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USNA 285: The Science of Madness: An Historical Investigation of Mental Illness

Since antiquity the western world’s understanding of mental illness has continued to evolve. This course will examine the trajectory of that evolution, looking at the medical theories that have influenced assumptions about the causes and treatments of mental illness from the early modern era through the twenty-first century. Examples of questions we will investigate include: How we have defined the normal and the pathological in human mental behavior over time? How do we explain the centuries-old correlation that medicine has made between creativity and mental illness? Which past and present psychiatric treatments have been beneficial and which harmful? How did Darwin’s theory of evolution affect theories of mental illness (and how does it continue to do so with the advent of evolutionary psychology)? How have changing philosophies of science affected the research and practice of psychology? How and why do the sciences of the mind–psychiatry, psychoanalysis, clinical psychology, psychopharmacology, the cognitive neurosciences–claim so much scientific authority and exert influence over our lives today? As a frame work for this inquiry, the class will use the concept of paradigm shifts as Thomas Kuhn defines in his classic work, the Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Prereq: Passing letter grade in a 100 level first year seminar in USFS, FSNA, FSCC, FSSO, FSSY or FSCS. Prereq or Coreq: FSTS 100.

Dates: June 5-July 31, 2017

Session: 8 Week Session

Time: TuWTh 4:00-5:30p

Instructor: Barbara Burgess-Van Aken

Credits: 3 credits

Department: SAGES

USNA 288W: Medieval Science

Humans have always had ways to distinguish themselves from one another, employing different approaches to defining concepts we now refer to as race/ethnicity, dis/ability, sexuality, and gender. Science has always been an important component to these constructs, although what constituted science and scientific inquiry varied widely based on culture and historical context. Most recently, our advancing understanding of genetics has produced ever more nuanced definitions of human difference, even as we have come to recognize that such explanations often compete with theories that are grounded in social and cultural values, rather than scientific observation. Yet how did people explain human diversity in the 1000 years before the Scientific Revolution unfolded in Europe?

In this seminar, we will investigate how medieval thinkers differentiated humans using a mix of medical observation, philosophy, theories about the natural world, cultural prejudice, and religious belief. We will examine how Greek, Roman, Chinese, Indian, Arab, and early European theories of human difference shaped a medieval view of humanity that is occasionally strikingly different from our own and often quite familiar. How did people living in this period differentiate humans from the rest of the natural world? Did they use the same categories of race, gender, and sexuality that we use? How did scientific thinking evolve to construct these taxonomies of difference? How did historical movements and events such as global commerce, the slave trade, and the Crusades influence the development of these ways of thinking? To explore these questions, we will read a variety of primary texts from the medieval period, in the hopes that by discussing these other approaches to defining human differences, we will gain greater insight into our own frameworks and assumptions.

Dates: June 5-July 31, 2017

Session: 8 Week Session

Time: MWTh 2:30-4:00p

Instructor: Lisa Nielson

Credits: 3 credits

Departments: New 2018 Summer, SAGES

USSO 288C: Green Transformation and Globalization

This seminar introduces students to the recent major green transformation in China and elsewhere in the world, focusing on the way the green changes took place in relation to globalization, environment and climate protection, technology innovation, income redistribution, domestic consumption, and education, to meet the challenges of financial crisis, climate change, energy insecurity, and international competition. The seminar will also assess the impacts of various aspects of green transformation and globalization on today’s and future world and vice versa. This seminar promotes broad knowledge of-and increased appreciation of the importance of diversity in China’s cultural past, social frameworks, economic conditions, and natural environment. In a close connection to the primary readings, which include several recent relevant works, the students will be exposed to a variety of related primary and secondary materials (such as texts, photos, film clips, music, songs, and websites). In addition to receiving informative yet concise instruction, the student will also be involved in practice in critical reading and thinking, in writing and orally presenting research papers. In these activities, the students will be introduced to basic methods and concepts critical to the understanding of important economic, social, and cultural developments and changes as products of movements rather than isolated incidents. Prereq: Passing letter grade in a first year seminar in FSCC, FSNA, FSSY or FSCS. Prereq or Coreq: FSTS 100. Requisites not met permission required if previous course completion in this subject group.

Dates: June 5-July 31, 2017

Session: 8 Week Session

Time: TuTh 2:00-4:20p

Instructor: Peter Yang

Credits: 3 credits

Department: SAGES

USSO 291J: Narratives of Immigration

As one of the most pressing issues of the twenty-first century, immigration has captured the imagination of politicians and authors alike. In this class, we will explore the stories of those who have migrated to the United States. We will analyze how various writers create autobiographical and fictional narratives of migration, addressing issues such as adjusting to different cultures, learning new languages, and adapting to new environments. Through these stories and histories, we will ask broader questions about immigration, including: is migration a basic human right? Is it ethical to define someone as being “illegal” for peacefully working and living in a different country from where they were born? What are the gendered, ethnic, cultural, and racial barriers that exist when migrating between countries? What are the cost(s) of citizenship and embracing a new country as one’s home? As the United States is largely seen as a nation of immigrants, how have immigrants’ stories perpetuated or undermined this reputation?

Dates: June 5-July 31, 2017

Session: 8 Week Session

Time: TuTh 6:00-8:30p

Instructor: Cara Byrne

Credits: 3 credits

Departments: New 2018 Summer, SAGES

USSY 291W: World War I in Literature and Culture

As cities around the globe mark the centennial of World War I (1914–1918), this seminar will explore the relationship between that watershed moment and the varieties of literature and art it inspired. In what ways did “the Great War” shape the direction of twentieth-century culture? How was language itself altered, as new vocabularies emerged (e.g., “shell-shock,” “the home front”) and previously venerable terms such as “honor” and “sacrifice” acquired radically different connotations? What strategies did writers and artists evolve in order to contend with the magnitude of the conflict and its unprecedented human cost? Assessing the war’s impact on Western thought, the poet Philip Larkin famously wrote, “Never such innocence again”—yet this loss of innocence also coincided with the birth of new forms of literary and artistic expression. In this course we’ll discuss and write about such innovations as they occurred in the visual arts—painting, sculpture, film—and in literary works by Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, and other writers who used the resources of imaginative literature to grapple with the Great War and its consequences.

Dates: June 5-July 31, 2017

Session: 8 Week Session

Time: MWR 12:00-1:30p

Instructor: Steven Pinkerton

Credits: 3 credits

Departments: New 2018 Summer, SAGES

USSY 292X: Internal Medicine: Memoir, Medical Education, and the Making of a Physician

Approximately 18,000 people graduate from medical school in the United States every year, and increasingly, many of them are writing about their experience of medical school in blog posts, essay collections, and memoirs. But why would a medical doctor, who has limited free time, choose to write about their experience of medical school at all? In this class, we will investigate how we understand the figure of the physician in our cultural imagination; how/why do memoirs and autobiographies help the public construct that image; and how does writing a memoir help physicians construct and maintain their own sense of self? In our search of answers to these questions, we will analyze several memoirs, essays, and edited collections written by medical students and physicians that focus on the experience of medical school, and what it actually means to become a doctor. We will gain insight into the ways that gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality have an impact on, and further complicate, this becoming. Finally, and most importantly, we will learn how physicians employ what renowned surgeon and author Dr. Richard Selzer thought of as the ultimate coping strategy: writing.

Dates: June 5-July 31, 2017

Session: 8 Week Session

Time: MW 6:00-8:30p

Instructor: Melissa Pompili

Credits: 3 credits

Departments: New 2018 Summer, SAGES

Page last modified: November 30, 2016