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Humanities and Social Sciences

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

9-12th graders  |  Session A  |  1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

What was it like to be queer in New York in the 1970s and 80s? Queer New York will make use of Rochester’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 University’s Libraries and build research skills through a guided exploration of a course-related topic of their choosing.

Instructor: Claire Becker, PhD student, Department of History

What’s the Right Thing To Do?

9-12th graders  |  Session A  |  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

XR: Content Creation and World Building

9-12th graders  |  Session A

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.

Hard Knock Life: Orphans in the 19th Century United States

9-12th graders  |   Session B  | TBD

Were children dangerous in the 1800s? If you are interested in the answer, join us to explore history in a different way. Students will have an immersive and hands-on experience, as we engage with historical artifacts like asylum record books, indenture contracts, letters, postcards, and film. This course will use movie adaptations of nineteenth-century novels to encourage student discussion regarding popular representation of orphans and asylums.

The aim of this course is for students to not only find answers to larger historical questions, but to gain research skills that continue to spark curiosity and creativity.  Experience a hands-on approach to history where curiosity guides students rather than textbooks.

Instructor: Rhianna Gordon, PhD student, Department of History

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

9-12th graders  |  Session B  | TBD

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 also learn about and discuss controversial and even mysterious psychological phenomena.

Instructor: Jennifer Wick, PhD, Warner School of Education

Language and Advertising

9-12th graders  |  Session B  |  1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

This course examines how advertisers use language to sell products and how it affects our perception of the products and ourselves. This course will appeal to those who are curious about the central role language plays in the art of persuasion. The course touches upon the structure of language only insofar as it is relevant for understanding advertising as a form of social action. The acquired linguistic tools will help us to understand how commercial messages achieve their effect in business, culture, or even grass roots movements.

Instructor: Solveiga Armoskaite, professor, Writing, Speaking, and Argument

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