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 Harun Kucuk MW 10:00 AM-11:00 AM 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 Crnic TR 10:30 AM-12:00 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 031-301 Addiction: Understanding How We Get Hooked and How We Recover James Robert Mckay WF 02:00 PM-03:30 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
HSOC 042-301 Snip and Tuck: A History of Surgery Beth Linker CANCELED Before the discovery of anesthesia in the nineteenth century, surgery was often a grizzly and horrific affair, inevitably involving extreme pain. Surgeons had a reputation as dirty, blood-thirsty "barbarians," and patients rarely sought out their services. But all of this changed during the twentieth century. Today surgery is one of the most prestigious medical specialties, and patients-especially those who long to look younger, thinner, and trimmer-voluntarily submit to multiple procedures. This course will investigate the cultural and scientific sources of these dramatic changes, with readings ranging from graphic descriptions of "bonesetting" and suturing during the Middle Ages to contemporary accounts of childbirth and plastic surgery in antisepctic hospitals and clinics. Course is available to Freshmen.
Freshman Seminar
HSOC 059-301 Medical Missionaries and Partners Kent D.W. Bream W 02:00 PM-05:00 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
HSOC 100-401 Introduction To Sociological Research Regina S. Baker MW 11:00 AM-12:00 PM One of the defining chnaracteristics of all the social sciences, including sociology, is a commitmenmt 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 projets utilizing different empirical methods, be able to evaluate the strenths 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 145-001 Comparative Medicine Projit Bihari Mukharji MW 11:00 AM-12:00 PM This course explores the medical consequences of the interaction between Europe and the "non- West." It focuses on three parts of the world Europeans colonized: Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. Today's healing practices in these regions grew out of the interaction between the medical traditions of the colonized and those of the European colonizers. We therefore explore the nature of the interactions. What was the history of therapeutic practices that originated in Africa or South Asia? How did European medical practices change in the colonies? What were the effects of colonial racial and gender hierarchies on medical practice? How did practitioners of "non-Western" medicine carve out places for themselves? How did they redefine ancient traditions? How did patients find their way among multiple therapeutic traditions? How does biomedicine take a different shape when it is practiced under conditions of poverty, or of inequalities in power? How do today's medical problems grow out of this history? This is a fascinating history of race and gender, of pathogens and conquerors, of science and the body. It tells about the historical and regional roots of today's problems in international medicine. History & Tradition Sector (all classes) Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
HSOC 150-401 American Health Policy Andria Johnson TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM "American Health Policy" places the success or failure of specific pieces of U.S. health care legislation into social and political context. The course covers the time period from the U.S. Civil War to the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), addressing two central questions: 1) Why was the United States one of the only industrialized nations to, until recently, have a private, non-nationalized, non-federalized health care system? 2) Why has U.S. health insurance historically been a benefit given through places of employment? Some topics addressed include: private health insurance, industrial health and workmen's compensation, the welfare state (in Europe, Canada, and the U.S.), maternal and infant care programs, Medicare and Medicaid. One of the main take-home messages of the course is that 20th-century U.S. health care policies both reflected and shaped American social relations based on race, class, gender, and age. This course is a combination lecture and "SAIL" class. SAIL stands for "Structured, Active, In-Class Learning." During many class periods, students will work in small groups on a specific exercise, followed by a large group discussion and/or brief lecture. Students who choose to take this course, therefore, must be fully committed to adequately preparing for class and to working collaboratively in class. (Note: the 2015 format will be somewhat different from the 2014 format). SOCI152401 Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
HSOC 152-401 Tech & Med in Mod Amer Andria Johnson T 03:00 PM-06:00 PM Medicine as it exists in contemporary America is profoundly technological; we regard it as perfectly normal to be examined with instruments, to expose our bodies to many different machines; and to have knowledge produced by those machines mechanically/electronically processed, interpreted and stored. We are billed technolgoically, prompted to attend appointments technologically, and often buy technologies to protect, diagnose, or improve our health: consider, for example, HEPA-filtering vacum cleaners; air-purifiers; fat-reducing grills; bathroom scales; blood pressure cuffs; pregancy testing kits; blood-sugar monitoring tests; and thermometers. Yet even at the beginning to the twentieth century, medical technolgies were scarce and infrequently used by physicians and medical consumers alike. Over the course of this semester, we will examine how technology came to medicine's center-stage, and what impact this change has had on medical practice, medical institutions and medical consumers - on all of us! STSC162401 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
HSOC 206-301 Doing Good? Humanitarian Ramah Mckay TR 10:30 AM-12:00 PM This course will explore the current context of health policy, health reform, and health service delivery in the developing world. After examining global economic and political context of health care, students will analyze the role that economic development plays in promoting or undermining health. Students will examine key disease challenges such as tuberculosis, malnutrition, and HIV/AIDS.
HSOC 212-401 Science Technology and War Jesse Smith MW 02:00 PM-03:00 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 230-301 Fundmtls of Epidemiology CANCELED This course introduces students to the basic tenets of epidemiology and how to quantitatively study health at the population level. Students learn about measures used to describe populations with respect to health outcomes and the inherent limitations in these measures and their underlying sources of data. Analytic methods used to test scientific questions about health outcomes in populations then are covered, again paying particular attention to the strength and weaknesses of the various approaches. Multiple large epidemiologic research and field studies are used as in-class exemplars.
HSOC 238-401 Introduction To Medical Anthropology Adriana Petryna MW 01:00 PM-02:00 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 262-301 Environments and Public Health Elaine Lafay TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM This course explores the relationship between local environmental conditions and health. Using historical case studies, we will consider a variety of questions: What factors (employment, pollution, local flora and fauna, racism, etc.) influence citizens' environment and health? How have insects, landscapes, and diseases shaped cultures or events in history? Was eighteenth-and nineteenth-century Philadelphia actually a good place to live? What was going on with all those basements and cobblestone streets in Old City? Would you rather work in a coal mine or a uranium mine? You will examine these issues through a mixture of readings, lectures, class discussion, short essays and a research project.
HSOC 275-401 Medical Sociology Jason Schnittker MWF 10:00 AM-11:00 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)
HSOC 334-301 Birth Culture & Med Tech Elizabeth R. Mackenzie W 05:00 PM-08:00 PM How we are born and give birth can vary more than most people realize. Until the rise of medical technology, women gave birth at home surrounded by other women. Now, the majority of Americans are born in hospitals, and a large percentage of those birth are the result of surgical interventions. This course will explore the medicalization of birth, as well as the movements dedicated to promoting home birth, natural birth, and midwifery. Many of the readings will examine birth from an unapologetically feminist and/or holistic perspective, and we will discuss the psychological, political, cultural and spiritual dimensions of birth practices. We will also consider the impact of increasingly sophisticated medical technology on conception and pregnancy, including in vitro fertilization, surrogate mothers, and extending the childbearing years well into late life. An important theme throughout will be the concept of "appropriate technology" -- which technologies are appropriate and who decides? Readings will be drawn from a number of sources, principally midwifery, nursing, and medical journals.
HSOC 348-301 Curr Issues Global Healt: Current Issues in Global Health Elaine Lafay TR 09:00 AM-10:30 AM This course examines current world events through the lens of public health. The course will focus on six key questions: 1) What does health infrastructure look like in different parts of the world, and how is it working or failing different groups of people? 2) What public health opportunities and challenges are created by the rise of megacities? 3) What unique public health challenges are created by modern-day proxy wars and refugee flows, and what is the role of health professionals in responding to human disasters? 4) How are fertility patterns and changes in life expectancy impacting different societies? 5) How is climate change altering the global health landscape? 6)What might the next global pandemic look like? We will discuss these questions in class using a mixture of scholarly and popular texts, and you will conduct and present your own secondary research into one of these topics.
HSOC 379-401 Animals in Sci Med Tech Ann Norton Greene TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM This course explores human-animal relationships: the wide range of these relationships, why they originated and how they have changed over time. How have humans classified, valued, utilized, consumed, behaved toward and understood animals? Where is the boundary between humans and other animals, and how do we know, since humans are also animals? How is that boundary been maintained and redefined? Are humans part of the animal "natural" world- or apart from it? How are humans similar to and different from other kinds of animals? How do we know about animals and what is it we know? To what extent are questions about animals really questions about humans? How has the meaning of animal changed over time? The course focuses in particular to the roles and relationships of animals within science and medicine, and as biotechnologies. STSC379401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2019C&course=HSOC379401
HSOC 382-301 Public Health & Violence Susan Sorenson MW 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This course will address two health concerns of long-standing controversy: the role of guns in population health and violence in relationships. We will adopt a healthy skepticism about the assumptions and ideologies that currently dominate formal and informal discourse about these topics. A life span perspective - guns from design through use, and abuse from childhood through late life - will be grounded in a public health injury prevention framework. As a function of this approach, we will examine key aspects of the social context in which guns and abuse exist and within which related policies are formulated. Students are encouraged to examine their perceptions about these issues so that they can become more effective members of a society that appears to maintain a deep ambivalence about guns and about violence in relationships. Permission Needed From Department
HSOC 438-301 Objects of Global Health Ramah Mckay TR 03:00 PM-04:30 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.
HSOC 448-301 Bodies Gender Sci & Med Jessica Martucci CANCELED Americans' ideas about gender and sex have changed dramatically since the 19th century-But what roles have science and medicine played in these changes? How have shifting biological, psychological, cultural and political ideas about femininity and masculinity shaped our experiences of health, illness, sex and reproduction? How have these ideas about gender and sexuality influenced the creation of, participation in, institutions, technologies and experiences of our modern healthcare system? Drawing from the history of science, medicine and technology as well as gender studies, bioethics and disability studies, students in this class will examine a wide array of topics that address these questions, exploring how deeply rooted historical, political and social forces have shaped the relationship between gender and medicine.
HSOC 452-301 Race & Med in America Meghan Crnic TR 01:30 PM-03:00 PM 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
HSOC 459-301 Defining Disability Judith R Kaplan R 01:30 PM-04:30 PM Live long enough, and you are almost certain to experience some kind of disability if you haven't already. What, then, does it mean to be 'disabled?' This capstone takes as its premise the idea that disability has meant different things to different stakeholders (e.g. activists, physicians, politicians, families, employers, artists, clergy, engineers) across cultures and over time. We will historicize and analyze these various definitions in order to better understand the complex socio-cultural construct of disability while simultaneously cultivating the research skills necessary for advanced work in the humanistic social sciences. Assignments will be scaffolded to help students write an original research paper of significant length by the end of the semester.
HSSC 505-301 Sem in H&Ss Adelheid Voskuhl R 01:30 PM-04:30 PM Seminar for first-year graduate students, undergraduate majors, and advanced undergraduates. Reading will introduce the student to current work concerning the effect of social context on science, technology, and medicine. Undergraduates Need Permission
HSSC 618-301 Cold War Science Mary Susan Lindee W 02:00 PM-05:00 PM
HSSC 665-301 Res Sem Hist Med Robert A. Aronowitz T 01:30 PM-04:30 PM This course is focused on comparing and contrasting ethnographic and historical approaches to health and medicine. We will engage ethnographic and historical approaches to health and medicine to explore the methodological, empirical, and theoretical stakes of thinking medicine, disease, and the body across and within disciplines. Taking a methodological and comparative approach, the course will explore ethnographic and historical approaches to such themes as the body, disease, pharmaceuticals, and biomedical knowledge-production in global and historical context. We aim to develop skills and knowledge for critically reading anthropological, historical, and sociological literatures on medicine, the body, and disease. As such, students will develop a research project, which may be in either the history or anthropology of medicine and/or science, or a project, which combines such approaches, utilizing the comparative and methodological frameworks of the course to develop an original analysis on a topic of their choosing.
STSC 001-401 Emergence of Modern Science Bekir Harun Kucuk MW 10:00 AM-11:00 AM 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 Crnic TR 10:30 AM-12:00 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. HIST036401, HSOC002401 History & Tradition Sector (all classes) Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
STSC 123-301 Darwin's Legacy Mary Susan Lindee TR 10:30 AM-12:00 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 162-401 Tech & Med in Mod Amer Andria Johnson T 03:00 PM-06:00 PM Medicine as it exists in contemporary America is profoundly technological; we regard it as perfectly normal to be examined with instruments, to expose our bodies to many different machines; and to have knowledge produced by those machines mechanically/electronically processed, interpreted and stored. We are billed technologically, prompted to attend appointments technologically, and often buy technologies to protect, diagnose, or improve our health: consider, for example, HEPA-filtering vacuum cleaners; air-purifiers; fat-reducing grills; bathroom scales; blood pressure cuffs; pregnancy testing kits; blood-sugar monitoring tests; and thermometers. Yet even at the beginning to the twentieth century, medical technologies were scarce and infrequently used by physicians and medical consumers alike. Over the course of this semester, we will examine how technology came to medicine's center-stage, and what impact this change has had on medical practice, medical institutions and medical consumers - on all of us! HSOC152401 Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
STSC 168-001 Environment and Society Jesse Smith MW 12:00 PM-01:00 PM 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)
STSC 178-301 Everyday Technologies Ian C. Petrie TR 03:00 PM-04:30 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. Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2019C&course=STSC178301
STSC 212-401 Science Technology and War Jesse Smith MW 02:00 PM-03:00 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 252-301 Data and Death Stephanie A. Dick W 02:00 PM-05:00 PM Digital tools and data-driven technologies increasingly permeate twenty-first century life. But how have they affected death? Do we conceive of death differently in a digitally mediated world? How do we mourn in the age of Facebook? How is "big data" put to work in the medical world that seeks to diagnose and treat fatal illness? What new forms of death and violence have been imagined or developed with digital technologies in hand? And what of those who believe that they could live forever, defying death, by uploading "themselves" into some new digital form? This course offers a historical exploration of these questions, looking at different intersections between data and death. We will work with a range of different sources ranging from science fiction to medical journals to the often-controversial death counts that follow natural and political disasters. Our goal will be to map the many contours of death in a digital world, but also to recognize the longer histories of counting, mourning, diagnosing, dreaming, and dying that have shaped them.
STSC 278-301 Prove It: Math & Certain Stephanie A. Dick TR 03:00 PM-04:30 PM 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 309-301 Rifle and Compass Bekir Harun Kucuk W 02:00 PM-05:00 PM This course looks at the scientific and technological aspects of warfare during what is often called the Military Revolution. The main focus will be navigation and gunpowder warfare. The first part of this course will focus on magnetism, military drilling, architecture, geography and physics. The second part of the course will turn to case studies: the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Ottoman-Austrian War of 1663-4 and the expansion of Russia in the early eighteenth century. Our goal generally is to interrogate the widespread belief that science and warfare are inextricably linked.
STSC 313-601 The Universe: Historical Inquiries in Physics, Philosophy &Religious Belief Jesse F Taylor
Daniel J.M. Cheely
M 06:00 PM-09:00 PM The National Science Foundation's decadal review states that "Today, astronomy expands knowledge and understanding, inspiring new generations to ask, How did the universe form and the stars first come into being? Is there life beyond Earth? What natural forces control our universal destiny? Because of the remarkable scientific progress in recent decades, in particular the explosion over the last decade of interest in and urgency to understand several key areas in astronomy and astrophysics, scientists are now poised to address these and many other equally profound questions in substantive ways. The opportunities for the future fill us with awe, enrich our culture, and frame our view of the human condition." Undergraduates today encounter some of the most profound discoveries about the physical universe -- discoveries of dark energy, quantum theory, exoplanets. These discoveries also prompt some of the most profound philosophical and theological questions. This course interrogates the astrophysical sciences and traditions of philosophy and religious belief in order to explore the universe, its nature, origins and destiny. It serves as an introductory course for undergraduates who are seeking a historical and philosophical context to scientific studies, especially in physics, and/or to develop their interdisciplinary skills of global thinking. This course does not attempt to resolve perennial questions about the universe, but rather to expose historical and scientific ways of reflecting on them.
STSC 329-301 C.S.I. Global Projit Bihari Mukharji MW 02:00 PM-03:30 PM Genetics may have transformed criminal detection, but it has built upon a long history of many different types of forensic science. The use of science in the pursuit of criminals has a long, complex and global history, involving diverse forms of knowledge and types of professionals. A range of skills and techniques ranging from trackers who followed traces in the mud to recover stolen cattle to criminal physiognomists who sought to read bodily signs of criminals, from Sherlock Holmes' analysis of types of cigar ash in Victorian Britain to Charles Hardless' chemical analysis of different types of ink in colonial India, have informed and influenced the development of our contemporary forensic modernity. This course will explore a range of different forensic techniques and their histories along with the rich cultural history, in the form of detective fiction and films from across the world.
STSC 363-301 Technology & Democracy Adelheid Voskuhl MW 02:00 PM-03:30 PM What is the relationship between technology and politics in global democracies? This course explores various forms of technology, its artifacts and experts in relation to government and political decision-making. Does technology "rule' or "run" society, or should it? How do democratic societies balance the need for specialized technological expertise with rule by elected representatives? Topics will include: industrial revolutions, factory production and consumer society, technological utopias, the Cold War, state policy, colonial and post-colonial rule, and engineers' political visions.
STSC 379-401 Animals in Sci Med Tech Ann Norton Greene TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM This course explores human-animal relationships: the wide range of these relationships, why they originated and how they have changed over time. How have humans classified, valued, utilized, consumed, behaved toward and understood animals? Where is the boundary between humans and other animals, and how do we know, since humans are also animals? How is that boundary been maintained and redefined? Are humans part of the animal "natural" world- or apart from it? How are humans similar to and different from other kinds of animals? How do we know about animals and what is it we know? To what extent are questions about animals really questions about humans? How has the meaning of animal changed over time? The course focuses in particular to the roles and relationships of animals within science and medicine, and as biotechnologies. HSOC379401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2019C&course=STSC379401