A Collection of Fall Course Offerings on Contempoary Political Issues
The following is a list of possible courses for students who would like to spend some time during the fall term thinking critically and learning about contemporary politics. We have included this list to show that there are a number of interesting electives for students to choose from, and to point out possibilities that you might otherwise miss when trying to choose your courses for the fall. Most of these courses are open to first year students and have no pre-requisites, but you may wish to contact the professor to discuss the content and her/his expectations more fully. Ethnicity and Race in World Politics, 17.523 Ethnic and racial conflict appear to be the hallmark of the new world order. What accounts for the rise of ethnic/racial and nationalist sentiments and movements? What is the basis of ethnic and racial identity? What are the political claims and goals of such movements and is conflict inevitable? Introduces students to dominant theoretical approaches to race, ethnicity, and nationalism, and considers them in light of current events in Africa, Europe, and the Americas. HASS, Units: 3-0-9, Prof. M. Nobles. Introduction to Women's Studies, SP401 An interdisciplinary subject that draws on literature, history, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and feminist theory to: 1) examine our cultural assumptions about gender, 2) trace the effects of the new scholarship on traditional disciplines, and 3) increase awareness of the history and experience of women as half the world's population. HASS-D, Units: 3-0-9, Prof. M. McAlister. Literary Interpretation, 21L 701 Introduces practice and theory of literary criticism. Seminar focuses on topics such as the history of critical methods and techniques, and the continuity of certain subjects in literary history. Topic for 1995-96: Foucault. HASS, Units: 3-0-9, Prof. D.M. Halperin. Gender and Science, STS083J/STS531J(G)/SP488J/SP489(G) An examination of the roles that gender norms have historically played in the construction of scientific norms and practices with particular attention to the role of gender ideology in twentieth-century science. Graduate students are expected to pursue the subject in greater depth. HASS-D, Units: 3-0-9, Prof. E. M. Hammonds. Community Service: Experience and Reflection, 17.903 Seminar involves students in the community that exists beyond the labs and classrooms of the MIT campus. Through a combination of community service and academic study, students learn about political, economic, and social issues that confront residents in Boston and Cambridge. Students volunteer in a community service agency or private organization devoted to community needs and development. Students are also responsible for directed readings, three short writing assignments, and four evening seminar sessions. Subject can only be repeated for credit if area of community service is different. Units arranged [P/D/F], Prof. D. T. Kryder. Desire and Discourse: Introduction to Lesbian and Gay Studies, SP407 An introduction to the theory and practice of lesbian and gay studies. Focuses on issues of contemporary interest to lesbians and gay men; samples relevant work on those issues from a variety of scholarly fields. Topics: the definition of gay and lesbian identities, coming out, bisexuality, stigmatization, race and sexuality, social marginality and domination, sexual identity across cultures, homophobia, the construction of heterosexuality, lesbian and gay marriage, lesbian separatism, the politics of personal life, assimilation vs. liberation. HASS, Units: 3-0-9, Profs. D.M. Halperin and N. Goldstein. Writing by US Women of Color, 21W766J/SP443J Students read short stories by Native American, Latina, African American, and Asian American women writers and write their own stories and descriptive sketches. Discussion of the following themes: the reclaiming, reconstruction, and preservation of culture and ancestry as sources of power and resistance; storytelling and use of ethnic language as means of survival; use of indigenous myth and motif; shifting, contending, and multiple identities; and tensions between nationalist and feminist struggles for self-determination and self-definition. HASS, Units: 3-0-9, Prof. H. Lee. Gender, Theory, and Politics, SP411/SP412J(G)/17.118J(G) Analyzes theories of gender and politics, especially ideologies of gender and their construction; definitions of public and private spheres; gender issues in citizenship, the development of the welfare state, experiences of war and revolution, class formation, and the politics of sexuality. Graduate students are expected to pursue the subject in greater depth through reading and individual research. HASS, H-LEVEL Grad Credit, Units: 3-0-9, Prof. E. Wood. Theater and Cultural Diversity in the US, 21M621 A study of contemporary North American theater movements and selected individual works that are organized around issues of ethnic and socio-cultural identity. Class lectures and discussions analyze samples of African American, Chicano, Asian American, Puerto Rican and Native American theater taking into consideration their historical and political contexts. Performance exercises help students identify the theatrical context and theatrical forms and techniques used by these theaters. HASS-D, Units: 3-0-9, Prof. B. Cotto-Escalera. Gender, Technology, and Computer Culture, STS060J/STS518J(G)/SP480J/SP481J(G) Examines psychological, anthropological, sociological, and imaginative literature that illuminates the role of gender in dealing with technological objects, especially computational objects. Topics include factors that may inhibit women's participation in the nascent computer cultures, gender-swapping on the Internet, the representation of gender in science fiction, and the psychology of computer programming and computer interface design. HASS, Units: 3-0-9, Prof. S. R. Turkle.