Academics Navigation


Get a feel for the exciting variety of courses taught at Marlboro.

This is a list of courses that faculty felt was representational of the courses offered. It is not a complete list of courses, some courses are offered yearly, while others are infrequent. A course may be inspired by events or strong interests and taught only once.

Most advanced work is in the form of tutorials on specific subjects, a collaboration between one faculty member and one student or a handful of students.


(4.00 Credits — Advanced)

Spring 2012

The major ideas, theories, and methodologies of some of the European and American founders of sociology. The works of Marx, Weber, Simmel and Veblen will be evaluated in relation to the evolution of industrial society. Prerequisite: Introductory course in sociology or permission of instructor; history and/or philosophy helpful.

Contemporary American Society
(3.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2010

The evolution of and interrelationship between American social, economic and political institutions focusing on the period from the end of World War II to the present. Prerequisite: None

Contemporary Political & Social Thought
(4.00 Credits — Advanced)

Fall 2010

Issues crucial to an understanding of the crisis of the 20th century will be explored through the work of Arendt, Barnet, Vidich, Kolko and Elizabeth Genovese. Prerequisite: None

Food, Waste, and Justice
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2013

This course will explore the politics of food and waste systems from an environmental justice lens. Topics covered will include the food justice movement, systems of food production, distribution, and consumption, globalization and the export of environmental hazards, social and ecological injustice, and the polluter-industrial complex. Prerequisite: Introductory course in the Social Sciences or Sociological Theory

Gender and Society
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Spring 2013

Every day, gender norms and prescriptions shape the way we think about, act within, and discuss the world we live in. From birth, people are separated into categories of male and female, and are subsequently treated differently based on the roles that are assigned by the dominant culture.  In this course, we will examine the ways in which societal expectations and our own perceptions of sexuality, violence, family, religion, education, health, work, and public policy are shaped by gender.  We will study theories of masculinity and femininity, as we cannot understand one without an analysis of the other.  We will also explore in depth the concept of gender beyond the exclusive dichotomy of male and female.

It is my goal that each of you will leave this course with a comprehension of the sociological understanding that gender is not essential, but rather that it is a social construction and a complex process that is continuously created, maintained, and transformed.

Inequality and "Natural" Disasters
(4.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2012

How do societies respond to disaster, and what does this tell us about the human condition?  What makes certain communities more vulnerable to disaster, or more able to adapt after a disaster has occurred? We will examine in depth the different analytical frameworks used to understand vulnerability, mitigation, and adaptation to disaster.  We will also discuss the intricacies and inadequacies of the term "natural disaster,” looking at the different definitions of disaster in sociological literature.

This course operates on the premise that disasters are essentially social events that reflect back to us the way we live and structure our communities.  We will study theories of social vulnerability that illustrate the social, economic, political, cultural, and geographical factors that put people at risk before, during and after disasters. 

Introduction to Sociology
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Fall 2014

This course introduces the student to the theories and perspectives of sociology. We will explore a variety of substantive areas within the field, touching on many of the major subfields. These include the social formation of behavior and identity, the sociology of emotions, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, social class and its reproduction, social structure and inequality, environmental justice, and social movements. Prerequisite: None

Research Methods
(4.00 Credits — Advanced)

Spring 2015

This course provides an introduction to research methods often employed in anthropology and sociology. Through a mix of readings and fieldwork, students will learn the basics of survey design, participant observation, interviewing techniques, evaluation analysis, and ethnography. We will also discuss the ethical considerations fundamental to conducting research with human participants. Each student will leave this course having crafted a research proposal for use in their Plan, study abroad work, a fellowship, or a research paper, and run this proposal through IRB.

All students wishing to pursue Plan work in Sociology are required to take this course. Prerequisite: Introductory level work in the social sciences

Social Problems
(4.00 Credits — Introductory)

Spring 2013

In this course, we will explore a variety of “social problems,” key issues facing contemporary society, from a sociological perspective. In particular, we will discuss the nature and character of social problems and their construction, the way social problems are framed by their claims-makers and opponents, and the various theoretical paradigms that may be applied to these areas.  This course asks: How does power - of claims-makers, of activists, of the media, and of the state - play into our perceptions of what constitutes a social problem?  How do race, gender, class, sexuality and nation inflect everyday life and macro level structures? What is the benefit of applying a sociological lens to social problems? The course will explore a range of issues from homelessness to the prison industrial complex to reproductive rights.  A primary learning goal is to develop critical thinking skills that will allow you to question and critique both your own ideas about social issues as well as information presented to you by the media and the people around you. We will also devote significant attention to social movements organized in response to each issue covered in this course. 

Sociological Theory
(4.00 Credits — Advanced)

Fall 2013

This course will explore the classical texts of sociological theory and examine how they manifest in contemporary sociological theory. This course is required for anybody who wishes to do a Plan in Sociology. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sociology or Introduction to Anthropology

The Politics of Education
(2.00 Credits — Intermediate)

Fall 2013

A seminar on the relationship between political and educational  institutions, focusing on the ways in which students are socialized to both participate in and resist mainstream society. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sociology, Classical Sociological Thought, or permission of instructor

WHIP - Exploring the Health and Wellness of College Students
(1.00 Credit — Introductory)

Fall 2017

Alcohol and other drug use. STIs. Eating disorders. Stress. Relationship violence. On their own, these issues of health and wellness can be difficult to discuss, but when placed within the context of a college campus, they take on an entirely different meaning. In WHIP, or Wellness and Health Informed Peers, participants will explore and reflect on the concepts of health and wellness through the lens of both their own experience as well as their peers around them. As we meet only once a week, attendance at all sessions is required. Prerequisite: None

For Sociology offerings, also see:

Consumer Culture in Historical Perspective
Introduction to Anthropology
Modernity & Postmodernity in Cultural History


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)