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LSA Course Guide Search Results: UG, GR, Winter 2007, Dept = RCSSCI
 
Page 1 of 1, Results 1 — 11 of 11
Title
Section
Instructor
Term
Credits
Requirements
RCSSCI 220 — Political Economy
Section 001, SEM

Instructor: Thompson,Frank W; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: SS

The course explores human society from an interdisciplinary social scientific perspective anchored in political economic analysis. The primary focus is on modern capitalism, especially as it has developed in the United States. A wide range of social analyses is examined with an emphasis on contemporary contributions. Historical and theoretical points are considered in close relation to current affairs and to potential feasible alternatives to prevailing policies and institutions. Students are encouraged to explore their own interests and ideas as well as to develop their capacities for insightful social analysis. Written work consists of a take-home midterm, a final examination, and a term paper. The course provides extensive opportunities for discussion. (RCSSCI Gateway Course).

RCSSCI 275 — Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Carson,John S; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: SS

From automobiles and computers to immunizations and genetically modified foods, science, technology, and medicine are almost omnipresent elements of modern lives and lifestyles, and have been for many decades. This course will introduce students to some of the central ideas, techniques, and controversies in the social study of science, technology, and medicine.

Open to students with backgrounds in either the humanities/social sciences or the sciences, its purpose is to help participants think in a more informed, critical, and sophisticated manner about science, technology, and medicine (STM) and their implications for modern life. We will examine not only developments in the knowledge and practices that make up STM, but also how they affect society and how society shapes them.

There will be two lectures and one discussion session per week, and requirements will include weekly reading, a midterm, and at least one paper.

RCSSCI 275/HISTORY 285 meets the core course requirement for those wanting to pursue an STS minor through the Program in Science, Technology, and Society.

This class is open to both RC and non-RC students. Sign up soon before the course fills up!

Advisory Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

RCSSCI 290 — Social Science Basic Seminar
Section 001, SEM

Instructor: Greenspan,Henry

WN 2007
Credits: 1

This seminar is designed for students at the sophomore level or above who are seriously considering a Social Science major in the Residential College. The seminar is a requirement in the Social Science program; its purpose is to prepare students to pursue a concentration in Social Science in the RC. Seminar sessions will introduce students to the RC Social Science faculty and upper-level Social Science majors, and discussion will center on how to turn general interests into problems that can be investigated systematically. Early on, students will begin working on their own with guidance from faculty and upper-level students whose interests complement theirs in order to complete the principal goal of the seminar: designing a coherent, individualized program of study for the Social Science major.

RCSSCI 302 — Contemporary Social and Cultural Theory
Section 001, SEM

Instructor: Caulfield,Sueann

WN 2007
Credits: 4

This course will provide students with an introductory look at some of the theories that have been prominent across the disciplines of twentieth-century social science, with special emphasis on psychoanalysis, anthropology, sociology, political economy, and history. The course considers a selection of influential theories posited by social scientists at different times over the course of the twentieth century, focusing on how they constructed categories that have become hallmarks of late twentieth-century understandings of human societies in the West: race, class, gender, sexuality, and culture. Out goal is to understand how social scientific disciplines have structured how we develop theories about individuals and societies, as well as how some of these theories have, in turn, challenged the boundaries around the disciplines.

Advisory Prerequisite: Social Science 301 or equivalent (as determined by the instructor).

RCSSCI 315 — International Grassroots Development
Section 001, SEM

Instructor: Fox,Helen; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: ULWR, SS
Other: Theme

What does "good development" mean to you? Do impoverished communities around the world need democracy? High quality "Western" medicine for all? Spiritual enlightenment? Debt forgiveness? High tech education? Liberation from U.S. corporations? Gender equality? A return to ancient values and practices? Equality on the world stage? Or to just be left alone?

In this course we will look at how different assumptions about the Global South drive conflicting solutions proposed by governments, aid agencies, religious groups, human rights activists, the business community, rebels, idealists, and grassroots organizations. Be prepared for lively discussion, a deep, personal examination of your own beliefs and values, lots of writing — and lots of help with your writing.

Junior or Senior status required. Some previous courses in economics, political science, anthropology, and/or lived experience in the Global South may be helpful.

RCSSCI 357 — History and Theory of Punishment
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Bright,Charles C

WN 2007
Credits: 4

In this course, we will explore the history and theory of punishment in the 19th and 20th Centuries. The main focus will be on the history of punishment in the United States, but we will draw on broader theoretical traditions and use comparative cases from other places. Central to the study will be patterns of change in punishment practices and how these reflected and/or foster new perspectives on who criminals are and what makes them misbehave. We will seek to understand how punishment systems create and defend coherent, if changing narratives about deviance, crime, and correction, and how these narratives work to organize the internal practices and the public discourse about punishment. Topics will include the invention of the penitentiary in the early/mid-19th Century, the development of industrial penology and the "big house" in the early 20th Century, contract labor systems and chain gangs that comprised penal practice in the American South after the Civil War, and the emergence of rehabilitative models of corrections and their crisis after the second World War. These historical explorations will frame a critical examination of contemporary penology and discourses on punishment. Class sessions will mix lectures with discussions and small group work. There will be several assigned books and a course pack; two essays and a final paper will supplant midterm and final exams. This is one of two required core courses for the Crime and Justice undergraduate academic minor.

RCSSCI 360 — Social Science Junior Seminar
Section 002, SEM
The Challenges of Democratic Development in Mexico: Chiapas Field Study and Seminar

Instructor: Robinson, Ian

WN 2007
Credits: 4

In the last 20 years, Mexico has moved from what novelist Mario Vargas Llosa once called Latin America's "perfect dictatorship" — a political system dominated by a single party from 1928 to 2000 — to a system in which three political parties are vying for political power, each with strongholds in different regions and levels and branches of government. The southern border state of Chiapas — and the Zapatista rebellion launched there on January 1, 1994 — played an important part in these changes. But Chiapas — Mexico's most indigenous, most agrarian, poorest and (since 1994) most militarized state — also demonstrates the limits of the transformation to date. Politics there remains polarized and sometimes violent, and the economic situation of the rural majority has been deteriorating, driving increased migration to the United States. The limits of Mexico's democratization are also evident in the violence unleashed against the teachers' union and its supporters in Oaxaca, and in the still-disputed outcome of the presidential election of 2006.

The course will meet as a seminar during the Winter term. Then, in the first two weeks of May, 15 members of the class will participate in a two-week field trip to Chiapas, Oaxaca and Mexico City. In Chiapas, we will meet with NGOs working on rural development, militarization, migration, and indigenous rights, with Zapatista communities and fair trade coffee farmer coops. In Oaxaca, we will meet with representatives of the teachers' union and the larger movement of which it is a part. In Mexico City, we will talk with representatives of the three major political parties, and with supporters of the "parallel government" formed by PRD Presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The Winter term class can accommodate 25 students, but only 15 of these students will be able to participate in the field trip, which will run from May 3-17 (2 additional credits). The Office of International Programs (OIP) is providing some financial support for students participating in the field trip.

Advisory Prerequisite: Upperclass standing.

RCSSCI 360 — Social Science Junior Seminar
Section 003, SEM
Topics in Science, Art and the Creative Process

Instructor: Evans,Jeffrey E

WN 2007
Credits: 4

In this course we explore the science of creativity and the creative process in science and art.

First, we consider mind and brain in the creative process, applying concepts from psychology and neuroscience to the question of how we create.

What cognitive and affective abilities are involved in the creative process?
What is the role of mental imagery, insight, logic, dreaming?
How does the brain function in various moments of the creative process?
What is your own creative style, and can it be further developed?

Second, we explore similarities and differences in creating in the arts and sciences.

Do mental imagery, analogy and metaphor function in science as they do in the arts?
Does problem solving function in the arts as it does in the sciences and mathematics?

Third, we consider the lives and work of selected artists and scientists whose creative process has been particularly well documented. Examples of those we may include are Charles Darwin, founder of the science of evolution; Richard Feynman, physicist and contemporary of Einstein; Pablo Picasso, modern artist; and the painter, Frida Kahlo.

Finally we will ask why human beings create. How does creative activity change our relationship to the world? Are there advantages to health — mental and physical? Might creativity in humans lend an evolutionary advantage?

The format of this class is presentation/discussion with opportunities to hear from professional artists and scientists about their work and to share ideas about our own creative styles: what works for us in our creative work or field of study?
Questions? Please contact Jeff Evans at jeevans@umich.edu

Advisory Prerequisite: Upperclass standing.

RCSSCI 360 — Social Science Junior Seminar
Section 004, SEM
Urbanism as a Way of Life

Instructor: Dillard,Angela Denise

WN 2007
Credits: 3

What is it that makes cities distinctive in terms of both the built environment and social life? Do people experience life differently in urban spaces than they do in non-urban ones? How have cities mattered historically and why have they so often been demonized as sites of poverty, adversity, ethnic strife, racial violence, crime and vice? This seminar explores these and other related questions using a variety of methodologies and approaches drawn from urban sociology and urban studies, social geography, literature, the arts and urban planning. Guided by a critical engagement with Louis Wirth, who's famous 1938 essay, "Urbanism as a Way of Life," attempted to formulate a sociology of urban existence, throughout the semester we will consider other now classic works of urban studies, such as Jacob Riis's How the Other Half Lives; Lewis Mumford's The City in History, and Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities. At the same time, we will devote a sizeable portion of the semester to thinking through the relationship between Detroit and the rest of the Metropolitan region as well as the various ways in which life in Detroit and other industrial and "postindustrial" cities have been depicted in literature and film.

Advisory Prerequisite: Upperclass standing.

RCSSCI 360 — Social Science Junior Seminar
Section 005, SEM
Theory & Practice Community Organizing

Instructor: Markus,Gregory B; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

The purpose of this course is to develop your capacities as "leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future." (That phrase is from the official mission statement of the University of Michigan.) Through readings, discussion, writing, and practical action, you will learn how to develop organizations that build the leadership capacities of individuals and the democratic power of communities to advance their shared interests. In addition, you will gain insight into how this work can inform basic knowledge about political participation, democratic theory and practice, and organizational processes — and vice versa. Expect to devote approximately 20 hours (plus travel time) to participating in activities and events in metropolitan Detroit as part of this course, in addition to reading, classroom discussions, and periodic writing assignments.

Advisory Prerequisite: Upperclass standing.

RCSSCI 461 — Senior Seminar
Section 001, SEM
The Algebra Project: Education, Citizenship, and Community Organizing for Social Justice in the 21st Century

Instructor: Ward,Stephen M

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Other: Theme

This course explores the history, philosophy, and pedagogical practice of the Algebra Project. Founded by civil rights veteran and community activist Bob Moses, the Algebra Project is a math literacy program based on the principle that all children deserve an education that encourages and supports them in the development of the knowledge and skills necessary for 21st century citizenship. It draws on the lessons and legacy of the Civil Rights movement, and especially of the movement's "community organizing tradition." We will investigate this tradition and the broader movement history of which it was a part, studying how this history informed the founding and development of the Algebra Project. This will include looking at the ideas and influence of Ella Baker on the movement in general and on Bob Moses and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in particular. Our study of the Civil Rights movement will also focus on the Freedom Schools that activists organized during the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project ("Freedom Summer"). From there we will examine other theories of radical and liberatory educational practice before moving to an examination of current challenges, concerns, and crises in our public education system. All of this will provide the basis for our in-depth analysis of the Algebra Project as well as the Young People's Project (YPP), a youth-initiated and youth-led movement. The YPP has grown out of the Algebra Project to project and expand its vision of education, community organizing, and citizenship for the 21st century.

 
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