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Fall 2019

ISF Courses

ISF 10 Enduring Questions and Great Books of the Western Tradition
  • Mondays 12-2PM
  • Bhandari
  • Hearst Annex B5
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 24411

This course is a broad survey of major canonical works (“Great Books”). These texts offer responses to central questions that, across the disciplinary divides, continue to inform contemporary work in the social sciences and the humanities. By considering these enduring questions, we seek to examine core issues of the liberal arts as they find expression across what would later become disciplinary divisions. 

ISF 100 A Introduction to Social Theory and Cultural Analysis
  • MWF 2-3PM
  • Kelkar
  • Wheeler 212
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 22074
Discussion Sections:

101: M 3-4 PM
102: M 10-11AM
103: T 9-10 AM
104: T 3-4 PM

This course, required of all ISF majors but open to all students, provides an introduction to the works of foundational social theorists of the nineteenth century, including Karl Marx and Max Weber. Writing in what might be called the “pre disciplinary” period of the modern social sciences, their works cross the boundaries of anthropology, economics, history, political science, sociology, and are today claimed by these and other disciplines as essential texts. We will read intensively and critically from their respective works, situating their intellectual contributions in the history of social transformations wrought by industrialization and urbanization, political revolution, and the development of modern consumer society.

ISF 100 G Introduction to Science, Society, and Ethics
  • TTH 12-2 PM
  • Bhandari
  • Mulford 240
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 32560

In our time of dizzying change, questions of value and fact often get mixed up. We'll see this to be the case in three of the most important contemporary developments: germline editing of embroys and bioengineering generally, climate change and decision-making by algorithms. There are obvious ethical questions at stake in these developments: intergenerational justice, fairness of engineered advantages, external costs imposed on third parties, and possible responsibility of systems for outcomes, to name a few. While this course will create room for explict ethical discussion around these developments, it will also aim to understand in social scientific terms the nature of ethics and ethical dispute in society. What role does ethics play in society? How does ethics inform scientific practice? What are the sources of ethical dispute? Can ethical disputes be resolved rationally? We'll pursue these questions not in the abstract but in the context of the said controversies: climate change, algorithmic decision-making and genetic engineering. No prior scientific knowledge is presumed.  

ISF 100 I Consumer Society and Culture
  • MWF 1-2 PM
  • Xu
  • Wheeler 102
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 31166

Following Weber, Veblen, and Bourdieu, social scientists often emphasize consumers’ motivations to establish or display their status. In many ways, consumption defines our lives – our identities as consumers are even more important, some would argue, than our identities as workers or producers. But what are the implications of a society in which “you are what you consume?” In this class, we will address: Under what conditions does a “consumer society” develop?  What does global commodity chain tell us about colonization, global inequality, and environmental injustice? How can we shape the life cycle of basic commodities—from raw materials to iPhones, from creation to destruction--in a socially sustainable way? This course will be interdisciplinary in its attempt to understand consumer society and culture in terms of political economy, geography, history, anthropology and sociology. It is divided into six major segments: "Consumption and Inequality," "Consumption, Meaning and Identity," "Global Commodity Chain," "Consumption in Contemporary China,” “Critiques of Consumer Society," and “Environment, Sustainability, and Social Justice”. The goal of this course is to provide students with a broad overview of debates and theories about consumption, and to provide them with an opportunity to explore a consumption-related topic themselves

ISF 189 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research Methods
  • MWF 9-10 AM
  • Kelkar
  • Cory 237
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 19186

This class is an introduction to research methods, leading students through different units built around specific learning goals and practical exercises.  The course is designed to teach a range of research skills, including (but not limited to) the ability to formulate research questions and to engage in scholarly conversations and arguments; the identification, evaluation, mobilization, and interpretation of sources; methods and instruments of field research (interviews, questionnaires, and sampling) and statistical thinking; and the construction of viable arguments and explanation in the human sciences.   At the same time, the course is designed to help students identify their own thesis topic, bibliography, and methodological orientation in preparation for ISF 190.

ISF 189 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research Methods
  • MWF 3-4 PM
  • Xu
  • Cory 237
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 19187

This class is an introduction to research methods, leading students through different units built around specific learning goals and practical exercises.  The course is designed to teach a range of research skills, including (but not limited to) the ability to formulate research questions and to engage in scholarly conversations and arguments; the identification, evaluation, mobilization, and interpretation of sources; methods and instruments of field research (interviews, questionnaires, and sampling) and statistical thinking; and the construction of viable arguments and explanation in the human sciences.   At the same time, the course is designed to help students identify their own thesis topic, bibliography, and methodological orientation in preparation for ISF 190.

ISF 189 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research Methods
  • TTH 9:30-11 AM
  • Quamruzzaman
  • Evans 2
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 19188

This class is an introduction to research methods, leading students through different units built around specific learning goals and practical exercises.  The course is designed to teach a range of research skills, including (but not limited to) the ability to formulate research questions and to engage in scholarly conversations and arguments; the identification, evaluation, mobilization, and interpretation of sources; methods and instruments of field research (interviews, questionnaires, and sampling) and statistical thinking; and the construction of viable arguments and explanation in the human sciences.   At the same time, the course is designed to help students identify their own thesis topic, bibliography, and methodological orientation in preparation for ISF 190.

ISF 190 Senior Thesis
  • TTH 2-3 PM
  • Quamruzzaman
  • Barrows 186
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 16924

The ISF Senior Thesis requirement is the capstone experience and final product of the ISF Major.   The thesis is a sustained, original, and critical examination of a central interdisciplinary research question, developed under the guidance of the ISF 190 instructor.  The thesis represents a mature synthesis of research skills, critical thinking, and competent writing. As the final product of a student's work in the major, the thesis is not the place to explore a new set of disciplines or research problems for the first time, but should develop methods of inquiry and bridge the several disciplines that students have developed in their Course of Study.

ISF 190 Senior Thesis
  • MW 10-11 AM
  • Xu
  • Dwinelle 104
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 16926

The ISF Senior Thesis requirement is the capstone experience and final product of the ISF Major.   The thesis is a sustained, original, and critical examination of a central interdisciplinary research question, developed under the guidance of the ISF 190 instructor.  The thesis represents a mature synthesis of research skills, critical thinking, and competent writing. As the final product of a student's work in the major, the thesis is not the place to explore a new set of disciplines or research problems for the first time, but should develop methods of inquiry and bridge the several disciplines that students have developed in their Course of Study.

Approved Theory and Practice courses
Note: students who enroll in one of these courses cannot count the course as part of their Upper Division Course of Study Requirement.

Anthropology 156 Politics and Anthropology
  • TTH 12:30-2PM
  • Holston
  • Kroeber 221
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 31483

Anthropological concepts relevant to the comparative analysis of political ethnography and socio-political change. Particular attention will be given to the interrelations of culture and politics.

Anthropology 157 Anthropology of Law
  • TTH 11-12:30PM
  • Laura Nader
  • Cory 277
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 20999

Comparative survey of the ethnography of law; methods and concepts relevant to the comparative analysis of the forms and functions of law.

Comparative Literataure 100 D Introduction to Comparative Literature
  • TTH 12:30-2PM
  • Britto
  • Dwinelle 246
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 31340

An introduction to problems of the comparative study of literatures of the world in international and cross-cultural perspective . Emphasis on principles of comparative methods and analysis with focus on contemporary social and cultural issues in at least one foreign culture along with selected literary, critical, and theoretical texts. Readings in English.

Demography C 126 Sex, Death, and Data
  • MWF 11-12
  • TBA
  • Latimer 120
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 21600

Introduction to population issues and the field of demography, with emphasis on historical patterns of population growth and change during the industrial era. Topics covered include the demographic transition, resource issues, economic development, the environment, population control, family planning, birth control, family and gender, aging, intergenerational transfers, and international migration.

Economics C 110 Game Theory in the Social Sciences
  • TTH 9:30-11 AM
  • Powell
  • Li Ka Shing 245
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 21637

A non-technical introduction to game theory. Basic principle, and models of interaction among players, with a strong emphasis on applications to political science, economics, and other social sciences.

Education W 142 Education in a Global World
  • TBA
  • Erin Murphy-Graham
  • TBA
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 29063

What is globalization? What are the implications of living in a "global world" for education? How can education be used as a tool to promote global social justice and prosperity? In this course, we will address these and other related questions through collective reading assignments, class discussions, and online collaboration through our learning platform (bSpace or other).

ESPM 161 Environmental Philosophy and Ethics
  • MW 3-4
  • TBA
  • Morgan 101
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 26813

A cross-cultural comparison of human environments as physical, socio-economic, and technocultural ecosystems with special emphasis on the role of beliefs, attitudes, ideologies, and behavior. An examination of contemporary environmental literature and the philosophies embodied therein.

ESPM 162 A Health, Medicine, Society and Environment
  • MWF 12-1PM
  • TBA
  • North Gate 105
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 27310

Introduces students to intersections between health, medicine, society, and environment through medical and environmental anthropology, political ecology, medical geography, and the social studies of science, technology and the natural environment. Readings, discussions, and assignments will explore the sociocultural, political economic, and environmental aspects of illness, care, disease, biomedicine, and health (in)equity.

History 100 U Special Topics in Comparative History
  • TTH 12:30-2PM
  • Ogle
  • Barker 101
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 31605

Modern Money: A Global History: This course uses money as a vantage point from which to survey major historical developments from roughly the 16th century to the present. It is not an economic history in the strict sense but rather an attempt to understand the broader, political, social, cultural, and even religious context of money in addition to its economic nature. What exactly is money, and what is it for? You might be tempted to answer this question by simply opening your wallet and taking out a quarter and a dollar note. But what about the credit card next to it? What about those bitcoins that you may have bought ‘for fun’ when the cryptocurrency first became known to a broader audience, but that you now keep because their value has gone up and might do so even more? Was it historically better to have the biggest silver mine in Europe, or the biggest stock market in the world?

Legal Studies 145 Law and Economics I
  • TTH 9:30-11 AM
  • Salama
  • Kroeber 160
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 25135

The course will apply microeconomic theory analysis to legal rules and procedures. Emphasis will be given to the economic consequences of various sorts of liability rules, remedies for breach of contract and the allocation of property rights. The jurisprudential significance of the analysis will be discussed.

Legal Studies 151 Law, Self, and Society
  • MW 12-2PM
  • Meir Dan-Cohen
  • Barrows 166
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 24648

Contemporary moral and political philosophy has been increasingly interested in how conceptions of the self relate to various aspects of our social and political life. These issues have an important bearing on legal theory as well. Law is shaped by certain implicit assumptions about the nature of individuals and collectivities, while it also actively participates in forming the identities of persons and in structuring collective entities such as families, corporations, and municipalities. This course will explore some theoretical approaches to this reciprocal relationship between law and the different social actors that it governs.

Spring 2019

ISF Courses

ISF 50 Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence
  • TTH 2-3:30
  • Kelkar
  • Barrows 110
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 31941

It’s hard not to open a newspaper or magazine today and see claims being made for artificial
intelligence. Advocates argue that software programs will now be able to even perform creative
jobs (as opposed to just routine ones) and that this is both a matter of celebration and concern.
Critics argue that these claims are hyperbolic, while others argue that they are too close to reality
and an indication of how much autonomy we have ceded to machines. In this course, we will pick
apart all of these claims. We will ask: how have different human societies conceived of
“intelligence,” natural or artificial, and how has this varied with place and time? How have
different technical experts been influenced by the time, place, constraints, and patronage they
operated under? How does contemporary AI intersect with regimes of calculation, capitalism,
standardization, gender, and speech? The class will be interdisciplinary in method as well as
subject: we will study technical and popular material, philosophy and empirical work, engineering
and social science literature, as well as science fiction.

 

The course satisfies the Philosophy and Values and the Social and Behavioral Sciences Breadth requirements.

ISF 100 A Introduction to Social Theory and Cultural Analysis
  • TTH 12:30-2PM
  • Bhandari
  • Cory 277
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 22719

My goal in this course is to equip students with some of the most important classic and modern social scientific theoretical ideas for the following purposes:

--to see the nature and determinants of social life in new ways and in historical context

--to give students tools to grasp the nature of the social problems and developments that their own research will explore

--to get us to think about the new concepts and theories we shall have to create to make sense of the possibly epochal developments in AI, biotechnology and energy systems.

 The course will be interdisciplinary in two ways: we shall study the ideas of the great pre-disciplinary theorists (Marx, Weber and Durkheim), and I have assigned widely respected and cited works that are still often not taught because they fall in the interstices of two or more departments or disciplines. Yet these works will show us that many of our greatest social problems cannot be tackled productively without an interdisciplinary approach.

 

ISF 100A

Fall 2017

Rakesh Bhandari

Acting Director, Interdisciplinary Studies

GSI’s: Ella Belfer, Sophie Major

 

My goal in this course is to equip students with some of the most important classic and modern social scientific theoretical ideas for the following purposes:

--to see the nature and determinants of social life in new ways and in historical context

--to give students tools to grasp the nature of the social problems and developments that their own research will explore

--to get us to think about the new concepts and theories we shall have to create to make sense of the possibly epochal developments in AI, biotechnology and energy systems.

The course will be interdisciplinary in two ways: we shall study the ideas of the great pre-disciplinary theorists (Marx, Weber and Durkheim), and I have assigned widely respected and cited works that are still often not taught because they fall in the interstices of two or more departments or disciplines. Yet these works will show us that many of our greatest social problems cannot be tackled productively without an interdisciplinary approach.

Expect to do eight hours of reading a week; there is no other work in this course but to attend lectures and sections and to take the exams which will test reading knowledge on the basis of questions asking for only short answers. The reinforcement of what you learn should happen through your use of select concepts and theories in further course work and of course your own research. 

 

Class Meeting Time and Office Hours 

Please be on time on to class and section. OH for this class will be on at 267 Evans at F 11-1. I’ll also have additional OH posted on the ISF website that you are free to try to crash.

Attendance and Reading

Attendance at all lectures and sections is required. The assigned reading should be completed before the following class. No laptops or electronic devices allowed in the lecture hall without a valid exception.

Grade

Section attendance: 10% of Final Grade; Each midterm: 15% of Final Grade; Final Exam: 30% of Final Grade You will be allowed for the final a cheat sheet of hand-written notes on one side of an 8” by 11” piece of paper.  

Honor Code:

The student community at UC Berkeley has adopted the following Honor Code: “As a member of the UC Berkeley community, I act with honesty, integrity, and respect for others.”  The expectation is that you will adhere to this code both inside the classroom and outside. Reviewing lecture and reading materials and studying for exams can be enjoyable and enriching things to do with fellow students.  This is recommended.  However, unless otherwise instructed, homework assignments are to be completed independently and materials submitted as homework should be the result of one’s own independent work. 

The University code of ethics is very severe on academic misconduct, i. e. plagiarism and cheating. All written work submitted for a course, except for acknowledged quotations, must be expressed in the student's own words. It must also be constructed upon a plan of the student's own devising. Work copied without acknowledgement from a book, from another student's paper, from the internet, or from any other source is plagiarized. Plagiarism can range from wholesale copying of passages from another's work to using the views, opinions, and insights of another without acknowledgement, to paraphrasing another person's original phrases without acknowledgement. All sources must therefore be documented and all usage of other material must be clearly cited in your papers. Plagiarism and cheating will have dramatic consequences for you, from failing the assignment to failing the entire course. All cases will also be referred to the Student Judicial Affairs, which can impose a variety of sanctions that can extend all the way to University expulsion. Please feel free to ask your instructor about how to integrate secondary materials into your own writing. For a full copy of the University code, see: http://sa.berkeley.edu/code-of-conduct. For guidelines on plagiarism, see: http://sa.berkeley.edu/cite-responsibly

 

Required books: They can be found here https://calstudentstore.berkeley.edu/courselisting/index/loadMaterials. Please use only the editions specified. I have created a pdf of the Olle Häggstrom book on account of the difficulty in finding a used copy (see files in b-courses where many of the course readings can be found). 

 

 

Tue., Jan. 22

Module I: Classic Social Theory and Human Nature

 

Thu., Jan. 24 Gianfranco Poggi on Karl Marx; Ann Cudd “Is Capitalism Good for Women?”;   Victoria Bateman https://unherd.com/2017/11/capitalism-suffering-crisis-care/?=sideshare

Tue., Jan. 29 Poggi on Emile Durkheim; Maurice Godelier “What is Society?”

Thu., Jan. 31 Poggi on Max Weber; Enzo Traverso “Discipline, Punishing, Killing”

 

Tue., Feb. 5 Olle Häggstrom “Engineering Better Humans”, pp. 38-84; Mark Walker “Transhumanism”.  Recommended movie: “Gattaca”

 

Thu., Feb. 7 First Midterm

Module II: Capital

 

Tue., Feb. 12 Robert Allen Industrial Revolution: A Very Short Introduction skim entire

Thu., Feb. 14 Marx, Capital, Preface, Afterword, Chapters 1-3; recommended movie: “The Young Karl Marx”

Tue., Feb. 19 Marx, Chapters 4-6

Thu., Feb. 21 Marx, Chapters 7-11

Tue., Feb. 26 Marx, Chapters 12-15

Thu., Feb. 28 Marx, Chapters 16-32

Tue., Mar. 5 Marx, Capital, pp. 383-482

 

Thu., Mar. 7 Second Midterm

Module III: Western Modernity

 

Tue., Mar. 12; Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View  from the Future, pp.ix-34; Haggstrom, pp. 1-37; Richard Fisher “The Perils of Short-termism: Civilization’s Greatest Threat”    

  http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190109the-perils-of-short-termism-civi...

 

Thu., Mar. 14 Oreskes and Conway, pp. 35-80

Tue., Mar. 19 Häggstrom, pp. 140-170 and 226-251

 

Thu., Mar. 21 Third Midterm

 

Spring Break (read as much of Lewis and Maslin as possible)

 

Module IV: The Anthropocene

 

Tue., Apr. 2 Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin, The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene, pp. 1-188; https://www.artpapers.org/amitov-ghosh-the-great-derangement/ (recommended)

 

Thu., Apr. 4 Lewis and Maslin, pp. 189-294

Tue., Apr. 9  Lewis and Maslin, pp. 295-441

Thu., Apr. 11 Fourth Midterm

Module V: Technology and Society

 

Tue., Apr. 16 Jamie Susskind, Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech, pp. 1-88 Recommended: Episodes of “Black Mirror”

Thu., Apr. 18 Susskind, pp. 89-152

Tue., Apr. 23 Susskind, pp. 153-256; Zeynep Tufecki “It’s the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech” https://www.wired.com/story/free-speech-issue-tech-turmoil-new-censorship/

Thu., Apr. 25 Susskind, pp. 257-312

Tue., Apr. 30 Susskind, pp. 313-366

Thu., May. 2 Review and Evaluations

 

FINAL: 1/3RD on Susskind; 2/3rd comprehensive.

 

ISF 100 C Language and Identity
  • MWF 1-2
  • Xu
  • Cory 247
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 25137

This course examines the role of language in the construction of social identities, and how language is tied to various forms of symbolic power at the national and international levels. As the saying goes, “A language is a dialect with an army and navy” – but how so? Questions about language have been central to national culture and identity, and the languages we speak often prove, upon close examination, not to be the tongues of ancestors but invented traditions of political significance. People have also encoded resistance into non-official and ambiguous languages even as the state has attempted to devalue them as inferior forms of expression. Drawing on case studies from Southeast Asia, Europe, Canada, and the U.S., we will pay special attention to topics such as the legitimization of a national language, the political use of language in nation-building processes, the endangerment of indigenous languages, and processes of linguistic subordination and domination.  This course will be interdisciplinary in its attempt to understand language in terms of history, politics, anthropology and sociology. We will not only study how language has been envisioned in planning documents and official language policy, but also analyze how speakers enact, project, and contest their culturally specific subject positions according to their embodied linguistic capital. 

ISF 100 K Health and Development
  • TTH 9:30-11AM
  • Quamruzzaman
  • Davis 534
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 26519

Development is often defined as a process of economic growth. Only recently there has been a growing disagreement about this definition and scholars argue that development should be understood as a process of improving human conditions. Health is an important indicator of human development. It is still not conclusive whether economic growth automatically translates into better population health and whether healthy population is a precondition of economic growth because there are other factors that affect both health and development. This course will focus on this debate and examine social, political, demographic and epidemiologic determinants of health in relation to levels of economic development.

ISF 189 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research Methods
  • TTH 12:30-2PM
  • Quamruzzaman
  • LeConte 385
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 19720

This class is an introduction to research methods, leading students through different units built around specific learning goals and practical exercises.  The course is designed to teach a range of research skills, including (but not limited to) the ability to formulate research questions and to engage in scholarly conversations and arguments; the identification, evaluation, mobilization, and interpretation of sources; methods and instruments of field research (interviews, questionnaires, and sampling) and statistical thinking; and the construction of viable arguments and explanation in the human sciences.   At the same time, the course is designed to help students identify their own thesis topic, bibliography, and methodological orientation in preparation for ISF 190.

ISF 189 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research Methods
  • MWF 3-4PM
  • Xu
  • Latimer 121
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 31763

This class is an introduction to research methods, leading students through different units built around specific learning goals and practical exercises.  The course is designed to teach a range of research skills, including (but not limited to) the ability to formulate research questions and to engage in scholarly conversations and arguments; the identification, evaluation, mobilization, and interpretation of sources; methods and instruments of field research (interviews, questionnaires, and sampling) and statistical thinking; and the construction of viable arguments and explanation in the human sciences.   At the same time, the course is designed to help students identify their own thesis topic, bibliography, and methodological orientation in preparation for ISF 190.

ISF 190 Senior Thesis
  • MW 10-11AM
  • Xu
  • Evans 2
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 17491

The ISF Senior Thesis requirement is the capstone experience and final product of the ISF Major.   The thesis is a sustained, original, and critical examination of a central interdisciplinary research question, developed under the guidance of the ISF 190 instructor.  The thesis represents a mature synthesis of research skills, critical thinking, and competent writing. As the final product of a student's work in the major, the thesis is not the place to explore a new set of disciplines or research problems for the first time, but should develop methods of inquiry and bridge the several disciplines that students have developed in their Course of Study.

ISF 190 Senior Thesis
  • MW 2-3PM
  • Bhandari
  • Evans 2
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 17492

The ISF Senior Thesis requirement is the capstone experience and final product of the ISF Major.   The thesis is a sustained, original, and critical examination of a central interdisciplinary research question, developed under the guidance of the ISF 190 instructor.  The thesis represents a mature synthesis of research skills, critical thinking, and competent writing. As the final product of a student's work in the major, the thesis is not the place to explore a new set of disciplines or research problems for the first time, but should develop methods of inquiry and bridge the several disciplines that students have developed in their Course of Study.

ISF 190 Senior Thesis
  • TTH 8-9AM
  • Kelkar
  • Evans 2
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 17493

The ISF Senior Thesis requirement is the capstone experience and final product of the ISF Major.   The thesis is a sustained, original, and critical examination of a central interdisciplinary research question, developed under the guidance of the ISF 190 instructor.  The thesis represents a mature synthesis of research skills, critical thinking, and competent writing. As the final product of a student's work in the major, the thesis is not the place to explore a new set of disciplines or research problems for the first time, but should develop methods of inquiry and bridge the several disciplines that students have developed in their Course of Study.

ISF 190 Senior Thesis
  • TTH 2-3:30
  • Quamruzzaman
  • Evans 2
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 17494

The ISF Senior Thesis requirement is the capstone experience and final product of the ISF Major.   The thesis is a sustained, original, and critical examination of a central interdisciplinary research question, developed under the guidance of the ISF 190 instructor.  The thesis represents a mature synthesis of research skills, critical thinking, and competent writing. As the final product of a student's work in the major, the thesis is not the place to explore a new set of disciplines or research problems for the first time, but should develop methods of inquiry and bridge the several disciplines that students have developed in their Course of Study.

Approved Theory and Practice courses
Note: students who enroll in one of these courses cannot count the course as part of their Upper Division Course of Study Requirement.

Cognitive Science C 101 Cognitive Linguistics
  • TTH 9:30-11AM
  • Sweetser
  • Wurster 102
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 30650

Conceptual systems and language from the perspective of cognitive science. How language gives insight into conceptual structure, reasoning, category-formation, metaphorical understanding, and the framing of experience. Cognitive versus formal linguistics. Implications from and for philosophy, anthropology, literature, artificial intelligence, and politics.

Comparative Literature 155 The Modern Period
  • MWF 11-12
  • Britto
  • Dwinelle 83
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 30710

In this course we will read a number of literary texts set in colonized territories, largely though not entirely under French domination. Dating from the turn of the twentieth century to the period of widespread decolonization a half-century later, these texts represent a variety of forms and genres (adventure novels, autobiographical fiction, philosophical novels, political denunciation and/or satire) and emerge out of a number of different cultural situations and geographic locations (including Southeast Asia, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa). Some of the authors to be considered are firmly enshrined in the canon of modern European literature, while others write as colonized subjects engaging with European histories of exoticist representation. In our discussions, we will consider the historical specificity of each text while remaining open to insights made possible by reading comparatively. In other words, our goal will not be to synthesize a monolithic theory of literature and colonialism but rather to analyze individual texts while attempting to be attentive to common textual strategies, formal elements, and practices of representing colonial space, dynamics of power, and variously configured articulations of domination and resistance, civilization and savagery, modernity and tradition. Readings will likely include: Beti, Mission to Kala; Camus, The Stranger; Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Djebar, Children of the New World; Duras, A Sea of Troubles; Malraux, The Royal Way; Oyono, The Old Man and the Medal.

Demography 180 Social Networks
  • TTH 9:30-11AM
  • Feehan
  • McCone 141
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 26510

The science of social networks focuses on measuring, modeling, and understanding the different ways that people are connected to one another. We will use a broad toolkit of theories and methods drawn from the social, natural, and mathematical sciences to learn what a social network is, to understand how to work with social network data, and to illustrate some of the ways that social networks can be useful in theory and in practice. We will see that network ideas are powerful enough to be used everywhere from UNAIDS, where network models help epidemiologists prevent the spread of HIV, to Silicon Valley, where data scientists use network ideas to build products that enable people all across the globe to connect with one another.

Economics 191 Topics in Economic Research
  • M 6:30-9:30PM
  • Eichengreen
  • Latimer 120
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 19880

This course discusses recent research and policy developments. The core objective is to expose students to different aspects of research in economics. A sequence of five different frontier research topics are studied in depth each semester. Each topic lasts three weeks, during which students will familiarize themselves with cutting-edge economic research and methodology. Students will then develop their own research ideas and write two medium- size research papers.

English 180 Z Science Fiction
  • MWF 12-1PM
  • Jones
  • Barrows 170
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 29995

Study of speculative fiction (or science fiction) as a genre. Topics may vary from semester to semester. Focus may be historical or thematic.

Geography C 112 Global Development: Theory, History, Geography
  • TTH 2-3:30
  • Hart
  • Leconte 4
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 25038

Historical review of the development of world economic systems and the impact of these developments on less advanced countries. Course objective is to provide a background against which to understand and assess theoretical interpretations of development and underdevelopment.

History 133 A The History of American Capitalism
  • TTH 11-12:30
  • Rosenthal
  • Valley Life Sciences 2040
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 30754

What is capitalism? And when did it come to characterize the American economy? This course will explore the economic history of the United States, from the colonial period to the present. We will analyze the dramatic changes that catapulted a chain of colonies from the fringe of the global economy to its center. As the semester progresses, we will seek out the sources of this dramatic transformation, exploring a variety of overlapping and sometimes conflicting explanations. Is this primarily a story about ideas and economic outlook? Is it about entrepreneurship and innovation? Or about exploitation and expropriation? What role did the government play? What role the individual? Major themes will include the rise of the factory system, slavery and emancipation, immigration and labor, the development of banking and finance, and economic inequality. In addition to building their knowledge of American history, students will gain theoretical familiarity with three subfields of history: business history, economic history, and labor history. We will explore the ways each of these fields has generated different narratives that celebrate and/or critique American capitalism. And at every turn we will consider how these different narratives alternately highlight and minimize the important roles played by business elites, enslaved people, laborers, women, and immigrants. Rarely was the “invisible hand” colorblind or gender neutral. The course will discuss both famous businessmen and largely-forgotten workmen, women, and slaves. We will examine capitalism both from above and from below, seeking to understand the causes and consequences of economic change for different groups of Americans.

History 182 A Topics in the History of Technology: Technology and Society
  • TTH 12:30-2PM
  • Mazzotti
  • Leconte 4
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 26245

Where do science and technology come from? How did they become the most authoritative kinds of knowledge in our society? How do technology, culture, and society interact? What drives technological change? The course examines these questions using case studies from different historical periods. We shall discuss the emergence of science as a dimension of our modernity, and its relations to other traditions such as magic, religion, and art. The aim of the course is for students to learn about how science and technology shape the way we live and, especially, how technological change is invariably shaped by historical and social circumstances.

History of Art 192 T Undergraduate Seminar: Problems in Research and Interpretation: Transcultural
  • Tuesdays 2-5PM
  • Davis
  • Doe Library 425
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 30052

Concentration on specific problems in art history as a transcultural inquiry, across multiple or varying cultural contexts. Assigned readings, discussion, and a substantial paper. For specific topics and enrollment, see listings on arthistory.berkely.edu.

Letters and Science 121 Origins in Science and Religion
  • TTH 2-3:30
  • Padian
  • Barker 101
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 30189

This course explores the concepts of origins in science and religion and their cultural contexts and entanglements, from antiquity to the present. Popular culture tends to emphasize the conflict between science and religion on such issues, particularly in recent times, with respect to the origin of life and its evolution (including human evolution). We hold that science must acknowledge history, both the history of the natural world and the history of concepts about it, and that religion must deal with the changing knowledge of science, including issues of origins, causation, and teleology. Our guiding questions include: What are origins, and why do we want to know about them? How does this desire manifest itself in different ways of constructing and analyzing knowledge? What sorts of intellectual processes, standards, and tests can be applied to different concepts of origins? What happens when different notions of origins clash? How do we negotiate these clashes in today's world?

Letters and Science C 138 Art and Activism
  • TH 9:30AM-12:30PM
  • Lucas
  • Morrison 250
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 26520

This course explores the intersections between aesthetic practice and social change. Students will investigate—in both theory and practice—the capacity of art making to cultivate transformation of themselves, their relationships, their practices, their institutions, and the larger economic and socio-political structures in which they function, locally and globally. Focusing on historical and contemporary artists and political issues, we ask: 1) How is art impacted by social change? 2) How has art been used toward social change? and 3) How can we, as course participants, use art to bring about social change? Rooted in interdisciplinary scholarship, students will engage theoretical debates and historical analyses regarding the role of the arts in social change and examine the particular capacities of the arts to negotiate across and between cultures, languages, and power-laden lines of difference. Taking a broad view of activism, we will consider the ways in which artistic practices foster radical imaginations that can expand our sense of the possible. Case studies will span media including visual arts, theater, dance, poetry/spoken word, literature, and music.

Linguistics C 105 Cognitive Linguistics
  • TTH 9:30-11AM
  • Sweetser
  • Wurster 102
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 29892

Conceptual systems and language from the perspective of cognitive science. How language gives insight into conceptual structure, reasoning, category-formation, metaphorical understanding, and the framing of experience. Cognitive versus formal linguistics. Implications from and for philosophy, anthropology, literature, artificial intelligence, and politics.

Sociology 145 Social Change
  • TTTH 3:30-5
  • Riley
  • Moffitt Library 102
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 25206

Study of major changes in modern societies: the sources of these changes; the processes through which they spread; their meaning for individuals and institutions.

Summer 2019

ISF Courses

ISF 100 A Introduction to Social Theory and Cultural Analysis
  • MTWTH 1-3PM
  • Quamruzzaman
  • GPBB 107
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 13702

Session A: May 28-July 5 (6 weeks)

This course, required of all ISF Majors but open to all students, provides an introduction to some of the key theoretical foundations of much contemporary inquiry in the social sciences and humanities. Through an examination of the classical work of Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim, we will explore the central issues in contemporary debates concerning the nature of the socio-economic order, the modalities of power, and the process of cultural production. In addition, we will explore some reflections, elaborations, and criticisms of the classical work by more contemporary social thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Jean Baudrillard, and Pierre Bourdieu. The goal of this course is to provide the student with useful theoretical frameworks for conceptualizing and better understanding the social, economic, political and cultural phenomena that affect our life.

 

ISF 100 B Interdisciplinary Theories of the Self and Identity
  • MTWTH 1-3PM
  • Bhandari
  • CORY 247
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 15250

Session D: July 8-August 16 (6 weeks)

This course will explore how people come to develop and value the self as well their specific social identities. The course will draw on anthropology, sociology, neurobiology and philosophy to grapple with that which is most intimate yet often most opaque to us: our own selves. Yet we shall also explore the cultural limits of our unstable understanding of our individuated selves as well as the dialectic of self and other in the formation of identity.

ISF 100 D Introduction to Technology, Society, and Culture
  • MTWTH 10-11AM
  • Bhandari
  • Wheeler 102
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 14210

Session D: July 8-August 16 (6 weeks)

In this course, we shall explore how advances in AI and genetic engineering may change not only society but the very idea of what it means to be human. In interdisciplinary fashion, we shall combine stimulating pieces from the sociology of science and technology with works of the imagination, such as "Ex Machina", "Gattaca" and episodes of "Black Mirror".

ISF 100 E The Globalization of Rights, Values, and Laws in the 21st Century
  • MTWTH 10AM-12PM
  • Quamruzzaman
  • Evans 75
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 14209

Session A: May 28-July 5 (6 weeks)

With the world being globalized, concerns about the role of international laws in safeguarding human rights across different cultures are increasing. This course will address these concerns from an interdisciplinary perspective. More specifically, we will address the following questions: Are cultural values, human rights, and international laws becoming more homogeneous in the era of globalization? What role does the state play in maintaining the specificities of cultural values, rights, and laws? Do states’ rights inevitably conflict with the global human rights regime? What kind of values, rights, and laws will prevail at the global level?