Term Specific Course Descriptions - Fall 2014
(those not found in Catalog)
AA-351D 001 Entertainment Law & Business
Doing Business Deals in the Arts and Entertainment World
Are you a creative person, thinking of working, managing or producing in an arts administration field or the entertainment business (theatre, music, film, television, literary or visual arts)? If so, then this course is for you. From visual artists’ collaborations with galleries and museums, to musicians’ deals with record labels, every kind of partnership in the arts and entertainment world involves fascinating and sometimes complex business, legal, ethical, creative and artistic considerations. In this class, students will explore the roles and relationships of various stakeholders in these industries, both from the creative/talent and business viewpoints: authors and publishers, screenwriters and producers, musicians/composers and record labels, networks and unions, artists and agents or managers. Students will develop a practical and applied understanding of the particular legal and business issues and problems that emerge in each case. Other topics which may be explored include: the impact of new technologies and distribution methods, social media and marketing, piracy, privacy, free speech, defamation, celebrity publicity rights and endorsements, as well as issues related to working with large media conglomerates and corporate sponsors. Students will develop and hone their negotiating skills in practical group exercises, business negotiations and explore issues of creative content control in a workshop seminar environment at this exciting intersection of the arts, entertainment, business and legal worlds.
AH-251N 001 Africa in Film
A study of African film from the 1920s to the present through the screening of selected films. We will explore western representations of Africa in film, e.g., Josephine Baker’s Princess Tam Tam, and documentaries on controversial topics such as AIDS. But mainly we will study films by African filmmakers from Senegal (Ousmane Sembene and Djibril Diop Mambety); Burkina Faso (Idrissa Ouédraogo) and Nigeria (Izu Ojukwu and Nollywood productions). Discussion and readings will focus on related art and visual culture, and issues these films highlight about colonialism, social change, gender, class, national politics, and modernity. (Designated a non-Western cultures course; fulfills humanities requirement.)
AH-375E 001 Orientalism and Postcolonial Encounters
This seminar examines the interplay between politics, ideology, and the construction of knowledge through analyses of encounters between the "West" and the "Orient." Most studies of orientalism focus on Western encounters with Muslim majority regions, especially from the 19th century to the present; the concept has also been applied to broader time periods and to other regions of Asia. We will analyze select texts, architectural projects, and images that reflect Western attitudes and representations towards the "Orient," and discover how such impressions have been debated, contested and negotiated. This seminar will provide the historical and historiographical framework for discussing the complexities inherent to how we see and represent “others” and ourselves.
AM-376B 001 Queering the City: LGBT Identity in American Culture
How has the city come to signify much of LGBT life in the 20th and 21st centuries? How are prevailing attitudes about sexuality (heterosexual and homosexual) expressed and codified within urban spaces and places? While interdisciplinary studies of sexuality have recently shifted to incorporate rural landscapes and other non-urban environments, much of the urban landscape has yet to be accounted for, particularly with regard to difference. In order to account for such difference, we must critically engage the urban environment and the ways it continues to normalize certain spaces and sexual identities—including gay and lesbian—within the city's landscape.
Examining the intimate relationship between LGBT sexuality and the American City, this course will explore the ways in which queer identities unfold geographically within urban landscapes. Focusing on concepts of "space", "place", and, "sexuality", we will read texts that both challenge and explore 'queer' history in urban life. How, for instance, do neighborhoods, bars, streets, cities, and bodies tell stories of about sexuality? We will accomplish this by discussing how sexuality is etched into built-environments at a variety of scales, including the body, home, city, and nation-state. Topics will include: the geography of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and heterosexual spaces; social justice movements that have grown out of queer identity-formations, place-making, and community-building; intersectional LGBT identities and politics; gay gentrification and homonationalism; and the ways in which transnational migrations re-shape queer identity in a global world.
The course begins with exploring LGBT identity, theory, and political organizing, and how sexual minorities 'queer' otherwise heteronormative spaces by making non-normative sexuality and gender-identity visible. We will then turn to historical examples of queer urbanization and processes of place-making in the hay-day of gay liberation in the U.S. Here, we will focus on the production of 'queer spaces' to cultivate community. The course ends with recent debates in LGBT theory and activism, by exploring how transnational migrations shape contemporary urban spaces and queer political organizing in the 21st Century.
AN-202 001 Archaeological Field Methods
An introduction to the methodological and theoretical approaches by which archaeologists recover, analyze, and interpret the material remains of the past. Students engage in excavation and investigation of an archaeological site. The course provides training in anthropological data collection techniques including research design, site survey, artifact recovery, recording methods, and mapping activities, followed by laboratory analysis and interpretation. Students also learn to differentiate theses, methods and data in anthropological writing. Prerequisites: AN 101 and AN 102.
AN-252C 001 African Archaeology
The pyramids of Egypt’s Old Kingdom are the most famous archaeological sites in Africa, if not the world. It is also widely known that humanity first evolved in Africa millions of years before expanding across much of the globe. However, beyond these two quintessential narratives of the African past, little else has reach the popular imagination of most Americans. In this course, students will study both hominin evolution and Egyptian state formation, but they will also expand beyond these prominent places and times to explore early technologies that developed in Africa, the appearance of cities and states across the continent, and the far-reaching connections between Africa and the rest of the world that characterize this continent surrounded on all sides by major water bodies central to world history. Example topics include the Swahili Coast in Indian Ocean Trade, the development of the Merina state in Madagascar, the formation of urban settlements at Great Zimbabwe and Djenne-Djenno, early iron working in West Africa, and African Diasporas in the United States. (Fulfills social sciences requirement; designated a non-Western cultures course.)
AN-349W 001 Medical Anthropology
For Fall 2014, the course is designated Writing in Anthropology. Students carry out writing projects on cultural aspects of health and healing. Prerequisite: AN-101 and AN-270.
AN-351A 001 Senior Project Design
A seminar for students to design and start a senior project for the Anthropology Senior Seminar (AN366.) Students will develop a project focus, write a functional outline, document a literature search, and analyze preliminary data. Prerequisite: AN-101 and AN-102 and permission of instructor. Open to senior majors only. Seniors are recommended to take AN-351A before enrolling in AN-366 Senior Seminar. Must be taken S/U.
AN-351C 001 Urban Anthropology
This course focuses on anthropological perspectives of urban life across the globe. How do citizens in Rio de Janeiro counter Brazilian efforts to “clean” the city in preparation for the Olympic Games? How do African city dwellers in Ghana create local identities in response to global trade and exploitation? To examine such questions, the class uses ethnography and film to explore culture in contemporary urban spaces. Students learn the main theoretical frameworks anthropologists use to study culture and how urban life relates to national, transnational, and global forces. Studies focus on how inhabitants adapt to urban environments as well as create new identities that give city spaces distinctive characteristics. Students deconstruct urban terminology (Metropolitan, Ghetto, City, and Neighborhood) to decipher the complex relationship between urban inhabitants and urban infrastructure. Case studies include current events in Brazil and the preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games; the reshaping of Tokyo's neighborhoods in response to globalization; neoliberal development in Ghana and local responses in music and sport; and city culture in the United States and our perceived associations with poverty, gangs, drugs, and street culture. We particularly explore how class, race and ethnicity affect the movement of people and use of resources, and we explore how anthropologists apply contemporary studies to address social problems. Each student develops a case study of a particular issue in a global city that involves health, development, or culture. Prerequisite: AN-101 or AN-102 or permission of instructor. (Designated a Cultural Diversity course.)
AN-351H 001 Thinking through Objects
An examination of the significance of material objects in social life and the ways in which cultural anthropologists and other scholars have contributed to the study of material culture, a highly interdisciplinary field of research. In this seminar, drawing on case studies from different times and places, students learn to recognize the importance of material objects in the social world and their own lives. How do objects help people define their identity, structure their lives, remember the past, and facilitate action? What personal and collective stories do objects tell? Among the types of objects studied in this course are biographical objects, collectibles, memorials, souvenirs, personified objects, and protest art/objects. The seminar also provides an opportunity for highly motivated students to engage with theory and carry out a semester-long project. Prerequisite: AN-101 and at least junior standing or permission of instructor. (This is an Honors course)
AN-352C 001 The Archaeologist’s Laboratory
This course is designed for students interested in the archaeological research process that takes place after fieldwork. While excavation and other techniques provide the materials that archaeologists interpret, the laboratory is the place for converting these materials into data which can be analyzed to reveal patterns and information useful for interpreting the human past. Students will learn basic concepts of data production and analysis applied to stone tools, pottery, animal bone, plant material, architecture, the spatial and temporal dimensions of human settlements, and the symbolic dimensions of objects. Students will get to explore questions such as, how do we know how many people lived at a settlement long after everyone has left or how can we use the trash people leave behind to understand their diets? Students will learn several of the most common laboratory techniques used to examine material culture, as well as be introduced to more specialized scientific analyses such as radiometric dating and geoarchaeology. The first half of the class is devoted to reading about these techniques, as well as hands-on interactions with Skidmore’s archaeological collections. In the second half of the class, students develop their own research projects using one or more of these methods to analyze archaeological materials. Prerequisite: AN-101 and AN-102 or permission of the instructor.
AR-264J 001 Special Topics: Digital Media & Interactive Design
This course covers historical, political, theoretical, and practical issues in art and image-making in relation to interactive arts. Through studio work, you will be introduced to moving image in creative practice, that will evolve into interactive works. Contextualizing new media practice with art historical agendas will be examined in order to dissect the mediums influence on meaning, and create work that directly participates with the potentials of the interface. Prerequisite: AR 136, 209, 229, or 355.
AR-264A 001 Ceramics
Students will develop forms using a variety of processes: handbuilding, wheelthrowing, extruding, and mold-making. Firing processes will focus on kilns that encourage surface variation through the internal atmosphere inside the kiln. Pit, raku, saggar and reduction firing will be covered. Prerequisite: AR 111
AR-264F 001 Introduction to Water-Based Media
An exploration of water-based drawing and painting media, with a focus on acrylic paint. Using direct observation, experimentation, and invention, this course builds understanding of formal principles, color interaction, and the physical qualities of materials. Assignments support development of a personal vision. Prerequisite: AR 133 or 134
AR-264H 001 Printmaking
This course is an exploration and development of monoprint, relief and letterpress processes and how sequential images can be formatted into a variety of books. Discussion will occur around printmaking and book art history as well as, critiques of student’s course work. Prerequisite: AR 133
AR-351E 001 Special Jewelry: Design – Production – and the Marketplace
Enlisting a variety of tools and methods unique to the jewelry production industry, students will explore innovative approaches to designing and making both “serial production” (e.g. limited editions) and “one-off” studio jewelry. Assignments will engage “real world” issues, focusing upon the interconnection of design, production, and the marketplace. Prerequisite: AR 219
AS-251C 001 The Himalayas
This course will explore questions of culture, history, religion, and identity in the region defined by the world's highest mountain range. Beyond introducing students to the rich cultural heritage and dynamic contemporary life of the region, our exploration will address the methodological challenges involved in interdisciplinary studies. Specific topics to be considered will include the relationship between culture and environment, artistic and literary traditions of the Himalayas, and the impact of modernity and globalization on the region.
This course will survey the role of hormones in coordinating key aspects of organismal function, including growth, development, metabolism, stress, and reproduction. We will compare and contrast the structure and function of endocrine systems across vertebrate groups with an emphasis on understanding how endocrine systems mediate adaptive responses to environmental challenges. In addition, we will explore how our understanding of endocrine systems supports the treatment of a variety of human diseases. Through detailed analysis of primary literature, we will explore how insight into endocrine system function is gained by focusing on the technical approaches and model systems currently used in modern endocrinology. Prerequisite: BI-105, BI-106 and any 200 level Biology course.
BI-352D 001 Environmental Microbiology
A study of microorganisms in their natural environment. Students will learn about the ecology and diversity of microbial communities in soil, water, and air and the importance of microorganism in nutrient cycling in these environments. In addition we will look at the microbial communities in extreme environments. In the lab, students will learn techniques for sampling, culture, isolation and identification of microorganisms from these various environments. Additional topics include bioremediation, biofilm engineering, and other applications related to public health, agriculture, food science, and industry. Prerequisite: BI-106, and one 200-level BI course or ES-205 or ES-206. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week.
CS-376B 001 Computer Vision
A study of image understanding. Computer vision uses digital images or video as input to make decisions, or transform images into other representations. Students will gain familiarity with, and write programs for, digital image processing techniques, and both low and high-level vision algorithms. Students will make use of the OpenCV library for writing computer vision programs.
EC-361 001 The Economics of Education
This course examines education and educational systems from an economic perspective. Course material applies general economic principles and theories (e.g., benefit and cost analysis, investment, labor, productivity and cost, supply and demand) to the context of education. Main topics include: human capital and signaling theories; the profitability of investments in education at both the individual and societal levels; education production functions; the meaning and empirics of educational equity; race and gender issues in education. The course concludes by focusing on policy issues, such as school choice alternatives and privatization policies, inequality in America and the implications for education policy. Prerequisites: EC236 and 237.
ES-352D 001 Environmental Education
Do you have a deep appreciation for environmental protection and a genuine concern about environmental problems that will affect the Earth and future generations for years to come? Maybe you also feel the need to share this positive passion for the environment with children, your friends, and interested members of the community? Then it's very possible that YOU should explore the field of environmental learning, and how to become an effective environmental educator! This course will especially be of interest to future teachers, non-formal environmental educators and advocates, and students interested in outreach, education, and communications for the non-profit and government sector. Students will learn about the history and current state of environmental learning in the US, as well as the various pedagogical tools, programs, and resources that are available for the global dissemination of environmental learning. We’ll explore the innovations and philosophies behind experiential and authentic environmental learning; sustainability education; research on environmental learning (knowledge, perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors); environmental service learning; earth education; emancipatory education; critical pedagogy; and issues investigation and action training (IIAT), etc. Students will research and critique existing environmental education programs as well as undertake a partnership with a local school, outdoor education center, National, State, or City Park, youth organization, hospital, non-profit organization, etc. in order to design and implement an age appropriate, innovative, and inspirational environmental learning unit.
ES-352D 002 The Politics of Food, Agriculture and Social
Our world is in a food crisis. Rising prices, diminishing grain reserves, and global climate change—with implications for agriculture, crop yields, and water resources—raise fears of chronic hunger, vulnerability, and the erosion of our natural resources. Starting with food production and agriculture, this course critically examines the global agro-food system, including the processing, transport, and marketing of food, and concludes with the politics of food consumption. We will focus on the problems with dominant forms of producing and distributing food, including the many environmental and social inequalities they produce, and what people are doing about them. Although most would agree that the problems with the food system are systemic and global in scale, and come from the way food is produced, current solutions tend to focus on creating alternatives on the local scale, privileging the needs and desires of consumers. Through case studies, the course will provide you an opportunity to think deeply about strategies how agro-food systems can promote social justice and environmental sustainability and whether current alternative solutions to the problems in the global agro-food system are adequate. Prerequisite: ES 100.
EX-361 001 The Physiology of Aging
This course will examine the physiological consequences of aging and discusses the importance of physical activity in maintaining function. Topics will include general theories of aging, the effects of aging on the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, pulmonary, endocrine, and nervous systems. We will consider the age associated changes in these physiological systems in the context of exercise as a stressor and its potential to preserve function.
FI-363 001 Special Studies in Teatro, Poesia e Film
This Special Studies course will examine major Italian plays (by Machiavelli, Goldoni, Pirandello, Chiarelli, Ginzburg, Fo) and it will analyze selected Italian poetry across the centuries (Foscolo, Leopardi, Pascoli, Montale, Saba, Ungaretti, Quasimodo, among others). It will also explore a few major Italian films since the 1970s (Wertmuller, Scola, Brusati, Tornatore). All readings and films are in Italian. Prerequisite is FI 208
GN-151A 001/002 English for Academic Engagement
English for Academic Engagement centers on building students' vocabulary and teaching language skills necessary for students to integrate with the Skidmore academic community and engage in academic discourse. Specific skills include public speaking, conversational and interpersonal communication strategies, reading comprehension, and listening. The course is open to all students seeking to further develop their English language skills. Final placement will be reviewed and approved by faculty prior to the start of the semester.
GO-251A 001 States, Rebels and Warlords
This course examines violent conflict in modern societies. It explores the role of the state as well as non-state actors in causing, escalating, and mitigating violence. We will address major questions underlying national and international security, such as: When does conflict turn violent? Under what conditions do victims become perpetrators, and perpetrators become victims? What are the causes of terrorism, and what is the state’s role in terrorist activity? Is violence the only way to bring about major political change, or can nonviolent methods work? Are private military contractors changing the way we fight? The goal of this course is to develop critical awareness of and the analytical skills necessary to evaluate the major security challenges facing countries around the world.
GO-251C 001 Campaigns and Elections in the United States
While Barack Obama and George W. Bush sport more differences than similarities, they agree that "elections have consequences," with the most importance of these ostensibly being the generation of the "political capital" presidents need to shape political debate and realize legislative priorities. But even if one concedes that our two most recent presidents are correct about the importance of elections, it is unclear how election outcomes should be interpreted in a country in which voter turnout is low and skewed to over-represent certain groups in the electorate, public officials ostentatiously manipulate the boundaries of electoral units to their advantage, the two parties have been so thoroughly colonized by interest groups and activists that they are now "no great friends of popular sovereignty," data mining efforts have sliced the electorate so thinly that the notion that candidates must craft their messages to appeal to a diverse electorate is now considered fatuous, and the media (both traditional and digital) cater more to partisan and ideological predispositions than to voters' need for a journalism that will "tell the truth and shame the devil."
This course will explore the institutional foundations, political dynamics, and policy consequences of campaigns and elections in the United States. While the course will focus principally on federal elections, examples will also be drawn from sub-national elections. The course materials will be designed to help students grasp why Lord Macaulay once averred that the chief task of any election analyst is to address the following conundrum: "The Great Oracle has spoken. Now we must decide what the Great Oracle has said."
GO-251C 002 Law and Film
The study of law is concerned with relationships between individuals and various different forms of authority – authority that may or may not be sanctioned by the law. Films can serve as powerful audio-visual tools with which to examine those relationships. This course will be divided into three sections: (1) legal theory – specifically the relationships between law and morals, and law and justice; (2) constitutional law – the First Amendment’s religion, press, and speech clauses; and (3) lawyers and the law – examining aspects of the adversarial process, and criminal process. Each section will be explored using a series of films and complementary readings. Assignments (both individual written, and group written/oral presentations) and extensive class discussions will be designed to advance your understanding of cinematic portrayals of law, and how law – whether natural law or positive (written) law – structures political power relationships. Films studied will likely include Inherit the Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chicago, Gran Torino, Anatomy of a Murder, Primal Fear, The Man With the Green Carnation, L’amore, and Good Night and Good Luck. Please note: films will not be shown during class periods. Instead students will be required to attend weekly evening film screenings and/or watch the assigned films in their own time.
Global political events since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the demise of Soviet Communism in 1991 seem to herald the triumph of capitalism. Yet even proponents of capitalism acknowledge that this victory has been accompanied by a broad range of challenges. Our course will focus on the core philosophic arguments both for and against capitalism in an effort to better understand the grounds on which the free market has been praised and blamed. Our goal is to transcend narrowly partisan arguments and to ascend to the permanent questions of political philosophy that are implicated in this debate over the free market: namely, whether capitalism promotes or inhibits the pursuit of virtue and excellence, whether capitalism promotes or inhibits the quest for justice, whether capitalism promotes or inhibits the realization of human freedom, and whether capitalism promotes or inhibits the sustenance of vibrant communities.
GO-251D 002 Constitutionalism: Ancient and Modern
Study of the political concept of constitutionalism, in its ancient and modern forms. Students will be introduced to the history and philosophical principles of constitutionalism, the rule of law, and constitutional governance as the foundation and framework for political life. Readings will be drawn from a wide range of political thinkers and documents from ancient Greece and Rome, the medieval and early modern eras, and American political history from the colonial period through the founding, civil war, and early twentieth century. Students will develop a familiarity with the terms of constitutionalism, in order to reflect on the nature, form, and limits of constitutions; the historical and theoretical roots of ancient and modern constitutionalism; constitutional principles; and perennial questions and issues related to constitutional design and government.
GO-351B 001 Rousseau’s Political Philosophy
This course will be entirely devoted to a close examination of some of the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau is acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent thinkers of the modern period, perhaps of all time. Though there is some scholarly consensus about his seminal importance, there is extensive disagreement about Rousseau’s teaching on fundamental questions about human nature and the just political order. Rousseau’s thought seems to be defined by a series of polarities: the quiet independence and self-sufficiency of natural man versus the dignity and virtue of the republican citizen; the solitary life versus the communal, political life; and a defense of cosmopolitan benevolence versus a defense of national particularity. These are just a few, and they have caused many readers (including some of his contemporaries), to claim Rousseau was hopelessly confused or just plain sloppy. We shall take Rousseau at his word however, and begin with the assumption that there is an order to the whole of his thought. As he stated in a letter, “The majority of my Readers must often have found my discourses poorly structured and almost entirely disjointed, for want of perceiving the trunk of which I showed them only the branches. But that was enough for those capable of understanding, and I never wanted to speak to others.” We shall therefore undertake the difficult task of understanding Rousseau’s “system.”
GO-351B 002 Political Thought in Literature
Study of political thought as embodied or represented in works of literature. Students will read seminal works of literature (plays, novels, and short stories) and reflect upon political questions raised in and through the dramatic action and argument of plot, narrative, dialogue, theme, and characterization. Special attention is paid to the way literary works represent and examine the reciprocal relation between human character and political ways of life, or regimes, as well as political lessons to be drawn from such literary representations. Works of both ancient and modern authors (e.g. Sophocles, Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Bacon, Austen, Shelley, Melville, Twain, and O’Connor) will be considered.
GO-365 001 Politics of Modern South Asia
This course examines the politics and society of South Asian states, with a special focus on India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. South Asia is a region of remarkable diversity. We will use the tools of social scientific analysis to study the most salient problems facing South Asian societies, such as security, development, and democracy. This course has two main goals. The first is to develop substantial regional knowledge. Students will learn to apply social science reasoning to tackle the major puzzles and policy issues facing South Asia. The second goal of the course is to use the knowledge of the region to shed light on the big and enduring questions of political inquiry: What is the relationship between development and democracy? What is the role of history in shaping political outcomes? Is nonviolent resistance more effective than violence? In addressing these questions, students will engage closely with classic and contemporary social scientific texts on South Asia.
HF-200 002 Hebrew Scriptures
1 Credit Add on to RE 201
The Bible is one of those world-famous “books” (actually, it’s a canonical library) to which many people refer or defer, and yet few have actually read it, and even fewer have read it critically. In this introductory survey we read selectively and critically in the Hebrew canon, examining biblical texts as historical documents of Israelite religion. Indeed, these are the texts that invent and refine the notion of “Israel” as a covenanted people and a holy land. Focusing primarily on patriarchal stories, priestly instructions, and prophetic oracles, we will also read proverbs, laments, and love poetry, situating all such sacred texts within the context of the ancient Near East, and so occasionally compare them to cognate literatures. Whatever your prior exposure to the Bible -- or lack thereof -- you will learn a great deal about the history, culture, and religious experiences of ancient Israel by taking this course.
HI-217 001 Trauma and Memory in 20th and 21st C. U.S. Culture
This course will examine how and why Americans have remembered some of the most violent, disturbing, and controversial episodes of their shared past and explore how those acts of remembrance have informed U.S. culture and politics during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Analyzing a variety of memorial practices, from public commemorations and memorials to museum exhibits and memoirs, we will ask what it means for a group, rather than an individual to remember and explore how remembering is a contested political act that intersects with broader debates about race, class, gender, sexuality, and citizenship and informs questions of public policy. Among the topics that we might study are the legacy of the Civil War, the remembrance of slavery and lynching, acts of genocide, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and public acts of violence ranging from terrorist attacks to school shootings.
HI-217 002 9/11 & The War on Terror in US Culture
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 stand as the defining moment for United States foreign policy and, perhaps more generally, United States culture in the twenty-first century. This course will examine how these attacks the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been represented in recent US culture. Our discussions will take seriously the premise that cultural texts do not simply reflect already-extant cultural ideas but rather play a critical role in the production of competing ideas about events, their cultural significance, and their political import. We will interrogate how a range of texts that includes memoir, film, fiction, memorial practices, government documents, music, and media accounts have participated in shaping cultural ideas regarding not only the events of September 11 and the United States’ political, military, and cultural response to them but also debates over larger questions of race, gender, citizenship, patriotism, and the United States’ role in global affairs.
HI-298 001 19th Century Middle East: The Passage of the Middle East to Modernity
The far-reaching political, social, economic and cultural transformations that were evident in various parts of the Middle East between the late 18th century and the early 20th century raise a series of questions concerning the nature of Middle East modernities in the past and the present. In order to address these questions in a meaningful fashion, we will first explore the meaning of modernity as a category of description and analysis. Based on this discussion, the course will address selected themes in the passage of Ottoman societies to modernity. This course runs from Sept 4 to Oct 7.
HI-363 001 The Middle East and the West: Relations in History
This course examines cultural, political, and economic relations between the Middle East and the “West” (Europe and later the United States) from the medieval period to recent times. We will explore the flow of peoples, goods and ideas between regions, as well as continuity and change in cultural representations of one another. Topics we will explore include medieval philosophical and scientific exchanges, the Crusades, Orientalism, European imperialism, the drawing of new political borders in the Middle East, the Iranian Revolution, the aftermath of September 11, 2011 and other episodes based on students’ interests and input. Readings will range from Martin Luther to Mark Twain and the Ayatollah Khomeini.
HI-363C 001 Mapping the Americas
Historians have long used maps to understand or illustrate contemporary or past topographical features or political boundaries. Recently, they have found that graphic texts are wonderful sources that not only inform about the peoples, spaces, and times they portray, but also the societies that create and consume them. In this class, we will consider the cultural history of mapping the Americas from coast and fort to city and highway, from Montreal to Montego Bay to Tierra del Fuego. Students will develop map analysis skills with small case studies and apply them by researching and preparing materials for a spring 2015 exhibit on the maps and mapping of Saratoga Springs to coincide with the centennial of the city charter.
ID-251A 001 Restorative Justice for College Misconduct
Restorative Justice is gaining popularity on college campuses as a philosophical and practical response to student misconduct. Restorative justice is a collaborative decision-making process that includes harmed parties, offenders, and others seeking to hold offenders accountable by having them (a) accept and acknowledge responsibility for their offenses, (b) to the best of their ability repair the harm they caused, and (c) work to reduce the risk of reoffense by building positive social ties to the community. This class is organized as a training for members of the Integrity Board. The weekly meetings include student, faculty and staff members of IB and those that wish to become members. The training will include a discussion of relevant readings, debriefing of cases, and skill-building exercises. Permission of instructor required.
ID-251B 001 Workshopping Documentary
What makes an effective introduction to documentary traditions and studies? What integrates disparate methods and work in photography, film, non-fiction writing, oral history, audio and digital media? Through readings, discussions, documentary case studies, and talks with practitioners, students enrolled in this class will workshop approaches to be implemented in future documentary studies programming. In the process, they will develop an appreciation for and understanding of the complex web of interdisciplinary ethical and artistic commitments that bind different documentarians to creating truthful engagements with and representations of diverse peoples, places and cultures. By permission of the instructor.
MA-276 001 Intermediate Data Analysis
Students will learn how to evaluate a study design, properly identify a statistical tool, and interpret results. Specific topics include multiple regression, logistic regression, Poisson regression, and nonparametric testing. Emphasis will be placed on the use of statistical software and on properly communicating study results. Prerequisite: One statistics course
MB-351 001 Political Marketing
Political marketing is an upcoming field of study. This course examines the concept of political marketing in a democracy. It traces the evolution of political marketing in the United States from the impact of television on the Nixon/Kennedy election to the role Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr play in today’s elections. The students will explore various theoretical models in branding and political marketing as well as analyze real case studies from recent elections. In addition, the class will engage with issues such as gender, race, and ethnicity in political marketing as well as the ethics of marketing in politics.
MB-351 002 Innovation and The Structure of American Industry
Why and how does innovation occur in some industries and not in others? Students will explore historical and contemporary theories of innovation within the context of varied industry structures and macro-environmental factors. Using Innovation Masters and other print and online sources, students will study the nature, frequency, defining characteristics and rate of innovation in approximately ten industries. Further, students will examine the interrelationships among a variety of industry environments, organizational forms and industry structures, allowing students to gain an understanding of organizational and industry evolution.
MB-351B 001 Business and the Natural Environment
This course aims to foster awareness, sensitivity and literacy concerning the major forces and challenges bearing upon the intersection of business organizations and the natural environment. It broadly examines and appraises the role of business enterprise in relation to the current (and future) state of the planet. The course begins by reviewing major ecological and socio-economic challenges facing the planet, including population growth, human poverty, climate change, toxic pollution, loss of biodiversity, etc., paying particular attention to the impacts of business enterprise upon each issue. The course then turns to an assessment of sustainable development and biophysically and socially sustainable business practices. The course concludes with a comprehensive assessment of various ways business may become a proactive force in an evolution to global sustainability. Prerequisite: MB-107, EC-03, 104, or permission of instructor.
MU-106 001 J.S. Bach and His Family
This course surveys the life and works of the great baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as his family's musical legacy. While listening to such masterworks as the Brandenburg Concertos, the Mass in b Minor, and the Goldberg Variations, we will deepen our appreciation of Bach's music by considering the broader historical, political, and theological contexts in which he composed. Taking fundamental musical genres like the fugue, suite, and sonata as bases, we will characterize the musical similarities and differences between father and sons.
MU-205A 001 Taiko & The Asian American Experience
In this course we will examine the origins of Taiko drumming in Japan and consider how the tradition has developed in North America over the past four decades. We will discuss the role of Taiko drumming in the Asian American Movement, explore different styles of contemporary Taiko in Asian America, and gain basic drumming competency. Through the integration of academic and performance study we will consider and experience Taiko drumming as a prominent and dynamic Asian American performing art. (Designated a Cultural Diversity course.)
MU-205A 002 Indonesian Gongs, Chimes, & Drums
This course is intended to provide students with a basic understanding of the music and performance styles of Indonesia. Through a survey of traditional, popular, and diasporic musical genres in the Indonesian archipelago, the course material covers selected musical practices and types of performances. Taking an ethnomusicological approach, students will learn about the history and culture of a global music tradition while also studying basic performance skills. No previous musical experience is required. (Open to First-Year Students; Counts towards the Asian Studies Major/Minor; Fulfills Humanities requirement)
MU-344A 002 Gesualdo and the Madrigal
This seminar examines the madrigals composed by the notorious late renaissance prince and murderer, Carlo Gesualdo. Topics include Gesualdo's idiosyncratic chromaticism, the impact of the Council of Trent and Inquisition upon his music, and his selections of poetry. Participants will compare Gesualdo biographies, transcribe and analyze hitherto unedited Gesualdian madrigals, and compare performance practices of this challenging repertoire.
NS-312A 001 Pheromones and Behavior
This seminar will delve into the exciting world of chemical communication (communication by taste and smell) between animals. Animals from fish to fleas and earthworms to elephants rely heavily on chemical signaling to communicate with members of the same species and to attract or repel members of other species. This course will explore pheromones and other chemical signals involved in reproduction, scent marking & territorial behavior, social organization, and recruitment & alarm. We will also thoroughly discuss putative human pheromones.
PS-212A 001 Clinical Psychopharmacology
This course will examine the therapeutic effect of drugs used to treat mental disorders. During the first third of the course, students will be taught fundamental aspects of psychopharmacology (pharmacokinetics & pharmacodynamics), as well as experimental methods used to develop and test novel pharmaceuticals. The remainder of the course will be dedicated towards discussing specific mental illnesses, associated neurochemical pathophysiology, and current drug treatment strategies. Anti-depressants, anxiolytics, sedative-hypnotics, anti-psychotics, and drugs used to treat ADHD will be covered. By the end of the semester, students will be familiar with the primary syndromes used to diagnosis each disorder, the neurochemical pathways implicated in psychopathology, and specific (receptor-mediated) mechanisms of drug activity. Pre-requisite: PS-101 or NS-101.
This course also serves as an elective for the Neuroscience major.
PS-251 001 Diversity and Bias in STEM
Despite recent progress, biases against women and racial minorities undermine the diversity of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, to the detriment of meritocracy, our national competitiveness, and the advancement of scientific progress. In this class, we will examine the psychological research on 1) the ways in which stereotyping processes and both explicit and implicit biases reduce diversity in STEM fields, and 2) the efficacy of interventions designed to improve bias and diversity in STEM. Reading material will be comprised largely of primary source (social psychological) empirical journal articles. This seminar style class will meet every other week, with students taking turns leading discussions. Requirements include reading journal articles and completing a writing journal before each class, at least one turn as discussion leader, and active class participation.
PS-251 002 Contemporary Issues in Clinical
The field of clinical psychology is concerned with the integration of science, theory, and clinical knowledge towards the understanding and treatment of mental health problems. In this class, we will examine issues that currently plague this field, including 1) taxometric issues (i.e., thresholds for defining disorder and the boundaries between disorders), 2) reliability and validity of psychiatric diagnoses, and 3) the establishment, implementation, and uptake of evidence-based practice for the treatment of mental health problems. Reading material will be predominantly primary source journal articles. This seminar style class will meet every other week.
PS-251 003 Psychological Aesthetics
This class will survey classic and recent psychological and neuroscientific findings on human aesthetic experience and appreciation. Ranging from fine art to poetry, music, and sculpture, we will look at empirical evidence for and against systematic and universal appreciation of beauty in its many forms. Art or philosophy background not a prerequisite but potentially useful.
PS-312A 001 Behavioral Medicine
This course on behavioral medicine explores biopsychosocial perspectives on health and illness. There is increasing recognition in medicine that the most significant health challenges in the 21st century--cancer, cardiac disease, obesity, diabetes, chronic pain-‐are heavily influenced by psychological factors in respect to their etiology, presentation, maintenance and resolution. We will be exploring the various ways in which the mind "helps" and "hurts" the body exploring the following topics: personality and health, placebo and nocebo responses, hypnosis, mindfulness, behavioral programming, family factors and disease, cognitive behavioral approaches and the role of childhood trauma in adult disease states. We will explore these and other topics using clinical and empirical sources of information. Upon completion of the course, the student will be versed in the fundamental psychological approaches to understanding and treating medical disease states. Students who have previously taken PS-326 Health Psychology may not register for this class.
PS-312A 002 Cognitive Behavioral Learning
This seminar provides coverage of learning from the perspective of Behaviorism and conditioning, in addition to Cognitivism and human memory. What is learning, and what does it tell us about the effective functioning of human memory? Learning will initially be explored using the theoretical background of Behaviorism. Classical and operant conditioning methods will be described and the implications of conditioning research for human memory will be detailed. The second unit of the course will shift focus onto Cognitive research and human learning. Basic models of human memory and research focusing on human learning will be detailed. The final section of the course will focus on advanced Cognitive-Behavioral models of conditioning and learning. These models fully integrate aspects of Behaviorism and Cognitivism covered during the earlier portions of the course. They will provide insights into human learning and memory, for example the paradox of simultaneous associative learning and habituation. These models will also provide insights into issues in clinical settings, such as the simultaneous development of tolerance and cravings during drug addiction. Students will gain an understanding of Behaviorism and Cognitivism through the use of lecture, readings, discussions, and projects. Prerequisites: PS 202
PS-312A 003 Personality Disorders
What is personality? What differentiates one person’s character from another person’s? What is it about you that makes you… you? In what ways do you get in the way of yourself? These types of questions are easily posed, but remain some of the most difficult to answer in all of psychology. This class examines these questions and applies them to styles ranging from normal to abnormal variants. Moreover, there will be a focus on understanding abnormal personality styles from varying perspectives as well as the ways in which they influence therapy. Prerequisites: (PS 202 or PS 217) and (PS 214 or PS 308)
This seminar focuses on how our memories shape and guide our ‘real world’ experiences. What is memory, and how do we ‘make’ it? What functions do our memories serve? If memory making is so amazing, warranting systematic investigation by a vast number of cognitive scientists spanning decades, why do we forget? We will explore answers to these questions and more. To quote from Luis Bunuel, “You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing”. Prerequisite: PS-218 and PS-202 or PS-218 and PS-306.
PS-312B 002 Applied Behavior Analysis and Functional Assessment
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) and functional assessment theories are the hallmarks of treatments used with autistic and other developmentally disabled individuals. ABA is the use of classical behavior modification techniques to modify problem behaviors. Functional assessment is based on the theory that all behavior serves a purpose and through the understanding of the “function” of the behavior you can design more effective behavior modification techniques. This course provides an in-depth look at these practices and how they have been applied to a variety of different treatment modalities. Through the use of lecture, readings, discussions, and hands-on projects, students will gain an understanding of these various techniques and how they are utilized to modify maladaptive behavior. Prerequisite: PS-101.
PS-312B 003 Existential Psychology
"People die and murder, nurture and protect, go to any extreme, in behalf of their conception of the real. More to the point, perhaps, they live out the details of their daily lives in terms of what they conceive to be real: not just rocks and mountains and storms at sea, but friendship. love, respect are known as false or real....This is the domain of meaning making, without which human beings in every culture fall into terror. The product of meaning making is Reality. So how human beings construct their meanings needs necessarily to be at the center of the study of the human condition." -- Jerome Bruner
This course will consist of an overview of existential psychology, including consideration of clinical applications and experimental approaches to testing hypotheses derived from existential accounts of human behavior. Prerequisite: PS-210 and PS-202 or permission of instructor.
SO 251 001 Sociology of Sexualities
This class offers an introduction to sexualities. Particular emphasis is placed on bringing sexuality to the forefront of sociological analysis. Thus, this course provides an overview of a variety of theories of sexuality, as well as an examination of the ways in which sexuality intersects with other social identities - such as gender, race, and age – and how sexuality intersects with social institutions, such as politics, schools, the economy, and the media.
SO-251 002 Cultures of Resistance
This seminar-style course examines the use of art and music by contemporary social movements, with an emphasis on US protests movements of the 20th and 21st century. The larger role of culture—particularly art and music—in democratic struggles will guide the course, and students will read key social theory relevant to contemporary social movements, direct action, and democratic struggle for social inclusion. Drawing from an interdisciplinary perspective, we will investigate themes including the role of art in social movements, the role of art in contemporary democracies, and the role of art in social change. We will consider intersectional identities and aspects of race, class, and gender in social movements, collective representations, and struggles for social inclusion. Throughout the semester we will look at how the art of protest varies through time and circumstance, and the ways in which art mediates between those with power and those who are marginalized or excluded.
SO-251 003 Cultures of Cities
Culture is an essential property of cities. In this course, we will look at the role culture plays in classic sociological theories of the city, and at specific aspects of culture in contemporary global cities. We will investigate what might be distinctive about “urban culture,” as well as analyzing the relationship of various conceptions of culture to the built environment, the social environment, and the city as a whole.
SO-251R 001 Sociology of the Media
A variety of social, political, and economic forces influence contemporary mass media. We will examine some of them and will consider the changing role of the media in society as well. Students WILL BE introduced to a range of social scientific methods that have been used to document the nature of media content and understand how it is produced. Topics WILL include the study of class, race, and gender inequalities in media content, the consequences of concentration in media ownership, and the dynamic relationship between producers and consumers of media. Students will undertake a significant research project. Prerequisite: One sociology Gateway course.
SO-351 001 Transgender Lives and Identities
This class offers an introduction to the field of transgender studies. For the purposes of this course, we will be examining the historical, theoretical, social, and political understandings of what it means to be transgender. We will begin with an examination of theoretical understandings of sex, gender, and sexuality, and the ways in which these theoretical understandings have helped to lead to the development of transgender identities and communities. Then we will then examine the ways in which the category of transgender has been understood in terms of queer theories, feminist theories, and psychological theories. We will examine different social and political understandings of the category transgender as well as the multiplicity of identities under the transgender umbrella.
SO-351C 001 World Population Growth in Sociological Perspective
Causes and consequences of U.S. and world population growth will be explored. Societal characteristics that shape patterns of child birth, international migration, and death across societies will be examined with particular attention of pressing questions of our day. How rapidly is the human population growing and why? How much more population growth can me expect? How will that growth affect the quantity and quality of life for people around the world? What can be done to slow population growth and/or minimize its negative effects? Students will also be introduced to basic demographic techniques for forecasting population growth in their societies and communities.