ISF Courses

ISF 10 Enduring Questions and Great Books in the Western Tradition

  • day and time TTH 12:30-2PM
  • location CORY 247
  • instructor BHANDARI
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 24126

The  focus will be on two thinkers: Plato and Galileo. Two watersheds in the history of Western thought were the introduction of the logic of the concept and the practice of experimentation. In The Republic Plato introduced us to analysis of our everyday concepts to show how unstable, vague, poorly understood and arbitrarily applied they are. Thinking had to turn on the concepts through which we ordinarily think, and Plato gave us our still greatest dialectical example of this in his dialogues on the meaning of justice in The Republic. Galileo introduced into human thought the redefinition of knowledge grounded in observation and experiment and expressed in the abstraction of mathematical symbols. These are two of the greatest turning points in human thought, and we will focus on Plato’s and Galileo‘s writings, while also consulting Jonny Thakkar’s and Mario Livio’s recent commentary on them, respectively.

ISF 100 A Introduction to Social Theory and Cultural Analysis

  • day and time TTH 12:30-2PM
  • location Moffitt 145
  • instructor QUAMRUZZAMAN
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 22003

101 - MONDAYS 3-4PM- #22004
102 - MONDAYS 10-11AM - #24772
103 - TUESDAYS 9-10AM - #22005
104 - TUESDAYS 2-3PM - #22006

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 in  nineteenth-century Europe.  But we will also make efforts to evaluate their intellectual contributions in light of recent scholarship about contemporary social issues, exploring ways in which scholars across the social sciences and humanities continue to interpret their respective contributions. The class meets twice a week in lecture and once in section and has no prerequisites.

ISF 100 I Consumer Society and Culture

  • day and time MWF 1-2PM
  • location LEWIS 9
  • instructor XU
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 25726

Following Weber, Veblen, and Bourdieu, social scientists often emphasize consumers’ motivations to establish or display their status. In many ways, consumption defines our lives – our identities as consumers are even more important, some would argue, than our identities as workers or producers. But what are the implications of a society in which “you are what you consume?” In this class, we will address: Under what conditions does a “consumer society” develop?  What does global commodity chain tell us about colonialization, global inequality, and environmental injustice? How can we shape the life cycle of basic commodities—from raw materials to iPhones, from creation to destruction–in a socially sustainable way? This course will be interdisciplinary in its attempt to understand consumer society and culture in terms of political economy, geography, history, anthropology and sociology. It is divided into six major segments: “Consumption and Inequality,” “Consumption, Meaning and Identity,” “Global Commodity Chain,” “Consumption in Contemporary China,” “Critiques of Consumer Society,” and “Environment, Sustainability, and Social Justice”. The goal of this course is to provide students with a broad overview of debates and theories about consumption, and to provide them with an opportunity to explore a consumption-related topic themselves.

ISF 189 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research Methods

  • day and time TTH 11-12:30
  • location EVANS 5
  • instructor Kelkar
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 19219

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

  • day and time MWF 3-4PM
  • location EVANS 5
  • instructor XU
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 19220

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

  • day and time TTH 9:30-11AM
  • location EVANS 2
  • instructor QUAMRUZZAMAN
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 19221

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

  • day and time TTH 2-3PM
  • location MULFORD 106
  • instructor KELKAR
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 16954

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

  • day and time MW 10-11AM
  • location EVANS 39
  • instructor XU
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 16955

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 60 Technology and Values

  • day and time MW 12-2PM
  • location CORY 247
  • instructor BHANDARI
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 30973
UC Berkeley remains a leading global center for undergraduates who want to “think and make” the future. Cal faculty have not only been at the cutting edge of technological developments but also leading voices in creating vibrant democratic discussions about the values that should shape our scientific and technological progress. This course will be organized around the work of three extraordinary Cal professors working at the forefront of AI and bioengineering. We will read their recent books, and they will make guest lectures and take student questions.
Books:
Jennifer Doudna, A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution  
Edward Ashford Lee, The Coevolution: The Entwined Futures of Machines and Humans
Stuart Russell, Human Compatible Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control
Associate Director of Interdisciplinary Studies Rakesh Bhandari will guide you through the books and organize breakout sessions for students to discuss among themselves their own views about the great transformations already underway. Professor Bhandari is also teaching a Great Books course, ISF 10, focused on Plato’s Republic and Galileo’s writing.

Approved Theory and Practice courses

Comparative Literature 155 The Modern Period Literature and Colonialism

  • day and time MWF 11-12
  • location Barrows 155
  • instructor Brito
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 31536

In this course we will read a number of literary texts set in colonized territories, largely though not entirely under French domination. Dating from the turn of the twentieth century to the period of widespread decolonization a half-century later, these texts represent a variety of forms and genres (adventure novels, autobiographical fiction, philosophical novels, political denunciation and/or satire) and emerge out of a number of different cultural situations and geographic locations (including Southeast Asia, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa). Some of the authors to be considered are firmly enshrined in the canon of modern European literature, while others write as colonized subjects engaging with European histories of exoticist representation. In our discussions, we will consider the historical specificity of each text while remaining open to insights made possible by reading comparatively. In other words, our goal will not be to synthesize a monolithic theory of literature and colonialism but rather to analyze individual texts while attempting to be attentive to common textual strategies, formal elements, and practices of representing colonial space, dynamics of power, and variously configured articulations of domination and resistance, civilization and savagery, modernity and tradition. Readings will likely include: Beti, Mission to Kala; Camus, The Stranger; Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Djebar, Children of the New World; Duras, A Sea of Troubles; Malraux, The Royal Way; Oyono, The Old Man and the Medal.

Demography 180 Social Networks

  • day and time TTH 9:30-11AM
  • location Barker 101
  • instructor Feehan
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 31024

DEMOG 180 101
101 DIS
Class #: 31025

DEMOG 180 102
102 DIS
Class #: 31026

DEMOG 180 103
103 DIS
Class #: 31027

The science of social networks focuses on measuring, modeling, and understanding the different ways that people are connected to one another. We will use a broad toolkit of theories and methods drawn from the social, natural, and mathematical sciences to learn what a social network is, to understand how to work with social network data, and to illustrate some of the ways that social networks can be useful in theory and in practice. We will see that network ideas are powerful enough to be used everywhere from UNAIDS, where network models help epidemiologists prevent the spread of HIV, to Silicon Valley, where data scientists use network ideas to build products that enable people all across the globe to connect with one another.

Economics 115 The World Economy in the Twentieth Century

  • day and time TTH 3:30-5PM
  • location Leconte 4
  • instructor Delong
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 31863

ECON 115 101
101 DIS
Class #: 31864

ECON 115 102
102 DIS
Class #: 31865

ECON 115 103
103 DIS
Class #: 31866

ECON 115 104
104 DIS
Class #: 31867

ECON 115 105
105 DIS
Class #: 31868

ECON 115 106
106 DIS
Class #: 31869

Development of the world economic system with particular reference to world-wide trading relationships. This course is equivalent to History 160; students will not receive credit for both courses.

Energy and Resources Group 131 Data, Environment and Society

  • day and time TTH 9:30-11AM
  • location Barrows 60
  • instructor Callaway
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 27412

ENERES 131 101
101 LAB
Class #: 27413

Critical, data-driven analysis of specific issues or general problems of how people interact with environmental and resource systems. This course will teach students to build, estimate and interpret models that describe phenomena in the broad area of energy and environmental decision-making. More than one section may be given each semester on different topics depending on faculty and student interest.

Legal Studies 107 Theories of Justice

  • day and time MWF 3-4PM
  • location Leconte 4
  • instructor Kutz
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 24438

See Schedule of Classes

Major perspectives in social and economic thought, e.g., natural law, natural right, laissez faire, “possessive individualism,” contractualism, pluralism, and social equality as they affect contemporary discussion of “higher law,” fairness, civic competence, and distributive justice.

Public Policy C 184 Energy and Society

  • day and time TTH 12:30-2PM
  • location Haas Faculty Wing F295
  • instructor Daniel M Kammen
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 29195

PUBPOL C184 101
101 DIS
Class #: 29196

PUBPOL C184 102
102 DIS
Class #: 29197

PUBPOL C184 103
103 DIS
Class #: 29198

PUBPOL C184 104
104 DIS
Class #: 29199

PUBPOL C184 106
106 DIS
Class #: 29201
ENERES C100

Energy sources, uses, and impacts: an introduction to the technology, politics, economics, and environmental effects of energy in contemporary society. Energy and well-being; energy in international perspective, origins, and character of energy crisis.

Sociology C 146 M Membership and Migration: Empirical and Normative Perspectives

  • day and time TTH 9:30-11AM
  • location Hearst Mining 390
  • instructor Sarah Seong-Sim Song, Irene Bloemraad
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 32992

SOCIOL C146M 104
104 DIS
Class #: 32996

SOCIOL C146M 105
105 DIS
Class #: 32997

SOCIOL C146M 106
106 DIS
Class #: 32998

SOCIOL C146M 101
101 DIS
Class #: 32993

SOCIOL C146M 102
102 DIS
Class #: 32994

SOCIOL C146M 103
103 DIS
Class #: 32995
LEGALST C134

This co-taught course explores questions about migration and membership by drawing on empirical and normative perspectives. What does social science evidence tell us about the drivers of migration or the benefits of citizenship? What is the morally right, just, or fair thing to do on issues of migration and citizenship? This innovative class will require students to move back and forth between different types of thinking, from data-based evaluation to fundamental questions of justice and fairness.

Declared Majors Only

ISF 190 Senior Thesis

  • day and time TTH 2-3PM
  • location MULFORD 106
  • instructor KELKAR
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 16954

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

  • day and time MW 10-11AM
  • location EVANS 39
  • instructor XU
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 16955

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.