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UC Berkeley


Graduate Student Instructors & Reader Positions

Fall 2024 Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) and Reader positions for ISF courses are listed below. All positions are pending budgetary approval. 

Reader Positions: 1 available

Course: ISF 100C
Title: Language and Identity
Instructor: Fang Xu
Class #25452
Units: 4
Days: MWF 1-2pm

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 regional, 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 Asia, Europe, and North America, 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.

We require a reader for this course, preferably someone who is familiar with sociolinguistics or linguistic anthropology, or sociology of language. The reader will be expected to attend lectures, grade weekly reading responses, one empirical research-based paper (500-1000 words), and a final paper (1500 words). The class capacity is 58. Graduate students from sociology, anthropology, public, policy, political science, history, linguistics, or related fields are welcome to apply.

If interested, please send an email to with your CV. In the application, please be sure to describe your teaching experiences, especially here at Berkeley.


GSI Positions: 1 available

Course: ISF C100G (also cross-listed as Hist 182C, STS C100).
Title: Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society
Instructor: Shreeharsh Kelkar
Class #25895
Units: 4
Day & Time: MWF 12-1 pm, 2040 Valley Life Sciences
1 GSI Position: 50% GSIship with standard fee remission
DIS 101 W 5:00P-6:29P, 206 Dwinelle
DIS 102 Tu 5:00P-6:29P, 2038 Valley Life Sciences

ISF C100G 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. This course is required for all students minoring in STS. We will learn key concepts of the field and apply them to a wide range of topics, including information technology, climate change, biotechnology, and others. Questions this course will address include: how are scientific facts constructed? How are values embedded in technical systems? How do designers and users shape technical systems? What should the role of experts and laypeople be in a democracy in debating questions of science and technology policy?

We require 1 GSI to cover two sections (listed above) for this course–preferably a PhD student in History, Anthropology, Sociology, Rhetoric, or Information (or other departments) who is familiar with STS broadly.  The GSI will meet with each section 1.5 hours a week, conduct discussions, hold office hours, and grade assignments and exams. The GSI will also attend the main lecture and help the instructor manage the classroom (take attendance, help the instructor with managing the active learning exercises). Here’s a link to last year’s syllabus.

For graduate students who are interested, please send an email to with your CV as well as a paragraph on your prior teaching experience (particularly focusing on Berkeley) and your knowledge of the course material. If you have course evaluations from being a GSI at Berkeley in previous semesters, please send them along as well if you’re comfortable doing so.