Course Catalog: Summer 2019

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Course Title

Hip Hop and Social Change

Black Panthers, Brown Berets: Radical Social Movements of the Late-20th Century

Dyin’ Dixie?: Literature and Culture of the Southern U.S.

Race, Gender & Horror: Reading Psychoanalysis in American Film & Fiction

Girl Power Through the Ages: An Introduction to Feminist Theory and Practice

Global Health: Inequality, Culture, and Human Well Being Around the World

Language, Power, and Social Justice

Protecting and Serving What?: U.S. Policing and Racism Through an Anthropological Lens

Black Lives Matter Less: How Structural Racism Affects the Health of Black Lives and Communities

Best Frenemies?: Cultural Narratives of Female Friendship in Literature and Film

Literature, Culture, and American Identities

Monstrosities: The Meaning of Monsters in the Modern World

Narratives of Revolution and (post)Colonialism: Race, Gender, and Human Rights

ReWrite Mississippi: Narratives of Harmony and Hate

A People's History of War in America

Civil Rights and Its Opponents, from the Civil War to Now


Political Imprisonment and Captivity in the Modern World: From Revolution to Conscience

Power and the Production of History

Cinema and Revolution: A Global Perspective

Fiction for Social Change: Building a Shared Analysis of Justice and Community

From Mayberry to "Netflix and Chill": Topics in Television Studies, Race, Gender, and Class

The *@#%* Media: Pulling Back the Curtain on Fake News

Work and Its Discontents: Theory, History and Media of Work and Its Refusal

Issues in Bioethics

Jazz and Hip Hop

Contemporary Moral Issues


Issues in Moral Philosophy: Trust in the Face of Lies, Deception, and Conspiracy

The Ethics of Technology: Privacy, Biased Algorithms, and Moral Robots

This discussion-based class surveys a range of ethical (broadly construed) issues arising from emerging technologies. In doing so, the course also aims to sharpen students' skills at critical thinking, analysis, and argumentation. The issues we'll discuss include:

- Privacy

Privacy I: It's common to hear worries about privacy in internet and data ethics. What might such worries be about, in more concrete terms? Are we always talking about the same thing, when we claim to be worried about privacy? And why, most fundamentally, do we care about privacy? Suppose, for instance, that data about us is collected, but in such a way that we aren't identifiable: is our privacy nevertheless still threatened?

Privacy II: Do social media companies (such as Facebook) have a moral obligation to suppress the spread of fake news over their networks? Is the suppression of fake news by social media companies a form of censorship? Is censorship ever morally permissible --- and if so, under what conditions?

- Bias and discrimination

Do emerging technologies like Big Data increase inequality or be unfair, and if so, how? In what way might the algorithms driving decisions behind the scenes be biased or discriminatory? (And what is it to discriminate?)

- Building ethical robots (and autonomous systems)

How do we build autonomous systems that behave ethically (as far as it is possible for them to do so)? Should we go for programs that derive their own rules by learning from experience (but whose rules it may not be possible for us be sure of)? Or should we instead use only programs with explicitly formulated rules (but which may not be able to adapt to changing environments)?

Prerequisites: No prerequisites are required, though students should be prepared to put in intellectual effort.

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Tagged With: Humanities and the Arts Economics, Business and Law Engineering and Technology History, Politics and Social Sciences Medical and Health Studies

Brothers in Arms: War, States, and Human Rights

Creating Change Through Public Policy

Debating Democracy: Reform and Revolution

Ethics and International Affairs

Ethics, Technology, and Violence

Frenemies? Trump, Media, and Politics

Human Rights

International Relations: Enduring Questions and Contemporary Debates

Law, Ethics, and Democracy

Making Sense of the World

Order, Corruption and Populism: Political Theory of Democracy

Taking Life to Save Life: War, Media and Humanitarianism

Terrorism in the United States

The American Presidency

The End of Politics as We Know It? Theories of Control & Resistance in the Digital Age

The U.S. In World Politics

To Fight Without Violence: History, Theories, and Tactics of Nonviolent Civil Resistance

U.S. History and Politics Since 1945: Personalities, Power, and Politics

Your Body Your Rules: An Interdisciplinary Unpacking of Reproductive Justice

Conducting Research at the Forefront of Science: Mental Health, Policy, and Social Implications of Cannabis Use in the U.S.

Mental Health in College: Risk, Resilience, and Resources

The Opioid Crisis: How Did We Get Here and What Are We Doing to Solve It?

The United States Health Care System: Best in the World, or Just Most Expensive?

Topics in LGBTQ+ Health

Finance for the Poor: Microcredit, Poverty, and Development

Gender, Race and Class in Medical Research and Practice

Thinking Globally: Colonialism and the Making of the Modern World

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