Current Courses → Approved Theory And Practice Courses

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Spring 2019

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

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.