Related Courses

First-year Seminars

Politics 100 (04) Black Metropolis

Fall 2011

Art (History) 243 (01) Building the Modern Environment: Architecture 1890-1990
An exploration of major movements and personalities in architecture from the late nineteenth century to the present. Emphasizing the United States against the background of European developments, the course considers the search by architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and Frank Gehry, for a language of form and space that captures the contemporary spirit as it elevates society to a higher plane of existence. Discussion focuses on issues of technology and utopia, the skyscraper, and the collision of tradition, modernity, and postmodernism in architecture since 1945.
M. Davis

Art (History) 271 (01) Arts of Islam: Book, Mosque, and Palace
Through investigation of major works produced in the Muslim world between the seventh and seventeenth centuries from Spain to India, this course explores the ways in which art and architecture were used to embody the faith, accommodate its particular needs, and express the power of its rulers. Topics include the calligraphy of the Qur'an, illustrated literature, the architecture of the mosque, and the aristocratic palace.
M. Davis

Economics 215 (01) Economics of Corporate Finance
An investigation of the economic foundations for investment, financing, and related decisions in corporations. Topics include capital markets and institutions; analysis of financial statements; sources and uses of funds; capital budgeting and risk; cost of capital; portfolio theory; the impact of corporate decisions on the economy. Some attention given to recent developments in the stock market, in the merger movement, and in international finance.
S. Gabriel

Economics 326 (01) Economics of Cyberspace
This seminar explores the impact of the Internet, information technology, and the networked information economy on finance, markets, innovation and invention, intellectual property rights, public finance and taxation, security and cybercrime, media, and social networking. We investigate the implications of the networked information economy for the creation of new economic (and social) relationships. We also examine the continuing struggle over regulation of cyberspace and the definition and enforcement of intellectual property rights.
S. Gabriel

Economics 103 (02) Introductory Microeconomics
Studies the tools of microeconomic analysis and their applications. Supply and demand for products and for factors of production; production functions and costs; performance of the United States economy in producing and distributing products; and international trade.
J. Hartley

Economics 211 (01) Macroeconomic Theory
Intermediate macroeconomic theory. Analysis of causes of long-run economic growth and short-run business cycles. Study of the microeconomic foundations of macroeconomic models, consumption, investment, government spending, net exports, money supply, and money demand. Examination of fiscal and monetary policy and U.S. economic relations with the rest of the world.
J. Hartley

Economics 391 (01) Senior Thesis Seminar
This seminar is organized around students who are writing honors theses. It is meant to provide a group context for the thesis-writing process, where students present their research at various stages, critique each other's work, and discuss similarities and differences in the analytical processes they are working through. Course graded on a credit/no credit basis.
J. Hartley

Economics 210 (01) Marxian Economic Theory
This 200-level course investigates a particular topic in economics at some depth without presupposing prior knowledge of economics. Many students may find this course a useful complement to a major or minor other than economics.

Introduction to the Marxian theory of capitalism, as presented in the three volumes of Capital. Marxian theory is applied to analyze the causes of contemporary economic problems, such as unemployment and inflation, and the effectiveness of government policies to solve these problems. Comparisons made between Marxian theory and mainstream macro- and microeconomics.
F. Moseley

Economics 315 (01) History of Economic Thought
Study of the historical development of economics by reading the original works of the "great masters": Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Marshall, and Keynes. Also examines the influence of the social context in which these theories were developed. Provides a historical perspective on modern microeconomics and macroeconomics - how these modern theories are similar to and different from earlier theories.
F. Moseley

Education 205 (01) Racism and Inequality in Schools and Society
 (Community-based learning course; writing-intensive) What is race? Who decides? Are we a "postracial" society? This course focuses on historical, social, psychological, and legal underpinnings of the social construction of race and examines how perspectives on race have influenced the lives of students and teachers in schools. Class sessions compare the old vs. "new" racism, contrast the workings of white privilege with calls for white responsibility, explore perspectives on the "achievement" and "opportunity" gaps, and examine how antiracist pedagogies can address inequities in education at the curricular, interpersonal, and institutional levels. Essays, response papers, field experiences, and a digital media project are required.
S. Lawrence

Education 330 (01) The Process of Teaching and Learning in Secondary and Middle Schools
This course is intended to help prepare prospective secondary and middle school teachers for effective classroom instruction. The philosophical bases and current research behind classroom practices are also examined. Specific course activities focus on teaching in multicultural ways, establishing the classroom climate, choosing instructional approaches, designing curricula, assessing and attending to the needs of learners, evaluating student performance, and providing for classroom community leadership. Requires a prepracticum.
 S. Lawrence

Education 332 (01) Observing and Assisting in Secondary and Middle School Educational Programs
This is a fieldwork-based independent study course. During the fall and spring semesters it involves 20 to 40 hours of individually scheduled fieldwork in a secondary or middle school classroom or educational program. Students keep a reflective journal, read relevant articles and essays, meet regularly with the instructor, and write a final report. This course is graded on a credit/no credit basis.
S. Lawrence

Environmental Studies 267 (01) Reading and Writing in the World
 (Writing-intensive; cross-listed as English 267) An introduction to reading and writing about nature, this seminar will attempt an exchange across distinct approaches to observing and describing the world around us. Do lenses of culture, discipline, and gender determine how we see and experience nature, environment, and place? Course work will include reading such authors as N. Scott Momaday, Henry David Thoreau, bell hooks, Leslie Marmon Silko, Mary Oliver, Terry Tempest Williams, Wendell Berry, and Annie Dillard; field trips; and writing assignments--weekly field notes and journals, analytical papers, and personal essays. 
L. Savoy

Environmental Studies 390 (01) Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies
 (Community-based learning course) This is the capstone course of the environmental studies major. The course explores linkages among the diversity of disciplines that contribute to the environmental studies major, illustrates how these disciplines that contribute to the environmental studies major are used in environmental decision making, enables students to inform one another's roles as environmentalists, and provides students with opportunities to develop individual and cooperative projects. 
L. Savoy

Film Studies 260 (01) Film Genre and Gender
This course offers a critical, historical, and theoretical approach to a specific film genre. Some examples of genres that might be studied are: the science fiction, horror, melodrama, musical, Western, detective, or gangster film.

This course examines the development of Hollywood film genres largely in the post-studio era, particularly the musical, the melodrama, the horror film, and the science fiction film. We will consider the evolution of these four genres in relation to changes in the film industry and in American society, especially in relation to gender.
R. Blaetz

Gender Studies 204 (01) Women and Gender in the Study of Culture
This course examines the development of Hollywood film genres largely in the post-studio era, particularly the musical, the melodrama, the horror film, and the science fiction film. We will consider the evolution of these four genres in relation to changes in the film industry and in American society, especially in relation to gender.
R. Blaetz

Gender Studies 391 (01) Senior Seminar
This year-long capstone course brings seniors together to think through relationships among empirical research, theory, activism, and practice in gender studies. Majors with diverse interests, perspectives, and expertise (and other seniors with substantial background in the field) will have the opportunity to reflect on the significance of their gender studies education in relation to their current work (including work in 333s, 390, 395), their academic studies as a whole, and their plans for the future. Course readings and discussion will be shaped by students in collaboration with the instructor. This course continues in the spring semester as Gender Studies 392. 
M. Renda

German Studies 232 German Tutorial: War: What is it Good For?
 Focus on  developing discussion and reading skills in German, and revising and editing papers written in German for German studies courses taught in English.

(Speaking-intensive course) A multidisciplinary examination of the various ways humans have understood, represented, experienced, and justified war over time and across cultures. The course considers the representation of war through art, literature, and music with particular emphasis on European, American and Asian contexts. It analyzes possible causes of war, including innate human drives, gender differences, socialization, and economic resource competition. In addition, it examines justifications for war from a range of ethical, national, and cultural perspectives. Contributing faculty include: V. Ferraro, O. Frau, L. Glasser, S. Hashmi, R. Schwarts, and J. Western.
K. Remmler

History 390 (01) South Asian Nationalisms
Research Seminar: A 300-level class requiring students to engage in primary and secondary source research in the history of particular times and places, resulting in a substantial piece of historical writing. Please note that admission to all 300-level history courses is by written application and permission of the instructor. Students may apply online at http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/history/300-level_application.html.
(Speaking- and writing-intensive) This course is a seminar on the formation and workings of South Asian nationalisms. Home to one of the largest and most successful anti-colonial campaigns, the South Asian subcontinent was also the site of one of the most dramatic partitions of the modern age. Topics include the thought and practice of South Asia's nationalist elite, economic nationalism, Non-Cooperation and Civil Disobedience, the Khilafat movement, the partition of the subcontinent, the emergence of the independent States of India and Pakistan in 1947, and Bangladesh in 1971. Requirements will be structured around writing and presenting a final essay based on intensive research.
K. Datla

History 170 (01) American History, Precolonial through the Civil War
This course examines the diverse cultures and peoples--Indian, African, and European--that from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, through combat and cooperation, forged North American societies. Topics include the indigenous societies of the Americas; the age of colonialism; slavery; the American Revolution; the creation of the American political system; expansion and industrialization; and the coming of the Civil War.
M. Renda

Latin American Studies 180 (01) Introduction to Latin American Cultures
Examines the confrontation, assimilation, and transformation of Amerindian, African, and European cultures in Latin America from the sixteenth century to the present. Focuses on the processes in which distinctive self-images emerged in the region and how these images have been challenged and changed over time. Uses films, literature, and folk traditions to complement scholarly analysis of the emergence of a New World mentality.
L. Gudmundson

Latin American Studies 288 (01) Modern Mexico
An analysis of the modern Mexican nation-state organized around three major themes: the conflictive yet symbiotic relationship with the United States, from the war of the 1840s through NAFTA most recently; the succession of reformist and revolutionary upheavals in 1810-1821, 1856-1867, 1910-1917, the 1930s, and again today, seeking to resolve both problems of the colonial past and new conflicts traceable to the very reforms generated by earlier political and social struggles; and the meaning of Mexican nationality from different ethnic, gender, and class perspectives. Readings include autobiographical and literary works, historical studies, and films. 
L. Gudmundson

Politics 100 (04) First-Year Seminars in Politics:  Black Metropolis
Black Metropolis referred to the more than half a million black people jammed into a South Side ghetto in Chicago at mid-twentieth century that featured an entrenched black political machine, a prosperous black middle class, and a thriving black cultural scene in the midst of massive poverty and systemic inequality. This course will follow the political, economic, and cultural developments of what scholars considered to be the typical urban community in postwar United States. We will examine such topics as Martin Luther King's failed desegregation campaign; Harold Washington, first black mayor; William Julius Wilson's urban underclass thesis; and the rise of Barack Obama.
P. Smith

Politics 250 (01) Black Urban Reform
Examines how African Americans have shaped, and been shaped by, the modern American metropolis. Explores the impact of migration, residential segregation, changing economic conditions, and political incorporation on black urban life chances. Investigates the efforts of African Americans to deal with cities through organizations, movements, and traditions of black reform.
P. Smith

Politics 347 (01) Race and Urban Political Economy
Examines the relationship between a changing economic structure, urban administrations, and communal resistance in minority urban politics. Topics include the place of cities in global economic restructuring, the representation and power of blacks, Asians, and Latinos/Hispanics in governing coalitions, and the response of minority and community organizations to both structural possibilities and constraints of the new urban political economy.
P. Smith

Psychology 208 (01) What is Memory?
 (Speaking-intensive; cross-listed as Gender Studies 212f (1)) Memory has a wide range of meanings and applications in many different contexts. What, for example, is the difference between artificial intelligence and human memory? How are national identities constructed around the commemoration of great events? What is the importance of memory in relation to concepts like justice and progress? How do rituals and performances work to determine gender and other identities? How can we understand the differences in episodic, implicit, long term, short term or working memory? For individuals and societies, what are the implications of the absence of memory? We examine psychological, social, political, and cultural approaches to understanding memory.
A. Douglas

Psychology 220 (01) Theories of Personality
How do individuals differ and how are they the same? What factors shape the development of our personalities? This course will introduce students to some of the major theories of personality, and will encourage critical analysis of the various theories. We will examine personality from the perspectives of psychoanalytical, humanist, and constructivist theories, as well as from the perspective of positive psychology.
A. Douglas

Psychology 329 (01) Seminar in Personality and Abnormal Psychology: Psychology of Trauma
What happens after a traumatic event? Why do some people develop psychological disorders and others do not? This course will explore the psychological theories and research on trauma and stress. Topics covered will include childhood abuse, domestic violence, combat violence, community violence, and interpersonal violence. The seminar will explore psychological dysfunction, disorders, as well as adaptation and coping following exposure to traumatic stress. In addition, the course will explore the concept of "cultural trauma."
A. Douglas

Psychology 200 (01) Research Methods in Psychology
This course provides an introduction to the skills necessary for becoming good producers and consumers of psychological research. Students learn to develop research questions, survey related literature, design rigorous and ethically sound studies, and collect, analyze, and interpret quantitative and qualitative data. Students build on their computer skills relevant for psychological research and learn to read and critique original empirical journal articles. The course culminates in an original, collaborative research project, a final paper, and an oral presentation.
G. Hornstein

Psychology 329 (02) Seminar in Personality and Abnormal Psychology: First-Person Narratives of Madness
 (Speaking-intensive) Psychologists have typically conceptualized "mental illness" in terms of the symptoms and diagnoses proposed by psychiatrists in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). These categories, while perhaps useful for prescribing medication, do little to help us understand the subjective experiences that are considered "mad." In this seminar, we analyze accounts (historical and contemporary) written by people who have experienced extreme states, intense emotions, or unusual perceptions or beliefs, to understand how these "counter-narratives" offer new insights into psychological life.
G. Hornstein

Sociology 223 (01) Development of Social Thought
This course examines the origins and development of sociological theory in the nineteenth century. Focusing on the three most important representatives of the classical tradition in sociology - Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim - we consider in detail the ideas of each, compare their perspectives on emerging industrial society, and assess their contemporary significance.
K. Tucker

Sociology 316 (01) Special Topics in Sociology: Collective Behavior and Social Movements
This course examines instances of organized collective action in social, historical, and empirical contexts, from the labor movement of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to the new social movements of today. We also explore various forms of unstructured protest, such as riots and demonstrations.
K. Tucker