Politics for Credit!

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,

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.

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