sociocultural and historical context through case studies from the US, Brazil, and South Africa. Students will be introduced to key concepts such as embodiment, medicalization, structural violence, the social determinants of health, and biopolitics. Central questions of the seminar include: How do social categories of difference determine disease and health in individuals and collectivities? How is medical science influenced by economic and political institutions and by patient mobilization? How does social and economic inclusion/exclusion govern access to treatment as well as care of the self and others? The course will provide advanced instruction in anthropological and related social scientific research methods as they apply to questions of social inequality and public health policy in both the United States and in emerging economic powers. The course draws from historical accounts, contemporary ethnographies, public health literature, media reports, and films.
Gbl Hlth 325-0-1 – History of Reproductive HealthThe history of reproduction is a large subject, and during this course we will touch on many, but by no means all, of what can be considered as part of this history. Our focus will be on human reproduction, considering the vantage points of both healthcare practitioners and lay women and men. We will look at ideas concerning fertility, conception, pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, birth control, abortion, and assisted reproduction. Because, at a fundamental level, reproduction is about power - as historian Amy Kaler (but by no means only Kaler), pointed out, "[c]ontrol over human reproduction is eternally contested, in zones ranging from the comparative privacy of the conjugal bedroom to the political platform and programs of national polities" - we will pay attention to power in reproductive health. And, since the distribution of power in matters of reproduction has often been uneven and unequal - between men and women, between colonizing and Indigenous populations, between clinicians and lay people, between those in upper socioeconomic classes and those in lower socioeconomic classes - we will pay particular attention during this class to struggles over matters of reproduction as we explore historical changes and continuities in reproduction globally since 1900.
Gbl Hlth 390-0-20 – Native American Health Research and PreventionNative nations in what is currently the United States are continuously seeking to understanding and undertake the best approaches to research and prevention with their communities. This course introduces students to the benefits and barriers to various approaches to addressing negative health outcomes and harnessing positive social determinants of health influencing broader health status. Important concepts to guide our understanding of these issues will include settler colonialism, colonialism, sovereignty, social determinants of health, asset-based perspectives, and decolonizing research. Students will engage in a reading-intensive, discussion-based seminar, drawing upon research and scholarship from a variety of disciplines including public health, Native American and Indigenous Studies, anthropology, sociology, history, nursing, and medicine.
Gnder St 232-0-20 – Sexuality and SocietyCo-listed with Soc 232
Gndr St 101-6 – Our Bodies Ourselves: The Women's MovementThe U.S. 1970s Women's Health Movement demanded everything from safe birth control on demand to an end to for-profit healthcare. Some participants formed research collectives and published D-I-Y guides to medical knowledge such as the Boston Women's Health Collective's Women and Their Bodies or Carol Downer's A New View of a Woman's Body. Some movement members established battered women's shelters, underground abortion referral services, and feminist health clinics. Others formed local committees and national networks, such as the Committee for Abortion Rights and Against Sterilization Abuse (CARASA) and the National Women's Health Network (NWHN), with the goal of transforming contemporary medical protocols and scientific research agendas. Because many of these local and national groups are still in existence, original movement goals continue to define the parameters of a "women's health" agenda in the present moment. On the other hand, the Women's Health Movement was (and is) a heterogeneous movement. Then, as now, groups with competing ideas about the healthcare needs of women as a group identified as part of same movement. Thus, an examination of historical and current debates over "women's health" is also a means of assessing several distinct, often competing, paradigms of health and disease. Moreover, how we articulate a "women's health agenda" depends on our (often taken-for-granted) ideas about gender, sexuality, and embodiment itself.
Gndr St 332-0-20 – Reproductive Health/Politics/JusticeAs feminist scholar Michelle Murphy points out, "reproduction is not self-evidently a capacity located in sexed bodies"; it is instead a site (or formation) that joins, "cells, protocols, bodies, nations, capital, economics, freedom, and affect as much as sex and women into its sprawl." Thus, she reminds us, "how we constitute reproduction shapes how it can be imagined, altered and politicized." In this research seminar we will explore the changing contours of "reproductive politics" from the 1960s to the present through an in-depth investigation of a range of projects and organizations that conceptually reimagine what we mean by "reproduction," the scope and content of "reproductive politics," and the kinds of demands that can be made in the name of reproductive health, rights, freedom and justice. In addition to course materials, our collective research into this topic will be informed by (guided) archival research in Special Collections, on-campus lecture by Prof. Premilla Nadasen (1/30), and class visitors working on related projects in the Chicago area.
Gnder St 374-0-0 – Imagining the Internet: Fiction, Film, TheoryMuch recent fiction, film and theory are concerned with representing the internet and the World Wide Web. Sometimes cyberspace is depicted as a continuation of previous media such as television, cinema or telephone, but often it is envisioned as a new frontier. This course will examine the ways in which virtual media appears in cultural discourses. We consider how technological objects and tools participate in shaping elements of our culture that may appear natural, logical, or timeless. Our guiding questions will include the following: In what ways are these narratives shaping collective perceptions of the internet? How have virtual technologies challenged experiences of language, gender, community and identity? We will focus on social networking, gaming, artificial intelligence, and literary and filmic representations of these. Following a Cultural Studies model for inquiry, this course will be project-based and experiential. Your attendance and participation are mandatory. No experience needed, only a willingness to take risks and share work.
Hist 200-0-20 – Black DeathThe Black Death refers to the first visitation of the bubonic plague in the fourteenth century. It was the greatest single demographic calamity in recorded history: between 1346 and 1353, the population in affected areas was depleted by as much as 60%. The plague was a true pandemic which reverberated throughout the world. This course will use the bubonic plague as a jumping off point for the study of other pandemics, analyzing the social and environmental factors that account for the spread of a given disease; efforts to understand and vanquish it; and the ultimate impact on society. The manner in which different diseases spread reflect important aspects of world history. For instance, the spread of the Black Death was dependent on the revival of long-distance trade; smallpox was spread throughout the "new world" by both territorial conquest and the human trafficking in slaves; cholera, which was transmitted infected water, was (and is) representative of poor hygiene and abject poverty - factors that were often class related. Other diseases, like tuberculosis, were (and are) often indicative of poor working conditions. As the recent outbreak of cholera in Haiti attests, many of these diseases have never been eradicated, even as new ones continue to wreak havoc. The course will conclude with an examination of the AIDS virus and ongoing outbreaks of Ebola.
Hist 200-0-22 – History of Theory and InformationWe live in an information age, with computers of unprecedented power in our pockets. This course seeks to understand how information shapes our lives today, and how it has in the past. It does so via an interdisciplinary inquiry into four key information and communication technologies, print, telegraphy, broadcast radio/TV, and the internet, to understand the origins, development, and impacts of information in society. It will be jointly taught by faculty in Communication Studies and History.
Hist 275-1 – History of Western Science and Medicine: Origins in Early Modern EuropeOrigins of science and medicine in early modern Europe; science, religion, and cosmology; anatomy and sexual difference; the Enlightenment and social science.
Hist 309-0-20 – American Environmental HistoryThis course will survey American history from the Colonial Era to the present with two premises in mind: that the natural world is not simply a passive background to human history but rather an active participant in historical change, and that human attitudes toward nature are both shaped by and in turn shape social, political, and economic behavior. The course will cover formal schools of thought about the natural world, from Transcendentalism to the conservation and environmental movements, but also discuss the many informal intersections of human activity and natural systems, from European colonialism to property regimes, migration and transportation, industry, consumer practices, war, technological innovation, political ideology, and food production.
Hist 322-2-20 – Development of the Modern American City: 1880-PresentThis is the second half of a two-quarter course dealing with urbanization and urban communities in America. The second quarter deals with the period from 1870 onward. Topics include the role of cities in the formation of an industrial society, the influence of immigration and rural-urban migration, racial discrimination, political machines, professional planning, the automobile, electronic media, and the expansion of the federal role in city government. History 322-1 is NOT a prerequisite for 322-2.
Hist 378 – Law and Science: A HistoryThe changing relations between justice and science-including the forensic sciences of identification and intellectual property in the United Steates and Europe over the past 300 years
Hist 392-0-26 – The History of Predicting the FutureThe past and present are shaped in large part by our beliefs about what the future holds. In this seminar, we will investigate human attempts to anticipate events yet to come, from antiquity until the present (but with an emphasis on the period since 1800). How have people in different times and places gone about anticipating the future? What phenomena have gripped their attention: weather, economy, human society, or individual fate? Have their imaginations been utopian, dystopian, or even apocalyptic, and what does that tell us about the historical moment in which they lived? And crucially, what happened when predictions failed?as so often happened? Using a global range of primary and secondary sources, from revealed prophecies and science fiction to genetic codes and financial speculations, we will examine why and how our historical subjects believed the future might be foreseeable. This course fits today's concerns about the future of the environment (notably climate change) and humanity into a long history of decision-making in the face of uncertainty.
Jour 383-0-20 – Health and Science ReportingHealth and Science Reporting teaches students both how to think about science writing and how to write about science and medicine. In this combination writing workshop and seminar we will read some of the best of the best science and health journalism; meet with expert scientists on campus; and meet the editors and writers from leading scientific journals and publications. Students will learn what makes good science writing, how to find sources, how to evaluate information and how to sort out science from pseudo-science. Assignments will include critiques of science coverage in newspapers, magazines, television, radio and the Web, science/health/medicine journal rewrites, news briefs, an in-depth narrative story on a science topic of students' own choosing, and an opportunity to write live copy for a science magazine or website.
Latino 392-0 – Latinx Resistance to Environmental RacismLatinx communities are often recognized as major contributors to social movements aimed at reforming or transforming labor, immigration, housing, education, and mass incarceration systems. Often overlooked is the leadership of Latin/x grassroots organizations and leaders in environmental justice and climate justice movements. Encouraged to think beyond the logics of mainstream environmentalism and sustainability frameworks, students in this course will engage with grassroots concepts and become familiar with local and transnational histories of environmental racism in order to deepen their knowledge of Latinx resistance to racial expendability, gender violence, labor exploitation, hyper-consumerism, and displacement. Through selected course readings, films, guest speakers, lectures and class discussions, students will work collaboratively on projects that reveal the unique contributions of Latinx communities to longstanding efforts to protect oppressed communities and the planet from environmental hazards, extractive industries, and the climate crisis.
Phil 254 – Introduction to the Philosophy of Natural ScienceThe course will introduce students to deep philosophical issues raised by modern natural science of metaphysical and epistemological nature. From a reflection on methodological questions, it will approach the question of realism. We will be guided by nested "what does it take"-questions. For example: What does it take for a system of sentences to count as a good scientific theory? What does it take for a scientific theory to be testable by observational and experimental data (and, by the way: what does it take for certain series of experiences to count as data or observations?)? What does it take for a given theory to be better supported by the available evidence than its competitors? What does it take for a given theory to explain the known phenomena in an area of knowledge? What does it take for an explanatory scientific theory to be credited with reference to underlying structures of reality? We will begin with a brief overview of the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17 th century, and then turn to the treatment of certain problems in the contemporary literature, like the problem of induction, the problem of the underdetermination of theory choice by the available data, the problem of rationality and conceptual change, the problem of realism.
Phil 269-0 – BioethicsThis course is an analysis of ethical and political issues that arise in medicine, with particular attention to questions posed by developments in biotechnology. Topics to be considered include human research, abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, and the allocation of medical resources.
Phil 318-0-20 – The Authority of ScienceIn this course we will explore the authority of science: what, if anything, makes science authoritative, and what role, if any, it ought to play in our public lives and in our politics. Special focus will be given to the epistemological basis for the credibility of scientific results, and the need for political legitimacy of any claim that is to have authority in the public domain. How do these things relate to one another? Should scientific results be given credibility in the public domain, and if so, on what basis?
Phil 326 – Philosophy of Medicine
An exploration of philosophical problems related to health and health care. Topics to be considered include the definition and moral significance of medical concepts like health, disease, and death. We will also consider how such concepts relate to moral and political debates around access to health care and the provision of public health measures.