Academics

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Spring 2021 Engaged Scholarship Options

 

For an inside look into engaged scholarship courses, check out

student work from MPES courses.

Spring 2021 Engaged Scholarship Courses

 ANTHRO 1718: Engaged Anthropology: From the Local to the Global

ANTHRO 1718: Engaged Anthropology: From the Local to the Global 

Andrea Wright

Thursdays 12:45pm - 2:45pm 

What is engaged anthropology? What responsibility do anthropologists have to the communities with which they work? What methodologies do anthropologists use to both examine and strengthen the interplay between theory and practice? Can and should anthropologists engage in research that is community driven, politically conscious, and socially concerned? Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we connect the work we are doing inside the classroom with the work being done in our local and global communities, but this work is not apolitical or individual and we must analyze the inherent inequalities and social dimensions of what it means to conduct engaged scholarship. By employing a hands-on approach to engaged anthropology, this course will explore these questions and more. We will begin the semester by learning the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of anthropology as a discipline and engaged anthropology as an intervention. Readings will focus on ethnographic, scholarly, and public-facing works that illustrate how culture, social relations, and systems of power shape the experiences, roles, practices, and interactions of individuals and their communities as they strive to establish and maintain collaborative relationships in pursuit of a more just world. The course will culminate in a community-based project on a critical topic chosen by the student and supervised by a community organization.

CHEM100R: Experimental Chemistry and Chemical Biology

CHEM100R: Experimental Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Heidi Vollmer-Snarr

Mondays and Wednesdays 12:00pm - 1:15pm

Chem 100R is a project-based synthetic/physical organic, bioanalytical, and chemical biology research course. Students work in 2–4 person groups with course staff on zoom to conduct and contribute to cutting-edge, faculty-derived research. Throughout the semester students use electronic notebooks to keep track of their research findings, which they present in group meetings and write up in a formal research paper. As students learn to communicate technically with other scientists and peers, they also learn to communicate about the broader applications of their research to nonscientific audiences through science advocacy.

FOLKMYTH 97: Fieldwork and Ethnography in Folklore

FOLKMYTH 97 Fieldwork and Ethnography in Folklore 

Lowell Brower 

This tutorial introduces students to the study of cultural traditions, beliefs, and artistic expressions—their performance, collection, representation and interpretation—through the practice of ethnography. Both ethnographic and theoretical readings serve as the material for class discussion and the foundation for ethnographic fieldwork.

At once a crash course in ethnographic theory and ethics, and a practicum in qualitative methods, FM97 weds scholarly inquiry and academic study to practical experience in cultural documentation and personal involvement with local tradition bearers and folk communities. Guided by an interdisciplinary collection of texts, students will have the opportunity to study folklore from the ground up, not only through an academic lens, but through personal relationships, cultural participation, and inquisitive explorations of local communities. Throughout the semester you will be invited to develop skills in qualitative research, cultural documentation, proposal design, interviewing, and the arts of interpretation as you try your hand at fieldwork and ethnography. By examining folkways, expressive culture, traditions, and performances, and interrogating their import in the daily lives of individual and groups, we will aim to bridge the divide between grand theories and everyday practices, between intellectual debates and lived experiences, between the academic institution and the vernacular world. Ultimately, this course aims to bring “the folks” themselves into the center of the academic study, discussion, and debate. And it aims to give you the tools to help amplify and illuminate their voices, traditions, practices, and lore.

GENED 1115: Human Trafficking, Slavery and Abolition

GENED 1115: Human Trafficking, Slavery and Abolition in the Modern World 

Orlando Patterson

Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00pm - 1:15pm 

We often think of slavery as being a dark chapter in our past, but this is a tragic oversimplification. What defines slavery in the modern world, and what are the moral, political and social implications of its continued existence? As we explore its underpinnings, we discover that all of us may be in some way complicit in its survival. This course surveys the nature, types and extent of modern servitude such as transnational and domestic prostitution, forced marriage, labor trafficking and forced domestic labor, child soldiering and other forms of enslavement of children, organ trafficking and other health aspects of trafficking, debt-bondage, and the forced exploitation of other vulnerable groups such as refugees and stateless persons. Throughout the course, but especially in the final part, we examine anti-trafficking and anti-slavery measures and movements and ways in which you can increase awareness or become involved. You will, by the end of our exploration, be able to trace the moral and ethical arguments surrounding human slavery in its various forms, understand the ways in which this problem still affects so many people, and what can and should be done about it.   

GOV 93CJ: Criminal Justice Policy Practicum

GOV 93CJ: Criminal Justice Policy Practicum: Opportunities Beyond Bars 

Jenn Hanlen

This course provides students with the opportunity to do participatory, community-based policy research. The course will have three major components. Students will (1) learn about the policy-making process and how to do academic research on policy, (2) engage in public service research on juvenile justice and prison education, and (3) explore ways that remote technologies, especially virtual reality, can be used to provide incarcerated youth with more robust and consistent educational opportunities. The course will culminate with students using their experiences to create a single, integrated policy report on applications of VR in juvenile detention centers. 

GOV 1022: Community Based Practicum

GOV 1022: Community Based Practicum

Chase Harrison

Mondays 12:45pm - 2:45pm 

Surveys are used by a variety of community and government organizations to gather information and answer policy questions.  This practicum will provide students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge of survey research by designing and conducting an original survey for an actual client based in the community.  Students will learn how to listen to, understand, and evaluate organizational needs and goals, how to translate those goals into an effective survey research design, how to develop, design, and pilot a survey to provide actionable data to improve social processes or answer useful questions.   

GOV 1312: Women in US Politics

GOV 1312: Women in US Politics 

Sparsha Saha 

Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00pm - 4:15pm 

This course examines the causes and consequences of gender inequality in politics, the workforce, and the household. We will draw on theory and literature from political science and other disciplines to learn about cutting edge research in the field, focusing on the United States (with some application to other advanced democracies). What explains why women have not yet achieved equal political representation? How did gender play a role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign and beyond? Why should we care about gender parity? What has been implemented to correct gender disparity in politics? Why do women make less money than men? Why do women still do more of the work at home despite becoming more equal in education and professional life? How can we change hearts and minds? How does gender intersect with race and class and sexual orientation? What can people who identify as men (particularly white men) do? How are sexism, racism, and speciesism all connected? What is going on with gender in academia, and why do you have so few tenured female professors, particularly in fields like Government and STEM?

 

 

 

 

 

GOV 1338: Institutional Development in Native America

GOV 1338: Institutional Development in Native America 

Daniel Carpenter 

Mondays and Wednesdays 12:00pm - 1:15pm 

Examines the challenges and strategies of advocacy, sovereignty building and institutional development among Native Nations in the U.S.  Includes engaged scholarship working with Native Nations on these issues.

HIST-LIT 90ES: Prison Abolition

HIST-LIT 90ES: Prison Abolition

Thomas Dichter

Mondays and Wednesdays 12:00pm - 1:15pm

Is prison abolition a serious proposal, an aspirational ideal, a trendy slogan, or a blueprint for social transformation? This interdisciplinary and community-engaged course situates the prison abolition movement in deep historical context and explores its current relation to the politics of criminal justice reform. We will study the movement’s connections to slavery abolitionism, anti-lynching activism, Indigenous struggles for sovereignty, and the Black Power movement. We will examine the emergence of the modern prison abolitionist movement in the 1970s, as well as more recent developments concerning immigration detention, Black Lives Matter, and COVID-19. Our readings will include interdisciplinary scholarship on the carceral state in addition to protest writings and activist materials. A major component of the course will be collaborative activities and service with community organizations focused on incarceration and the criminal legal system, through which we will consider what prison abolitionist ideas might look like in action. There will be opportunities for dialogue with scholars and activists as we investigate prison abolition not as a singular policy, but as a rich and challenging set of questions for rethinking matters of violence, inequality, and social change.

HIST 12M: Abolitionist Women and Their Worlds 

HIST 12M: Abolitionist Women and Their Worlds

Tiya Miles

Wednesdays 12:45pm - 2:45pm

What was life like for women who stood at a major crossroads of history? What was required, in tumultuous times, to think and act boldly? This course focuses on women from diverse racial and regional backgrounds who labored to abolish slavery in the United States and then enlarged their political visions to include a range of progressive causes: anti-racism, desegregation, temperance, black suffrage, and women’s suffrage. We will explore the texture of women’s experiences in the 19th century, the conditions that gave rise to multifaceted societal change, and the ways in which that change unfolded. Finally, our course will consider how these women’s stories are remembered in present-day public culture and whether knowledge of this era can play a role in the urgent societal issues of our own time. 

HIST 13C: St. Louis from Lewis and Clark to Michael Brown 

HIST 13C: St. Louis from Lewis and Clark to Michael Brown 

Walter Johnson

Thursdays 9:45am - 12:30pm

St. Louis was the epicenter of American empire in the nineteenth century: the point of embarkation for Lewis and Clark; the military headquarters for U.S. Indian wars.   It was likewise central to the history of slavery: from the Missouri Compromise to Dred Scott.  The city’s intertwining of the history of empire and race continued through the twentieth century in its prominent role in the defense industry as well as the history of segregation, urban “redevelopment,” and police violence. How does the global capitalist and imperialist history of St. Louis relate to its recalcitrant inequality, structural racism, and endemic violence?

HIST 1636: Intro to Harvard History: Beyond the Three Lies

HIST 1636: Intro to Harvard History: Beyond the Three Lies 

Zachary Nowak 

M/W 7:30pm - 8:45pm

Harvard’s history is a story of professors, students, courses, and research that has led to world-changing innovations. But it is also a story of student unrest, gender unease, and the exclusion of women and minorities, enslaved people, Native Americans, and working-class people. All of them made Harvard and left traces in its archives, libraries, and museums, its buildings, and even in its soil. Some Harvard stories have been told; others have been forgotten. In this class, we will uncover Harvard’s past. There will be several field trips to Harvard’s archives and museums and other places on campus most students will never visit. If you wish, the University Archives will preserve your final paper on Harvard history for perpetuity.

Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum

MUSIC 14B: Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum

Andrew Clark

Tuesdays 6:45pm - 8:45pm

Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum (SATB choir). Harvard's nationally acclaimed mixed choir, Collegium, performs a dynamic and innovative repertoire from classical masterpieces to new compositions by renowned, emerging, and student composers. Through collaborative projects, tours, and community engagement, the ensemble fosters a passionate community of student musicians. Collegium frequently partners with the other Harvard Choruses--the Glee Club, and the Radcliffe Choral Society--to perform large-scale works. Students must complete both parts of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit.

MUSIC 15B: Harvard Glee Club

MUSIC 15B: Harvard Glee Club

Andrew Clark

Mondays and Wednesdays 4:30pm - 5:30pm

Harvard Glee Club (TTBB Choir). Founded in 1858, the Glee Club is a tenor-bass choral ensemble, performing music from the male choral tradition, an open to any student at Harvard University. The Glee Club collaborates with arts groups on campus and at other universities, and across the world on annual tours. Through excellence in performance, education, community-building, tradition, and philanthropy, the Glee Club offers a unique musical experience for all members. Students have numerous opportunities to take on administrative and musical leadership roles within the ensemble. The Glee Club frequently collaborates with the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and the Radcliffe Choral Society, as well as the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, to perform large-scale works. Students must complete both parts of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit.

MUSIC 16B: Radcliffe Choral Society

MUSIC 16B: Radcliffe Choral Society

Andrew Clark

Mondays 6:45pm - 8:45pm

The Radcliffe Choral Society, founded in 1899, is a treble (soprano-alto) choral ensemble of about 40-50 members, open to any student at Harvard University. The ensemble performs a distinctive repertoire spanning nine centuries of choral literature: sacred and secular,
 a cappella and accompanied, and choral-orchestral works. Featuring a student led a cappella group, 'Cliffe Notes, RCS aims to foster the appreciation and celebration of women's choral music through the commission of new works for soprano and alto voices, high-caliber performances, music festivals as well as annual domestic and international travel. The choir strives to honor its history and further its legacy of excellence in treble choral music and an extraordinary community formed through music-making. RCS frequently collaborates with the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and the Glee Club, as well as the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, to perform large-scale works. Students must complete both parts of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit.

MUSIC 186R: Music and Mockumentary Lab 

MUSIC 186R: Music and Mockumentary Lab

Ezperansa Spalding

Thursdays 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Music and Mockumentary Lab (visibilising and vibrational-experiencing the yet to be). 

“For the mind must know it first in order to compose it.”

-Hazrat Inayat Khan 

 “‘all organizing is science fiction’, by which we mean that social justice work is about creating systems of justice and equity in the future, creating conditions that we have never experienced”

 -Adrienne Maree Brown, quoting Walidah Imarisha

  “it’s as much an image, as it is reality” 

-Mark Oswald (on developing operatic technique)

 This lab-style course explores mockumetary film, coupled with live score, as a method for creating works of socially engaged fiction.  Our engaged-learning approach will be rooted at the intersection of film, speculative-fiction, music, performance, and activism.  Students enrolled in this course will be invited to learn and create alongside a professional creative team, lead by artists esperanza spalding and brontë velez,  in collaboration with engineers Anukool Lakhina and Viet Tran, and the San Francisco Symphony.  Over the course of the semester, this creative team will be developing and producing a music-driven mockumentary.  The film, titled “SOMATONGLEN”, will be accompanied by a live-score of improvised music, as well as pre-existing classical works. “SOMATONGLEN” was originally conceived in response to the prompt offered at Theaster Gates’ Black Artists Retreat: “what human-made sound could render firearms inoperable?”. The mockumentary follows a speculative journey from the discovery, development, and application of a sung vibration which disrupts the trajectory of a fired bullet.

Students will be invited to shadow and engage with the creative team’s week-by-week process, from story-devising, to treatment, to production.  In addition to real-time learning alongside the creative team, students will research, develop, and produce their own original mockumentary (with accompanying live-score concept).  Each student will co-create these short mockumentaries over the course of the semester, guided by feedback from the creative team.  Each student-produced mockumentary (along with “SOMATONGLEN”) will be developed in conversation with individuals, community leaders, and organizations working toward dismantling systemic oppression. The student-produced mockumentaries will be released via publicly-accessible platforms, as a tool for embodied-imagining of a mutually sought yet to be. 

 Some of the questions guiding this course, and the creation of the mockumentary “SOMATONGLEN” are:

 -How do speculative visual/sonic narratives serve, and inspire radical re-imaginings of our relationships to social-systems, and the diverse humans who comprise them?

 -How may existing musical works be utilized as narrative driving force, within the speculative visual story? 

 - How do artists working at the intersection of activism and organizing, devise, create and offer new works in right-relationship with the communities they seek to uplift, support and engage?

 The creative team is very much looking forward to learning and creating alongside the students who enroll in this course. 

PSY 1009: Psychology of Women

PSY 1009: Psychology of Women

Nicole Noll

Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:45am - 11:45am

How does being a woman affect our behavior, our evaluations of ourselves, and our interactions with others? This course examines psychological science on women and girls in western industrialized societies, addressing such topics as gender stereotypes, girlhood, women and work, relationships, pregnancy and motherhood, mental health, violence against women, and women in later adulthood. We will consider these topics through an understanding of gender as a social construction, being mindful of the intersections of gender, sexuality, class, and race. Although focused on women’s lives and experiences, this course is highly relevant to people of all genders.

PSY 1016: Quarantine blues? Pandemic Life and Mental Health

PSY 1016: Quarantine blues? Pandemic Life and Mental Health

Rebecca Shingleton and Natasha Parikh

Mondays and Wednesdays 1:30pm - 2:45pm

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our world in unprecedented and unexpected ways. In this course, we will study the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and well-being through a clinical, social, and neuroscience lens. We will explore how pandemics affect our thoughts, behaviors, emotions, and physiology as well as discuss evidence-based tools for coping. Additionally, we will look at different stressors (e.g., work from home challenges, social isolation) and how their impact may vary across groups (e.g., health care workers, racial/ethnic groups, SES groups).

SOC-STD 68EA: Engaged Philosophy

SOC-STD 68EA: Engaged Philosophy The Theory and Practice of Altruism

Bonnie Talbert

Mondays 12:45pm - 2:45pm

In the wake of a global pandemic and the George Floyd protests, many are searching for ways to take action, to improve our communities and the world, and to help others. This altruistic mission is a noble goal, but like all missions, it requires thoughtful planning and reflection. The main question this course will address is “What is altruism?” We will approach this question from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives: biology, psychology, political theory, and moral philosophy. Are we naturally altruistic, or are all actions in some sense selfish? How do we know when we are helping others? What is charity, or philanthropy, and what role does it play in a functioning democracy? We will spend a good portion of the course on the “effective altruism” movement, which aims to maximize the amount of good that each of us can do. How are calculations about “effectiveness” made? How do we identify the causes that are most important to prioritize? How does the EA movement relate to activism? More importantly, who are effective altruists, and how do they live their lives? We will read stories of people who have risked their lives to provide healthcare in the midst of war, people who have donated kidneys to strangers, people who adopted over 20 children, and many other examples that illustrate (or not!) different ways of being altruistic. The ultimate goal of this course is to think about what it means to help not just theoretically, but also in practice.

SOCIOL 1130: Student Leadership and Service in Higher Education

SOCIOL 1130: Student Leadership and Service in Higher Education

Manja Klemencic

Thursdays 12:00pm - 2:00pm

This Undergraduate Engaged Scholarship Course specifically targets students in service and leadership roles at Harvard (e.g. student leaders in student organizations, students serving on University committees or as interns in University offices or programs, PAFs, HOCOs, UC members, Crimson, etc.). To these students it offers an opportunity to engage with scholarship from sociology of higher education to better understand and explore student agency in college contexts. Through hands-on student leadership development workshops built into the course, students will also develop skills that will help them in their roles. Students' grasp of concepts, such as university citizenship, mattering, belonging, community-building, and self-formation, is reinforced through their experiential learning in existing service and leadership roles on campus. Based on their campus role, students work on participatory action research and develop blueprint to change practice or policy. This course challenges the traditional line of inquiry in sociology of higher education which focuses primarily on the effects of college on students. Instead, student action research projects demonstrate student agency and the impact students have on higher education communities.Thursdays 12:00pm - 2:00pm

SPANSH 59: Spanish and the Community

SPANSH 59: Spanish and the Community

Maria Parra-Velasco

Thursdays 12:00pm - 2:00pm

An advanced language course that examines the richness and complexity of the Latino experience in the US while promoting community engagement as a vehicle for greater linguistic fluency and cultural understanding. Students are placed with community organizations within the Boston area and volunteer for four hours a week. Class work focuses on expanding students' oral and written proficiency in Spanish through discussing and analyzing readings, arts, and films by and about Latinos in the US.

SPANSH 59H: Spanish for Latino Students II

SPANSH 59H: Spanish for Latino Students II: Connecting with Communities

Maria Parra-Velasco

Tuesdays Thursdays 12:00pm - 1:15pm

An advanced language course for Spanish heritage learners that aims to: strengthen students’ oral and written linguistic range, with emphasis on Spanish use for academic contexts; and to further develop students’ critical language and social awareness around important issues for Latinos in our globalized era: Spanish as global language, identity, language rights, global migration and labor, U.S.-Latino America relations, food and environment, the ’war on drugs’. Students explore these topics through various genres (newspapers and academic articles, debates, literary essays, short novels, poetry, visual art, film and music) and through 4 hours a week of community service.

TDM 182B: Black Arts Movement to #blacklivesmatter

TDM 182B: Black Arts Movement to #blacklivesmatter

Shamell Bell

Tuesdays 3:00pm - 5:45pm 

This course situates the “Black Arts Movement”(1965-1975) in its historical context, but also places our explorations in this present moment where artists continue to light the torch of art reflecting the times, as our ancestor Nina Simone so eloquently asserts as “our duty”. Scholar Larry Neal writes in his seminal piece: 

“The Black Arts Movement is radically opposed to any concept of the artist that alienates him from his community. This movement is the aesthetic and spiritual sister of the Black Power concept. As such, it envisions an art that speaks directly to the needs and aspirations of Black America.”

As this course begins during the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, let's place MLK in the context of the material conditions in Black communities during the Black Arts Movement, which Larry Neal coined as the "aesthetic and spiritual sister of Black Power.”  This act is often seen as the starting point of the Black Arts Movement. In a Time article, "A Riot Started in Newark 50 Years Ago. It Shouldn't Have Been a Surprise," Arica L. Coleman writes, "Martin Luther King Jr. aptly predicted just such a riot in a speech titled “The Other America,” which he delivered at Stanford University on April 14, 1967, three months prior to the unrest. “All of our cities are potentially powder kegs,” he said. While King maintained his commitment to nonviolent civil disobedience, he also recognized the psychology of oppression.

In this course, we will explore the legacy of the Black Arts Movement and its manifestations in today's Black liberation movement. In addition to required and suggested readings, we will supplement course lectures with selected films and musical selections. This course takes an ethnographic and interdisciplinary approach to mapping the historical, geographical, and socio-political trajectory of the Black Arts Movement to #blacklivesmatter by highlighting the motivations, strategies, and experiences of community organizers on the ground. The narratives of grassroots organizers from groups such as Justice 4 Trayvon Martin and those organizing for #blacklivesmatter across the United States, will provide nuance to our understanding of an international movement that we now know as Black Lives Matter. Students will be encouraged to explore their own foundations and personal stories connecting them to the Black liberation struggle past, present, and future. The course culminates with a "Community Gathering" that will feature short student documentaries of their group projects. The gathering will include a collaboration with Dartmouth Students, activists on the ground, and community members to continue to move the work of the people on the ground forward, and the work of the students outside of the classroom, and into the community.

EXPOS 20: Animals and Politics

EXPOS 20: Animals and Politics

Sparsha Saha

Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00am - 10:15am

EXPOS 20: Are Prisons Obsolete?

EXPOS 20: Are Prisons Obsolete?

Hudson Vincent

Mondays and Wednesdays 3:00pm - 4:15pm

Mondays and Wednesdays 4:30pm - 5:15pm

EXPOS 20: Green Spaces, Urban Places

EXPOS 20: Green Spaces, Urban Places

Sarah Case

Mondays and Wednesdays 3:00pm - 4:15pm

EXPOS 20: Remembering the Civil War

EXPOS 20: Remembering the Civil War

Willa Brown

Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00pm - 4:15pm

Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:30pm - 5:45pm