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Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Fall 2017-2018
* AAS 301 / SOC 367 (SA)   na, npdf

Black to the Future: Science, Fiction, and Society

Ruha Benjamin

Designer Babies. Ancestry Tests. Organ Regeneration. Biometric Surveillance. These and more comprise our 21st century landscape. This interdisciplinary course examines the values and politics that shape science, medicine, and technology, asking who bears the risk and who reaps the benefit of innovations? Social inequality is legitimized, in part, by myths about human difference. And while course participants grapple with past and present stories that shape science and technology, we also apply a sociological imagination to the future, exploring how contemporary hopes and fears may give rise to "real utopias" that are more equitable and just.

Sample reading list:
Dorothy Roberts, Fatal Invention
Ron Eglash, Race, Sex, and Nerds: from Black Geeks to Asian American
Keith Wailoo, Alondra Nelson, and Catherine Lee, Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of Race
Harriet Washington, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History
Langdon Winner, Do Artifacts Have Politics?
Octavia Butler, Wild Seed

Reading/Writing assignments:
Approx 150 pgs reading/week; 1-page reflection memos (20%), 10-12 pg final essay

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in lieu of Final - 40%
Design Project - 20%
Papers - 20%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Please contact the instructor if you have taken no prior social science course related to race-ethnicity..

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
21221 S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm M   Stanhope Hall   201   Enrolled:18 Limit:17 Closed