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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 Additional contact information for the year-specific preceptor can be found in Contacts at the bottom of this page, along with the undergraduate chair and administrator contact information. 

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 requirements below are in effect as of Autumn 2017. Current CHDV majors in the Classes of 2018 or 2019 who wish to follow the previous requirements should work with the preceptor to fashion a program of study.

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

Core Courses

CHDV 20000 Introduction to Human Development and CHDV 20100 Human Development Research Designs in Social Sciences, 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 complete one Methods course. It may focus on qualitative or quantitative methods or may be a research methods course from a related department, such as Statistics. 

The following are courses since 2012 that have fulfilled the Methods requirement without a petition. (Please note courses in this list may not be offered this academic year.) Courses that are not on the following list may be petitioned to count for Methods (see Petitions):

STAT 20000 Elementary Statistics

STAT 22000 Statistical Methods and Applications

CHDV 20101 Applied Statistics in Human Development Research

CHDV 20405 Pornography and Language 

CHDV 26228 Ethnographic Methods

CHDV 29301 Qualitative Research Methods

CHDV 30102 Introduction to Causal Inference

CHDV 32411 Mediation, Moderation, and Spillover Effects

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


All CHDV majors are required to take nine CHDV elective courses. We encourage students to take their elective courses across the four areas of Comparative Human Development, given the department's commitment to transdisciplinary scholarship. All CHDV course numbers are labeled to describe the areas in which they are most closely aligned. The four areas are the following:

  1. Comparative Behavioral Biology: includes courses on the biopsychology of attachment; evolutionary social psychology; evolution of parenting; biological psychology; primate behavior and ecology; behavioral endocrinology.
  2. Life Course Development: includes courses on social and psychological development through the life course, including courses on childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and aging; education and development; introduction to language development; the role of early experience in development; sexual and gender identity; the study of lives and families in social and cultural context.
  3. Culture and Community: includes courses on cultural psychology; psychological anthropology; social psychology; cross-cultural child development; language, culture, and thought; language socialization; education in ethnic and cultural context; psychiatric and psychodynamic anthropology; memory and culture.
  4. Mental Health and Personality: includes courses on personality theory and research; social and cultural foundations of mental and physical health; modern psychotherapies and their supporting institutions; 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.


Student petitions will be accepted only in very limited circumstances to request that courses not taught or cross-listed in CHDV count toward CHDV major requirements. These limited circumstances may include a relevant course offered during study abroad if a CHDV course is not available. Students may petition for one relevant course per quarter of study abroad to count toward the CHD major, but only one, barring unusual circumstances. 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 completed using the CHDV petition form found at Petitions should include a copy of the course syllabus, since the course title alone is often not sufficient for evaluating a petition. 

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 and successfully completing two required accompanying courses: the CHDV 29800 BA Honors Seminar in the Spring Quarter of their third year and CHDV 29900 Honors Paper Preparation in the Autumn Quarter of their fourth year. CHDV 29800 BA Honors Seminar can count as one of the nine elective courses required for the major. CHDV 29900 Honors Paper Preparation may not count toward major requirements; it may be used for general elective credit only. Qualified students who wish to seek CHDV honors and who plan to study abroad should plan their travel in order to ensure they are in residence at the University of Chicago during the Spring Quarter of their third year and the Autumn Quarter of their fourth year in order to take the two courses required for BA honors.

The honors paper should reflect original research of an empirical, scholarly, or theoretical nature and must be rated as worthy of honors by the student’s BA Honors Committee. This committee shall consist of two University faculty members: a supervisor (who must be a CHDV faculty member or associate faculty member) and a second reader (who must be a University of Chicago faculty member or associate faculty member). The paper should be about 30 to 40 pages in length. The grade given for it will become the grade of record for the Honors Paper Preparation course (CHDV 29900 Honors Paper Preparation). 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 on their BA honors paper. 

Permission to undertake a BA honors paper will be granted by the CHDV undergraduate chair to students who (1) have successfully completed CHDV 29800 BA Honors Seminar and (2) have filed a properly completed BA Honors Paper Proposal Form with the departmental secretary 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 Spring Quarter of 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 Autumn Quarter of the third year, shows promise of meeting the standards set for honors (see above). This course must be taken for a quality grade and may be counted as one of the required major electives. This course is a pre-field course where students develop a ten-page research proposal and find both a CHDV supervisor and a second reader (who may be outside of the department). As part of the proposal, they learn to develop an academic “problem” while reviewing the necessary academic literature. They also decide on the discipline and methods (interviewing, ethnography, experimental design) they will use to tackle their research question. 

Honors Paper Preparation Course

The CHDV 29900 Honors Paper Preparation course helps students successfully complete work on their BA honors paper. In order to complete honors, students who successfully took CHDV 29800 in Spring Quarter of their third year must also register for CHDV 29900 Honors Paper Preparation during Autumn Quarter of their fourth year. This courses is required but does not count as one of the 12 courses in the major; it may be used for general elective credit only. Students are encouraged to collect their data over the summer; then this course scaffolds the process of analyzing data (such as transcription and coding) and writing up BA papers (such as tips on describing methods and peer review). The grade assigned by the thesis supervisor on the final BA paper is retroactively assigned as the grade for this course. 

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
One Methods Course100
Nine Elective Courses *900
Total Units1200

Students applying for CHDV honors must register for CHDV 29800 BA Honors Seminar and  CHDV 29900 Honors Paper Preparation. CHDV 29800 may be counted as one of the nine required program electives; however, CHDV 29900 does not count toward the major and is used for general elective credit only.


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 Class Search or the Anticipated Courses List at

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): Multiple Staff Members     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): CHDV majors or intended majors.
Note(s): Required Course for Comparative Human Development 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): Mueller, Anna     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Required Course for Comparative Human Development Majors

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
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B*,C*; 5*
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 30150,LING 20150,LING 30150

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
Prerequisite(s): Students will have previously taken one other course in CHDV
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B, D
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 20209

CHDV 20300. Biological Psychology. 100 Units.

What are the relations between mind and brain? How do brains regulate mental, behavioral, and hormonal processes; and how do these influence brain organization and activity? This course introduces the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the brain; their changes in response to the experiential and sociocultural environment; and their relation to perception, attention, behavioral action, motivation, and emotion.

Instructor(s): L. Kay, B. Prendergast     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Some background in biology and psychology.
Note(s): This course does not meet requirements for the biological sciences major. CHDV Distribution: A
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 29300,PSYC 20300

CHDV 20305. Inequality in Urban Spaces. 100 Units.

The problems confronting urban schools are bound to the social, economic, and political conditions of the urban environments in which schools reside. Thus, this course will explore social, economic, and political issues, with an emphasis on issues of race and class as they have affected the distribution of equal educational opportunities in urban schools. We will focus on the ways in which family, school, and neighborhood characteristics intersect to shape the divergent outcomes of low- and middle-income children residing with any given neighborhood. Students will tackle an important issue affecting the residents and schools in one Chicago neighborhood.

Instructor(s): M. Keels     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B; 2*
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 40315,CRES 20305,PBPL 20305

CHDV 20702. Child Language: Socialization, Development, and Acquisition. 100 Units.

This course will provide a broad cross-disciplinary introduction to the study of how children learn language. This question is of interest to many fields, in particular: developmental psychology, linguistic anthropology and linguistics, but each of these fields have markedly different perspectives on the nature of the process and outcomes of language learning. This class will use background lectures and seminar discussions to explore theoretical claims and methodological strategies across disciplines. The topics will include case studies from a variety of languages and cultures and students will be encouraged to think critically about the benefits and drawbacks of each of the three disciplinary perspectives to better understand what it means to “know” a language in a cognitive, cultural and structural sense. Finally, we will consider the implications of linguistic fluency for cognition, in terms of “semantic accent” as well as the specific kinds of linguistic competence, like literacy, that are the result of specialized training and education.

Instructor(s): L. Horton     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B, C

CHDV 20802. Gender, Sexuality, & Religion. 100 Units.

In many cultural contexts today, religion is often seen as a socially conservative force in public and political realms. For instance, Christian “pro-life” movements in the US often draw on tropes of women’s “traditional” role as mothers to argue against easily accessible abortion clinics or contraceptives; recent faith-based objections to legal protections for LGBTQ individuals; and debates in the US and Western Europe about Muslim women’s use of the veil as inherently disempowering women. Social scientists have often noted the logics of duality that shape our contemporary world: religious/secular, traditional/modern, conservative/liberal, private/public, etc. Within this logic, religious peoples are presumed to be traditional or “primitive” and therefore hostile to modernity or foreclosed from being modern. Similarly, to be progressive or liberal, one is assumed to be secular and skeptical of religion. Is it always the case, though, that religion is conservative, traditional, and works to maintain the status quo of possible gender roles and sexual identities in society? The goal of this course is to investigate this question. We will look at contemporary places around the world, multiple religions, and various genders and sexualities in order to complicate the picture of how religion and gender inform one another.

Instructor(s): Chladek, M.     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: C
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 25207,GNSE 20802

CHDV 20803. Morality across the Life Course. 100 Units.

What does it mean to be a moral person? And how do moral expectations within a given society shift across the life course? Social scientists have noted that what it means to be a moral child may not always be the same as what it means to be a moral adolescent or middle-aged adult. At the same time, scholars have been interested in how moral ideals pass from one generation to another through processes such as socialization. Social reproduction must also deal with globalization and other sources of social change. By honing in on such processes of social reproduction and change, many have suggested we may better understand how moral beliefs change across generations and over time. In this course we will explore these processes of moral development, socialization, and change, drawing largely on anthropological and psychological research. While early developmental psychologists theorized moral development as stage-based and teleological (i.e., an ultimate, ideal adult moral personhood towards which developmental stages were progressive steps), anthropologists and cultural psychologists working in many different cultural contexts have complicated this understanding of morality. We will begin the quarter by looking at some of the early texts and theories about moral development in addition to early concerns about social reproduction across generations. Afterwards we will turn to a series of ethnographic monographs in order to explore in detail how particular life course stages ar

Instructor(s): Chladek, M.     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B, C

CHDV 20804. Religion, the Body, & Mental Health. 100 Units.

In this course, we will explore how people experience religion across social and historical contexts, as well as how religion shapes ideas of what it means to be mentally healthy and how to treat illness. In the first half, we will focus especially on the role of the body in religious experiences: how people comport, discipline, and alter their bodies in attempts to create religious experiences. In the second half, we will turn to health: how religion mediates between cultural understandings of mental health, well-being, or illness and the experience of a normatively healthy mind and body.

Instructor(s): Chladek, M.     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: C, D

CHDV 21000. Cultural Psychology: Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations. 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): Graduate students. Plus limited number of advanced undergrads (3rd and 4th year only) by consent. Caveat: This will be a low tech Socratic experience., computers closed , iphones off.
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B, C; 2*, 3*
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.

The second segment of the African Civilizations sequence uses anthropological perspectives to investigate colonial and postcolonial encounters in West and East Africa. The course objective is to show that while colonialism was brutal and oppressive, it was by no means a unidirectional process of domination in which Europeans plundered the African continent and enforced a wholesale adoption of European culture. Rather, scholars today recognize that colonial encounters were complex culture, political, and economic fields of interaction. Africans actively adopted, reworked, and contested colonizers' policies and projects, and Europeans drew heavily from these encounters to form liberal conceptions of self, nation, and society. Over the course of the quarter, students will learn about forms of personhood, political economy, and everyday life in the twentieth century. Course themes will include social reproduction, kinship practices, medicine, domesticity, and development.

Instructor(s): J. Cole     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required; this sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. CHDV Distribution C.
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 20702,CRES 20802,HIST 10102

CHDV 21411. Introduction to African Civilization I. 100 Units.

Part one considers literary, oral, and archeological sources to investigate African societies and states from the early Iron Age through the emergence of the Atlantic world. Case studies include the empires of Ghana, Mali, and Great Zimbabwe. The course also treats the diffusion of Islam, the origins and effects of European contact, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Completion of the general education requirement in social sciences recommended.

Instructor(s): E. Fretwell     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required; this sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. CHDV Distribution: C
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 20701,CRES 20701,HIST 10101

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): CHDV Distribution: A
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 21500,HIPS 22401

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
Prerequisite(s): Grad status, Undergrads in 3rd or 4th year, or permission of instructor.
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B, C; 2*, 3*, 5*
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 27605,ANTH 37605,CHDV 31901,PSYC 21950,PSYC 31900,LING 27605,LING 37605

CHDV 21910. Political Psychology: Rallies, Riots, & Revolutions. 100 Units.

The aim of this class is to introduce undergraduate students to the field of political psychology. Readings pull from across the social sciences with a particular focus on political, social, and cultural psychology; political science and sociology, and are chosen to provide a broad overview of the expansive literature on this topic. Students will engage with the fundamental issues concerning political psychology, and will learn to think through historical and contemporary issues in relation to social change and social stasis with reference to the readings. More specifically, students will learn how to apply class concepts to better understand a broader range of issues concerning how social movements form, grow, and disperse; why people justify unfair or corrupt systems in which they live; police and protester interaction; the psychology of riots; and the psychology of democracies and dictatorships. Each student will write an essay about a particular topic or principle from the trans-disciplinary field of political psychology (e.g. contagion; democratic citizens; worker strikes; processes of social change, etc.) or about a particular contemporary or historical case study (e.g. the 1992 L.A. riots or 2011 U.K. riots; the Arab Spring; the recent women’s march; various social justice movements, etc.)

Instructor(s): S. Power     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: C

CHDV 21920. The Evolution of Language. 100 Units.

How did language emerge in the phylogeny of mankind? Was its evolution saltatory or gradual? Did it start late or early and then proceed in a protracted way? Was the emergence monogenetic or polygenetic? What were the ecological prerequisites for the evolution, with the direct ecology situated in the hominine species itself, and when did the prerequisites obtain? Did there ever emerge a language organ or is this a post-facto construct that can be interpreted as a consequence of the emergence of language itself? What function did language evolve to serve, to enhance thought processes or to facilitate rich communication? Are there modern “fossils” in the animal kingdom that can inform our scholarship on the subject matter? What does paleontology suggest? We will review some of the recent and older literature on these questions and more.

Instructor(s): S. Mufwene     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 41920,ANTH 47305,CHDV 41920,EVOL 41920,PSYC 41920,LING 21920,LING 41920

CHDV 21930. Remembering & Imagining. 100 Units.

Remembering and imagining are two core processes of human development. In this class we will study how, when, why, and what people remember and imagine on individual, group, and national levels. Readings for this interdisciplinary course pull from across the social sciences, including psychology, anthropology, sociology, political science, and history. The aim of the class is to think deeply about how individual life courses, group membership, and national identities are situated in the present but are constructed through complex processes of remembering and imagining. In the class we will discuss and debate the scopes and limits of these two interrelated processes for understanding individual lives, group trajectories, and possible future societies. We will discuss the ways in which memories inform imagination; how memories can be constructed; metaphors of memory and imagination; and how remembering and imagining impact our daily realities, lived experiences, and possible worlds. We will review literature illustrating why the past and future is often contested. Students will write a final paper on a topic of interest based on course material.

Instructor(s): S. Power     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B, C

CHDV 21940. Methods for the Social Sciences. 100 Units.

Methods reveal and conceal. But multiple methods are needed if social science is to advance and deal with the pressing issues of both the present and the future. In this class we will read classic studies from across the social sciences to think about the scopes and limits of individual research methods. Students will learn how to combine various methods, at multiple levels of analysis, to understand social scientific phenomenon and how to make sense of sometimes-contradictory evidence. Readings will draw from classic studies in anthropology, sociology, and psychology and will cover a variety of methods from ethnographies, qualitative interviewing, field experiments, and cognitive experiments, in multiple socio-cultural contexts and in relation to a variety of social scientific issues. In conjunction to reading about research methods, students will also learn about multiple methods by actively conducting their own research project. The final paper will be a discussion of the project itself, as well as a critical reflection on the research process and the methods used.

Instructor(s): S. Power     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: M

CHDV 22819. Philosophy of Education. 100 Units.

What are the aims of education? Are they what they should be, for purposes of cultivating flourishing citizens of a liberal democracy? What are the biggest challenges—philosophical, political, cultural, and ethical—confronting educators today, in the U.S. and across the globe? How can philosophy help address these? In dealing with such questions, this course will provide an introductory overview of both the philosophy of education and various educational programs in philosophy, critically surveying a few of the leading ways in which philosophers past and present have framed the aims of education and the educational significance of philosophy. From Plato to the present, philosophers have contributed to articulating the aims of education and developing curricula to be used in various educational contexts, for diverse groups and educational levels. This course will draw on both classic and contemporary works, but considerable attention will be devoted to the work and legacy of philosopher/educator John Dewey, a founding figure at the University of Chicago and a crucial resource for educators concerned with cultivating critical thinking, creativity, character, and ethical reflection. The course will also feature field trips, distinguished guest speakers, and opportunities for experiential learning. (A) (B)

Instructor(s): B. Schultz     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Course is open to Undergraduates and MAPH students.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 22819,MAPH 32819,PHIL 22819

CHDV 22831. Debates in Cognitive Neuroscience. 100 Units.

This course will survey some of the current debates in the fields of cognitive and social neurosciences. The readings and discussions will cover a variety of topics ranging from the functional specificity of brain regions supporting face processing to the network of brain regions believed to support mental state inferences about others. Discussions and response papers will emphasize careful consideration of each perspective on these topics.

Instructor(s): J. Cloutier     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 22831

CHDV 23248. Research Methods in Behavior and Development. 100 Units.

In this graduate seminar we will discuss research design, experimental methods, statistical approaches and field techniques. Other topics will be covered depending on participant interests, such as acoustic analyses, ethogram development, event recorders, spectrophotometers, marking methods, spatial analyses and grant-writing strategies. The course is primarily designed for studies of non-human animals, although studies of human behavior, especially developmental studies, will be addressed.

Instructor(s): J. Mateo     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor.
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: M*
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 43248

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

While mental illness has recently been framed in largely neurobiological terms as “brain disease,” there has also been an increasing awareness of the contingency of psychiatric diagnoses. In this course, we will draw upon readings from medical and psychological anthropology, cultural psychiatry, and science studies to examine this paradox and to examine mental health and illness as a set of subjective experiences, social processes, and objects of knowledge and intervention. On a conceptual level, the course invites 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. Questions explored include: Does mental illness vary across social and cultural settings? How are experiences of people suffering from mental illness shaped by psychiatry’s knowledge of their afflictions?

Instructor(s): E. Raikhel     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduates must have previously completed a SOSC sequence.
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: C, D
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 24315,HIPS 27302

CHDV 23360. Methods in Gesture and Sign Language Research. 100 Units.

In this course we will explore methods of research used in the disciplines of linguistics and psychology to investigate sign language and gesture. We will choose a set of canonical topics from the gesture and sign literature, such as pointing, use of the body in quotation, and the use of non-manuals, in order to understand the value of various effective methods in current use and the types of research questions they are best equipped to handle. 

Instructor(s): D. Brentari, S. Goldin-Meadow     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: M; M*
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 33360,PSYC 33360,LING 23360,LING 33360,PSYC 23360

CHDV 23403. Borders, (Im)mobilities, and Human Rights. 100 Units.

What is the human cost of border control? To what extent do individuals possess the right to move to other states? How do different states with large populations of refugees and asylum seekers develop and enforce migration policies, and what do the differences in these policies reveal about the social histories and futures of these states? To address these questions, we will consider how borders, institutions, and categories of migrant groups mutually shape one another. We will explore the interrelationships between categories of migration—forced, economic, regular, and irregular—in order to understand the multiple and unequal forms of mobility experienced by those who inhabit these categories. By utilizing a framework of human rights, this course will investigate how contemporary issues in migration—such as border management, illicit movement, and the fuzzy distinction between forced and economic migration—raise and reopen debates concerning the management of difference. We will draw on the work of anthropologists, sociologists, and geographers, as well as journalists, legal, and medical professionals. Our readings each week will include a mix of conceptual, ethnographic, long-form journalism, and policy texts. When possible, we will also invite representatives from different Chicago-based organizations that promote and protect the rights of people in various situations of migration to come to our class to discuss their work.

Instructor(s): D. Ansari     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: C

CHDV 23440. Health, Medicine, & Human Rights. 100 Units.

The World Health Organization, United Nations and other international bodies consider health a fundamental human right. At the same time, most countries around the world are characterized by profound inequalities in health and wellbeing. In this course, we leverage sociological and social scientific concepts through a human rights framework to understand how these inequalities in mental and physical health are perpetuated by the structure and culture of society, with an emphasis on U.S. society. We will also examine medicine as an institution with a problematic history of repeated human rights violations (in the U.S. and around the world) and explore how that history shapes the current practice of medicine, medical research, and relations between doctors and patients. Finally, we will explore how institutions provide (or fail to provide) equal access to healthcare, and how state understandings of the right to health influence the lives of individuals and communities.

Instructor(s): Mueller, Anna; Offidani-Bertrand, Carly      Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B, C, D
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 23440,SOCI 20268

CHDV 23511. Memory, Reconciliation, and Healing: Transitional Justice. 100 Units.

Across the globe, recent national attempts to transition out of authoritarian rule and to manage the legacies of political conflicts have invoked discourses and questions of human rights. In the last fifty years, millions of people across the world have experience periods of protest and mobilization, violence and genocide, the emergence and entrenchment of armed revolutionary forces, and repressive governments. As these periods came to an end, the governments, civil societies, and individual citizens in each country have had to face the challenges of rebuilding social fabric, trust, and democratic culture while memorializing the past and considering the root causes of past conflict and authoritarianism. These processes have include discourses of rights (e.g. transitional justice, but also participation, democracy, education, etc.) and have shaped the lives of millions of individuals in these countries as well as the trajectories of each nation and its governments.  The proposed course draws on Peru, South Africa, and Ireland as case studies to guide students in comparatively analyzing the transitional processes and current implications. The goal of the course is for students to explore how these societies and their citizens have sought to deal with these problematic national histories and what ways these processes continue to influence each society. The students will leave the class with a better understanding of how conflict and post-conflict issues and developments.

Instructor(s): Velez, Gabe     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 23511

CHDV 23930. Biological and Cultural Evolution. 100 Units.

This course draws on readings in and case studies of language evolution, biological evolution, cognitive development and scaffolding, processes of socialization and formation of groups and institutions, and the history and philosophy of science and technology. We seek primarily to elaborate theory to understand and model processes of cultural evolution, while exploring analogies, differences, and relations to biological evolution. This has been a highly contentious area, and we examine why. We seek to evaluate what such a theory could reasonably cover and what it cannot.

Instructor(s): S. Mufwene, W. Wimsatt     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing or consent of instructor required; core background in evolution and genetics strongly recommended.
Note(s): This course does not meet requirements for the biological sciences major. CHDV Distribution: A
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 28615,ANTH 38615,LING 11100,CHSS 37900,LING 39286,CHDV 33930,BIOS 29286,HIPS 23900,PHIL 22500,PHIL 32500,NCDV 27400,BPRO 23900

CHDV 25250. Disability in Local and Global Contexts. 100 Units.

This is a course about intersections. Disability cuts across age, gender, class, caste, occupation, and religion- or does it? By some measures, people with disabilities are the largest minority group in the world today. In this course, we critically examine both the experiences of people with disabilities in a global context as well as the politics and processes of writing about such experiences. Indeed, questions of representation are perhaps at the core of this course. What role have the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and other non-governmental social and human service agencies played in the creation of specific understandings of disability experience? We will ask whether disability is a universal category and we will consider how experiences of health, illness, disability, and debility vary. We will engage in “concept work” by analyzing the relationships between disability and impairment and we will critically evaluate the different conceptual and analytical models employed to think about disability. In doing so, we will engage with broader questions about international development, human rights, the boundaries of the nation, the family and other kinship affiliations, and identity and community formation. How is disability both a productive analytic and a lens for thinking about pressing questions and concerns in today’s world?

Instructor(s): M. Friedner     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: C

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): K. O'Doherty     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B
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: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): PSYC 20000 recommended.

CHDV 26660. Genes and Behavior. 100 Units.

There are complex interactions between the genome and behavior. This course will examine how behavior can be understood by investigating the sequence and structure of genes, especially those expressed in the brain. It will consider behaviors in several species (including human), and present various molecular, genetic, and genomic approaches used to uncover how genes contribute to behavior and how behavior alters the genome. Lectures will provide background for gene-behavior interactions that will be further discussed using primary literature readings.

Instructor(s): S. London     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Knowledge of biological systems and/or behavioral science is strongly encouraged.
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: A
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 26660

CHDV 26901. Psychology for Citizens. 100 Units.

This course will examine aspects of the psychology of judgment and decision making that are relevant to public life and citizenship. Judgment and decision making are involved when people evaluate information about electoral candidates or policy options, when they vote, and when they choose to behave in ways that affect the collective good. Topics considered in the course will include the following. (1) What is good for people? What do we know about happiness? Can/should happiness be a goal of public policy? (2) How do people evaluate information and make decisions? Why does public opinion remain so divided on so many issues? (3) How can people influence others and be influenced (e.g., by policy makers)? Beyond persuasion and coercion, what are more subtle means of influence? (4) How do individuals’ behaviors affect the collective good? What do we know about pro-social behavior (e.g., altruism/charitable giving) and anti-social behavior (e.g., cheating)? (5) How do people perceive and get along with each other? What affects tolerance and intolerance?

Instructor(s): W. Goldstein     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 25901

CHDV 27821. Urban Schools and Communities. 100 Units.

This course focuses on urban communities and the contextual factors influencing the organization of schools. It emphasizes historical, anthropological, and sociological perspectives as we explore questions about the purpose and history of public schools, the influences on the character of their structure and organization (especially in urban areas), and the surrounding context, such as housing, policy, race and class. The topics detailed below provide essential intellectual perspectives on the history, work, and complexities of urban schools.

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

CHDV 27822. Critical Issues in Urban Education. 100 Units.

This course explores a set of critical issues in urban education. The areas of inquiry will explore both inside and outside of the school house, with a focus on topics that are critical to consider to promote effective schooling, particularly in urban schools that serve low income, students of color. In this respect, the course aims to push and deepen thinking on the levers we have at our disposal to influence student outcomes including the ways schools are organized, noncognitive factors in academic success, effective literacy practices, college access, successful approaches for diverse learners and dual language learners, trauma-informed practices, intersections with parents and the community, the role of technology and innovation, and partnerships and philanthropy. Multiple disciplinary lenses will be used to analyze and understand these topics including sociological, anthropological, historical, learning sciences, policy, and sociocultural. 

Instructor(s): S. Stoelinga     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: B
Equivalent Course(s): PPHA 27822

CHDV 27850. Evolutionary Psychology. 100 Units.

This course explores human social behavior from the perspective of a new discipline: evolutionary psychology. In this course we will read and discuss articles in which evolutionary theory has been applied to different aspects of human behavior and social life such as: developmental sex differences, cooperation and altruism, competition and aggression, physical attractiveness and mating strategies, incest avoidance and marriage, sexual coercion, parenting and child abuse, language and cognition, and psychological and personality disorders.

Instructor(s): D. Maestriperi, D. Gallo     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Undergraduates must have permission of instructor.
Note(s): CHDV Distributions: A; 1*
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 41450,CHDV 41451

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, power and dominance, cooperation and competition, biological markets, parental investment, life history and risk-taking, love and mating, physical attractiveness and the market, emotion and motivation, sex and consumer behavior, cognitive biases in decision-making, and personality and psychopathology.

Instructor(s): D. Maestripieri     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): This course does not meet the requirements for the Biological Sciences Major.
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: A; 1*
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 37950,PSYC 27950,PSYC 37950,BIOS 29265,ECON 14810

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 29701. Introduction to Buddhism. 100 Units.

This course will be an introduction to the ideas and meditative practices of the Theravada school of South and Southeast Asian Buddhism, from ancient to modern times. It will study both classical texts and modern ethnography.

Instructor(s): S. Collins     Terms Offered: TBD
Equivalent Course(s): RLST 26150,SALC 29700

CHDV 29800. BA Honors Seminar. 100 Units.

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 Spring Quarter of 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 Autumn Quarter of the third year, shows promise of meeting the standards set for honors (see above). This course must be taken for a quality grade and may be counted as one of the required major electives. This course is a pre-field course where students develop a ten-page research proposal and find both a CHDV supervisor and a second reader (who may be outside of the department). As part of the proposal, they learn to develop an academic “problem” while reviewing the necessary academic literature. They also decide on the discipline and methods (interviewing, ethnography, experimental design) they will use to tackle their research question. 

Instructor(s): Staff     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 CHDV 29900 Honors Paper Preparation course helps students successfully complete work on their BA honors paper. In order to complete honors, students who successfully took CHDV 29800 in Spring Quarter of their third year must register for CHDV 29900 Honors Paper Preparation during Autumn Quarter of their fourth year, as a 13th required course. Students are encouraged to collect their data over the summer; then this course scaffolds the process of analyzing data (such as transcription and coding) and writing up BA papers (such as tips on describing methods and peer review). The grade assigned by their thesis supervisor on the final BA paper is retroactively assigned as the grade for this course. 

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): CHDV 29800 and an approved honors paper. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form.


Undergraduate Primary Contact

Jill Mateo
RO 305A


Preceptor/BA Advisor

Ashley Drake
RO 331A


Administrative Contact

Departmental Contact
Janie Lardner
Ro 305E