From daily communications to magisterial announcements, from classrooms to war zones, from health records to national legislation, from labor to entertainment, and from dating, marriage, to everything in-between, how do certain institutions, spaces, subjects, and normalized practices reflect and reproduce hierarchies of race, gender, class, sexuality, nationality, and ability using electronically mediated technologies? How have glowing screens, code, and algorithms become so dominant? Perhaps even necessary? To our lives, and how does this impact Asian American identities, communities, movements, and experiences? In this class, we will explore the multiscalar formations of Asian American digital cultures in the following ways: social media platforms, video games, advertising, viral videos and memes, "hook-up" apps, surveillance, privacy, "the right to not exist," anti-fans, and sex work.
Science is a process by which people make sense of the world. Scientists examine evidence from the past, work to understand the present, and make predictions about the future. Integral to this process are the methods they use to collect and analyze data, as well as the ways in which scientists work together as a community to interpret evidence and draw conclusions. In this class, we will take a multidisciplinary approach to examining biological thought and action and their social ramifications. We will seek to understand science as a social pursuit: the work of human beings with individual, disciplinary, and cultural differences, and requiring tremendous investments in training and equipment. Does it matter that participation in science is more accessible to some than to others? How do biases, assumptions, uncertainty, and error manifest in scientific work? What is the history of scientific values such as objectivity and reproducibility? The course will conclude by investigating current topics of public debate
Anthro 101-6-23 Fantastic Archaeology - Science and Pseudoscience
Did astronauts from another planet establish ancient civilizations on Earth? Were the Americas discovered by Columbus, a Ming dynasty fleet or by Vikings much earlier? Did the Maya Aztec build their pyramids to resemble those of dynastic Egypt? Television is replete with stories of ancient aliens and archaeological mysteries. The impact of such alternative realities on society and history cannot be discounted. They have been used to support nationalistic agendas, racial biases, and religious movements, all of which can have considerable influence on contemporary society. In this course, we will study "fantastic" stories, puzzles, hoaxes, imaginative worlds and alternative theories. We will learn when, how and what kinds of evidence these alternative theories have used to fascinate the public and illustrate their hoaxes. We will question such theories by using critical thinking and analytical tools to diagnose what is fact and fiction. We will utilize the surviving evidence that archaeologists find to understand cultural contact and interactions.
This course is an introduction to the anthropological subfield of archaeology, its theories and methods, and the political and social issues that arise when we study human pasts. In this course, we look at the history of the discipline and its theoretical underpinnings, as well as methodological topics including how archaeologists create research designs, discover and excavate sites, and analyze artifacts and features. We will also explore how archaeology confronts and deals with contemporary issues critical to the archaeological project and the communities that archaeologists engage with: e.g. heritage preservation and Indigenous/community rights, Black lives and Black histories, environmental degradation and sustainability, feminist archaeology and gender equality. Throughout the course, students will learn about archaeological case studies from around the globe and from a variety of historical periods.
Anthro 370-0-20 Anthropology in Historical Perspective
Rather than attempting the impossible, an overview of the whole history of the discipline of anthropology, this course will focus on one particular problem, the relationship between theory and ethnographic description in cultural Anthropology. The course will attempt to survey the development of certain schools of thought in the discipline since the mid-nineteenth century: evolutionism; historical particularism; structural-functionalism; culture and personality; cultural materialism; interpretive anthropology. In order to examine the ways in which each of these theoretical approaches affects the ways in which anthropologists choose to describe what they observe, the class will read a series of ethnographies (or excerpts from larger works) written at different times from different points of view.
This class is an introduction to Political Ecology, a multidisciplinary body of theory and research that analyzes the environmental articulations of political, economic, and social difference and inequality. The key concepts, debates, and approaches in this field address two main questions: (1) How do humans' interactions with the environment shape power and politics? (2) How do power and politics shape humans' interactions with the environment? These questions are critical to understanding and addressing the current issues of climate change, the Anthropocene, and environmental justice. Topics discussed in this class will include environmental scarcity and degradation, sustainability and conservation, and environmental justice. Readings will come from the disciplines of geography, anthropology and archaeology. Case studies will range from the historical to the present-day. No prior background in the environmental sciences is needed to appreciate and engage in this course.
Bio Sci 101-6-1 Promises and Perils: The Social Reality of Biology
The word biology describes both the characteristics and processes of life and living organism, as well as the discipline that studies these. Like all the natural sciences, the study of biology is a data-driven endeavor, concerned with describing, predicting and understanding natural phenomena based on evidence from observation and experimentation. But like all human activities, it does not exist in objective isolation, but rather within a societal context. And biological phenomena, such as infection and disease, interact with non-biological elements of human society. This course aims to contextualize the study of biology towards a better understanding of how social and cultural histories and dynamics have had a profound effect on both biological research as well as biological phenomena, and how social, political and economic parameters influence the impact of scientific breakthroughs and the outcomes of biological events such as epidemics. The topics we will cover, among others: the cultural, political and societal barriers to reaping the benefits of biological research; the damaging legacies of racism, sexism and colonialism on the biological research enterprise; the role of communications in the field of biology; and select biological topics in evolution, genetics and disease. Students will learn from press articles, academic literature and non-fiction books (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot; Pandemic, by Sonia Shah).
Bio Sci 339-0-20 Critical Topics in Ecology and Conservation
This course will provide students with the conceptual and theoretical framework within the field of plant ecology (especially plant biology) and conservation. This seminar-style class is based on reading and discussion of historical and contemporary primary literature. It will provide you with the opportunity to think critically and discuss your thoughts within a structured yet informal setting and will provide them with a basic background in reading and writing scientific papers.
Chem 105-6-02 Science and the Scientist: How We Communicate
Science and the Scientist: How we communicate complex ideas, from comic books to journal articles: exploring effective scientific communication through graphic novels: Clear and concise communication is highly valued in many STEM fields. Whether conveying the technical details of an experiment for a colleague or translating the impact of a study for the public, scientists need to discuss complex ideas with different audiences. This course analyzes the goals of scientific writing by examining texts that represent different levels of communication, including how to use the visual language of comic books for conveying complex scientific ideas.
Civil Env Eng 303-0-20 Environmental Law and Policy
An introduction to important aspects of environmental law and policy. A wide range of environmental topics are covered, with a focus on national environmental policy as implemented through major federal environmental statutes.
People who understand communication are uniquely positioned to solve health related problems, and their services are increasingly in demand. As such, this course is designed to familiarize you with the theory and research on communication in health and illness contexts, focusing on how messages from interpersonal, organizational, cultural, and media sources affect health beliefs and behaviors. We will explore communication in health care delivery, health care organizations, as well as health promotion and disease prevention. By taking this course, you will become a more mindful, educated, and effective health communicator.
Study in seminar format of a topic in communication. Assignments emphasize expository writing. Please download a free copy of the One Book One Northwestern selection for this year at this link. https://nuinfo-proto12.northwestern.edu/onebook2021/student-engagement/download-ebook/index.html
Comm St. 383-0-20 Media, Communication and Environment
This course focuses on exploring, understanding and researching questions and issues related to the environment and climate through the study of media and communication. Topics include electronic waste and outer space debris, environmental security, the digitalization of the wilderness, outdoor and recreational activities in conjunction with media technologies and electronic information networks, ways of representing and communicating environmental and climatological issues through such examples as climate change communication, weather forecasting, documentaries and feature length fictional film, television and similar media, examples of environmental and climatological-themed government media and communication, and media-communication-environment in everyday life and pop culture.
Earth 342-0-01 Contemporary Energy and Climate Change
The increasing worldwide demand for energy presents a number of complex interdisciplinary challenges, from resource depletion to climate change. This class will challenge students to answer the question, How shall we power the world in the 21st century? We will examine the history and geography of energy use; links between energy and climate change; inequities in climate impacts; challenge of sustainability; and the fundamental science of climate change.
This class will help students understand the key economic forces that have shaped the US health care and health insurance industry. What role do the particularities of health care and health insurance as economic goods play in explaining the size and growth rate of the health care sector? What's the effect of private incentives, adverse selection, moral hazard, and regulation? What's the effect of different organizational structures of health care provision? What can we learn from comparing the US health care / health insurance system to other countries' systems? Students will learn that these issues are important in the current public policy discussion.
Econ 323-2-20 Economic History of the US 1865-Present
The course examines the economic development of the United States since the Civil War to the present. It focuses on both long-term economic trends (like technological advance and industrialization) and the economic causes and consequences of particular events (like the Great Depression).
This course examines economic development over the long-run, with a focus on the transition to modern economic growth in the Western world. Topics include Malthusian stagnation, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the demographic transition, and globalization and the great divergence. Along the way, we will discuss long-run changes in inequality, technology, and labor force participation, as well as the role of institutions in economic development, and the interaction between economic conditions and political power. Much of the class will be focused around analyzing recent research on these topics. The class will also involve a writing component aimed at improving students' ability to write critically and concisely about economic topics.
Econ 326-0-20 The Economics of Developing Countries
This course examines the causes of global poverty and low levels of economic development, as well as some policy solutions to these problems. The emphasis will be on microeconomic issues. We will ask such questions as "Do the poor under-invest in education and health?" and "What types of public policies can be used to improve the well-being of people living in developing countries?" Other topics include microfinance, informal insurance, corruption, and the productivity of firms in developing countries. An important objective is to learn how to use both the theoretical and empirical tools of economics to investigate the questions above. Therefore, econometric techniques and theoretical models will feature prominently in the course.
In this course, we will look into the many different facets of the economics of gender. We will study economic decisions that individuals and households face from a unique gender perspective. The topics we will cover include, among others: the status of women around the world, education, marriage, fertility, labor supply, household decision-making, and discrimination. The class will put an emphasis on applied microeconomic theory and empirical analysis. A combination of econometric techniques and theoretical models will feature prominently in the course. For each topic, we will study concrete examples emanating from all over the world, and make an intensive use of statistics and econometrics. We are also very much interested in understanding the relationship between research and public policy. By the end of the quarter you hopefully will have a solid microeconomic framework within which to analyze important issues in economics from a gender perspective. There will be a series of empirical papers to read for this course.
While examining the metaphor of the ecosystem in scholarship (holistic analysis, wholeness, interdependence, diversity, intersecting contexts etc.), the seminar will use texts from different parts of the planet to read and write about the representations of the natural world, especially as affected by human activities. What are the benefits of studying a literary text against the background of its production and in conversation with others with which it resonates? How can we be specific about our singular object of analysis without missing the bigger picture? How are energy flows, cycles, and sustainability represented in literary texts? How can we engage with literary texts about the environment beyond the classroom setting? How do we integrate environmental activist work in academic scholarship while remaining rigorous and objective? As we grapple with these questions, we will use different methods of reading literary and theoretical texts from an ecological perspective. We will also experiment with various methods of academic presentation.
Northwestern's campus and Chicagoland sit on the edge of one of the planet's most important sources of fresh water. In this course, we will study the culture, environment, and urban history of Chicagoland from the standpoint of Lake Michigan. Our attentions will range from the witnesses to the end of the last Ice Age to our own view of how climate change effects the Great Lakes. However, we'll focus especially on the history and culture of Chicago as it was shaped by proximity to the Lake, and how human decisions have shaped the lake in turn. Although this course is offered in the English department, it is a highly interdisciplinary course which includes readings drawn from literature, geography, history, architecture, journalism, and environmental studies. First-year students will gain a research-oriented introduction to study and life at Northwestern through the situation of its local cultural history and environment. Weather permitting, we will frequently hold class outdoors at the lakeside, and we may take excursions to notable coastal sites.
English 357-0-20 British Children's Fantasy - 19th Century British Fiction
It is said that the Victorians invented the idea of childhood: an idyllic state of wonder, play, imagination, and innocence. The orphans, adventurers, tricksters, and runaways in Victorian children's novels befriend animals, outsmart pirates, soar through the London sky, and fall down rabbit holes. What made these stories so popular in the nineteenth century, and why do they continue to enchant readers today? This course will explore key works of the Victorian literature canon to consider how these various narratives reflect rapidly transforming conceptions of childhood during the nineteenth century. From Lewis Carroll's playfully puzzling Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to Rudyard Kipling's novel of colonial espionage, Kim, Victorian children's novels offer a unique perspective on a world in the grip of profound political, economic, and religious change. As we read, we will also reflect on the categories of the human and the animal, the nature of child sexuality, the distinctions drawn between innocence and maturity, as well as differences in gender, race, class, and disability. How does the constructed representation of "the child" speak to the desires, ambitions, and anxieties of a given historical moment? And what does the very category of children's literature suggest about literature's purpose and value?
English 381-0-20 Intro to Disabilty Studies - Literature and Medicine
The field of disability studies grew out of the rights-based activism that led, in the United States, to the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Yet, as disability theorists have observed, "western" literature has long been obsessed with disability as metaphor, character trait, and plot device. This course will serve as an introduction to the application of disability studies in literature. We will explore a range of questions: how do we approach the representation of disability in texts by non-disabled authors? How do we differentiate (or should we?) between disability and chronic illness, or between physical and mental disabilities? Can literary representation operate as activism? How do we parse the gap between disability as metaphor and lived experience? What does literature offer disability studies, and why should disability studies be a core method for studying literature? This is a methods class, and readings will be divided between theoretical texts and primary sources. Students will learn to grapple with complex sociocultural and literary analysis, as well as to make space for their own primary source readings.
Environmental problems have become part and parcel of popular consciousness: resources are being depleted at a record pace, human population levels may soon cross the eight billion threshold, extreme poverty defines the majority of people's daily lives, toxic contaminants affect all ecosystems, increasing numbers of species face extinction, consumerism and the commodification of nature show no signs of abating, climate changes are wreaking havoc in different places every year, and weapons and energy systems continue to proliferate that risk the planet's viability. This introductory lecture course is designed to help students understand the relatively recent origins of many of these problems, focusing especially on the last one hundred and fifty years. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the environmental effects of urbanization, industrialization, population growth, market economies, empire-building, intercontinental warfare, energy extraction, and new technologies. They will also explore different environmental philosophies and analytic frameworks that help us make sense of historical change, including political ecology, environmental history, science studies, and world history. Finally, the course will examine a range of transnational organizations, social movements, and state policies that have attempted to address and resolve environmental problems. Co-Listed with History 376-0-20.
This class is an introduction to Political Ecology, a multidisciplinary body of theory and research that analyzes the environmental articulations of political, economic, and social difference and inequality. The key concepts, debates, and approaches in this field address two main questions: (1) How do humans' interactions with the environment shape power and politics? (2) How do power and politics shape humans' interactions with the environment? These questions are critical to understanding and addressing the current issues of climate change, the Anthropocene, and environmental justice. Topics discussed in this class will include environmental scarcity and degradation, sustainability and conservation. Readings will come from the disciplines of geography, anthropology and archaeology. Case studies will range from the ancient, to the historical and the present-day. No prior background in the environmental sciences is needed to appreciate and engage in this course. Co-Listed with Anthro 390-0-23
Native American Environmental Issues and the Media introduces students to indigenous issues, such as treaty-based hunting, fishing, and gathering rights; air and water quality issues; mining; land-to-trust issues; and sacred sites. These issues have contributed to tension between Native and non-Native communities and have become the subject of news reports, in both mainstream and tribal media. We will focus on how the media cover these issues and how that coverage contributes to the formation of public opinion and public policy. Students will read and analyze newspaper and on-line news reports and view and critique broadcast news stories and documentaries about Native environmental topics. Co-listed with Journalism 367-0-20
This course focuses on exploring, understanding, and researching questions and issues related to the environment and climate through the study of media and communication. Topics include electronic waste and outer space debris; environmental security; the digitization of the wilderness; outdoor and recreational activities in conjunction with media technologies and electronic information networks; ways of representing and communicating environmental and climatological issues through such examples as climate change communication, weather forecasting, documentaries, and feature-length fictional film, television and similar media; examples of environmental and climatological-themed government media and communication; and media-communication-environment in everyday life and pop culture. Student classwork includes lecture material, readings and audiovisual screenings, discussions, providing relevant discussion materials, and producing a research paper-project relevant to the topics and themes of the course.Assignments emphasize expository writing. Co-Listed with Comm St. 294-0-22. Please download a free copy of the One Book One Northwestern selection for this year at this link. https://nuinfo-proto12.northwestern.edu/onebook2021/student-engagement/download-ebook/index.html
Env Pol 390-0-27 Red Power - Indigenous Resistance in the US and Canada
In 2016, thousands of Indigenous water protectors and their non-Native allies camped at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in an effort to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. That movement is part of a long history of Native activism. In this course, we will examine the individual and collective ways in which Indigenous people have resisted colonial domination in the U.S. and Canada since 1887. In addition to focusing on North America, we will also turn our attention to Hawai?i. This course will highlight religious movements, inter-tribal organizations, key intellectual figures, student movements, armed standoffs, non-violent protest, and a variety of visions for Indigenous community self-determination. This course will emphasize environmental justice.
Gbl Hlth 301-0-20, 21 Intro to International Public Health
This course introduces students to pressing disease and health care problems worldwide and examines efforts currently underway to address them. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the course identifies the main actors, institutions, practices and forms of knowledge production characteristic of what we call "global health" today, and explores the environmental, social, political and economic factors that shape patterns and experiences of illness and healthcare across societies. We will scrutinize the value systems that underpin specific paradigms in the policy and science of global health and place present-day developments in historical perspective. Key topics will include: policies and approaches to global health governance and interventions, global economies and their impacts on public health, medical humanitarianism, global mental health, maternal and child health, pandemics (HIV/AIDS, Ebola, H1N1, Swine Flu), malaria, food insecurity, health and human rights, and global health ethics.
Global health is a popular field of work and study for Americans, with an increasing number of medical trainees and practitioners, as well as people without medical training, going abroad to volunteer in areas where there are few health care practitioners or resources. In addition, college undergraduates, as well as medical trainees and practitioners, are going abroad in increasing numbers to conduct research in areas with few healthcare resources. But all of these endeavors, though often entered into with the best of intentions, are beset with ethical questions, concerns, and dilemmas, and can have unintended consequences. In this course, students will explore and consider these ethical challenges. In so doing, students will examine core global bioethical concerns - such as structural violence - and core global bioethical codes, guidelines, and principals - such as beneficence and solidarity - so they will be able to ethically assess global health practices in a way that places an emphasis on the central goal of global health, reducing health inequities and disparities. With an emphasis on the ethical responsibility to reduce disparities, we consider some of the most pressing global bioethical issues of our time: equity, fairness, and climate change. Particular attention is given to the ethics of research during a pandemic and access to vaccines and therapies for Covid-19.
Gbl Hlth 322-0-20 The Social Determinants of Health
This upper-level seminar in medical anthropology examines the role of social markers of difference including race, class, nationality, gender, sexuality, age and religion in current debates and challenges in the theory and practice of global health. We will explore contemporary illness experiences and therapeutic interventions in sociocultural and historical context through case studies from the US, Brazil, and South Africa. Students will be introduced to key concepts such as embodiment, medicalization, structural violence, the social determinants of health, and biopolitics. Central questions of the seminar include: How do social categories of difference determine disease and health in individuals and collectivities? How is medical science influenced by economic and political institutions and by patient mobilization? How does social and economic inclusion/exclusion govern access to treatment as well as care of the self and others? The course will provide advanced instruction in anthropological and related social scientific research methods as they apply to questions of social inequality and public health policy in both the United States and in emerging economic powers. The course draws from historical accounts, contemporary ethnographies, public health literature, media reports, and films.
Gbl Hlth 324-0-1 Volunteerism and the Ethics of Help
Since the early 2000s, there has been an exponential increase in the number of foreigners volunteering in low-income communities, within orphanages, clinics, schools, and communities. This expansion has been echoed by locals, who are also providing voluntary labor in a variety of locales throughout their communities. This class explores the discourses and practices that make up volunteering and voluntourism, from the perspectives of volunteers, hosts, and a range of professional practitioners both promoting and critiquing this apparent rise in "the need to help". What boons and burdens occur with the boom of volunteer fervor world-wide? Why do people feel the need to volunteer, and what consequences do these voluntary exchanges have on the volunteers, and on those communities and institutions that are subject to their good intentions? What are the ethics and values that make up "making a difference" amongst differently-situated players who are involved in volunteering? Given that volunteers often act upon best intentions, what are the logics that justify philanthropy and the differential standards by which volunteers are judged based on where they go and how they engage in volunteering? This class seeks out some answers to these questions, and highlights why the increased concern for strangers that undergirds volunteering should also be, in itself, cause for our concern.
The history of reproduction is a large subject, and during this course we will touch on many, but by no means all, of what can be considered as part of this history. Our focus will be on human reproduction, considering the vantage points of both healthcare practitioners and lay women and men. We will look at ideas concerning fertility, conception, pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, birth control, abortion, and assisted reproduction. Because, at a fundamental level, reproduction is about power - as historian Amy Kaler (but by no means only Kaler), pointed out, "[c]ontrol over human reproduction is eternally contested, in zones ranging from the comparative privacy of the conjugal bedroom to the political platform and programs of national polities" - we will pay attention to power in reproductive health. And, since the distribution of power in matters of reproduction has often been uneven and unequal - between men and women, between colonizing and Indigenous populations, between clinicians and lay people, between those in upper socioeconomic classes and those in lower socioeconomic classes - we will pay particular attention during this class to struggles over matters of reproduction as we explore historical changes and continuities in reproduction globally since 1900.
Gbl Hlth 390-0-21 Community Based Participatory Research
Oftentimes we hear of research done on communities. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a research paradigm that challenge researchers to conducted research with communities. In this reading intense discussion-based course, we will learn the historical and theoretical foundations, and the key principles of CBPR. Students will be introduced to methodological approaches to building community partnerships, research planning, and data sharing. Real-world applications of CBPR in health will be studied to illustrate the benefits and challenges. Further, this course will address culturally appropriate interventions, working with diverse communities, and ethical considerations in CBPR.
Gbl Hlth 390-0-22 Methods in Anthropology and Global Health
This class will provide rigorous guidance on how one moves through the scientific process, from articulating scientific questions to answering and presenting them in a way that your audience can really relate to. We will do this using data a large dataset. Specific skills to be developed include human subjects training, formal literature review, hypothesis generation, development of analytic plans, data cleaning, performing descriptive statistics, creation of figures and tables, writing up results, scientific poster creation, and oral presentation of results. This course will be a terrific foundation for writing scientific manuscripts, theses, and dissertations.
House. Grey's Anatomy. The Constant Gardener. Frankenstein's Monster. Paul Farmer. Josef Mengele. The Tuskegee Trials. Healthcare workers, and physicians and nurses in particular, have long held sway in the popular imagination as heroes, villains, and even complicated anti-heroes. What can we learn about the societal values we place on medicine, and medical personnel, by exploring the ways that medical heroes and villains are depicted to wide public audiences, or the ways they write about themselves? What do these fictional and non-fictional accounts have to tell us about societal celebrations, anxieties and ambiguities relating to medicine? How might we contemplate the ways societal norms relating to race, gender, sexuality, place of origin, ability, and other identifiers become mapped onto the stories the public consumes relating to medicine? What can these stories tell us about anxieties regarding life and death, technology, science, and culture? Who is portrayed as hero, who as villain, who as victim, and who as backdrop to the narrative? What perspectives are often silenced or left in the backdrop in these popularly-consumed narratives about medicine? In this course, we will read and view fictional, dramatized, and non-fiction narratives aimed at wide public audiences. In so doing, we will use medicine as a lens on a wide array of societal ambiguities, potentialities, inequalities and silences. NOTE: Students will be exposed to some stories and cases they may find disturbing. Co-listed with Humanities 370-3-20
Gbl Hlth 390-0-24 Native American Health Research and Prevention
Native nations in what is currently the United States, are continuously seeking to understanding and undertake the best approaches to research and prevention with their communities. This course introduces students to the benefits and barriers to various approaches to addressing negative health outcomes and harnessing positive social determinants of health influencing broader health status. Important concepts to guide our understanding of these issues will include settler colonialism, colonialism, sovereignty, social determinants of health, asset-based perspectives, and decolonizing research. Students will engage in a reading-intensive, discussion-based seminar, drawing upon research and scholarship from a variety of disciplines including public health, Native American and Indigenous Studies, sociology, history, and medicine. This course does not focus on nor teach traditional Native medicine or philosophies as those are not appropriate in this predominately non-Native environment.
This course examines how socioeconomic and environmental factors work together to cause hazards and disasters in human society. In this course we learn the main concepts about disaster such as preparedness, vulnerability, resilience, response, mitigation, etc. We learn that a disaster does not have the same effect on all groups of peoples, and factors of social inequality such as race, ethnicity, class, and gender, make people more vulnerable to impacts of disasters. Also, this course, with an interdisciplinary perspective, analyzes disasters in the global North and South. This is a discussion-intensive course for advanced undergrad students that is student-centered with an emphasis on collaborative learning.
This course examines how environmental problems reflect and exacerbate social inequality. In this course, we learn the definition of environmental (in)justice; the history of environmental justice; and also examples of environmental justice will be discussed. We will learn about environmental movements. This course has a critical perspective on health disparities in national and international levels. How environmental injustice impacts certain groups more than others and the social and political economic reasons for these injustices will be discussed in this course.
German 232-0-1 The Theme of Faust Through the Ages
"To sell one's soul," "to strike a bargain with the devil," or even "to beat the devil at his own game"? these expressions and similar ones continue to enjoy undiminished popularity. For more than five-hundred years the legend of Faust has served as means to express the daring and danger of pursuing an aspiration even if it comes at the cost of one's "soul." The specter of a "Faustian bargain" often appears when narratives identify individuals whose inordinate achievements are both destructive and self-destructive. The theme of Faust provides a perspective in which one must thus reflect on the highest and lowest values. Dr. Faustus has undergone many mutations since he first appeared in central Europe around the early sixteenth century. This class will begin with a question at the foundation of the Faust legend: what is a "soul," and what is worth? While examining these and kindred questions about the nature of the self, the class will continually reflect on what we are doing when we evaluate a work of art in relation to the culture of its "time" or "period." In addition to listening to some musical compositions and reading some shorter texts, we will examine the earliest versions of Faust, which derives from the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation and then proceed to read Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's great drama of cosmic knowledge and sexual seduction, Faust I, followed by selections from its strange sequel Faust II, in which Faust invents paper money and then becomes a real-estate developer or social-engineer who wants to reorganize the very nature of our planet. We will ask what Goethe, near the end of his life, gave to "world literature" (a term of his own invention) when he presented his final version of Faust as a man committed to a total terrestrial transformation that inadvertently destroys innocent lives. As a conclusion to our analysis of Goethe's Faust, we will read two very different kinds of poetic responses, Paul Celan's "Death Fugue" and Carol Ann Duffy's "Mrs. Faust." And in the final two weeks of the class we will view three versions of the Faust legend for our times, beginning with the story of the bluesman Robert Johnson, as represented in Peter Meyer's Can't You Hear the Wind Howl?, followed by Sophie Barthes' Cold Souls and concluding with Danny Boyle's Yesterday.
Gndr St. 220-0-20 Sexual Subjects: Into to Sexuality Studies
This course is an introduction to the kinds of questions and hypotheses around which the interdisciplinary field of sexuality studies has coalesced over the past thirty or so. Topics include the history of sexuality as a social category, the ways sexuality intersects with other important social categories such as race and class, the ways individuals from different social groups understand and experience their sexuality, and the ways different social movements have organized around or in response to demands for sexual liberation or exploration.
Gndr St. 332-0-20 Health Activism, Gender, Sexuality and Health
Issues of health and disease have been inextricably entangled with politics this last year. Scientific recommendations, public health mandates, and the role of institutions from the CDC and the FDA to the WHO have been subject to heated debate and partisan politics. Meanwhile, the pandemic has made newly visible and further exacerbated ongoing health disparities within the U.S. and globally. Simultaneously, demands for "healing justice" (Black Lives Matter), the "freedom to thrive" (BYP 100) and the "right to live" (Poor People's Campaign) articulate a politics that reconceptualize "health" and "healing" as urgent liberation projects, building on a tradition of radical health activism in the U.S. since the 1960s. To make sense of this moment, we examine this tradition of radical health activism, which often targeted these same institutions in their efforts to transform healthcare in the U.S., to eliminate ongoing health disparities, and to challenge the contemporaneous ideological assumptions about gender, sexuality, race, and class that inform (and are often used to justify) these disparities. We begin with AIDS activist Sarah Shulman's recent political history of ACT UP, Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 (2021), which also functions as a primer for how to build a health activist social movement able to respond to pandemic conditions, and pair this with Shulman's ACT UP Oral History Project and online collections of archival materials from ACT UP actions. Importantly, both Shulman and the AIDS activists she interviews attribute the success of ACT UP to members' use of tactics and strategies they learned as participants in earlier forms of health activism--in establishing community health centers and free clinics during the Civil Rights Movement, in Black Panther Party "survival programs," in setting up underground abortion services pre-Roe v Wade and in the broader feminist health and reproductive rights movements, and in defense campaigns to secure the rights of those incarcerated in prisons and mental health institutions. In our second unit, we explore each of these earlier movements, beginning with participants' accounts collected in the ACT UP Oral History Project, and then through recent histories of each movement and related online archival collections and collections of activist ephemera from each housed in Northwestern's Special Collections. In our third unit, we make use of this history of radical health activism to explore the politics of the present and to examine current movements that build on and carry forward these legacies.
Gndr St. 341-0-20 Trans-Related Medical Surgeries in Thailand
This course is situated at the intersection of theoretical, cultural, medical, and commercial online discourses concerning the burgeoning Gender Affirmation-related surgeries presented online and conducted in Thailand. Using Gender, Queer, Trans, Asian American, and Digital Humanities Theories, we will discuss the cross-cultural intersections, dialogues, refusals, and adaptions when thinking about medical travel to Thailand for gender/sex related surgeries. We will examine Thai cultural/historical conceptions of sex and gender, debates concerning bodies and diagnoses, and changes in presentations of sex/gender related surgeries offered online. We will also explore how digital archives are created and managed. Investigating transcripts of live interviews, medical discourses, and an archive of web images offering GAS surgeries produced by Thais for non-Thais will serve as axes for investigating this topic.
Gndr St. 350-3-1 Reproductive Health, Politics and Justice
How do conceptions of "health" relate to ideological assumptions about gender, sexuality, and race? In this course we will explore these questions through a close examination of historic and current activist movements that have attempted to challenge contemporaneous conceptions of health and models of disease. Case studies will include the 1970s-era Women's Health Movement(s), including an examination of its relationship to the 19th century Birth Control Movement and its transformation with the emergence of a Reproductive Justice Movement in the 1990s; AIDS activism from beginning of the AIDS crisis and the formation of ACT UP to present activist campaigns that contest both the inequitable distribution of medical knowledge and resources and the (bio)medicalization of "sexual health"; the several strands of breast cancer activism that emerged in the 1990s and the increasing overlap between breast cancer activism and current environmental activism; mental health activism and its evolution in response to the rise of psychopharmacology; and current trans activism which critiques both the diagnostic categories and medical protocols that institutionalize the gender binary and the production of what Dean Spade refers to as "an inequitable distribution of life chances." In each case, we will consider how activists frame the problem, the tactics they use to mobilize a diverse group of social actors around the problem, and their success in creating a social movement that challenges contemporary medical models and the ideological assumptions that inform them. The course also introduces students to recent interdisciplinary scholarship on social movements.
Gndr St. 352-0-20 Intro to Foucalt, Gender, Sexuality and Political Theory
This course offers an overview of the work of one of the most influential late-twentieth-century French philosophers, Michel Foucault. Focusing on his studies of madness, sex, the medical gaze, prisons and other disciplinary institutions, the search for truth, knowledge, and liberation, students will gain an understanding of Foucault's most important concepts - concepts that over the last four decades have become central categories of inquiry and critique in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. These include archaeology, discipline, biopolitics, power-knowledge, resistance, governmentality, and genealogy. The course is reading intensive. In addition to weekly excerpts, you should plan to read two of Foucault's major texts throughout the quarter.
The Inquisition is one of the most infamous and misunderstood institutions in the early modern world. This seminar examines some of the myths and debates surrounding the working of its tribunals and their impact on society, with special emphasis on the practices, experiences, and worldviews of ordinary subjects. How have the records of the Inquisition been used to reconstruct the histories of Jews, African healers, bigamists, homosexuals, and "witches," among others? Participants will pursue their own answers and even construct an alternate archive by which to tell the stories of persecuted figures. Topics include religious tolerance and intolerance; healing and love magic in the Americas; the policing and politics of gender and sexuality; and the lives of Jewish conversos.
Hist 376-0-20 Global Enviroments and World History
Environmental problems have become part and parcel of popular consciousness: resources are being depleted at a record pace, human population levels may soon cross the eight billion threshold, extreme poverty defines the majority of people's daily lives, toxic contaminants affect all ecosystems, increasing numbers of species face extinction, consumerism and the commodification of nature show no signs of abating, climate changes are wreaking havoc in different places every year, and weapons and energy systems continue to proliferate that risk the planet's viability. This introductory lecture course is designed to help students understand the relatively recent origins of many of these problems, focusing especially on the last one hundred and fifty years. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the environmental effects of urbanization, industrialization, population growth, market economies, empire-building, intercontinental warfare, energy extraction, and new technologies. They will also explore different environmental philosophies and analytic frameworks that help us make sense of historical change, including political ecology, environmental history, science studies, and world history. Finally, the course will examine a range of transnational organizations, social movements, and state policies that have attempted to address and resolve environmental problems. Co-List with Env Pol 340-0-1
The past and present are shaped in large part by our beliefs about what the future holds. In this seminar, we will investigate human attempts to anticipate events yet to come, from antiquity until the present (but with an emphasis on the period since 1800). How have people in different times and places gone about anticipating the future? What phenomena have gripped their attention: weather, economy, human society, or individual fates? Have their imaginations been utopian, dystopian, or even apocalyptic, and what does that tell us about the historical moment in which they lived? And crucially, what happened when predictions failed?as so often happened? Using a global range of primary and secondary sources, from revealed prophecies and science fiction to genetic codes and financial speculations, we will examine why and how our historical subjects believed the future might be foreseeable. This course fits today's concerns about the future of the environment (notably climate change) and humanity into a long history of decision-making in the face of uncertainty.
This course is co-taught by a professor of history, and a professor of literature, both fascinated by the shared ground between human histories and environmental change. Focused on a single region in the United States, Lower Louisiana, East Texas, and the giant body of water that connects them, our course asks what this distinctive landscape of land and water can tell us about our place on this planet, at this moment in history. The Gulf of Mexico is emblematic of stories we tell ourselves about racial and cultural difference, climate crisis and climate vulnerability, survival and the end of the world. Through the cause of climate justice, students in the course will examine how today's political thinking pits economic and ecological priorities against each other, and against human survival.
House. Grey's Anatomy. The Constant Gardener. Frankenstein's Monster. Paul Farmer. Josef Mengele. The Tuskeegee Trials. Healthcare workers, and physicians and nurses in particular, have long held sway in the popular imagination as both hero and villain. From biographies of real-life medical heroes and villains to fictional accounts in movies, novels, TV series, podcasts, and other media, medicine has long held sway in our popular imagination. What can we learn about the societal values we place on medicine, and medical personnel, by exploring the ways that medical heroes and villains are depicted to wide public audiences? What do these fictional and non-fictional accounts have to tell us about societal anxieties and ambiguities relating to medicine? How might we contemplate the ways societal norms relating to race, gender, place of origin, ability, and other identifiers become mapped onto the stories the public consumes relating to medicine? What can these stories tell us about anxieties regarding life and death, technology, science, and culture? Who is portrayed as hero, who as villain, who as victim and who as backdrop to the narrative? In this course, we will consume a wide array of popular media about medical heroes and villans, both fictional and non-fictional, in order to interrogate how medicine as a lens tells us about a wide array of societal ambiguities, potentialities, inequalities and silences.
ISEN 230-0-20 Climate Change and Sustainability - Ethical Dimensions
What are our ethical responsibilities in the face of anthropogenic climate change? The course begins with an exploration of how far reaching our ethical responsibilities are. After some introduction to philosophical ethics and the science of climate change, we will question which things matter morally, are future-human beings, non-human animals, and ecosystems morally important? How do they compare morally to humans alive today? In the second half of the course we will focus on how individually specific our ethical responsibilities are. We will focus on a range of common behaviors relevant to climate change and ask whether we can ethically justify our individual participation in these behaviors. We will conclude the course by asking whether there are any behaviors that we might have a moral responsibility to personally adopt in response to climate change.
Jour 367-0-20 Native American Env. Issues and the Media
Native American Environmental Issues and the Media introduces students to indigenous issues, such as treaty-based hunting, fishing, and gathering rights; air and water quality issues; mining; land-to-trust issues; and sacred sites. These issues have contributed to tension between Native and non-Native communities and have become the subject of news reports, in both mainstream and tribal media. We will focus on how the media cover these issues and how that coverage contributes to the formation of public opinion and public policy. Students will read and analyze newspaper and on-line news reports and view and critique broadcast news stories and documentaries about Native environmental topics.
This course will examine the complex issues involved in applying the science of psychology to the field of law. Among the topics we will cover are how psychological research can apply to policies and practices in the legal system, expert testimony, methods, uses, and limitations of forensic assessment, determination of legal competence, the insanity defense, battered women's syndrome and rape trauma syndrome in the legal arena, criminal profiling types, methods, and limitations, eyewitness testimony and other memory issues, interrogation and confessions, jury selection and decision making, prisons and death penalty.
Classics of Pragmatist Thought Pragmatism is probably the first, but certainly the most important genuinely North American philosophical tradition. The classical writings of Peirce, James, Dewey set the stage for a completely new orientation in epistemology, moral and political theory, psychology and many other fields. Basic to all Pragmatist writers is the belief that the active and interactive human being in its natural and social environment has to stand at the center of reflection. They thus emphasize volitional, procedural, social, and evolutionary aspects of knowledge of any kind. Given this focus on practically involved intelligent agents, political pragmatists like Dewey, Addams, Locke explore the natural origins, revisability and legitimacy of moral and political norms. They develop the idea of a critical use of knowledge and its connection to non-violent democratic conduct. Neopragmatists (Rorty and Putnam) explore the philosophical and political implications of critical thinking.
This course is an analysis of ethical and political issues related to health and health care. Topics to be considered include human research, abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, and public health ethics. We will devote special attention to ethical issues arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rel St. 379-0-20 Science Fiction and Social Justice
This course will examine major utopian and dystopian texts in relation to social justice issues in the twentieth and twenty-first century, while following the stories of artists, organizers, and communities that have used speculative world-building to imagine livable, sustainable futures. We will focus on how feminist, anarchist, LGBTQ, and Afrofuturist art and activism have contributed to a substantial critical discourse on the intersections of science, technology, ecology, war, race, gender, sexuality, health, and ability. We will further examine how artists and activists have understood religion as both impediment and partner to social justice work, while alternatively embracing, subverting, and defying religious authority. We will attend to how religious myths and imagery are sampled and remixed by science fiction authors to plot an alternative course for world history.
This course examines some of the guiding themes of sociological analysis as they were originally formulated by four influential “classical” social thinkers: Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), Karl Marx (1818-1883), Max Weber (1864-1920), and W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963). Drawing on some of these theorists’ major writings, the purpose of the course is to unpack each thinker’s major concepts and consider how he fused them in order to craft a distinctive lens through which to view the social world at his own time and today. onfigure power relations to create more ethical social structures.