Curriculum

Thematic Minors. These interdisciplinary minors consist of five related humanities and social sciences courses that address a common theme. The currently available thematic minors are as follows:

  • international and cross-cultural perspectives
  • literature and the arts
  • science, technology and society
  • war studies
  • gender and sexuality studies (see below for more information)
  • biology, behavior and society (see below for more information)

The list of courses in each of the thematic minors, as well as other information about them, is available from the chair of the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Disciplinary Minors. These minors consist of five courses in one of the disciplinary areas in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, such as anthropology, history, sociology, literature, philosophy and political science. A list of disciplinary areas, as well as other information about these minors, is available from the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Student-Designed Minors. Students propose these minors through the office of the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences to a faculty committee for approval. The proposal lists the courses that students will take for their minor and articulates the coherence among the courses. Students are encouraged to design their minor in collaboration with a faculty advisor in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences. Guidelines for developing and submitting a proposal for a student-designed minor are available from the department office.

Minor Portfolio. Under the guidance of a faculty adviser in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, students completing one of the above minors will compile a portfolio that represents their learning experience in the minor. The portfolio will be completed within the appropriately designated 499 Humanities/Social Sciences Minor Portfolio, a 0-credit hour course under the direction of the student’s minor adviser in the department. Students must receive a P in the minor portfolio in order to complete the requirements for the minor. Additional information about the minor portfolio is available from the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences office (Snell 265).

Sample Courses:

ANTHROPOLOGY

ANTH200

Introduction to Culture and Society

ANTH370

Environment, Technology and Society

ANTH201

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

ANTH380

Drugs, Guns, Spices

ANTH220

Understanding the Americas

ANTH381

Consumption and Culture

ANTH225

Global Perspectives on Sexuality                                 

ANTH385

Food and Society

ANTH230

Introduction to Race and Ethnicity

ANTH390-99

Special Topics

ANTH320

Racial Inequality in the U.S.

HIST391

ST: Contemporary Issues in Social Problems

ANTH325

Sex and Commerce

ANTH395

ST: Global Forces, Local Outcomes

ANTH330

Men and Masculinities

ANTH485

Advanced Topics

ANT332

Cities and Social Justice

ANTH490

Independent Study

ANTH351

Global Forces, Local Outcomes

ANTH581

Consumption and Culture

 

FILM STUDIES

ANTH585

Advanced Topics

FILM226

Short Film Screenwriting

ANTH586

Food and Society or What to Think About What You Eat

FILM240

Films from Fiction

FILM344

History of Art & Animation

FILM322

The Hollywood Cinema

FILM490-497

Independent Study

FILM340

World in a Frame

FILM499

Minor Portfolio

 

HISTORY STUDIES

HIST210

Ancient History Survey

HIST343

War in the Middle Ages

HIST220

America: 1776-1877

HIST345

The Civil War

HIST221

America: 1877 to the Present

HIST346

America: 1790-1850

HIST230

Science and Society

HIST347

World War I in History and Literature

HIST240

War and Society

HIST348

World War II: The European Theater

HIST241

War Literature I

HIST349

Cold War History: 1945-1955

HIST250

History of 20th Century Germany

HIST350

History of Nazi Germany

HIST320

Medicine & Society in America                                 

HIST351

History of the Holocaust

HIST323

War Literature II

HIST352

European History: 1789-1914

HIST325

Sexuality & Health in America History

HIST353

Medicine and Medical Ethics During the Third Reich

HIST326

Modern Sex: Sexualities and Genders in in Modern America

HIST354

The Construction of Nazi Germany

HIST327

History of Women & Gender in America

HIST355

Secret War: Codebreaking & the Clandestine Services in WWII

HIST328

History of Gender and Sexuality in the Transatlantic World

HIST356

Nazi Germany at War

HIST329

History of the American Family

HIST360

Voices of the Past

   

HIST380

Middle Ages & Renaissance Survey

HIST331

Ancient Medicine & Magic

HIST390-99

Special Topics

HIST332

Documenting Social Activism

HIST391

ST: Medieval Survey

HIST333

Science, Technology & Society in the Renaissance

HIST398

The Virtual Past: Local History goes Digital

HIST334

Crime and Gender in Early Modern Europe

HIST459

Neuroscience and Society

HIST335

History of Medicine in Europe and North America

HIST485

Advanced Topics

HIST338

Women, Gender and Science in American History

HIST490

Independent Study

HIST340

Warfare in Ancient Greece

   

HIST342

War and Gender

   

 

HUMANITIES

     

HSS120

Introducing Liberal Arts

HSS480

Majors Research Seminar

 

LITERATURE

   

LIT200

Introduction to Literature

LIT326

Contemporary American Fiction

LIT220

American Literature I

LIT327

American Drama

LIT221

American Literature II

LIT328

African-American Literature

LIT225

American Short Story

LIT329

Modern & Contemporary African American Fiction

LIT229

American Weird Fiction

LIT335

Violence and Reconciliation

LIT230

Monsters in the House

LIT343

The Novel: Love, Marriage and Adultery

LIT235

Science Fiction

LIT380

Shakespeare

LIT250

World Literature

LIT385

Modern Drama

LIT251

Understanding Vietnam

LIT390-99

Special Topics

LIT253

Greek Mythology

LIT421

Contemporary American Poetry

LT255

Ethnic Literature

LIT430

American Autobiography

LIT260

Introduction to Poetry

LIT485

Advanced Topics

LIT265

Creative Writing

LIT499

Minor Portfolio

LIT320

Modern American Novel

   

LIT323

American War Fiction

   

LIT324

Literature of American Popular Music

   

LIT325

American Short Story

   

 

PHILOSOPHY

   

PHIL200

Philosophy & Contemporary Issues

PHIL341

Professional Ethics

PHIL201

History of Western Philosophy

PHIL370

Environmental Ethics

PHIL240

Contemporary Moral Issues

PHIL390-99

Special Topics

PHIL241

Medical Ethics

PHIL405

Sustainability Theory and Practice: A Critical Assessment

PHIL243

Business Ethics

PHIL410

Where the Wild Things Are: Environmental Philosophy and the Emergence of the Ecosphere

PHIL310

World Religions & Contemporary Issues

PHIL485

Advanced Topics

PHIL330

Logic for Critical Thinking

PHIL490

Independent Study

 

POLITICAL SCIENCE

   

POL220

American Politics

POL355

Women and Politics

POL240

Causes of War

POL375

Environmental Law

POL250

Politics in Cross-National Perspective

POL380

The Law and Bioethics

POL251

Introduction to International Politics

POL390-99

Special Topics

POL301

Political Theory

POL391

American Foreign Policy

POL302

Contemporary Political Theory

POL392

ST: Campaigns, Elections and Voting Behavior

POL320

The American Political Tradition                                 

POL394

ST: Intro to International Relations

POL335

Violence and Reconciliation

POL400

Constitutional Law

POL350

International Development and Social

Change

POL490/497

Independent Study

POL351

Globalization

POL499

Minor Portfolio

POL355

Women and Politics

POL440

The Business of War

POL362

Human Rights Law and Politics

POL470/570

Environmental Policy

POL370

Close and Contested Elections

POL471/571

Energy Policy

POL372

Biofuel & Farm Policy

POL485

Advanced Topics

POL374

Environmental Political Theory

POL490

Independent Study

 

SOCIOLOGY

   

SOC200

Introduction to Culture and Society

SOC385

Food & Society or What to Think About What You Eat

SOC201

Introduction to Society

SOC390-99

Special Topics

SOC310

Women & Religion

SOC393

ST: Sociology of Popular Culture

SOC330

Health, Wealth, Inequality and the Environment

SOC470

Environmental Policy

SOC350

International Development & Social Change

SOC485

Advanced Topics

SOC351

Globalization

SOC490

Independent Study

SOC372

Biofuel and Farm Policy

   

 

SOCIAL SCIENCES

   

HSS120

Introducing Liberal Arts

SS380

Research Methods

SS220

Introduction to Gender

SS390-99

Special Topics

SS221

Introduction to Sexuality

SS485

Advanced Topics

SS230

Introduction to Human Geography

   

SS320

Social and Political Issues in the Adirondacks

   
                   

 

Knowledge areas: CGI: Contemporary and Global Issues; EC: Economics and Organizations; STS: Science, Technology and Society; CSO: Cultures and Societies; IA: Imaginative Arts; IG: Individual and Group Behavior 

UNIV indicates a University Course and C1/C2 refers to Communication Points.

Minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies

All students choosing a minor in gender and sexuality studies must complete 15 credit hours (five courses) and satisfy the following requirements:

1. Either SS220 Introduction to Gender or SS221 Introduction to Sexuality

2. Four of the following gender and sexuality studies courses (approved as of July 2016):

Either SS220 or SS221 (whichever one was not taken to satisfy requirement 1)

ANTH225 Global Perspectives on Sexuality

ANTH325 Sex and Commerce

ANTH330 Men & Masculinities

HIST326 Modern Sex: Sexualities and Genders in Modern America

HIST327 History of Women and Gender in America

HIST328 History of Gender and Sexuality in the Transatlantic World

HIST329 History of the American Family

HIST338 Women, Gender and Science in American History

HIST342 War and Gender: The Modern Period

LIT240 Gender and Popular Culture

POL355 Women and Politics

SOC310 Women and Religion

SOC330 Health, Wealth, Inequality and the Environment

SS499 0-credit Minor Portfolio, as required of the other minors in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences.

 

Minor in Biology, Behavior and Society (BiBS)

A diverse group of disciplines attempt to document and explain the origins and functions of human cognition, social behavior and social organization. Anthropology, biology, economics, history, psychology and sociology each include a disciplinary focus on the origins and current consequences of individual and group behavior and social outcomes. However, among disciplines — and even within disciplines — there is disagreement about the relative importance of genes, natural environment, individual rational choice and sociocultural construction on individual and group behavior, cultures and social institutions. Historical views have ranged from strong biopsychological determinism, to environmental determinism and individual rational choice, to strong sociocultural determinism. Views on the origins and current functions of behavior, culture and society can and often do affect social policy; extreme views have provided the intellectual rationale for eugenics, racism, sexism, imperialism, laissez-faire capitalism, and collectivization and cultural revolution. On a positive note, interdisciplinary progress in understanding the origins and functions of human behavior, cultures and societies has contributed to progressive reforms in the areas of mental health, public health, laws and criminal justice, education, intercultural understanding, and programs to provide economic and social opportunity for the underprivileged.

Views on questions of human nature have tended to become polarized between the biological (biology, evolutionary psychology, biological anthropology) and the social science (social psychology, cultural anthropology, history, sociology) poles. This dialectical relationship between the social and biological sciences, and the corresponding dialogue between both, forces both sides in this rich debate to refine their positions and exposes students to a deeper understanding of the foundations of the respective disciplines and their impact on the world. Our minor in BiBS exposes students to these diverse disciplinary traditions and their conflicts and debates in the present and past. This minor provides students with the knowledge and skills to become informed, critical and reflective citizens that can make balanced decisions about the intricate relationship between biology, psychology, culture and society.

The BiBS minor is intended for students who want to acquire an interdisciplinary and comprehensive overview of the different perspectives on human behavior, cultural evolution and social organization. The objective of this minor is for students to understand the theoretical and empirical foundations of multiple disciplines that contribute to understanding human behavior and to be able to knowledgeably weigh the perspectives of each. An aspirational outcome is that students can develop a synthetic, informed understanding of the origins and function of human behavior, cultures and societies. We believe that this minor will attract students who are interested in biology, psychology, social sciences, health careers, law, politics and economics and provide them with the bio-cultural literacy critical to evaluating the multiplicity of scientific claims about human nature.

The four core course requirements within this degree program provide the interdisciplinary foundation for psychology, biology and social science. The three additional electives give students a depth in specific areas while continuing to offer an interdisciplinary set of perspectives.

 

Requirements for the BiBS Minor

A minor in BiBS is available to students in all degree programs. To obtain a minor, students must complete 20 credits.

Required courses (11 credits)

HIST270 Introduction to Culture, Society & Biology (3 cr) [CSO/STS, C1]

BY/PY340 Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (3 cr) [IG]

BY/PY357 Human Cognitive Evolution (3 cr)

SA&S300 Arts and Sciences Seminar (1 cr)

SA&S499 Biology, Behavior and Society Minor Portfolio (new course, 1 cr)

A student, to complete the minor, will take SAS499 as an independent study course under the mentorship of the student’s minor advisor. The student will provide a portfolio based on (a) term papers or equivalent products from the three major required courses and (b) representative course material that shows mastery of subject matter area and (c) will use the portfolio and materials from other courses taken for the BiBS minor to prepare a 10-page self-reflective essay on what the student has learned about the biological, psychological, and sociocultural influences on human behavior, cultural evolution, and social organization.

Electives (9 credits)Electives must be from outside your declared major, and include at least three credits from each of the two categories.

 

Category 1 Electives

ANTH220 Understanding the Americas [UNIV/CSO/STS, C1]

ANTH225 Global Perspectives on Sexuality [UNIV/CGI/STS]

ANTH230 Introduction to Race and Ethnicity [UNIV/CGI/CGI]

ANTH325 Sex and Commerce [UNIV/IG/CGI, C2]

ANTH330 Men and Masculinities [CSO]

HIST320 Medicine and Society in America [UNIV/CSO/STS, C1]

HIST326 Modern Sex [UNIV/CSO/STS]

HIST327 History of Women and Gender in America [UNIV/CSO/IG, C1]

HIST328 History of Gender and Sex [UNIV/CSO/IG]

HIST329 History of the American Family [UNIV/CGI/CSO, C1]

HIST342 War and Gender [UNIV/CSO/IA, C1]

HIST350 History of Nazi Germany [UNIV/CSO/IG, C1]

HIST351 The Holocaust in Text and Film

SOC330 Health, Wealth, Inequality and the Environment [UNIV/CGI/STS, C1]

POL/SOC350 International Development and Social Change [EC]

SOC385 Food and Society [UNIV/CGI/STS]

SS220 Introduction to Gender [UNIV/CGI/IG]

 

Category 2 Electives

BY/PY319 Current Readings in Animal Behavior

BY/PY358 Animal Learning and Cognition

BY460 Neurobiology

BY420 Evolution

EC384 Game Theory and Economic Strategy

HIST/PY459 Neuroscience and Society [STS, C1]

OS286/PY286 Organizational Behavior 1 [IG]

PY253 Social Psychology

PY310 Human Sexuality [UNIV/CGI/IG]

PY315 Personal Relationships [C1]

PY453 Advanced Topics in Social Psychology [C2]

PY360 Learning and Memory

PY461 Judgment and Decision Making

PY463 Health Psychology [C1]