Fall 2019 Courses

Upper Division Courses

SOCI-324 - ANTHROPOLOGY OF AFRICA - Dr. Ellen Block                                                                                             

Africa is an immense continent of strikingly rich and diverse geography, politics and cultures. This course explores many of the central issues and debates in the anthropological study of contemporary Africa, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Media representations of Africa often focus solely on suffering, poverty, disease and corruption. African life is also frequently portrayed as a singular unified experience. Yet, African societies and communities are dynamic: both in their cultural, political and historical diversity, and in their responses to the legacies of colonialism and the challenges of the contemporary global context. While this course will examine many of the problems that contemporary Africans face, we will also contextualize these problems and counter prevailing narratives about Africa by exploring the resilience and rich cultural life on the continent. Topics will include: colonialism and post-colonialism, political economies, kinship and social organization, religion, health, gender, globalization, sexuality, and arts.

 

SOCI-337O - CONSPIRACY THEORY - Dr. Michael  Rosenbaum                             

This is a course grounded in the sociology of knowledge. As sociologists, our approach to the study of conspiracy theory will focus on how truth and falsehood are socially constructed in our society. We will ask a variety of questions in this class: Why do conspiracy theories seem so wildly popular at this moment in history? How are people convinced of the truth of either a conspiracy theory or an official narrative that contradicts it and aims to debunk it? How can people in one society find evidence for—and claim as true—wildly incompatible and mutually exclusive versions of reality? How can power, science, and media be used to bolster or undermine truth claims? While we won’t reach a final conclusion on the “reality” of any particular conspiracy theory, this course will improve your ability to weigh the plausibility and legitimacy of competing arguments about social reality.

SOCI-351 - RACE & ETHNIC GROUPS - Dr. Megan Sheehan     

The current situation of and issues concerning African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, Jews and other races and ethnic groups.