The BA program in the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine (HIPS) is designed for College students interested in studying science in terms of its historical development, conceptual structure, and social role. Students in the program must do sufficient work in one or more sciences to acquire a sound foundation for studying the nature of science. After securing this basis, they are expected to gain an understanding of how science arose, as well as how the content of scientific thought has changed and is changing, because of both its own internal dynamic and its interaction with the larger society in which it is embedded.
The HIPS program is designed to make possible the study of a wide range of social, historical, and conceptual issues relating to science. Students completing the program follow a number of different careers. Some pursue graduate study in the history and philosophy of science or in some field of science. Others find the program valuable preparation for the study of medicine, law, public policy, or science journalism. More generally, the goal of the program is to provide students with a sound basis on which to interpret and evaluate science and science policy. Some students choose to construct a degree program combining the requirements for the HIPS major with those for a major in the physical or biological sciences. Others, having met the HIPS program requirements, use electives to broaden their liberal arts education.
Students in other fields of study may also complete a minor in HIPS. Information follows the description of the major.
The Morris Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine sponsors the HIPS program. Further information can be obtained in the center's office (SS 207) and at fishbein.uchicago.edu.
Elements of the Curriculum. The curriculum of the program contains five principal elements:
1. The Foundation. All students must:
a. complete an approved sequence that fulfills the biological sciences general education requirement;
b. complete the general education requirement in the physical sciences with a physics sequence (PHYS12100-12200 General Physics I-II or equivalent) or a chemistry sequence(CHEM11100-11200 Comprehensive General Chemistry I-II, CHEM10100 Introductory General Chemistry I and CHEM10200 Introductory General Chemistry II, or equivalent), or have earned a score of 5 on the AP Chemistry or Physics test or a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Physics C Mechanics and E&M test;
c. complete a calculus sequence (MATH13100-13200 Elementary Functions and Calculus I-II or higher), or have earned a score of 5 on the AP Calculus BC test;
d. complete three courses on the origins and development of science in the West: one course in each of the following three chronological periods: ancient, early modern, and modern.
2. Advanced Science. In addition to the science courses typically taken as part of the general education requirements, students are expected to take three courses in science, social sciences, or mathematics beyond the introductory level. They select these advanced courses according to their special aims, their area of concentration, and the subject of their bachelor's thesis.
3. Areas of Concentration. All students in the program determine an area of concentration in the anthropology, ethics, history, philosophy, or sociology of science and medicine. In consultation with the program director and their program adviser, students select five courses to constitute this concentration area. For example, some students may be particularly interested in the intellectual and social interactions between changing scientific knowledge and institutions, on the one hand, and evolving social institutions, on the other; a second group may be concerned with either epistemological issues related to the growth of science or moral and political problems attending the employment of technology; and a third group may wish to emphasize the study of science as a social or cultural activity.
4. Tutorials. Students are required to take two tutorial courses; this is typically done early in their program. With a specific focus that changes each year, these tutorials are small classes (from three to ten students) that emphasize discussion and writing. An updated list of courses is available in the HIPS office (SS 207) or at registrar.uchicago.edu/classes.
5. Bachelor's Thesis and Junior Seminar. Third-year students enroll in a designated one-quarter seminar (HIPS29800 Junior Seminar: My Favorite Readings in the History and Philosophy of Science) that deals with general aspects of history, philosophy, and social studies of science and medicine. In Spring Quarter of their third year, students must discuss their proposal for their bachelor's thesis with the program director. In consultation with the program director, students then sign up for a reading and research course (HIPS29700 Readings and Research in History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine) with an appropriate faculty member. In their fourth year, this research course should lead to a bachelor's thesis (HIPS29900 Bachelor's Thesis) that integrates each student's academic studies, bringing them to bear on a significant question related to some historical, conceptual, ethical, or social aspect of science. Fourth-year students also enroll in a two-quarter HIPS29810 Bachelor's Thesis Workshop, which is comprised of meetings that focus on organizing, researching, writing, and revising the thesis.
The following are meant to illustrate areas of concentration. They are not prescriptive, only suggestive. For the particular courses that might constitute their area of concentration, students should consult with the director of the program, examine this course catalog, and visit registrar.uchicago.edu/classes.
To be eligible for admission, students should have completed at least two of the four foundation course sequences listed in the preceding section and should have maintained a 3.2 GPA or higher in previous course work. Students should apply for admission no later than Autumn Quarter of their third year to the director of the program. The director advises students about the requirements, arranges a preliminary plan of study, and discusses scheduling conflicts and special cases. Thereafter, a student chooses, in consultation with the director, a BA adviser from the staff.
Students who meet the following criteria are considered for graduation with honors: (1) overall GPA of 3.3 or higher, (2) completion of a bachelor's thesis of A quality, and (3) a majority vote by the faculty in favor of honors.
Students majoring in HIPS must receive quality grades in all courses meeting the requirements of the degree program, except HIPS29810 Bachelor's Thesis Workshop, which must be taken for Pass/Fail grading. Nonmajors may take courses for Pass/Fail grading with consent of instructor.
Drawn from many parts of the University, those listed in the Faculty Section of the HIPS program have direct responsibility for admitting students, formulating curriculum, and advising students.
Students in other fields of study may complete a minor in HIPS, which offers students who are majoring in science the opportunity to gain an understanding of the conceptual, historical, and social contexts in which their disciplines are situated.
The minor requires a total of six courses. Courses in the minor (1) may not be double counted with the student's major(s) or with other minors and (2) may not be counted toward general education requirements. Courses in the minor must be taken for quality grades, and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.
Students should take at least two courses focusing on the origins and development of science in the West (one course in each of two of the following chronological periods: ancient, early modern, and modern) to meet the general education requirement in civilization studies. Additional courses in these sequences that are not used to meet the general education requirement can count toward courses required for the minor.
Students must complete one tutorial course.
The remaining five courses for the minor program should constitute an area of concentration in the anthropology, ethics, history, philosophy, or sociology of science and medicine. Students select the courses that constitute this concentration in consultation with the program director and their program adviser.
Students who elect the minor program in HIPS should meet with the program director before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year to declare their intention to complete the program. The director's approval for the minor program should be submitted to the student's College adviser by the deadline above on the Consent to Complete a Minor Program form obtained from the College adviser or online.
The following groups of courses would satisfy the requirements for a minor in HIPS. They are only meant to illustrate possible plans of study; they are not prescriptive.
HIPS 18300, HIPS 18400–18403, and HIPS 18500–18503 Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization
These courses focus on the origins and development of science in the West. They aim to trace the evolution of the biological, psychological, natural, and mathematical sciences as they emerge from the culture and social matrix of their periods and, in turn, affect culture and social. In order to satisfy the general education requirement in civilization studies, students must take a course in two or three of the following chronological periods: ancient (numbered HIPS 18300), early modern (HIPS 18400–18403), and modern (HIPS 18500–18503). Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. Only one course per category may count toward the requirement unless special approval is granted.
HIPS18300. Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization I: Greek & Roman Science. 100 Units.
This undergraduate core course represents the first quarter of the Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization sequence. Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This quarter will focus on aspects of ancient Greek and Roman intellectual history, their perceived continuities or discontinuities with modern definitions and practices of science, and how they were shaped by the cultures, politics, and aesthetics of their day. Topics surveyed include history-writing and ancient science, the cosmos, medicine and biology, meteorology, ethnography and physiognomics, arithmetic and geometry, mechanics, taxonomy, optics, astronomy, and mechanical computing.
Instructor(s): J. WeeTerms Offered: Autumn. Offered Autumn 2021
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 17310
HIPS18301. Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization I: Ancient Science and Medicine. 100 Units.
This undergraduate course represents the first quarter of the Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization general education sequence. Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This quarter will focus on science and medicine in societies across the ancient world. Students will gain an introduction to methods of healing and knowing practiced in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America before 1500. Students will also acquire an understanding of the many questions that historical research raises for our own understanding of contemporary medicine and science, and some of the methods that historians use to bring the past to light. Topics include ancient surgery and pharmacology; the manifold meanings of "disease;" the function and recognition of "the body," of "mind," and of perception; how to acquire "good" and "true" knowledge; continuity and discontinuity of beliefs and practices over time and place; and exchange of ideas and materials across cultures, among other subjects.
Instructor(s): Michael RossiTerms Offered: Winter. Offered in Winter 2023
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 17311
HIPS18400. Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization II: Renaissance to Enlightenment. 100 Units.
This lecture-discussion course examines the development science and scientific philosophy from the mid-fifteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. The considerations begin with the recovery of an ancient knowledge in the works of Leonardo, Vesalius, Harvey, and Copernicus. Thereafter the course will focus on Enlightenment science, as represented by Galileo, Descartes, Newton, and Hume. The course will culminate with the work of Darwin, who utilized traditional concepts to inaugurate modern science. For each class, the instructor will provide a short introductory lecture on the texts, and then open discussion to pursue with students the unexpected accomplishments of the authors under scrutiny.
Instructor(s): R. RichardsTerms Offered: Winter. Course is offered in Winter 2022
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 17410, KNOW 18400
HIPS18401. Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization II: History of Medicine 1500 to 1900. 100 Units.
This course examines the theory and practice of medicine between 1500 and 1900. Topics include traditional early modern medicine; novel understandings of anatomy, physiology, and disease from the Renaissance on; and new forms of medical practice, training, and knowledge-making that developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Instructor(s): M. RossiTerms Offered: Autumn. Course is not offered in 2021-2022 Academic Year
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 17411
HIPS18402. Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization II: The Scientific Revolution. 100 Units.
This course focuses on one of the most radical transformations in the history of Western thought: the so-called "Scientific Revolution." In addition to analyzing the origin and development of Copernicanism, Galilean mechanics, and Paracelsian alchemy-among other revolutionary ideas-we will examine several institutional and methodological innovations that profoundly altered how early modern Europeans investigated the natural world, including the advent of the experimental philosophy and the creation of scientific academies.
Instructor(s): Zachary BarrTerms Offered: Autumn. Offered Autumn 2021
HIPS18501. Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization III: History of Medicine 1900-Present. 100 Units.
This course is an examination of various themes in the history of medicine in Western Europe and America since 1900. Topics include key developments of medical theory (e.g., the circulation of the blood and germ theory), relations between doctors and patients, rivalries between different kinds of healers and therapists, and the development of the hospital and laboratory medicine.
Instructor(s): M. RossiTerms Offered: Winter. Course is not offered in 2021-2022 Academic Year
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 17511
HIPS18502. Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization III: The Environment. 100 Units.
This course charts the development of modern science and technology with special reference to the environment. Major themes include natural history and empire, political economy in the Enlightenment, the discovery of deep time and evolutionary theory, the dawn of the fossil fuel economy, Malthusian anxieties about overpopulation, the birth of ecology, the Cold War development of climate science, the postwar debates about the limits to growth, and the emergence of modern environmentalism. We will end with the new science of the Anthropocene.
Instructor(s): F. Albritton JonssonTerms Offered: Spring. Course is not offered in 2021-2022 Academic Year
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 17512
HIPS18503. Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization III: History of Social Science. 100 Units.
Social Science" now is generally used to refer to the various disciplines devoted to the study of humanity in its social manifestations: sociology, social and cultural anthropology, economics, political science, geography, and history. But these disciplines employ radically different methodologies, rooted in distinct histories. While positive social science and the application of statistics to society began in the context of French Revolutionary nation-building, ethnographic methods emerged in the very different context of British imperial encounters with 'exotic' cultures. In the midst of a growing interest in 'society' and 'culture,' distinct methodological schools with competing social and cultural ontologies and methodologies emerged across Europe. This course studies these traditions, and their development in the social and cultural contexts of revolution, empire, racial justice, and disciplinary institutionalization.
Instructor(s): P. MostajirTerms Offered: AutumnWinter. Offered in Autumn 2021 and Winter 2022
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 17513
HIPS18505. Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization III: Histories of the Bomb. 100 Units.
In the long history of the planet, the years since 1945 have a remarkable and unique geological signature: one left by the creation and testing of atomic weapons, medicine, and energy. This class explores the intellectual, social, economic, and political histories of nuclear research, including topics such as transnational scientific migrations; the Manhattan Project; weapons testing and development; the rise of "Big Science"; postcolonial histories of nuclear development; domestic and international anti-nuclear activism; and ecological and environmental impacts of fallout, waste, and nuclear accidents. Drawing on both primary and secondary sources, we will consider how the story we tell about the history of the nuclear age and the rise of science came to be, and how that story has transformed at different points in the twentieth century.
Instructor(s): E. KernTerms Offered: Spring. Offered in Spring 2022
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 17515
HIPS12103. Treating Trans-: Practices of Medicine, Practices of Theory. 100 Units.
Medical disciplines from psychiatry to surgery have all attempted to identify and to treat gendered misalignment, while queer theory and feminisms have simultaneously tried to understand if and how trans- theories should be integrated into their respective intellectual projects. This course looks at the logics of the medical treatment of transgender (and trans- more broadly) in order to consider the mutual entanglement of clinical processes with theoretical ones. Over the quarter we will read ethnographic accounts and theoretical essays, listen to oral histories, discuss the intersections of race and ability with gender, and interrogate concepts like "material bodies" and "objective science". Primary course questions include:1.
Instructor(s): Paula MartinTerms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course counts as a Foundations Course for GNSE majors
Equivalent Course(s): HLTH 12103, CHDV 12103, GNSE 12103, ANTH 25212
HIPS15000. Common-Year Seminar: Science and the State. 100 Units.
The end of knowledge is power," wrote the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes in 1665. This introductory seminar looks at the intertwining historical relationships between states and the making of scientific knowledge and global political power from the eighteenth century to the present day. In this seminar, we will look at how past societies have wrestled with questions like the place of scientific expertise in different systems of government; the dynamics of state vs. private support for scientific research; and the coproduction of state power and scientific knowledge.
Instructor(s): E. KernTerms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open to 1st- and 2nd-yr students who are interested in history.
Note(s): Common-Year Seminars are small courses that address big themes. Classes introduce newer, readable, and accessible literature and teach writing skills for history classes at the college level. Assignments: two short papers and one final paper.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 15000
HIPS15100. Visualization and Biology: Science, Culture, and Representation. 100 Units.
How do scientific images get made? This deceptively simple question lies at the heart of this course. Over three weeks at the MBL, we will examine the techniques, technologies, philosophies and histories of scientific image making, with a particular focus on marine biology. Rather than simply reading theories of visualization and representation, students will immerse themselves in the making of images themselves. Students will perform hands-on work with historical and contemporary theories and techniques of microscopy, taxonomy, anatomy, and specimen collecting. They will also examine the theoretical, philosophical, and ethical underpinnings of those practices. Through a combination of ethnographic (participant observation) and historical (archival) work, students will develop rich accounts of scientific visualization - from matters of objectivity and instrumentation, to problems of vision and the limits of (human) senses, to questions of aesthetics, abstraction, and representation. During the course, students will have the opportunity to work with Marine Biological Laboratory faculty, have access to laboratory and archives, and will develop new data and novel accounts of the social, cultural, and technical creation of scientific images.
Instructor(s): Michael Paul RossiTerms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Prerequisite: Consent Only.
Note(s): Prerequisite: Consent Only. Course meets for three weeks, 9/9 thru 9/27 (5-6 days/week, 8 hours per day), at Marine Biological Laboratories, in Woods Hole Massachusetts. Course will be part of Autumn quarter course load. For more information see http://college.uchicago.edu/academics/mbl-september-courses
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 23809, ENST 25111, HIST 14904
HIPS18506. Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization III: Modern Science. 100 Units.
This course will examine the constitutive relationship between major sociopolitical and scientific events in Western and Central Europe between 1815 and 1945, including the role of the post-Napoleonic "Vienna System" in the consolidation of the statistical style of reasoning in France and the connection between interwar politics and the rise of eugenics. By the end of the course, students should have a better understanding of a critical period in European history and acquired a set of theoretical tools for understanding how sociopolitical and epistemic developments are related.
Instructor(s): Zachary BarrTerms Offered: Spring. Spring 2023
Note(s): Satisfies the Core CIV requirement as the third course in the Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization sequence (modern period).
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 17516
HIPS20003. Reading Race. 100 Units.
Before and since Anthropology became a discrete scientific field of study, questions about the biological reality, potential utility and misuse of the concept of race in Homo sapiens have been debated. We will read and discuss a sample of writings by 18th, 19th, and 20th century and contemporary authors who attempted to define human races and those who have promoted or debunked the utility of the concept of race with special attention to it role in retarding social progress, and the extermination and exploitation of some populations and individuals.
Instructor(s): Russell TuttleTerms Offered: Autumn. Autumn 2022
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 38305, ANTH 20003, CRES 12300
HIPS20205. Race in African History. 100 Units.
This course examines how the category of race has been identified and discussed in African history from the nineteenth century to the contemporary era. The course combines cultural and social history with recent research from the history of science, gender and sexuality studies, and the history of slavery in Islamic Africa to illuminate the debates, actors, and encounters that animate this dynamic field. Students will analyze case studies from across the continent-from Ghana to Sudan to South Africa-while also keeping an eye to transnational debates about difference, diaspora, imperialism, and nationalism. With readings ranging from classics in Pan-African thought to comparative studies of white settler colonialism, this course will highlight the ways in which race has shaped and continues to shape African states and societies. Students will also consider film, literature, music, fashion, and studies of the built environment.
Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Students who have not take African Civiliizations I, II, and III are asked to read African History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2007) in preparation for this course.
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 22225, HIST 20205, CRES 20205
HIPS20301. The Science, History, Policy, and Future of Water. 100 Units.
Water is shockingly bizarre in its properties and of unsurpassed importance throughout human history, yet so mundane as to often be invisible in our daily lives. In this course, we will traverse diverse perspectives on water. The journey begins with an exploration of the mysteries of water's properties on the molecular level, zooming out through its central role at biological and geological scales. Next, we travel through the history of human civilization, highlighting the fundamental part water has played throughout, including the complexities of water policy, privatization, and pricing in today's world. Attention then turns to technology and innovation, emphasizing the daunting challenges dictated by increasing water stress and a changing climate as well as the enticing opportunities to achieve a secure global water future.
Instructor(s): Seth Darling Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): GLST 26807, ENST 20300, MENG 20300, HIST 25426, ANTH 22131
HIPS20399. Trauma, Vulnerability, and the Martial Body. 100 Units.
This course examines the embodied dimensions of war. Drawing from readings in anthropology, sociology, geography, and history, we will explore how military personnel experience contemporary war through a constellation of techniques, technologies, and relationships. This course is comprised of three sections. In the first section, we will discuss foundational texts in social theory that explore the various mechanisms through which institutions produce soldiers from "docile" bodies. The second section considers whether and how new protective technologies used in modern warfare corporeally mediate how individuals experience war. In the final section, we will examine recent efforts to remove bodies from combat zones through the use of unmanned weapons systems such as drones and other technologies. Throughout the course, students will acquire the necessary conceptual and analytical tools to understand, discuss, and critically examine the impacts of modern warfare as well as have the opportunity to conduct archival research on a topic of their choice.
Instructor(s): A. DrakeTerms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Distribution - undergrad: 3, 4
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 20399, HLTH 20399, CHDV 20399
HIPS20401. Philosophy of Mind. 100 Units.
This is a survey of some of the central questions in the philosophy of mind. These questions include: What is consciousness? How can mental states represent things in the world? How do our minds relate to our bodies? Do we have free will? Can we blame someone for the beliefs or desires she has? What are the emotions? To help us with these questions, we will focus on 20th-century analytic work (by Putnam, Nagel, Searle, Jackson, Dennett, Chalmers, Block, Dretske, and others), but we will also read important historical texts on the nature of the mind by Aristotle, Descartes, and Hume.
Instructor(s): B. CallardTerms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 23501
HIPS20700. Introduction to Logic. 100 Units.
An introduction to the concepts and principles of symbolic logic. We learn the syntax and semantics of truth-functional and first-order quantificational logic, and apply the resultant conceptual framework to the analysis of valid and invalid arguments, the structure of formal languages, and logical relations among sentences of ordinary discourse. Occasionally we will venture into topics in philosophy of language and philosophical logic, but our primary focus is on acquiring a facility with symbolic logic as such.
Instructor(s): G. SchultheisTerms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 20100, CHSS 33500, PHIL 30000, LING 20102
HIPS20905. Advanced Logic. 100 Units.
In this course, we explore the question of what role modern type theory can play in providing a foundation for mathematics and logic. Topics include logicism, higher order logic, Martin-Lof type theory, and the calculus of constructions. (B) (II)
Instructor(s): K. DaveyTerms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Students will be expected to have some familiarity with the lambda calculus and the theory of types – interested students without this background should contact the instructor in advance to discuss possible material to read to help prepare for the course.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 29405, PHIL 39405, CHSS 39405
HIPS20962. Nature's Authority. 100 Units.
From ancient times to the present, nature's authority has been invoked by revolutionaries and reactionaries alike to justify social, political, and economic arrangements made by humans. Despite much trenchant philosophical criticism, nature seems to an irresistible resource in very human debates about power, work, sex, money, and much else. This seminar asks why this tradition has been so persistent and pervasive and where nature's authority comes from. Readings will emphasize primary sources, from Aristotle to contemporary environmentalists. This course will meet two times per week for 3 hours, during the 1st five weeks of the quarter, March 28 - April 27.
Terms Offered: Spring. Course will be taught Spring 2022
Note(s): Instructor consent required. Primarily aimed at graduate students, but also open to well-qualified undergraduates.
Equivalent Course(s): SCTH 30962, CHSS 30962, HIST 45005
HIPS21000. Introduction To Ethics. 100 Units.
An exploration of some of the central questions in metaethics, moral theory, and applied ethics. These questions include the following: are there objective moral truths, as there are (as it seems) objective scientific truths? If so, how can we come to know these truths? Should we make the world as good as we can, or are there moral constraints on what we can do that are not a function of the consequences of our actions? Is the best life a maximally moral life? What distribution of goods in a society satisfies the demands of justice? Can beliefs and desires be immoral, or only actions? What is "moral luck"? What is courage? (A)
Instructor(s): B. CallardTerms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 21000, FNDL 23107
HIPS21100. Celebrity and Science in Paleoanthropology. 100 Units.
This seminar explores the balance among research, "showbiz" big business, andpolitics in the careers of Louis, Mary, and Richard Leakey; Alan Walker; DonaldJohanson; Jane Goodall; Dian Fossey; and Biruté Galdikas. Information is gatheredfrom films, taped interviews, autobiographies, biographies, pop publications,instructor's anecdotes, and samples of scientific writings.
Instructor(s): R. TuttleTerms Offered: TBD
Prerequisite(s): This course qualifies as a Discovering Anthropology selection for Anthropology majors.
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 21406, ANTH 38300
HIPS21108. Time After Physics. 100 Units.
This course provides a historical survey of the philosophy of time. We begin with the problems of change, being and becoming as formulated in Ancient Greece by Parmenides and Zeno, and Aristotle's attempted resolution in the Physics by providing the first formal theory of time. The course then follows theories of time through developments in physics and philosophy up to the present day. Along the way we will take in Descartes' theory of continuous creation, Newton's Absolute Time, Leibniz's and Mach's relational theories, Russell's relational theory, Broad's growing block, Whitehead's epochal theory, McTaggart's A, B and C theories, Prior's tense logic, Belnap's branching time, Einstein's relativity theory and theories of quantum gravity. (B) (II)
Instructor(s): T. PashbyTerms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 31108, PHIL 31108, KNOW 31108, KNOW 21108, PHIL 21108
HIPS21347. To Preserve or Destroy: Anthropologies of Heritage. 100 Units.
Why do some monuments matter more than others? Why do we destroy some sites and preserve others? How do these objects and sites attain value? As witnessed in Charlottesville, heritage is at the heart of intense debates in politics and culture today. Questions of theft and colonial violence haunt museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions. Looting and repatriation-linked to archaeology's complex history and of equal concern to contemporary anthropology-force us to contend with the very meaning of heritage, including why it matters, what it does, and to whom it rightfully belongs. Bringing archaeology and anthropology together, this course attends to these complex questions, exploring how monuments, heritage sites, and material culture are enmeshed in power and condense contested histories. Drawing together ethnographies of heritage, theories of history and art, and accounts of dispossession and destruction, we will examine heritage as a conceptual formation, a set of social, political, and economic practices, and as a locus of both enchantment and endangerment. In doing so, students will gain a better sense of why the category of heritage seems to matter so much in the 21st century, paradoxically weaponized by both nationalist narratives and decolonial movements, and what futures heritage builds.
Instructor(s): Hilary LeathemTerms Offered: Course is essentially deactivated
Equivalent Course(s): GLST 23317, ANTH 21347, ARCH 21347
HIPS21358. The Social Afterlives of Loss. 100 Units.
We are living through multiple and overlapping narratives of loss, whether the unevenly unfolding global pandemic, the historical and everyday injustice of legalized racism and police violence, widening economic inequality and insecurity, or the accelerating turbulence of the climate crisis. Loss also shapes social life in a minor key, through everyday acts of forgetting, letting go, or withdrawal. What kind of a social phenomenon is loss? How do people go on in the face of it? How can we study such a highly variable phenomenon, and what insight might we find in the process?This course investigates loss and its social afterlives, from the ordinary to the earth-shattering. We examine how loss arises and discuss why, even when expected or familiar, its disorienting effects invite creative acts of wayfinding. We first engage the material, historical, and psychic dimensions of loss and then shift scope to examine how loss affects entire communities, becomes institutionalized, and puts entire worlds into question. By engaging ethnography, history, social theory, as well as literature and popular media, we will develop a constellation of questions and approaches to loss and answer why it happens, how we live through it, and what we find in its wake.
Instructor(s): Bright, DamienTerms Offered: Winter. Winter 2022
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 21358, ENST 21358
HIPS21407. The Vocation of a Scientist. 100 Units.
Max Weber wrote that to be a scientist one needed a "strange intoxication" with scientific work and a "passionate devotion" to research as a calling. And yet, such passion seemed to conflict with the ideal of value-neutral inquiry. This class considers the vocation of science since the turn of the twentieth century. What political, economic, and cultural forces have shaped scientific professions in the United States? How are scientists represented in public culture? How was American science experienced during the colonization of the Philippines? By exploring these questions, this class will examine the values and norms that make science into a meaningful vocation.
Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 21407, ANTH 22129
HIPS21408. History of Medicine. 100 Units.
This course surveys the history of medicine from the medieval period to the present. How did medicine emerge as a defined body of knowledge? To what extent do diseases and disorders have an independent existence, and to what extent are they cultural constructs? How have social mores-particularly those related to religion, class, nationality, race, and gender-influenced the ways in which health was and is understood and maintained, and illness treated? What does it mean to practice medicine ethically, and how has that changed over time? Topics include the emergence and evolution of the medical profession, the history of medical research and method, the interpretation and treatment of the unhealthy and healthy alike, eugenics, euthanasia, the quest for immortality, and the changing relationship between technology and disease.
Equivalent Course(s): CCTS 21408, HIST 25314, KNOW 21408
HIPS21409. History of Extraterrestrial Life. 100 Units.
In 2014, the Vatican Radio made a splash when it reported that the pontiff, Pope Francis, condoned the baptism of extraterrestrials-if they so desired it. "Who are we to close doors?" he asked rhetorically. It was both a metaphor for spiritual inclusion and an accurate representation of the modern Vatican's position on the possibilities of modern astrobiology and the search for extrasolar planets, fields whose rapid growth over the past two decades make serious consideration of extraterrestrial life seem like a uniquely modern phenomena. Its history, however, is in fact many centuries old. In this course we will examine the development of beliefs concerning life in the universe from the sixteenth century to the present. How did historical actors understand the nature, abilities, and location of extraterrestrial life, and its relationship to man and god? We will analyze connections between these beliefs and contemporary political, social, scientific, and religious developments. These include the role of the plurality of worlds in the debates over heliocentrism, its impact and application in the context of deism and social and political freethought, its literary and artistic depictions and use as a tool of satire and social commentary, its influence on natural philosophy, its decline and the subsequent rise of alien conspiracists and their critics, and how and why conceptions of the extraplanetary other took a dark and sinister turn toward the early-to-mid twentieth century.
Equivalent Course(s): ECEV 31409, KNOW 21409, HIST 24917
HIPS21410. Politics of Technoscience in Africa. 100 Units.
Euro-American discourse has often portrayed Africa as either a place without science and technology or as the home of deep and ancient wisdom. European imperialists used the alleged absence of science and technology as a justification for colonialism while pharmaceutical companies sought out African knowledge about healing plants. In addition to their practical applications, science and technology carry significant symbolic weight in discussions about Africa. In this class, we examine the politics of scientific and technical knowledge in Africa with a focus on colonialism and its aftermath. How have different people produced and used knowledge about the environment, medicine, and technology? What kinds of knowledge count as indigenous and who gets credit for innovation? How have independent African governments dealt with the imperial legacies of science? From the interpretation of archaeological ruins to the design of new medical technologies, this class will examine science and technology as political practice in Africa.
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 21410, ANTH 22165, KNOW 21410
HIPS21411. Sex, Race, and Empire. 100 Units.
This course surveys how science, race, and gender interacted in the early modern Atlantic world from 1500-1800. We will critically examine how new modes of scientific inquiry brought Africans, Americans, and Europeans into contact and conflict. Along the way, we will ask how, why, and with consequences imperial science created new knowledge claims about human inequality, especially racial and sexual difference. We will draw primarily on British, Iberian, and French imperial agendas in order to track the experiences of men and women from all corners of the Atlantic world, including indigenous peoples, enslaved black Africans, free people of color, and white Europeans. Through a variety of primary and secondary sources, we will uncover European aspirations to curate, control, and exploit the natural world and the agency of subjugated peoples in responding to and resisting these designs. Topics covered include natural history collecting and classification; the invention of racial theory; slavery and maroons; women, gender, and reproduction; consumption; and violence, resistance, and revolution.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25315, CRES 21411, GNSE 21411, KNOW 21411
HIPS21413. Sex and Enlightenment Science. 100 Units.
What do a lifelike wax woman, a birthing dummy, and a hermaphrodite have in common? This interdisciplinary course seeks answers to this question by exploring how eighteenth-century scientific and medical ideas, technologies, and practices interacted with and influenced contemporary notions of sex, sexuality, and gender. In our course, the terms "sex," "Enlightenment," and "science" will be problematized in their historic contexts using a variety of primary and secondary sources. Through these texts, as well as images and objects, we will see how emerging scientific theories about sex, sexuality, and gender contributed to new understandings of the human, especially female, body. We will also see how the liberating potential of Enlightenment thought gave way to sexual and racial theories that insisted on fundamental human difference. Topics to be covered include theories of generation, childbirth, homosexuality, monstrosities, race and procreation, and hermaphrodites and questions about the "sex" of the enlightened scientist and the gendering of scientific practices.
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 31413, KNOW 21413, GNSE 21413, HIST 22218
HIPS21414. What is Technology? 100 Units.
In the nineteenth century, the word "technology" referred to the science of the useful and industrial arts. While the term is today synonymous with machinery and other material tools, this contemporary usage dates only to the 1930s. A word once used to describe a specialist mode of writing about applied knowledge has come to refer to tools and their use.
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 21414
HIPS21419. Indigenous Knowledge and the Foundations of Modern Social Theory. 100 Units.
Indigenous people are often seen as "objects" of social theory; this course considers their role as subjects of social theory-makers of modern knowledge who made foundational contributions to basic ideas about humanity. We will take up three case studies, each of which highlights an indigenous people who unleashed a cascade of fresh thinking: the Australian Aborigines who influenced the ideas of Émile Durkheim and Sigmund Freud; the Native peoples of the Northwest Coast of America who stimulated Franz Boas to reconstruct the concept of culture; and the indigenous peoples of the Trobriand Islands who shaped Bronisław Malinowski's ideas about gifts, hospitality, and reciprocity. As we will see, much of what we call social theory turns out to rely on a vast archive of nonstate knowledge generated by indigenous intellectuals.
Instructor(s): Isaiah Lorado WilnerTerms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 21419, CRES 21419
HIPS21813. Race and Nation in Latin America. 100 Units.
How does race operate in Latin America and the Caribbean, and in what ways does it intersect with the concept of nation and national belonging? This course follows the history of race and national formation in the region, from the wake of the independence movements of the early nineteenth century to the present. It draws on historical, anthropological, sociological, artistic, and literary approaches to identifying, analyzing, and interpreting the varied meanings of race and nation throughout the region. We will discuss changing notions of race over time and their relationship to contemporaneous social theories; we will analyze notions of citizenship, equality, and race both in ideas and in practice; and we will examine the intersection of racial formation and gender and sexual politics.
Instructor(s): Diana Schwartz-FranciscoTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 21813, GLST 21813, HIST 26510, CRES 21813, SOCI 20532
HIPS21428. Apes and Human Evolution. 100 Units.
This course is a critical examination of the ways in which data on the behavior, morphology, and genetics of apes have been used to elucidate human evolution. We emphasize bipedalism, hunting, meat eating, tool behavior, food sharing, cognitive ability, language, self-awareness, and sociability. Visits to local zoos and museums, film screenings, and demonstrations with casts of fossils and skeletons required.
Instructor(s): Russell TuttleTerms Offered: Spring. Spring 2023
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130 or BIOS 10140. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition. Preference to 3rd and 4th year Anthropology Majors.
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 13253, ANTH 38600, EVOL 38600, ANTH 21428
HIPS22000. Introduction to Philosophy of Science. 100 Units.
We will begin by trying to explicate the manner in which science is a rational response to observational facts. This will involve a discussion of inductivism, Popper's deductivism, Lakatos and Kuhn. After this, we will briefly survey some other important topics in the philosophy of science, including underdetermination, theories of evidence, Bayesianism, the problem of induction, explanation, and laws of nature. (B) (II)
Instructor(s): T. PashbyTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25109, HIST 35109, CHSS 33300, PHIL 32000, PHIL 22000
HIPS22003. Einstein for Everyone. 100 Units.
Einstein's revolutions in physics led to fundamental changes in how we understand the universe. Among other things, we seem to have learned from Einstein about the existence of black holes and gravitational waves, that time is not absolute but relative, that the universe is expanding, that gravity is not a force. But how is someone who doesn't know much physics to figure out if this or that moral really is vindicated by Einstein's work? This course covers just enough of Einstein's work at an elementary level to help answer such questions. High school math is required but we will provide an understanding of special and general relativity at a conceptual level, without calculations or problem sets. (B)
Instructor(s): T. PashbyTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 22003, FNDL 24307
HIPS22207. The Social History of Alcohol in Early Modern Europe. 100 Units.
This course will examine the multifaceted role that beer, wine, cider, and spirits played in European society and will challenge students to consider how a seemingly familiar commodity was a key component in shaping early modern social relations. It will focus on several major themes that have guided historical inquiry and show how hard drink intersects with and entangles these histories. Major themes will include alcohol and gender relations; state legality and taxation; moral policing; environmental projects and crises; labor and technology; and colonialism. Using both primary and secondary sources will push students to look below the surface to see how drink alternately challenged or reinforced social hierarchies, much as it continues to do in the present time.
Instructor(s): C. RydellTerms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HLTH 22207, HIST 22207
HIPS22310. The Commons: Environment and Economy in Early Modern Europe. 100 Units.
Drawing on case studies from Europe and the Atlantic world, this course will track changes in land use and property rights over the early modern period (ca. 1500-1800), inviting students to reflect on the relationship between natural environments (woodlands, waterways, pasture) and histories of state formation, economic growth, rebellion, and colonialism. Organizing concepts and debates will include the tragedy of the commons, moral economies, sustainability and scarcity, the "organic economy" of the old regime, primitive accumulation, and economic takeoff. Readings will encompass classic works in agrarian, environmental, and social history (i.e., Marc Bloch, E. P. Thompson, Silvia Federici, James Scott, Carolyn Merchant) as well as primary documents and contemporary texts (i.e., More, Bacon, Smith, Paine, Babeuf). We will also reflect on how these histories bear on debates about land use and natural resources in the present day.
Instructor(s): O. CussenTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 22310, ENST 22310, LLSO 22310
HIPS22708. Planetary Britain, 1600-1900. 100 Units.
What were the causes behind Britain's Industrial Revolution? In the vast scholarship on this problem, one particularly heated debate has focused on the imperial origins of industrialization. How much did colonial resources and markets contribute to economic growth and technological innovation in the metropole? The second part of the course will consider the global effects of British industrialization. To what extent can we trace anthropogenic climate change and other planetary crises back to the environmental transformation wrought by the British Empire? Topics include ecological imperialism, metabolic rift, the sugar revolution, the slave trade, naval construction and forestry, the East India Company, free trade and agriculture, energy use and climate change.
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 32708, KNOW 22708, ENST 22708, HIST 32708, KNOW 32808, HIST 22708
HIPS22800. Experiencing Madness: Empathic Methods in Cultural Psychiatry. 100 Units.
This course provides students with an introduction to the phenomenological approach in cultural psychiatry, focusing on the problem of "how to represent mental illness" as a thematic anchor. Students will examine the theoretical and methodological groundings of cultural psychiatry, examining how scholars working in the phenomenological tradition have tried to describe the lived experiences of various forms of "psychopathology" or "madness." By the end of the course, students will have learned how to describe and analyze the social dimension of a mental health experience, using a phenomenologically-grounded anthropological approach, and by adopting a technical vocabulary for understanding the lived experiences of mental illness (for instance, phenomena, life-world, being-in-the-world, intentionality, epoché, embodiment, madness, psychopathology, melancholia/depression, schizophrenia, etc). In addition, given the ongoing problematic of "how to represent mental illness," students will also have the opportunity to think through the different ways of presenting their analysis, both in the form of weekly blog entries and during a final-week mock-workshop, where they will showcase their work in a creative medium appropriate to that analysis.
Equivalent Course(s): MAPS 32800, CHSS 32800, ANTH 24355, CHDV 32822, ANTH 35135
HIPS22905. Topics in the History of Attention. 100 Units.
Our data," said a recent social critic, "is the oil of the twenty-first century." In these infinite reserves, perhaps no data is more "ours" than the data we generate simply by paying attention to some things over other things. This particular feature of how our minds work has become the natural resource supply for the vastly profitable attention economy. But-hasn't it always been thus?In this course we will explore how something every human has always had becomes a new resource and a new problem from one historical moment to another. We will pursue our quarry with zealous particularism and zealous universalism, by tracking discourses of attention across several recurring themes: questions of autonomy and choice; problems of overabundance; forms of collective attention, trained attention, and pathological attention-including pathologies of excess, deficiency, and erroneous attention. Throughout the course we will ask what problems of attention say about the cultures and societies that produce them, and how all problems of attention might be different historical attempts to come to terms with human limitation and human potential.
Instructor(s): Huang, LilyTerms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 32905, MAPS 32905
HIPS23050. The Role of Science in U.S. Education Reform. 100 Units.
How should science inform the improvement of education? Can education be studied scientifically? These questions have haunted American education research since its 19th century beginnings. In this course, Lagemann's history of U.S. education research, An Elusive Science, will serve as a central orienting text, and students will read primary sources by the figures it describes: Dewey, James, Thorndike, Coleman, Tyler, and more. The course will end with a consideration of contemporary topics such as research-practice partnerships and design research. In taking on the case of American education research, students will confront and discuss the entanglements of epistemology and history, measurement and social organization, knowledge and authority.
Instructor(s): Ye, LilyTerms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Undergrad distribution: C
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 23050, KNOW 23050, EDSO 23050
HIPS23410. Sex in Twentieth-Century Europe. 100 Units.
This course will examine the "syncopated" history of sexuality across this tumultuous century. The period took Europeans from bourgeois norms of sexuality through the 1960s sexual revolution to same-sex marriages; genocide and the emergence of rape as a war crime; and the unprecedented regulation of sexuality and biomedical developments treating infertility. Since the history of sex and sexuality in Europe cannot be thought outside of European colonialism and the Cold War, the course will also examine how sexuality shaped and was shaped by political ideologies. In short, by examining the centrality of "who can have sex with whom," students will rethink "standard" political narratives of twentieth-century Europe. Working with Dagmar Herzog's "Sexuality in Europe: A Twentieth-Century History," the main text of the course, and drawing on a variety of primary sources-including law and medical treatises, popular culture, and autobiographies-students will also gain an insight into the ways in which sexuality can be studied beyond archival sources.
Instructor(s): M. AppeltováTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 23400, HMRT 23400, GNSE 23490, HLTH 23400
HIPS23507. Scientific Inference. 100 Units.
In this course we investigate the nature of inference in the scientific setting. Topics include induction, abduction, Bayesianism, and theories of hypothesis testing. Close attention will be paid to the question of what contribution formal techniques from probability and statistics make to our understanding of justified inference. (B) (II)
Instructor(s): K. DaveyTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 33507, CHSS 33507, PHIL 23507
HIPS24103. Bioethics. 100 Units.
This is a lecture and discussion class that will explore how a variety of philosophic and religious thinkers approach the issues and problems of modern dilemmas in medicine and science in a field called bioethics. We will consider a general argument for your consideration: that the arguments and the practices from faith traditions and from philosophy offer significant contributions that underlie policies and practices in bioethics. We will use a case-based method to study how different traditions describe and defend differences in moral choices in contemporary bioethics. This class is based on the understanding that case narratives serve as another core text for the discipline of bioethics and that complex ethical issues are best considered by a careful examination of the competing theories as work themselves out in specific cases. We will examine both classic cases that have shaped our understanding of the field of bioethics and cases that are newly emerging, including the case of research done at our University. Through these cases, we will ask how religious traditions both collide and cohere over such topics as embryo research, health care reform, terminal illness, issues in epidemics and public health, and our central research question, synthetic biology research.This class will also explore how the discipline of bioethics has emerged to reflect upon such dilemmas, with particular attention to the role that theology and philosophy have played in such reflection.
Instructor(s): Laurie ZolothTerms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Graduate students will meet in a separate section. This course meets the CS or LMCS Committee distribution requirement for Divinity students.
Equivalent Course(s): RETH 30600, RLST 24103, HLTH 24103, SIGN 26069, BIOS 29216
HIPS24240. Buddhism and Science: A Critical Introduction. 100 Units.
Buddhism is the only religion able to cope with modern scientific needs." This quotation, often erroneously attributed to Albert Einstein, prompts the question: Why are such statements about Buddhism so easily taken nowadays as credible and plausible? Currently, it seems no other religion is held as compatible with science as Buddhism: From the recent 'mindfulness' craze in psychology and medicine, to the 'Emptiness' of quantum physics, Buddhism is uniquely hailed as a 'rational religion' whose insights anticipated modern science by millennia. Some even suggest it is not a 'religion' at all, but rather a sort of 'mind-science.' This course functions as both an introduction to Buddhism and a critical survey of its modern scientific reception. As we explore Buddhism's relationship to contemporary scientific theories in psychology and physics, we will be guided by questions such as: What methodological principles distinguish the practices of religion and science? What are the different ways they can be brought into relation? Why is Buddhism, in particular, singled out as uniquely scientific? What modern historical factors, like colonialism and secularization, contribute to this contemporary meme? Why does it matter whether Buddhism is compatible with science or not? What, exactly, is at stake in this relationship? And for whom? No prior study of Buddhism or the philosophy of science is expected.
Instructor(s): Jesse BergerTerms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course counts as a Cognitive Science extra-disciplinary course.
Equivalent Course(s): CCTS 21018, RLST 24240, KNOW 24240
HIPS24341. Topics in Medical Anthropology. 100 Units.
Over the past two decades, the field of "global health" has become the dominant narrative and organizing logic for interventions into health and well-being worldwide.This seminar will review theoretical positions and debates in anthropology, focusing on the decolonizing global health movement. Divergent historical legacies of colonialism and racism, institutionalized forms of structural violence, and modern-day extractive capitalism have resulted in stark global inequities, which currently stand at shockingly unprecedented levels.This seminar offers a critical lens to rethink contemporary global health's logic and practice by considering other histories and political formations, experiences, and knowledge production systems.This seminar opens up a space for generative dialogue on the future directions of what constitutes health, equity, and aid, and whether social justice is or should be the new imperative for action.
Instructor(s): P. Sean BrothertonTerms Offered: Not Offered 2021-22; may be offered 2022-23
Prerequisite(s): Strongly recommended: previous lower-division courses in the social studies of health and medicine through ANTH, HIPS, HLTH, or CHDV
Note(s): This is an advanced reading seminar. Among undergraduates, 3rd and 4th year students are given priority. Consent only: Use the online consent form via the registrar to enroll.
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 40301, KNOW 24341, ANTH 24341, KNOW 40312, ANTH 40310, CRES 24341, CHSS 40310, HLTH 24341, CHDV 24341
HIPS24352. Health, Value, Politics. 100 Units.
Instructor(s): Kaushik Sunder RajanTerms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): HLTH 24352, ANTH 24352
HIPS24706. Science in the South: Decolonizing the Study of Knowledge in Latin America & the Caribbean. 100 Units.
This seminar will bridge anthropologies and histories of science, technology, and medicine to Latin American decolonial thought. Throughout Latin America, techno-scientific objects and practices, with their presumed origin in the Euro-Atlantic North, are often complexly entangled with neo-imperial projects of development and modernization that elongate social forms of colonization into the present. Technoscience and its objects, however, can also generate new creative, political, and life-enhancing potentials beyond or despite their colonial resonances, or even provide tools to ongoing struggles for decolonization. Together, seminar participants will explore what a decolonial approach to the study of science, technology, and medicine in the Global South, particularly in Latin America, has been and could become and how decolonial theory can inflect our own disciplinary, conceptual, and political commitments as anthropologists of technoscience.
Instructor(s): S. GraeterTerms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 24706, ANTH 23026
HIPS24901. Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" and "The Descent of Man" 100 Units.
This lecture-discussion course will focus on a close reading of Darwin's two classic texts. An initial class or two will explore the state of biology prior to Darwin's Beagle voyage, and then consider the development of his theories before 1859. Then we will turn to his two books. Among the topics of central concern will be the logical, epistemological, and rhetorical status of Darwin's several theories, especially his evolutionary ethics; the religious foundations of his ideas and the religious reaction to them; and the social-political consequences of his accomplishment. The year 2019 was the 210th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 160th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. (B) (IV)
Instructor(s): R. RichardsTerms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Assignments: several short papers and one long paper.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 33015, HIST 34905, FNDL 24905, CHSS 38400, HIST 24905, PHIL 23015
HIPS24908. Being Human: Histories of Paleoanthropology, Origins, and Deep Time. 100 Units.
What does it mean to be "human," and how have different sciences been used at different points in time to answer that question? While the scientific discipline of paleoanthropology-the study of human evolution and the deep human past-only emerged at the start of the twentieth century, it grew out of both nineteeth-century investigations into mysterious stone tools and the fossils of strange prehistoric creatures and much older traditions about origins, creation, and the nature of human difference drawn from history, religious faith, and the mythological tradition. This seminar will explore the connected histories of paleoanthropology, prehistory, and the geosciences from the late eighteenth to the early twenty-first century, and consider how these sciences have been shaped by ideas about history, human nature, gender and race, and the earth itself.
Instructor(s): E. Kern
Note(s): Assignments: two short papers and one long final research paper.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 34908, CHSS 34908, HIST 24908
HIPS24921. Darwinism and Literature. 100 Units.
In this course we will explore the notion that literary fiction can contribute to the generation of new knowledge of the human mind, human behavior, and human societies. Some novelists in the late 19th and early 20th century provided fictional portrayals of human nature that were grounded into Darwinian theory. These novelists operated within the conceptual framework of the complementarity of science and literature advanced by Goethe and the other romantics. At a time when novels became highly introspective and psychological, these writers used their literary craftsmanship to explore and illustrate universals aspects of human nature. In this course we read the work of several novelists such as George Eliot, HG Wells, Joseph Conrad, Jack London, Yuvgeny Zamyatin, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Italo Svevo, and Elias Canetti, and discuss how these authors anticipated the discoveries made decades later by cognitive, social, and evolutionary psychology.
Instructor(s): D. MaestripieriTerms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Distribution requirements: Undergraduate: A; Graduate: 1
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 34921, HIST 24921, KNOW 21418, KNOW 31418, CHDV 27861, CHDV 37861, HIST 34921
HIPS25001. Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. 100 Units.
This will be a careful reading of what is widely regarded as the greatest work of modern philosophy, Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Our principal aims will be to understand the problems Kant seeks to address and the significance of his famous doctrine of "transcendental idealism". Topics will include: the role of mind in the constitution of experience; the nature of space and time; the relation between self-knowledge and knowledge of objects; how causal claims can be justified by experience; whether free will is possible; the relation between appearance and reality; the possibility of metaphysics. (B) (IV)
Instructor(s): M. BoyleTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 37500, FNDL 27800, PHIL 27500, CHSS 37901
HIPS25011. Debating Science: Legitimacy, Authority, and Knowledge. 100 Units.
How can we tell what counts as science? That is, how does science make itself legible as science? Are the social sciences "as scientific" as the natural sciences? By concerning itself with practices of legitimation, this course introduces students to the social study of science and linguistic anthropological theory. Students will consider the sociopolitical dimensions of scientific activity through a theoretical lens which takes language use as a form of social action. They will consider concepts such as reliability, reproducibility, and objectivity. Case studies will likely include climate change skepticism, education research, and neurodiversity. Students will end the quarter by writing and presenting on a current or historical topic of "scientific" debate, that is, debate on the scientific status of a field or claim.C
Instructor(s): Lily YeTerms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 25011
HIPS25014. Introduction to Environmental History. 100 Units.
How have humans interacted with the environment over time? This course introduces students to the methods and topics of environmental history by way of classic and recent works in the field: Crosby, Cronon, Worster, Russell, and McNeill, etc. Major topics of investigation include preservationism, ecological imperialism, evolutionary history, forest conservation, organic and industrial agriculture, labor history, the commons and land reform, energy consumption, and climate change. Our scope covers the whole period from 1492 with case studies from European, American, and British imperial history.
Instructor(s): F. Albritton JonssonTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 35014, CHSS 35014, HIST 25014, ENST 25014
HIPS25104. History and Philosophy of Biology. 100 Units.
This lecture-discussion course will consider the main figures in the history of biology, from the Hippocratics and Aristotle to Darwin and Mendel. The philosophic issues will be the kinds of explanations appropriate to biology versus the other physical sciences, the status of teleological considerations, and the moral consequences for human beings.
Instructor(s): R. RichardsTerms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): For students taking PHIL 23405, the course is (B) (II).
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 37402, PHIL 33405, CHSS 37402, HIST 35104, PHIL 23405, HIST 25104
HIPS25114. Natural History and Empire, circa 1500-1800. 100 Units.
This course will examine natural history-broadly defined as a systematic, observational body of knowledge devoted to describing and understanding the physical world of plants, animals, natural environments, and (sometimes) people-in the context of European imperial expansion during the early modern era. Natural history was upended by the first European encounters with the New World. The encounter with these new lands exposed Europeans for the first time to unknown flora and fauna, which required acute empirical observation, collection, cataloguing, and circulation between periphery and metropole in order to understand their properties and determine their usefulness. As the Spanish, Portuguese, British, French, and Dutch competed with one another to establish overseas trade and military networks in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, they also competed over and shared information on natural resources. The course will combine lecture and discussion and mix primary source readings on natural history in the early modern world with modern historical writings. Though the readings skew a bit toward Britain and the British Atlantic world, every effort has been made to include texts and topics from multiple European and colonial locales. Topics and themes will include early modern sources of natural history from antiquity and their (re)interpretation in imperial context; early modern collecting cultures and cabinets of curiosities; Linnaeus and the origins of
Instructor(s): J. Niermeier-DohoneyTerms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 25114, HIST 25114
HIPS25121. The Brazil-Argentina Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and Thermoelectric Transition in Brazil. 100 Units.
In this course we present a history of Brazil-Argentina nuclear cooperation and how Brazil is planning the transition of its electric matrix from predominantly hydraulic towards a mix with increased share of nuclear power. Proliferation risks are a main concern of international community when nuclear programs expansion is considered. The Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials, created in 1991, has been fundamental in assuring the international community (via the International Atomic Energy Agency) that the nuclear materials and facilities of both countries are being used for peaceful purposes. Domestically, the debate has been environmental in nature, and concerns topics ranging from mining to power generation, and from radioactive materials disposal to radiation effects in living organisms and major accidents. These diplomatic, environmental, social and political issues are in turn dependent on technical details of the thermoelectric generating process, and this nexus of issues provides the topics for the course.
Instructor(s): Ramos, AlexandreTerms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Tinker Visiting Professor Autumn 2018
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 35121, PPHA 39921, LACS 35121, LACS 25121
HIPS25202. Feminist Perspectives on Science. 100 Units.
Feminist perspectives on science come from anthropology, sociology, history, and philosophy. What they have in common is a determination to uproot the deepest and least visible forms of oppression in our society: those pertaining to facts and methods we unquestioningly take to be true, known, and valid. We will first acquaint ourselves with the value-free ideal of science as an objective, rational process of discovery, and the ways this ideal has been wielded as an instrument of domination. We will spend the rest of the quarter challenging this dogma by (1) historically demonstrating science's symbiotic alliances with political ideologies of gender and race, (2) ethnographically examining structural and interactive practicalities of knowledge-construction and -circulation that reproduce social oppression, and (3) epistemologically deconstructing the very notions of objectivity and rationality that are used to insulate science from feminist critique. Works include but are not limited to authors Londa Schiebinger, Evelynn Hammonds, Emily Martin, Sharon Traweek, Susan Leigh Star, Joan Fijimura, Helen Longino, Heather Douglas, Donna Haraway, Elizabeth Anderson, Sandra Harding, and Susan Haack.
Instructor(s): P. MostajirTerms Offered: Autumn. Autumn 2020
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20517, GNSE 25222, ANTH 22124
HIPS25205. Computers, Minds, Intelligence & Data. 100 Units.
How are we co-evolving with our machines? How do we teach ourselves and our computers how to learn? What kinds of human intelligences do we promote in liberal education in comparison with artificial intelligence(s)? Through our distributed cognition with tools of all kinds, as we engage in participatory culture using digital computers and networks, we provide information that generates the basis for big (and small) data. At the crux of our investigation-on the one hand into reading and conversation and on the other hand into algorithms and information theory-are issues about human action and the multifaceted agency of the universal Turing machine-as mobile phone, laptop, internet, robot.
Equivalent Course(s): MAAD 14205, HUMA 25205
HIPS25206. Digital Culture: Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, and the Web. 100 Units.
In contrast to print culture and electronic culture, yet embedded in them, contemporary digital culture engages us in human-computer systems empowered as media for mobile communication in the global network society. In our conjoined online and offline environments, we inhabit human-computer hybrids in which (for instance) we learn, imagine, communicate, pay attention, and experience affect. How can we understand and critique our theories, concepts, practices, and technologies of intelligence and information in relation to the capacities of these digital machines with which we co-evolve? For exploring this question, our case studies include comparing artificial and natural intelligences, as well as examining algorithms and their socio-political impacts, in current web functionalities such as search (Google) and social media (Facebook,Twitter).
Instructor(s): Browning, MargotTerms Offered: Course was not offered in 2019-20
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 25206, HUMA 25206
HIPS25207. Mindfulness: Experience and Media. 100 Units.
How do we experience media (of all kinds) with (or without) awareness? Methods of mindfulness offer principles and practices of awareness focusing on mind, body, and embodied mind. Mindfulness (a flexible, moment-to-moment, non-judging awareness) is an individual experience and at the same time, practices of mindfulness can be a mode of public health intervention. Mindfulness involves social epistemologies of how we know (or don't know) collectively, as we interact with immediate sensory experience as well as with mediated communication technologies generating various sorts of virtual realities (from books to VR). In addition to readings and discussions, this course teaches embodied practices of attention and awareness through the curriculum of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.
Instructor(s): M. BrowningTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HUMA 25207, TAPS 20507, MAAD 14207, HLTH 25207
HIPS25209. American Pragmatism, Evolution, and the Sciences. 100 Units.
Classical American pragmatism was not an insular philosophical tradition. Rather, it was a major movement, spanning almost a century of U.S. intellectual history, incorporating evolutionary-theoretical insights into all areas of inquiry. This applied not only to the problems of philosophy, but also to various branches of scientific research. Why did pragmatist thinkers construct a philosophical basis out of Darwinian and Spencerian theories of evolution? How was this evolutionary philosophical basis applied towards a transformation of sciences such as psychology, sociology, education science, economics, and even physics? Who were the agents of such transformation projects? How did their lives and projects overlap and diverge? Our class will explore the origins and development of this intellectual movement that occupied a dominant position in major American schools such as Harvard, Columbia, and our own University of Chicago between the 1860s and the 1950s.
Instructor(s): P. MostajirTerms Offered: Spring. Spring 2020
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 25209, SOCI 20534, AMER 25209
HIPS25210. Medical Ethics in the Hospital and Clinic. 100 Units.
In this course, we depart from the ethical conversations that UChicago students may be used to having in the Core. Instead, we will examine the ethical quandaries that involve patients and families, doctors, nurses, researchers, and larger society by using a clinical perspective to frame our discussions. How is good medicine practiced? How should physicians think about conflicting social, professional, and personal duties? How do physicians integrate their knowledge with considerations about wider society to provide ethical care for patients? In the first week, we will introduce basic frameworks to organize our thinking around complex ethical problems in medical practice. We will use these frameworks to discuss general issues of ethical import to all fields of medicine: informed consent, decisional capacity, and end-of-life care. Most of our time will be spent exploring the big ethical questions in various medical specialties: surgery, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics. Consideration will also be given to ethical research practices and global health service. Weekly, lectures regarding relevant clinical and basic medical scientific topics will be offered to inform students' ethical decision-making.
Instructor(s): S. ServerTerms Offered: Spring. Spring 2022
HIPS25211. Computers, Minds, Intelligence and Data. 100 Units.
This course will cover the history of machine intelligence, with an emphasis on the sociological, philosophical, and ethical questions raised by this history up to our present moment. We'll look at how people throughout the last two hundred years have grappled with questions like: Can machines think? What is information? How does data relate to the "real world"? Who is responsible for the actions of a machine? We will examine how developments in mathematical logic, electrical engineering, cybernetics, and statistics interact with each other and with the wider political and cultural context. This course does not require any specific technical background, though we will sometimes read and discuss technical materials together in class. Weekly reading, writing, and research assignments will culminate in an independent research project.
Instructor(s): J. FoleyTerms Offered: Spring. Spring 2021
HIPS25212. Scientism. 100 Units.
Scientism is the controversial view that scientific methods are the best or only valid means for acquiring knowledge. The implications of this position are vast. If only science can provide knowledge, what are the arts and humanities contributing? If only scientific structures and categories adequately reflect reality, how should we understand human morality and culture? What does all this suggest about how we should determine public policy? While scientism is a topic of intense contemporary debate, it has a deep history in which its theoretical and practical components have evolved according to shifting intellectual, social, and political demands. We will explore debates on scientism (and its cousin, positivism) throughout Europe and the United States in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries to better understand the many facets and consequences of this controversial viewpoint. A major question in this course is whether our historical analysis can provide insights (and perhaps solutions) for twenty-first century debates on scientism.
Instructor(s): P. MostajirTerms Offered: Winter. Offered Winter 2022.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25108
HIPS25213. Modernities and Microscopes: Sociopolitical Conflict and Scientific Knowledge in Modern Europe. 100 Units.
Modernities and Microscopes: Sociopolitical Conflict and Scientific Knowledge in Modern Europe" examines the relationship between major sociopolitical and scientific events in Western and Central Europe between 1815 and 1945. In week two, for example, we will analyze the role of the post-Napoleonic "Vienna System" in the consolidation of the statistical style of reasoning in France, while in week seven we will explore the connection between interwar politics in Austria and Germany and the rise of various eugenicist movements. By the end of the course, students should have a better understanding of a critical period in European history and acquired a set of theoretical tools for understanding how sociopolitical and epistemic developments are related.
Instructor(s): Zachary BarrTerms Offered: Spring. Offered in Spring 2022
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25122
HIPS25214. Histories of Scientific Communication, 1650-1914. 100 Units.
In a 2004 address to the History of Science Society, historian James Secord exhorted his audience to play closer attention to what he called "knowledge in transit," meaning the practices and mechanisms that have historically served to circulate knowledge claims, arguing that "questions of 'what' is being said can only be answered through a simultaneous understanding of 'how,' 'where,' 'when,' and 'for whom.'" The aim of this course is to apply Secord's maxim to a series of case studies in the history of science. Specifically, each week we will examine a different form of scientific communication or inscription, ranging from the public demonstration to the scientific image, and analyze its role within a broader regime of knowledge production. In week three, for example, we will look at how the seventeenth-century experimentalist Robert Boyle was able to use a novel literary technology, the experimental report, to vouchsafe his controversial claims about the air-pump; while in week seven we will look at the rise of the scientific paper in the nineteenth-century and analyze its role as both cause and effect of the increasing specialization and quantification of research.
Instructor(s): Zachary BarrTerms Offered: Winter. Offered in Winter 2022
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25105
HIPS24215. The History of the Book in East Asia: From Bamboo to Webtoon. 100 Units.
This seminar offers an overview of the development and history of the "book" and its physical forms, broadly conceived, in East Asia from ancient times to the present. Drawing on recent scholarship, selected primary sources, and rare books housed within the library system, this course familiarizes students with the evolution of the book and methods of book production in China, Korea, and Japan, the principles and practices of material bibliography and the application of such to physical and digital objects, and selected topics salient to the social and cultural meanings of books: authorship, the book trade, reading, censorship, and more. Assignments include a short paper, a short presentation, and a longer final paper. All readings in English, but knowledge of East Asian history or languages helpful.
Instructor(s): G. ReynoldsTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 34215, HIST 34215, EALC 24225, EALC 34225, HIST 24215
HIPS25215. A Laboratory for the End of the World: Philosophy and Science in Fin de Siècle Central Europe. 100 Units.
Throughout the fin de siècle period (1880-1914), academics, artists, and intellectuals across Austria and Germany were convinced that they were in the midst of a radical-and not necessarily positive-cultural transformation. Perhaps most famously, the Viennese journalist Karl Kraus declared that pre-war Central Europe had become "a laboratory for the end of the world." Although Kraus primarily had various aesthetic and sociopolitical experiments in mind when he expressed this apocalyptic sentiment, his remark was no less applicable to Germanophone science and philosophy, which were then experiencing a period of dramatic intellectual uncertainty and crisis stemming from the decline of traditional perspectives and the rise of new successors. The aim of this course is to explore these revolutionary changes in more detail.
Instructor(s): Zachary BarrTerms Offered: Winter. Offered in Winter 2022
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25200
HIPS25218. American Epidemics, Past and Present. 100 Units.
This course explores how disease epidemics have shaped watershed periods in US history from the late eighteenth century to the present. Through readings, lectures, and in-class discussions, we will employ different categories of analysis (e.g., race, gender, class, and citizenship) to answer a range of historical questions focused on disease, health, and medicine. For instance, to what extent did smallpox alter the trajectory of the American Revolution? How did cholera and typhoid affect the lived experiences of slaves and soldiers during the Civil War? In what ways did the US government capitalize on fears over yellow fever and bubonic plague to justify continued interventions across the Caribbean and the Pacific? What do these episodes from the American past reveal about contemporary encounters with modern diseases like HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and COVID-19? Course readings will be drawn from book chapters and scholarly articles, as well as primary sources ranging from public-health reports, medical correspondence, and scientific journals to newspapers, political cartoons, maps, and personal diaries. Grades will be based on participation, weekly Canvas posts, peer review, and a series of written assignments (a proposal and an annotated bibliography, primary source analysis, book review, and rough draft) all of which will culminate in a ten-page final research paper.
Instructor(s): C. KindellTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25218, CRES 25218, GNSE 25210, AMER 25218, GLST 25218, HLTH 25218, ENST 25218
HIPS25219. Science, Culture, and Society in Wittgenstein's Vienna, 1867-1934. 100 Units.
Fin de siècle Vienna is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Arnold Schoenberg, and Otto Wagner, among other pioneering modernist artists, but it was also home to several of the most important philosophers and scientists of the early twentieth century, including Ernst Mach, Ludwig Boltzmann, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Indeed, the city's artists drew considerable inspiration from its philosophers and scientists and vice versa. The purpose of this course is to examine these cultural entanglements in more detail, and to analyze why Vienna was integral to the development of so many of the aesthetic and intellectual trends that scholars now associate with "modernity."
Instructor(s): Zachary BarrTerms Offered: Autumn. Autumn 2022
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25119
HIPS25220. Constructivism: A History. 100 Units.
Constructivism, or the theory that human beings in some way make rather than uncover reality, is one of contemporary academia's great success stories, insofar as one can find avowed constructivists across a wide variety of seemingly unrelated disciplines. Like Darwinism and Freudianism before it, constructivism has also become firmly ensconced in the public imagination, as evidenced by the ubiquity of claims about the "social construction" of various phenomena across social media platforms. The aim of this course is not to offer judgment on the validity of such claims but to better understand what is at stake in them by examining their long and varied history in Western philosophy and science.
Instructor(s): Zachary BarrTerms Offered: Spring. Spring 2023
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25120
HIPS25270. Infrastructure Histories. 100 Units.
Dams, sewers, container ships, water pipes, power lines, air conditioning, and garbage dumps: the critical infrastructures that enable modern life are so often invisible, except when they fail. This course explores the historical role of infrastructure as a set of planet-spanning systems of resource extraction and crucial conduits of social and political power. Looking at cases from apartheid South Africa and the Suez Canal to Mumbai and Chicago itself, we will consider the relationship of infrastructure with capitalism, settler colonialism, and postcolonial development. We will see how forms of citizenship and exclusion have been shaped and negotiated via wires, leaky pipes, and improvised repairs, and we will consider perhaps the biggest question of all: In this age of ecological crisis, do energy-guzzling infrastructural systems have a strange form of more-than-human agency all of their own?
Instructor(s): L. ChatterjeeTerms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Assignment: a long paper
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 25027, CHSS 35270, HIST 35027, HIST 25027, ARCH 25027
HIPS25309. History of Perception. 100 Units.
Knowing time. Feeling space. Smelling. Seeing. Touching. Tasting. Hearing. Are these universal aspects of human consciousness, or particular experiences contingent upon time, place, and culture? How do we come to know about our own perceptions and those of others? This course examines these and related questions through detailed readings of primary sources, engagement in secondary scholarship in the history and anthropology of sensation, and through close work with participants' own sensations and perceptions of the world around them.
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 34308, KNOW 31404, HIST 25309, ANTH 24308, CHSS 35309, KNOW 21404, HIST 35309
HIPS25402. Disastrous Histories: Scientific and Social Understandings of Modern Disasters. 100 Units.
How could this happen? This question reverberates following a disaster. You yourself may have asked it about COVID-19, the 2020 California wildfires, or the 2021 Texas power grid failure, to name a few. While scientific disciplines can help us understand the hazards and risks that lead to disaster, they cannot equip us with all the tools to prevent or mitigate disaster. This course argues that disasters arise when environmental hazards interact with societal structures (infrastructure, racial disparities, religious belief, historical inequalities, etc.) to produce human loss and suffering. This means that there are no "man-made" or "natural" disasters, each being a combination of human and environmental factors. In order to understand and communicate about disaster events, one must understand the history of these societal structures. This class aims to provide students with the tools to understand and talk about disaster. Following the long arch of global disaster history in the modern age, the class starts with the emergence of the categories of man-made and natural disaster in the early modern era and ends with a consideration of how climate change has once again collapsed these categorizations. In order to recognize the relevance of disaster histories to the present day, the class culminates in a final project on conveying information about a historical disaster to a public audience.
Instructor(s): A. JaniaTerms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25402, GLST 25402
HIPS25421. Renaissance Book History: Censorship and the Print Revolution. 100 Units.
Collaborative research seminar on the history of censorship and information control, with a focus on the history of books and information technologies. The class will meet in Special Collections, and students will work with rare books and archival materials. Half the course will focus on censorship in early modern Europe, including the Inquisition, the spread of the printing press, and clandestine literature in the Renaissance and Enlightenment, with a special focus on the effects of censorship on classical literature, both newly rediscovered works like Lucretius and lost books of Plato, and authors like Pliny the Elder and Seneca who had been available in the Middle Ages but became newly controversial in the Renaissance. The other half of the course will look at modern and contemporary censorship issues, from wartime censorship, to the censorship of comic books, to digital-rights management, to free speech on our own campus.
Instructor(s): A. Palmer
Note(s): Assignments: short and long papers, alternative assignments
Equivalent Course(s): SIGN 26010, CHSS 35421, CLAS 35417, RLST 22121, KNOW 21403, CLCV 25417, HIST 25421, KNOW 31403, HREL 34309, HIST 35421
HIPS25427. The Global Atomic Age. 100 Units.
The nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago was the advent of the atomic age. Paradoxically, the same technology that had unleashed infernos on the Japanese population was heralded in other contexts as utopia in waiting. This course examines how the atom transformed global politics and remade social life, culture, and even the way people experienced emotions. We will use a broad range of sources-including but not limited to historical scholarship, film, poetry, and architecture-to examine the global expansion of nuclear energy, weapons proliferation and militarization, gender and the politics of reproduction, decolonization, nuclear fear and disasters, labor at atomic facilities and in uranium mines, environmentalism and the problem of waste, and nuclear mass politics. Assignments: three essays (1,000-1,500 words each) due in weeks three, six, and nine, which use course-related materials to respond to an assigned prompt. In lieu of a final exam, a portfolio of work from the quarter and a short reflective essay (1,000-1,250 words).
Instructor(s): T. Kahle
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 25427, HIST 25427
HIPS25507. Make Love, Not Babies: A History of Population Control. 100 Units.
People have been worrying about population-and the strain that growing numbers of people have on natural resources and the environment-since at least the late eighteenth century, when Thomas Malthus penned his Essay on the Principle of Population. This course will follow the history of environmentally motivated population control movements, from Malthus to French feminists at the turn of the twentieth century, to the birth of the environmental movement in the United States in the late 1960s, to international efforts to control population in the developing world in the 1990s. Students will encounter the perspectives of feminists, environmentalists, and economists as we consider how racism, reproductive rights, and the legacy of humanitarian intervention have shaped global approaches to population.
Instructor(s): P. O'DonnellTerms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Assignments: short papers, in class presentation, long paper
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25507, HLTH 25507, GNSE 25507, ENST 25507
HIPS25525. Environmental Histories of the Global South. 100 Units.
Drawing on cases from Africa, Latin America, and especially Asia, this course explores key themes in the modern environmental history of the world beyond the rich industrialized North. Our investigations will focus on the ecological impacts of colonialism, war, and development, and how environmental management has helped to construct modern states and capitalist practices in turn. Ranging from the malarial plantations of the Caribbean to the forests of southeast Asia, we will analyze not-so-natural disasters like floods and chemical spills as well as the slow violence of deforestation and droughts. Combining primary sources with classic scholarship, we will encounter pioneering green activists like the original "tree huggers" of the Himalayas and environmental advocates for brutal population control. The course will conclude by examining the emergence of a newly assertive Global South in international climate negotiations, and its implications for the environmental history of our planet at large. The course is open to all, but may be of particular interest to students who have taken "Introduction to Environmental History."
Instructor(s): L. ChatterjeeTerms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Assignments: in-class presentation and a long paper.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 35024, ENST 25025, SALC 25025, SALC 35025, CHSS 35525, HIST 25025
HIPS25600. History of Statistics. 100 Units.
This course covers topics in the history of statistics, from the eleventh century to the middle of the twentieth century. We focus on the period from 1650 to 1950, with an emphasis on the mathematical developments in the theory of probability and how they came to be used in the sciences. Our goals are both to quantify uncertainty in observational data and to develop a conceptual framework for scientific theories. This course includes broad views of the development of the subject and closer looks at specific people and investigations, including reanalyses of historical data.
Instructor(s): S. StiglerTerms Offered: Not offered in 2021-2022.
Prerequisite(s): Prior statistics course
Equivalent Course(s): STAT 26700, CHSS 32900, STAT 36700
HIPS25808. Lab, Field, and Clinic: History and Anthropology of Medicine and the Life Sciences. 100 Units.
In this course we will examine the ways in which different groups of people-in different times and places-have understood the nature of life and living things, bodies and bodily processes, and health and disease, among other notions. We will address these issues principally, though not exclusively, through the lens of the changing sets of methods and practices commonly recognizable as science and medicine. We will also pay close attention to the methods through which scholars in history and anthropology have written about these topics, and how current scientific and medical practices affect historical and anthropological studies of science and medicine.
Instructor(s): M. RossiTerms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 30202, ANTH 24307, HIST 25308, CHSS 35308, HIST 35308, ANTH 34307, KNOW 25308
HIPS26000. History of Philosophy II: Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy. 100 Units.
A survey of the thought of some of the most important figures of the period from the fall of Rome to the Scottish Enlightenment. The course will begin with an examination of the medieval hylomorphism of Aquinas and Ockham and then consider its rejection and transformation in the early modern period. Three distinct early modern approaches to philosophy will be discussed in relation to their medieval antecedents: the method of doubt, the principle of sufficient reason, and empiricism. Figures covered may include Ockham, Aquinas, Descartes, Avicenna, Princess Elizabeth, Émilie du Châtelet, Spinoza, Leibniz, Abelard, Berkeley, Hume, and al-Ghazali.
Instructor(s): D. MoernerTerms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Completion of the general education requirement in humanities required; PHIL 25000 recommended.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 26000, MDVL 26000
HIPS26070. Explorations of Mars. 100 Units.
Mars is more than a physical object located millions of miles from Earth. Through centuries of knowledge-making people have made the "Red Planet" into a place that looms large in cultural and scientific imagination. Mars is now the primary target for human exploration and colonization in the Solar System. How did this happen? What does this mean? What do we know about Mars, and what's at stake when we make knowledge about it? Combining perspectives from the social sciences and humanities, this course investigates how knowledge about Mars is created and communicated in not only science and technology fields but across public culture. A major focus will be learning how Mars has been embedded within diverse social and political projects here on Earth. Through reading-inspired group discussions and instructor-led experiential research projects, the course will move from the earliest visual observations of Mars to recent robotic missions on the planet's surface. In doing so, this seminar will critically grapple with evolving human efforts to make Mars usable. No prior knowledge of Mars is required.
Instructor(s): Jordan BimmTerms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 35200, KNOW 36070, ENST 26070
HIPS26075. The End of Certainty? Chaos, Complexity, and Human Life. 100 Units.
What is uncertainty? Is it a temporary state of affairs, a situation to be resolved with more data, or is it permanent feature of our world? This course examines how uncertainty, once understood as the absence of knowledge, has become an object of knowledge in its own right. We will pay particular attention to the fields of chaos theory and complexity science, which emerged in the late twentieth century from physics and mathematics but have since become widely applied sciences, making their way into fields as diverse as molecular biology and economic theory. Together we will follow the path of 'complexity' in its many forms, reading texts by geneticists, physicists, climate scientists, philosophers, economists and many others. By the end of the course we will have developed a shared archive of uncertainty, and gained a better understanding of how uncertainty underpins what we do, in fact, know. This course is collaborative, interdisciplinary and historical, and welcomes all interested students, including those with backgrounds in history, philosophy, biological sciences, environmental studies, mathematics, and economics.
Instructor(s): I. GabelTerms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): This course partially fulfills the research seminar requirement for the IRHUM major.
Equivalent Course(s): IRHU 27005, KNOW 26075
HIPS26078. Normal People: History of the Human Sciences. 100 Units.
We often worry about what's normal and what's not. Is my IQ above average? What about my BMI? Should I be feeling this way? Is there a pill for that? People seem to have always been concerned with fitting in, but the way of describing the general run of practices and conditions as "normal" is a rather recent phenomenon; testament to the vast influence modern science have had on how we understand ourselves. Charting a wide-ranging history of the ways that human traits and behaviors came to be classified and measured, this research seminar will introduce students to the theories and techniques used to distinguish the normal from the pathological and the deviant for the past 200 years. We will read Cesare Lombroso on born criminals and Richard von Krafft-Ebing on sexual perversion; learn about psychological tests and developmental milestones; and consider the kinds of people these scientific and medical efforts brought into being. In addition to lecture and class discussions, the course includes close engagement with a diverse historical archive: scientific and medical treatises, clinical case studies, diagnostic tools, and patient narratives. Students will also explore how the University of Chicago contributed to the definition and establishment of normality through a project at the university's archival collections.
Instructor(s): Tal ArbelTerms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 36078, CHDV 36078, SOCI 40255, CHSS 36078, HLTH 26078
HIPS26121. Nature, Science, and Empire in the Early Modern Iberian World, 1400-1800. 100 Units.
Full title: "Nature, Science, and Empire in the Early Modern Iberian World, 1400-1800." Historians have often relegated Iberia and its New World domains from accounts of the developments of modern science. They have traditionally claimed that strict censorship and a commitment to orthodox Catholicism prevented Spain, once the most powerful empire of the world, from embarking on the path towards scientific modernity in the eighteenth century. Modern scholars, however, have challenged this narrative by embracing more inclusive concepts of "science" to explain the many ways in which early modern people related to nature. Some of these practices include the writing of natural histories, botanical research, and linguistic studies, all fields that Iberian scholars pioneered in their efforts to govern their vast domains. This course will introduce students to a diversity of scientific practices that flourished in the Hispanic world between 1400 and 1800.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 26121, LACS 26121
HIPS26207. History Colloquium: Epidemics, Public Health, and Cities. 100 Units.
The ongoing COVID-19 epidemic has brought a new awareness of the devastating impact of epidemic disease, particularly in cities where population density and other factors contribute to high rates of infection. This undergraduate colloquium aims to guide students through the research and writing of an original research paper that explores public health response to epidemic disease in cities around the world. Topics to be examined include defining an appropriate research question, identifying relevant secondary literature, finding primary sources, and constructing a compelling narrative.
Instructor(s): S. BurnsTerms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Priority registration is given to History majors.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 29607
HIPS26230. Death Panels: Exploring dying and death through comics. 100 Units.
What do comics add to the discourse on dying and death? What insights do comics provide about the experience of dying, death, caregiving, grieving, and memorialization? Can comics help us better understand our own wishes about the end of life? This is an interactive course designed to introduce students to the field of graphic medicine and explore how comics can be used as a mode of scholarly investigation into issues related to dying, death, and the end of life. The framework for this course intends to balance readings and discussion with creative drawing and comics-making assignments. The work will provoke personal inquiry and self-reflection and promote understanding of a range of topics relating to the end of life, including examining how we die, defining death, euthanasia, rituals around dying and death, and grieving. The readings will primarily be drawn from a wide variety of graphic memoirs and comics, but will be supplemented with materials from a variety of multimedia sources including the biomedical literature, philosophy, cinema, podcasts, and the visual arts. Guest participants in the course may include a funeral director, chaplain, hospice and palliative care specialists, cartoonists, and authors. The course will be taught by a nurse cartoonist and a physician, both of whom are active in the graphic medicine community and scholars of the health humanities.
Instructor(s): Brian CallendarTerms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 26230, ARTV 20018, KNOW 36230
HIPS26301. Religion and AIDS. 100 Units.
The AIDS crisis was not an epoch that we survived. It is a battle that we are still fighting…when Americans talk about AIDS they are rarely just talking about a scientific problem or a pharmaceutical solution. They are instead offering a sociology of suffering and a plan for spiritual warfare." - Kathryn LoftonIs it possible to understand current debates over public health or the role of religion in the public sphere without first examining religious responses to the AIDS crisis? This course focuses on the emergence of the AIDS epidemic during the peak of the American culture wars. As such, students will analyze the fraught intersection of political power structures, medical epistemologies, and religious views on bodies, sex, and public morality. Through a varied catalog of disciplinary frameworks, e.g., history, theology, medical ethics, sociology of religion, and history of medicine, students will weigh the accuracy of Lofton's claim that for Americans, AIDS is more than just a disease. Thus, we will scrutinize moral rhetoric surrounding contraception and its public availability. We will discuss the extent to which religious philanthropy, especially on the international stage, reshaped approaches to global health. Finally, we will revisit the role of religious communities in providing both care for the sick and theological responses to suffering. Prior knowledge of religious studies and/or medical history is not required for the course.
Instructor(s): Mark M. LambertTerms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 26301, GNSE 23142, HMRT 26301, CCTS 21014, SOCI 20563, HLTH 26301, PBPL 25301, HIST 28007, CHST 26301
HIPS26304. Religion and Abortion in the United States. 100 Units.
In American public discourse, it is common to hear abortion referred to as a "religious issue." But is abortion a religious issue? If so, in what ways, to whom, and since when? In this course we will answer these questions by tracing the relationship between religion and abortion in American history. We will examine the kinds of claims religious groups have made about abortion; how religion has shaped the development of medical, legal, economic, and cultural perspectives on the topic; how debates over abortion have led to the rise of a certain kind of religious politics in the United States; and how issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and the body are implicated in this conversation. Although the course will cover a range of time periods, religious traditions, and types of data (abortion records from Puritan New England, enslaved people's use of root medicine to induce miscarriage, and Jewish considerations of the personhood of the fetus, among others), we will give particular attention to the significance of Christianity in legal and political debates about abortion in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. There are no prerequisites for this course and no background in Religious Studies is required. However, this course may be particularly well-suited to students interested in thinking about how their areas of study (medicine and medical sciences, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, political science) converge with religion and Religious Studies.
Equivalent Course(s): HLTH 26304, GNSE 12115, HIST 28008, SOCI 20564, CCTS 21015, PBPL 25304, RLST 26304, HMRT 26304
HIPS26316. Medical Innnovation and Religious Reform in Early Modernity. 100 Units.
Through a survey of innovative medical authorities and religious reformers, students will investigate the co-constitution of two bodies of knowledge at a historical moment (the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries) when questions of authority and epistemology are in considerable flux. This period has long been implicated in the "conflict thesis"-a hugely influential argument that portrays the centuries-long relationship between religion and science/medicine as an inherently adversarial one. This course shall scrutinize that argument through a discussion of seemingly contradictory examples where reformers that touted the all-encompassing reach of divine providence also promoted intricate public health infrastructures; where the Vatican increasingly relied on university-trained physicians to validate saints and their miracles; where theologians were viewed as authorities on Galen and responsible for medical breakthroughs; and where medicine and metaphysics were considered complementary pursuits. Ultimately, students will unveil a portrait not of conflict, but of a symbiotic relationship between religion and medicine. The goal of our course will then be to query why religious reformers were not only unthreatened by but also actively esteemed the medical arts as a valuable ally.
Instructor(s): Mark M. LambertTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CCTS 21013, HLTH 26316, RLST 26316, HIST 24924
HIPS26382. Development and Environment in Latin America. 100 Units.
Description: This course will consider the relationship between development and the environment in Latin America and the Caribbean. We will consider the social, political, and economic effects of natural resource extraction, the quest to improve places and peoples, and attendant ecological transformations, from the onset of European colonialism in the fifteenth century, to state- and private-led improvement policies in the twentieth. Some questions we will consider are: How have policies affected the sustainability of land use in the last five centuries? In what ways has the modern impetus for development, beginning in the nineteenth century and reaching its current intensity in the mid-twentieth, shifted ideas and practices of sustainability in both environmental and social terms? And, more broadly, to what extent does the notion of development help us explain the historical relationship between humans and the environment?
Instructor(s): Diana Schwartz FranciscoTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 26317, HIST 36317, LACS 26382, ENST 26382, ANTH 23094, GEOG 26382, GLST 26382, LACS 36382
HIPS26390. Science and Society in Latin America. 100 Units.
How have ideas about and practices of science shaped life and society in Latin America? This course explores the interconnected social and political realities of scientific theory and practice in modern Latin America. Taking a historical approach, it will focus on the scientific management of social and political life, including the construction of categories such as sex and race; the production, consumption, and policing of drugs; and public health. In this discussion-based course, students will develop their own research project that historicizes a contemporary question related to scientific knowledge and/or practice in the region.
Instructor(s): Diana Schwartz FranciscoTerms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 26390, HIST 26390
HIPS26701. Goethe: Literature, Science, Philosophy. 100 Units.
This lecture-discussion course will examine Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's intellectual development, from the time he wrote Sorrows of Young Werther through the final states of Faust. Along the way, we will read a selection of Goethe's plays, poetry, and travel literature. We will also examine his scientific work, especially his theory of color and his morphological theories. On the philosophical side, we will discuss Goethe's coming to terms with Kant (especially the latter's third Critique) and his adoption of Schelling's transcendental idealism. The theme uniting the exploration of the various works of Goethe will be unity of the artistic and scientific understanding of nature, especially as he exemplified that unity in "the eternal feminine." (B) (IV)
Instructor(s): R. RichardsTerms Offered: Winter
Note(s): German would be helpful, but it is not required. Assignments: four papers (5–8 pages each).
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 20610, PHIL 30610, HIST 25304, CHSS 31202, HIST 35304, KNOW 31302, GRMN 25304, GRMN 35304, FNDL 25315
HIPS26943. Diasporic Narratives and Memories. 100 Units.
Diasporic Narratives and Memories: Designing a New Concept for a Multi-Ethnic Museum of Belarusian EmigrationThis course project takes the instability of Belarusian identity as an advantage for creating a new model of multi-ethnic, open emigrant community with a potential of cooperative democratic integration into a larger multi-ethnic landscape of Chicago. This project's relevance goes beyond the Chicago community, offering a model of multi-ethnic integration for building a civil society in the Belarusian homeland. The course will involve theoretical readings in the studies of diaspora, training in oral histories gathering provided by the Chicago History Museum, and weekly field trips to the diasporic museums in Chicago. We will analyze these museums' curatorial and narrative concepts in order to build upon their strengths and to avoid their weaknesses. This course is part of IFK's Experimental Capstone (XCAP) program for students interested in building upon their experience by adding practice, impact, and influence as important dimensions of their undergraduate work.
Instructor(s): Olga Solovieva and Bozena Shallcross Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 29943, REES 29950, CHST 29943, KNOW 29943, CMLT 29943, MAPH 39943, BPRO 29943
HIPS27004. Babylon and the Origins of Knowledge. 100 Units.
In 1946 the famed economist John Maynard Keynes declared that Isaac Newton "was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians." We find throughout history, in the writings of Galileo, Jorge Luis Borges, Ibn Khaldun, Herodotus, and the Hebrew Bible, a city of Babylon full of contradictions. At once sinful and reverential, a site of magic and science, rational and irrational, Babylon seemed destined to resound in the historical imagination as the birthplace of knowledge itself. But how does the myth compare to history? How did the Babylonians themselves envisage their own knowledge? And is it reasonable to draw, as Keynes did, a line that begins with Babylon and ends with Newton? In this course we will take a cross comparative approach, investigating the history of the ancient city and its continuity in the scientific imagination.
Instructor(s): E. EscobarTerms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 27004, NEHC 20215, HIST 25617
HIPS27005. Secrecy and Science. 100 Units.
This course traces the relationship between openness, secrecy, and the construction of scientific knowledge. Our sources span several millennia of intellectual history, from cuneiform tablets containing glassmaking recipes and the "secrets of the gods," to Medieval alchemical recipes, and to the first museums of natural history. We will investigate how and why science shifted from a subject intended for the elite few, to a more democratic ideal that embraced public demonstration. The role of patronage in the development of scientific knowledge, and the complex interaction between science and religion will be central to our discussions. Writing assignments will respond to thematic questions based on the readings.
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 27550, HIST 24918, KNOW 27005
HIPS27301. Medical Anthropology. 100 Units.
This course introduces students to the central concepts and methods of medical anthropology. Drawing on a number of classic and contemporary texts, we will consider both the specificity of local medical cultures and the processes which increasingly link these systems of knowledge and practice. We will study the social and political economic shaping of illness and suffering and will examine medical and healing systems-including biomedicine-as social institutions and as sources of epistemological authority. Topics covered will include the problem of belief; local theories of disease causation and healing efficacy; the placebo effect and contextual healing; theories of embodiment; medicalization; structural violence; modernity and the distribution of risk; the meanings and effects of new medical technologies; and global health.
Instructor(s): E. RaikhelTerms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): PQ: Undergraduates must have completed or currently be enrolled in a SOSC sequence. Graduate option is only open to Master's students.
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: C, D; 3, 4
Equivalent Course(s): HLTH 23204, ANTH 24330, CHDV 43204, CHDV 23204, KNOW 43204, ANTH 40330
HIPS27515. Scientific and Humanistic Contributions to Knowledge Formation. 100 Units.
In this course, we will explore whether the sciences and the humanities can make complementary contributions to the formation of knowledge, thus leading to the integration and unification of human knowledge. In the first part of the course we will take a historical approach to the issue; we will discuss how art and science were considered complementary for much of the 18th and 19th century (for example, in the views and work of Wolfgang Goethe), how they became separate ('the two cultures') in the middle of the 20th century with the compartmentalization of academic disciplines, and how some attempts have recently been made at a reunification under the concept of 'consilience'. In the second part of the course, we will focus on conceptual issues such as the cognitive value of literature, the role of ideas in knowledge formation in science and literature, the role of creativity in scientific and literary production, and how scientific and philosophical ideas have been incorporated into literary fiction in the genre known as 'the novel of ideas'. As an example of the latter, we will read the novel 'One, No One, and 100,000' (1926) by Luigi Pirandello and discuss how this author elaborated and articulated a view of the human persona (including issues of identity and personality) from French philosophers and psychologists such as Henri Bergson and Alfred Binet.
Instructor(s): D. MaestripieriTerms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Satisfies CHD graduate program distribution (1) Comparative Behavioral Biology
Equivalent Course(s): SCTH 47015, CHDV 27015, CHSS 47015, KNOW 47015, CHDV 47015
HIPS27520. Indigenous Religions, Health, and Healing. 100 Units.
This course introduces students to the dynamic, often-contested understandings of health, healing, and religion among the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Our task will be threefold: first, to examine the drastic effects of settler colonialism upon the social determinants of health for Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas, including the Caribbean, Mexico, United States, and Hawaii. Second, we shall attempt to understand healing practices as they are steeped in and curated by Indigenous traditions and religious beliefs. Our goal is to counteract centuries-old stereotypical images of Native peoples and challenge our preconceived notions of wellness, selfhood, and the boundaries of medicine. Third, we will reflect upon contemporary Indigenous approaches to health and healing with particular attention to the postcolonial hybridity of these practices. Throughout the course we will attend to a generative diversity of epistemologies, anthropologies, and religious worldviews with the ultimate goal that a renewed understanding of Indigenous healing traditions will augment our own approaches to global/public health and the study of religion.
Instructor(s): Mark M. LambertTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CCTS 21016, RLST 27501, CHST 27501, HLTH 27501, CRES 21501
HIPS28101. Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. 100 Units.
An introduction to psychoanalytic thinking and its philosophical significance. A question that will concern us throughout the course is: What do we need to know about the workings of the human psyche-in particular, the Freudian unconscious-to understand what it would be for a human to live well? Readings from Plato, Aristotle, Freud, Bion, Betty Joseph, Paul Gray, Lacan, Lear, Loewald, Edna O'Shaughnessy, and others.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 28210, SCTH 37501, PHIL 38209, FNDL 28210
HIPS28319. Ephron course: Imagining Nature among the Greeks. 100 Units.
The goal of this course is to gain an understanding of the historical roots of the concept of nature (Greek physis), while being attentive to the diversity of ancient Greek thought about nature even in its early history. In the texts we will read, numerous notions of "nature" can be discerned: for instance, nature as the physical form of an individual, nature as an underlying reality of someone or something, nature as an autonomous thing distinct from human art and from the supernatural, nature as the all-encompassing natural order, or nature as the natural environment. The conceptual and ideological work done by these conceptions also varies wildly. Furthermore, the images associated with the concepts are similarly diverse, ranging from human bodies to magical plants and cosmic spheres, and with a comparable repertory of conceptual and ideological purposes. Yet discussions of the concept of nature typically deal almost exclusively in abstractions: this is true, for instance, of the standard study of physis written over a century ago as a U of C dissertation, which we will read in excerpt. Throughout this class, we will consider not only the explicit and abstract conceptualization of nature, but also a number of related images-especially in the form of metaphors, analogies and personifications-that ultimately fed into the literary and philosophical depictions of nature in the long traditions that have followed.
Instructor(s): L. WashTerms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CLCV 28319
HIPS28350. XCAP: The Experimental Capstone - The Art of Healing: Medical Aesthetics in Russia and the U.S. 100 Units.
What makes a medical treatment look like it will work? What makes us feel that we are receiving good care, or that we can be cured? Why does the color of a pill influence its effectiveness, and how do placebos sometimes achieve what less inert medication cannot? In this course we will consider these problems from the vantage points of a physician and a cultural historian. Our methodology will combine techniques of aesthetic analysis with those of medical anthropology, history and practice. We will consider the narratology of medicine as we examine the way that patients tell their stories-and the way that doctors, nurses, buildings, wards, and machines enter those narratives. The latter agents derive their meaning from medical outcomes, but are also embedded in a field of aesthetic values that shape their apperception. We will look closely at a realm of medical experience that continues to evade the grasp of instruments: how the aesthetic experience shapes the phenomenon of medical treatment.
Instructor(s): William Nickell; Brian Callender; Elizabeth MurphyTerms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): for BIOS 29209: This course does not meet the requirements for the Biological Sciences major.
Note(s): This course is one of three offered in The Experimental Capstone (XCAP) in the 2019-20 academic year. Enrollment in this course is restricted to 3rd and 4th year undergraduates in the College. For more information about XCAP, visit https://sifk.uchicago.edu/courses/xcap/
Equivalent Course(s): KNOW 29901, HLTH 29901, BIOS 29209, ARTV 20014, ANTH 24360
HIPS29318. Modern Disability Histories: Gender, Race, and Disability. 100 Units.
This course introduces students to the conceptual apparatus of disability studies and major developments in disability history since the late nineteenth century. The course will consider disability beyond physical impairment, centering the ways in which notions of gender, race, class, sexuality, and ability interact and shape subjects, and how these subject positions shift across political watersheds. Students will engage a variety of sources, such as autobiographies, pamphlets, visual material, laws, and medical texts, as well as historiographical sources. Topics will include late nineteenth-century female "hysteria," evolutionary approaches to sign language and orality, and the effects of industrialization on new impairments; early twentieth-century eugenics and the Nazi T4 program; postwar developments in prosthetics and discursive intersections between psychosis and civil rights movement. Students are encouraged to work on creative collective projects (e.g., an exhibit or a short video) in addition to written assignments.
Instructor(s): M. AppeltováTerms Offered: SpringWinter
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 29318, HLTH 29318, CHDV 29318, GNSE 29318, HMRT 29318, CRES 29318
HIPS29412. The Face in Western Culture from the Mona Lisa to the Selfie. 100 Units.
The course will approach the history of the human face from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, ranging across art history through to the history of science and technology. Topics will include the Mona Lisa and Renaissance portraiture; early modern identity and identity documents; the discipline of physiognomy; Johann Kaspar Lavater and the makings of racial science; the impact of photography; Alphonse Bertillon and the "mug shot"; smiles in advertisements; biometrics to facial recognition technologies; and the art and science of the selfie. The course will draw on specialized readings from secondary literature alongside a wide range of literary and visual primary sources, including scientific texts, paintings, drawings, identity documents, photographs, advertisements, cosmetics, and prosthetic parts. The subject offers a great deal of room for the selection of a topic for a research paper on a subject of students' choices.
Prerequisite(s): Open to upper-level undergraduates.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 29412
HIPS29637. Tutorial: Evolution Beyond Darwin. 100 Units.
One of the most identifiable images associated with evolution is the visage of Charles Darwin. Historical narratives of evolution center on Darwin's work, and scientific publications today still note whether or not Darwin pre-empted their ideas. This course aims to build a narrative of evolution that brings the story up to today, asking why so many see Darwin as a shorthand for evolution and what consequences that might have for the development and communication of the science. In addition, it will interrogate other "iconic" images and narratives in evolution, like the tree of life. We will ask where our ideas about evolution have come from, how they are perpetuated, and what consequence that might have for the discipline of evolutionary biology. The course has three aims: 1) to provide a historical understanding of evolution after Darwin; 2) to reflect on how evolution is communicated between scientists and to the broader public, and to ask how "icons" or Darwin himself suggest implicit meanings counter to the work of the scientists; and 3) to more broadly examine what is a science-a process or a body of knowledge?
Instructor(s): E. KitchenTerms Offered: Spring. Spring 2021
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25023
HIPS29638. TUTORIAL - Vitalism and Teleology in Biology: Historical and Philosophical Approaches. 100 Units.
Unsurprisingly, "what is life?" has a claim to being one of the oldest questions in science, lagging only a little behind "what is?" It may be more surprising to learn that arguably all major answers to the question-with materialism and epiphenomenalism on one end of the spectrum, holism and essentialism on the other-are about as old, and that the history of biology has been more a matter of recombining these answers than coming up with new ones. If biology is a game, its ground rules were laid early on. You may propose ingenious modifications of strategy, but go too far outside the box and your fellow players will likely accuse you of playing a different game altogether-if you haven't already been disqualified by the referees.We will approach these questions by considering the history of biology as the history of philosophical attempts at making sense of life, broadly conceived, from Aristotle to Darwin. Such "philosophies" of life need not be held self-consciously-the most interesting ones often aren't. Rather, any scientific account of life necessarily entails making metaphysical commitments. By tracing the history of these commitments, we will consider which (if any) of their historical mutations have been novel, and where we currently stand. We will also consider the ways in which philosophies of life, with all their metaphysical entanglements, have themselves been entangled with politics and ideology.
Instructor(s): B. DeadmanTerms Offered: Winter. Winter 2020
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25022
HIPS29639. TUT: The World's Columbian Exposition: Science, Race, Gender, & Music at the 1893 Chicago World Fair. 100 Units.
This course surveys the sights, sounds, and tastes that filled Jackson Park and the Midway Plaisance between May 1 and October 30, 1893. During those six months, over 27 million people flocked to Chicago's south side from across the United States and beyond the Atlantic to experience the marvels illuminating the World's Columbian Exposition. Visitors weaved their way through the newly-designed Midway Plaisance, where they passed exhibits of "authentic villages of native peoples" in "traditional" garb until they reached the entrance of the American White City-or, as it was presented, "the apex of civilization"-where exhibits and lectures on the newest theories and innovations filled 200 Neoclassical buildings under 100,000 incandescent lights. Walking up the Midway demonstrated progress in human development in tune with the main topic of the White City's Congress of Evolution-Social Darwinism.In this course, students will learn about explicit displays of "progress" during the Gilded Age and will be challenged to interrogate allegories of it at the Columbian Exposition. Together, we will practice close-reading of primary and secondary texts, close-looking of images and objects, and close-listening of music and sounds. We will investigate how "progress" was staged and cogitated in terms of: Evolutionary theory, Race, Gender, Music, Architecture, and Technology.
Instructor(s): A. ClarkTerms Offered: Autumn. Autumn 2020
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25021, CRES 25021, GNSE 25021
HIPS29644. Tutorial - Introduction to Historical Epistemology. 100 Units.
Philosophers of science and historians of science have explored the dynamics of scientific change in distinct ways. Historical epistemology integrates methods from both approaches, attending to epistemology as a situated, cultural activity. Rather than focusing on a single knowing subject, historical epistemology conceives of science and knowledge as ongoing cultural projects with associated structures of knowledge, ways of perceiving and reasoning, and values. Methodologically, historical epistemology focuses on the emergence of certain epistemic concepts, practices, and assumptions. In this course, students will be introduced to this approach to science studies through a survey of readings by authors such as Lorraine Daston, Ian Hacking, and Steven Shapin. We will primarily concentrate on epistemological shifts in modern European history. The readings will allow students to ask questions about objects of knowledge, styles of reasoning, imaginations of time and space, understandings of nature, and conceptions of rationality, truth, reality, and history. The structure of the course is non-linear, giving students different sites to engage with the relation between epistemological change and how disciplines, subjects, spaces, things, and worlds are made.
Instructor(s): Eman ElshaikhTerms Offered: Autumn. Tentatively offered Autumn 2022
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25028
HIPS29645. Tutorial - Algorithms and Big Data in Society. 100 Units.
Algorithms and Big Data have become a ubiquitous presence in our lives. From routine internet searches to predictive policing, these technologies shape how we acquire knowledge, relate to other people, and interact with the State. But despite their prevalence in society, most consign the study of algorithms to the realm of computer science. In doing so, we become suffice to consider algorithms as opaque and inscrutable technical objects, all the while missing the distinct social histories and the human subjectivities inhered in their code.This seminar examines these histories, and the ways that algorithms and Big Data shape social processes and institutions. We'll examine the consequences of these technologies for governing people, managing economies, and for our everyday "micro" interactions. To do so, we'll wrestle with a range of empirical examples and theoretical pieces to help us make sense of these phenomena. Our goal is to develop a better understanding of how algorithms shape individuals and society, and to integrate that new knowledge into our own scholarly or professional practice.
Instructor(s): Adam PeriTerms Offered: Winter. Offered in Winter 2023
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20566
HIPS29646. Tutorial - Science and Literature in Twentieth Century Russia. 100 Units.
This course examines the interactions between the science and literature of late Imperial Russia and the early Soviet Union. The relationship between sciences and humanities is difficult to disentangle. Are they antithetical, or allies? Disparate or proximate? The possibilities that science offers for literature, and literature for science, are exemplified in their interactions in Russia. The dynamic culture of the waning Empire and the turbulence of the nascent Soviet Union are captured in the literature of the early 20th century, as authors and scientists contend with the social and political upheaval. Literature embodies the engagements between science and humanities, inspiring, reflecting, and reinterpreting scientific aspirations. Readings will be balanced between primary fictional texts, including novels, short stories, plays, films, and poetry, and secondary scholarship on the history of science. Authors include Mikhail Bulgakov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Anna Akhmatova, and more, while we will explore Cold War and contemporary historiography though scholars such as David Joravsky, Loren Graham, and Nikolai Krementsov.
Instructor(s): Reese FulgenziTerms Offered: Spring. Tentatively scheduled for Spring 2023
HIPS29678. History Colloquium: Medicine and Society. 100 Units.
How does medical knowledge change? How do medical practices transform over time? What factors influence the ways in which doctors and patients-and scientists, artists, politicians, legislators, activists, and educators, among others-understand matters of health and disease, of proper and improper interventions, of the rights of individuals and the needs of communities? This course treats these questions as a starting point for exploring the interactions of medicine and society from 1800 to the present. Through a combination of primary and secondary sources we will examine changing causes of morbidity and mortality, the development of new medical technologies and infrastructures, shifting patterns of disease and shifting ideas about bodies, and debates about health care policy, among other topics. Students will be expected to conduct original research and produce an original research paper of fifteen to twenty pages.
Instructor(s): M. RossiTerms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Priority registration is given to History majors.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 29678
HIPS29700. Readings and Research in History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine. 100 Units.
Reading and Research for HIPS seniors working on their senior thesis.
Terms Offered: AutumnSpringWinter
Note(s): Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form.
HIPS29800. Junior Seminar: My Favorite Readings in the History and Philosophy of Science. 100 Units.
This course introduces some of the most important and influential accounts of science to have been produced in modern times. It provides an opportunity to discover how philosophers, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists have grappled with the scientific enterprise, and to assess critically how successful their efforts have been. Authors likely include Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Robert Merton, Steven Shapin, and Bruno Latour.
Instructor(s): R. RichardsTerms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 25503, HIST 25503
HIPS29810. Bachelor's Thesis Workshop. 100 Units.
Thesis writing workshop for HIPS seniors.
Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
HIPS29900. Bachelor's Thesis. 100 Units.
This is a research course for independent study related to thesis preparation.
Terms Offered: Autumn,Winter,Spring
Note(s): Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form.