Teaching

Course descriptions

Graduate Courses

LCC6743/HTS6743/PUBP6743 -
Science, Technology, & Society: Core Seminar
Science, Technology and Society (STS) – also called Science and Technology Studies – is an interdisciplinary field of study that seeks to understand how science and technology shape society and culture and how society and culture, in turn, shape the development of science and technology.  This course explores key topics, debates, and theoretical perspectives in STS.  Featuring guest lectures by faculty from across the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, the seminar introduces students both to a wide range of STS topics and approaches and to faculty who do research in this area.   It is also the core course required for the Graduate Certificate in Science, Technology & Society. Offered Fall 2013. Preliminary Fall 2013 Syllabus

HTS6123/LCC8003 – Social and Cultural Studies of Biomedicine
Co-taught with Jennifer Singh
This course is a doctoral seminar that explores current scholarship in the social and cultural studies of science, technology and biomedicine in the 21st century. Although many of the themes we will address have a long history, the emphasis will be on recent interdisciplinary scholarship of current conditions, drawn principally from sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies. Objects of attention range in scale from molecules to personhood to environments of risk, and the texts for this course attend to diverse contexts of laboratory practices, clinical encounters, patient social movements and broader social debates. After an introduction to theories of biomedicalization, units will focus on issues raised in key areas: genetics, neuroscience, and circulation and tissues. This graduate seminar will explore what becomes of power, knowledge, and expertise, and their relationships to one another, under contemporary transformative conditions. Offered Fall 2012.  Fall 2012 Preliminary Syllabus

Undergraduate Courses

LCC4300 – Senior Seminar in Biomedicine and Culture:
Drugs and Culture
This course is an advanced seminar exploring drugs and culture. It uses historical, anthropological, sociological, and science studies approaches to provide students with both information and analytical tools to grapple with the intersections of drugs and culture in society. Attending to the whole life cycle of drugs – from production to consumption, and how those intersect – provides opportunities to think creatively about how drugs matter culturally, moving beyond common sense and simplistic pro and con answers to social and policy questions. Over the course of the semester, we will read broadly about of a variety of drugs, including those that straddle medicine and recreation, such as amphetamines and
cannabis, as well as those that are unquestionably on one side (e.g. antiretrovirals) or the other (e.g. ecstasy). We will be attentive to how expert knowledges about drugs are produced, and how drugs are enrolled in narratives of health and danger in broader public spheres. Each student will choose one drug to analyze in depth, with small assignments building toward a final research paper that considers that particular drug in cultural context.  Offered Fall 2010, Fall 2012. Fall 2012 Syllabus

LCC3318 – Biomedicine and Culture
In the lab and in the newspapers, topics in biomedicine are frequent subjects of debate. From assisted reproductive technology and stem cells, to pharmaceuticals and imaging technologies, to life support and its termination, biomedical technologies are shaping our lives in unprecedented ways. This course uses interdisciplinary sources – drawn principally from science and technology studies, cultural studies, and anthropology – to provide students with both information and analytical tools to grapple with the intersections of biomedicine and culture in American society. Offered Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Summer 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2013. Spring 2011 Syllabus; Spring 2010 Pacific Program Syllabus ; Spring 09 Syllabus

LCC3306 – Science, Technology & Race
This course explores intersections of race, science and technology.  It draws on anthropology, history, sociology, media studies, and science and technology studies to introduce students to analysis of science and technology through a critical race lens.  The course has two units that break down analysis of race into diverse topics in two spheres: the digital, and the body.  This topical range is designed to help students learn to apply critical race analysis to a range of scientific claims and technologies.  Students will use the topical familiarity and analytical skills gained to create a final group project that analyzes some particular topic in depth.  Students will do group projects on a topic of their choosing, which touches to some degree on both the digital and the biological, to be presented in class and as an interactive web project.  This course will provide a foundation for further study in LMC, as well as analytical tools for students from all majors interested in investigating race, science, and technology in/and culture. Offered Spring 2013. Spring 2013 Syllabus

LCC3304 – Science, Technology and Gender
This course explores intersections of gender, science and technology.  It draws on anthropology, history, sociology, and media studies to introduce students to analysis of science and technology through a gender lens. The class begins by introducing foundational texts and ideas from feminist science studies, and then explores one topical technology in depth: preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).  The course then has two units that break down gendered analysis into bits: first digital, then biological.  This topical range is designed to help students learn to apply gender analysis to a range of technologies.  Students will use the topical familiarity and analytical skills gained to create a final project that analyzes some bit of gendered body or technology in depth.  This course will provide a foundation for further study in STAC, as well as analytical tools for students from all majors interested in investigating gender, science, and technology in/and culture. Offered Fall 2010. Fall 2010 Syllabus

LCC3225 – Gender Studies and the Disciplines
This course explores the concept of gender and its usefulness as a theoretical category in a variety of disciplines. This semester will focus on disciplines of biomedicine.  We will start with a few foundational texts on gender and biomedicine, and then move into exploration of three pivotal medical fields that draw out different aspects of gender analysis: obstetrics, cardiology, and endocrinology.  Throughout the semester, students will work in groups to do research projects on a particular bio/medical discipline of interest to them – such as pediatrics, genetics, psychiatry, sports medicine, geriatrics, plastic surgery, oncology, regenerative medicine, global health, neuroscience, or other topic of their choice.  Two preparatory assignments will build toward a final research report that will highlight aspects of gender and biomedicine that consideration that particular discipline helps to bring to the fore. Offered Spring 2014. Spring 2014 Syllabus

LCC2300 – Introduction to Biomedicine & Culture
This course provides an introduction to central cultural, including ethical, topics in biomedicine such as health care, medical practice, medical research, and the systems of cultural meaning within which ideas of health and disease circulate. Course Objectives: (1) Explore how medical knowledge is created; how “illness” and “health” have been defined by doctors, patients, and publics; and the relationships between medical sciences, practices, and the social boundaries of healthcare (2) Acquire a broad knowledge of significant concepts, developments, and events in the history of medicine and medical ethics (3) Develop abilities to think critically and to communicate more effectively about the interactions among medicine, science, and social context. Offered Fall 2008, Spring 2013, Spring 2014. Spring 2013 Syllabus

LCC2100- Introduction to Science, Technology and Culture
The goal of this class is to introduce students to analysis of science and technology from a social and cultural standpoint. Focusing on concrete objects ranging from brain scans and amniocentesis to nuclear weapons and computer viruses, this course will provide a foundation for further study in STaC, as well as analytical tools for students from all majors interested in investigating science and technology in/and culture. Offered Fall 2008, Fall 2009. Fall 09 Syllabus

ENGL1102-MED – Medical Ways of Knowing
This special section of ENGL1102 for pre-health students will focus on humanistic inquiry into medical knowledge.  Medicine has been described as both a science and an art, and medical knowledge is a complicated thing.  It draws on incommensurable sources, ranging from stories told by patients, to observations by physicians and scientists in both clinics and labs, to large-scale clinical trials.  This course will critically analyze medical knowledge claims as presented in diverse forms: accounts by physicians and patients, as well as scientific reports.  This engagement fosters holistic medical literacy.  This course will provide students with both the background and analytical tools to grapple with important questions facing medical providers, policy makers, and consumers today. Offered Spring 2011, Spring 2012.

ENGL1102 – Narrating Disease
When disease categories become enrolled in telling stories about who we are and how we fit in the world, we have a rich opportunity to explore how medicine and identities intersect. This course analyzes disease narratives from a wide range of genres – novel, essay, memoir, graphic novel, film, ethnography – to explore how disease is involved in constructing identity and how identity becomes part of constructing disease. Offered Spring 2009.