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GOVT 6019 : Introduction to Probability and Applied Statistics
Crosslisted as: GOVT 4019 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Bryce Corrigan
The goal of this course is to introduce probability and statistics as fundamental building blocks for quantitative political analysis, with regression modeling as a focal application. We will begin with a brief survey of probability theory, types of measurements, and descriptive statistics. The bulk of the course then addresses inferential statistics, covering in detail sampling, methods for estimating unknown quantities, and methods for evaluating competing hypotheses. We will see how to formally assess estimators, and some basic principles that help to ensure optimality. Along the way, we will introduce the use of regression models to specify social scientific hypotheses, and employ our expanding repertoire of statistical concepts to understand and interpret estimates based on our data. Weekly lab exercises require students to deploy the methods both 'by hand' so they can grasp the basic mathematics, and by computer to meet the conceptual demands of non-trivial examples and prepare for independent research. Some time will be spent reviewing algebra, calculus, and elementary logic, as well as introducing computer statistical packages.
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GOVT 4999 : Undergraduate Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Richard Bensel
Valerie Bunce
Peter Enns
Sarah Kreps
Bryce Corrigan
Suzanne Mettler
Jill Frank
Jamila Michener
Kenneth Roberts
Diane Rubenstein
Mildred Sanders
Steven Ward
Nicolas van de Walle
Christopher Way
Joseph Margulies
One-on-one tutorial arranged by the student with a faculty member of his or her choosing. Open to government majors doing superior work, and it is the responsibility of the student to establish the research proposal and to find a faculty sponsor. Applicants for independent study must present a well-defined program of study that cannot be satisfied by pursuing courses in the regularly scheduled curriculum. No more than 4 credits of independent study may count toward fulfillment of the major. Students who elect to continue taking this course for more than one semester must select a new theme or subject each semester. Credit can be given only for work that results in a satisfactory amount of writing. Emphasis is on the capacity to subject a body of related readings to analysis and criticism. Keep in mind that independent study cannot be used to fulfill the seminar requirement. The application form for independent study must be completed at the beginning of the semester in which the course is being taken.
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GOVT 4986 : Other Feminisms
Crosslisted as: GOVT 6986 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Diane Rubenstein
Other Feminisms is a survey of contemporary critical approaches to feminist theory today. it seeks to complicate the traditional depiction of feminist theory as "white," "transphobic," "Eurocentic"/western.  Canonical works of feminist theory such as Shulamith Firestone or Simone de Beauvoir are re-situated in relation to contemporaneous writing such as the Combahee River Collective's Black Feminist Statement as well as projected into the speculative fiction of Octavia Butler and Ursula Le Guin. "Other feminisms" will comprise experiments in genre as well as gender in Kathy Acker, Donna Haraway, Hélène Cixous, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossein ("Sultana's Dream"). We will explore the contributions of theories of intersectionality, object-oriented ontologies, disability studies, affect theory, transnational explorations of Islamic piety movements and Iranian trans and same sex communities to what Clare Hemmings calls "the political grammar of feminist theory."
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GOVT 4949 : Honors Seminar: Thesis Clarification and Research
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Mildred Sanders
This seminar creates a structured environment in which honors students will examine different  research approaches and methods and construct a research design for their own theses—a thesis proposal that probes a new or inadequately researched question of importance to the discipline of political science or political theory. Apart from being a thesis writing workshop, the honors research class serves as a capstone course giving an overview of the different topics and methods addressed by students of politics. Members of the class will do extensive reading in published work relevant to their topics, and write a critical summary of that literature. Each member of the class will present their research design and central question(s) to the class for constructive criticism. By the end of the class, each honors student will have written the first chapter of the thesis, including the statement of the question, literature review, key definitions, methodology, and identification of data source(s). They will be working closely with an individual faculty adviser, as well as interacting with the research class. Students are strongly encouraged to examine some past honors theses on reserve at Kroch library in order to get an idea of the standards a government thesis must meet.
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GOVT 4807 : Social Studies of Space, Technologies and Borders
Crosslisted as: DSOC 4301, STS 4301 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Christine Leuenberger
In this course we will discuss how society, culture and politics shape technological artifacts and the natural and built environment, such as bridges, roads, and landscapes in diverse cultural contexts. We will examine reasons for the rise in bordering mechanisms - ranging from walls, barriers to fences within cities as well as along national borders, in such countries such as Ireland, Korea, Germany, the US, and Israel. We will compare how such 'strategies of exclusion' impact local communities, transnational relations and social connectivity across such divides. We will also examine how the growth of gated communities has reconfigured urban spaces and given rise to new forms of spatial and social segregation.
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GOVT 4745 : Humanitarian Affects
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4176, ANTHR 7176, FGSS 4876, FGSS 6876, GOVT 6745, LGBT 4876 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Saida Hodzic
Liberal feminists and political theorists argue that sentiments such as compassion and empathy have the capacity to alert us to suffering, injustice, and oppression, and thus incite transformative political action. This interdisciplinary seminar explores the challenges to this theory by staging a conversation between postcolonial, feminist, and queer theories of affect, and anthropological critiques of humanitarian projects. Sentiments are mobilized to defend borders, wage wars, grant asylum to refugees, provide medical care and disaster relief, and inspire feminist activism. We will analyze how these gendered and racialized ethical projects and political regimes are co-constituted, and how they mediate access to resources and survival, as well as political agency, subjectivity, citizenship, and national belonging.
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GOVT 4645 : Recognition, Abjection, and State Ideology
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4130, ANTHR 7130, GOVT 6845, SHUM 4630, SHUM 6630 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Klaus Yamamoto-Hammering
"Recognition, Abjection, Ideology" introduces seminal theorizations of modern state power with reference to ethnographic texts that focus both on the formation of national subjectivity and social exclusion. While the course examines relations between the economy and the effectiveness of state rhetoric, it also addresses how state ideologies today require the expulsion of certain groups from general society, and how these groups maintain their own socialities.
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GOVT 4626 : Disobedience, Resistance, Refusal
Crosslisted as: AMST 4626, AMST 6627, PHIL 4427, PHIL 6427, SHUM 4627, SHUM 6627 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Alexander Livingston
This seminar surveys contemporary political theories of disobedience and resistance. We will examine liberal, republican, and radical perspectives on the logic of political protest, its functions, justifications, and limits, as well as how transformations in law, economy, and technology are redefining dissent in the twenty-first century. Topics to be discussed will include the terms of political obligation, the relationship between law-breaking and law-making, conceptions of justice, resistance and popular sovereignty, the politics of civility, violence and self-defense, public space and privatization, the digitalization of protest, resistance in non-democratic regimes, as well as deviance and refusal as modes of dissent.
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GOVT 4403 : War and the State in Comparative Perspective
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Gustavo Flores-Macias
The goal of the course is to introduce students to the study of the nexus between violence and the creation of the modern state. It is intended to familiarize students with the role that war and other forms of violence have played in shaping the state in comparative perspective. Relying on the emergence of the modern state in Western Europe as a point of departure, the course studies the processes of state formation and state building in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
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GOVT 4021 : American Conservative Thought
Crosslisted as: AMST 4021 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Richard Bensel
American conservative thought rests on assumptions that are strikingly different from those made by mainstream American liberals.  However, conservative thinkers are themselves committed to principles that are both quite varied and sometimes contradictory.  This course examines the assumptions upon which rest the libertarian, market/economic, and cultural/traditional strains of American conservatism and asks whether the tensions between them weaken or strengthen conservative thought as an alternative to mainstream liberalism.
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