Skip to content

Humanities and Social Sciences

Making Each Word Count: Exploring Voice in Writing

9-12th graders  |  Session B (PM): July 25-29, 2022  |  Registration Closed

Do you write with your voice? Do you struggle to express your voice in writing? Just as strong speakers who have their ways to draw the audience attention, successful writers also need to develop their voices so that they can hook the readers. This course will explore:

  • What is voice in writing?
  • How can our cultural and linguistic backgrounds affect the way we express our voice in writing?
  • How can we develop our unique voice and make it heard in writing?

We will seek out answers to these questions through reading texts in a variety of disciplines (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology, and education), watching podcasts and YouTube videos, and writing texts of different genres, including narratives, argumentation, commentaries, and social media postings.

This course demonstrates the writing process as crucial to the writing product. Students will do free writing, write reflections, offer peer feedback, and make revisions to develop a voice in writing.

Instructor: Fangzhi He, instructor, Warner School of Education

Understanding Social Science Studies

9-12th graders  |  Session B: July 25-29, 2022  |  Registration Closed

Most students think of research being done in a lab. What about social science research? This research course is designed to help develop students’ social science research awareness and abilities. During these two weeks, we will discuss and analyze recent studies on Chinese education, culture, and society. Students will learn how social science researchers find evidence to explore, analyze data, and explain education issues. After this class, students will be able to explain basic concepts in social science research and design a study.

Instructor: Yinghua Yang, instructor, Warner School of Education

XR: Content Creation and World Building

9-12th graders  |  Session A: July 11-22, 2022  |  8:30-11:30 a.m.

Learn how XR (the umbrella term for Augmented and Virtual Reality) experiences are created! Students will study the history of immersive technologies and gain technical skills by exploring both the basics of 3D graphics for asset creation and how to develop XR environments with Unity, a popular game engine. We will also discuss the applications and impact of XR across humanities, social science, and STEM fields. All learning levels welcome.

Instructor: Emily Sherwood, PhD and Digital Scholarship Staff, Studio X.

Deploying Projects in XR Environments

9-12th graders  |  Session B (AM): July 25-29, 2022  |  Registration Closed

So you’ve created an XR experience? Now what? How do you share it with others? Students will learn the basics of deploying XR projects, including how to build for mobile and VR platforms, design basic interfaces, and incorporate XR interaction. We will also discuss the ethical and technical challenges of developing XR applications and consider topics such as user experience concerns, accessibility best practices, and inclusive development. All learning levels welcome.

Instructor: Emily Sherwood, PhD and Digital Scholarship Staff, Studio X.

Mathematics: Who Even Cares?

9-12th graders  |  Session B: July 25- July 29, 2022  |  Registration Closed

This course will explore how to use ethics as a framework for teaching, with a focus on the mathematics classroom. Students will investigate their own biases, how those biases formed, and how they are enacted in a typical mathematics course. We will answer questions about how mathematics curricula are constructed and aligned with state and national expectations.

This course will deconstruct the idea of a “math person” and seek to find areas for crossover into other disciplines. Students will leave this course with a heightened focus on their own motivations for and perceptions of their education.

Instructor: Robert Bonfiglio, graduate student, Warner School of Education

Mysteries of the Brain and Human Behavior: Psychology’s Understanding of Deviance

9-12th graders  |  Session B: July 25- July 29, 2022  |  1:00-4:00 p.m.

If you’ve ever wondered about how human development can ‘go wrong’ – in the brain, in our personality, or in our behavior — then this might be the right class for you. Contemporary psychology includes the study of yet-unsolved mysteries of the brain and human behavior.

Despite the research efforts in fields of study including neuroscience, and forensic, developmental, abnormal, and social psychology, society still grapples with understanding those things we categorize as ‘deviance’ from normal – such as disability, criminality, and mental illness. In this class, you can expect to get a brief introduction to the various ways in which researchers have sought to understand disability, criminality, and trauma from an abnormal and social psychology perspective; and the goal is to challenge your thinking about human differences in ways that you might not have considered before.

We will learn about and discuss controversial and even mysterious psychological phenomena such as:

  • What causes a witness to stand by and watch an old woman being robbed, but do nothing to intervene?
  • Did lobotomies actually work – and is modern medicine really better at treating mental illness than everything that came before it?
  • What are personality disorders?
  • How can we know so much and yet so little about disabilities such as autism?
  • How does fear influence groups of people to do egregious things, like burn women at the stake or be complicit in the Holocaust?
  • How do our traumatic experiences change the brain?
  • Can our brains really ‘play tricks’ on the way we perceive or experience something?
  • How do we define what’s normal, and how can disability studies shift that perspective?
  • In what ways does a brain injury change someone’s personality, leaving them with lifelong cognitive challenges that even neuroscientists can’t explain?
  • What theories have been used to explain criminal behavior and the personalities of people who become murderers?

Instructor: Jennifer Wick, PhD candidate, Warner School of Education

Hard Knock Life: Orphans in the Nineteenth-Century United States

9-12th graders  |  Session B: July 25- July 29, 2022  |  Registration Closed

Were children dangerous in the 1800s? If you are interested in the answer, consider enrolling to explore history in a different way. Students may expect an immersive experience, as they will engage with historical artifacts like asylum record books, indenture contracts, letters, postcards, and more. So, roll up your sleeves, and prepare yourself for your journey to become a historian! The course will also use movie adaptations of nineteenth-century novels to encourage student discussion regarding popular representation of orphans and asylums.

The aim of this course is that students not only find answers to larger historical questions, but that they depart with highly applicable research skills that continue to encourage curiosity and creativity.  Enroll today and experience a hands-on approach to history where curiosity guides students rather than textbooks.

Instructor: Rhianna Gordon, PhD student, Department of History

Homefront at War: Rosie the Riveter to the Factories in the Fields

9-12th graders  |  Session B: July 25- July 29, 2022  |  Registration Closed

When most men were mobilized to the front during the second world war, the necessary jobs they left behind did not disappear. To keep the country moving and the war effort maximized, the women, children, and men left behind had to go into the factories and onto the fields for the country’s future. To keep the country feed and working towards the war effort could mean the difference between victory and having to surrender as Germany did during the first world war. Mobilization turned an underutilized labor pool into the country’s working population which paved the road to a modern guest worker programs.

This course looks at two important groups who mobilized the home front and supported the war efforts within the United States: women and male migrant contract laborers from Mexico braceros. Topics will include The Women’s Land Army of America, Rosie the Riveter, the Women’s Army Corps, the Bracero Program, and bracero railroaders.

Instructor: Katelyn Getchel, PhD student, Department of History

Queer New York: Exploring the History of the LGBTQ+ Community in New York State

9-12th graders  |  Session A: July 11- July 22, 2022  |  Registration Closed

What was it like to be queer in New York in the 1970s and 80s? Queer New York will make use of the U of R’s extensive collection of archives, books, magazines, oral history interviews, digital media, and more in hopes of answering this question. The first week of the course will introduce students to key topics relating to gender, sexuality, and the history of the LGBTQ+ community in New York State (with a special emphasis on the city of Rochester); the second week will give students a chance to explore the U of R Libraries and build research skills through a guided exploration of a course-related topic of their choosing.

The first two days of the course will involve a discussion of foundational theories on sexuality and gender including the notion of the “invention” of heterosexuality and the theory of gender performativity. The remaining three days of week one will be dedicated to a discussion of LGBTQ+ culture and activism in New York State in the 1970’s and 80’s. Each class will be comprised of a lecture followed by a discussion and/or group activity centered on the analysis of a related primary source. For example, if we discuss Judith Butler’s theories on gender performativity and drag in the first half of the class, we may spend the second half of class researching the history of drag performance in New York City, Rochester, and beyond.

The second week of the course will give students a chance to explore topics of their own choosing relating to local LGBTQ+ history. We will kick off this research-focused week with an in-class screening of the film, Shoulders to Stand On, which provides an overview of the history of Rochester’s LGBTQ+ community from the 1970s to the early 2000s. Following the screening, we will identify potential research topics, formulate research questions, and have an open discussion about what it looks like to research, outline, and write an engaging and effective history paper. Next, we will visit the Special Collections library and view the RJ Alcalá Gay Rights and Culture Collection, the Gay Brotherhood of Rochester Papers, the Backstreets Bar Scrapbook, the AIDS Education Posters Collection, and more. Students will spend their time at the library researching their chosen topics. On the final day of class, students will (informally) share their research findings with one another and we will reflect on the course as a whole. Weather permitting, we will hold our final class in Genesee Valley Park, which played host to Rochester’s first gay community picnic in 1972.

Instructor: Claire Becker, PhD student, Department of History

What’s the Right Thing To Do?

9-12th graders  |  Session A: July 11- July 22, 2022  |  8:30-11:30 a.m.

Do the wealthy owe something to the poor?  Is war ever justified?  Should colleges use race as a factor in admissions decisions?  Most of us have an opinion, and are excited to defend it, in these sorts of provocative ethical dilemmas.  That excitement will be the fuel for this course, but is every opinion equally sound?  To find out, students will use philosophical texts, reasoning, conversation, and congenial argument to meticulously examine a variety of contemporary ethical issues.  The aim is to give students a taste of the rigorous thought that goes into modern philosophical analyses of these issues, and to provoke students to develop their own thoughtful views.  What is the right thing to do?  Come to class to find out!

Instructor: Zachary Barber, professor, Department of Philosophy

Return to the top of the page