Title Instructor Location Time All taxonomy terms Description Section Description Cross Listings Fulfills Registration Notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Syllabus URL
HSOC 001-401 Emergence of Modern Science Bekir H Kucuk MW 01:45 PM-02:45 PM During the last 500 years, science has emerged as a central and transformative force that continues to reshape everyday life in countless ways. This introductory course will survey the emergence of the scientific world view from the Renaissance through the end of the 20th century. By focusing on the life, work, and cultural contexts of those who created modern science, we will explore their core ideas and techniques, where they came from, what problems they solved, what made them controversial and exciting and how they relate to contemporary religious beliefs, politics, art, literature, and music. The course is organized chronologically and thematically. In short, this is a "Western Civ" course with a difference, open to students at all levels. STSC001401 Hum/Soc Sci or Nat Sci/Math (new curriculum only) Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Hum/Soc Sci - Nat Sci/Math Sector
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
HSOC 002-401 Medicine in History Meghan L Crnic TR 01:45 PM-02:45 PM This course surveys the history of medical knowledge and practice from antiquity to the present. No prior background in the history of science or medicine is required. The course has two principal goals: (1)to give students a practical introduction to the fundamental questions and methods of the history of medicine, and (2)to foster a nuanced, critical understanding of medicine's complex role in contemporary society. The couse takes a broadly chronological approach, blending the perspectives of the patient,the physician,and society as a whole--recognizing that medicine has always aspired to "treat" healthy people as well as the sick and infirm. Rather than history "from the top down"or "from the bottom up,"this course sets its sights on history from the inside out. This means, first, that medical knowledge and practice is understood through the personal experiences of patients and caregivers. It also means that lectures and discussions will take the long-discredited knowledge and treatments of the past seriously,on their own terms, rather than judging them by todays's standards. Required readings consist largely of primary sources, from elite medical texts to patient diaries. Short research assignments will encourge students to adopt the perspectives of a range of actors in various historical eras. STSC002401, HIST036401 History & Tradition Sector (all classes) Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
HSOC 010-001 Health & Societies Ramah Katherine Mckay TR 10:15 AM-11:15 AM "Two fundamental questions structure this course: (1)What kinds of factors shape population health in various parts of the world in the twenty-first century? and (2)What kinds of intellectual tools are necessary in order to study global health? Grasping the deeper "socialness" of health and health care in a variety of cultures and time periods requires a sustained interdisciplinary approach. "Health and Societies: Global Perspectives" blends the methods of history, sociology, anthropology and related disciplines in order to expose the layers of causation and meaning beneath what we often see as straightforward, common-sense responses to bioloogical phenomena. Assignments throughout the semester provide a hands-on introduction to research strageties in these core disciplines. The course culminates with pragmatic, student-led assessments of global health policies designed to identify creative and cost effective solutions to the most persistent health problems in the world today." Also fulfills General Requirement in Science Studies for Class of 2009 and prior. Hum & Soc Sci Sector (new curriculum only) Humanities & Social Science Sector
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=HSOC010001
HSOC 031-301 Addiction: Understanding How We Get Hooked and How We Recover James Robert Mckay WF 01:45 PM-03:15 PM We will investigate the evolution of scientific theories and popular beliefs regarding the causes of addiction in the 20th and 21st centuries, and how they have shaped treatment approaches to these disorders. We will examine the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and the current opioid epidemic, and consider sociocultural and political factors that contributed to the onset of and reaction to these crises. Finally, we will discuss research into the neurobiological, psychological, familial, social, and political factors that initiate and sustain addiction, and the efficacy of various treatment approaches. Course is available to Freshmen.
Freshman Seminar
For Freshmen Only
HSOC 041-401 Cane and Able: Disability in America Beth Linker MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM Disability is a near universal experience, and yet it remains on the margins of most discussions concerning identity, politics, and popular culture. Using the latest works in historical scholarship, this seminar focuses on how disability has been experienced and defined in the past. We will explore various disabilities including those acquired at birth and those sustained by war, those visible to others and those that are invisible. For our purposes, disability will be treated as a cultural and historical phenomenon that has shaped American constructions of race, class, and gender, attitudes toward reproduction and immigration, ideals of technological progress, and notions of the natural and the normal. STSC041401 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Freshman Seminar
For Freshmen Only
https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=HSOC041401
HSOC 048-401 Epidemics in History David S. Barnes MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM The twenty-first century has seen a proliferation of new pandemic threats, including SARS, MERS, Ebola, Zika, and most recently the novel coronavirus called COVID-19. Our responses to these diseases are conditioned by historical experience. From the Black Death to cholera to AIDS, epidemics have wrought profound demographic, social, political, and cultural change all over the world. Through a detailed analysis of selected historical outbreaks, this seminar examines the ways in which different societies in different eras have responded in times of crisis. The class also analyzes present-day pandemic preparedness policy and responses to health threats ranging from influenza to bioterrorism. STSC048401 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Freshman Seminar
For Freshmen Only
HSOC 059-301 Medical Missionaries and Partners Kent Bream W 01:45 PM-04:45 PM Global health is an increasingly popular goal for many modern leaders. Yet critics see evidence of a new imperialism in various aid programs. We will examine the evolution over time and place of programs designed to improve the health of underserved populations. Traditionally catergorized as public health programs or efforts to achieve a just society, these programs often produce results that are inconsistent with these goals. We will examine the benefits and risks of past programs and conceptualize future partnerships on both a local and global stage. Students should expect to question broadly held beliefs about the common good and service. Ultimately we will examine the concept of partnership and the notion of community health, in which ownership, control, and goals are shared between outside expert and inside community member. Course is available to Freshmen.
Freshman Seminar
For Freshmen Only
HSOC 082-401 Sport Science in World Andria B. Johnson TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM This seminar is designed for first-year students who are interested in some big questions related to the topic of "sport science." Sport science may seem to be just a niche field where teams of physiologists, psychologists, geneticists, engineers and others work to make already very athletic people go "faster, higher, stronger." On the other hand, the work of sport scientists intersects everyday with far-reaching questions about how categories of sex, age, race, disability, and nationality are defined, measured, challenged, or maintained. Sport scientists weigh in on debates over what kinds of physical activity or bodies are "clean," what kinds of performance are "natural" or even human, and what kinds of sporting spaces or equipment are fair. In this class we'll read and discuss historical and contemporary accounts of sport science in the world. My hope is that students will enter the class interested in sports and leave interested in sports and in gendered science, objectivity and standardization, the politics of big data and more. STSC082401 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
For Freshmen Only
https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=HSOC082401
HSOC 100-401 Soci Research Methods Melissa J. Wilde MW 10:15 AM-11:15 AM One of the defining characteristics of all the social sciences, including sociology, is a commitment to empirical research as the basis for knowledge. This course is designed to provide you with a basic understanding of research in the social sciences and to enable you to think like a social scientist. Through this course students will learn both the logic of sociological inquiry and the nuts and bolts of doing empirical research. We will focus on such issues as the relationship between theory and research, the logic of research design, issues of conceptualization and measurement, basic methods of data collection, and what social scientists do with data once they have collected them. By the end of the course, students will have completed sociological research projects utilizing different empirical methods, be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of various research strategies, and read (with understanding) published accounts of social science research. SOCI100401 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
HSOC 211-401 Sexual Science in India Arnav Bhattacharya
Daud Ali
TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This course will introduce students to the problems of sex, sexuality and sexual science in South Asia over the centuries. Its central problem will be how sex, society and knowledge about sex have been transformed in South Asia under the conditions of colonial and postcolonial modernity. It will consider how a multitude of indigenous practices and knowledges, from the famous Kamasutra and its allied knowledges to the transgender communities, from the Lazzat-un-Nisa to concubinage and the sexual norms of elite households, were framed and reframed during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through the agency of a variety of institutions, groups and individuals. The course will also show how South Asia played a crucial role in the global evolution of sexual knowledge. Topics will include the varieties and functions of traditional sexual knowledges, colonial sexology, changing sexual identities and practices, the relation of psychiatry and medicine to sex, queer and transgender sexualities, and the complex and shifting role of the state and civil society to all of these topics. SAST211401, SAST611401
HSOC 212-401 Science Technology and War Kathryn N Dorsch MW 12:00 PM-01:00 PM In this survey we explore the relationships between technical knowledge and warin the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We attend particularly to the centrality of bodily injury in the history of war. Topics include changing interpretations of the machine gun as inhumane or acceptable; the cult of the battleship; banned weaponry; submarines and masculinity; industrialized war and total war; trench warfare and mental breakdown; the atomic bomb and Cold War; chemical warfare in Viet Nam; and "television war" in the 1990s. STSC212401 Hum & Soc Sci Sector (new curriculum only) Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Humanities & Social Science Sector
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
HSOC 238-401 Introduction To Medical Anthropology Adriana Petryna MW 01:45 PM-02:45 PM Introduction to medical anthropology takes central concepts in anthropology -- culture, adaptation, human variation, belief, political economy, the body -- and applies them to human health and illness. Students explore key elements of healing systems including healing technologies and healer-patient relationships. Modern day applications for medical anthropology are stressed. ANTH238401 Hum & Soc Sci Sector (new curriculum only) Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Humanities & Social Science Sector
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
HSOC 260-301 Soc Determinants Hlth: Social Determinants of Health Andria B. Johnson TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM Over the last century, we have witnessed dramatic historical change in population health, e.g. rising numbeers of obese Americans and dramatic declines in death from stomach cancer. There has also been highly visible social patterning of health and disease, such as socio-economic disparities in AIDS, substance abuse, and asthma in the U.S. to day or the association of breat cancer with affluence around the world. This course will explore the way researchers and others in past and present have tried to make sense of these patterns and do something about them. The course is historical and sociological. We will examine evidence and theories about how poverty, affluence and other social factors influence health AND we will examine how social and historical forces shape the ways in which health and disease are understood. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=HSOC260301
HSOC 275-401 Medical Sociology Jason S Schnittker MWF 10:15 AM-11:15 AM This course is designed to give the student a general introduction to the sociological study of medicine. Medical sociology is a broad field, covering topics as diverse as the institution and profession of medicine, the practice of medical care, and the social factors that contribute to sickness and well-being. While we will not cover everything, we will attempt to cover as much of the field as possible through four central thematic units: (1) the organization of development of the profession of medicine, (2) the delivery of health-care, (3) social cultural factors in defining health, and (4) the social causes of illness. Throughout the course, our discussions will be designed to understand the sociological perspective and encourage the application of such a perspective to a variety of contemporary medical issues. SOCI175401 Society sector (all classes) https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=HSOC275401
HSOC 352-401 Medical Mestizaje: Medical Mestizaje: Health and Development in Contemporary Latin America Juan Sebastian Gil-Riano MW 10:15 AM-11:45 AM Latin American nations as we know them today emerged in the nineteenth century after violent independence struggles against the Spanish Empire. Since independence, mestizaje has been an influential ideology that seeks to portray the identity of Latin American nations as comprised of a unique cultural and racial fusion between Amerindian, European, and African peoples. Through historical, anthropological, and STS approaches this course examines how concerns with racial fusion and purity have shaped the design and implementation of public health programmes in Latin America after independence and into the 20th century. Topics include: tropical medicine and race; public health and urbanization; toxicity and exposure in industrialized settings; biomedicine and social control; indigenous health; genomics and health; food and nutrition. LALS352401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=HSOC352401
HSOC 430-301 Disease & Society TR 01:45 PM-03:15 PM What is disease? In this seminar students will ask and answer this question by analyzing historical documents, scientific reports, and historical scholarship (primarily 19th and 20th century U.S. and European). We will look at disease from multiple perspectives -- as a biological process, clinical entity, population phenomenon, historical actor and personal experience. We will pay special attention to how diseases have been recognized, diagnosed, named and classified in different eras, cultures and professional settings.
HSOC 432-301 Med Activ & Pol Health David S. Barnes TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM During the second half of the twentieth century, overlapping waves of social reform movements agitating for civil rights, women's rights, peace, environmentalism, and gay rights reshaped the U.S. political and cultural landscape. Physicians, other health care professionals, and organized patient groups played important roles in all of these movements. This seminar investigates the history of this medical activism, making special use of the Walter Lear Collection in Penn Libraries' Kislak Center. Readings, discussions, and student research projects analyze the relationships between this history and the political dimensions of individual and population health in the late twentieth century.
HSOC 438-301 Objects of Global Health Ramah Katherine Mckay TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM From vaccines to bed nets to genetic modification, objects and technologies have driven global health programs and ideals. Aiming to reduce health disparities around the globe, global health actors have looked to material interventions into bodies, social relations, and the environment. This capstone course is devoted to readings and research about global health efforts around the world, using critical approaches to global health technologies as a focal point for our analysis. The focus is on understanding the enduring appeal as well as the limits and controversies of technological solutions for health inequities. Throughout the course, we situate global health technologies in relation to technical knowledge, power, and inequality in order to understand, contextualize, and analyze global health efforts. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=HSOC438301
HSOC 452-301 Race and Medicine in America Meghan L Crnic TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM Race has been, and remains, a central issue to the delivery and experience of healthcare in America. This course will examine a variety of issues and cases studies to examine how the patient-doctor has been negotiated, defined, and contested upon the basis of race. This course is designed to further develop students' research, analytical and writing skills in a collaborative atmosphere. Students will complete an original research paper through critical reading and step-wise assignments that will culminate in a final project. By the end of the course, students will have honed skills in primary and secondary source research, and the construction of an academic, analytical argument and paper. Students will build an argument based on their analysis of primary sources, and appropriately situate their argument within the literature of the core HSOC disciplines (anthropology, sociology, and history). In addition, student will continue to develop skills in critical analysis through weekly reading assignments
HSSC 506-301 Readings in Race & Scien: Readings in Race and Science Juan Sebastian Gil-Riano CANCELED What accounts for the persistence and resilience of racial conceptions in science? In this course we will look for answers to this and other questions by examining the historiography of race, colonialism, and science. The standard historiography has focused on the rise and fall of racial typologies in the north Atlantic and their contributions to troublesome political projects such as the Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow policies, the eugenics movement, and the Holocaust. More recent histories have taken inspiration from postcolonial studies, standpoint theories, and indigenous studies to insist on a more global reckoning of race and science. If we focus on the southern hemisphere, for instance, we can see scientific racial conceptions enrolled for a different though not necessarily less innocent set of projects: the dispossession of indigenous lands and effacement of indigenous peoples, the glorification of race-mixing as a tool of nation building, and the cultivation of whiteness as a means to modernity. By examining classic and recent approaches to race and science we will grapple with the following questions: Is 'race' a product of 18th century French and English science? Or can we find earlier iterations in the idioms of conquest of Spanish America during the early modern period? Do the standard narratives concerning the history of racial conceptions in science change when looked at from the frame of the global south? Does race get 'buried alive' after WWII? And do recent developments in human genomics bring "race" back from the dead, albeit in an anti-racist form? Undergraduates Need Permission https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=HSSC506301
HSSC 507-301 Reading Sem Hist Med: Reading Seminar History of Medicine Beth Linker T 01:45 PM-04:45 PM Undergraduates Need Permission https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=HSSC507301
HSSC 511-301 Current Issues in Sts Bekir H Kucuk R 01:45 PM-04:45 PM A graduate-level reading seminar in STS, this course will survey major themes and readings as well as recent work in STS. Undergraduates Need Permission
STSC 001-401 Emergence of Modern Science Bekir H Kucuk MW 01:45 PM-02:45 PM During the last 500 years, science has emerged as a central and transformative force that continues to reshape everyday life in countless ways. This introductory course will survey the emergence of the scientific world view from the Renaissance through the end of the 20th century. By focusing on the life, work, and cultural contexts of those who created modern science, we will explore their core ideas and techniques, where they came from, what problems they solved, what made them controversial and exciting and how they relate to contemporary religious beliefs, politics, art, literature, and music. The course is organized chronologically and thematically. In short, this is a "Western Civ" course with a difference, open to students at all levels. HSOC001401 Hum/Soc Sci or Nat Sci/Math (new curriculum only) Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Hum/Soc Sci - Nat Sci/Math Sector
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
STSC 002-401 Medicine in History Meghan L Crnic TR 01:45 PM-02:45 PM This course surveys the history of medical knowledge and practice from antiquity to the present. No prior background in the history of science or medicine is required. The course has two principal goals: (1)to give students a practical introduction to the fundamental questions and methods of the history of medicine, and (2)to foster a nuanced, critical understanding of medicine's complex role in contemporary society. The couse takes a broadly chronological approach, blending the perspectives of the patient,the physician,and society as a whole--recognizing that medicine has always aspired to "treat" healthy people as well as the sick and infirm. Rather than history "from the top down"or "from the bottom up,"this course sets its sights on history from the inside out. This means, first, that medical knowledge and practice is understood through the personal experiences of patients and caregivers. It also means that lectures and discussions will take the long-discredited knowledge and treatments of the past seriously,on their own terms, rather than judging them by todays's standards. Required readings consist largely of primary sources, from elite medical texts to patient diaries. Short research assignments will encourge students to adopt the perspectives of a range of actors in various historical eras. HSOC002401, HIST036401 History & Tradition Sector (all classes) Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
STSC 041-401 Cane and Able: Disability in America Beth Linker MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM Disability is a near universal experience, and yet it remains on the margins of most discussions concerning identity, politics, and popular culture. Using the latest works in historical scholarship, this seminar focuses on how disability has been experienced and defined in the past. We will explore various disabilities including those acquired at birth and those sustained by war, those visible to others and those that are invisible. For our purposes, disability will be treated as a cultural and historical phenomenon that has shaped American constructions of race, class, and gender, attitudes toward reproduction and immigration, ideals of technological progress, and notions of the natural and the normal. HSOC041401 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Freshman Seminar
For Freshmen Only
https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=STSC041401
STSC 048-401 Epidemics in History David S. Barnes MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM The twenty-first century has seen a proliferation of new pandemic threats, including SARS, MERS, Ebola, Zika, and most recently the novel coronavirus called COVID-19. Our responses to these diseases are conditioned by historical experience. From the Black Death to cholera to AIDS, epidemics have wrought profound demographic, social, political, and cultural change all over the world. Through a detailed analysis of selected historical outbreaks, this seminar examines the ways in which different societies in different eras have responded in times of crisis. The class also analyzes present-day pandemic preparedness policy and responses to health threats ranging from influenza to bioterrorism. HSOC048401 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Freshman Seminar
For Freshmen Only
STSC 082-401 Sport Science in World Andria B. Johnson TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM This seminar is designed for first-year students who are interested in some big questions related to the topic of "sport science." Sport science may seem to be just a niche field where teams of physiologists, psychologists, geneticists, engineers and others work to make already very athletic people go "faster, higher, stronger." On the other hand, the work of sport scientists intersects everyday with far-reaching questions about how categories of sex, age, race, disability, and nationality are defined, measured, challenged, or maintained. Sport scientists weigh in on debates over what kinds of physical activity or bodies are "clean," what kinds of performance are "natural" or even human, and what kinds of sporting spaces or equipment are fair. In this class we'll read and discuss historical and contemporary accounts of sport science in the world. My hope is that students will enter the class interested in sports and leave interested in sports and in gendered science, objectivity and standardization, the politics of big data and more. HSOC082401 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=STSC082401
STSC 123-301 Darwin's Legacy Mary Susan Lindee T 03:30 PM-06:30 PM Darwin's conceptions of evolution have become a central organizing principle of modern biology. This lecture course will explore the origins and emergence of his ideas, the scientific work they provoked, and their subsequent re-emergence into modern evolutionary theory. In order to understand the living world, students will have the opportunity to read and engage with various classic primary sources by Darwin, Mendel, and others. The course willconclude with guest lectures on evolutionary biology today, emphasizing currentissues, new methods, and recent discoveries. In short, this is a lecture course on the emergence of modern evolutionary biology--its central ideas, their historical development and their implications for the human future. Living World Sector (all classes)
STSC 168-001 Environment and Society Jason M Chernesky MW 10:15 AM-11:15 AM This course examines contemporary environmental issues such as energy, waste, pollution, health, population, biodiversity and climate through a historical and critical lens. All of these issues have important material, natural and technical aspects; they are also inextricably entangled with human history and culture. To understand the nature of this entanglement, the course will introduce key concepts and theoretical frameworks from science and technology studies and the environmental humanities and social sciences. Hum & Soc Sci Sector (new curriculum only) Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Humanities & Social Science Sector
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=STSC168001
STSC 178-301 Everyday Technologies Ian C. Petrie TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM Long before iPhones and Fitbits, personal technologies - small(ish), portable, purchasable - had a tremendous impact on the lives of people around the globe. Items such as wristwatches, bicycles, sewing machines, cars and radios could empower their users (or sometimes constrain them), creating economic, educational or recreational opportunities while also being associated with grander ideas and ideologies. This course will explore such everyday technologies across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in locations spanning the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. We will consider how the use and significance of particular technologies varied according to time and place; how these everyday items contributed to imperial and national identities and "self-fashioning" for individuals; and how, through use and modification, consumers themselves could become part of the story of technological change. In addition to reading a variety of classic and recent scholarship, students will work with a wide array of primary sources (newspapers, photographs, patent records, trade cards) and use digital tools to present their own research projects. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=STSC178301
STSC 212-401 Science Technology and War Kathryn N Dorsch MW 12:00 PM-01:00 PM In this survey we explore the relationships between technical knowledge and warin the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We attend particularly to the centrality of bodily injury in the history of war. Topics include changing interpretations of the machine gun as inhumane or acceptable; the cult of the battleship; banned weaponry; submarines and masculinity; industrialized war and total war; trench warfare and mental breakdown; the atomic bomb and Cold War; chemical warfare in Viet Nam; and "television war" in the 1990s. HSOC212401 Hum & Soc Sci Sector (new curriculum only) Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Humanities & Social Science Sector
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
STSC 219-301 Race, Sci, & Global Juan Sebastian Gil-Riano W 01:45 PM-04:45 PM Why do racist ideologies persist when a majority of scientists and scholars reject the premises they rely upon? Since the end of WWII, major scientific organizations like UNESCO and the American Anthropological Association have published statements rejecting race as an accurate representation of human biological variation. Yet despite widespread scientific opposition to the validity of race as an object of study, troublesome issues concerning race and racism abound in Western societies. If not an accurate description of human biology then what is race? And is racism an inevitable feature of human societies? This undergraduate course approaches fundamental questions about race and racism by examining how ideas about race developed in modern times. When did people begin to study human differences from a scientific perspective and to what end? How and why did scientists and other scholars attempt to make race a product of the natural world? And why did scientists eventually reject race as a valid scientific concept? By tracking scientific conceptions of race across time and space we will see that the creation and rejection of racial classifications was often a response to realignments in the global socioeconomic order including the European conquest of the Americas, the transatlantic slave trade, the two world wars, decolonization, and the rise of neoliberalism. Hum & Soc Sci Sector (new curriculum only) Humanities & Social Science Sector
STSC 263-301 Artificial Subjects: Artificial Subjects: Golems, Homunculi, Robots, and Cyborgs Elly Truitt T 05:15 PM-08:15 PM What is the difference between a cyborg and an automaton? How are golems and homunculi similar? Are the droids in "Star Wars" slaves? For at least three millennia, humans have been grappling with the idea of creating artificial people and animals. Exactly how life-like these creations are has never been constant, but neither have definitions and ideas about mimesis and life. How do artificial subjects enforce and expose the boundary between made and born? How are they used to configure or complicate notions of human subjectivity and autonomy? This course focuses on the relationship between the artificial and the natural, the representation of that relationship, and the various cultural meanings inscribed in the bodies of robots. Course materials will be drawn from literature, myth, religious texts, critical theory/STS, historiography, scientific treatises, images, and film/tv. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=STSC263301
STSC 266-301 Sci in the Mid East Bekir H Kucuk CANCELED This course provides a long-term overview of science, learning and naturalistic practices in the Middle East, broadly defined, from the eighth century to the present. The students may expect to read state-of-the-field analyses of some of the turning points and major debates, including the Graeco-Arabic translation movement, occultism, decline, colonization and modernity. The course is built on a mixture of primary and secondary sources. The students are expected to contribute to class discussion and to write a final research paper. Some knowledge of the history of the region is desirable, but not required.
STSC 270-301 Digital Democracy Kathryn N Dorsch TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM Technological infrastructure shapes what forms of political life are possible within a society. Political campaigns, investigative journalism, public engagement, protest, government - all unfold on different time scales, in different forms, and with different consequences depending on what machines mediate them. This course explores the forms of American political life that have taken shape in and through modern digital computing. We will investigate especially a perceived tension at the heart of computing technologies - from artificial intelligence to social media - as they have been introduced to so many corners of American political life: Are computing technologies agents of liberation, or of control? The internet, for example, was embraced by some as an inherently democratizing and liberating force, giving users equal access to voice and information. On the other hand, many feared the internet as an unprecedented platform for corporate and government surveillance and manipulation. This course will analyze and historicize this tension, looking to unpack the complex and controversial role of computers in American political life from the Cold War to @POTUS.
STSC 278-301 Prove It: Math & Certain Stephanie A Dick CANCELED Mathematical knowledge is often held up as our most reliable and certain knowledge. The truths of mathematics serve as exemplars of certainty that are not tied to any specific time and place. Yet, throughout history, mathematics has been understood and practiced in quite different ways, for quite different reasons, and by quite different people. Mathematical certainty has been shaped by different beliefs and practices. Mathematicians and their work have been shaped by rich interactions with different dimensions of social life from religion and politics to architecture and war. Mathematics is not simply surrounded by a society external to it, it is an integral and complex part of it. What concerns have motivated mathematical research through history? How has mathematics been put to work in different domains of culture? What does it mean to be a mathematician in different times and places? Does mathematical knowledge bear traces of the conditions in which it was produced? What counts as proof and to whom? How do we reconcile the changing character of mathematical research with the traditional understanding of mathematical knowledge as time and place independent? This course takes up these questions by looking to different worlds in which mathematics and mathematical certainty have taken shape.
STSC 279-301 Nature's Nation CANCELED The United States is "nature's nation." Blessed with an enormous, resource-rich geographically diverse and sparsely settled territory, Americans have long seen "nature" as central to their identity, prosperity, politics and power, and have transformed their natural environment accordingly. But what does it mean to be "nature's nation? This course describes and explores how American "nature" has changed over time. How and why has American nature changed over the last four centuries? What have Americans believed about the nation's nature, what have they known about the environment, how did they know it and how have they acted on beliefs and knowledge? What didn't or don't they know? How have political institutions, economic arrangements, social groups and cultural values shaped attitudes and policies? How have natural actors (such landscape features, weather events, plants, animals, microorganisms) played roles in national history? In addition to exploring the history of American nature, we will look for the nature in American history. Where is "nature" in some of the key events of American history that may not, on the surface, appear to be "environmental?"
STSC 331-401 Queer Science W 05:15 PM-08:15 PM This course gives students a background in the development of sex science, from evolutionary arguments that racialized sexual dimorphism to the contemporary technologies that claim to be able to get at bodily truths that are supposedly more real than identity. Then, it introduces several scholarly and political interventions that have attempted to short-circuit the idea that sex is stable and knowable by science, highlighting ways that queer and queering thinkers have challenged the stability of sexual categories. It concludes by asking how to put those interventions into practice when so much of the fight for queer rights, autonomy, and survival has been rooted in categorical recognition by the state, and by considering whether science can be made queer. Along the way, students will engage with the tools, methods, and theories of both STS and queer studies that emphasize the constructed and political underpinnings of scientific thought and practice. GSWS332401
STSC 347-301 Why Not Magic?: Magic, Esoterica, and the Occult in the History of Science Elly Truitt MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM What is magic? How (or why) does it differ from "science?" What is the difference between preparing a medical recipe under a full moon, using amulets to heal a physical malady, casting horoscopes, or summoning demons? Many types of knowledge considered practically and intellectually "valid" in other times and cultures - divination, alchemy, use of talismans, summoning the aid of non-corporeal entities - have since been dismissed as magic or superstition. Yet often the boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate knowledge is extremely porous and hotly contested. Who decided what constitutes magic, and how do those definitions change over historical periods? What can those definitions tell us about historical constructions of knowledge, as well as issues of class and gender? How is magic related to philosophy and science, and to an understanding of the physical and metaphysical worlds? This course examines these questions with a focus on practices and beliefs in pre-modern Christendom and Islamdom. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=STSC347301