ISF Courses

ISF 10 Enduring Questions and Great Books in the Western Tradition

  • day and time MW 12-2PM
  • location Cory 241
  • instructor BHANDARI
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 23231

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 Stanley 106
  • instructor QUAMRUZZAMAN
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 21548

ISF 100A 101
101 DIS
Class #21549
Instruction Mode: In-Person Instruction
Days: M
Time: 3:00 pm - 3:59 pm
Place: Dwinelle 206

ISF 100A 102
102 DIS
Class #23626
Instruction Mode: In-Person Instruction
Days: M
Time: 10:00 am - 10:59 am
Place: Morgan 109

ISF 100A 103
103 DIS
Class #: 21550
Instruction Mode: In-Person Instruction
Days:Tu
Time: 9:00 am - 9:59 am
Place: Cory 285

ISF 100A 104
104 DIS
Class #21551
Instruction Mode: In-Person Instruction
Days:Tu
Time: 5:00 pm - 5:59 pm
Place: Cory 285

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 C Language and Identity

  • day and time MWF 1-2PM
  • location CORY 247
  • instructor XU
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 30226

This course examines the role of language in the construction of social identities, and how language is tied to various forms of symbolic power at the national and international levels. As the saying goes, “A language is a dialect with an army and navy” – but how so? Questions about language have been central to national culture and identity, and the languages we speak often prove, upon close examination, not to be the tongues of ancestors but invented traditions of political significance. People have also encoded resistance into non-official and ambiguous languages even as the state has attempted to devalue them as inferior forms of expression. Drawing on case studies from Southeast Asia, Europe, Canada, and the U.S., we will pay special attention to topics such as the legitimization of a national language, the political use of language in nation-building processes, the endangerment of indigenous languages, and processes of linguistic subordination and domination. This course will be interdisciplinary in its attempt to understand language in terms of history, politics, anthropology and sociology. We will not only study how language has been envisioned in planning documents and official language policy, but also analyze how speakers enact, project, and contest their culturally specific subject positions according to their embodied linguistic capital.

ISF 100 F Theorizing Modern Capitalism: Controversies and Interpretations

  • day and time TTH 12-2PM
  • location Cory 241
  • instructor BHANDARI
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 25929

The great social theorist Max Weber called capitalism the most fateful force in modern life. It is also an always changing force, and we’ll follow it right up to the Age of Platforms that enable targeted ads to sell an ever more immense accumulation of commodities. Throughout the course we’ll discover that only an interdisciplinary analysis stands a chance of understanding the complex system that most forcefully shapes our social life.

ISF C 100 G Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society

  • day and time TTH 2-3:30PM
  • location Wheeler 212
  • instructor KELKAR
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 31998

ISF C100G 101
101 DIS
Class #: 32325
Instruction Mode: In-Person Instruction

ISF C100G 102
102 DIS
Class #: 32326
Instruction Mode: In-Person Instruction
HISTORY C182C, STS C100

This course provides an overview of the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) as a way to study how our knowledge and technology shape and are shaped by social, political, historical, economic, and other factors. We will learn key concepts of the field (e.g., how technologies are understood and used differently in different communities) and apply them to a wide range of topics, including geography, history, environmental and information science, and others. Questions this course will address include: how are scientific facts constructed? How are values embedded in technical systems?

ISF 189 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research Methods

  • day and time TTH 8AM-9:30AM
  • location LATIMER 122
  • instructor KELKAR
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 18866

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 # 18867

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 # 18868

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.

Declared Majors Only

ISF 190 Senior Thesis

  • day and time MW 10-11AM
  • location EVANS 7
  • instructor XU
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 16782

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