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Faculty Spotlight: Casey Golomski

casey.golomskiBrandeis University Summer School interviewed Casey Golomski, a lecturer in the Anthropology Department at Brandeis.  This summer, Casey will be teaching ANTH127a “Medicine, Body and Culture.” Registration is now open – click here to be directed to the enrollment page.

 

Brandeis University Summer School: How long have you been teaching at Brandeis? 

Casey Golomski: My home is in the Department of Anthropology. I am also Lecturer in Anthropology at UMASS Boston, and I formerly taught at Northeastern University. I matriculated to the Brandeis Anthropology PhD program in 2006 and successfully defended my dissertation this past March, so I will graduate this spring. Last spring I independently convened the course ANTH80a, “Anthropology of Religion.” I otherwise teach regularly “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology,” “Peoples and Cultures of Africa,” and “Watching Film, Seeing Culture.”

BUSS: What courses will you teach this summer? What can students expect?

CG: This summer I will teach ANTH127a, “Medicine, Body and Culture.” This course is a broad yet nuanced introduction to medical anthropology, engaging the social, economic and political dimensions of illness and healing across cultures. I’m very excited for the opportunity to convene this course. I consider myself a cultural anthropologist, but I am very involved in issues of bodies, aging and medicine. In the past, I’ve done work with traditional and Christian spiritual healers in southern Africa, as well as youth and shamanistic healing in the Hmong Diaspora in the US. My current research focuses effects of death and demographic shift from HIV/AIDS on life cycle rites in the the Kingdom of Swaziland. In the course, I’ll share some of these findings and works-in-progress.

To explain the syllabus a bit, we begin with historical precursors to the field, so how earlier scholars were writing about medicine, culture, society and power and consider how they laid certain intellectual foundations we still work with today. I designed a number of interesting case studies modules on: race and medicine the US; health, environment, and ecology, including how we are affected by wind; chronic illness; and even sleep and sleeplessness! This course attracts many students who are Biology, International Global Studies, or Health Science Society and Policy majors or are pre-med, and we are going to interrogate “biomedicine (our own system and understandings of health) and programs and initiatives of “global public health,” as well as learning how undergraduate students in Africa learn to become doctors in some resource deprived settings there. At the end of the course, we consider how to apply our culturally-nuanced findings in practice and public policy. We draw case studies from Anglo-, Hispanic- and Native North, Central and South America, Western Europe, Eastern and Southern Africa, East and South Asia and the Pacific.

BUSS: What is unique about summer courses – either for the students or faculty?

CG: I like the opportunities that summer school schedules provide. While the course is condensed to make up for a full semester’s content, I make sure to stagger the work expectations so students are able to better relish the material. While the readings are pretty equitable across the course schedule, some days will be more concentrated my own material and lectures. Other days use a “conversation circle” format where we each share individually- or group-assigned readings with each other. We will read scholarly and some popular writing which can be a much quicker read, like the best-seller “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” I think summer is a good time to catch up on “leisure” reading, and this combination lets students see how books in the library and popular books can converse in interesting ways. We will watch a number of films as well.  Students will have three different options for a final project, including doing their own short ethnographic investigation which a summer course permits more time and freedom to take on.

 

Registration for ANTH127a and all summer course is now open.  Click here for more information, or to sign up!

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Introductory Biology 15b

BIOL 15b is one of the more basic biology courses that fulfills the science requirement. Often you’ll see non-science majors in the lecture hall alongside those newly embarking on a science concentration.  This class touches on many of the same concepts found in the AP Biology curriculum, which explains why the registrar recommends against taking this course if you have taken AP Bio.  Because there is a lot of material to cover, it is important that you remain focus throughout the session and try to absorb as much of it as possible.  If you are taking this course with the intention of enrolling in BIOL 22a/b in the future, this course will provide an excellent foundation for those future courses.  Be sure to save your notes and lectures, perhaps they will be useful in semesters to come!

Course Tuition: $2,236 plus a nonrefundable, once per summer $50 registration fee.
http://www.brandeis.edu/summer/courses/offerings.php?sessionid=0&programid=25#

New Summer Classes Added to Summer 2012!

3 new classes have been added to Summer 2012!

BIOL 172b – Growth Control and Cancer with Justin Dore
M, T, W, Th 9:00 – 10:50 AM
Summer Session I: May 29 to June 29, 2012
Requirements Fulfilled: sn
This course covers the fundamental rules of behavior of cells in multicellular organisms. We will examine cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern cell growth, and differentiation and survival in normal cells, as well as how this regulation is disrupted in cancer.

JOUR 89a – Contemporary Media: Internship and Analysis with Maura Jane Farrelly
Extended Summer Session: May 29 to August 3, 2012
Prerequisite: AMST 15a, 137b, or 138b
This course brings together students who are independently engaged in various media internships and provides an opportunity for them to exchange their experiences w

ith other students and to discuss and analyze related readings. Students will receive career guidance in the various communication fields and they will have an opportunity to practice job-hunting skills, such as resume and cover letter writing. Students who choose to satisfy the journalism minor’s internship option must take this course. Students should first contact Prof. Maura Jane Farrelly to discuss their proposed Internship, or for advice in finding an internship site.

HISP 104b – Peoples, Ideas, and Language of the Hispanic World with Jorge Arteta

M, T, Th 8:30 – 10:50 AM
Summer Session I: May 29 to June 29, 2012
Requirements Fulfilled: hum, fl
Prerequisite: 30-level Spanish course or equivalent.
This course offers an opportunity to expand the participants’ linguistic skills in Spanish while simultaneously deepening their understanding of Hispanic culture. The main theme of the course is the history and ideas that shape the Spanish-speaking world, from its peninsular origins to the realities of Spanish-speakers in the Americas, including the United States.

The following topics will be studied throughout the course:

  • Concepts of identity and culture
  • Religion and mythology in the course of history
  • Dynamics of nation formation
  • Hispanic peoples, ideas and languages in the USA

Pertinent vocabulary and complex grammar not mastered in previous courses will be studied, contextualized and applied during the course as appropriate. Please note that most of the study of grammar will be assigned to be done outside of class, as well as the course manual’s activities. Students will improve their listening skills, as well as develop new strategies to acquire new vocabulary and carry out the following functions in Spanish: narrating, describing, giving out advice and recommendations, comparing and contrasting, expressing opinions and providing valid arguments.

Registration is now open!

Check out all the summer course offerings at:

http://www.brandeis.edu/summer/courses/index.html

 

Brandeis Summer Students Studying on Campus

Advisor Perspective: How to get the most out of summer

Without a doubt, it can be difficult, at times, to listen to someone telling you to do something.  In this case, it is important to know and understand that anything and everything that your advisor tells you is really for your best interest.  Professors here want all of their students and advisees to succeed.

When mapping out your schedule for the duration of your time here at Brandeis, it is imperative that you keep in mind the vast availability of summer courses.  This can help you reach your goals faster and in a more efficient manner.  Each semester should be used to its fullest potential.  And why not maximize the degree of education that you can receive?  The work that you put in will be beneficial in years to come.

To get the most out of summer, meet with your academic advisor to discuss your options and your hypothetical paths that will ultimately lead to your graduation.  Summer is really the perfect opportunity to catch up, get ahead, or to experience new and unique courses.

However, it is important to keep in mind that since the summer modules are much shorter, there needs to be a high level of dedication from you, the student.  The professors will be teaching at a relatively faster speed, but it will definitely be manageable if your priorities are set in the right place.

Overall, pick subjects that you are interested in because there will be a lot of time devoted to learning the material and acing papers, exams, and assignments.