Honors Courses 2012 - 2013


Fall Semester

Department: Anthropology
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Jennifer Burrell
Course: Human Rights and Wrongs: Anthropological Perspectives (TANT 141)

Description: This course is designed to provide an overview of human rights and anthropology from theoretical and historical points of view and from the vantage point of engagement and practice.  Using a critical approach, we will move away from the notion of a set category or monolithic legal structure toward an understanding of a flexible and elastic set of conceptual frameworks used to accomplish transitions, make claims and gain access to resources.  In doing so, we will consider the increasing transnationalization of rights discourse and the growing terrain in which claims, legal and otherwise, are made through it. A series of international and national case studies will be examined.

General Education: Global & Cross-cultural; Social Science

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department:
Anthropology
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: John Justeson
Course: Lost Languages and Ancient Scripts (TANT 124Z)

Description: This course traces the origin and evolution of writing systems from their earliest precursors to the modern world. It is organized around a series of puzzles that guide participants through the processes of discovery and decipherment that led to our current understanding of writing systems. About half of the course is devoted to small-group workshops in which participants get hands-on experience working together on problems in decipherment. The broader goal of the course is learn how to do problem solving generally, using specific procedures and ways of thinking that can be applied in any discipline.

General Education: Writing Intensive; Humanities; Social Science

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department: Biological Sciences
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Richard Zitomer
Course: Genomics and Biotechnology (TBIO 176) 

Description: The sequencing of the genomes of a large number of organisms, from bacteria to human, has provided enormous insights into a wide range of human endeavors.  Almost no aspect of human knowledge has been untouched by the information being compiled. The information gathered has also driven the development of new technologies designed to explore and exploit the information gathered. The goal of this course will be to familiarize students with the nature of the information that can be gathered from genomics and the benefits derived from the new biotechnologies. Also, simple research problems will be assigned to introduce students to the web based resources and programs used to analyze genomic data.

General Education: Natural Science

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department: Chemistry
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Priyantha Sugathapala
Course: Advanced General Chemistry I (TCHM 130)

Description: Energy, enthalpy, thermochemistry, quantum mechanics and atomic theory, general concepts of bonding, covalent bonding and orbitals, gases, liquids, and solids. Only one of A CHM 120 and A CHM 130H may be taken for credit.

Prerequisites: One year of high school chemistry; having taken AP chemistry in high school will be helpful, but is not required.

General Education: Natural Science

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department: English
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Richard Barney
Course: The Cinema of Monstrosities (TENG 243)

Description: This course will be an introduction to the study of cinema by focusing on the theme of monstrosity—those things, or human beings, that are radically excessive, whether in terms of physical dimensions, moral proclivity, social deviance, or political impact. From its inception, cinema has been powerfully mesmerized by the spectacle of the monstrous, while often exploring the peculiar dynamic by which extraordinary human behavior can verge on the nonhuman, and vice versa. In this context, monstrosity will range from the embodiment of scientific folly, such as Frankenstein’s creation in James Whale’s famed 1935 movie, to the viciously criminal, such as Fritz Lang’s serial killer in M, to Michael Powell’s notoriously deranged voyeur in Peeping Tom or Martin Scorsese’s unbalanced boxer in Raging Bull. This course will introduce students to a brief history of how film has treated the idea of the monstrous, as well as provide them with the visual and critical vocabulary by which to analyze that phenomenon. It will also provide an international perspective on the topic by examining films by European, American, Canadian, and Korean directors.

General Education: None

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department: English
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Langdon Brown
Course: Contemporary Authors (TENG 226W)

Description: Readings for this course will be drawn from the New York State Writers Institute Visiting Writers Program. They will cover a range of contemporary authors engaging their world in a variety of modes and styles. In the past these have included novels, short stories, poetry, journalism, history, philosophy, science and mathematics, among others. Past Visiting Writers range from Nobel Prize scientists to Pulitzer Prize novelists. In addition to engaging in close reading of the work and background study of modes of contemporary writing, students will attend afternoon seminars with the writers they are reading, allowing them direct interaction with the authors. They will have the opportunity to attempt writing about similar subjects using techniques and approaches revealed by studying the Visiting Writers.

General Education: Humanities; Writing Intensive; Oral Discourse

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Finance
College/School: School of Business
Instructor: Rita Biswas
Course: Global Business (TFIN 200)

Description: This interdisciplinary business course will introduce students to today’s global business environment with special emphasis on globalization of markets and globalization of production. It will first explore the phenomenon of globalization and its main drivers.  It will then cover the national differences in political economy, in cultures and in ethics. Next, it will look at recent geopolitical and economic events around the world and how they relate to globalization. Finally, the course will examine the impact of globalization on businesses while looking at international trade, global marketing and global human resources management at a broad level. Students will automatically be exposed to various world-wide institutions and their respective roles: the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and its auxiliary organizations, etc.

General Education: None

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Geography and Planning
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Youqin Huang
Course: Global Population Debates (TGOG 244Y)    

Description: The goal of this course is to help students develop a demographic perspective to facilitate students’ understanding of the world.   The course introduces main concepts and theories in population studies, offers an overview of world population pattern and regional variations, examines population processes and structure, and explores contemporary issues and problems related to population.  Through case studies and debates, the course analyzes diverse demographic perspectives in conceptualizing population problems and recommending population policies, and offers a set of tools (terminologies, methodologies and theories) to analyze population and related events. 

General Education: Oral Discourse; Global & Cross-cultural

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: History
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Susan Gauss
Course: World in the Twentieth Century (THIS 158Z) 

Description: This course seeks to examine important political, economic, cultural, and intellectual developments in world history in the twentieth century.  The unifying theme of the course will be its focus on moments of contact and exchange between different regions of the world.  We will analyze how the movement of people, ideas, militaries, commodities, disease, culture, and religion has contributed to increasing interdependence between world regions, including Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.  While we will look at globalization as a process of worldwide integration, we will also consider how this process has in turn fostered new forms of conflict.  By looking at local worlds within the context of global shifts, we will analyze how recent historical changes have fueled integration, for example around concepts of modernity or western values, alongside the continuation of cultural diversity and local differences.

General Education: Global & Cross-cultural; Writing Intensive

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Pedro Caban
Course: Race and the American Empire (TLCS 255/ TPOS 255)

Description: This course will explore the relationship between racism and the formation of the American empire from approximately 1776 through the end of the Progressive Era. By the early 20th century the United States emerged as a world power after a relentless process of continental and overseas territorial expansion. The young nation employed an ideology of racial superiority and predestination to justify its expropriation of the land and natural resources of other peoples and nations, to capture a continuous supply of labor, and to acquire new export. Theories of Manifest Destiny, white man’s burden, social Darwinism, and religious doctrines were some of the narratives central to an ideology of racial supremacy in service of empire.

General Education: US Diversity & Pluralism; Social Science

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department: Marketing
College/School: School of Business
Instructor: Suraj Commuri 
Course: Introduction to Social Media Marketing (TMKT 200)

Description: Social media is now widely embraced around the world across several domains, be it social development, medicine, or business.  The pace at which it is evolving has left more questions than answers.  The purpose of this course is to build  a disciplined approach to understanding and harnessing social media so you can find some of the answers.  The course will adopt a workbench approach--you will be working on and experimenting with various marketin gquestions where a social media strategy may be the solution.  As this is an emerging topic, you will be required to keep up with the latest trends and news in social media marketing.  Given that creativity, and not necessarily a big budget, appears to be vital to win this game, you are likely to succeed at this workbench if you are willing to experiment with untested ideas.

General Education: None

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Mathematics & Statistics
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Steven Plotnick
Course: Honors Calculus II (TMAT 119)

Description: Honors version of second-semester calculus. Same topics as A MAT 113, but topics are covered in greater depth. Students with a strong interest in mathematics or the physical sciences should consider taking T MAT 119 instead of A MAT 113. T MAT 119 substitutes for A MAT 113 toward the prerequisite in any course. Only one of A MAT 113 & T MAT 119 may be taken for credit.

Prerequisites: A grade of A in A MAT 112, a grade of A in a high-school AP calculus course, or permission of the instructor.

General Education: None

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department: Philosophy
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Rachel Cohon
Course: Introduction to Ethical Theory (TPHI 212Y)

Description: We are surrounded by, and live our lives within, organizations: schools, businesses, religious groups, government, voluntary associations, prisons, hospitals.  We may relate to them as students, as employees, as members, as customers, as opponents, or as clients.  Often, we hardly notice the ways our lives are entangled with them.  Yet our interactions with organizations are constant.  This course aims to give you a set of tools for understanding the organizations that surround you.  During the course of the semester we will look at organizations through three lenses: 1) as rational, efficient ways of organizing complex human activities, 2) as political, not just rational—full of individuals and groups seeking power, creating alliances, and pursuing their interests, and 3) as a cultural arena that shapes our behavior by creating norms, feelings of belonging, and a sense of how we should and shouldn’t behave.  We will examine a variety of organizations through these lenses, from restaurants to universities to the military and beyond.  The class will be discussion-oriented and focus on how to apply different theories of organizational behavior to everyday life.  The writing component will emphasize learning to make a persuasive argument, with a well-formulated thesis, strong supporting evidence, and clear and concise language. 

General Education: Oral Discourse; Humanities

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Political Science
College/School: Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
Instructor: Victor Asal
Course: Comparative Ethnicity   (TPOS 261Y)

Description: This class will explore the issue of Ethnicity and Ethnic Conflicts through an investigation of 1) the theories that are used to explain the phenomena, 2) an in-depth use of case studies, 3) the use of simulations and 4) research on the topic both as a class and as individual students. Several of the simulations used will be online and the class research will examine amongst other things the use of the web for ethnic mobilization.

General Education: Global & Cross-cultural; Social Science; Oral Discourse

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Physics
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: William Lanford
Course: Honors Physics I: Mechanics (TPHY 141)

Description: Course content will follow APHY 140. However, topics will be covered in more depth and at a more advanced level. Students with a strong interest in physical sciences should consider taking TPHY 141 instead of APHY 140. Only one of APHY 140 or TPHY 141 may be taken for credit.

Prerequisite (or taking one of these courses concurrently): A college calculus course or an AP calculus course.

General Education: Natural Science

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department: Psychology
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Robert Rosellini
Course: Advanced Introduction to Psychology (TPSY 102)

Description: The course explores in greater detail than in A PSY 101 the basic methods and points of view in the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include biological bases of behavior, personality organization, intelligence, motivation, emotions, learning, and social relations. This course is intended for students who have more than average interest in psychology and who are considering becoming psychology majors. Only one of A Psy 101 or 102 may be taken for credit.

General Education: Social Science

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Social Welfare
College/School: Department of Social Welfare
Instructor: Blanca M. Ramos
Course: Multiculturalism in a Global Society (TSSW 299)

Description: This course examines multiculturalism in the United States within a global context. Students critically analyze earlier and current global forces underlying the ethnic diversity and pluralism of today’s U.S. society. These include the cultural, economic, social, political, and technological impacts of globalization, transnational migration, and the history, diversity and distinct experiences of ethnic groups. Special attention is given to the intersection of race, gender, social class, religion, and sexual orientation with ethnic group membership. Students also evaluate theoretical stances and controversial issues related to the multicultural debate. Ecological and social justice perspectives are used as primary tools for understanding. This course offers students an opportunity to heighten awareness of their own ethnic heritage and cultural values and beliefs that shape their world view and who they are today. It strives to enhance students' knowledge and appreciation of different ethnic groups within and outside of the U.S., and develop a deeper sensitivity to the experiences of social injustice encountered by members of some of these ethnic groups. The course material is designed to encourage students’ thought and exploration through lectures, active discussions, students’ oral presentations, guest speakers, multi-media, and a community service-learning project.  The ultimate goals of this course are to encourage students to become engaged global citizens, agents of social change, and more fully prepared to function effectively in today’s multicultural global society.

General Education: U.S. Diversity & Pluralism; Global & Cross-cultural

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Sociology
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Angie Y. Chung
Course: Contemporary Immigration and the Second Generation (TSOC 240Z)

Description: Contemporary immigration to the U.S. has been characterized by tremendous diversity in terms of race, class, gender, migration contexts, transnational linkages, and incorporation into American society.  This course focuses on various aspects of immigration from Asia, Latin America and the Caribbeans since 1965, including migration processes, community and identity, race/ class/ gender intersections, socio-economic and residential mobility, transnationalism, and acculturation into “mainstream” America.  Although the material will familiarize students with traditional approaches to U.S. immigration, the main goal of the course is to provide you with the intellectual tools to reflect on, critique and provide a more contemporary, global perspective on these different issues.  

Based on weekly writing activities and creative discussions on related current issues, we will explore the diverse social, economic, cultural and political contexts within which immigrants and their children have been incorporated into American society and the various theoretical perspectives that have been proposed to explain their possible future.  Questions we will seek to answer include: Why do immigrants migrate?  What kinds of advantages and disadvantages do these different immigrant groups face and why are some better able to adapt than others?  How do the identities and communities they create enable them to navigate the changing world around them?  How do the presence of immigrants and their children shape the neighborhoods, institutions, and social structures they occupy in the U.S. and their sending countries?  How is all of this becoming complicated by globalization, transnationalism, and economic restructuring?

General Education: Writing Intensive; Social Science; U.S. Diversity & Pluralism; Global & Cross-cultural


Spring Semester

Department: Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: John Delano
Course: NASA's Search for Life Beyond the Earth (TGEO 110)

Description: As the Associate Director of a NASA-funded Astrobiology Institute (headquartered at RPI), I wish to bring the excitement of Astrobiology to Honors students, some of whom may eventually participate in this quest to search for, and detect, life on other planets.  This course will develop major concepts in biology, chemistry, physics, and planetary science that are being used by researchers to explore the origin and distribution of life in our Milky Way galaxy.  The questions associated with life elsewhere in the Universe have been a topic of enduring interest to humans for thousands of years.  For the first time in human history, scientists have the instruments for addressing these fundamental questions.  Extrasolar planets (exoplanets; about 400 so far), have been discovered and thousands more are anticipated by 2013 through the current observations of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft.  Dozens of those planets are predicted to be Earth-sized and habitable by life-as-we-know-it.  This course would explore the concepts that underpin this exploration, and the likelihood of life existing elsewhere in our galaxy.

General Education: Natural Science

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Biology
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: George Robinson
Course: Biological Consequences of Global Change (TBIO 222Y)

Description: Introduction to the background, predictions, and empirical evidence for biological consequences of increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases and other anthropogenic environmental changes.  Emphasis is on regional-scale consequences for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including agricultural and urban ecosystems, relying on principles of earth science, ecology and evolution.  Topics will include relationships between climate and biogeography, biogeochemistry, and human origins, as well as proposed solutions for preventing or ameliorating future climate instability.  Lectures, demonstrations, exercises, audio-visual materials and discussions will be based on current science, with particular focus on NE North America.   Climate instability is looming as the most pervasive global problem of this century, with implications for all societies and cultures, and all forms of governance.  Our dependence on natural systems and processes will become more apparent as they undergo “global weirding.”  In addition, numerous changes in wild species and ecosystems have already been observed, and conservation biologists now regard future climate to be a critical element in planning for the preservation of rare species.  Relevant scientific findings grow at increasing rates, and the primary goal of this course is to explore this new information,  how it is gathered, and how it is interpreted. 

General Education: Natural Science; Oral Discourse

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Chemistry
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Priyantha Sugathapala
Course: Advanced General Chemistry II (TCHM 131)

Description: Chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, spontaneity, entropy, free energy, electrochemistry, transition metals, coordination chemistry, organic and biochemical molecules. Only one of ACHM 121 and ACHM 131H may be taken for credit.

Prerequisite: TCHM 130 or permission of the instructor.

General Education: Natural Science

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department: English
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Helen Elam
Course:  Classics of Western Literature (TENG 295)

Description: This course, originally part of a two-semester sequence on the transformation of forms, will focus on the movement from epic to drama. Starting with the epic (Homer, The Iliad) we will read classical drama (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides), 17th century drama (Shakespeare, Molière, Racine), and four modern dramatists (Ibsen, Chekhov, Brecht, Beckett). To the extent that it addresses the development of genre (plot, narrative forms, figurative language), this course offers a foundation for literary study.

General Education: Humanities

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Geography and Planning
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Christopher J. Smith
Course: Reform and Resistance in Contemporary China (TGOG/TEAS 230)

Description: The course offers an exploratory interrogation of the “narrative of success” that has accompanied China’s modernization project, and at the same time provides students an opportunity to assess the human consequences of  “neoliberalism-Chinese-style.” There are many reasons to endorse and even celebrate what has happened in China in recent years, but this course adopts a more critical tone. For every story we hear in the West about newly rich entrepreneurs becoming a billionairres, there are thousands of transient people scratching out a living on the edge of China’s sparkling new cities, and millions more in the countryside too poor even to make the journey into the cities. Most of the reports coming out of China describe the astonishing achievements associated with China’s transition; but there is another side to this story that has only surfaced in recent years. In the last decade there has been a significant increase in the amount of dissatisfaction with the policies of reform, and a growing level of resistance to the political and economic forces driving China’s meteoric rise to global power. This resistance is occurring in the Chinese countryside, as millions of small town and rural residents find themselves  impoverished and disenfranchised, both in relative and absolute terms. It is also occurring in China’s rapidly growing cities, especially in the wake of the urban renewal programs and development forces that have exacerbated spatial inequality at the local level, and left thousands of city dwellers -- many of whom are recent migrants from the countryside -- without decent housing and sustainable livelihoods. This course reviews and contextualizes some of these developments, placing them within the much larger body of literature on resistance and contentious politics. The course also evaluates the progress being made toward democracy, adherence to the rule of law, and the spread of civil society in contemporary China. 

General Education: International Perspectives; Social Science

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Information Technology Management
College/School: School of Business
Instructor: Eliot Rich
Course: Strategic Sustainable Systems (TITM 200)

Description: To be part of the next wave of global business growth you will need to craft sustainable businesses practices with an eye to your effect on future generations.  In this course we will study the relationships between business activity and the physical environment. First we will ground our discussion in basic concepts of business strategy and policy making.  Employing the techniques of systems thinking and simulation, we will learn about the effects of feedback and structure that drive business growth and failure, and experiment with strategies that support economic vitality while reducing negative effects on the global economy in a time of increasingly scarce resources.

General Education: None

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Jean-François Brière
Course: Contemporary France (TFRE 218)

Description: A course designed to give students a broad knowledge and understanding of French society today: value orientations, family and education, social and political institutions, leisure and work, and the media. Comparisons between French and American cultures will be emphasized (taught in English).

General Education: International Perspectives

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Mathematics & Statistics
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Steven Plotnick
Course: Honors Calculus III:  Calculus of Several Variables (TMAT 218)

Description: Curves and vectors in the plane, geometry of three-dimensional space, vector functions in three-space, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, line and surface integrals.

Prerequisite: TMAT 119 or permission of the instructor.

General Education: Mathematics

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Department: Music
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Nancy Newman
Course: American Music (TMUS 214)

Description: This course surveys the history of music in the United States through the prism of the nation’s most persistent cultural issue, race relations. From the earliest transatlantic contacts to the present day, music–making is viewed as a complex response to inherited traditions and a changing environment. The course begins by examining the diverse musical legacies of Europe and Africa, the transmission and adaptation of Christianity in the New World, and secular music genres such as minstrelsy and opera.  We will consider compositional responses to the American experience, such as Stephen Foster’s “Camptown Races” and Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s virtuoso piano solo, “The Banjo.”  The latter part of the semester traces the commodification of music through the publishing and recording industries, vernacular genres such as blues and folk, and the emergence of a distinctively American art music.  Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on informed listening and an understanding of the elements that define style and genre, such as form, rhythm, and pitch relationships.

General Education: Arts

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Department: Philosophy
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Lisa Fuller
Course: Worldviews: Theoretical Perspectives on Who We Are and Why (TPHI 116)

Description:  This is an introductory philosophy course focusing on our understanding of ourselves and others.  We will attempt to answer the questions “Who/what am I?” Who/what are you?” and “How are we related?” by studying a series of interconnected philosophical issues.  Topics we will consider include: whether we are essentially minds or bodies, whether we each have a fixed “inner” nature or are simply the sum total of our actions, whether race and gender are essential to identity and whether we persist as one-and-the-same self throughout the mental and physical transformations we each undergo as our lives progress.   The course readings will include both classical and contemporary philosophers, and we will cover problems originating in a variety of sub-disciplines within philosophy, such as metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and political theory.

General Education: Humanities

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department: Physics
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Bill Lanford
Course: Honors Physics II: Electromagnetism (TPHY 151)

Description: Course content is similar to APHY 150. However, topics will be covered in more depth and at a more advanced level.  Only one of APHY 150 or 151 may be taken for credit. Offered in spring semester only.

Prerequisite: TPHY 141 or permission of instructor; AMAT 113 or TMAT 119 (this may be taken concurrently).

General Education: Natural Science

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department: Psychology
College/School: College of Arts & Sciences
Instructor: Ewan McNay
Course: Honors Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience (TPSY 214)

Description: The goals of this course are two-fold; One, to provide an in-depth understanding of several selected topics in the field of Behavioral Neuroscience; Two, to provide an opportunity to critically evaluate research in the area of Behavioral Neuroscience. We’ll be discussing - and you’ll need to think and work - at several levels, from the cognitive/ behavioural down to the details of neurochemistry and molecular biology. There’s no other way to sensibly do neuroscience, and in any case it’s helpful to be exposed to how molecular-level events influence and cause macro-level behaviour.

General Education: None

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department/: Political Science/Health Policy, Management & Behavior
College/School: Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy/School of Public Health
Instructors: Kamiar Alaei and Arash Alaei
Course: Health and Human Rights: an Interdisciplinary Approach (TSPH272/TPOS272)

Description: This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to health and human rights and the contemporary challenges and solutions associated with them.  The course will be taught by physicians and human rights champions Kamiar Alaei and Arash Alaei, with guest lectures from experts in public health, philosophy, social welfare, law, gender studies, public administration, and the United Nations, among others.  Through lectures, discussion, and case studies, students will develop a broad theoretical understanding of health as a human right, become familiar with legal and policy frameworks to support public health, and acquire skills in the application of these concepts and the implementation and evaluation of solutions to our modern health challenges.

General Education: Social Sciences, Challenges for the 21st Century

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Department: Sociology
College/School: College of Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Elizabeth Popp Berman
Course: Organizations (TSOC 242Z)

Description:  We are surrounded by, and live our lives within, organizations: schools, businesses, religious groups, government, voluntary associations, prisons, hospitals.  We may relate to them as students, as employees, as members, as customers, as opponents, or as clients.  Often, we hardly notice the ways our lives are entangled with them.  Yet our interactions with organizations are constant.  This course aims to give you a set of tools for understanding the organizations that surround you.  During the course of the semester we will look at organizations through three lenses: 1) as rational, efficient ways of organizing complex human activities, 2) as political, not just rational—full of individuals and groups seeking power, creating alliances, and pursuing their interests, and 3) as a cultural arena that shapes our behavior by creating norms, feelings of belonging, and a sense of how we should and shouldn’t behave.  We will examine a variety of organizations through these lenses, from restaurants to universities to the military and beyond.   The class will be discussion-oriented and focus on how to apply different theories of organizational behavior to everyday life.  The writing component will emphasize learning to make a persuasive argument, with a well-formulated thesis, strong supporting evidence, and clear and concise language.  Toward that end, students will write a five-page essay applying organizational theories to familiar organizations, and will draft and revise a ten-page research paper on a specific organizational problem (sample topics: why does college cost so much? why do interest groups have so much power in Washington? when do corporations choose to adopt “socially responsible” practices?), as well as complete a number of short (one-page) reflection papers.

General Education: Writing Intensive; Social Science