MTS 525-0-21 Graduate Seminar: Environment and Climate Issues in MTS
This Ph. D. seminar investigates environmental and climatological issues in relation to the field of Media, Technology, and Society. The seminar is organized into five themes, with a book and additional readings (additional readings provided via Canvas) for each theme: Land (Schwoch, Wired Into Nature); Sea (Starosielski, The Undersea Network); Sky and Outer Space (Jones-Imhotep, The Unreliable Nation); Animals (Benson, Wired Wilderness); and Humans (Latour, Down To Earth.) In addition to readings, discussions, screenings, and in-class presentations, students will conduct research relevant to the themes of the class and their own Ph. D. research trajectories. There are several research possibilities for students. You might consider starting a research paper or grant application, doing early work in anticipation of eventually teaching a course in this area, or doing advance reading for a qualifying exam or for your dissertation. There might also be collaborative research possibilities at NU, to be discussed.
This seminar explores theoretical approaches to the problems of embodiment/materiality/affect. One aim of the course is to examine various methodological approaches to embodiment, materiality and affect, making use of sociology and philosophy (Pierre Bourdieu, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Spinoza, Massumi). The second and closely related aim is to situate bodies in time and place, that is, in history. Here we look to the particular circumstances that shaped the manner in which historical actors experienced their bodies in the Christian west (Peter Brown, Caroline Bynum, Mary Carruthers, Michel de Certeau, Michel Foucault). Ultimately, we will be examining theoretical tools while we put them to work. The goal: how to use these thinkers to write more dynamic, creative, interesting scholarship.
Soc 406-3 Contemporary Theory in Sociological Analysis
Modernity has become a contested term. This class investigates how various thinkers have conceived of what it means to be "modern" or "post-modern," critiques of modernity that have profoundly shaped our images of it, and skeptics who challenge the idea of modernity. It also includes sections that investigate in detail what I call "mechanisms" of modernity: procedures, devices, approaches or strategies that people adopt or promulgate in their efforts to be rational, manage uncertainty and conflict, or attain efficiency in various institutional arenas.