I call that period, from 1904 to 1933, sci-fi's 'radium age'. It emerged when the speed of change in science and technology was inducing vertigo on both sides of the Atlantic. More cynical than its Victorian precursor yet less hard-boiled than the generation that followed, this is sci-fi offering a dizzying, visionary blend of acerbic social commentary and shock tactics. It yields telling insights into its context, the early twentieth century. Plus, it is fun to read.
In Western society, sports emerged as exclusive spaces for boys and men. One of the objectives of this class is to explore how women steadily worked to challenge notions of male dominance and forge their own place in sports, winning major gains in the twentieth century. The other objective is to move beyond the binary perspective of that history and interrogate how sport can both reinforce and challenge basic constructions of gender and sexuality. Employing methodologies from the discipline of history and the interdisciplinary fields of women, gender, and sexuality studies, students examine oppression and opportunity within a broad context of sporting activity. In class, students analyze primary source material including rhetoric in sports coverage, popular culture images, and material culture like uniforms and locker rooms. Major assignments include written source analyses and a research-based presentation on a relevant current issue and its historical context. During this one-term class, students forge a better understanding of intersectional analysis and develop skills essential to several social science fields.
As the United States heads into its midterm elections, this course will put the headlines of the news cycle in historical perspective and challenge students to think critically about the mechanics of democracy. In this introduction to major topics in political science, we will explore the evolution of political parties; the role of advertising, polling, and campaign finance; and debates around suffrage, redistricting, and the Electoral College. A diverse source base will inform our study, including documentaries, podcasts, narrative nonfiction, and social media, as well as primary documents and scholarly articles. This one-term course will culminate with each student analyzing a 2022 Senate or Congressional race of their choice. In addition, class will include debates, role plays, and roundtable discussions as we consider the past, present, and future of American party politics.
This course will examine the causes, conduct, patterns, and effects of asymmetric warfare from antiquity to ISIS. The course will draw on primary sources, historical texts, films, and case studies to reflect multiple perspectives. While case studies may range from Spartacus to Syria and from the Algerian FLN to the Colombian FARC, our common goal is to develop a framework for understanding the role of the United States in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda. Towards that end students will read academic theories of political violence in order to enhance their capacity to engage with social science research about topics that may include terrorism, truth and reconciliation, de-radicalization and reintegration of fighters, the role of intelligence services, and counterinsurgency tactics such as torture and assassination. Major themes of the course include the role of memory and identity in the construction of narrative and ideology; the primary skills it develops are critical thinking, writing, and discussion, assessed through policy memos, roundtables, and a major research project. 2b1af7f3a8