Term Specific Courses - Spring 2015
(those not listed in the catalog)
AA-351A 001 The Entrepreneurial Artist
Today's business climate presents many challenges to visual artists. Artists find themselves needing to combine their creative abilities with strong business practices. Whether you are an artist interested in financially sustaining your art making or have a vision to launch an arts-based business, this course is designed to introduce students to the basic principles needed. Through active participation and an interactive classroom format, students will merge practical business knowledge with insight from local experts in the field, to fuel students' entrepreneurial spirit. Topics to be explored include business planning, legal requirements, budgeting, marketing, branding, and networking.
Prerequisite: Restricted to declared studio art majors/minors only (or by special permission).
AH-351A 001 The Illustrated Book in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: From Illuminated
Manuscript to Printed Page
An overview of the history of illuminated manuscripts and early printed books in medieval and Renaissance Europe, including the fifteenth-century print revolution. Using printed facsimiles and high quality digital reproductions, students will examine closely a series of particularly important examples of both media. We also will visit Skidmore’s own rare book collection in the Pohndorff Room, which includes a fifteenth-century illuminated Book of Hours, as well as a variety of Renaissance early printed books. Working with librarian Ruth Copans, we will analyze the physical make-up of selected books and see how they are constructed. In addition, Professor Kate Leavitt will demonstrate the “how to” of making books from the perspective of a printer. We’ll examine actual presses, her collection of type, and various printing processes.
AH-351B 001 Exhibiting South Asia
An opportunity to explore a range of thematic, theoretical, political, and curatorial issues related to the display of South Asian art in museums. In addition to learning through reading, discussion, and writing, students will work closely with an exhibition at the Tang enough credits) Museum, Realms of Earth and Sky: Indian Painting from the Fifteenth to the Nineteenth Century. The class will interact with visiting curators, scholars, and contemporary artists. Students also will design their own exhibitions, exploring alternate themes and curatorial choices in the form of 3-D models, virtual display spaces, or catalogs.
AH-351C 001 Renaissance Bodies
An exploration of human and divine bodies in Renaissance art of both Northern Europe and Italy: physical and metaphorical, ideal and real. Students will investigate representations of bodies by focusing on a variety of topics, including, for example, performing “masculinity” and “femininity”; scientific ideas about health, gender difference, and human dissection; dangerous bodies (e.g., witches, Jews, the “Other”); violated bodies and tortured ones; erotic bodies, nakedness and nudity; constructing the social body (proper comportment, dress, hair and jewelry); religious ideas regarding sex and the sacred body; and political ideas about royal bodies and the body politic.
Pre-requisite: one Art History course.
AH-375C 001 Impressionism
Explores the artistic concerns, critical reception, and cultural significance of impressionist painting in 19th-century France. Through thematically organized case studies and independent research, students will explore relationships between art, modernity, and politics; conceptions of class, gender, and sexuality; and debates about artistic identity and practice. Individual projects might examine any of these themes, as well as the collection or exhibition of impressionist art or the shifting understanding of the movement in scholarship or popular culture after the 19th century. Intellectual initiative and active class participation are expected.
Open to junior and senior majors or minors in art history or studio art; all others by permission of the instructor.
AM 103 001 The Civil War in American Memory
The Civil War in American Memory considers how Americans have remembered and commemorated the Civil War from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Drawing on depictions of the war in fiction, film, popular history, memorial sites, music, television and re-enactors; conventions among other cultural sources, the course focuses on how memory and history have interacted in the popular imagination to shape the cultural legacy of the conflict. (Fulfills social science requirement)
AM-103W 001 The Wizard of Oz as American Myth
An interdisciplinary analysis of The Wizard of Oz, this course will examine the numerous adaptations of L. Frank Baum’s classic tale to introduce students to the study of American culture, past and present. Students will read critically, think historically, practice interdisciplinarity, and acknowledge the intersections of race, class, and gender in order to analyze the ways that The Wizard of Oz, in its many versions, has reflected and shaped American culture. Students will consider primary and secondary sources that explore Oz through a range of media (fiction, film, theater, television, and music) and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. In addition to reading Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), students will consider MGM’s The Wizard of Oz (1939); the “super soul” Broadway musical, The Wiz (1975), and its 1978 film adaptation; Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon (1973); Gregory Maguire’s Wicked (1996); Stephen Schwartz’s 2003 Broadway musical version of the Maguire novel; ABC television’s The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005); and the television mini-series Tin Man (2007). (Fulfills Expository Writing and Social Science requirements)
AM-260X 001 Law & American Society: The Influence of the Law in American Culture
This seminar examines the law and its unique role in American culture. Specifically, we will examine the breadth of public attitudes toward, as well as society's participation in and contributions to, the legal system. The law and the legal system pervade mass media, popular culture, and are frequently the subject of news headlines, often in the context of political discourse. The law routinely serves as the basis for fictionalized entertainment as a major theme in popular books, television programs and movies. Yet many people's direct experiences with the legal system prove to be less entertaining. An analysis of popular and cinematic representations of the law is crucial to understanding how people perceive and interact with the legal system and how the law changes in a democratic society. The law will be studied from multiple viewpoints, and with the perspective of citizens living in American legal culture: how has the law influenced and shaped modern American culture, and in what ways does modern American culture influence the development of the law? What is the role of modern society in the legal system and vice-versa?
In this seminar, we will draw on a variety of sources including film and television, court cases/opinions, newspaper & current media, and social science materials. In particular, we will more closely examine depictions of the law and the legal system in several popular films, considering and analyzing each film to further our inquiry and understanding of the cultural perspectives in relation to an associated seminar topic. In this discussion-based seminar, students will develop advocacy skills in classroom discussions, while individual projects will allow students to explore particular topics in greater depth. Films will be screened on alternate Monday evenings.
AM-376 001 Queering the American Past
An intersectional, inclusive, and interdisciplinary survey of queer (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) history in the United States from 1492 to the present. Using queer theory as well as resources and methods from a variety of disciplines, we will explore major issues and events in GLBTQ history, such as the changing social construction of sexuality over time; Harlem Renaissance; changes in military policy during the Second World War; the Stonewall riots; AIDS; same-sex marriage and queer parenting; representation in the media; and legal battles. We will focus on the ways that the dominant culture has oppressed and marginalized queer Americans as well as the ways GLBTQ people have challenged the dominant culture and normative sexuality through queer organizations, alliances, and activism.
AM-376 003 September 11 and the War on Terror
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 past decade. This course will examine the history of the post-September 11th period, asking both what the domestic and foreign policy responses to the attacks have been, how American's engaged with those events and policies, and how they have been represented in popular culture.
AN-251D 001 Evolution and Human Behavior: Science of Love, Sex and War
This course will introduce students to the behavioral ecology of humans from an evolutionary perspective. Over the course of the semester, we will learn about both behavioral diversity and consistency across human communities and cultures. We will investigate the adaptive significance of various human behaviors and social organization practices, in comparison to those found in non-human primates. Using peer-reviewed literature, films, lectures, blog posts, and popular science pieces, we will explore cooperation, aggression, warfare, social hierarchies, reproductive behavior, parenting, social learning, culture and religion. This course will provide students with a broad framework in evolutionary theory, and biological anthropological perspectives on the evolution of human behavior.
Prerequisite: AN-101 and AN-102
AN-251D 002 Visual Anthropology
An exploration of the theories and methods anthropologists use to create and present ethnographic images. Using photography and videos, students learn the principles for thinking visually and creating images to present ethnographic data. Topics include ethics of images, cameras in social science research, organizing images, and analyzing images. Students design small visual projects to gain experience in formulating research questions, visual ethnography, and analyzing and presenting results.
Prerequisite: AN-101 and AN-102. Counts toward the minor in Media and Film Studies.
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.
(Designated a non-Western culture course)
AN-252C 002 Archaeology of the Middle East
The goal of this course is to introduce students to early human societies of the Middle East as we know them through archaeological remains. While ancient Mesopotamia is the most famous cultural sphere attested to in the archaeological record of the region, the Middle East has been host to a variety of other important socio-cultural phenomena from the origins of farming to the emergence of the world's earliest multi-ethnic empires. Students will find out in this course that the archaeology of the Middle East also has much to tell us about some of the biggest topics in anthropology including the origins of humanity, the development of social inequality, and the state. There are nearly two-million years of human occupation in the Middle East and this course will cover a number of topics beginning with early Hominin dispersals out of Africa and ending with the massive empires of ancient times.
(Fulfills Social Science Requirement; Designated a non-Western culture course).
AN-252C 003 Anthropology & Education
An exploration of the interrelationships of culture, learning, and schooling. Drawing on cross-cultural studies, the course presents ways in which anthropological concepts inform understanding of the culture of schooling and the purposes of education. We will examine the development of school ethnographies and qualitative studies in relation to key issues such as minority status, cultural transmission, cultural discontinuity, critical pedagogy, and the production and reproduction of social relations.
Prerequisite: AN-101 (Fulfills Social Science Requirement; Designated a Cultural Diversity course).
AN-343R 001 Ritual and Religion
A study of religion from an anthropological perspective with a focus on ritual practices in non-Western cultural contexts. Students learn key conceptual and theoretical contributions in the anthropological study of ritual and religion, a fundamental dimension of human cultural practice the world over. Students explore religion as a way of reasoning, a form of ritual action, and an experiential reality. Topics include fetishism, symbolism, embodiment, ritual action, divination, initiation, and healing. For Spring 2015, this course is designated Research in Anthropology. Students carry out a research project.
AN-351D 001 Biological Approaches to Medical Anthropology
This course explores the relationship between evolutionary theory and topics in biological and medical anthropology. We will examine various topics including evolution, health, medicine, and human biological variation. It will introduce students to this evolutionary perspective on disease, while also considering non-evolutionary aspects of common diseases, such as social, political, and cultural aspects of human health and illness. The goal of this course is to begin to unravel how natural selection, adaptation, and phylogeny provide insights into human health and disease (and therefore the treatment of disease).
Prerequisite: AN-101 and AN-102
AN-352D 001 Imaging/Imagining the Past
Peoples, places, and events of the past are frequently presented to the public in visual format: drawings, paintings, photographs, maps, models, tables and graphs, film, recreations, and virtual reality. Representation is readily interpreted as truth but accuracy in these images varies widely. This course will examine aspects of representation in anthropological discourse, such as gendered perspectives in images of our hominin ancestors, changing criteria behind National Geographic's iconic photography, and the ethics of creating virtual realities of past peoples. Through visual analysis, students will survey the historical practice of illustrating the past and critically examine the choices made in creating interpretive images, as well as the meaning they generate (both past and present). In hands-on image making, students will learn the craft of illustration and gain an appreciation for the range of objectivity and subjectivity that are ever-present in image production. By pairing image analysis and image creation, students deepen understanding of anthropological practice through honing observation skills and developing visual acuity. No previous artistic training is required.
Prerequisite: AN-101 and AN-102
AR-264C 001 Drawing and the Narrative
In visual art, just as in other fields of study there are many ways to gather, interpret and utilize information. Through the medium of drawing, students will develop objective and subjective responses to narrative themes in music, film and literature. Assignments, discussions and readings from various artist and critics lead students to develop work in consideration of recent trends in contemporary drawing.
AR-264G 001 Picturing Identity
This intermediate photography course will be directed at and focused on the exploration of identity and diversity. The primary mode of inquiry will be the student's studio practice, which will be augmented by reading and writing assignments to help contextualize and inform that practice. While diversity points to the make-up of any given community, identity; that is, how we each self-identify and how others identify each of us; can be personally and/or socially constructed. What identity looks like is an aspect of diversity that can be difficult to discuss. Appearances, after all, are often deceiving and can easily lead to stereotyping, profiling, and worse. But, are there visual clues or signs that we can legitimately explore, discuss, and use in image making and within a broader discussion of diversity? As context, we will look at historical and contemporary artists from a variety of cultural backgrounds who engage in questions of identity; either through the depiction of the self or of the other. Against the heteronormative mode of expression and taste, we will explore how art (and photography, more specifically) has responded to and influenced changing norms in our conception and understanding of the individual in relation to various publics. Racial, ethnic, gendered, sexual, religious, and socio-economic facets of identity will be considered as students make pictures that explore the nature of identity.
Prerequisite: AR136 or AR209 or AR229
AR-264J 001 Interactive Design
An introduction to designing interactive pages and environments for the web. Emphasis is placed on visual and information design through theories of color, principles of design and the study of typography. A variety of tools and techniques will be explored including photo editing, writing code for the web and animation through basic scripting languages. Studio projects will explore issues of audience participation, experience design, motion and interface.
Prerequisite: AR131 or AR133 or AR 134
AR-351F 001 Projects in Water Based Media
An investigation of the interplay between idea, media, process and content, using water based drawing and painting materials. Students will initiate individual projects that lead toward a sustained, cohesive body of work. Critiques, discussions, and writing assignments will broaden student's awareness and refine critical judgment.
Prerequisite: AR-264F. Recommended: AR-223 or AR-228 or AR-201 or AR-209
AR-351D 001 Wearable Art
This course is designed to introduce a variety of sewing skills and projects that will spark interest and help students learn about wearable art. Experimentation with fiber arts techniques includes dying, embellishment, sewing and structure within a contemporary art context. The students will have an opportunity to explore and develop their unique approach to creativity by developing and producing wearable art.
Prerequisite: AR 214 or AR 215 or AR 216
AR-351H 001 Advanced Printmaking
Further investigation of formal, expressive, and technical aspects of printmaking. This course emphasizes individual exploration of structured assignments, leading toward self-directed studio practice. Readings and discussions complement studio practice. Emphasis is placed upon more individual exploration of assigned formal problems in the studio.
Prerequisite: AR228 or AR342 or AR350 or AR264H
AS-351C 001 Borders and Frontiers in Asian Studies
An advanced seminar in Asian Studies organized around the geographical, cultural, and disciplinary borders that define the field. Students will build upon their expertise in a particular region by exploring zones of contact and exchange. Course content will reflect student research interests and the seminar will provide a forum for discussion of the senior thesis, research paper, or research project.
This course is only open to senior Asian Studies major.
BI-152-001 Parasites Epidemics P. Health
Parasites that seize control of a host's behavior, waves of plague, defenses organized against an emerging threat of biological invasion; these seem like elements of science fiction or ancient history. As luck would have it, it is science, and history, and our present, and our future. This course explores the natural history of these phenomena and the risk factors associated with invasion susceptibility, introduces the quantitative reasoning and experimentation that underpins our understanding of epidemiology, and identifies intervention strategies to manage what could be described as antagonistic social networks.
Prerequisite: QR1 natural science.
(Fulfills natural sciences and QR2 requirements.)
BI-152 004 Inside Equus: Biology of the horse - 4 credits
The horse is an exceptional animal model of physiology and behavior adaptation. We will study what makes these animals superb athletes, and how their genetics, physiology, and behavior have adapted to domestication. Some lab periods will take place in local stables and farms. Previous experience with animals/horses is not required. Three hours of lecture, three hours of lab per week.
Prerequisite: QR1. (Fulfills natural sciences requirement and QR2.) Please refer to the companion course TX100A Biology of Wild Horses.
BI-152H 001 Inside Equus: Biology of the horse 4 credits
While the course will have the same core content as BI 152 Inside Equus, BI 152H is appropriate for students who are interested in further topics in bioethics and evidence based decision making, as well as developing writing skills. More extensive research and analysis of issues will be expected, and a case study will be written and revised over the course of the semester. Three hours of lecture, three hours of lab per week.
Prerequisite: QR1. (Fulfills natural sciences requirement and is writing intensive) Please refer to the companion course TX00A Biology of Wild Horses.
BI-152 005 The Birds and the Bees: the Biology of Sex
An introduction into the anatomy, physiology and development of human reproductive systems. Students will become familiar with female and male anatomy and development, and will gain a sophisticated understanding of the process of reproduction. Although the focus of the course is on human sex and reproduction, students will be exposed to a variety of biological model systems in the laboratory portion of the course. 3 hours lecture and 3 hours lab per week.
(Fulfills natural sciences and QR2 requirements.)
BI-352M 001 Epigenetics: Concepts and Mechanisms
The focus of this course is concepts and mechanisms of epigenetics in the context of genetics, development, evolution, cell and molecular mechanisms, and potential applications to basic biomedical research. This course counts toward the cell, molecular, and genetics and concentration in the biology major, the integrative biology major, and as an elective in the ecology, evolution, and behavior concentration in the biology major. It will be taught at a junior-senior level (e.g. primary literature, research-based lab, assumes working knowledge of basic concepts in genetics.) Junior and senior majors in biology, chemistry, neuroscience, health and exercise science, psychology, and other science majors, or students who have completed the basic prerequisite courses for the health professions should be prepared for the course, with the stipulation that some remedial work may be necessary if you are not familiar with the basic principles of genetics. Lecture (3 hours) and lab (3 hours.)
Prerequisite: At least one 200-level course in the natural sciences
CS-277 001 Database Technologies and Modeling
Students will work with three common database technology platforms: Relational, NoSQL and Graph. The course will allow students to explore the different data representation, modeling and interaction paradigms used with these diverse data persistence technologies. The course will include topics such as logical and physical database design, tuning, optimization and application integration. Beyond using database
technologies, the course will leverage Java and R as platforms to interact with the data environments. Prerequisite: CS206
DA-274B 001 Feminist Performance Art
Feminist Performance Art inquiries into the practices of feminist artists who call upon the live (often explicit) body in performance. Major topics include performance, presence, abjection, embodiment, sexuality, virtuosity, amateurism, de-skilling/re-skilling, manifesto, animism/vitality, and pain/pleasure. Moving from 1950 to the present through international contexts, this course takes on artists and concepts through the interdisciplinary lenses of performance studies, gender and sexuality studies, critical race theory, critical dance studies, and visual studies. The course will also include a practice-as-theory component in which students will have the opportunity to make performance to supplement their otherwise scholarly work.
DA-274B 002 Body Mind Centering
Learn to move the body with ease, following the path of least resistance. Athletes, dancers, pedestrians will find healthier ways to use their body, creating positive ramifications for performance. Drawing on experiential body work methods developed over the past 100 years, students will learn how anatomy and physiology support posture and efficient motion. Students will be directed through structured exercises in a rich series of sensory approaches to kinesiology, using all the body systems to affect healthy, powerful, authentic movement. This class will offer opportunities and techniques for allowing sensation and an inner voice to conduct action. This foundation will allow profound, deeply felt movement to have priority over appearance or perfect execution. Students will conduct independent research and record their own, personal experience in the class. No prerequisites.
DS-251A 001 Interviewing Musicians
This workshop will explore skills and methods for interviewing musicians. Students will learn basic techniques and approaches used to conduct ethnographic interviews of musicians following established methods from the field of ethnomusicology. Workshop topics will include project design, establishing connections, developing rapport, designing interview questions, recording equipment, transcription, data analysis, following up, and project presentation. Students will be guided through a semester-long project of their own design to apply their learning.
DS-251A 002 Documenting Latin America
Political activism through film is not a new phenomenon in Latin America, but in the past two decades documentary films in particular have prompted conversations about new modes of self-expression, the blurred divisions between facts and fiction, and the official discourses on history and human rights. These are the questions that will guide us as we examine various documentaries and the specific historical and geographical contexts in which they were produced. Students will curate a half-dozen films into a film festival, researching context and directors, creating a narrative that links the films, ordering the documentary screenings, and presenting them during the festival. 7.5 weeks, January 23-March 13
DS-251A 003 Audio Doc 1: Producing Radio Doc (1/21-3/4) Eileen McAdam
In 7 weeks, students will learn how to produce a radio program, podcast or audio documentary from start to finish. Using professional equipment and software, this hands-on class will cover the basics of interviewing, recording and editing. Interviews will be conducted in the Cube, a mobile sound recording studio.
DS-251A 004 Audio Doc 2: Storytelling for Radio (3/11-4/29) Eileen McAdam
In 7 weeks, students will focus on how to write for radio and craft a story using ambient sound, music and narration. Using professional equipment and software, this hands-on class will cover the basics of story for sound, recording and editing. Interviews will be conducted in the Cube, a mobile sound recording studio.
DS-251C 001 Principles of Documentary Studies
This 200-level course will be the gateway to the Documentary Studies Collaborative. This course introduces local, national and global documentary traditions, through readings, screenings, classroom discussion, and engagement with practitioners. Students will engage with theoretical and practical issues related to documentary work, including critical analysis of existing work and of the distinct ethical and aesthetic concerns associated with developing and telling stories that matter. The course emphasizes how the narrative, analytical, and structural frames of audio, visual and written media shape the work, its audience and impact. Rather than focusing on the production of a documentary in any one form, students get a hands-on experience of various media, and an overview of technical aspects, to help them prepare for extended work in one or more documentary media.
DS-302A 001 Documentary Film Production Experience in NYC!
In this hands-on workshop, students will learn from and work side-by-side with NYC filmmaking professionals to plan and shoot a documentary short film. From these filmmakers, we will learn best practices for shooting interviews and supplemental (b-roll) footage, working both in the studio and on location. This film project, sponsored by the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS), is to be an oral history-driven account of Skidmore's own Opportunity Program (OP), which, in its over 40 year history, has been one of the most successful programs of its type in facilitating higher education access and excellence for underrepresented populations. Thus, both the workshop and the film will deal with themes of race, class, privilege, diversity, family, and the transformative experience of education. We will start the week on campus, learning to handle cameras, lights and microphones, planning our interview questions, and practicing for the shoot. We will end the week in New York City, where we will interview our subjects, who are alumni of Skidmore and of OP. Motivated graduates of this workshop will be eligible for a range of ongoing credit-bearing and/or funded campus opportunities in connection with the editing and completion of the film. Permission of the instructor required.
DS-381B 001 Memory Project: Senior Center 60th Anniversary
In collaboration with the Saratoga Adult and Senior Center, students will assist staff and seniors in researching and documenting the Center's growth and history. The primary project is to develop documentary programming for the Center's 60th anniversary celebration in November 2015. Students involved in this Memory Project will work with multiple documentary forms, including oral history and video, as we plan for a gala event.
EC-361 001 Economic Development in Africa
Analysis will focus on economic history, economic growth, labor markets, and health issues of African economies. An emphasis will be placed on human capital and modeling in applied microeconomics. This course will also focus on the current debates on development issues of the African economies and the emerging markets in Africa. Additional topics include the economics of civil wars, climate change, and social capital in the African context.
Prerequisites: EC 236 and EC 237
ED-261C 001 Multicultural Education
An introduction to the theories, goals, and history of the field of multicultural education. Course topics will include race, culture and knowledge construction; student and teacher identities and education; and anti-racist and anti-bias schooling practices. Within each topic, theory and practice will be combined to understand how multicultural education has developed and how it is currently implemented in educational settings.
English Department Course Descriptions can be found here.
ES-252D 001 Engineering and Ecology of Energy
Energy is at the center of our lives. Although it is a necessity for many of our daily needs such as cooking, heating, and transportation, the excessive consumption of energy is unsustainable. Environmental awareness requires considerations about energy, but it is challenging to understand and quantify the advantages and disadvantages of an energy option, solution or technology. Energy choices should be based on a balance between engineering challenges, cost constraints, and environmental impacts. Keeping this in mind, we'll explore the world of energy, from energy efficiency to sustainable energy sources. This class will introduce students to the fundamental physics of energy; the evolving designs, technologies and efficiencies of more traditional and alternative energy production; and the comprehensive ecological impacts of various energy sources and systems such as Solar, Wind, Hydro, and Biomass. This class will also provide students with the analytical tools to seek and find answers to a myriad of questions about energy, from the big-picture to specific details. Course work includes a mid-term and final term examinations, individual and group case studies, a final written assignment as well as some workshops, labs, and field trips. The class shall be a dynamic interaction between the instructor and the students. I expect students to come up with their own questions relevant to the subject and seek out the answers (case studies) under the instructor's guidance. Prerequisite: ES 100 and QR1.
ES-352C 001 US Public Land and Oceans: Policy, Management, and Current Events
Public lands and oceans are our natural and national heritage. State and federal agencies manage, and at times mismanage, public lands and oceans for their diverse recreational, wilderness, resource, economic, ecosystem, watershed, range, and wildlife values. Through case studies and issue investigation, this class will examine the policies, laws, philosophies; the social, cultural, religious, economic, political interests; and the science that influence the management of state and federally owned public resources. We will explore active stakeholders in the public lands and oceans policy arena, which include a diversity of advocates, agencies, tribes, non-governmental organizations, researchers, and industries. This class will include special guest speakers, films, and field trips. Students will take a participatory role in current environmental policy and resource management decisions by offering written comments through the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and Letters to the Editor of newspapers. Students will also work in pairs on a semester-long Issue Investigation and Action Research Project that includes a research paper and oral presentation as well as take an in class midterm examination. Prerequisites: ES 100.
ES-352C 002 Environment and Development in the Middle East
The Middle East immediately brings to mind religious and political complexities. However, Middle Eastern nations also face distinctive environmental and development challenges. In this class, students will study the natural and human environment in the Middle East, addressing major development and environmental topics such as the impacts of oil and other natural resource use; modernization and large dam projects; population growth and access to water, energy and food; and climate change and transboundary environmental issues. Students will explore the complex and interdisciplinary characteristics of Middle East environmental issues at both the regional and global scales through the examination of case studies from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. The course work includes an exam, a research project, individual and group work on case studies. Prerequisite: Familiarity with international policy making and world geography; permission from the instructor. (Fulfills the Nonwestern requirement)
FF-263 001 Writing about Travel: Creative Non-Fiction in French
A workshop offering intensive practice in writing creative non-fiction that draws upon students' experiences as travelers, both literal and figurative. Short readings introduce students to travel writing as a genre, and texts in French serve as models and inspiration for student-generated travel writing. Readings include excerpts from travel accounts by Flaubert, Gautier, and Eberhardt, among others. Students write weekly and critique each other's work with the goal of refining their written expression in French, increasing accuracy, and communicating greater complexity of thought. Grammar review provided on an as needed basis. Combine your love of travel and your passion for French.
Prerequisite: FF 208 or FF 210 (Fulfills Foreign Language Requirement)
FF-363 001 Introduction to Francophone African Culture and cinema
Study of aspects of Francophone African culture, literature, and cinema, with particular emphasis on historical, political, and social problems. The course will highlight two generations of writers and film-makers from West and North Africa and examine how their contributions have shaped the culture of the region. Instruction and reading in French. All films have English subtitles.
Prerequisite: FF 210 (Fulfills Foreign Language Requirement)
FS-363 001 The Literary Artist
In this class, students will consider the iconography of power found at the intersection of art, literature and politics in 17th- and 20th-century Spain. We will draw on the works of some of Spain's most influential writers and artists from Calderón de la Barca to Fernando Arrabal, from Diego de Velázquez to Pablo Picasso to think about how kingship is conceived, power is constructed, and truth is told. Prerequisite: FS 211 (Fulfills Foreign Language Requirement)
GE-251D 001 Introduction to Remote Sensing of the Earth
An exploration of methods of remote sensing used in modern observations of Earth processes. The physical principles of remote sensing will be introduced within the context of key global processes such as weather systems, annual ice and glacial cycles, the hydrological cycle, and the ocean carbon cycle. Laboratory work and student projects will include manipulation and interpretation of remote imagery to infer spatial patterns, rates, and fluxes in global-scale, Earth system processes. 4 credits, 3 hours lecture/3 hours lab per week. Prerequisite is one of the following: GE-101, GE-102, GE-112, ID-210.
GE-351 001 Isotope Applications in Earth and Environmental Sciences
Measurements of isotopes of light and heavy elements are used in the Earth and Environmental sciences as tracers, thermometers, clocks, and rate indicators. This course provides a survey of the varied applications of stable, radioactive, and radiogenic isotopes. We will investigate the patterns of isotope distributions in nature and the theory of isotope fractionation and mixing. Students will also enroll in a 1-credit Honors add-on laboratory. Laboratory work and student projects will utilize analytical instrumentation using applications ranging from water and climate to ecology and metabolism to landscape changes and deep Earth history.
GE-351 002 Advanced Oceanography
The examination of several systems in the ocean and the interactions of physics, chemistry, biology, and geology (where appropriate) in each of these systems. The class will focus on areas such as estuaries, the upper ocean (air-sea interaction and phytoplankton growth), eddies, and reefs. Primary attention will be given to science issues, with the consideration of human interactions and policy for some parts of the course. 3 credits. 3 hours lecture per week. Prerequisites: GE-101, GE-102, GE-112
GN-151B 001 English for Academic Engagement
English for Academic Engagement centers on enhancing students' writing, reading, and vocabulary skills, as well as developing communicative expertise necessary to integrate with the Skidmore academic community and engage in academic discourse. Specific skills include public speaking, conversational and interpersonal communication strategies, reading and listening comprehension, and academic writing. The course is open to all students seeking to further improve their English language proficiency. Final placement will be reviewed and approved by faculty prior to the start of the semester.
GN-151B 002 Tutoring English Language Learners
An introduction to approaches and techniques involved in peer tutoring of English Language Learners (ELL), with emphasis on writing, reading, grammatical/meta-linguistic context, and cultural awareness. Students will learn skills necessary to support the efforts of non-native speakers of English during workshop-style meetings with peer tutees outside the classroom. The course includes a balance of relevant literature and practicum component, where tutors apply their training with peer English Language Learners. Designed for students interested in or currently serving as a peer tutor.
GO-233 001 Political Islam
Examines the rise and development of Political Islam. The course explores the roots of radical and reformist Islamist movements by analyzing major ideological, economic, social, and political transformations in Muslim-majority states. Students debate the causes and consequences of radical Islam, whether and how Islamist movements may participate in governance, and, more broadly, the role of religion in political life. The cases examined in the course are drawn from around the world, including the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America.
(Designated a Non-Western Culture course and Fulfills Social Science)
GO-251B 001 Global Rise of BRICS
The BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa - are a new breed of global giants. They are the main source of economic growth in the world, and are projected to dominate international affairs. They also exhibit remarkable political, social, and economic diversity. This course tackles major questions facing international relations: Is the rise of BRICS fundamentally transforming the world we live in? What would a world no longer dominated by the "West," and in particular the United States, be like?
Prerequisite: GO 103
GO-251C 001 Freedom of Speech
What types of speech does the U.S. Constitution permit the government to prohibit/regulate? Are we free to produce virtual child pornography? What about burning Old Glory? Can newspapers publish materials informing the nation's “enemies” of the details of upcoming troop movements? And what about those folks who want to make animal “crush” videos for those who derive entertainment from watching stiletto-wearing women inflict pain (and ultimately death) upon helpless kittens? Over time American judges have confronted all of these questions in the context of First Amendment lawsuits. This course will study their answers, and the historical evolution of the theories they have employed to address these controversial and complex issues. Assessment will be writing intensive, and students will be expected to make extensive contributions to in-class discussions focusing on free speech hypotheticals.
GO-251D 001 How to Rule the World
Great ambition is threatening in a tyrant, yet the most spirited defenders of free government are also motivated by great ambition. What must we know in order to govern well? What kind of knowledge can guide the loftiest political ambition? In this course, students will explore the requirements of great political leadership in a handful of very different but foundational texts: Abraham Lincoln’s Lyceum Address, Machiavelli’s Prince, Shakespeare’s Richard III, the Books of Samuel, Xenophon’s Education of Cyrus, and Plato’s Protagoras. By studying different kinds of answers to the question of how great ambition should relate to the political community, students see the close proximity of the fundamental questions of the social sciences to disciplines such as theology, philosophy, and literature.
GO -351B 001 Capitalism and Its Critics
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 political and moral 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.
Prerequisite: GO 102. Recommended preparation GO 204 or GO 205H
GO-365 001 Politics of Modern Warfare
Organized violence is an inescapable reality of life for many around the world. From World War II to the War on Terror, most people alive today have experienced armed conflict in one way or another. This course examines why and how we fight. It investigates both the timeless and the distinctive features of modern warfare. We will consider how, over the past century, we have transformed warfare, and how warfare has transformed us.
Prerequisite: GO 103
HF-200 001 Music & Mao: Honors Forum Add On
In this Honors Add-On, students will apply their own particular disciplinary expertise and interests to the parent course (MU205A-001) topics for a more advanced study of the subject. The course will comprise of individually designed research projects including an annotated bibliography and class presentation, small group discussion, and regular participation in the add-on course.
HF-300 001 Rac(e)y Jewels: Art, Craft, and African American Culture
Uses an exhibition of African American artist Joyce J. Scott's work at the Museum of Arts and Design (New York) to investigate valuations of art, craft, and African American expression. We will explore how and why the contemporary art world values (or devalues) craft, in general, and African American craft, in particular. The class will read material about Scott's work and contemporary theory on the art/craft debate, visit the exhibition, and demonstrate comprehensive understanding of class topics. Must be enrolled in AH-364.
HI-151 001 War and Society in U.S. Culture
This course examines the relationship between war, the military, and U.S. culture. We will focus less on how the military has been used to pursue particular foreign policy goals and ask broader questions that emerge from understanding the military as critical cultural institution. Among them will be: What should the relationship between the military and the nation be during times of war and peace? How have Americans, including service members and veterans, sought to define the military's place in American culture? How have wars and militarism created spaces for debating larger questions about national identity, race, class, gender, sexuality, and citizenship? (Fulfills Social Science Requirement)
HI-217 002 History of Latinos and Latinas in U.S.
This course is designed to introduce students to the political, social, economic, and migratory history of Latinas and Latinos in the United States. The goal of the course is to critically examine the Latin@ population in the United States by exploring the history of conquest, migration, acculturation, resistance, and the construction of a pan-ethnic Latin@ identity. Focusing for the most part on the 19th and 20th centuries, we will explore various theoretical and methodological issues in research on Latin@ history, the social demography of Latin@s, the history of social and political movements in the Latin@ community, boundaries and inequalities of race and class, and the role of global economic forces in shaping the lives of Latin@s. The course material is geared toward helping students develop a critical understanding of the primary historical issues related to the experiences of Latin@s in the United States. (Fulfills Social Science Requirement; Designated a Cultural Diversity course)
HI-217 004 Medieval England to 1485
Survey of English history from 409 to 1485. Emphasis on political, social, and cultural history, with special attention to the peculiarities of English development as these had emerged between 1066 and 1485. Themes to be explored include Norman innovations in social organization, government, and law, women in society, the relations of Crown and Church, political representation, and religious conversion and practice. (Fulfills Social Science Requirement)
HI-217C 001 Resisting Hitler
This course introduces students to perspectives on the German and European resistance to Hitler from 1933 to 1945. We will explore a number of general questions about resistance, including: What forms did resistance take within Nazi Germany and how did resistance in Germany differ from resistance in German-occupied countries? What types of behavior can be called resistance? How did Jews resist? How does resistance differ from opposition, dissent, and non-conformity? How do we know what we know about the resistance to Hitler? How can one distinguish between the myths of resistance and the realities of the resistance? How has the resistance been memorialized? (Fulfills Social Science Requirement)
HI-363 001 Vietnam in American Memory
This course will examine how Americans and the Vietnamese have remembered the U.S. War in Vietnam since 1975. Among the topics that we will discuss are veterans' issues (PTSD, Agent Orange, Social Marginalization), the memorialization of the war (the building of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Education Center on the National Mall), the war's representation in popular culture, post-war U.S./Vietnamese relations, contemporary tourism of Vietnam, the war's environmental legacies, and the role that the war's legacy has played in policymaking. In addition, students will complete a significant public history project related to the commemoration of the war's fiftieth anniversary in Saratoga Springs. (Fulfills Social Science Requirement)
HI-363 002 Contested Sanctity in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages
This course examines the persons, bodies, shrines and veneration of “saints and holy people" in order to understand the role of sanctity within the medieval world and its borders. Emphasis will be placed on how both official and unofficial sanctity is constructed, debated and authorized. Themes of the course include use of hagiography as a historical source, elite and popular beliefs about holiness, political canonization, miracles, and pilgrimage. The role of holy persons in relations between Christians, pagans, Jews and Muslims will be discussed. (Fulfills Social Science Requirement)
HI-363C 002 Canada and the United States
Most Americans have heard of Canada and could probably locate our vast northern neighbor on a map of the world. However, few have taken the time to learn something of substance about the history of the United States; largest trading partner and closest political ally. In this course, students will be introduced to the differing social, political, and economic makeup of Canada and the United States from the end of the American Revolution to the present day. Even though, these two North American neighbors have been leading participants in many of the military and economic crises of the twentieth century, often the leaders of these two nations have taken divergent paths. Through the use of national, ideological, cultural, and economic scholarship, students will consider whether Americans and Canadians are similar to one another or completely different on all levels; address the impact of geography on this interpretation; and contemplate how contemporary events, including September 11th 2001, highlight the importance of our mutual national security and borders and have made the histories of these two ambivalent neighbors forever intertwined.
IA-251B 001 Global Economic Markets: "How the World's Economy Really Works"
An examination of the interplay between international economics and politics and how these interactions affect international trade and finance. The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the operation of the world's economy at the theoretical and practical levels while examining how economic relationships and institutions may affect political outcomes. Building on theoretical foundations, the course contrasts mainstream economic theories of international trade law, finance, development and investment with theories highlighting class relations/wealth distribution, power, and market imperfections or failures. Among the subjects likely to be explored: transnational corporations, capital flight, theories of imperialism, exchange-rate mechanisms, regional trade agreements, the role of the state and the prospects for national and supra-national monetary and fiscal policies. Policy debates on free trade versus state-focused protectionism are essential to the course. Students will also examine the roles that international economic organizations such as the WTO, IMF, ECB, and the World Bank have played in economic globalization as well as the activities of regional and state-level financial players which have considerable influence over macroeconomic policies and the world's economy. By examining real life phenomena and recent events, the course aims to give students the tools they need to critically examine discussions of the relationships between states, markets and international economic actors.
IA-351 001 Causes of War, Paths to Peace
War and conflict has been a tragically persistent feature of international affairs. This course examines in depth the causes of war and conflict, and the potential paths for peace from a variety of theoretical and historical vantage points. At the inter-state level, we will look at why states fight, what they fight over (for e.g. territory), and how changing technology (for e.g. the introduction of nuclear weapons) has affected the nature of international conflict. At the intra-state level, the course will address the causes and international consequences of the growing incidence of civil wars, ethnic conflict, and the rise of global terrorism. Our goal will be to not just understand conflict, but also to explore the prospects for and potential ways out of it. In doing so, we will debate the implications of globalization, democratization, international institutions, humanitarian intervention etc. The course will throughout be interspersed by historical case studies such as World Wars I and II, the Cold War, and various regional conflicts from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Prerequisites: IA101
ID-251A 002 Book Design
This one-credit course will explore the basics of book design and provide an opportunity to design both a print and/or digital book using your own content. We will break down the components of layout design, type and image and design a book from the ground up. InDesign, Photoshop (as it relates to design practice), font and file management, printing, and the use of images and type, are introduced through a series of demonstrations/projects that build upon one another. This course includes basic information about book typography, grids and structures, proportions, formats, using images, placing and styling text, and ultimately publishing a book for print as an ibook or emagazine. This course has been designed for students at any level of experience. 3/4(Wed) - 4/28 (Tues)
ID-251A 003 Web Design
In this one credit course we will explore web design by creating a website for existing academic content using cloud based software. At the beginning of the course each student will propose an interactive project that will transform their content developed in other courses into a publicly accessible website. Each student will develop the architecture of their website by creating a site structure, a system of navigation and textual and visual content. We will also explore the visual design of the website through lectures, exercises and demonstrations on color, imagery, positioning and typography. This course assumes no prior knowledge of design or technology. 3/4(Wed) - 4/28 (Tues)
ID-251A 005 Video Storytelling
This course will be a video production boot camp. Come with your idea for a short video and learn how to take it from concept to completion. This course is offered from 3/4(Wed) - 4/28 (Tues).
ID-251A 007 Our Apologies
Across languages and cultures, and even within them, people enact and understand apologies in different ways, with significant consequences for virtually every realm of human endeavor. Focusing on the perspective of several different Western and Asian cultures as well as the apology in intercultural contexts, this course explores the apology as a site rich with intersecting insights from a variety of literary texts. Each week, a different faculty member from Foreign Languages and Literatures will discuss a text from the culture of their specialization.
ID-351C 001 Public Health Communications
The course examines the principles and theories that lead to effective health communications. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, students will learn how to leverage market research and scientific data to create communication objectives and plans to inform, influence, and motivate health behaviors and improve public health. Through written assignments, students will explore a number of case studies and present communications plans to the group.
Prerequisite: EX 131 (Introduction to Public Health).
MB-351 001 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.
Prerequisites: MB 107, EC 103, 104.
MB-351 002 Examination of the Asian Growth Story
This course examines the causes and consequences of economic growth in Asia from a broader development perspective. The course engages with various theoretical and conceptual debates in understanding the phenomena of growth and development; and applies them specifically to the historical experience of East, South, and Southeast Asian countries.
MP-179 001 World Music Ensemble: Chinese Music
An introduction to traditional Chinese music through the study of basic performance techniques and the examination of music in its cultural context. Students will learn basic history and performance techniques for all of the available instruments and then choose one instrument to focus on for the semester. Instruments will be provided by the Department and will include the guzheng (zither), erhu (bowed fiddle), pipa (plucked lute), yangqin (hammered dulcimer), dizi (flute), and percussion. The ensemble is open to students with OR without prior Chinese musical experience. The class will present a recital at the end of the semester. No prerequisites or prior musical training is required.
(Fulfills arts requirement)
MU-205A 001 Music & Mao: Music & Politics in Communist China
In this course we will examine music in post-1949 China with particular emphasis upon cultural and political trends of the 20th and 21st century. We will consider cultural policies of the Communist Party of China and influential interactions with other Asian and non-Asian cultures. Though focusing primarily upon music, discussion will also include visual arts, literature, and theater. No prerequisites and open to all students.
(Fulfills Non Western and Humanities requirements)
MU-345B 001Blues and African American Musical Heritage
This seminar traces the history of blues, both as a specific genre and as a range of techniques and approaches that have been at the center of American music and culture, from 19th century roots up to the present. It will explore the commonly accepted blues mainstream exemplified by figures like Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, and B.B. King, but also the central role blues has played in jazz, folk, country, gospel, rock, soul, and rap. While following the evolution of the music through the 20thcentury, we will also examine how blues has served as a metaphor for African American culture as it permeates the American tradition. (Designated a Cultural Diversity course)
NS 212A-001 Neurophysiology
This course will offer an analysis of fundamental topics related to the physiology of the nervous system. We will focus on signaling in nerve cells, ion channel properties and structure, as well as ionic currents that establish the resting membrane potential and are responsible for action potentials. We will also focus on ion transport across the phospholipid bilayer, including the Na+/K+ pump, Ca2+ pump, the Na+/ Ca2+ Exchanger, chloride transporter, and the transport of neurotransmitters across the cell membrane. We will explore synaptic integration and neural coding in depth. There will be regular readings and student presentations of empirical research articles. Finally, we will have a few classes devoted to computer simulations of the neurophysiological properties we cover in class.
Prerequisites: NS101, BI105, and PS202 or PS217
NS-312A 001 Glia
The word glia was coined in 1856 by Virchow, and means "nerve glue". Since then, glia have been ignored as the stuff that just holds the brain together. In the mid-to-late 1900's, however, neuroscientists discovered that glia can communicate with other, and we now have a better grasp of their role in proper central nervous system functioning. This course will promote a deeper understanding of neurotransmission, the blood brain barrier, myelination, and synaptic transmission. This course will also delve into the role of glia in spinal cord injuries, infection, neurodegenerative disorders, and we will even discover why glia are the root of nearly all brain cancers.
Prerequisites: NS101 and PS202 or PS217
NS-312A 002 Engaging Modern Neuroscience
This course will be divided into two components that will facilitate your entry into the field of neuroscience. Two-thirds of the course content will focus on new and exciting trends in the modern field of neuroscience. We will discuss novel techniques, integrated approaches in the field, new and exciting papers, and recent Nobel Prize winners. The format of this portion of the course will be student presentations of articles and group discussion of the material. The remaining third of the course will focus on aspects of professional development. We will discuss cover letters, CV's and resumes, interviews, graduate school, and working as a lab technician. This course will be especially useful to advanced neuroscience majors who would like additional preparation before they make their next step in a potential neuroscience career.
Prerequisites: NS101, PS202 or PS217, and one 300-level NS elective
NS-312A 003 The Cerebellum and Movement Disorders
This course will explore the cerebellum, a fascinating region of the brain, in detail. We will explore the various cell and neuronal populations within the cerebellum, the synaptic connections flowing into and out of it, and discuss how these cellular connections control an individual's balance and motor coordination. Purkinje neurons in particular receive inputs from all over the brain and in turn, send out single powerful signals to the brainstem. Their size and their function make them reliant on efficient energy metabolism and vulnerable to disease processes. In this class, we'll explore cerebellar neuroanatomy through the microscope, learn about the cerebellum's electrophysiological properties and investigate the myriad of cerebellar diseases that result in movement disorders, with an emphasis on Spinocerebellar Ataxia. Typical class meetings will consist of lectures and discussion of primary literature, along with a few microscopy laboratory sessions during the lecture period. Projects will include a genetics-based research report which will provide students with experience in data mining using real genetics databases. This project will be incorporated into the class throughout the semester, allowing students to peer-review and receive feedback on their projects. Three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: NS 101 and BI 105
PH-230C 001 Philosophy and the Social Sciences
In what sense are the social sciences scientific? How necessary is it for social scientists to discover or further articulate laws in the social sciences with robust predictive power? If this is not, or should not be, their primary scientific goal, what should their scientific goals be? Can social scientists ever be scientifically, ethically, or politically neutral in doing their research and evaluating their results? Can and should they be neutral? Is there a sense in which social scientific data can't help but be "theory laden"? What is the role of rationality (in what sense?) in the social sciences? What roles do meaning, interpretation, and understanding play in social scientific research? Should the social sciences always have to investigate social phenomena from "the bottom up" (the micro approach) or from "the top down" (the macro approach)? What is the relation between individual agents and social structures? This interdisciplinary course examines the answers to these questions at the intersection of philosophy and the social sciences. Students who are interested in the social sciences and take this course will becomes more self-conscious and sophisticated about the background assumptions that inform social scientific research, while students of philosophy will get the opportunity to see how philosophical ideas and theories permeate and enrich such research.
Some central questions we will consider are thus: the relationship between the natural and social sciences; explanation, prediction, laws, and mechanisms in the social sciences; interpretation, meaning, and understanding; the role of rationality in the social sciences; reductionism, individualism, and holism in the social sciences; objectivity and value judgments; the idea of critical social science; and issues and problems in particular social sciences. We will read and discuss the positions about such issues as given mostly by contemporary philosophers and social scientists.
PH-330D 001 Philosophy of the Human Body
In the history of Western philosophy, the human body has often been neglected by most Western philosophers as something insignificant. Indeed, they have often denigrated the human body as the source of temptations or obstacles to the proper exercise of reason and hence of genuine human freedom (just think here of Plato, Descartes, and Kant, among many others). A contrast often arises, then, between the mind (or soul, intellect, free will, etc.) and the body that the mind "inhabits" or through which it perceives or acts. Moreover, to the extent that the mind has been associated with "the masculine", the human body comes to be easily associated with "the feminine", resulting in a series of exclusive binaries that map on to stereotypical gender norms, relations, and expectations.
In this seminar-style course, we will examine the thoughts of philosophers or theorists who strongly criticize this historical valorization of the mind at the expense of the human body. We will read and discuss some influential texts mainly from 20th century French philosophy and critical social thought by M. Merleau-Ponty, P. Bourdieu, M. Foucault, and some feminist thinkers such as S. de Beauvoir, S. Bartky, I. Young, J. Butler, and S. Haslanger. The main assignments of this course will consist of two papers and a longer paper or project at the end of the semester. Students will be asked to post regular entries on the Discussion Board of this course on its Blackboard, as well as possibly lead class discussions once or twice in the semester.
PS-212B 001 Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders
This course provides a clinical overview of the most common developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. Students will gain an understanding of each disorder: its etiology, behavioral presentation, and appropriate interventions. There will be an emphasis on how both historical perspectives and current research play a role in the assessment and treatment for various behavioral issues related to developmental disabilities. Students will develop skills in functional assessment and behavior support planning through the use of case studies and their own observations. Students will work together to develop and implement an awareness event on campus focused on Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Prerequisite: PS 101
PS-212B 002 Psychology and Neuroscience in the Real World
This is a seminar-format blended course that will combine live and online elements, and Union and Skidmore students, to create a unique experiment in learning for students studying Psychology and/or Neuroscience. Professors Christopher Chabris (Union) and Flip Philips (Skidmore) will teach a course on how research in psychology and neuroscience applies to real-world phenomena. Union students will meet together in a Union campus classroom, and also join with Skidmore students in a weekly online meeting. Each student will work on projects in collaborative groups that include both Union and Skidmore students. These projects will involve collecting data in "the real world," meaning by doing research outside of a standard laboratory, campus environment. By doing this, students will explore the connections between theory and practice in a unique way. Evaluations will be based on projects and on class participation.
Prerequisites: PS 202 and PS 203 (or equivalent)
PS-251 001 Issues in Cognitive Psychology
The course will be covering a number of interesting topics and concepts that are typically only briefly covered (or not covered at all) in a traditional undergraduate survey of Cognition. Topics will include controversies of scientific evidence gathering and analysis, specific topics related to perception (e.g., visual masking and synesthesia), human memory (e.g., what is forgetting, the testing effect, and alternative models of memory), language (e.g., bilingualism, and comparing animal and human communication), and complex mental processes (e.g., moral judgment and evaluations, controversies in intelligence, and skepticism). Students will have the opportunity to actively form insights and gain understanding of the course material by participating in the presentation of course content each week.
PS-251 002 Bias and Diversity 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-312A 001 Child Clinical Psychology
This course will explore the practice of clinical psychology with children and adolescents. Students will focus on etiology, assessment, analysis and intervention for emotional and behavioral disorders of childhood and adolescence with an emphasis on evidence-based treatments and the role of government mental health policies. Particular attention will be paid to relevant differences between children, adolescents and adults and how working with children in clinical settings differs from working with adults.
PS-312A 002 Psychological Trauma
Since the time of Freud, psychology has explored the connections amongst traumatic events and subsequent psychopathology. An extensive clinical and research literature has been devoted to discerning the contributions of biological, emotional, cognitive and social factors to the varied responses of those who experience trauma in their lives. This course is designed to explore the contemporary empirical and clinical literature in psychological trauma and trauma pathology. We will look at various types of trauma events that people suffer; war, rape, serious accidents, debilitating disease, childhood physical and sexual abuse, natural disasters, crime. We will explore the ways in which these events produce unique effects as well as more common stress effects. We will explore individual differences in terms of the trauma response including psychological and physiological reactivity, psychological vulnerability and the concept of resilience. We will examine buffers of the trauma response including social and family support, religious affiliation and socioeconomic status. Finally we will look at what types of treatments are effective for people suffering from trauma reactions and what the future holds in terms of new discoveries for trauma victims.
PS-312B 001Existential 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.
PS-312B 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-312B 003 Psychology of Eating Disorders
Interest in anorexia, bulimia and obesity has steadily increased over the past quarter century and significant strides have been made in understanding factors associated with the risk factors, onset and course of the eating disorders. At the same time, important questions remain regarding the relative contributions of biological, psychological and social factors in the etiology, maintenance and treatment of these disorders. This course explores contemporary theories and research concerning the etiology and treatment of these disorders in children, adolescents and adults. We will be surveying the research literature, sampling theoretical positions, examining first person accounts and engaging in experiential exercises to gain a more complete understanding of the nature of these disorders and the effective treatments available for those individuals who suffer from them.
PS-312B 004 Psychology of Stress and Coping
Stress, in its various forms, is something that many of us experience, particularly as we are balancing the competing demands of college. This course introduces students to the theory, methods, and applications of stress and coping research in psychology, while offering insight into understanding and managing their own experiences of stress. Why does an upcoming exam stress you out, while your roommate seems unfazed by it? We will discuss theories about the causes and consequences of stress, with particular focus on appraisals, emotions, physiological responses, physical health outcomes, and psychological well-being. Why do you seem to get sick more easily when you’re stressed out? The body’s stress-response will be explored in detail, with particular emphasis on the interplay of physiological and psychological processes. What types of coping strategies are more effective, and in what contexts? We will discuss theories of coping broadly, as well as theories for coping with specific types of stressful experiences like daily hassles, traumatic experiences, and grief over the death of a loved one. Consequences of these processes, including personal growth, stress and health, depression, and clinical interventions will also be discussed.
Prerequisites: PS 202
SO-251C 001 Consciousness, Ignorance, and the Sociology of Knowing
How do we know what we know? And why is it that we sometimes don't know the things it seems we should? Though we usually imagine questions like these belong on the turf of psychologists and neurologists, knowing (and not knowing) are matters as much patterned by the social world as by biology and psychology. This class will explore the social elements of consciousness and the social production of knowledge and ignorance, from the individual to the institutional. One sociology gateway course
SO-251 001 Sociology of Media: Media and Representation
We live in a media-saturated world. Whether we Tweet, Facebook, Ello, IM, text, or otherwise engage in social media, the seeming ubiquity of Internet access makes existing media (TV, films, news, magazines, radio) more readily accessible than ever. The current 24-7 culture of mass media, however, seems to assume that representation equals power—that is, as more and more different types of people and bodies are represented on large and small screens, our society is necessarily more diverse and democratic. As performance theorist Peggy Phelan writes, however, "If representational visibility equalled power, then almost-naked young white women should be running Western culture" (1993, 10).
This class focuses on the sociology of media using Wendy Griswold's framework of the cultural diamond (the relationship between culture and society, 1994) to analyze the production and consumption of media and its relationship to larger issues of culture. Through an intersectional feminist lens, we will apply sociological theories of media to current examples in mainstream media and popular culture, paying particular attention to the representation of race, class, gender, and power.
In addition to traditional reading response and analysis papers, students will also consume, analyze, and produce a variety of social media.
SO-251 002 Social Issues in Black America
This course will examine social issues confronting Black people in the contemporary U.S. from a sociological perspective. Issues will include but not be limited to educational inequities, criminalization, mass incarceration, joblessness, and gun violence. But we will also consider Black middle and upper class experiences as we attempt to answer the questions: Who is Black? What is Black America? What are its prospects for the future? Special attention paid to cultural and institutional patterns both in and outside of Black communities that have traditionally been called upon to answer those questions.
SO-351C 001 Democracy and Debate
This course explores the role of the economy, governments, and civil society in creating spaces for public discussion of arts, ideas, and politics. Much of the course will be devoted to considering the conditions necessary to make such debates inclusive, socially just, and critical. Students will examine the promise and limitations of mass media and the Internet for fostering more open and equal discussions, the potential contributions of the arts to a vital public square, and the role of journalists and public intellectuals in enriching democratic discourse.
SO-351C 002 Queer Theory and Politics
We will examine the historical, theoretical, social, and political understandings of queerness, beginning with an exploration of sex, gender, and sexuality and the role of identity politics in previous social movements. A discussion of key texts related to identity and structuralism as well as post-structuralism will follow, with a focus on the notion of deconstruction. We will then explore the emergence of queer political strategies and identities and end with a discussion of the implications of queer theory in both academic and political settings.
TX-100A 001 Biology of Wild Horses 1 credit travel seminar
There are no ancestral wild horse populations remaining, but the ease with which free ranging or feral horse herds survive in many different climates argues that the fundamental biology of the domesticated horse is not so different from its wild predecessors. This travel seminar and its companion courses Inside Equus (BI 152/152H) comprise a classroom and field-based introduction to animal physiology and behavior and its adaptation to domestication. Students will travel to Nevada and California over spring break to observe wild horses at liberty in the wild and in confinement. Observations will be documented and used in a formal presentation at the end of the semester. The ethical, ecological, and economic aspects of wild horse management on range lands will also be discussed.
Prerequisites: co-enrollment in BI 152, BI 152H, or BI 316; or previous completion of BI 316, and instructor permission.