Courses

  • CGS SS 102: Modernization: Politics, Economics, and Culture
    CGS SS 102 -- Modernization: Politics, Economics, and Culture This course examines the process of modernization in the West. The historical phenomena of industrialization, the rise of liberal democracy, nationalism, imperialism, and globalization -- all associated with modernization as it took place in Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries -- are examined both in their historical context and through the lens of theories of social change. Through an examination of historical case studies, students will evaluate the impact of these phenomena on the life, institutions, and ways of thinking in the West. Students will also consider the historical legacy of the West's modernization for contemporary global issues such as terrorism and the challenges of development in non-Western societies. One lecture, two discussions, and one additional contact hour as assigned.[4 cr.]
  • CGS SS 103: Politics, Economies, and Social Change in the West: The Ancient World through the Enlightenment
    This interdisciplinary course examines social change in the politics, economies, social structures, and culture of the West from the ancient world through the Enlightenment. Students look at developments in governance, trade, social inequalities, and ideas that gave the West its distinctive character, including the rise of its key institution, democracy. To interpret historical change critically, students are introduced to the social science "toolkit" of analytical concepts. Assignments outside the classroom will encourage students to consider how historical developments have shaped today's world. One lecture, two discussions, and two additional contact hours as assigned. [Open only to students admitted to the CGS January Program.][5 cr.]
  • CGS SS 104: Politics, Economies, and Social Change in the West: The Industrial Revolution to the Digital Revolution
    This interdisciplinary course examines social change in the politics, economies, social structures, and culture of the West from the Industrial Revolution to the present. Students consider the impact of technological innovation, industrial capitalism, global war, genocide, and the ideologies that shaped these developments. The course concludes with the globalization of economies and social structures in an era of rising inequality. Visits to relevant sites in Britain will supplement classroom instruction. One lecture, two discussions, and two additional contact hours as assigned. [Open only to students admitted to the CGS January Program.][5 cr.]
  • CGS SS 201: Social Change and Modernization in the Non-Western World: Russia and China.
    This course centers on two case studies of modernization that began during the second half of the 19th century and still continue today: those of Russia and China. The state known until 1917 as the Russian Empire, during most of the 20th century as the Soviet Union, and since 1992 as the Russian Federation is considered an example of a society that underwent rapid social change in part as a result of the challenges posed by the industrialized countries of the West. It serves as a basis for comparison with the process of modernization undertaken by China at approximately the same time. The understanding students acquire regarding the dramatic complexities of social, political, and economic changes enhance their grasp of the problems facing the contemporary world. One lecture, two discussions, and one additional contact hour as assigned. [4 cr.]
  • CGS SS 202: America's Response to Aggression and Revolution: U.S. Foreign Policy Since the 1930s
    This course focuses on American foreign policy from the late 1930's to the present. After considering U.S. policy immediately before and during World War II, the course explores how the United States responded to the global challenge posed by the Soviet Union and international communism during the long struggle known as the Cold War. The factors that led to the Cold War, the nuclear arms race, America's involvement in Vietnam, and, ultimately, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War are examined. The course concludes by analyzing challenges to American national interests and security in the early decades of the 21st century. One lecture, two discussions, and one additional contact hour as assigned. [4 cr.]
  • CGS SS 250: Death and Remembrance in the Victorian World
    Examines the key place "death" occupied in the Victorian cultural and social imagination, using an interdisciplinary approach for its materials and for its method. The course will focus on literary and artistic portrayals of death and mourning, demographic and cultural change, the origins of medical epidemiology, the rise of spiritualism, and shifting views of the meaning of life and death in a modernizing world. Required materials, assignments, and experiential exercises (such as an excursion to Cambridge's Mount Auburn Cemetery) reinforce trans-Atlantic connections and the prevalence of cultural attitudes about death and mourning.
  • CGS SS 300: Cultural Constructions of Motherhood
    This course examines the ways that motherhood--the roles, expectations, and assumptions that shape what counts as both "good" and "bad" mothering--is currently understood. Three key questions will drive our exploration: How does culture shape mothering practices? How do mothering practices shape culture? How do race, economic class, educational attainment, and sexual orientation impact how motherhood is constructed? Discussions of related topics such as fathering, maternal body image, celebrity profiles, mother blame, parenting roles, and the economic costs of motherhood will be supplemented by readings from feminist interdisciplinary academic writing in motherhood studies along with popular culture and media texts.