Bringing together scholars from history, biology, chemistry, education, geography, psychology, and interdisciplinary studies, our inaugural “Summer at Salem State” institute series features a series of weeklong academic institutes that explore the theme of social justice.
Offered in addition to our traditional summer undergraduate and graduate programming, this special series is in recognition of the 325th Anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials and will offer students, scholars, professionals, and those who simply wish to indulge an interest an opportunity to explore social justice from a wide variety of perspectives including historical, literary, and environmental. Challenging, thought-provoking, and deeply immersive, these enriching institutes will consider topics such as social equality, economic justice, environmental justice, human rights, and cultural identity.
Each weeklong social justice institute will be offered during the month of July and is available for undergraduate or graduate credit. Students will have the opportunity to supplement their studies with special events woven throughout the series such as community talks, art performances, and visits to historical sites.
The social justice institute series schedule is as follows. Institutes run from 8:30 am-4:30 pm Monday through Friday.
Week One: July 10 – 14
BIO 208 Environmental Problems: An Ecological Approach
This course explores the scientific basis for current local, regional and worldwide environmental problems and demonstrates how solutions to environmental problems lie in recognizing ecological principles and managing human ecosystems accordingly. Co-taught by Ryan Fisher and Joseph Buttner, professors of biology, 3 credits.
HST 704/EDU 855 Teaching Difficult Topics: Native American History
This course prepares K-12 and college teachers to develop innovative curricula that integrates Native American history into their American History classes by drawing on a mix of primary and secondary sources, material culture, and site visits emphasizing the complexities and nuances of Native American history. Taught by Brad Austin, professor of history, 3 credits.
HST 899 The European Witch Hunt
This course places Salem’s conspicuous witch trials in chronological, geographical, and cultural context through a comparative and source-based examination of the “Witch Hunt” of early modern Europe, involving the prosecution of over 100,000 people, including men, women and children, for witchcraft between 1450 and 1700. Taught by Donna Seger, professor of history, 3 credits.
IDS 232 American Identities
Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course explores how ‘American’ cultural, national and individual identities have developed over four centuries and the impact of this legacy on ‘American’ identity today. Focusing on race, gender, economic status and ethnicity, students will consider the origin and legitimacy of ideas about opportunity and belonging in 'America' past and present. The course will engage Salem’s museums and urban landscape, and also incorporate a service-learning component focused on issues of immigration and migration as well as economic and social justice. Taught by professor Liz Duclos-Orsello, professor of interdisciplinary studies, 3 credits.
Week Two: July 17- 21
CHE 140 Introduction to Environmental Chemistry
This course investigates the chemical processes widespread in our environment: natural waters, earth and soil, and atmosphere. Specific topics will include: air pollution, the chemical basis of ozone depletion, global warming, acid rain, photochemical smog, natural resources and renewable energy, and water pollution and remediation. Taught by Mustafa Yatin, assistant professor of chemistry and physics, 3 credits.
PSY 333 Psychology of Women
This is an empirically oriented course that examines the psychological literature on sex-roles and developmental differences between women and men, the psychological implications of events unique to women, and the treatment of women in classic and current theories and research. The course will explore both biological and cultural influences on gender as well as the oppression and victimization of women across cultures. Taught by Anne Noonan, associate professor of psychology, 3 credits.
HST 709 Salem in Captivity
This course explores the emerging perception of the world as a dangerous place for Americans working in the maritime industry during the colonial and early Republic eras, when dozens of cases of pirate assaults and massacres occurred. This perception impacted the development of American ideas of social justice that situated retaliation against other peoples as a justification for armed conflict. Taught Dane Morrison, professor of history, 3 credits.
HST 809 The Salem Witch Trials
This course examines the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in American history: the Salem Witch Trials. The government’s complete failure to protect the innocent would make the trials a critical turning point in American history, and a lasting symbol of intolerance. Taught by Emerson Baker, professor of history, 3 credits.
Week Three: July 24 – 28
GPH 379 Environmental Justice
This course explores how environmental injustices are created and perpetuated, and how communities are fighting to take back control over their environments and their lives. If politics is about who gets what, then Environmental Justice is about who gets what and where. Taught by Marcos Luna, professor of geography, 3 credits.
HST 706 Preserving the Past: Enriching the Social Studies Curriculum. Special Focus on “Life and Labor on the North Shore”
In collaboration with the House of the Seven Gables, the Massachusetts Historic Society, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology at Phillips Andover, this course investigates how using archaeological methodologies and material culture remains help us to understand - and teach - a more inclusive narrative of American history incorporating women, slaves, Native Americans, and the working classes. Taught by Bethany Jay, associate professor of history, 3 credits.
HST 809 Policing and Violence in America
This course examines the development and impact of the emergence of professional crime fighting forces in the nineteenth century and explores myths and realities about policing and violence. Topics include slave rebellions, working class violence, organized crime, lynching, ghetto revolts, civil rights, and social protest. Taught Andrew Darien, professor of history, 3 credits.
IDS 265 Peace and Peace Building
This course examines the historical, sociological, philosophical and environmental antecedents to conflict at the local, national, and international levels and through a process of research, discussion and evaluation develops possible options that could have been used in the peaceful resolution to conflicts. A main focus is on current major peace keeping and peace-making efforts. This course also examines the role that organizations and individuals play, and what options there are for the future. Taught by Greg Carroll, professor of interdisciplinary studies, 3 credits.
SPC 101W Oral Communication: Spoken Word
This course is designed to provide an opportunity for students to create original solo writing and performance that examines the way a creative artist engages contemporary social and political problems. Through in-depth study of monologue, poetry, lyrics, and the history of the spoken word, the student will learn creative expression and the art of social and political engagement. Presentation skills, audience analysis, speech organization, and critical thinking are developed. Taught by Peter Sampieri, associate professor of theatre and speech communication, 3 credits.