Title Instructor Location Time All taxonomy terms Description Section Description Cross Listings Fulfills Registration Notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Syllabus URL
HSOC 0490-401 Comparative Medicine Ian C Petrie COHN 402 TR 10:15 AM-11:14 AM 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. STSC0490401 History & Tradition Sector (all classes)
HSOC 0600-401 Technology & Society Charlotte A Abney Salomon COHN 402 TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM Technology plays an increasing role in our understandings of ourselves, our communities, and our societies, in how we think about politics and war, science and religion, work and play. Humans have made and used technologies, though, for thousands if not millions of years. In this course, we will use this history as a resource to understand how technolgoeis affect social relations, and coversely how the culture of a society shapes the technologies it produces. Do different technolgoeis produce or result from different economic systems like feudalism, capitalism and communism? Can specific technologies promote democratic or authoritarian politics? Do they suggest or enforce different patterns of race, class or gender relations? Among the technologies we'll consider will be large objects like cathedrals, bridges, and airplanes; small ones like guns, clocks and birth control pills; and networks like the electrical grid, the highway system and the internet. STSC0600401 Society sector (all classes)
HSOC 1312-401 Mental Illness Jason S Schnittker
Xiuqi Yang
COLL 200 MWF 10:15 AM-11:14 AM This course is designed to give a general overview of how sociologists study mental illness. We will be concerned with describing the contributions of sociological research and exploring how these contributions differ from those of psychology, psychiatry, and social work. This overview will be done in three parts: we will discuss (i) what "mental illness" is, (ii) precisely how many Americans are mentally ill, (iii) how social factors (e.g. race, gender, class) and social arrangements (e.g. social networks) lead to mental illness, and (iv) how we as a society respond to and treat the mentally ill. Throughout the course, we will be concerned with uncovering the assumptions behind different definitions of mental health and exploring their political, social, and legal implications. SOCI1111401
HSOC 1330-401 Bioethics Elizabeth Hallowell COHN 402 TR 8:30 AM-9:29 AM This course is intended to introduce students to the fundamental principles of bioethics and the many ethical issues that arise in the rapidly changing fields of biomedicine and the life sciences. The first half of the course will provide an overview of the standard philosophical principles of bioethics, using clinical case studies to help illustrate and work through these principles. In the second half of the course we will focus on recent biomedical topics that have engendered much public controversy including diagnostic genetics, reproductive technologies and prenatal screening, abortion, physician assisted suicide, human experiments, and end of life decision making. We will use the principles learned in the first half of the course to systematically think through these bioethical issues, many of which affect our everyday lives. SOCI2971401
HSOC 1362-401 Bacteria, Bodies, and Empires: Medicine and Healing in the Eastern Mediterranean (15th-21st c.) Secil Yilmaz TOWN 311 TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM Bacteria, Bodies, and Empires is a survey course about the history of medicine in the Eastern Mediterranean from early modern period to the present. It addresses the major issues and questions concerning bodies, diseases, and medical institutions within the context of major historical developments in the world and region’s history. The course looks at how medicine, knowledge, and practices about diseases and bodies changed political and social conditions, as well as how socio-political changes defined and transformed people's perceptions of health, life, and the environment. Scholars have frequently examined the history of medicine in Eastern Mediterranean societies, either in relation to Islamic culture in the early modern period or, more recently, in relation to Westernization and modernization. By situating the history of medical knowledge and practices in the Eastern Mediterranean within global history, this course seeks to challenge these fixed paradigms and shed light on questions and research agendas that will unearth the encounters, connections, and mobility of bacteria, bodies, and medical methods among various communities. HIST1365401 https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202310&c=HSOC1362401
HSOC 1401-001 The Peoples Health David S Barnes FAGN 118 MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM While the scary threats of the moment in recent years, Ebola, MERS, swine flu, bioterrorism dominate media coverage of public health, most human suffering anddeath are driven by more mundane causes. This course critically addresses twenty-first-century public health science and policy by examining the long history (beginning with the plague epidemics of Renaissance Italy) that brought us to where we are today. Topics include responses to epidemics; socioeconomic, racial, and other disparities in health; occupational health; the rise of public health as a field of scientific inquiry; sanitary reform; the Bacteriological Revolution; the shift from disease causes to risk factors; and the social determinants of health.
HSOC 2002-401 Sociological Research Methods Courtney E Boen LEVN AUD MW 1:45 PM-2:44 PM 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. SOCI2000401
HSOC 2202-401 Health of Populations Irma Elo MCNB 286-7 MW 3:30 PM-4:29 PM This course is designed to introduce students to the quantitative study of factors that influence the health of populations. Topics to be addressed include methods for characterizing levels of health in populations, comparative and historical perspectives on population health, health disparities, health policy issues and the effectiveness of interventions for enhancing the health of populations. These topics will be addressed both for developed and developing world populations. The course will focus on specific areas of health and some of the major issues and conclusions pertaining to those domains. Areas singled out for attention include chronic diseases and their major risk factors, such as smoking, physical activity, dietary factors and obesity. Throughout the course, the focus will be on determining the quality of evidence for health policy and understanding the manner in which it was generated. SOCI2220401 https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202310&c=HSOC2202401
HSOC 2254-301 American Medicine and Technology in War and Peace David J Caruso COHN 337 MW 12:00 PM-1:29 PM War and its effects on the human body are brutal; the carnage of the battlefield and the conditions of camp life have presented special challenges to medicine throughout history. Additionally, the incorporation of new technologies into the military sphere, whether or not they started as civilian technologies, fundamentally changed the ways in which war was conceptualized, fought, and won. But the significance of medicine and technology in a military context extends well beyond the injuries and illnesses of war. Looking more closely at the ways in which physicians, military officers, soldiers, and civilians have interacted with each other both in war and in peace reveals much about the political, cultural, and disciplinary formation of medicine in the modern era and the roles technology in such formations. Understanding historical uses of medicine and technologies sheds light upon notions of localized and globalized warfare, as well as the political machinations in which nations engaged to create ideologies of dominance, threat, and safety. This seminar surveys the history of medicine and technology, principally in an American context, from the seventeenth through the late twentieth centuries. We will look at the ways in which the practices, theories, and tools of military medicine have played, and continue to play, a prominent role in conceptualizations of warfare, health, disease, politics, disability, morality, society, the body, culture, and ethics. We will take an in-depth look at the ways in which militaries and medical institutions have shaped, and been shaped by, other social and political categories like gender, race, class, and ethics over the last four hundred years and across various (though mostly Western) societies, and the ramifications for both soldiers and civilians alike. Students will be graded on two short essay assignments, an exam, in-class participation, and a final paper (no longer than ten pages in length) based on material covered in the course."
HSOC 2293-301 From Madness to Mental Health: The History of Psychiatry Amy S Lutz COHN 392 TR 5:15 PM-6:44 PM Studies show that about a quarter of college students take psychotropic medications, such as anti-depressants and stimulants. This figure has been attacked from both sides – by those who describe American adolescents and young adults today as over-medicated, and by those who point to accessibility gaps to suggest that too many are actually undertreated. Interrogating this question requires a deep dive into the history of one of our most contested disciplines. We’ll briefly consider the ancient roots of mental illness to show that concerns about sanity and aberrant behavior have always been with us, but most of the syllabus will focus on the shifting landscape in the United States, as biological theories ceded to psychoanalysis and back again. Specific topics will include somatic therapies (like lobotomy and electroconvulsive therapy), pharmaceutical interventions, and institutionalization/deinstitutionalization. We’ll close by examining the current state of the field as represented by the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
HSOC 2304-401 Insect Epidemiology Pests, Pollinators and Disease Vectors Michael Z Levy COHN 337 TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM Malaria, Dengue, Chagas disease, the Plague- some of the most deadly and widespread infectious diseases are carried by insects. The insects are also pernicious pests; bed bugs have returned from obscurity to wreak havoc on communities, invasive species decimate agricultural production, and wood borers are threatening forests across the United States. At the same time declines among the insects on which we depend- the honeybees and other pollinators--threaten our food security and ultimately the political stability of the US and other nations. We will study the areas where the insects and humans cross paths, and explore how our interactions with insects can be cause, consequence or symptom of much broader issues. This is not an entomology course but will cover a lot about bugs. It's not a traditional epidemiology course but will cover some fascinating epidemiological theory originally developed for the control of disease vectors. It will cover past epidemics and infestations that have changed the course of the history of cities and reversed advancing armies. HSOC 241. Stem Cells, Science and Society. Gearhart/Zaret. STSC2304401
HSOC 2332-401 Just Futures Seminar II: Health and Healing in Abiayala (the Americas) Lucia Isabel Stavig MCNB 286-7 TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM Health and Healing in Abiayala (the Americas) will introduce students to ecosocial notions of health, colonialism’s contributions to ill-health, and decolonial action as healing action. Part one of the course introduces general concepts of body, health, and illness in biomedical models. It then pivots to the relational and ecosocial practices of body, health, and wellbeing among many First Peoples of the Abiayala, highlighting “radical relationality.” For many First Peoples, community includes humans, plants, animals, ancestors, and earth beings (such as the land, mountains, rivers, and lakes) that are materially, socially, and spiritually interdependent. These beings work together to maintain a “shared body” through practices of reciprocal care. Part two of the course examines how the shared body has been and is threatened by the colonization of Indigenous lands and bodies through (e.g.) land dispossession, pollution, extractive industry, lack of access to quality education and medical care, forced sterilization, forced removal of children, exploitative economic relations, and political violence. The third part of the course will follow how First Peoples of Abiayala are healing from the physical, social, and spiritual wounds of colonialism through decolonial action. First Peoples are creating their own healing centers and ecological protection agencies, engaging in Land Back movements, in legal and direct-action processes to protect the shared body from extractive industry, and reproductive justice movements. Healing is future oriented, powering the “radical resurgence” of First Peoples. Some questions addressed in this class include, where does the body begin and end? What constitutes personhood? How does continued colonization affected indigenous peoples’ health—and that of all peoples? How do indigenous peoples use ancestral knowledges, relation ethics, and local ecologies to help heal historic and contemporary wounds to power their futures? Is there a political dimension to healing? How do autonomy and self-determination figure into healing and wellbeing? ANTH2978401, GSWS2978401, LALS2978401 https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202310&c=HSOC2332401
HSOC 2382-601 Global Health: Anthropological Perspectives Michael B Joiner MUSE 328 W 5:15 PM-8:14 PM In some parts of the world spending on pharmaceuticals is astronomical. In others, people struggle for survival amid new and reemerging epidemics and have little or no access to basic or life-saving therapies. Treatments for infectious diseases that disproportionately affect the world's poor remain under-researched and global health disparities are increasing. This interdisciplinary seminar integrates perspectives from the social sciences and the biomedical sciences to explore 1) the development and global flows of medical technologies; 2) how the health of individuals and groups is affected by medical technologies, public policy, and the forces of globalization as each of these impacts local worlds. The seminar is structured to allow us to examine specific case material from around the world (Haiti, South Africa, Brazil, Russia, China, India, for example), and to address the ways in which social, political-economic, and technological factors -- which are increasingly global in nature -- influence basic biological mechanisms and disease outcomes and distribution. As we analyze each case and gain familiarity with ethnographic methods, we will ask how more effective interventions can be formulated. The course draws from historical and ethnographic accounts, medical journals, ethical analyses, and films, and familiarizes students with critical debates on globalization and with local responses to globalizing processes. ANTH2730601
HSOC 2511-301 Foundations of Public Health CANCELED Many factors have shaped, and continue to shape, population health and public health policy. This course covers the foundational knowledge of the science of public health and factors related to human health and wellness. Students will explore contemporary issues in the profession including the ongoing social and cultural reckoning with race and racism.
HSOC 2537-401 Gender and Health Beth Linker COHN 493 MW 10:15 AM-11:44 AM Women's health is a constant refrain of modern life, prompting impassioned debates that speak to the fundamental nature of our society. Women's bodies are the tableaux across which politicians, physicians, healthcare professional, activists, and women themselves dispute issues as wide-ranging as individual versus collective rights, the legitimacy of scientific and medical knowledge, the role of the government in healthcare, inequalities of care, and the value of experiential knowledge, among many others. Understanding the history of these questions is crucial for informed engagement with contemporary issues. GSWS2537401
HSOC 3185-401 Global Radiation History: Living in the Atomic Age 1945-Present Mary Susan Lindee VANP 302 TR 7:00 PM-8:29 PM In this seminar, students will engage with broad experiences of radiation risk since 1945, of Navajo uranium miners, scientists producing and testing nuclear weapons, physicians studying those exposed to radiation, Japanese survivors of the atomic bombings, and of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and others. We will read novels and poetry relating to the atomic bombings and other radiation incidents, consider the protracted and complex ethical debate about nuclear risk, meet with artists who have contributed to the public debate, participate in meetings with survivors and scientists, museum professionals, activists, and others, and work together to come to understand the impact of the atomic bombs, the rise of nuclear energy, and the continuing legacies of radiation exposure and risk today. This is a Penn Global Seminar that involves travel to Japan in May 2023. STSC3185401 Perm Needed From Department
HSOC 3210-301 Health in Philly, Past and Present Andria B Johnson COHN 493 TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM How have different neighborhood organizations, activist groups, and private and public institutions in Philadelphia tried to understand and address shared health problems? How have Philadelphia organizations, groups, and institutions promoted wellbeing? In this course, students will read about neighborhood- and community-based interventions into health in Philadelphia since the turn of the 20th century. We will start the term reading some of the foundational research of W.E.B. DuBois, who investigated health in South Philly and was the first American sociologist to identify structural racism as a cause of illness. We will then investigate the histories of various health-focused organizations in Philadelphia, which may include: Lutheran Settlement House (1900s-present), the International Institute of Philadelphia/Nationalities Service Center (1920s-present), public FQHCs (1960s-present), Yellow Seeds & the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Cooperation (1960s/1970s-present), the Black Women’s Health Alliance (1980s-present), Philadelphia Community Health Alternatives/the Mazzoni Center (1980s-present), JUNTOS/Puentes de Salud (2000s-present), Philly Thrive (2010s-present), and the Black Doctors COVID Consortium (2020s). When studying the origins of Philadelphia-based health organizations and interventions, students will ask and answer: How was “health” defined at the time and by whom? What were some important health concerns – and for whom -- that this group addressed, and how? What are some of the activities of this organization today? Students will practice historical and ethnographic research methods. Assignments will require students to 1) locate, analyze, and share primary sources that shed light on the history of these different organizations and 2) participate in a collaborative research project designed to answer a question relevant to health in Philadelphia today. Training in ethnographic interviewing methods will be provided.
HSOC 3326-401 Medicine and Healing in China Hsiao-Wen Cheng BENN 419 TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM This course explores Chinese medicine and healing culture, its diversity, and its change over time. We will discuss topics including the establishment of canonical medicine, Daoist approaches to healing and longevity, diverse views of the body and disease, the emergence of treatments for women, medical construction of sex difference and imagination of female sexuality, the thriving and decline of female healers, the identity of scholar physicians, the transmission of medical knowledge, domestic and cross-regional drug market, healer-patient relations, and new visions of traditional Chinese medicine in modern China. EALC3522401, EALC7522401 https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202310&c=HSOC3326401
HSOC 3447-401 The Future of Disability and the Afterlives of Epidemics Jessica Martucci COHN 203 T 1:45 PM-4:44 PM Medical framings of disease focus on "cure" narratives, but what does "getting better" really mean when examined from a patient perspective and how might epidemics challenge or reshape our relationships to concepts of health, illness, and disability? In this course, we will learn to examine stories of epidemics past and present through the lens of disability. In doing so, we will ask how epidemics in the past have shaped our ideas and experiences of disability, muddied our binary thinking about illness and wellness, and challenged the beliefs, epistemologies, and institutions that drive our approaches to caring for the body, the mind, and the spirit. Through an exploration of primary and secondary source readings, we will interrogate how these eras of crisis, and their aftermaths, have historically influenced the ways we think about and experience disability and its relationship to identity, family, culture, religion, society, and citizenship in the days, weeks, months, years, and decades that follow in their wake. Ultimately, we will draw upon the insights of the past to develop better questions about present epidemics, including COVID-19, Monkeypox, as well as the re-emergence of "old" epidemic diseases like measles and polio in order to think in novel and critical ways about how our ideas about wellness, disability, and society both shape and are shaped by our encounters with contagious epidemic diseases. GSWS3448401
HSOC 4028-301 Stories, Science, and Medicine Sara E Ray COHN 493 T 5:15 PM-8:14 PM Since COVID-19 shut down the world in 2020, we have been surrounded by stories about health, medicine, and disease that cut across every aspect of our lives. This seminar explores the relationship between scientific knowledge and narrative: how do we tell stories about science and medicine? How is medical knowledge made culturally meaningful? How can thinking about storytelling as a craft make us better at communicating complex ideas about public health, medical knowledge, and their myriad social dimensions? People enjoy stories about science and medicine whether consumed as a podcast, magazine article, novel, Netflix special, or public talk – however, the popularity and the real-world urgency of this content endows the storyteller with great responsibility. This seminar takes the “story” in history seriously and uses methods from the history of medicine to help students produce compelling, contextually nuanced stories about medicine and culture, health and society. We will learn from sources including science fiction, pandemic journalism, historical scholarship, and popular science media when comparing and contrasting how medical subjects are translated into a story for particular audiences and mediums.
HSOC 4114-401 Sports Science Medicine Technology Andria B Johnson COHN 493 TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM Why did Lance Armstrong get caught? Why do Kenyans win marathons? Does Gatorade really work? In this course, we won't answer these questions ourselves but will rely upon the methods of history, sociology, and anthropology to explore the world of the sport scientists who do. Sport scientists produce knowledge about how human bodies work and the intricacies of human performance. They bring elite (world-class) athletes to their laboratories-or their labs to the athletes. Through readings, discussions, and original research, we will find out how these scientists determine the boundary between "natural" and "performance-enhanced," work to conquer the problem of fatigue, and establish the limits and potential of human beings. Course themes include: technology in science and sport, the lab vs. the field, genetics and race, the politics of the body, and doping. Course goals include: 1) reading scientific and medical texts critically, and assessing their social, cultural, and political origins and ramifications; 2) pursuing an in-depth The course fulfills the Capstone requirement for the HSOC/STSC majors. Semester-long research projects will focus on "un-black-boxing" the metrics sport scientists and physicians use to categorize athletes' bodies as "normal" or "abnormal." For example, you may investigate the test(s) used to define whether an athlete is male or female, establish whether an athlete's blood is "too" oxygenated, or assess whether an athlete is "too" fast (false start). Requirements therefore include: weekly readings and participation in online and in-class discussions; sequenced research assignments; peer review; and a final 20+page original research paper and presentation. STSC4114401
HSOC 4242-401 The History & Future of Genetic Medicine Rebecca Mueller COHN 337 W 5:15 PM-8:14 PM Nearly twenty years after the Human Genome Project was completed, genetic research continues to garner attention and resources. From news coverage to governmental initiatives and commercial investment, genetics is a force in medicine, industry, and society more generally. Using scholarship from diverse disciplines, this capstone seminar focuses on how genetic medicine came into existence. We will explore the field’s early history in eugenics and its transformation via technological advancements like prenatal testing and targeted therapies. Through case studies of select genetic conditions, we will examine scientific innovations alongside the lived experience of those advancements, broaching critical questions about disability, race, and inequality. This will provide students with the opportunity to debate historical changes and continuities, taking on some of the most vexing questions in bioethics. STSC4242401
HSOC 4324-301 Medical Activism and the Politics of Health David S Barnes VANP 402 TR 1:45 PM-3:14 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 4392-301 Centering the Impaired Mind: Topics in Intellectual and Developmental Disability Amy S Lutz CANCELED Much disability scholarship has focused on physical and sensory disabilities, which better fit the “social model” that locates disability in a mismatch between individuals and their environments. But what about intellectual and developmental disabilities and the cognitive impairments that often, but not always, accompany them? This class will look at some of the more prevalent intellectual and developmental disabilities, including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and autism, which has been called “the paradigmatic developmental disability…of the postmodern period.” We will consider how the meaning of these diagnoses – and sometimes the diagnoses themselves – have changed over time, as well as the roles diverse stakeholders, including affected individuals, their families, and physicians, have played and continue to play in these conversations. More broadly, intellectual and developmental disabilities provide a unique lens through which we will interrogate questions of representation, identity, personhood, citizenship, and care. Because this course fulfills the Capstone requirement for HSOC/STSC majors, developing the skills necessary to write an original research paper will be a primary focus – including articulating an argument and supporting it with compelling evidence drawn from both primary and secondary sources in history, sociology, and anthropology. Perm Needed From Department
HSOC 4400-301 Research Seminar Health and Society Amy S Lutz WILL 438 T 1:45 PM-4:44 PM This course is designed to provide HSOC students with the tools necessary to undertake original research, guiding them through the research and writing process. Students will produce either a polished proposal for a senior thesis project, or, if there is room inthe course, a completed research paper by the end of term. Students work individually, in small groups and under the close supervision of a faculty member to establish feasible research topics, develop effective research and writing strategies, analyze primary and secondary sources, and provide critiques of classmates'drafts. Students must apply for this couse by December 1. Perm Needed From Department
HSSC 5008-301 Current Issues in Science & Technology Studies Bekir H Kucuk GLAB 103 T 1:45 PM-4:44 PM A graduate-level reading seminar in STS, this course will survey major themes and readings as well as recent work in STS.
HSSC 5431-401 Visualizing Science Nicholas Herman
Elly Truitt
VANP 625 W 12:00 PM-2:59 PM This seminar focuses on the intersection of visuality and natural knowledge in the pre-modern world. It is open to graduate students and undergraduate students with permission of the instructor. ARTH5431401
HSSC 5640-301 History of Technology Adelheid Clara Voskuhl COHN 337 R 3:30 PM-6:29 PM In this course we read influential classic and recent works in the history and the philosophy of technology, tackling the ways in which the fields are analytically structured as well as their relation to each other. We also discuss approaches and methodological questions in general history and general philosophy. We start with Karl Marx, arguably the most influential historian and philosopher of technology of the modern era, and discuss him in relation to what has been one of the most visible debates in the historiography of technology - the question of technological determinism. We then travel in a roughly chronological order through key periods and methodological issues in the fields. During our journey we encounter the Middle Ages and historical theoreticians of the Annales School, the early modern period and questions about gender and microhistory, and the so-called Industrial Revolution and the questions it raises about what's modern about modern technology. Mid- way through the class, we discuss two classics in the philosophy of technology, Martin Heidegger and Ju?rgen Habermas, who grapple precisely with the question about the modern element in industrial technology. As we enter the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, we expand our methodological horizon to include examples from the cultural history of technology and applications of the social constructivism debate to the history of technology. We end the class with works on the recently emerging fields of biotechnology and nanotechnology and with a set of monographs written in the nascent sub-discipline in the history and philosophy of technology, engineering studies.
STSC 0490-401 Comparative Medicine Ian C Petrie COHN 402 TR 10:15 AM-11:14 AM 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. HSOC0490401 History & Tradition Sector (all classes)
STSC 0600-401 Technology & Society Charlotte A Abney Salomon COHN 402 TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM Technology plays an increasing role in our understandings of ourselves, our communities, and our societies, in how we think about politics and war, science and religion, work and play. Humans have made and used technologies, though, for thousands if not millions of years. In this course, we will use this history as a resource to understand how technolgoeis affect social relations, and coversely how the culture of a society shapes the technologies it produces. Do different technolgoeis produce or result from different economic systems like feudalism, capitalism and communism? Can specific technologies promote democratic or authoritarian politics? Do they suggest or enforce different patterns of race, class or gender relations? Among the technologies we'll consider will be large objects like cathedrals, bridges, and airplanes; small ones like guns, clocks and birth control pills; and networks like the electrical grid, the highway system and the internet. HSOC0600401 Society sector (all classes)
STSC 1101-401 Science and Literature Kathryn N Dorsch COHN 203 MW 5:15 PM-6:44 PM Science fiction has become the mythology of modern technological civilization, providing vivid means for imagining (and proclaiming) the shape of things to come. This interdisciplinary seminar will consider SF in multiple manifestations -- literature, film and TV shows, visual art and architecture. We will debate how the genre has shaped ideas about scientific knowledge, the position of humans in the universe, and our possible futures by examining themes including time travel, robots and androids, alien encounters, extraterrestrial journeys, and the nature of intelligent life. This seminar will consider SF from the perspective of the history of science and technology: critically and comparatively, with a primary focus on social and cultural contexts in addition to literary aspects. ENGL1509401 Arts & Letters Sector (all classes)
STSC 1151-401 Modern Biology and Social Implications John Ceccatti COHN 337 TR 7:00 PM-8:29 PM This course covers the history of biology in the 19th and 20th centuries, giving equal consideration to three dominant themes: evolutionary biology, classical genetics, and molecular biology. The course is intended for students with some background in the history of science as well as in biology, although no specific knowledge of either subject in required. We will have three main goals: first, to delineate the content of the leading biological theories and experimental practices of the past two centuries; second, to situate these theories and practices in their historical context, noting the complex interplay between them and the dominant social, political, and economic trends; and, third, to critically evaluate various methodological approaches to the history of science. HIST0877401 Nat Sci & Math Sector (new curriculum only)
STSC 2018-301 Science in the Public Jesse B Smith DRLB 4E9 R 1:45 PM-4:44 PM How, where, and when does the public encounter knowledge generated by others? And what are the stakes of those encounters for knowledge and the public? This course examines the sites, methods, and media through which knowledge of the world (scientific and otherwise) is preserved, interpreted, and communicated to non-specialist audiences. We will consider what forms of knowledge are chosen for public dissemination, the expressive and affective dimensions of these encounters, and the ways in which cultures of public knowledge have changed over time. Possible topics include science journalism, nature films, World’s Fairs, museums, parks, and historic sites. The course will also offer students the opportunity to develop skills and experience in the creation of a public-facing interpretive project.
STSC 2296-301 Technologies of Self and Society Juan Sebastian Gil-Riano COHN 237 TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM As European empires expanded in the late eighteenth century, "social science" began to emerge in the lexicons of Western societies. Since these early beginnings in European imperialism, the social sciences have sought to represent, alter, and govern human existence while struggling to define "society" as something separate from "nature". This class examines how questions concerning the proper management of self and society are central to the ambitions and dilemmas of modern social sciences. We begin by tracing the origins of social science in late-eighteenth century thought and their professionalization in the nineteenth century. Continuing through to the twentieth century, we will observe how core social science disciplines like sociology, anthropology, and psychology attempted - in the name of anti-racism - to carve out distinct niches in opposition to biology and genetics. The course also examines the dramatic growth of the social sciences during the cold war period thanks to military funds. Our examination of cold war social science will focus on how social scientists began carving up the world into different "areas" of study and how they became increasingly oriented towards re-making individual psyches and societies in the "third world" to fit the image of an industrialized "West". The course will conclude by examining calls from indigenous scholars and scholars in the global South to decolonize social science. https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202310&c=STSC2296301
STSC 2304-401 Insect Epidemiology Pests, Pollinators and Disease Vectors Michael Z Levy COHN 337 TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM Malaria, Dengue, Chagas disease, the Plague- some of the most deadly and widespread infectious diseases are carried by insects. The insects are also pernicious pests; bed bugs have returned from obscurity to wreak havoc on communities, invasive species decimate agricultural production, and wood borers are threatening forests across the United States. At the same time declines among the insects on which we depend- the honeybees and other pollinators--threaten our food security and ultimately the political stability of the US and other nations. We will study the areas where the insects and humans cross paths, and explore how our interactions with insects can be cause, consequence or symptom of much broader issues. This is not an entomology course but will cover a lot about bugs. It's not a traditional epidemiology course but will cover some fascinating epidemiological theory originally developed for the control of disease vectors. It will cover past epidemics and infestations that have changed the course of the history of cities and reversed advancing armies. HSOC 241. Stem Cells, Science and Society. Gearhart/Zaret. HSOC2304401
STSC 3036-401 Space/Power/Species Richard Fadok VANP 113 W 10:15 AM-1:14 PM Cities today house more urban wildlife than in any other period across the past two centuries. As climate change, wanton development, and other forces of habitat loss drive animals toward human territories, an ethical dilemma arises: How should we live in multispecies communities? To answer this question, this interdisciplinary seminar will read social theories of space through the lens of human-animal relations. Yoking anthropology, geography, history, and philosophy with design theory and method, we will critically examine how the built environment mediates the lives we share with nonhuman animals, from bees and fleas to bats and rats. We will survey multiple architectural forms (homes, farms, laboratories, and zoos) from cities across the world (London, New Delhi, Dar es Salaam, and Moscow) to understand how the human manipulation of space reflects and reproduces systems of power over animals. Scholarly texts will inform our exploration, as will the analysis of literature, art, and film. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to conduct a semester-long ethnographic study of an architectural site of their choosing that will culminate in a speculative design exhibition on an animal-inclusive city. By asking how space is made for humans, we will imagine the constitution of more just futures. ANTH3036401, ANTH5036401, DSGN3036401, DSGN5036401 https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202310&c=STSC3036401
STSC 3088-401 Science, Labor and Capital Bekir H Kucuk COHN 337 M 8:30 AM-11:29 AM This course looks at the intertwined history of science, labor and capital since the fifteenth century. Starting with the surge of patents for labor-saving devices in fifteenth century Italy and coming all the way down to the contemporary neoliberal university, the culture of science and the cultures of labor and capital have always remained in intense conversation. The first half of the course will focus on the early relations between science, labor and capital. We will discuss patterns of employment for scientists, the relationship between manual work and intellectual work, the scientific aspects of commercial capitalism as well as the debates on the transition to capitalism. The second half of the course will focus on the period from the nineteenth century to the present. We will talk about colonialism and science, the social ascendance of the scientist in relation to the technician, as well as the political economy of contemporary science and of the contemporary university. This is a seminar course and will require regular participation. Some knowledge of the existing literature on capitalism, especially the writings of Ellen Wood and E.P Thompson, are recommended but not required. HIST0878401
STSC 3136-402 Queer Science Beans Velocci BENN 344 T 5:15 PM-8:14 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. GSWS3136402
STSC 3185-401 Global Radiation History: Living in the Atomic Age 1945-Present Mary Susan Lindee VANP 302 TR 7:00 PM-8:29 PM In this seminar, students will engage with broad experiences of radiation risk since 1945, of Navajo uranium miners, scientists producing and testing nuclear weapons, physicians studying those exposed to radiation, Japanese survivors of the atomic bombings, and of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and others. We will read novels and poetry relating to the atomic bombings and other radiation incidents, consider the protracted and complex ethical debate about nuclear risk, meet with artists who have contributed to the public debate, participate in meetings with survivors and scientists, museum professionals, activists, and others, and work together to come to understand the impact of the atomic bombs, the rise of nuclear energy, and the continuing legacies of radiation exposure and risk today. This is a Penn Global Seminar that involves travel to Japan in May 2023. HSOC3185401 Perm Needed From Department
STSC 4000-301 Capstone Research Seminar in Science, Technology and Society Beans Velocci COHN 237 TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM This is the capstone research seminar for STSC majors. It is designed to provide the scholarly tools necessary to undertake original research in the field of Science and Technology Studies. All students in the course will produce a research paper by the end of the term; those intending to write an honors thesis (who must take the course in the spring of their junior year) will also complete a proposal for further research. Each student will work on a specific topic of their own choosing, while also learning about general methods of historical and social scientific research and reading key texts in Science and Technology Studies.
STSC 4114-401 Sports Science Medicine Technology Andria B Johnson COHN 493 TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM Why did Lance Armstrong get caught? Why do Kenyans win marathons? Does Gatorade really work? In this course, we won't answer these questions ourselves but will rely upon the methods of history, sociology, and anthropology to explore the world of the sport scientists who do. Sport scientists produce knowledge about how human bodies work and the intricacies of human performance. They bring elite (world-class) athletes to their laboratories-or their labs to the athletes. Through readings, discussions, and original research, we will find out how these scientists determine the boundary between "natural" and "performance-enhanced," work to conquer the problem of fatigue, and establish the limits and potential of human beings. Course themes include: technology in science and sport, the lab vs. the field, genetics and race, the politics of the body, and doping. Course goals include: 1) reading scientific and medical texts critically, and assessing their social, cultural, and political origins and ramifications; 2) pursuing an in-depth The course fulfills the Capstone requirement for the HSOC/STSC majors. Semester-long research projects will focus on "un-black-boxing" the metrics sport scientists and physicians use to categorize athletes' bodies as "normal" or "abnormal." For example, you may investigate the test(s) used to define whether an athlete is male or female, establish whether an athlete's blood is "too" oxygenated, or assess whether an athlete is "too" fast (false start). Requirements therefore include: weekly readings and participation in online and in-class discussions; sequenced research assignments; peer review; and a final 20+page original research paper and presentation. HSOC4114401
STSC 4242-401 The History & Future of Genetic Medicine Rebecca Mueller COHN 337 W 5:15 PM-8:14 PM Nearly twenty years after the Human Genome Project was completed, genetic research continues to garner attention and resources. From news coverage to governmental initiatives and commercial investment, genetics is a force in medicine, industry, and society more generally. Using scholarship from diverse disciplines, this capstone seminar focuses on how genetic medicine came into existence. We will explore the field’s early history in eugenics and its transformation via technological advancements like prenatal testing and targeted therapies. Through case studies of select genetic conditions, we will examine scientific innovations alongside the lived experience of those advancements, broaching critical questions about disability, race, and inequality. This will provide students with the opportunity to debate historical changes and continuities, taking on some of the most vexing questions in bioethics. HSOC4242401