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Program of Study

The program in Comparative Human Development (CHDV) focuses on the study of persons over the course of life; on the social, cultural, biological, and psychological processes that jointly influence development; and on growth over time in different social and cultural settings. The study of human development also offers a unique lens through which we consider broad questions of the social sciences, like the processes and impacts of social change, and the interactions of biology and culture. Faculty members in Comparative Human Development with diverse backgrounds in anthropology, biology, psychology, and sociology conduct research on topics that include (but are not limited to): the social and phenomenological experience of mental illness; comparative education; the impact of socioeconomic context on growth and development; the influence of social interaction on biological functioning; the tensions inherent in living in multicultural societies; the experience and development of psychotherapists in Western and non-Western countries; and the ways in which youth in developing countries are forging new conceptions of adulthood. Given this interdisciplinary scope, the program in Comparative Human Development provides an excellent preparation for students interested in advanced postgraduate study at the frontiers of several social science disciplines, or in careers and professions that require a broad and integrated understanding of human experience and behavior—e.g., mental health, education, social work, health care, or human resource and organizational work in community or corporate settings.


The first point of contact for undergraduates is the preceptor. Preceptors can be emailed at

Electronic Communication

Upon declaring a Comparative Human Development major, undergraduates should promptly join the department undergraduate email listserv to receive important announcements. Students request to join the listserv by logging in with their CNet ID at and subscribing to

Program Requirements

The undergraduate program in Comparative Human Development has the following components:

Core Courses

A two-quarter introductory sequence in Comparative Human Development should be completed prior to the Spring Quarter of a student’s third year. CHDV 20000 Introduction to Human Development focuses on theories of development, with particular reference to the development of the self in a social and cultural context. CHDV 20100 Human Development Research Designs in Social Sciences focuses on modes of research and inquiry in human development, including basic concepts of research design and different methods used in studying human development (e.g., ethnography, experiments, surveys, discourse analysis, narrative inquiry, and animal models). Consideration is given to the advantages and limitations of each approach in answering particular questions concerning person and culture.


Students must register for one quantitative or one qualitative Methods course or one research methods (or statistics) course in a related department. Courses that are not on the following list may be petitioned to count for Methods (see Petitions below).

The following are courses that will fulfill the Methods requirement:

STAT 20000 Elementary Statistics

PSYC 20100 Psychological Statistics

CHDV 20101 Applied Statistics in Human Development Research

CHDV 20405 Pornography and Language 

CHDV 26228 Ethnographic Methods

CHDV 29301 Qualitative Research Methods

CHDV 30102 Causal Inference

CHDV 32411 Mediation, Moderation, and Spillover Effects

CHDV 37802 Challenging Legends and Other Received Truths: A Socratic Practicum

CHDV 42214 Ethnographic Writing


Students must take one course in each of three of the four areas below. These three courses must be taught within the Department of Comparative Human Development and must be designated as fulfilling the particular distribution requirement. (Examples of topics within each area are listed.)

A. Comparative Behavioral Biology: includes courses on the biopsychology of attachment, evolutionary social psychology, evolution of parenting, biological psychology, primate behavior and ecology, behavioral endocrinology

Courses since 2012 that fulfill area A:

PSYC 20300 Biological Psychology

CHDV 21500 Darwinian Health

CHDV 21800 Primate Behavior and Ecology

CHDV 22201 Developmental Biopsychology

CHDV 23249 Animal Behavior

CHDV 26227 Neuroscience and the Social Sciences

CHDV 26232 Comparative Cognitive Development

CHDV 26660 Genes and Behavior

CHDV 27950 Evolution and Economics of Human Behavior

CHDV 30901 Biopsychology of Sex Differences

CHDV 34800 Kinship and Social Systems

CHDV 37850 Evolutionary Psychology

CHDV 40900 Behavioral Ecology

B. Life Course Development: includes courses on developmental psychology; introduction to language development; psychoanalysis and child development; development through the life-course; the role of early experience in development; sexual identity; life-course and life story; adolescence, adulthood, and aging; the study of lives

Courses since 2012 that fulfill area B:

CHDV 20150 Language and Communication

CHDV 20207 Race, Ethnicity, and Human Development

CHDV 20209 Adolescent Development

CHDV 21000 Cultural Psychology

CHDV 21901 Language, Culture, and Thought

CHDV 23900 Introduction to Language Development

CHDV 25900 Developmental Psychology

CHDV 26226 Becoming Adult in Postmodern Context(s)

CHDV 26233 Critical Approaches to Child Mental Health

CHDV 26235 Life Course Development

CHDV 30405 Anthropology of Disability

CHDV 41160 New Perspectives on Vulnerability

CHDV 41601 Seminar in Language Development

CHDV 45501 Cognition and Education

CHDV 45601 Moral Development and Comparative Ethics

C. Culture and Community: includes courses on cultural psychology; psychological anthropology; social psychology; cross-cultural child development; language, culture, and thought; language socialization; psychiatric and psychodynamic anthropology; memory and culture

Courses that fulfill area C:

CHDV 20150 Language and Communication

CHDV 20207 Race, Ethnicity, and Human Development

CHDV 20405 Pornography and Language

CHDV 21000 Cultural Psychology

CHDV 21401 Introduction to African Civilization II

CHDV 21901 Language, Culture, and Thought

CHDV 23204 Medical Anthropology

CHDV 23301 Culture, Mental Health, and Psychiatry

CHDV 26000 Social Psychology  

CHDV 26228 Ethnographic Methods

CHDV 26233 Critical Approaches to Child Mental Health

CHDV 27501 Local Bodies, Global Capital

CHDV 27821 Urban Schools and Communities

CHDV 30302 Problems of Public Policy Implementation

CHDV 30320 Violence and Trauma

CHDV 30405 Anthropology of Disability

CHDV 32101 Culture and Power, Part II: Discourse and Performativity

CHDV 41160 New Perspectives on Vulnerability

CHDV 42212 Love, Capital and Conjugality: Africa and India in Comparative Perspective

CHDV 42213 Colonial and Postcolonial Intimacies: African, Indian and European Encounters

CHDV 45600 When Cultures Collide: The Multicultural Challenge in Liberal Democracy

CHDV 45601 Moral Development and Comparative Ethics

CHDV 48415 Displaced Nations and the Politics of Belonging

D. Mental Health and Personality: includes courses on personality theory and research; social and cultural foundations of mental health; modern psychotherapies; psychology of well-being; conflict understanding and resolution; core concepts and current directions in psychopathology; emotion, mind, and rationality; body image in health and disorder; advanced concepts in psychoanalysis

Courses that fulfill area D:

CHDV 20209 Adolescent Development

CHDV 23204 Medical Anthropology

CHDV 23301 Culture, Mental Health, and Psychiatry

CHDV 23620 Medicine and Anthropology

CHDV 23800 Theories of Emotion and the Psychology of Well Being 

CHDV 26233 Critical Approaches to Child Mental Health

CHDV 26310 Vulnerability and Human Rights

CHDV 27700 Modern Psychotherapies

CHDV 30320 Violence and Trauma

CHDV 30405 Anthropology of Disability

CHDV 40110 Color, Ethnicity, Cultural Context, and Human Vulnerability

CHDV 41160 New Perspectives on Vulnerability

CHDV 44200 Emerging Concepts in Medical and Psychological Anthropology


Students must take three additional courses in one of the three areas they have chosen in their distribution requirement (for a total of four courses in one area). Two of the four courses in one's specialization must be offered within the Department of Comparative Human Development. A student must petition for a course to count toward his or her specialization if the course is not already designated as fulfilling that specialization, or for any course offered outside the Department of Comparative Human Development.


A student must choose three additional courses in Comparative Human Development, or in a related discipline with prior approval of the CHDV program chair (petition required).


Students may petition for non-CHDV courses to count toward the Methods, Specialization, and Electives requirements. Petitions are not usually allowed for the Core Courses or Distribution requirements. A maximum of four petitions is allowed. Only university-level courses credited by the University of Chicago or study abroad may be petitioned for CHDV requirements; no other form of credit (including Advanced Placement) is allowed. Petitions should be turned in before the quarter in which the student would like to take the course. At the latest, the petitions must be turned in by end of the first week of the quarter in which the student is taking the course. All petitions must have a copy of the course syllabus attached.

BA Honors Guidelines

Students with qualifying GPAs may seek to graduate with honors by successfully completing a BA honors paper that reflects scholarly proficiency in an area of study within Comparative Human Development. To receive departmental honors upon graduation, students (1) must have attained a cumulative overall GPA of 3.25 or higher and a major GPA higher than 3.5 by the end of the quarter prior to the quarter of graduation, and (2) must have completed a meritorious BA honors paper under the supervision of a CHDV faculty member and received a high grade. Students who seek departmental honors must complete CHDV 29800 BA Honors Seminar and then must register for CHDV 29900 Honors Paper Preparation with a CHDV faculty member who agrees to supervise their honors paper. The paper should be 30 to 40 pages in length, reflect original research of an empirical, scholarly, or theoretical nature, and must be rated as worthy of honors by the student’s CHDV faculty supervisor and a qualified second reader (typically another faculty member).

Permission to undertake a BA honors paper will be granted by the CHDV undergraduate chair to students who (1) have successfully completed the BA Honors Seminar and (2) have filed a properly completed BA Honors Paper Proposal Form with the departmental secretary in HD S 102 no later than tenth week of Spring Quarter of the third year.

BA Honors Seminar

The CHDV 29800 BA Honors Seminar aims to help qualified students formulate a suitable proposal and find a CHDV faculty supervisor. Qualified students who wish to seek departmental honors must register for the CHDV 29800 BA Honors Seminar during their third year. Permission to register for CHDV 29800 BA Honors Seminar will be granted to students with a GPA that, at the end of Winter Quarter of the third year, shows promise of meeting the standards set for honors by the end of Winter Quarter of the fourth year. This course is always offered during Spring Quarter and may be offered Winter Quarter as well (this is not guaranteed). This course must be taken for a quality grade and may be counted as one of the required electives.

Honors Paper Preparation Course

This tutorial course, CHDV 29900 Honors Paper Preparation, aims to help students successfully complete work on their BA honors paper. Students must register for the course with their CHDV faculty supervisor either in the Autumn or Winter Quarter of their fourth year, as a 13th required course. Students who have already undertaken a BA honors project who plan to study elsewhere during their fourth year must have prior approval from their CHDV faculty BA project supervisor and the CHDV undergraduate chair. The grade the BA honors paper receives will become the grade of record for CHDV 29900.

BA Honors Paper for Dual Majors

In very special circumstances, students may be able to write a longer BA honors paper that meets the requirements for a dual major (with prior approval from the undergraduate program chairs in both departments). Students should consult with both chairs before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year. A consent form, available from the student’s College adviser, must be signed by both chairs and returned to the College adviser, with copies filed in both departmental offices, by the end of Autumn Quarter of the student’s graduation year.

Honors Paper Due Date

Honors papers are due by the end of fifth week of the quarter in which a student plans to graduate (typically in Spring Quarter).

Summary of Requirements

CHDV 20000Introduction to Human Development100
CHDV 20100Human Development Research Designs in Social Sciences100
1 methods course100
3 distribution courses300
3 additional courses as a specialization in one of the student's distribution areas300
3 electives300
Total Units1200

Students applying for departmental honors must also register for CHDV 29900 Honors Paper Preparation for a total of 1300 units (13 courses), but may count CHDV 29800 BA Honors Seminar as one of their three required program electives.


All courses required for the major in Comparative Human Development must be taken for quality grades.

The courses below are a guide. For up-to-date course plans, please visit the University Time Schedules or the Planned Courses page on the department website.

Comparative Human Development Courses

CHDV 20000. Introduction to Human Development. 100 Units.

This course introduces the study of lives in context. The nature of human development from infancy through old age is explored through theory and empirical findings from various disciplines. Readings and discussions emphasize the interrelations of biological, psychological, and sociocultural forces at different points of the life cycle.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): For CHD majors or intended majors.
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 20850

CHDV 20100. Human Development Research Designs in Social Sciences. 100 Units.

This course aims to expose students to a variety of examples of well-designed social research addressing questions of great interest and importance. One goal is clarify what it means to do"interesting" research. A second goal is to appreciate the features of good research design. A third goal is to examine the variety of research methodologies in the social sciences, including ethnography, clinical case interviewing, survey research, experimental studies of cognition and social behavior, behavior observations, longitudinal research, and model building. The general emphasis is on what might be called the aesthetics of well-designed research.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Required course for Comparative Human Development majors.
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 21100

CHDV 20101. Applied Statistics in Human Development Research. 100 Units.

This course provides an introduction to quantitative methods of inquiry and a foundation for more advanced courses in applied statistics for students in social sciences with a focus on human development research. The course covers univariate and bivariate descriptive statistics, an introduction to statistical inference, t test, two-way contingency table, analysis of variance, and regression. All statistical concepts and methods will be illustrated with application studies in which we will consider the research questions, study design, analytical choices, validity of inferences, and reports of findings. The examples include (1) examining the relationship between home environment and child development and (2) evaluating the effectiveness of class size reduction for promoting student learning. At the end of the course, students should be able to define and use the descriptive and inferential statistics taught in this course to analyze data and to interpret the analytical results. Students will learn to use the SPSS software. No prior knowledge in statistics is assumed.

Instructor(s): G. Hong     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): High school algebra and probability are the only mathematical prerequisites.
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 30101

CHDV 20129. Economic Development in the Inner City. 100 Units.

This course will explore conceptually what the issues are around the economic position of cities in the early 21st century, and how to think creatively about strategies to generate economic growth that would have positive consequences for low-income residents. Community Development Corporations, empowerment zones, housing projects, and business development plans through credit and technical assistance will all be considered.

Instructor(s): R. Taub     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Not offered 2014-5
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 30129,SOCI 30129

CHDV 20150. Language and Communication. 100 Units.

This course can also be taken by students who are not majoring in Linguistics but are interested in learning something about the uniqueness of human language, spoken or signed. It covers a selection from the following topics: What is the position of spoken language in the usually multimodal forms of communication among humans? In what ways does spoken language differ from signed language? What features make spoken and signed language linguistic? What features distinguish linguistic means of communication from animal communication? How do humans communicate with animals? From an evolutionary point of view, how can we account for the fact that spoken language is the dominant mode of communication in all human communities around the world? Why cannot animals really communicate linguistically? What do the terms language "acquisition" and "transmission" really mean? What factors account for differences between "language acquisition" by children and by adults? Are children really perfect language learners? What factors bring about language evolution, including language speciation and the emergence of new language varieties? How did language evolve in mankind? This is a general education course without any prerequisites. It provides a necessary foundation to those working on language at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Instructor(s): Salikoko Mufwene     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LING 30150,CHDV 30150,LING 20150

CHDV 20206. Anthropology of Language. 100 Units.

The course is about how language both shapes our social relationships and is shaped by them. It covers basic linguistic concepts in the study of language (such as phoneme, morpheme, syntax), but it focuses on the concepts and methods that anthropologists and philosophers have devised to understand the often overlooked or misunderstood role that language plays in our day-to-day lives. The course provides an introduction to the history of linguistic anthropology and to the differences between “structuralist” and “post-structuralist” understandings of language. It concludes with an extended consideration of hate speech: what it is, what is does and how it might best be contested.

Instructor(s): D. Kulick     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15

CHDV 20207. Race, Ethnicity, and Human Development. 100 Units.

Twenty-first century practices of relevance to education, social services, health care and public policy deserve buttressing by cultural and context linked perspectives about human development as experienced by diverse groups. Although generally unacknowledged as such post-Brown v. 1954, the conditions purported to support human development for diverse citizens remain problematic. The consequent interpretative shortcomings serve to increase human vulnerability. Specifically, given the problem of evident unacknowledged privilege for some as well as the insufficient access to resources experienced by others, the dilemma skews our interpretation of behavior, design of research, choice of theory, and determination of policy and practice. The course is based upon the premise that the study of human development is enhanced by examining the experiences of diverse groups, without one group standing as the “standard” against which others are compared and evaluated. Accordingly, the course provides an encompassing theoretical framework for examining the processes of human development for diverse humans while also highlighting the critical role of context and culture.

Instructor(s): M. Spencer     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Students should have one course in either Human Development or Psychology.
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 20207

CHDV 20209. Adolescent Development. 100 Units.

Adolescence represents a period of unusually rapid growth and development. At the same time, under the best of social circumstances and contextual conditions, the teenage years represent a challenging period. The period also affords unparalleled opportunities with appropriate levels of support. Thus, the approach taken acknowledges the challenges and untoward outcomes, while also speculates about the predictors of resiliency and the sources of positive youth development.

Instructor(s): M. Spencer     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 20209

CHDV 20304. Urban Neighborhoods and Urban Schools: Community Economic Opportunity and the Schools. 100 Units.

This course explores the interplay between schools and neighborhoods and how this plays out in shaping life chances.

Instructor(s): M. Keels     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15
Equivalent Course(s): PBPL 29304,SOCI 30314

CHDV 20305. Inequality in Urban Spaces. 100 Units.

This course explores how rich and poor children are sorted into different neighborhoods and schools, and how family, school, and neighborhood characteristics intersect to shape the divergent outcomes of low- and middle-income children residing with any given neighborhood. Students will undertake substantial field work to tackle an important issue affecting the residents and schools in one specified Chicago neighborhood. This course will be co-taught with Marisa Novara from the Metropolitan Planning Council.

Instructor(s): M. Keels     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 40315,CRES 20305,PBPL 20305

CHDV 20400. Intensive Study of a Culture: Lowland Maya History and Ethnography. 100 Units.

The survey encompasses the dynamics of first contact; long-term cultural accommodations achieved during colonial rule; disruptions introduced by state and market forces during the early postcolonial period; the status of indigenous communities in the twentieth century; and new social, economic, and political challenges being faced by the contemporary peoples of the area. We stress a variety of traditional theoretical concerns of the broader Mesoamerican region stressed (e.g., the validity of reconstructive ethnography; theories of agrarian community structure; religious revitalization movements; the constitution of such identity categories as indigenous, Mayan, and Yucatecan). In this respect, the course can serve as a general introduction to the anthropology of the region. The relevance of these area patterns for general anthropological debates about the nature of culture, history, identity, and social change are considered.

Instructor(s): J. Lucy     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): This Course will not be offered 2014-15
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 20400,ANTH 21230,ANTH 30705,CHDV 30401,CRES 20400,LACS 30401

CHDV 20405. Pornography and Language. 100 Units.

The course explores the place and role of language in pornographic films. Why does language occur in filmed pornography at all? What kind of language occurs? What role does it play? How is it gendered? How does it frame the narrative or drive it forward? How does language subvert or undermine the visual representation of sex? What does any of this tell us about gender, sexuality and erotics in non-pornographic contexts? Course readings focus on theories of pornographic representation, theories of language, gender and erotics, and methods of transcribing and analyzing dialogue. The course requires students to watch a wide range of pornography, including different varieties of straight, gay and trans porn, so anyone enrolling in the course must be interested in pornography as a social and cultural phenomenon and must also have experience watching porn and thinking about it.

Instructor(s): D. Kulick     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Upper-level undergrad course.
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15
Equivalent Course(s): LING 29405,ANTH 27305

CHDV 21000. Cultural Psychology. 100 Units.

There is a substantial portion of the psychological nature of human beings that is neither homogeneous nor fixed across time and space. At the heart of the discipline of cultural psychology is the tenet of psychological pluralism, which states that the study of "normal" psychology is the study of multiple psychologies and not just the study of a single or uniform fundamental psychology for all peoples of the world. Research findings in cultural psychology thus raise provocative questions about the integrity and value of alternative forms of subjectivity across cultural groups. In this course we analyze the concept of "culture" and examine ethnic and cross-cultural variations in mental functioning with special attention to the cultural psychology of emotions, self, moral judgment, categorization, and reasoning.

Instructor(s): R. Shweder     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing. Instructor consent required.
Equivalent Course(s): AMER 33000,ANTH 24320,ANTH 35110,CHDV 31000,GNSE 21001,GNSE 31000,PSYC 23000,PSYC 33000

CHDV 21401. Introduction to African Civilization II. 100 Units.

Part two takes a more anthropological focus, concentrating on Eastern and Southern Africa, including Madagascar. We explore various aspects of colonial and postcolonial society. Topics covered include the institution of colonial rule, ethnicity and interethnic violence, ritual and the body, love, marriage, money, youth and popular culture.

Instructor(s): J. Cole     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 10102,ANTH 20702,CRES 20802

CHDV 21500. Darwinian Health. 100 Units.

This course will use an evolutionary, rather than clinical, approach to understanding why we get sick. In particular, we will consider how health issues such as menstruation, senescence, pregnancy sickness, menopause, and diseases can be considered adaptations rather than pathologies. We will also discuss how our rapidly changing environments can reduce the benefits of these adaptations.

Instructor(s): J. Mateo     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor only.
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 21500,HIPS 22401

CHDV 21800. Primate Behavior and Ecology. 100 Units.

This course explores the behavior and ecology of nonhuman primates with emphasis on their natural history and evolution. Specific topics include methods for the study of primate behavior, history of primate behavior research, socioecology, foraging, predation, affiliation, aggression, mating, parenting, development, communication, cognition, and evolution of human behavior.

Instructor(s): D. Maestripieri     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 34300

CHDV 21901. Language, Culture, and Thought. 100 Units.

Survey of research on the interrelation of language, culture, and thought from the evolutionary, developmental, historical, and culture-comparative perspectives with special emphasis on the mediating methodological implications for the social sciences.

Instructor(s): J. Lucy     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 27605,ANTH 37605,CHDV 31901,PSYC 21950,PSYC 31900,LING 27700,LING 37700

CHDV 22212. Love, Conjugality, and Capital: Intimacy in the Modern World. 100 Units.

A look at societies in other parts of the world demonstrates that modernity in the realm of love, intimacy, and family often had a different trajectory from the European one. This course surveys ideas and practices surrounding love, marriage, and capital in the modern world. Using a range of theoretical, historical, and anthropological readings, as well as films, the course explores such topics as the emergence of companionate marriage in Europe and the connections between arranged marriage, dowry, love, and money. Case studies are drawn primarily from Europe, India, and Africa.

Instructor(s): J. Cole, R. Majumdar     Terms Offered: Not offered 2014-15
Prerequisite(s): Any 10000-level music course or consent of instructor
Note(s): This course typically is offered in alternate years.

CHDV 23204. Medical Anthropology. 100 Units.

This course introduces students to the central concepts and methods of medical anthropology. Drawing on a number of classic and contemporary texts, we will consider both the specificity of local medical cultures and the processes which increasingly link these systems of knowledge and practice. We will study the social and political economic shaping of illness and suffering and will examine medical and healing systems—including biomedicine—as social institutions and as sources of epistemological authority. Topics covered will include the problem of belief; local theories of disease causation and healing efficacy; the placebo effect and contextual healing; theories of embodiment; medicalization; structural violence; modernity and the distribution of risk; the meanings and effects of new medical technologies; and global health.

Instructor(s): E. Raikhel     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Sosc sequence
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 43204

CHDV 23249. Animal Behavior. 100 Units.

This course introduces the mechanism, ecology, and evolution of behavior, primarily in nonhuman species, at the individual and group level. Topics include the genetic basis of behavior, developmental pathways, communication, physiology and behavior, foraging behavior, kin selection, mating systems and sexual selection, and the ecological and social context of behavior. A major emphasis is placed on understanding and evaluating scientific studies and their field and lab techniques.

Instructor(s): S. Pruett-Jones (even years), J. Mateo (odd years)     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Completion of the general education requirement in the biological sciences
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 23249,PSYC 23249

CHDV 23301. Culture, Mental Health, and Psychiatry. 100 Units.

 This course examines mental health and illness as a set of subjective experience, social processes and objects of knowledge and intervention. On a conceptual level, the course will invite students to think through the complex relationships between categories of knowledge and clinical technologies (in this case, mainly psychiatric ones) and the subjectivities of persons living with mental illness. Put in slightly different terms, we will look at the multiple links between psychiatrists' professional accounts of mental illness and patients' experiences of it. Readings will be drawn primarily from medical and psychological anthropology, cultural psychiatry, and science studies, but will include some "primary texts" from the memoiristic and psychiatric literatures.

Instructor(s): E. Raikhel     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 24315,ANTH 35115,CHDV 33301,HIPS 27302

CHDV 23620. Medicine and Anthropology. 100 Units.

The rise of modern biological medicine into global dominance dates from the 18th century, with the field developing in tandem with technological industrialization, scientific objectivism, and secular modernism in writing and social theory. The things we now have before us in the medical field—doctors, patients, drugs, symptoms, diseases, pacemakers, antiseptic wipes, psychologies, therapeutic protocols, health insurance, white coats, immunizations, folk remedies, and much more—are many of the things that ground all of our ethics and our politics in contemporary North America. In order to better understand how medicine affects wider worlds of experience and action, this course gathers a number of historical and ethnographic studies of medical knowledge and practice for careful study. In a series of readings and discussions we will consider the social and political economic shaping of illness and suffering and the “culture-bound” character of diseases; we will examine medical and healing systems—well beyond biomedicine—as social institutions and as sources of epistemological authority; and we will read about the knowledge politics of medical experts and their clients and patients. Topics covered will also include the problem of belief; local theories of disease causation and healing efficacy; the placebo effect and contextual healing; theories of embodiment; medicalization; modernity and the distribution of risk; the meanings and effects of medical technologies; and the relatively recent global health movement.

Instructor(s): J. Farquhar     Terms Offered: Not offered 2014-15; will be offered 2015-16
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 23620,ANTH 33620,CHDV 33620

CHDV 23900. Introduction to Language Development. 100 Units.

This course addresses the major issues involved in first-language acquisition. We deal with the child’s production and perception of speech sounds (phonology), the acquisition of the lexicon (semantics), the comprehension and production of structured word combinations (syntax), and the ability to use language to communicate (pragmatics).

Instructor(s): S. Goldin-Meadow     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 23200,LING 21600

CHDV 24402. Psychological Research Methods in Human Development. 100 Units.

The goal of this course is to guide students in acquiring the skills necessary for designing meaningful research that clearly communicates our cultural and psychological knowledge about the human mind and behavior to professional audiences.  The course accomblishes this by combining practical and theoretical readings drawn from text books and articles about qualitative and quantitative research methods with student exercises designed to develop a well-crafted research proposal. The course thus has a two-part sructure: discussion of the theoretical and technical aspects of each week’s methodological focus;  workshop time allowing students to give and receive constructive feedback on their emerging research design.  These workshopped pieces will culminate in a research proposal that meets the methodological and presentation criteria required for a BA thesis, Trial Research, or a Grant Proposal.  Alternatively, students may design a small pilot study that will lay the foundation for research proposals to be further developed in the course of their academic work.

Instructor(s): S. Van Deusen Phillips     Terms Offered: Spring 2014
Prerequisite(s): Advanced Undergraduate or Graduate Students Only
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 34402,MAPS 34400

CHDV 25116. Magic Matters. 100 Units.

The course explores the lively presence of magic in the contemporary, presumably disenchanted world. It approaches the problem of magic historically—examining how magic became an object of social scientific inquiry—and anthropologically, attending to the magic in practice on the margins of the industrial, rational, cosmopolitan, and technological societies and economies. Furthermore, this course reads classic and contemporary ethnographies of magic together with studies of science and technology to critically examine questions of agency, practice, experience, experiment, and efficacy. The course reads widely across sites, disciplines, and theories, attending to eventful objects and alien agents, stepping into post-socialist, post-colonial, and post-secular magic markets and medical clinics, and reading for the political energies of the emergent communities that effectively mix science, magic, and technology.

Instructor(s): L. Jasarevic     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 25116,INST 27701

CHDV 25120. Child Development and Public Policy. 100 Units.

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the literature on early child development and explore how an understanding of core developmental concepts can inform social policies. This goal will be addressed through an integrated, multidisciplinary approach. The course will emphasize research on the science of early child development from the prenatal period through school entry. The central debate about the role of early experience in development will provide a unifying strand for the course. Students will be introduced to research in neuroscience, psychology, economics, sociology, and public policy as it bears on questions about “what develops?”, critical periods in development, the nature vs. nurture debate, and the ways in which environmental contexts (e.g., parents, families, peers, schools, institutions, communities) affect early development and developmental trajectories. The first part of the course will introduce students to the major disciplinary streams in the developmental sciences and the enduring and new debates and perspectives within the field. The second part will examine the multiple contexts of early development to understand which aspects of young children’s environments affect their development and how those impacts arise. Throughout the course, we will explore how the principles of early childhood development can guide the design of policies and practices that enhance the healthy development of young children, particularly for those living in adverse circumstances, and thereby build a strong foundation for promoting equality of opportunity, reducing social class disparities in life outcomes, building human capital, fostering economic prosperity, and generating positive social change. In doing so, we will critically examine the evidence on whether the contexts of children’s development are amenable to public policy intervention and the costs and benefits of different policy approaches.

Instructor(s): A. Kalil     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): An introductory course in Psychology or Human Development and an introductory Methods/Statistics course
Equivalent Course(s): PBPL 25120,PSYC 25120

CHDV 25900. Developmental Psychology. 100 Units.

This is an introductory course in developmental psychology, with a focus on cognitive and social development in infancy through early childhood. Example topics include children's early thinking about number, morality, and social relationships, as well as how early environments inform children's social and cognitive development. Where appropriate, we make links to both philosophical inquiries into the nature of the human mind, and to practical inquiries concerning education and public policy.

Instructor(s): A. Woodward     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 20500

CHDV 26000. Social Psychology. 100 Units.

This course examines social psychological theory and research that is based on both classic and contemporary contributions. Topics include conformity and deviance, the attitude-change process, social role and personality, social cognition, and political psychology.

Instructor(s): W. Goldstein     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): PSYC 20000 recommended.
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 20600

CHDV 26226. Becoming Adult in Postmodern Context(s) 100 Units.

The transition to adulthood has become deinstitutionalized and decontextualized to the point that those in the process of becoming adults find themselves lost, cast adrift, and wondering whether something called adulthood even exists any more. It is widely acknowledged that the transition to adulthood has become delayed and drawn out in contemporary, highly technological Western societies. What is less clear is what this change means for individuals and for the larger society. Is it good that young people have more time to decide what adulthood means to them? Does the delay represent the hardening of class boundaries and greater difficulty in establishing the economic security necessary for adulthood? What are the implications of people in their late 20's and even 30's thinking of themselves as only "soft-of" adult? How is this delay experienced differently across gender, race, and class? This course will employ a cross-disciplinary approach to explore the meaning(s) of adulthood and the reasons for the delay in the transition to adulthood. We will examine this issue from sociological, psychological, historical, and anthropological perspectives. Questions to be addressed in this course include: What do we mean by a postmodern context? How have shifts in institutional structures created changes in the meaning of adulthood? What can be learned about adulthood and maturity from a cross-cultural or historical-comparative approach? Is there anything universal about the idea of adulthood or maturity? What are the implications, both for the individual and for the larger society, when one doesn't know when, how, or whether they can become an adult?

Instructor(s): D. Dugas     Terms Offered: Not offered in 2014-15

CHDV 26227. Neuroscience and the Social Sciences. 100 Units.

This course aims at undertaking a critical examination of leading neuroscientists' and philosophers' attempts to relate neuroscience findings to major features of human nature. Topics to be covered include rationality, emotions, free will, consciousness, morality, and language.In addition to critically examining claims made about the significance of neuroscientific findings, the course also aims to situate the relative significance of the neuroscientific perspective to other disciplines' approaches to the topic being examined.Skeptics and enthusiasts are both encouraged to enroll. No prior neuroscience experience required.

Instructor(s): R. Nicholson     Terms Offered: Not offered in 2014-15
Note(s): No prior neuroscience experience required.

CHDV 26228. Ethnographic Methods. 100 Units.

This course provides an introduction to ethnographic methods used in anthropological, sociological, and other social science research. The primary goal of this course is for students to gain theoretical and practical knowledge of ethnographic methods through a combination of readings and fieldwork exercises. In doing so, students will learn about formulating research questions, participant observation, interviewing, working with images, videos, texts, and material objects, and analyzing and writing up research findings. Another goal of this course is for students to learn to use ethnographic data to develop social, cultural, and theoretical insights. In order to achieve this goal, and to provide topical and theoretical coherence to this hands-on methods course, students will focus their fieldwork exercises on sites in the Chicago area that are related to medicine, health, and the body. In class sessions, students will discuss each other’s fieldwork findings and collaboratively develop ethnographically-informed knowledge about ideas and practices of medicine, health, and the body in contemporary North America.

Instructor(s): C. Nutter     Terms Offered: Not offered in 2014-15
Prerequisite(s): CHDV 29800 or SOSC core sequence. Consent only.

CHDV 26232. Comparative Cognitive Development. 100 Units.

This course explores the relatively new field of comparative cognitive development, a field which investigates the origin and nature of cognitive skills in humans by comparing these skills across species and across development. We will examine how social and physical cognition develop in relation to species specific social and environmental demands, students will learn behavioral and experimental methods for investigating cognitive development in verbal and non/pre-verbal individuals. Each student will prepare a research proposal to address one of the main questions in the field and present his or her research project and expected findings in a final paper and class presentation.

Instructor(s): T. Mandalaywala     Terms Offered: Winter 2014
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15

CHDV 26233. Critical Approaches to Child Mental Health. 100 Units.

This course is designed to examine the field of child mental health from an interdisciplinary perspective, integrating anthropological, sociological and psychological insights to look at some of the significant questions and controversies present in considerations of children’s health today. Students will also spend significant time on developing individual research papers. We will begin in the first two weeks with an overview of the field of child psychopathology and the diagnostic systems most commonly used in the practice of child psychiatry. We will then spend the next three weeks looking at two of the most common and controversial diagnoses applied to children in the United States: Autism-spectrum disorders and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. In examining these categories we will consider the cultural and historical contexts that have lead to the emergence of these diagnoses and the variety of experiences of those identified as being afflicted with these disorders. The highly public controversy over giving children psychiatric medication and the implications of exporting Western psychiatric knowledge about children to other cultural contexts will also be considered. In the second half of the class we will move away from examinations of psychiatric nosology to think more broadly about the ways in which concepts of the normative treatment and behavior of children vary across time and place, looking particularly at the effects of aggression on children.

Instructor(s): C. El Ouardani     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 26219

CHDV 26235. Life Course Development. 100 Units.

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive background in the study of human development across the life span by exploring the influences of culture, environment, social setting, heredity, and physiology on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes. Materials will cover the biological/genetic, attachment relations, social, economic, environmental, and neurobiological influences on the developing individual from prenatal development until death. The main focus will be on “normal” development or group averages rather than the development of a single individual, although differences among individuals will be discussed. The primary objective of this course is for the student to gain an understanding and appreciation of human development through the lifespan via readings of theory and research, class lectures, class discussion, and films. The goal of the class is to expose students to a range of current research in the areas of development, attachment, and neurobiological and social processes across the lifespan in order to develop new ways of conceptualizing development based upon the new information available via this research.  Counts for Life Course Development area.

Instructor(s): S. Van Deusen Phillips     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15

CHDV 26253. Human Rights in (Post)Conflict Settings. 100 Units.

This course is designed to introduce students to the specific human rights issues that come into play in the wake of authoritarian regimes, civil wars, and other violent conflicts. Over the course of the quarter, students will learn about the specific legal mechanisms governments, international agencies, and NGOs use to address the challenges of (post)conflict peacebuilding, debate the goals and best practices for addressing human rights after violent conflict, and evaluate the application of such policies from different perspectives, including those of the state, victims, ex-combatants, and the dead. Students will apply these lessons through policy and analytic papers and presentations for a case study of their choosing.

Instructor(s): E. McFee, J. Rubin     Terms Offered: Winter 2015
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 22004,ANTH 25245,PBPL 22004

CHDV 26303. Child, Adolescent, & Adult Development in Socio-Cultural Context. 100 Units.

In this course, students are introduced to the profound impact that socio-cultural context has on the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development of  children, adolescents and adults.  In short, the course argues that we cannot separate human biology (e.g., heredity, brain development, physiology), from social experience and culture, which are viewed as necessary for the proper unfolding of developmental processes. Through course readings, students will engage with developmental theories, themes and concepts from psychology, cultural psychology, and linguistics that will allow them to explore their own development and the development of others. The main focus will be on “normal” development, or group averages, although differences among individuals will also be discussed. The course structure incorporates lectures based on text book readings and seminar-style discussions of current research in the field.

Instructor(s): S. Van Deusen Phillips     Terms Offered: Spring 2014
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 36303,MAPS 36300

CHDV 26310. Vulnerability and Human Rights. 100 Units.

The course discusses current theories of vulnerability and passivity in relation to human rights. It pays particular attention how human rights and social justice can be thought of in relation to people with severe disabilities, animals, and others who are not traditionally thought of as subjects of justice. We will discuss philosophical texts by Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, John Rawls, Martha Nussbaum, and others, and sociological texts by scholars like Bryan Turner and Tom Shakespeare.

Instructor(s): D. Kulick     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 28310,HMRT 38310

CHDV 27317. America's White Ethnics: Contemporary Italian- and Jewish-American Ethnic Identities. 100 Units.

Using American Italians and Jews as case studies, this course investigates what it means to be a white “ethnic” in the contemporary American context and examines what constitutes an ethnic identity. In the mid-20th century, the long-standing ideal of an American melting-pot began to recede. The rise of racial pride, ushered in by the Civil Rights era, made way for the emergence of ethnic identity/pride movements, and multiculturalisms, more broadly, became privileged. To some extent, in the latter half of the 20th century America became a post-assimilationist society and culture, where many still strived to “fit-in,” but it was no longer necessarily the ideal to “blend-in” or lose one’s ethnic trappings. In this context, it has become not only possible, but often desirable, to be at the same time American, white, and an ethnic. Through the investigation of the Jewish and Italian examples, this discussion-style course will look at how ethnicity is manifested in, for example, class, religion, gender, nostalgia, and place, as well as how each of these categories is in turn constitutive of ethnic identity. The course will illustrate that there is no fixed endpoint of assimilation or acculturation, after which a given individual is fully “American,” but that ethnic identity, and its various constituent elements, persists and perpetually evolves, impacting individual identities and experience, and both local/group specific and larger cultural narratives even many generations after immigration.

Instructor(s): L. Shapiro     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): JWSC 24500,CRES 27317

CHDV 27700. Modern Psychotherapies. 100 Units.

This course introduces students to the nature and varieties of modern psychotherapies by extensive viewing and discussion of videotaped demonstration sessions. Diverse therapeutic approaches will be examined, including psychodynamic, interpersonal, client-centered, gestalt, and cognitive-behavioral orientations. Couple and family therapy sessions, and sessions with younger clients, may also be viewed. Historical and conceptual models will be presented to deepen students' understandings of what is being viewed, but the main emphasis will be on experiential learning through observation and discussion.

Instructor(s): D. Orlinsky     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 31800

CHDV 27821. Urban Schools and Communities. 100 Units.

This course explores the intersection of urban schools and community, with a focus on the evolution of urban communities, families, and the organization of schools. It emphasizes historical, anthropological, and sociological perspectives as we explore questions about the purpose and history of public schools, and factors that influence the character of school structure and organization in urban contexts, such as poverty, segregation, student mobility, etc. The topics covered provide essential intellectual perspectives on the history, work, and complexities of urban schools with a particular focus on the communities that surround them.

Instructor(s): S. Stoelinga     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): SOCI 20226,PBPL 27821

CHDV 27901-27902-27903. Beginning Modern Spoken Yucatec Maya I-II-III.

This sequence is a basic introduction to the modern Yucatec Maya language, an indigenous American language spoken by about 750,000 people in southeastern Mexico. Three consecutive quarters of instruction are intended for students aiming to achieve basic and intermediate proficiency. Students receiving FLAS support must take all three quarters. Others may elect to take only the first quarter or first two quarters. Students wishing to enter the course midyear (e.g., those with prior experience with the language) must obtain consent of instructor. Materials exist for a second year of the course; interested students should consult the instructor. Students wishing to continue their training with native speakers in Mexico may apply for FLAS funding in the summer.

CHDV 27901. Beginning Modern Spoken Yucatec Maya I. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): John Lucy     Terms Offered: Autumn 2014 (tentative)
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 27901,CHDV 47901,LACS 47901

CHDV 27902. Beginning Modern Spoken Yucatec Maya II. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): J. Lucy     Terms Offered: Winter 2015 (tentative)
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 27902,CHDV 47902

CHDV 27903. Beginning Modern Spoken Yucatec Maya III. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): J. Lucy     Terms Offered: Spring 2015 (tentative)
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 27903,CHDV 47903,LACS 47903

CHDV 27950. Evolution and Economics of Human Behavior. 100 Units.

This course explores how evolutionary biology and behavioral economics explain many different aspects of human behavior. Specific topics include evolutionary theory, natural and sexual selection, game theory, cost-benefit analyses of behavior from an evolutionary and a behavioral economics perspective, aggression and dominance, experimental economic games of cooperation and competition, parenting and development, love and mating, emotion and motivation, cognition and language, decision-making and risk-taking, and personality and psychopathology.

Instructor(s): D. Maestripieri     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 37950

CHDV 29301. Qualitative Research Methods. 100 Units.

The goal of this course is for students to learn a range of qualitative research methods, understand the uses and limitations of each of these methods, and gain hands-on experience designing, completing, and writing up a project using one or more of these methods. The first three weeks focus on developing a research plan: reviewing the literature, formulating a research question, and evaluating available methods to investigate that question. The remaining weeks will focus on research ethics, data collection, data analysis, and writeup. Throughout the course, we will be reading and discussing both texts that explicitly teach method and examples of different qualitative approaches, including ethnography, person-centered interviewing, Grounded Theory, narrative analysis, and cultural models. All students will complete a small-scale research project using one or more of the methods covered in this course.

Instructor(s): E. Fein     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Not offered 2014-15
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 39301

CHDV 29700. Undergraduate Reading and Research. 100 Units.

Select section from faculty list on web.

Terms Offered: Autumn, Winter, Spring
Prerequisite(s): Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form.
Note(s): Must be taken for a quality grade.

CHDV 29800. BA Honors Seminar. 100 Units.

Required for students seeking departmental honors, this seminar is designed to help develop an honors paper project that will be approved and supervised by a HD faculty member. A course preceptor will guide students through the process of research design and proposal writing.

Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Consent of the undergraduate program chair.
Note(s): Eligible students should plan to take the BA Honors Seminar in the Spring quarter of their third year.

CHDV 29900. Honors Paper Preparation. 100 Units.

The grade assigned to the BA honors paper becomes the grade of record for this course.

Terms Offered: Autumn, Winter
Prerequisite(s): CHDV 29800 and an approved honors paper. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form.
Note(s): To complete work on their BA honors paper, students must register for this course with their faculty supervisor in Autumn or Winter of their fourth year.


Undergraduate Primary Contact

Jill Mateo
HD N 103

Administrative Contact

Departmental Contact
Janie Lardner
HD S 102