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STS 200L: Critique of Technology

Informed citizens living in today'¬ôs world, and especially in Silicon Valley, should be able to formulate their own articulate positions about the role of technology in culture. The course gives students the tools to do so. Against the trend towards the thoughtless celebration of all things technological, we will engage in critique in the two senses of the term: as careful study of the cultural implications of technology and as balanced, argumentative criticism. Can technology make life more meaningful, society more fair, people smarter, and the world smaller? We will pay special attention to the insights that literature, and other arts, can offer for reframing digital culture. Selections by Latin American fiction writers (Cortázar, Zambra), philosophers and thinkers (Heidegger and Beller), as well as recent popular works of social commentary, such as You are not a Gadget, The Shallows, 24/7, and Present Shock. Taught in English.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2017 | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

SYMSYS 271: Group Democracy

This seminar will explore theoretical, empirical, and practical approaches to groups that come together around a common purpose or interest. Emphasis is on democratically structured, non-hierarchical and non-institutional decision making, e.g. by grassroots activists, student, or neighborhood organizations. Parliamentary, consensus, and informal procedures. How do groups form? How do they deliberate and make decision? What are the principles underlying different models for group process, and how well do different procedures work in practice? How do culture and identity affect the working of a group? And how are social technologies used? Readings from different disciplines and perspectives. Course is limited to 20 students. Prerequisite: A course in social psychology, decision making or group sociology. This course must be taken for a minimum of 3 units and a letter grade to be eligible for Ways credit
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2017 | Units: 2-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

TAPS 108: Introduction to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (AMSTUD 107, CSRE 108, FEMGEN 101)

Introduction to interdisciplinary approaches to gender, sexuality, queer, trans and feminist studies. Topics include the emergence of sexuality studies in the academy, social justice and new subjects, science and technology, art and activism, history, film and memory, the documentation and performance of difference, and relevant socio-economic and political formations such as work and the family. Students learn to think critically about race, gender, and sexuality from local and global perspectives.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

TAPS 153M: Mechanics of the Theater: The Technologies of Stagecraft

This course explores the history of technologies vital to the theatre: traps, lifts, lights, and sounds have been crucial for creating stage illusion. Divided into three main sections, Mechanics and Machines, Lighting and Projections, and Acoustics and Sound, we will examine the history of technological innovation and theatrical experimentation from the Enlightenment to the present. We will also be conducting case studies for each section with a core text or texts. We will cover Shakespeare's Hamlet, Ibsen's Ghosts, Chekhov's The Seagull, and Dreamgirls, The Musical. n nTechnologies such as mechanical traps, electrical lights, and sound machines have been used to create stunning illusions and spectacular theater. Many of these technologies were also significant for the histories of industrialization and modernization. We will ask: How did theater makers develop and innovate using technological innovations? What role does technological aesthetics play in understanding human culture? What are the relationships between theater, technology, and society? In class, we will be reading, experimenting, and performing with various technological artifacts. We will be conducting experiments alongside our reading practice to better understand our historical subjects.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2017 | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

TAPS 165: Introduction to Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CSRE 196C, ENGLISH 172D, PSYCH 155, SOC 146)

How different disciplines approach topics and issues central to the study of ethnic and race relations in the U.S. and elsewhere. Lectures by senior faculty affiliated with CSRE. Discussions led by CSRE teaching fellows. Includes an optional Haas Center for Public Service certified Community Engaged Learning section.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

TAPS 180Q: Noam Chomsky: The Drama of Resistance

Preference to sophomores. Chomsky's ideas and work which challenge the political and economic paradigms governing the U.S. Topics include his model for linguistics; cold war U.S. involvements in S.E. Asia, the Middle East, Central and S. America, the Caribbean, and Indonesia and E. Timor; the media, terrorism, ideology, and culture; student and popular movements; and the role of resistance.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-ER, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Rehm, R. (PI)

THINK 12: Century of Violence

What is modern about modern mass violence? This course explores the evolution, varieties, and logic of mass violence from the early 20th century to the present day. You will engage with and analyze primary accounts of such violence by victims, observers, perpetrators, and courts. We will then consider the effectiveness of various efforts to confront genocides and crimes against humanity in international courts and institutions, past and present. We start with the emergence of genocide as a modern, international issue; proceed with colonial massacres in early 20th century Africa; move to the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire and WWI; Nazi and Nazi-inspired racial murder; communist-induced mass violence in the Soviet Union and Asia; ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia; and end with an examination of the recent genocides in Rwanda, Sudan, and the Middle East.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2017 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 19: Rules of War

When, if ever, is war justified? How are ethical norms translated into rules that govern armed conflict? Are these rules still relevant in light of the changing nature of warfare? We will examine seminal readings on just war theory, investigate the legal rules that govern the resort to and conduct of war, and study whether these rules affect the conduct of states and individuals. We will examine alternative ethical frameworks, competing disciplinary approaches to war, and tensions between the outcomes suggested by ethical norms, on the one hand, and legal rules, on the other. Students will engage actively with these questions by participating in an interactive role-playing simulation, in which they will be assigned roles as government officials, advisors, or other actors. The class will confront various ethical, legal, and strategic problems as they make decisions about military intervention and policies regarding the threat and use of force in an international crisis.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2018 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ER, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 42: Thinking Through Africa: Perspectives on Health, Wealth, and Well-Being

What is human well-being? How do we define it? How do we measure it? What do we mean when we talk about certain parts of the world as "developed" and others as "underdeveloped" or "developing"? How do improvements in human well-being come about? What happens when some people become much better off and others do not? In this course, we will use African experiences, past and present, to think critically and reflectively about concepts whose meaning we all too often take for granted: not only well-being and development, but also wealth and health, equality and inequality. Using the tools and techniques of four different disciplines -- history, anthropology, public health, and engineering -- we will tackle essential questions about the meaning of well-being and the indices by which we measure it, the role of politics in the development process, the importance of historical and cultural contexts, and the sometimes unanticipated challenges that individuals, institutions, and societies face when they seek to promote development and improve human well-being.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2017 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

THINK 44: Belief

Why do people believe in God? What does it mean for people to experience the supernatural? How do we understand belief in God? How do people convey experiences that are by definition extra-ordinary to others? In this course we ask the big (and unanswerable) question why people believe in God. Some scholars argue that belief results from direct experience, such as visions or moments of transcendence, that testify to God's existence. Others suggest that belief in the supernatural is better explained by the way the human mind has evolved or people's experience of the social world. In this class, we will pair medieval literature on Christian mysticism and magic with readings from modern psychology and anthropology. We will look at the dominant answers provided by each discipline. For example, belief might result from our sensory experience of the world, or it might have developed as part of our cognitive apparatus in response to fear. Our aim is to show how different disciplines can work together to cast light on a basic question of human existence.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2017 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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