Summer Courses

Main Website for UCLA Summer Sessions:

This Summer 2023, the Institute for Society and Genetics is offering the following courses.

Summer Session A (6 weeks, 06/26/2023 – 08/04/2023)

SOC GEN 5: Integrative Approaches to Human Biology and Society
William Wannyn / TR / 10:45am – 12:50pm PDT / Online – Synchronous

Introduction to concept of problem-based approaches to study of biology and society and areas of concentration, such as bioethics and public science policy, evolutionary biology, culture, and behavior, historical and social studies of life sciences, medical genetics and public health, and population genetics and history, and central thematic issues shared across concentrations, such as commercialization of life and public understanding of science. Letter grading.


SOC GEN 180: Global Perspectives: Women and Girls
Stephanie Kiesow / TR / 10:00am – 11:15 am PDT / Online – Synchronous

Utilizing a global lens students will study what it means to be “empowered” across cultures as well as analyze how empowerment is currently being measured and defined in health research. We will compare and contrast gender ideals and household experience across locations and cultures for women and girls. Topics will include recent developments in reproductive health, gender-based violence, menstrual health, and education. Assigned readings and in-class discussions will draw on the disciplines of public health and psychology, incorporating diverse kinds of media from scientific literature to film to engage with experiences from around the world.

***Soc Gen 180s are repeatable courses, as long as they have different topics from each other.


Summer Session C (6 weeks, 08/07/2023 – 09/15/2023)

SOC GEN 180: Biological and Social Aspects of Maternal – Fetal Health
Stephanie Kiesow / TR / 10:00 am – 11:15 am PDT / Online – Synchronous

This course introduces students to the biological and social study of reproductive health in the contemporary United States. Students will be introduced to the basic biomedical concepts framing our understanding of fetal and child development, as well as the study of biological markers indicating environmental exposures that shape pregnancy and women’s health. At the same time, students will learn about the everchanging environment of maternal and child health and also consider recent developments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will ask: Are women of reproductive age disproportionately at-risk from particular social factors or commercial practices? How might in-utero exposure to environmental toxins affect health later in life? In what ways does COVID-19 influence current policies in relation to women’s health? Topics covered include: reproductive justice, media representations of birth, pregnancy and health, biological markers, environmental exposure, and developmental pathways.

***Soc Gen 180s are repeatable courses, as long as they have different topics from each other.


SOC GEN 180: Narratives of Exposure, Toxicity, & Remediation
Rachel Vaughn / MW / 9:00 am – 10:15 am PDT / Online – Synchronous

Inspired by the pioneering Environmental Storytelling Studio at Brown University, this is a special topics seminar exploring a variety of narrative formats, styles and interventions centering the themes of health, wellness, exposure, toxicity and environmental remediation tactics. What stories do we tell / are we told concerning these topics of ecological import? Using the study of storytelling theories, methodologies and techniques from diverse global locations, students examine the documentation and data surrounding the health risks, wellness interventions and rejuvenation/remediation tactics connected to various forms of environmental exposures from such things as: the foods we eat, the lands and soils we live on, the air we breathe, the non- humans around us, the microbes that make us, or the everyday objects we live with. We engage the work of authors examining and confronting this science-meets-society topic of import through their use or analysis of environmental storytelling. Readings could include works by writers and thinkers such as Sandra Steingraber (biologist); Kerri Arsenault (journalist/activist); Anthony Ryan Hatch (Food Science & Technology scholar); Catherine Coleman Flowers (environmental justice activist); Imbolo Mbue (novelist); Jamie Lorimer (geographer & microbiome expert); Zoe Todd (artist & freshwater fish researcher) and Bathsheba Demuth (environmental historian).

***Soc Gen 180s are repeatable courses, as long as they have different topics from each other.

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