Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Social Science (SS)

SS-00XH  Time Management  - (0 Credits)  

Time management is the base of good study habits and a valued skill for personal and professional success. The demands of college study require that students be responsible for managing their own time. This course is aimed at providing practical techniques and processes for managing personal and study time. It also focuses on helping students acquire the time management skills they need. On completion of this course, participants will be able to: - Identify the benefits of time management. - Evaluate productivity, identify goals and set priorities. - Develop time management plans. - Create daily plans and recognize obstacles. - Save time and maintain a reasonable workload by saying \"no.\" - Increase productivity by controlling interruptions. - Recognize factors that adversely affect productivity.

SS-200  Introduction to Sociology  - (3 Credits)  

Covers basic concepts for the study of primitive and modern society, social processes operating in human groups, personality development in various societies, major institutional groupings, and social change.

SS-201T  Sustainable Core  - (3 Credits)  

The Sustainable Core provides an overview of sustainability by exploring definitions, applications, and debates in relevant disciplines engaged in the relationships between environmental quality, social equity, and economic activity. In addition to lectures and discussion led by the course instructor, Pratt Institute faculty and guest speakers who are experts on specific topics will provide guest lectures. The Sustainable Core provides experience in how sustainability is practices across the disciplines of the Institute.

SS-202  Economics  - (3 Credits)  

An examination of the problems of the American economy and proposals for their solution. Unemployment, poverty, discrimination, economic concentration, inflation, ecology, the quality of public services, and relations with foreign lands are discussed.

SS-203G  Global History to 1800  - (3 Credits)  

This is a survey of global history that will expose students to the most salient forces, ideas, movements, and events of world history for 1200 to 1800.

SS-204G  Global History Since 1800  - (3 Credits)  

This is a survey of global history that will expose students to the most salient forces, ideas, movements, and events of world history from the end of the French Revolution in the early 1800s to the present day.

SS-205  Political Institutions  - (3 Credits)  

An examination of the theory and operation of the major types of political systems. The course focuses on the question of power as it extends from the state to daily life. Both formal and informal, sanctioned and unsanctioned modes of political expression will receive attention.

SS-209  Introduction to Anthropology  - (3 Credits)  

Introduces disciplines in the field of anthropology such as physical anthropology, ethnology, and linguistics. Material constructions pertaining to the hypotheses and theories concerning human evolution, comparative cultural analyses, and the nature and significance of language are examined. As a comparative discipline, anthropological study provides important insights into the structure and functioning of culture in kinship as well as class-based societies. This study encompasses a range of societies from simple hunting and gathering to industrialized ones. Visual material is an important adjunct to this course.

SS-209G  Introduction to Anthropology  - (3 Credits)  

Introduces disciplines in the field of anthropology such as physical anthropology, ethnology, and linguistics. Material constructions pertaining to the hypotheses and theories concerning human evolution, comparative cultural analyses, and the nature and significance of language are examined. As a comparative discipline, anthropological study provides important insights into the structure and functioning of culture in kinship as well as class-based societies. This study encompasses a range of societies from simple hunting and gathering to industrialized ones. Visual material is an important adjunct to this course.

SS-210  General Psychology  - (3 Credits)  

A study of human mental processes and behavior. Problems of maturation, motivation, emotional and mental development, disorders, and treatment are covered.

SS-211  Social Psychology  - (3 Credits)  

Social psychology studies how people think, feel, and behave in social situations. Students are introduced to central topics in the subfield, such as mass psychology, conformity, stereotyping, prejudice, and others. The course also focuses on critical perspectives on research and theorizing in social psychology.

SS-215G  Jazz Diasporas  - (3 Credits)  

This course looks at the global dynamics of jazz as culture and musical innovation. From its genesis as a Black American artform in New Orleans at the turn of the twentieth century, jazz spread quickly and became a global phenomenon within a few decades evolving in each context in which it was performed. Each iteration of this course will focus on different geographies in following the music and its localization in parts of the world including Paris, Berlin, Cape Town, Accra, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, and beyond. In each setting, we examine jazz as a cultural catalyst and innovator.

SS-218G  Salvation from Despair: Spiritual Awakenings in the Ancient World  - (3 Credits)  

This course is a history of the creation and development of seven major religious, philosophical, and spiritual traditions that transformed the ancient world from China to Greece during the Axial Age (c.800-200 BCE). Students will examine scriptures and seminal writings that provided the founding truths of Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Greek philosophy and science, and that enriched and deepened the older Hindu and Hebrew traditions.

SS-220G  Islam from Muhammad to the Great Khans  - (3 Credits)  

This course is an overview of the history of the Islamic world from the time of the Prophet Muhammad in Mecca in the seventh century to the eve of European imperialism. The course concentrates on the growth and diversity of Islamic cultural and religious traditions not only in Arabia and the Middle East, but also in North, West, and East Africa, and Central, South, and Southeast Asia.

SS-225  Symposium I  - (3 Credits)  

In The Symposium, students become acquainted with the professional work of Pratt faculty and distinguished visitors who work in the range of fields covered by the Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies. The course is structured around presentations by faculty and on general themes that will change year by year. Students will gain broad and deep knowledge of the fields of study and approaches available to them as they prepare for Moderation. All students majoring in Visual Studies are required to take The Symposium in the semester before their advancement to Moderation.

SS-230  Sociological Theory  - (3 Credits)  

Sociological Theory is the core and scaffolding of Sociology. When anyone is asked to describe a discipline as important as sociology, three deceptively simple but in reality quite complex questions arise. The first, \"What is sociology?\" can only be answered sociologically along with the second: \"What is society?\" Finally, a third question arises from the title of the very first sociology course taught in America, what are the \"ends and uses of society?\" This course will be an exploration of sociological theory. We will follow a thematic approach stressing some of the key concerns of sociology: power, the state, self, authority, family, race, gender, social evolution, and of course, society.

SS-232  Freud and Beyond: Psychoanalysis Psychoanalysis  - (3 Credits)  

This course aims to introduce students to contemporary and classical psychoanalytic theory. By focusing on the theoretical reorientations of psychoanalytic theory in response to changing social, economic, cultural and political contexts, we will examine the ways in which the theory and practice of psychoanalysis changed over time in order to illuminate, interpret and reinterpret our psychological landscapes.

SS-235  Sociology of Music, Sound and Noise  - (3 Credits)  

This course examines everyday life through our experiences of music, sound, and noise. Because the field of the sociology of music is as broad as the world of sound, we will focus on the production, meaning, use, and construction of soundscapes and auditory environments. Individual or group soundscape projects will be accompanied by readings that together will provide students with a foundation in active critical listening and the sociological study of music, sound, and noise. The course will require a good deal of listening to perhaps study of unfamiliar music and musical genres, but you do not need to be able to read music or play an instrument for this course.

SS-236G  Comparative Revolutions  - (3 Credits)  

This course looks at the concept of political revolution that results in the overthrow of an existing government and/or colonial regime and replacement with something entirely new. The course begins with a discussion of generic revolution, defines what is a revolution, types of revolution (political, anti-colonial liberation movements, etc.) and factors that help bring them about including the role of economics and ideology.

SS-240  Shaping the Contemporary City  - (3 Credits)  

Through the interdisciplinary perspectives of history, urban geography, sociology, and public policy, students will consider critical concepts of urban studies with a particular focus on social and spatial inequalities. Students will be introduced to multimedia, qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to document the urban experience with a particular emphasis on a social issue.

SS-241  Cities and Globalization  - (3 Credits)  

What is the relationship between the history of the city and the history of globalization? To tackle this question we will look at theories and histories of the city and of globalization from a macro and micro-perspective, proceeding roughly chronologically and thematically. Each week we will focus on one city and one theme related to the history of cities and globalization, such as Beijing and the dawn of globalization, London and the expansion of industrial played in the creation and maintenance of global institutions, ideologies, and socio-economic classes that have contributed to the emergence of globalization and its attendant social, economic, political, and cultural consequences.

SS-243  The Story of Freedom in the United States  - (3 Credits)  

This course provides a thematic survey of US history, from the colonial period to the present, through one of the most important dynamics that shaped US politics, economics, society and culture: the democratic paradox of authority and freedom. Students will have the opportunity look at a number of key moments, and to complete a project that focuses on related events and questions of most interest to them.

SS-246G  Lines in the sand:Borders, Nation-State And the Modern International System  - (3 Credits)  

This course will trace the development of the idea of territorial sovereignty and its role in the creation of the modern nation-state and the international state system. It will be along the edges and outlines of territorial states, and in the movements of peoples and ideas and goods across these lines, where ewe will take our vantage points to examine the most fundamental units of world politics.

SS-249G  Secret Activities of the CIA And the Modern International System  - (3 Credits)  

One of the main functions of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is to collect and evaluate intelligence about foreign countries in order to assist US national security operations around the world. But the CIA also engages in secret operations abroad that have opposed progressive governments as well as political and labor movements, while sporting right-wing, often brutal dictatorships and movements. Its operations have directly or indirectly caused the torture and death of countless millions of innocent people-even genocides.

SS-250  The Ethics of Research  - (3 Credits)  

This course is designed to provide a broad base for students to gain an understanding related to the histories of knowledge production, including the impact of enlightenment, modernity and the development of disciplines. There is a sustained focus upon the impact of such formulations on the development of global history and thought through a consideration of epistemic injustice. As a way forward, students will be encourage to think of alternative methodologies.

SS-255  Between Image and Word:Why Photographers Write  - (3 Credits)  

Captions, artists' statements, essays on their own and others' work, extended critical essays, theoretical statements about the nature of photography: all of these are forms of writing undertaken by photographers. In this course, we will study the writings of photographers with an eye to understanding the many contexts in which photographers write and the expectations for good writing those contexts create. The course will be both theoretical and practical, in the sense that students will study the writings of photographers in order to understand the various contexts of photographic writing and the ways photographers have responded to them and will develop their own skills in meeting the demands of the good use of words. All readings will be by artists who use Course Description: both photographic images and words to make meaning.

SS-260  Applied Child and Adolescent Development  - (3 Credits)  

This course introduces students to the field of child and adolescent development by examining the application of various theoreical frameworks with the aim of understanding and promoting psychological growth and development. We survey classical psychological paradigms, examine research in applied settings, explore assessment approaches, and identify contemporary social issues which bear direct relevance on development of children and adolescents in the 21st century. We examine how research can inform educational practices, parenting decisions, public policy, and help design interventions for improving children's and youth's welfare as well as quality of life. This course includes 10 hours of fieldwork observations in the Art and Design Education Department's Saturday Art School, a laboratory school for children ages 6-18 years old on the Brooklyn campus.

SS-261G  Sexual Politics in Transnational Perspective  - (3 Credits)  

This class comparatively examines how sexuality and gender intersected with politics to shape modern societies. We will address the global dimensions of sexuality, but our readings will primarily focus on developments in Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America. Our weekly discussions will revolve around several interesting themes including gender-role construction, theories of sexual identity, state regulation of sexual behavior, and rise of LGBTQ emancipation movements. After discussing the significance of these themes on the local level, we will then examine them within large cultural, social and transnational contexts.

SS-262  Contemporary Theories of Gender  - (3 Credits)  

This interdisciplinary course explores the concept of gender. This is approached through the lens of feminist and post-structuralist thinkers that address the establishment and subversion of sex and gender categories and hierarchies and their cultural manifestations, especially in the arts. The course will cover a range of topics form 20th and 21st century gender, queer, and trans theory, including gender binaries and spectrums, empowerment and subversion in popular culture, genes, hormones, biology, and contemporary trans activism.

SS-272  History of the 1970s  - (3 Credits)  

This course is a political and social history of the \"long\" 1970s, from the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War in 1968 to the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan in 1981. We will examine this period from a number of different perspectives, using a wide range of sources including: television, film. creative non-fiction, fashion, and music.

SS-276  Music,Creativity, and Consumption  - (3 Credits)  

This interdisciplinary course examines the relationship between musical practice and cultural criticism through the lens of perspectives on what constitutes the \"authentic\" and \"inauthentic\" creation, expression, and consumption of music, and the social, cultural, and critical concerns that underpin them, across a range of genres including western classical music, jazz, improvisation, pop, rock, serialism, and electronica. Topics are drawn from philosophy, musicology, critical theory, cognitive science, legal theory, and music criticism, and include creativity and the mind, creativity and the body; style, race, and genre; silence and noise; originality and copyright; and consumption, technology and the music industry.

SS-277  Politics of Resistance in a Global Context: Theory and Practice for Social Change  - (3 Credits)  

Through a combination of field study, inquiry into and implementation of social and critical methodologies, this class will activate an intensive investigation of community, local connection to global concerns, and histories of ideas in relation to urban cities and stratifications of power. We will focus on topics of repression and resistance, transmigration, the rise of the global right, post-democracy and critical human rights, and environmental and social injustices in an international context and explore ways to contribute to positive change, expressing international solidarity, tactics of resistance, documentation and community building through aesthetic and social practices. The class will focus on contemporary issues and their socio-political genesis in one or more regions. The goal will be to critically engage in interdisciplinary conversation and onsite engagement with affected communities as we address the cultural, economic and historical roots of global social justice issues. The bulk of this course will be taught on campus/online at Pratt, and it may include a week-long travel abroad component, adhering to Pratt study abroad policies.

SS-278G  Caribbean Music and Festivals: Shapers Of National and Global Identities  - (3 Credits)  

The course examines contemporary cultural expressions of the Caribbean region in a historical context. It explores how popular culture has been transformed into an important tool in shaping national identities and has also transcended national boundaries to become pan-diasporic and global. The course focuses on the 19th through the 21st centuries, drawing on examples across the Caribbean region and in the metropolitan centers of the US, Canada, and Europe.

SS-281  Conspiracy Theories From the French Revolution to the Present  - (3 Credits)  

This is an interdisciplinary exploration of modern conspiracy theories from the French Revolution to the present. It aims to both provide a better understanding of the growth of conspiracism as a phenomenon as well as provide a historical exploration of the roots and contexts of specific conspiracy theories.

SS-288  Animals:Ethics and Representation  - (3 Credits)  

Debate is ongoing as to how we should behave towards animals and why. Is it wrong to eat them, or to test medicines on them? Can we do moral harm to animals or only physical harm? If we do think we have moral obligation toward animals, what is the ground for these obligations? In this class we will consider questions of ethics, mind, and representation in interrogation the relation between human and non-human animals.

SS-290  Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud  - (3 Credits)  

In this course we will examine our concepts of society, power, value, and desire through reading selected works by Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud. The goal is not to attempt to prove or disprove their many arguments, but to understand those views and the social context that shaped them through a close examination of their works. Special emphasis will be on reading the original texts and attention will be paid to how they went about their critiques as well as the revolutionary consequences that followed --- including those that were often antithetical to their own views and work.

SS-292  Epidemic Disease in History  - (3 Credits)  

Disease has been present throughout human's history and has had a profound effect on people and events. The purpose of this course is to examine these biological agents, their impact on history and to look at society's responses, ranging from magic and religion to science, medicine, and the institution of the modern hospital.

SS-299  Moderation  - (3 Credits)  

\"Moderation\" provides the students with the opportunity to reflect on their studies, identify their interests and begin to focus on the aims and structure of the final two years of their program. Moderation requires students to examine their initial experiences in the program, their goals and their interests, to evaluate their performance and their commitment to a course of study, and to chart their final two years of college with help of a faculty committee.

SS-305  The Visual Culture of Violence  - (3 Credits)  

This class is a conceptual introduction to the visual culture of violence. Our focus will be placed on understanding images of violence as they appear across a range of visual media. Students will engage with and critique various theories of violence in the process of analyzing the appearance of violence in our communities, cultures, and subcultures. Discussion will focus on the impact and meaning of visual images of violence as well as the practices of showing and seeing.

SS-310  Cities Cultures  - (3 Credits)  

Beginning with a brief history of the development of urban collectivities, this course will take a cross-cultural look at the similarities and differences in areas such as concentrations of populations, cultural exchange, social power, centers of government, manufacturing, money management, trade, and religion, among others. The course also examines the issue of power differentials played out over time in spatial arrangement, social control, work, and leisure.

SS-312  Heritage Practices  - (3 Credits)  

This seminar considers heritage in relation to both archaeological sites and natural landscapes that have undergone transformations due to indigenous rights, green politics and international tourism. The course examines the development of key ideas including conservation,wilderness, sustainability, indigenous knowledge, non-renewability, and diversity. This seminar will contextualize World Heritage sites, nongovernmental agencies (NGOs)and public interest projects within contemporary global politics.

SS-314  Piracy and Smuggling on the High Seas  - (3 Credits)  

This course provides a history of piracy and smuggling that cuts through popular myths and identifies how images of \"pirate\" have impacted contemporary culture. Then, turning historically, the course examines piracy and smuggling in comparative American and Asian contexts, first by illustrating how pirates affected, interacted with, and helped establish empires, then by turning to the social and cultural worlds of pirates themselves.

SS-318  Heretics, Bandits and Rebels Perspectives  - (3 Credits)  

Students consider resistance to myriad forms of domination by individuals and groups not represented in conventional historical accounts. The course reviews the historical record, seeking to develop alternative methodologies to reconstruct meaning and power relationships of social and cultural contexts outside the mainstream. The cases examined in the course are drawn from different historical settings, ranging from the heresy of a 16th century miller and cat killing Parisian apprentices under the ancient regime to anti-colonial revolts in the 19th century and Indian and social bandits in the contemporary United States.

SS-319  Karl Marx in Context  - (3 Credits)  

This course will be an exploration of the work of Karl Marx in its social and intellectual context. Students will gain a familiarity with Marx's writings on a wide range of subjects, as well as directly encounter with Marx's work and the many \"Marxisms\" and interpretations of Marx that have emerged since his death. Readings include The German Ideology, The 1844 Manuscripts, Grundrisse, Capital, The Eighteenth Brumaire, and Marx's doctoral dissertation and his Anthropological Notebooks, correspondence, interviews with Marx, and contemporary critical accounts.

SS-320  Gender and Capitalism  - (3 Credits)  

This course explores links between capitalism and gender, race, ethnicity, and immigration, bring into focus the relationship between political economy and the feminist and LGBTQ movements. We examine how the gender binary, the family, the regulation of sexuality, and social-reproductive labor have been linked to private property, labor, and production under capitalism, to the reproduction of class and race relations, and to regimes of migration control.

SS-322  Women in Muslim Worlds  - (3 Credits)  

This course explores the dynamics of gender relationships along historically and geographically diverse Muslim communities. Intellectual and sociological underpinning of women and Islam are discussed to overcome dichotomies such as tradition and modernity, or the East and the West. The practices and experiences of Muslim women are explored as subjects and agents in time and space throughout the globe.

SS-323  Anthropology of the State  - (3 Credits)  

In this class students will take a social scientific approach in analyzing a range of issues related to the concept of the State as it operates in the scope of our everyday lives and around the world. We will draw from classic anthropological and sociological accounts of the state by such figures as A.R. (Anarchy) Brown, Pierre Clastres, Frederick Engels, Philip Abrams, Marshall Sahlins, and David Graeber among others in order to discuss what the state Is. When it emerged, and what life might look like without one

SS-325  Symposium II  - (3 Credits)  

Symposium II offers third year students in Critical and Visual Studies the space to demonstrate their critical practice by taking a significant role in planning for symposium speakers, generating supplemental materials for the reading list, leading small group discussions and presenting symposium material in contemporary and historical context. Each semester the symposium will explore a particular, topic, theme or question. Students in Symposium II will display critical analytic capacity through research, writing and speaking in public forums, framing symposium events and peer mentoring. Students in Symposium II will develop the topic for the following year's symposium.

SS-330  Cultural Studies  - (3 Credits)  

This course explores the relations of cultural artifacts in the contemporary world to their various social contexts. Culture is understood as the material expressions and images that people create and the social environment that shapes the way diverse groups of people experience their world and interact with one another. The course focuses on the critical analysis of these various forms of media, design, mass communications, arts, and popular culture.

SS-332  Public Space  - (3 Credits)  

This course is designed to introduce students, artists, and designers to the key political, social, design and theoretical considerations informing public space. Our focus will be on a broad range of public spaces, from the material to the digital, including publicly owned parks, streets, and sidewalks, privately owned or managed public spaces, temporary spaces at the interstices of the urban, and crowd sourced social media spaces. We will focus on the production of public space including considerations of who constitutes\" the public\" and how struggles over rights, representation and design, are central to democratic politics.

SS-333  Social Justice Think Tank  - (3 Credits)  

In this hands-on class, students will engage with the theory and practice of social justice focusing on struggles in New York City. The goal is to build the capacity of students as critical scholars and engaged artists to become partners in the building of more democratic and equitable communities through reflection and action. Students will experiment with creative interventions and activist research including mapping, street art strategies, photo documentation, video, interviews, and digital technologies.

SS-334  Radical Care and Social Transformation  - (3 Credits)  

This course will discuss care in the context of political struggle and social transformation. Our class will proceed in two parts: first, we will work to untangle the ways in which caring practices are bound up with the domination inherent to capitalist, racialized, gender, ableist and other forms of oppression and exploitation. In the second half of the course, we will dedicate ourselves to imagining and studying transformative practices and possibilities of radical care in times of crisis and transition.

SS-336  The Interpretation of Dreams  - (3 Credits)  

This course interprets dreams. To that end, we will read large parts of Sigmund Freud's Interpretation of Dreams and discuss the intellectual and cultural environment in which Freud wrote his magnum opus. But we will not stop there and discuss philosophers and social theorists and their take on Freud and psychoanalysis. How come a theory that had next to no influence on academic psychology became the dominant understanding of psychological thinking in the cultural sphere? Why are we so keen on interpreting our dreams? And ultimately, what does it mean to dream, and can we make our dreams politically relevant?

SS-339  I Heart/Break New York: Gentrification & Urban Change  - (3 Credits)  

Gentrification is the talk of the town. But what exactly is gentrification? What produces it? And where do you fit in? This class will focus on gentrification as a process of urban change, considering its contemporary manifestations in cities around the world. Course topics will include an overview of the history of urban development and housing policy, structural racism, community development, \"the Right to the City,\" and grassroots social movements. We will explore New York as a case study, documenting the stories that shape people's everyday struggles living in one of the world's \"global cities\" through readings, discussion, film, multimedia, archival research, oral histories, and new digital technologies

SS-340  Middle Eastern Society and Culture  - (3 Credits)  

An examination the society and culture of the Middle East - the countries and peoples between and including Egypt and Iran - from historical, social, and political perspectives. The first half of the course examines the Islamic heritage, the socioeconomic structure of the region, the impact of imperialism, and the rise of nationalism. The second half focuses upon states, political movements and social structure in the region, from independence to the present.

SS-343  Latin American Society  - (3 Credits)  

This course explores Latin American society from the discovery/conquest of the Americas to the present situation of Latin Americans on both continents. Central to the course will be the condition of pre-conquest indigenous cultures; the dynamics of colonialism; independence and nationalist movements; inter-American relations and contemporary issues of bilingualism, popular culture, and politics.

SS-350  Technology and the Future of Work  - (3 Credits)  

How will computers and automation affect our work lives? This course will examine the economics of technological change, the social and economic effects of automation, and the responses of unions and other forces to these important changes.

SS-351  Abnormal Psychology  - (3 Credits)  

Different theoretical approaches and empirical studies of causes, symptoms, and treatment of abnormal patterns of behavior are at the core of this class. We discuss the problems and advantages of creating a classification scheme for abnormal behavior including the major diagnostic categories and review of the more common patterns of abnormal behavior. We investigate how such disorders arise from subtle interactions between organic,psychological predispositions and social classifications.

SS-355  Mass Media and Society  - (3 Credits)  

An examination of the psychological impact of the modern mass media. Basic models of communication, persuasion, motivation, and attitude formation are presented and applied to the study of the effects of the media on mental and emotional development and on the formation of social attitudes. The course also examines the social implication of the effects of commercial and political propaganda and the \"marketing\" of political figures as well as the social consequences of the development of a \"post-literate\" society.

SS-356  Visual Analysis  - (3 Credits)  

This hands-on course introduces students to the methods and practice of visual analysis. We will examine how people understand images and how they create, circulate, and store (or destroy) visual imagery. The rise of racial capitalism and visualities of resistance will be our guiding threads as we trace and interrogate the emergence of media formats, technologies of vision, forms of spectacle and collecting, taboo images and their mass consumption in a global context across historical periods. In addition to a final project, students will conduct visual ethnographies of New York City and curate an online social media archive.

SS-357  Psychology of Gender/Sex Roles  - (3 Credits)  

An exploration of a variety of issues relating to human sexual behavior from theoretical, biological, and social perspectives. Sexual development, sex roles, and gender identity (how we see ourselves as male or female) will be discussed.

SS-358  Environmental Psychology  - (3 Credits)  

This course offers a broad overview of the interdisciplinary field of environmental psychology. We will focus upon the dynamic relationship between people and places in order to understand how our behavior and cultural values shape our environment, and how, in turn, our surroundings affect us. The course will explore the environments where we live, work and play, with a particular focus on the built environment and the role of design in producing social spaces.

SS-359  Cognitive Psychology  - (3 Credits)  

Cognitive psychology is the empirical study of longstanding questions about what we know, how we know it - and how our knowledge is structured, accessed, and used. This course examines the theory, research, and methods of classic and contemporary.

SS-361  Drug, Arms and War  - (3 Credits)  

This course is an investigation into the role of \"drugs\" in world history and in contemporary societies with an emphasis on the connections between drugs, modern empires, covert operation and war.

SS-366  The Caribbean Experience  - (3 Credits)  

This is a survey course on the historical interrelations between African-Americans and people of the Caribbean, from the advent of colonial North America to the postcolonial period. This course will offer an interdisciplinary view of the economic and social-political relations between these two regions of the African Diaspora, discussing their parallel development during and after slavery as well as their parallel relationships to European colonizers and to slave resistance and other intercollaborating social movements.

SS-367  Cultural Psychology  - (3 Credits)  

Culture is a difficult and loosely defined concept. Yet, we refer to culture in our everyday conversations to explain our own behavior and that of others. In this course we will look at culture from a psychological perspective and examine the relationship of culture with emotions, ways of meaning-making, sameness and difference, as well as feelings of belongingness and identity.

SS-368  Language, Culture, and Discourse Theory  - (3 Credits)  

This is an interdisciplinary course, which blends linguistics, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and political thought for the purpose of exploring the concept of 'language' and its role in the social sciences. Moving through the intellectual traditions of structuralism, social anthropology, Marxism, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and poststructuralism, students develop an understanding of what discourse is and how it functions in social life.

SS-369  Perception And Creativity  - (3 Credits)  

Students examine the ways in which our perception and creativity are shaped by personal experience and social environment. Students also discuss the visual arts, music, and dance from the perspective of contemporary theories of individual creative expression, culture, and communication.

SS-370  Hip Hop Culture  - (3 Credits)  

Hip Hop is one of the most influential cultural movements of the past 30 years, yet its origins are relatively humble. Drawing upon historical, sociological and philosophical writings, as well as music and film, we will examine this phenomenon's unlikely rise to global recognition. Topics of investigation would include: Hip Hop vs. Rap; popular culture vs. mass culture; regionalism and mobility; the civic value of art; race and gender in artistic expression; the politics of provocation; and deliberative democracy.

SS-382  Politics of Climate Change  - (3 Credits)  

Climate change is transforming both physical and intellectual landscapes. It is destabilizing ecological and political systems and raising new problems for existing debates about the relationship between markets, political structures, and the natural world. In this course we first strive to understand the realities of climate change by surveying relevant scientific and sociological literature. We then attempt to assess the situation critically, considering how and why the problem arose, which individuals, institutions, and structures share responsibility for it, and what sort of political response is called for. We review how thinkers from various political traditions-liberal, cosmopolitan, ecosocialist, anarchist, postcolonial, and others-have answered these questions, and develop our own positions on effective and just ways of addressing the issue.

SS-391  Child And Adolescent Development  - (3 Credits)  

Theories of development from infancy through adolescence are critiqued through readings in psychology and literature, formal observations, and personal experiences. Learning and environmental factors such as gender, race, disability, and economics in the home, school, and community are included in the discussion. Students consider language acquisition and literacy development, sexuality, and cultural identity development.

SS-404  African Cinema  - (3 Credits)  

This is a course on African modernity through an exploration of African Cinema and globalizing African cities. Using African cinema as our entree, we will explore the idea of the postcolonial city and the impact of modernization on urban Africa. How has the circulation of people, capital and commodities affected urban life in African societies. In turn, how is African cosmopolitanism transforming spaces within national borders, as well as outside Africa? Students will be expected to watch films, do all the readings, participate in class discussions, and present a final paper.

SS-409  Walking New York  - (3 Credits)  

This course explores the history, ecology and future of New York City. Its central focus will be environmental and historical inquiries into the idea of the city. Participants will also read and discuss ideas about the city that have emerged in the wake of the destruction of the World Trade Center and Hurricane Sandy. Using ethnography and fieldwork as tools of inquiry, students will study emerging concerns, theories and ideas about the future of New York City. In the process, we will also consider current international developments and their implications for the future of cities. This course will culminate in a series of creative and, scholarly explorations focusing on the idea of the city.

SS-411  Concepts of Materiality  - (3 Credits)  

Drawing on distinct but overlapping art historical and archaeological methodologies, intersecting with philosophy, anthropology, and the history of science, this seminar examines the many ways that objects, things and matter are thought to hold meaning, memory and history. Tracing the evolution of the concept of materialism through time and across various disciplines the course will focus on the idea of the immanent and nonlinear nature of materialisms as well as the ways in which embodied subjectivities can be conceptualized and materialized. This course will hesitate in the space between the formations of these theories, particularly in light of new materialisms, and,matter, itself, never inert or static but always in the process of becoming.

SS-412  Art, Culture and Community Development  - (3 Credits)  

This course will provide students with the historical, conceptual, and analytical background as well as the interdisciplinary perspective that they would need to work in the field of arts-based community development. The first part of the class will be devoted to reviewing the historical role of arts in social movements and urban planning efforts. Then the focus will be on evaluating and analyzing the divergent roles of arts and design in contemporary urban and community development using case studies

SS-415  Contemporary Political Populism  - (3 Credits)  

What is populism? Who are the \"people\"? What are the \"elites\" who are allegedly keeping the \"people\" down? How can the language of populism be used by individuals and institutions from all across the political spectrum advocating for, and fighting against, all sorts of different, and sometimes contradictory, things? And why have invocations of this sort of language proven to be so useful politically, especially in recent years? This course will take a hard look at these questions about populism, and will compare and contrast various forms of populism around the globe.

SS-416  Representing the Real  - (3 Credits)  

The course will examine the political, historical, material, and ethical aspects of representation. In particular, it will interrogate the idea of documentary as a disinterested reproduction of a neutral reality, making students aware of the rhetorical and social forces always at work in representation and presenting the documentarian as a politically engaged citizen rather than a detached, objective observer. Over the course of the semester, students will build on theory and examples to develop a detailed critical proposal for a documentary project.

SS-417  Media Ecologies  - (3 Credits)  

This course introduces students to modes of perceiving and engaging with media circuits within a global context. It exposes students to critical visual methods and social media methodologies as they learn to analyze and think about the embedment of media forms in everyday life. The course will compel students to historicize media practices and attend to their configurations in the praxis, thus facilitating students' abilities to harness their critical thinking, reading, research, and writing skills. In drawing from frameworks in critical visual studies, students will gain deep awareness of the ways that media circulate within communities and transform modes of sociality within diverse lifeworlds.

SS-418  The Psychology of Everyday Life  - (3 Credits)  

Students in this course will put theory into practice and methodology into action. Together we will explore how to apply psychological knowledge, methods, and discourse to investigate real-world issues within communities. With the help of the instructor, students are guided through a research project to enhance their project management, digital literacy, and peer feedback skills.

SS-420  Islamic Philosophy  - (3 Credits)  

This course is an introduction to Islamic thought and philosophy of the classical and medieval periods and how it relates to broader trends in human thought.

SS-421  Merchants,Scholars, and Mystics: Islam In Martitime Asia  - (3 Credits)  

This course follows the spread of Islam beyond empires-across the Indian Ocean to South and Southeast Asia, regions that today are home to more than a quarter of the world's Muslims. Beginning at the time of the Prophet Muhammad, the course charts the role of maritime merchants, scholars, and Sufi mystics in creating this critically important and diverse sphere of the Islamic world to the present day. Today these regions contain the world's largest Muslim democracy and some of the emerging Asian economies that play increasingly influential roles in shaping our world.

SS-422  Great Port Cities of the World  - (3 Credits)  

This course examines great port cities of the world in comparative fashion. We will look at well-known cities such as New York, Venice, Amsterdam, and Shanghai, as well as less visible ones from early modern times to the present. In analyzing port cities as thoroughfares of transnational traffic, we will focus on people, goods, ships, communities, and political relations that have evolved in these intense and creative hubs of human activity.

SS-423  Merchants, Trade, and Empire  - (3 Credits)  

This course will look at the circulation, innovation, and interaction of societies in the Indian Ocean littoral via networks stretching across Eurasia and Africa from Nagasaki to Course Description: London, Bombay to Istanbul, Zanzibar to Venice.

SS-424  Who Built New York CIty?  - (3 Credits)  

From the pre-European settlers, early English and Dutch colonizers, the great wave of European immigration in the late 19th and early 20th Century, to contemporary global and diverse immigrant groups, this course will examine the physical and material characteristics of the environment that preceded and followed the arrival of each group to the areas that now constitute New York City.

SS-425  Symposium III  - (3 Credits)  

Symposium III offers seniors in Critical and Visual Studies the space to organize and take leadership in the process of critical inquiry. Rising seniors will take significant responsibility for selecting the topic, doing the necessary research, planning, inviting scholars and artists, and/or arranging for presentations relevant to the Symposium topic. They will take the lead in preparing all students for Symposium events, by presenting the readings, placing these in a social, scholarly or creative framework, and facilitating small group discussions. Each semester the symposium will explore a particular, topic, theme or question. Students in Symposium III will assist peers in developing critical analytic capacity through research, writing and speaking in public forums, learning to frame symposium events and passing along necessary skills and details for planning the symposium.

SS-430  Methods Of Cultural Analysis  - (3 Credits)  

Provides a grounding in some of the basic skills of the analysis of culture: archeological, ethnographic, experimental, historiographical, survey, discursive and visually analytical. The concrete objects of study, the data, and the examples for class exercises are drawn from specific design, media, arts, communications, and popular culture sources. Students gain familiarity with computer applications of data analysis and use of video for data collection, as well as sensitivity to the conceptual issues raised in translating information between pictures, words, and numbers.

SS-431  Ancient Bodies/Ancient Cities  - (3 Credits)  

This course explores the constitution of the self within the ancient city. The focus will be on Ancient South Asia, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. Topics explored will include theories of the body, space, and how the built environment effects constructions of an urban self and subjectivity

SS-433  Community-Based Praxis  - (3 Credits)  

This course is designed to introduce students, artists, and designers to the theory, methods and ethics of community-based participatory research and social practice. Participatory action research (PAR) is an epistemological stance that assumes knowledge is rooted in social relations and most powerful when produced collaboratively through action. This commitment is shared by social practice artists who collaborate with communities in their work. In this class students will gain the necessary skills and knowledge to integrate community-based research into their artistic practice, scholarship, and everyday life.

SS-434  Social Justice Praxis Lab  - (3 Credits)  

Focusing on the fine arts of resistance, this class is situated at the overlap of social justice and social practice. Collectively we will consider the possibilities and limitations of an engaged artistic and design practice through case studies, lectures, workshops, and reflections upon our own public interventions. Our explorations will integrate theoretical investigation with critical methodological approaches, engaging personal and political perspectives. Placing emphasis upon collective process and community-building as foundational to social justice and social practice work, students will develop a final public project.

SS-441  Contemporary Jazz Avant-Garde  - (3 Credits)  

This course examines the contemporary avant-garde jazz scene from its roots in the 1990s. During the final decade of the twentieth century, the Knitting Factory rose and fell as the global center for new and avant garde jazz music. Since then much of the scene has shifted to Brooklyn, where it has been carried forward by an exciting young generation of musicians from Park Slope and Ditmas Park to Bushwick. This course examines the history of key figures of the 1990s \"Downtown\" scene and the generation that followed.

SS-450  Junior Research Seminar: Critical and Visual Studies  - (3 Credits)  

This course is designed to center research methodologies and technologies for students interested in Critical and Visual Studies, enabling them to conduct independent, rigorous research as a pathway to their senior projects. The course weaves multiple research concerns: oral and written communication, critical analysis, qualitative reasoning and information literacy.

SS-453  Professionalization Workshop  - (3 Credits)  

How does Critical and Visual Studies translate into the real world? This semester-long course provide the space for students in the program to professionalize themselves, introducing the task of thinking about life after graduation and offering some ways and means to make that task less daunting. We will expose possibilities in the academic, research, art, marketing, curating, social and behavioral science as well as the applied humanities fields; overall, the idea of this seminar is to invite students to research their interests and options for life after Pratt.

SS-460  Modern Political Thought  - (3 Credits)  

Students discuss central concepts in political thought such as sovereignty, natural law, liberty, equality, and progress with an eye to their impact on the formulation of ideologies, such as Fascism, Communism, and Democracy.

SS-461  International Politics  - (3 Credits)  

The course covers the modern state system, factors affecting American and foreign national policies, causes and control of international conflict, and the emergence of world order.

SS-462  Life and Society in Russia and The USSR  - (3 Credits)  

Examines historical developments in 20th century Russia, from the decline and fall of Czarist Russia to the October Revolution of 1917, through the rise and fall of the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin and their successors, to the contemporary post-Soviet period of Russia and the successor states.

SS-463  Women in Modern Society  - (3 Credits)  

The course begins with a brief historical survey of the role of women in the Western world, proceeds to a discussion of the women's suffrage movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and concludes with a study of the current women's liberation movement.

SS-469  The Human-Animal Relationship  - (3 Credits)  

To what extent does \"the animal\" challenge central assumptions about what it means to be human? This course probes how the modern condition enables the alienation of humans from humans and from nonhuman animal beings. We use ethnographic methods to examine the human-animal relationship in practice, addressing the treatment of animals as pets, for food and entertainment, and in commerce and science. How do these practices shape human-animal futures, knowing many creatures face extinction today?

SS-480  Africa: Society and History  - (3 Credits)  

From the emergence of early humans to contemporary developments, this course takes the measure of African history, culture, and political economy. The first half of the course surveys the archeological, anthropological, and historical record, and the second half explores current events and thematics. Africa is explored in its internal diversity and its international relations.

SS-483  Special Studies (Copenhagen)  - (3 Credits)  

This study abroad program is a seven- or nine-week summer program consisting of a three-credit lecture series on various aspects of the history, theory and practice of Scandinavian design and the philosophical, economic and political factors that are affecting the practice of design in a global context.

SS-485  African-American Society and Culture  - (3 Credits)  

An exploration of the historical, political, economic and cultural experience of African-Americans in the United States from slavery to the present. Special attention is given to contemporary race relations, media representations, social policy, and diversity within African-American communities.

SS-490  Special Topics  - (3 Credits)  

Special topic offerings in the social sciences focus on areas of topical interest and current faculty research. They allow a place in the curriculum for more concentrated study in traditional fields as well as reconceptualization of existing modes of understanding the social world. The subject matter of these courses changes from semester to semester as a reflection of new scholarly developments and the emerging interests of the students and faculty. SS-490 count in the same way as any other social science elective. Since schedules ant topics change frequently, students should seek information on current SS-490 offerings from the Chair of the Social Science and Cultural Studies Department.

SS-491  Special Topics  - (1 Credit)  

Special topic offerings in the social sciences focus on areas of topical interest and current faculty research. They allow a place in the curriculum for more concentrated study in traditional fields as well as reconceptualization of existing modes of understanding the social world. The subject matter of these courses changes from semester to semester as a reflection of new scholarly developments and the emerging interests of the students and faculty. SS-491 count in the same way as any other social science elective. Since schedules ant topics change frequently, students should seek information on current SS-491 offerings from the Chair of the Social Science and Cultural Studies Department.

SS-492  Special Topics  - (2 Credits)  

Special topic offerings in the social sciences focus on areas of topical interest and current faculty research. They allow a place in the curriculum for more concentrated study in traditional fields as well as reconceptualization of existing modes of understanding the social world. The subject matter of these courses changes from semester to semester as a reflection of new scholarly developments and the emerging interests of the students and faculty. SS 492 count in the same way as any other social science elective. Since schedules ant topics change frequently, students should seek information on current SS-492 offerings from the Chair of the Social Science and Cultural Studies Department.

SS-493  Special Topics  - (3 Credits)  

Special topic offerings in the social sciences focus on areas of topical interest and current faculty research. They allow a place in the curriculum for more concentrated study in traditional fields as well as reconceptualization of existing modes of understanding the social world. The subject matter of these courses changes from semester to semester as a reflection of new scholarly developments and the emerging interests of the students and faculty. SS-493 counts in the same way as any other social science elective. Since schedules ant topics change frequently, students should seek information on current SS-493 offerings from the Chair of the Social Science and Cultural Studies Department.

SS-493K  Special Studies  - (3 Credits)  
SS-510  Controversies in Cultural Theory  - (3 Credits)  

This is an interdisciplinary seminar that explores theoretical and conceptual issues of common concern to both architecture and liberal arts. It focuses on bodies of twentieth century cultural and social theory that can be said to have developed an ideology of space, viewed both as a notion of habitat and as a vision of urban utopianism.

SS-537  Globalization: The Contemporary World Economy  - (3 Credits)  

Examines the current processes and features of global integration and division. It focuses on the emergence over the past decade of what has been called the \"new world order.\" Particular attention is paid to the differential impact across regions and nations of international, political,and economic institutions and arrangements; and on work, governments, social movements, and public life.

SS-560  Space and Power  - (3 Credits)  

Concentrates on some of the most important contemporary writings on space, new social movements, identity, and the body. The readings are drawn from sociology, geography, architecture, cultural studies, and feminism. It uses these perspectives to understand how the present can be conceptualized, with particular attention to the question of power - how it is to be thought of, questioned, desired, and resisted.