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Courses

Social Science

International Relations and The Global Economy
In the news and in our daily lives, global interactions are the norm. We buy foreign-made goods, travel to remote corners of the world, and experience the effects of other countries' economic policies. Yet behind frequent contact with the international environment there are many vexing questions, as well as unrecognized opportunities. Why are there still so many poor people? Why are financial crises contagious? How is the global economy governed? This course will help answer this kind of questions by providing a unifying and coherent framework to guide students to think independently about the global economy. Students also will be introduced to current political economy arguments about globalization, economic systems, and development, and learn how to use evidence and reason to scrutinize these arguments. Those interested in how technology can be used to forward the mission of International Relations are invited to explore the Design as Discovery course (in Computer Science).

Session 1

June 25 - July 14

Age and grade requirements:

1. 9th - 11th grade at the time of application.
2. age 14 - 17 on the first day of the session.
Media Studies
We often hear "the media" and "information" referred to as if they were singular entities with clear definitions, boundaries, roles and applications in the world. These terms, however, encompasses a diverse array of industries, technologies, networks, narratives and histories both distinct from one another and interconnected in often surprising ways. We are all consumers of information and media technologies, but how do we understand the relationship between media and information? What are their histories? How are they shaped by power and inequality, beauty and potential? This course will ask you to challenge preconceived assumptions about media, information, culture, society, and identity and develop an invaluable set of skills for engaging with them. It will be a challenging and engaging look into the roles that media and information technology play in our everyday interactions with a highly mediated and information-saturated world.

Session 1 & 2

June 25 - July 14
July 17 - August 05

Prerequisite(s)

Completion of one year of English.

Age and grade requirements:

1. 9th - 11th grade at the time of application.
2. age 14 - 17 on the first day of the session.
Topics in Politics and Public Policy: Deliberative Democracy
This reading- and writing-intensive course examines the theory and practice of democracy, in particular, deliberative democracy and engages in a dialogue with critics. The course will discuss whether a democracy, which emphasizes people thinking and talking together on the basis of good information, can be made practical in the modern age. What kinds of distortions arise when people try to discuss politics or policy together? The course draws on ideas as well as criticisms from the jury literature, from the psychology of group processes and from the most recent normative and empirical literature on deliberative forums. Case studies from the Deliberative Polling method and other deliberation methods, its applications, defenders and critics, both normative and empirical, will provide cases studies for discussion. Throughout the course, students will address how public participation is currently conducted around the world. This course will examine the various ways of consulting the public and how governments, media, and the public have responded and used these results. Students will gain in depth understanding of democratic theories, and in particular with deliberative democracy through in class debates, taking part in a modified version of Deliberative Polling, and engaging in dialogue with prominent democracy experts.

Session 1

June 25 - July 14

Age and grade requirements:

1. 9th - 11th grade at the time of application.
2. age 14 - 17 on the first day of the session.
Topics in Psychology
This course introduces students to methodological and theoretical aspects of the field of psychology through in-depth study of some of psychology's most important topics. Students will learn significant works from the historical development of psychology as well as receive an introduction to areas and methods of current research. Possible topics include: social psychology, social and cognitive development, perception, memory, psychological disorders, psychological approaches to the study of behavior, the theories and contributions of major figures in the field, the methodology of psychology and its limitations, ways to apply psychological findings to everyday life, and others. This course will provide students with hands-on activities such as small research projects that enable them to familiarize themselves with the methodological tools used by social scientists.

Session 1 & 2

June 25 - July 14
July 17 - August 05

Age and grade requirements:

1. 9th - 11th grade at the time of application.
2. age 14 - 17 on the first day of the session.
Topics in Sociology
Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. In this reading- and writing-intensive course, students will be introduced to the methodological and theoretical aspects of the field of sociology through in-depth study of some of sociology's most important topics. Topics may include social stratification, social networks, family structure and behavior, gender roles, national identity, social change, social movements, race and ethnic relations, immigration issues, poverty and inequality, organizational behavior, and others.

Session 1 & 2

June 25 - July 14
July 17 - August 05

Age and grade requirements:

1. 9th - 11th grade at the time of application.
2. age 14 - 17 on the first day of the session.
International Relations: The Ethics of War
In the 1990s, many political writers and commentators hailed the end of the Cold War as the inauguration of a new era of international peace and stability. Today, it seems obvious that war -- in new and troubling ways -- is as much a central part of our political experience as ever. If the public is going to have an informed and reflective voice in making political decisions about war -- now and in the future -- we must find ways of evaluating, judging and intelligently arguing about it. Does the decision to go to war conform to our deepest principles and commitments? What are those principles, anyway? When, if ever, is it morally "right" for a country to go to war? And what about how the war is being fought? Do moral obligations apply to the means of warfare, as well as the ends? War is hell, as everybody knows. Does it even make sense to make moral judgments of right and wrong about hell? Isn't there a danger of persuading ourselves that our cause is just, leading to even more warfare? This class introduces students to what's known as "just war theory," or the philosophical tradition of reflecting on the morality of warfare, as well as Pacifist and Realist critics of this tradition. We will look at some selections of primary philosophical sources, and apply these theories to a wide variety of concrete examples, both historical and contemporary. Those interested in how technology can be used to forward the mission of International Relations are invited to explore the Design as Discovery course (in Computer Science).

Session 2

July 17 - August 05

Age and grade requirements:

1. 9th - 11th grade at the time of application.
2. age 14 - 17 on the first day of the session.
Legal Studies
This course provides students with an introduction to the American legal system. Students will begin developing the imaginative, critical, analytical, and technical skills necessary to "think like a lawyer". Students will be exposed to a wide variety of legal topics, discuss and debate legal issues and real life cases, and learn practical methods for dealing with legal problems. Civil, criminal, and constitutional law issues will be included. While this course is of particular value for those who contemplate becoming attorneys, any student interested in developing and refining their communication and public speaking skills will enjoy the lively debates and discussions which are the primary means of instruction. Past activities of this course have included role-playing, mock trials, computer simulations, negotiations, lectures by guest speakers, and field trips.

Session 1 & 2

June 25 - July 14
July 17 - August 05

Age and grade requirements:

1. 9th - 11th grade at the time of application.
2. age 14 - 17 on the first day of the session.
Topics in Politics and Public Policy: Modern Political Ideologies
In the 1990s, some political scientists believed that the "end of history" was inevitable: that with the triumph of liberal capitalist democracy all over the globe, the age of great ideological conflict was over. Few predictions have turned out to be so wrong. Today, in Western Europe, in Latin America, in the Middle East, in East Asia and in the United States, we have seen the reemergence of fierce ideological conflict, debates over the nature of populism and fascism, calls for socialism and the critique of capitalism, a re-energized conservatism and the revolutionary reappearance of religious political movements. The first aim of this course is to help us interpret the ideologies that make up our current political world by exploring the classical political ideologies of the modern political age: liberalism, conservatism, fascism, socialism and capitalism. We will ask: how are ideas composed to form ideologies that make sense of the world for us? How are touchstone political concepts such as liberty equality, justice, the people, citizenship framed by the various ideologies we will study? How do different ideologies shape not only our sense of what politics is and what its goals are, but even our sense of the basic meaning and purpose of our lives as political beings? How are these classic modern ideological forms related to the ideological movements of our contemporary world? The second aim of the course is to increase our reflectiveness and self-awareness of our own ideological beliefs, and to articulate and defend our own ideological commitments with greater thoughtfulness, precision, insight, and persuasive force.

Session 2

July 17 - August 05

Age and grade requirements:

1. 9th - 11th grade at the time of application.
2. age 14 - 17 on the first day of the session.
Sociolinguistics
Language is a stunningly dynamic system. Different groups of people speak differently, and individuals alter the way they speak in different situations and at different times. This course examines the social aspects of language variation and language change over time. We will seek answers to this over-arching question: How do we use language to express and construct our identities? Along the way, we will consider the interplay between language and a variety of social categories (e.g., gender, ethnicity, age, socio-economic status) and give special attention to how people think about and respond to differences in language. Students will gain skills in reading and assessing recently published research in the field. They will also learn to collect and analyze new sociolinguistic data and to present the results of their own original research. In the end, this course should provide an engaging introduction into social science research, while at the same time sharpening our understanding of what it means to be (more!) human.

Session 1 & 2

June 25 - July 14
July 17 - August 05

Age and grade requirements:

1. 9th - 11th grade at the time of application.
2. age 14 - 17 on the first day of the session.