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Fall 2017

ISF Courses

ISF 10 Enduring Questions and Great Books of the Western Tradition
  • TuTh 9:30-11AM
  • Bhandari
  • Evans 9
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 22711

This course is a broad survey of major canonical works (“Great Books”) emphasizing the Premodern traditions of Western Civilization since the Greeks. These texts offer responses to central questions that, across the disciplinary divides, continue to inform contemporary work in the social sciences and the humanities.  Indeed, the “disciplines” or departments as we know them on campus are of relatively recent invention, compared to the millennia of treatises, poetry, plays, literature, sacred writings, histories and philosophical inquiries that sought answers to the questions later asked by the disciplines themselves in the humanities and social sciences.  

This course is not a history of the disciplines, nor is it an attempt to find precursive texts for each discipline  -- we do not seek to construct disciplinary canons or genealogies.  Instead, it is an account of the enduring questions of western civilization that later found homes in the disciplines, but whose origins lie in a “pre-disciplinary” world.  While we choose the framework of the disciplines to present these texts, and to ask recurring questions that can today be found in separate disciplines, we seek to problematize the history of disciplinary knowledge.  In this course, we investigate how contemporary concerns about modern social problems have a deep, but also an interdisciplinary, history. 

ISF 100 A Introduction to Social Theory and Cultural Analysis
  • TuTh 12:30-2PM
  • Bhandari
  • North Gate 105
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 15445
Sect. 101
Class # 15446
Mondays 3-4PM
54 Barrows
Instructor: Park

Section 102
Class # 46670
Mondays 10-11
105 Dwinelle
Instructor: Banskota

Sect. 103
Class #15447
Tuesdays, 9-10AM
Wheeler 30
Instructor: Banskota

Sect. 104
Class # 15448
Tuesdays 3-4PM
Location: Dwinelle 106
Instructor: Park


This course, required of all ISF majors but open to all students, provides an introduction to the works of foundational social theorists of the nineteenth century, including Karl Marx and Max Weber. Writing in what might be called the “pre disciplinary” period of the modern social sciences, their works cross the boundaries of anthropology, economics, history, political science, sociology, and are today claimed by these and other disciplines as essential texts. We will read intensively and critically from their respective works, situating their intellectual contributions in the history of social transformations wrought by industrialization and urbanization, political revolution, and the development of modern consumer society. 

ISF 100 H Introduction to Media and International Relations
  • Mondays 3-6PM
  • Wren
  • Mulford 240
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 45995

How have international actors used media to construct public opinion about salient issues, such as war, terrorism and intervention, international trade and finance, and global warming and resource depletion? The purpose of this course is to introduce students to key concepts, methods, and theories in the analysis of media effects, particularly in the areas of public opinion formation and international relations.

ISF 100 J The Social Life of Computing
  • TuTh 2-3:30PM
  • Kelkar
  • Moffitt 145
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 46016

The time we live in is often called the “information age” or the age of computing. Some analysts have likened it to a third Industrial Revolution: the first one happened in the 18th century in England and involved the use of water and steam power in the manufacture of textiles; the second happened in the 19th century United States and involved the rise of the railways, electricity grids and the managerial corporation; the third Revolution is ostensibly happening through the increasing development and use of computer networks. In this class, we will look at computing as a “social” phenomenon: to see it not just as a technology that transforms but to see it as a technology that has evolved, and is being put to use, in very particular ways, by particular groups of people. We will be doing this by employing a variety of methods, primarily historical and ethnographic, oriented around a study of practices. We will pay attention to technical details but ground these technical details in social organization (a term whose meaning should become clearer and clearer as the class progresses). We will study the social organization of computing around different kinds of hardware, software, ideologies, and ideas.

ISF 110 "How to do Social Research"
  • TuTh 10-12
  • Quamruzzaman
  • Haviland 214
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 67128

This will be a hands-on workshop. The course will open with Professor Quamruzzaman walking students through the research process behind some of his publications which include both pieces in the leading sociology and health journals in the world and his own book on politics in Bangladesh.

Professor Quamruzzaman will then guide you in collecting your own data for a research project and teach you how to analyze and present it.

ISF will allow you to include this course (ISF 110, Fall 2017) as either one of the six courses in your research program or as one of the theory and practice courses (ISF 100B-J).

The course will be an excellent supplement to ISF 189 or ISF 190, and is highly recommended for all current and intended ISF students. A few spots will be reserved for non-ISF majors. But slots will be limited to make sure the course can operate as a workshop.

 

ISF 189 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research Methods
  • MWF 10-11
  • Xu
  • Evans 2
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 16191

This class is an introduction to research methods, leading students through different units built around specific learning goals and practical exercises.  The course is designed to teach a range of research skills, including (but not limited to) the ability to formulate research questions and to engage in scholarly conversations and arguments; the identification, evaluation, mobilization, and interpretation of sources; methods and instruments of field research (interviews, questionnaires, and sampling) and statistical thinking; and the construction of viable arguments and explanation in the human sciences.   At the same time, the course is designed to help students identify their own thesis topic, bibliography, and methodological orientation in preparation for ISF 190.

ISF 189 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research Methods
  • MWF 12-1PM
  • Quamruzzaman
  • Evans 2
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 16192

This class is an introduction to research methods, leading students through different units built around specific learning goals and practical exercises. The course is designed to teach a range of research skills, including (but not limited to) the ability to formulate research questions and to engage in scholarly conversations and arguments; the identification, evaluation, mobilization, and interpretation of sources; methods and instruments of field research (interviews, questionnaires, and sampling) and statistical thinking; and the construction of viable arguments and explanation in the human sciences. At the same time, the course is designed to help students identify their own thesis topic, bibliography, and methodological orientation in preparation for ISF 190.

ISF 189 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research Methods
  • TuTh 9:30-11AM
  • Kelkar
  • Evans 4
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 44227

This class is an introduction to research methods, leading students through different units built around specific learning goals and practical exercises. The course is designed to teach a range of research skills, including (but not limited to) the ability to formulate research questions and to engage in scholarly conversations and arguments; the identification, evaluation, mobilization, and interpretation of sources; methods and instruments of field research (interviews, questionnaires, and sampling) and statistical thinking; and the construction of viable arguments and explanation in the human sciences. At the same time, the course is designed to help students identify their own thesis topic, bibliography, and methodological orientation in preparation for ISF 190.

ISF 190 Senior Thesis
  • MW 3-4PM
  • Xu
  • Evans 6
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 16196

The ISF Senior Thesis requirement is the capstone experience and final product of the ISF Major. The thesis is a sustained, original, and critical examination of a central interdisciplinary research question, developed under the guidance of the ISF 190 instructor.  The thesis represents a mature synthesis of research skills, critical thinking, and competent writing. As the final product of a student's work in the major, the thesis is not the place to explore a new set of disciplines or research problems for the first time, but should develop methods of inquiry and bridge the several disciplines that students have developed in their Course of Study.

ISF 190 Senior Thesis
  • TuTh 4-5PM
  • Kelkar
  • Evans 2
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 16206

The ISF Senior Thesis requirement is the capstone experience and final product of the ISF Major. The thesis is a sustained, original, and critical examination of a central interdisciplinary research question, developed under the guidance of the ISF 190 instructor.  The thesis represents a mature synthesis of research skills, critical thinking, and competent writing. As the final product of a student's work in the major, the thesis is not the place to explore a new set of disciplines or research problems for the first time, but should develop methods of inquiry and bridge the several disciplines that students have developed in their Course of Study.

ISF 190 Senior Thesis
  • MW 1-2
  • Wren
  • Evans 2
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 44226

The ISF Senior Thesis requirement is the capstone experience and final product of the ISF Major. The thesis is a sustained, original, and critical examination of a central interdisciplinary research question, developed under the guidance of the ISF 190 instructor.  The thesis represents a mature synthesis of research skills, critical thinking, and competent writing. As the final product of a student's work in the major, the thesis is not the place to explore a new set of disciplines or research problems for the first time, but should develop methods of inquiry and bridge the several disciplines that students have developed in their Course of Study.