ECS 109 ORDER                                                                                              Fall 2015

Room G401; T/TH 2:30-3:50pm                                                                       OH: By Appointment




Who Cares? Bias, Perception, and Empathy



Family. Friends. Community. What holds these bonds together? What breaks them down? This course addresses complex social issues by introducing students to different academic subjects and how they interact. Current Emory scholars will lead modules related to their research spanning a variety of topics such as: how empathy develops, how concepts structure our experience of the world, and how human practices can either create barriers or afford access. This course is designed for students who are interested in being exposed to a wide variety of subjects and current academic research. Students will learn to develop their own interests as they engage fundamental questions of human nature, culture, and thought.


Isabella Alexander Anthropology alexander [dot] bella [at] gmail [dot] com Office: Anthropology TA Lounge
James Burkett Neuroscience jpburke [at] emory [dot] edu Office: NSB 5226
Anne Winiarski Psychology anne [dot] winiarski [at] emory [dot] edu Office: PAIS 564D
Joel Reynolds Philosophy joel [dot] reynolds [at] emory [dot] edu Office: Bowden 109
Sasha Klupchak ILA sasha [dot] klupchak [at] gmail [dot] com Office: Fox Center




Attendance is mandatory. If you know you are going to miss a class in advance, please contact the instructor for that class ahead of time. We understand that life happens. Excused absences must be substantiated with appropriate documentation. Frequent unexcused absences will be reflected in your final grade. Please be on time. It is disrespectful to your instructor and peers to arrive late to class. Failure to comply will result in points off your final grade.
Technology use in the classroom. Student use of laptops/cell phones/iPads, etc. is NOT ALLOWED in the classroom. This means no texting, iMessaging, snapchatting, g-chatting, Netflixing, tweeting, Pinteresting, shoe shopping, job hunting, and definitely no OK-Cupid-ing. There are several reasons for this rule including: (1) students process material more thoroughly when they take notes by hand rather than on a laptop, (2) multitasking has been shown to result in cognitive declines (you’ll thank us in 40 years), (3) students’ use of laptops/cell phones in the classroom is distracting to others around them, and (4) in our view, teaching is a dialogue that requires your attention, eye contact and interaction in the classroom, and student laptops impede that dialogue. If you would like to bring any notes to aid in class discussions, those will need to be printed ahead of time. If you have any special needs that require the use of a computer for note taking, please talk to one of us.


Be sure to silence your cell phones before class starts. If it looks like you’re on your phone or if your phone rings, we are going to call you out, and you will be responsible for bringing in a treat for your peers and doing a five minute interpretative dance during the next class. Yes, seriously. Again, failure to comply will result in points off your final grade.

Disclaimer: Use of devices to aid in learning specific course content is at the discretion of the instructor for that individual course module. The instructors will let you know in advance when technology will be necessary.


Assignments are mandatory and will be submitted on time. Assignments will vary based on the class module. Unless otherwise noted on the syllabus and/or specified by the instructor, students will submit a one-paragraph response to the assigned readings for each class. This response can be in the form of a summary or reflection of the article. Successful completion of these assignments counts toward your final participation grade. You should save your document using the following format: “Last Name_First Name_Date_Response.” All files will be uploaded to Google Drive. Assigned readings/responses should be completed by the time class meets. Each assignment should be uploaded by 12:00 PM on the day of class.


Empirical Foundations Survey Every student is required to complete two simple evidence surveys at the beginning and the end of the semester. This is 5% of your grade and the surveys need to be completed outside of class.


Final project. Students will work in groups to address an interdisciplinary research question. Groups will present on their work during the final exam time. Presentations can take a variety of forms, and students are strongly encouraged to talk with instructors early in the semester for advice on getting started. There will be several days designated as “work days” during the semester. Use those days wisely! In addition, it will be necessary to meet with your group outside of class to complete all the necessary requirements of the project. A detailed description of the final project will be distributed later in the semester. The instructors will create the research groups within the first two weeks of the semester.


In-class participation is key. The second part of your participation grade comes from in-class involvement in discussion and activities organized by the instructors. Participation in class is essential not just for your grade, but also for maintaining a productive and entertaining class. Your input matters, both to your instructor and your peers, and you will learn as much from your peers as from the instructors! The purpose of this requirement is to generate critical thinking about topics within the fields of study we are exploring this semester, and to encourage discussion among peers. Please challenge one another, as well as the instructors (as we all want to hear your thoughts and opinions)! Please keep in mind that everyone is entitled to his or her own views and perspectives, and that the goal of class participation is for everyone to have a safe space in which to share his or her thoughts and reactions to the readings. We want to encourage you to “try on” different perspectives over the course of the semester, but please do so respectfully. Nobody likes a meanie, so don’t be one!


Field Trips/Movies. There will be out-of-class field trips as well as out-of-class movies, and attendance to each field trip is mandatory. For extenuating circumstances, please contact the lead instructor for that field trip.




Syllabi and courses are designed with all students in mind, but we are not all the same. We will do our best to work with each one of you individually so that the course and its requirements fit with your abilities. If you would like to discuss such matters, please contact your instructors during the first week of class in order to discuss arrangements. Under Emory policy, for an accommodation to be officially considered, a student must register with the Office of Access, Disability Services, & Resources. I strongly suggest researching the benefits of the ADSR office: they are a fantastic resource, and a great group of people. You can also call them at (404) 727-9877 (voice) or (404) 712-2049 (TDD). They are located at Administration Building, Suite #110 (the best access route is by entering through the side of the building).


All readings from academic journals will be available through the Emory University Library’s subscription to eJournals. You are responsible for finding and downloading these articles yourself in order to support good research habits and the longevity of good academic journals! Make both the library and the library website your friends; it will benefit you in the long run.

  • Robert W. Woodruff Library (
  • Emory Writing Center (
  • Student Counseling Center (
  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities: Undergraduate students are highly encouraged to conduct research. The University has several opportunities for research and funding support. Speak with your particular department coordinators, or any of your class instructors for more information. Also, visit
  • Instructors: If you find yourself needing assistance with something (anything!), please do not hesitate to contact the one or more of the instructors via email; please allow up to 24 hours for a response during the week, and up to 48 hours on weekends.




Academic Coaching is available for this course.  During a session you can hone and develop your academic repertoire under the guidance of an Emory College Academic Coach (an undergraduate student that has received extensive training on academic skills such as test preparation and time management).  Each student is eligible for a total of 2 Academic Coaching appointments per week during the semester. To schedule an appointment with an Academic Coach follow this link and login with your Emory network credentials:




Final grades will be based upon the following point system, with no curve.

Points Earned              Grade

930-1000                        A

900-929                          A-

870-899                          B+                             Research Project            400 (40%)

830-869                          B                               Participation (Hmwk.)     250 (20%)

800-829                          B-                             Participation (In-Class)   250 (20%)

Empirical Foundations Survey (5%)

770-799                          C+                             Final Presentation             150 (15%)

730-769                          C                               TOTAL                             1000

700-729                          C-

670-699                          D+

600-669                          D

Below 600                      F


This syllabus is our contract with you. By enrolling in this class, you agree to all the stipulations outlined herein (which may change as new opportunities emerge!).




*Note: Readings and assignments are due on the day they are listed! Assignments should be uploaded to Google Docs by 12:00 PM on the day of class.



Instructor Day Date Topic Assignment
All Th 8.27 Introductions Course Overview: Modeling interdisciplinary discourse
All Tu 9.1 Introductions Course Overview: Practicing Interdisciplinary discourse
Transnational Migration
Isabella Th 9.3 Introduction to the Anthropology of Migration Readings: Zelinsky, Martin & Taylor, Skeldon, and De Haas

[Digital art archives to be viewed in class]

All Tu 9.8 WORK DAY Get group assignments and start brainstorming project ideas
Isabella Th 9.10 Constructions and Experiences of ‘Il’legality Readings: De Genova, Ngai Popular News Articles TBD
Isabella Tu 9.15 ‘Zoom In’: Life on the Spain-Morocco Border Readings: McMurray

[Film clips to be viewed in class]

Isabella Th 9.17 A Transnational Family Network: Culture, Gender, and Family Structure in Transit Readings: Olwig, Chu

[Short presentations of research by students in class]

Reminder: work on focus groups!! J

The Science of Empathy
James Tu 9.22 What makes us human? Assignment: Create and bring a list of 10 unique human traits to class.
James Th 9.24 The Scientific Method Assignment: Bring a primary research article to class relevant to your research topic.
James Tu 9.29 Neurobiology of Social Behavior Reading: Young and Rilling 2015.
James Th 10.1 The Neuroscience of Empathy Reading: Panksepp and Lahvis 2011
All Tu 10.6 WORK DAY Goal: Finalize intervention and prepare materials
The Development of Psychopathy & Aggression
Anne Th 10.8 The Neuroscience of Callousness: What Psychopathy Is and Is Not Reading: Lilienfeld & Harkowitz, 2007


Anne Th 10.15 The Development of Psychopathy and Aggression in Early Childhood and the Role of Emotion Dysregulation Reading: Tremblay et al., 2004

In class activity: group coding exercise

Anne Tu 10.20 Empirically Supported Treatments Reading: Selection from Parent Management Training (Kazdin, 2005)
Anne Th 10.22 Psychopathy is an Appropriate and Useful Label for Children Assignment: In-class debate (bring prepared materials to class)
James Sa 10.24 Yerkes Field Trip Meeting Time: 9 a.m. Location: TBD
All Mo 10.26 Public Health Networking Day Time: TBD
All Tu 10.27 WORK DAY Goal: Begin analyzing & summarizing data
The Experience of Dis/Ability
Joel Th 10.29 Psychology & Emotions Readings: Carol Thomas
Joel Tu 11.3 Spatiality & Temporality Readings: S. Kay Toombs
Joel We 11.4 MOVIE NIGHT Time: 7:00-9:30p.m.; Location: TBD
Joel Th 11.5 Gender, Sexuality, & Race Readings: Eli Clare
All Tu 11.10 WORK DAY Goal: Data analysis (cont.) and presentation planning
Joel Th 11.12 Human Nature & Ethics Readings: Fiona Campbell, Emmanuel Levinas
Representation in Media
Sasha Tu 11.17 Ways of Seeing, John Berger; Ways of Seeing, John Berger; What is Berger’s general argument in Ways of Seeing?
Sasha Th 11.19 Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag


Locating images of suffering in a transnational context; explore the use of the disabled body in geopolitical arguments of transcendent individualism
Sasha Tu 11.24 Expand on transcendent individualism as a resilience narrative in the production and dissemination of the “American Dream.” Excursion to Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS); thinking through experimental methods with the “American Dream” as case study. How do images in the popular news media create this narrative?
Sasha Tu 12.1 WORK DAY What is imageric evidence and how can we produce it? How can we use it?
All Th 12.3 Final Class Wrap Up Research Project Due
Who Cares?
All Mo 12.14 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Final Exam Time – Final Presentations





Paper Guidelines


The following is only a general idea of the comparative difference between letter grades—it is not binding in any way. We strongly recommend that ESL students take advantage of Emory’s ESL Tutoring Program and all students utilize the Writing Center for all papers.

A Excellent and outstanding. Thesis is very well defined and original; correct; insightful; solid and coherent reasoning throughout; aware of subject’s complexities; sources used properly and effectively; good paragraph structure; excellent format and presentation; no error in fact (e.g., interpreting the text) or in grammar (e.g., spelling, punctuation, incomplete sentences, etc.) 95-100
A- One or more minor errors among the criteria for an A; failure to use gender inclusive language. 91-94
B+ Strong. Thesis clearly defined; valid reasoning through most of the paper; perhaps contains some unsubstantiated generalizations; correct, but conventional or limited in originality; adequate grammar and diction; several minor grammatical errors or one minor error in fact. 87-89
B One or more errors among the criteria for a B+; more than one minor error in fact and more than a few minor errors in grammar. 84-86
B- Adequate but flawed by minor errors in grammar; some errors in fact. 80-83
C+ Average. Thesis is somewhat clear, but may be too general; supporting discussions can be, at times, repetitious and unfocused; reasoning is at times vague; inconsistent mechanics; irrelevance or limited scope; multiple errors in fact and grammar. 77-79
C Thesis is over-general, ambiguous, or undefended with textual evidence; argument is unfocused, repetitive, or vague; multiple grammatical and interpretive errors; if you receive a C or below I ask that you meet with me. 74-76
C- Same criteria for a C, plus major factual, interpretive and grammatical errors. 70-73
D Problematic. Central idea is vague and/or confusing; supporting discussions are underdeveloped, repetitive, redundant; reasoning is often inaccurate or flawed; several incoherent paragraphs; poor grammar, presentation and/or interpretation, to the point of hindering the instructor’s ability to understand or read paper; a rewrite toward a C grade may be requested by the student. 63-69
F Fundamentally deficient. Thesis is wholly unclear; supporting discussion may be absent; chaotic organization and paragraph structure; largely deficient grammar; does not answer question(s); or no assignment received. Below 63


The following is an addendum the Deans in the Office for Undergraduate Education asked to be put in every syllabus:


Office for Undergraduate Education – Information for Syllabus – Spring 2014

  • The Office for Undergraduate Education (OUE) central office is located in White Hall 300
  • Please visit or call 404.727.6069 with questions about academic affairs, concerns or policies.
  • All Emory College of Arts and Sciences policies may be found in the College Catalog:
  • For a full list of Religious Holidays can be found here:


Academic Advising and Class Deans

If you have any academic concerns or questions about Emory College of Arts and Sciences policies, you should first meet with an OUE academic adviser. If an academic adviser is unavailable to meet with you, you may meet with an OUE dean during open hours.

  • OUE Academic Adviser appointments: Visit White Hall 300 or call 404.727.6069
  • Deans’ Open Hours:


Academic Support

There are a range of resources available to Emory undergraduates designed to enrich each student’s educational experience.


Access and Disability Resources
Students with medical/health conditions that might impact academic success should visit Access, Disability Services and Resources (ADSR formerly the Office of Disability Services, ODS) to determine eligibility for appropriate accommodations. Students who receive accommodations must present the Accommodation Letter from ADSR to your professor at the beginning of the semester, or when the letter is received.


Attendance Policies (Absences and Absences from Examinations)

  • Absences: Although students incur no administrative penalties for a reasonable number of absences from class or laboratory, they should understand that they are responsible for the academic consequences of absence and that instructors may set specific policies about absence for individual courses.
  • Absences from Examinations: A student who fails to take any required midterm or final examination at the scheduled time may not make up the examination without written permission from a dean in the Office for Undergraduate Education. Permission will be granted only for illness or other compelling reasons, such as participation in scheduled events off-campus as an official representative of the University. A student who takes any part of a final examination ordinarily will not be allowed to defer or retake that final. Deferred examinations must be taken during the student’s next semester of residence by the last date for deferred examinations in the academic calendar or within twelve months if the student does not re-enroll in the college. Failure to take a deferred examination by the appropriate deadline will result automatically in the grade IF or IU.


Honor Code

Upon every individual who is a part of Emory University falls the responsibility for maintaining in the life of Emory a standard of unimpeachable honor in all academic work. The Honor Code of Emory College is based on the fundamental assumption that every loyal person of the University not only will conduct his or her own life according to the dictates of the highest honor, but will also refuse to tolerate in others action which would sully the good name of the institution. Academic misconduct is an offense generally defined as any action or inaction which is offensive to the integrity and honesty of the members of the academic community.

  • The Honor Code, a list of offenses and the Honor Council process may be found;