Advanced Special Topics (390’s and 490’s) Spring 2021

Spring 2021 Offerings

Courses numbered in the 390’s and 490’s are offered only once or twice and focus on a specialized topic. These courses are rarely appropriate for first-year students.

Please consult WebAdvisor for the days, times, and locations of these sections.

Module 1 – January 19 through February 11, 2021

CMPSC 390 M0, Cryptocurrency Engineering and Applications
Abbreviated Title: Cryptocurrency Engineering
Professor Jumadinova
Credits: 4
A study of the design and implementation of cryptocurrencies using blockchain technologies. In addition to examining the ethics and mechanics behind cryptocurrencies, students develop and evaluate applications of Bitcoin and investigate its cultural context. This course will not involve trading of cryptocurrencies. Using state-of-the-art technology and in collaboration with Art 387, students complete projects, reporting on their results through both written documents and oral presentations. Students are invited to use their own departmentally approved laptop in this course; a limited number of laptops are available for use during class and lab sessions.
Prerequisites: CMPSC 101

ENVSC 390 M0, Black Environmentalisms Matter
 Professor Byrnes
Credits: 4
A study of Black environmental art and culture in the contemporary US, in which students explore how creative forms can both diagnose past and present conditions and imagine more just futures. Methodologies from the arts and humanities, including historical and textual analysis, frame students’ investigation of Black writers, artists, and activists who represent the intersections of race, colonialism, and environment. Texts span a range of genres including fiction, photography, and other narrative forms as students apply critical lenses to the ongoing emergencies of environmental injustice.
Must be taken on the letter-grade basis.
Prerequisites: ENVSC 110

ENVSC 391 M0, Human-Carnivore Coexistence in a Changing World
Abbreviated Title: Human-Carnivore Coexistence
Professor Pearce
Credits: 4
A study of human-carnivore coexistence in both an historical context and modern-day conservation. Students investigate if growing human populations and expanding anthropogenic activities can coadapt with wildlife in a sustainable manner. Students explore social constructions of wildlife and identify trends in human attitudes and societal organization that influence human-wildlife relationships and affect conservation. Students review potential strategies to mitigate human-wildlife conflict.
Must be taken on the letter-grade basis.
Prerequisites: ENVSC 110 or BIO 220

POLSC 390 M0, Voting Rights and Political Participation
Abbreviated Title: Voting Rights
Professor Williams
Credits: 4
A study of voting rights and participation in the United States. We begin with a focus on historical fights for voting rights. We consider the US system in comparative perspective to understand how our political system shapes voting rates and participatory culture. We examine contemporary challenges to voting rights in the United States and consider how various political reforms could increase voting participation. Finally, we study the use and effectiveness of other kinds of political participation in US politics. In doing so, we consider how citizens can influence the political system to address their interests and concerns.
Prerequisites: None

PSYCH 390 M0, Digital Mental Health
Professor Stanger
Credits: 4
An exploration of current research and theory on tech-based prevention and intervention programs for psychological disorders. Students investigate the burgeoning field of digital mental health, examine the evidence-base of specific digital mental health programs, engage in critical analysis of relevant literature comparing in-person to digital mental health services, and consider ethical issues for current tech-based programs including privacy and accessibility. Experiential learning is emphasized through student testing of app-based mental health promotion programs and the generation of research proposals for new app-based mental health tools.
Prerequisites: PSYCH 206 and one of PSYCH 170 or PSYCH 172

SPAN 490 M0, Afro-Latinx Narratives and Civilization
Abbreviated Title: Afro-Latinx Narratives
Professor Scerbo
Credits: 4
A close examination of a variety of texts produced by or about people of African descent with identity connections to Latin America. Through the study of the cultural expressions of Blackness throughout different regions of Latin America, students consider the relationship that social and historical processes such as national sovereignty and colonialism have on narrative production. Students continue to develop close reading skills and language proficiency as they analyze a range of power dynamics as represented in different cultural texts of the Afro-Latinx community.
Prerequisites: Three 300-level courses in Spanish

Module 2 – February 22 through May 17, 202                                

ENVSC 393 00, Extractive Environments
 Professor Swann-Quinn
Credits: 4
An exploration of the extractive industries through the social sciences. Students investigate why people extract natural resources from our environments, and what happens when we do. Together we review interdisciplinary social science case studies related to the extractive industries including mineral and metal mining, fossil fuel drilling, timber harvesting, and more. Topics include the uneven ecological effects, geopolitical relations, economic forces, and social consequences of these industries, with a focus on international discussions of justice, equity, and intersectional difference.
Prerequisites: ENVSC 110

FRNCH 390 00, Cinema and Pop Culture: Watching Diversity in Postcolonial and Contemporary France
 Abbreviated Title: French Cinema and Pop Culture
Professor Chebinou
Credits: 4
An investigation of second and third generation immigrants’ experiences in French cinematic and visual performances (hip hop, stand-up comedy, and soccer). Students explore the challenges faced by the descendants of immigrants using concepts such as gender, resistance, affect, and national identity. While experiences of a contemporary and multiethnic France in the underprivileged banlieue-projects is the main focus, students also examine earlier representations of those concepts in postcolonial film, to show how cinematographers and performers focus on the French republic to critically examine France and its colonial legacies.
Prerequisites: FRNCH 305

GHS 391, Climate and Health
Professor Waggett
Credits: 4
An exploration of the direct and indirect impacts on human health due to our changing climate. Students review the foundations of climate science and examine ways in which atmospheric changes can result in the increased prevalence and altered distribution of a range of human health outcomes, such as rates of infectious diseases and reduced nutritional status. Students focus on comparative impacts within the US and across the globe, with an emphasis on health equity, vulnerable populations, migration, social stability, and global security. Pathways for mitigation, adaptation, and developing resilient communities and work sectors are also considered. This course will count as a “Science and Environment” course for the GHS major and minor.
Prerequisites: GHS 130

PSYCH 490 00, Intercultural Mental Health
Professor Chowdhury
Credits: 4
A study of issues related to mental health through the lens of different cultural practices and standards in
different ethnic groups in the US and around the globe. We explore societal stigma associated with mental
illness on a cultural level and further investigate how elements of power, privilege, and difference impact
the access and availability of mental health services across different ethnic groups. We also explore
culture-specific forms of mental illness which are unique only in certain cultural groups around the world.
Lastly, we delineate the notion of ethnocentric bias in conducting research and interpreting findings and
build knowledge that enhances our cultural competency.
Prerequisites: PSYCH 206 and one of PSYCH 160, PSYCH 162, PSYCH 170, or PSYCH 172.

PSYCH 491, Psychology of the BIPOC Experience
Abbreviated Title: Psychology of BIPOC Experience
Professor Gonzalez
Credits: 4
An examination of a broad spectrum of theory, research, and practice that focuses on the study of the psychosocial experience of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the United States. Some of the themes addressed include: historical and philosophical foundations and research paradigms of BIPOC psychology, BIPOC personality and identity, dispelling racist notions of education and intelligence, and the psychosocial implications of current BIPOC popular culture.
Prerequisites: PSYCH 110, PSYCH 160, PSYCH 162, PSYCH 164, PSYCH 170, PSYCH 172, or PSYCH 178.