Searching for a great course for Fall 2015? The Department of

Searching for a great course for Fall 2015? The Department of Technology, Culture &
Society has Special Topics courses available! Please see course descriptions below:
CAM 3004 | Special Topics in CAM: The History of Hip Hop in New York | T, Th | 2:30pm-4:20pm | Professor
Herbert Toler
Using various media, films, discussion, readings, and literature, the history of hip-hop New York studies the
history of hip-hop from its epicenter while exploring its historical development, political significance, and
social influence. The course will examine the major historical conditions of Bronx, New York in the early
1970s and from which hip-hop’s subsequent culture arose while identifying its pioneers, the early music it
produced, and the various complexities/challenges the movement faced. The origins, elements, message, and
politics will be explored in detail to showcase its significance to the culture of the city, country, and global
community. Key social issues within the hip-hop movement will be thoroughly analyzed: issues of race,
class, youth, gender, sexuality, authenticity, violence, provincialism, and censorship/constitutionality will be
studied. The course will conclude with the current state of hip-hop to understand its global implications and
effect on world regions, indigenous people, and cross-cultural hybridization.
CAM 3004 | Special Topics in CAM: Cultures of Beringia| T, Th | 12:30pm-2:20pm | Professor Francis
A treatment of Beringian culture which takes in the Indians of the Pacific Northwest Coast, the peoples of
Eastern Siberia, Eskimos, and the natives of the Aleutian Islands. Hunting and, fishing, religion, material
culture and art will be emphasized.
URB 3834W A | Special Topics in SUE: Participatory Community Design | Th | 6:00pm-9:40pm | Professor
David Woods
In this course, you will be asked to view citizens influence how communities are designed from the lens of
cities in the 21st Century using on three interlinked perspectives: as built places (geography), with distinctive
social architecture (sociology), and dynamic urban form (planning). This course is designed to introduce you
to concepts such as the democratic civic engagement, urban form and design, governance, poverty,
affordability, sustainability, the lived environment, civic coalitions, and planning theory, in order to help
develop livable neighborhoods and cities.
URB 3834 B | Special Topics in SUE: Greening Cities | T, Th | 6:30pm-8:20pm | Professor Ruth Rae
This course provides students with an understanding of different types of green spaces that exist in urban
areas, such as parks, urban agriculture and sustainable streetscapes. It will also explore how the greening of
cities may incorporate various green infrastructure designs and techniques. Although focusing on NYC sites,
the course will also explore greening techniques, designs and policies in other US cities and internationally.
Students will learn about public policies that impact the implementation of greening initiatives and how the
physical environment affects the quality of life for individuals and communities.
Searching for a great course for Fall 2015? The Department of Technology, Culture &
URB 3834 C | Special Topics in SUE: Beyond Shelter| T, Th | 5:00pm-6:50pm | Professor Nicholas Bloom
This course draws on work from sociology, history, architecture, and urban planning to facilitate an
understanding of housing that goes beyond shelter. Students will learn how housing interacts with social
patterns, political participation, public health, public space, and economic crisis both in the United States and
globally. The course is organized around in-depth thematic modules to support students in learning about
housing and social processes while developing skills in textual analysis, written and oral communication and
critical thinking.
URB 3834 D | Special Topics in SUE: Megaprojects| M | 5:00pm-8:40pm | Professor Susan Gladstone
This course will be a disciplined examination of urbanization patterns in a variety of cities, and will focus on
a particular large-scale project in each city. We will start by studying the metropolitan growth and
development in the selected cities and assess the economic, political, physical, cultural and social
circumstances that account for variations and similarities from one case to another, with an emphasis on
questions that pertain to urban form. Our cases will be drawn from Canada, the United States, and Western
URB 3834 E| Special Topics in SUE: Park Stewardship--Managing Ecology, Infrastructure, Public Needs | F |
10:30am-2:10pm | Professor Dennis Percher
Parks are an integral part of not only dense city environments, but also their suburbs by promoting public
health and recreational opportunities, a gathering place for various parts of communities, and supportive
habitats for native vegetation and wildlife. This course focuses on the practical matters of assessment and
stewardship of the largest park in the country’s first county park system: the 2,110-acre South Mountain
Reservation in Essex County, NJ. It will look at issues of assessment and stewardship in terms of: 1.) user
needs of the community at large and in the context of other parks; 2.) landscape topology, hydrology and
soils/geology, and problems of erosion and stormwater management; 3.) ecology (vegetation and wildlife)
and the problems associated with an excessive white-tailed deer population; and 4.) Infrastructure in terms of
public access and trail systems. The class will include two trips to the reservation, one focused on ecology
and forest regeneration, the second on trail system design and maintenance and signage systems.
URB 3834 F | Special Topics in SUE: Urban Resilience | M,W | 6:00pm-7:50pm | Professor Judd Schechtman
Major recent natural disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Katrina, as well as
numerous catastrophes abroad, have highlighted the vulnerability of our communities to short-term risk as
well as the challenge of long-term climate change. This course introduces the challenge of planning for
natural hazards and covers specific climatological, geological and meteorological phenomena as well as
climate change adaptation, and ends with a focus on disaster recovery.
Searching for a great course for Fall 2015? The Department of Technology, Culture &
URB 3834 G | Special Topics in SUE: Designing Play- Healthy Spaces for Children in Cities| M,W | 10:30am12:20pm | Professor David Holtzman
From neighborhood playgrounds to destination theme parks, this course explores the role of play --and the
way we construct it-- in development and health. Through activities, observation and research, students will
be asked to question how we define, prioritize and design play in our physical environment.
URB 3834 H | Special Topics in SUE: History of Urban Future 1683-2005| M,W | 10:30am-12:20pm | Professor
James Roane
In 2014, more than half of the earth’s population inhabited areas with urban population density, according to
the World Health Organization. That figure demonstrates a marked increase from 1960 when thirty-four
percent inhabited cities. While our collective future is to be definitively urban, the prospects of this future
represents distinctive challenges as crises of environmental degradation and racism, displacement and
gentrification, inequality and premature death loom. In this class, we will explore a history of urban
futures— that is attempts by historical city dwellers with different access to the levers of power, to make and
remake the contours of cities. We will examine twentieth century planning documents, architectural designs,
insurance maps, population projections, music, oral histories, educational films, and various other primary
sources from cities in the United States and beyond to think about the last century’s visions and failures that
haunt our own present. Indeed, we must deal with these challenges if we are to make our own urban future a
livable and sustainable one for all.
STS 2904 A| Special Topics in STS: Death, Longevity and Values | T,Th | 12:30pm-2:20pm | Professor Patrick
This course will investigate a multitude of philosophical issues surrounding mortality. We will address
questions such as: is it possible to survive physical death? Should we wish to live in good health beyond our
natural life span? What should the fact of mortality mean for our life choices? Our topic is timely, since a
cure for aging might be on the scientific horizon.
STS 2904 D | Special Topics in STS: Microbiome: Law, Policy, Ethics | T, Th | 12:30pm-2:20pm | Professor
Amber Benezra
In this course we will focus on research on the human microbiome: new scientific perspectives are studying
the impact indigenous microbes on and in our bodies have on human health. We will investigate what is at
stake in these newly defined relationships. Microbes are being enacted through cutting--edge science,
sequencing and bioinformatic technologies, and global biomedicine. The means through which human
microbiota is studied raises bioethical, legal and issues (who owns your feces, or your microbes?) and
complicates logics of policy and funding (governments, private foundations, major food manufacturers).
Searching for a great course for Fall 2015? The Department of Technology, Culture &
STS 2904 E | Special Topics in STS: Beyond Humanity in Fact & Fiction | Th | 4:30pm-8:10pm | Professor
Sabrina Weiss
This course will introduce students to the concept of the cyborg through an interdisciplinary and crossmedial lens that incorporates perspectives from engineering, cybernetics, social cognition, biomedical ethics,
disability studies, and critical media studies. Fundamental concepts of personal/communal, self/nonself,
natural/artificial, and human/nonhuman will be explored through theory, case studies, and media (i.e. anime,
science fiction). This is a communication-intensive, highly interactive discussion-based course that will
utilize both face-to-face and online discussions.
STS 3904 A| Special Topics in STS: Magic Bullets & Wonder Pills | T,Th | 10:30am-12:30pm | Professor
Brendan Matz
This course examines the history of pharmaceutical drugs and related medical technology. We will trace this
history from the late nineteenth century to the present, focusing primarily on the American and European
contexts. Important biomedical advances in drug therapy, such as vaccines, vitamins, antibiotics, steroids,
and anti-retrovirals, will be considered in relation to changes in the medical profession, the rise of the
pharmaceutical industry, and an ongoing tension between drug marketing and state regulation. We will also
consider the ways in which drugs and the diseases they are designed to treat or cure are embedded in and
shaped by the broader society and culture. Public reaction to and expectations about scientific discovery will
also be a unifying theme for the course.
STS 3904 B | Special Topics in STS: The Social Brain | M,W | 4:30pm-6:20pm| Professor Sal Restivo
This course is an introduction to the contemporary landscape in brain research from the perspective of
interdisciplinary sociology and philosophy. We will focus on the mounting evidence that the brain is not
simply and only a biological organ but a social and cultural entity. The concept of the social brain has
origins in classical social theory (e.g., Emile Durkheim, Friedrich Nietzsche, Charlotte Perkins Gilman,
George Herbert Mead, and Lev Vygotsky). We will trace the evolution of the social brain concept from the
social intelligence hypothesis to neuronal regions hypotheses and contemporary whole brain hypotheses.