Courses Taught

Psychology of Belonging {What are the differences between refugees, asylum-seekers, and immigrants? What are the reasons they come to the United States? What creates the conditions for illegal immigration? What are the facts about undocumented immigrants? Why are they being deported? What does immigrant integration mean and who is integrated? In this course, we are going to explore the scientific, conceptual, and policy-oriented foundations of a migrant and refugee centered study of immigration in the United States. This course (1) situates historical and contemporary psychological research on immigration, race, and identity in today’s contemporary immigration debates, (2) encourages students to think about the relationship between psychological research on immigration and immigration policy, and (3) helps students engage in interdisciplinary and critical thinking on psychology of immigration. The course would be in a seminar format with small group discussions, close-readings of the articles, in-class activities as the dominant forms of interaction in the class. In order to familiarize you with key questions, theoretical tools, and issues within the field, our readings will range across a body of interdisciplinary and critical scholarship and will include elements from popular culture.}

Political Psychology {This course examines how psychological factors affect political behavior, and vice versa. After initial discussions of how we learn about politics, the underlying dimensions of political and social behavior, and the concept of “gender” as a lens for analysis, we consider the psychological aspects of leadership as one major topic involving the intersection of psychology and politics. We examine ways of measuring “at a distance” the psychological characteristics of political leaders, and groups. Next, we examine some motivational and perceptual mechanisms involved in conflict escalation, war, and peace. The second part of the course examines psychological perspectives on several political processes: political socialization (or learning about politics); political participation and commitment; political cognition, emotion, and the mass media; and political decision-making. Finally, we consider threats to the political system (e.g., nationalism, ethnicity, and imperialism, as well as the ideologies that support them; violence; and terrorism), and ways restoring the political system (e.g., the “arts of politics” and how the drive for power might be tamed). An introductory psychology course is recommended as a prerequisite, and a course or strong interest in history or political science would also be helpful.}

Introduction to Psychology of Women and Gender {The study of women, men, and gender has generated controversy since the earliest days of psychology, about 100 years ago. Historically, psychologists’ work focused on discovering differences between women and men, differences that were taken as evidence of men’s superiority and women’s inferiority and used to deny women access to privilege and power. In the past 40 years, the women’s movement has shifted the focus to the lived experiences of women, the social construction of gender, the gendered nature of social institutions, and the way that gender intersects with race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, social class, and other social categories. These will be themes throughout this course. This course provides a broad, introductory survey of psychological science on women, men and gender addressing such topics as gender stereotypes, gender socialization, love relationships, sexuality, pregnancy and parenthood, women and work, and violence against women. Throughout, we will learn how all of these things relate to women’s mental health and wellbeing. We will also take a developmental perspective on these issues to understand how they unfold across the lifespan. By the end of the term, students should have a good understanding of what it means to be female in North America. To accomplish this, we will rely on a range of vehicles: psychology readings, class discussions, films, photographs, and your own original writings.}

Introduction to Women’s Studies {How are our understandings of ourselves shaped by popular and academic discussions of “women”? How do dominant social and cultural formations of gender actually produce women and men, girls and boys? What shapes the circumstances within which individuals who do not identify according to gender binaries work to make themselves legible? Where does knowledge about gender come from? How do other categories of identity — race, sexuality, class, disability, and age, for example — fundamentally structure the formation and experience of gender, itself? In this introductory course, we will engage the work of feminist scholars across a range of disciplines to explore these issues and how they manifest in political, social, economic, and cultural spheres. We will read widely in the interdisciplinary field of feminist studies, becoming familiar with, and learning to practice for ourselves, the critical reading, thinking, and discussion skills that are fundamental to feminist inquiry. Because Women’s Studies grew out of feminist activism, this course will explore the relationship between how we generate critical knowledge about gender and how we work to use this knowledge to promote social justice at the intersections of gender with other identities (race, sexuality, disability, class, etc.). Most of the course materials are drawn from the U.S. context; however, we will also engage feminist issues and activism in other parts of the world and transnationally.}