SST 225 Ideology, Media, and Mass Culture

Professor: Joel Kovel

CRN: 12305

Time: Mon 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm OLIN 203

Cross-listed: Political Studies
An introduction to the critique of society through a study of the institutions and products of the media and mass culture. Our social existence is profoundly "mediated by the control and projection of ideas and images, whether through print journalism, advertising, or what is called "entertainment, especially television. We shall work toward attaining an understanding of the processes through which this occurs and the forces that dominate them. Class time will be divided roughly between examining products of the press, television, and so forth, and lectures on the theory of ideology and the media. Maximum 25 students, open to all.


SST 235 Introduction to the Ecological Crisis

Professor: Joel Kovel

CRN: 12304

Time: Mon Wed 9:00 am - 10:20 am OLIN 205

Cross-listed: CRES, Political Studies
As evidenced by gathering environmental disaster, it appears as if the normal workings of society progressively destroy the natural ground upon which civilization stands. This gathering ecological crisis looms therefore as a challenge of incalculable scale, one that is bound to increasingly affect every living creature, but especially human beings, who are now charged, at the cost of survival, with overcoming our species' destructive power. This course will survey the crisis in all its dimensions: biological, political/economic, technological/scientific, cultural, psychological, ethical, philosophical and spiritual. We will see whether it has an "efficient cause," i.e., a main dynamism which can be isolated and, at least in principle, overcome; and we will investigate the dominant system of production, capitalism, in this light. Finally, the course will consider the overriding question: What is to be done? What social, technological, psychological, and spiritual changes are necessary to overcome the crisis; and how do existing ecological movements measure up against these goals? Limited to 25 students.