Mar 21, 2023  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog

Social Studies Course Descriptions

Social Studies


Social Studies

  • SST 110 - Comparative Herbalism

    2 credits (Fall and Spring)
    This course explores plant-based healing practices in communities across the globe. Doing so will require comparative considerations of beliefs about the body, its relationship to the natural world, and the processes of health, disease, and healing. Fully appreciating the complexity of herbalism requires interacting with the plants and the processes of preparing them for medicinal use. We will utilize the Global Food Kitchen to experiences the making of tinctures, oils, salves, poultices, and infusions.  

    Prerequisite: None.
    Note: Half-semester deadlines apply.
    Instructor: Lewis
  • SST 115 - Introduction to Statistics

    4 credits (Fall and Spring)
    See MAT 115 .

  • SST 120 - Introduction to Material Culture Studies

    4 credits (Spring)
    See HUM 120 

  • SST 125 - Introduction to Geographic Information System (GIS) Analysis

    2 credits (Fall)
    Geographic Information Systems (GIS) deals with the analysis and management of geographic information. This course offers an introduction to methods of managing and processing geographic information.  Emphasis will be placed on the nature of geographic information, data models and structures for geographic information, geographic data input, data manipulation and data storage, and spatial analytic and modeling techniques.

    Prerequisite: None.
    Instructor: Brottem
  • SST 140 - Medieval and Renaissance Culture: 1100–1650

    4 credits (Spring)
    See HUM 140 .

  • SST 200 - Creative Careers: Learning from Alumni

    2 credits (Spring)
    Cross-listed as: HUM 200  and SCI 200 .   This course is sponsored by the Wilson Center for Innovation and Leadership. Students engage with alumni to learn about their lives and careers. Leadership and career-focused readings together with discussion with alumni will help students think creatively about their Grinnell education and possible futures.

    Prerequisite: None.
    Note: Plus-2 option available for Social Studies and Humanities only. S/D/F only.
    Instructor: Rietz
  • SST 213 - Media and the Middle East

    4 credits (Fall)
    See HUM 213 .

  • SST 225 - Applied Geographic Information Systems Analysis (GIS)

    4 credits (Spring)
    This course will represent a continuation of SST 125 by enabling students who took that course to build upon and apply the skills they learned through an independent project of their choice. The course will also include a limited number of advanced labs as well as lectures on GIS conceptualization and project planning. Students will be expected to learn and implement intermediate to advanced GIS methods in their projects.

    Prerequisite: SST 125 . Prerequisite or co-requisite: MAT 115  or SST 115 .
    Instructor: Brottem

Special Topics-Fall

  • SST 195-01 - Introductory Special Topic: Introduction to Material Culture Studies

    4 credits (Fall)
    See HUM 195-02 .

  • SST 195-03 - Introductory Special Topic: Real Life Entrepreneurship

    1 credits (Fall)
    Students will gain insights into business realities and pitfalls. They will learn the basics on how to start and build a company as an entrepreneur, and how to improve a business segment within an existing company as an intrapreneur. Through examination of real-life scenarios, students will become familiar with common sense approaches to business, with thinking-out-of-the-box, and with the lowest-common-denominator method. This is a Wilson Center sponsored alumni short course; taught by Sanjay Khanna ‘85.

    Prerequisite: None.
    Note: Dates October 25 to November 10. Short course deadlines apply.
    Instructor: Staff

Special Topics-Spring

  • SST 295-01 - Special Topic: Public Attitudes on American Democracy

    4 credits (Spring)

    Cross-listed as: POL 295-01 .  This course examines the attitudes of the American public on liberty, equality and liberal democratic institutions using the Grinnell College National Poll. Students will study core democratic principles and contemporary challenges to democracy, design poll questions to examine attitudes about these principles in the American public, and analyze responses to those questions after the poll is fielded.

    Note: when taken as POL-295, this course satisfies the American politics distribution requirement of the Political Science Major. 

    Prerequisite: MAT 115 SST 115  or STA 209  only if taken as SST-295; POL 101  is also required if taking as POL-295.
    Instructor: Hanson

  • SST 295-02 - Special Topic: Digital Journal Publishing: A New Approach

    4 credits (Spring)
    See HUM 295-01 

  • SST 295-03 - Special Topic: Data Wrangling for Non-Programmers

    1 credits (Spring)
    Previously unimaginable amounts of data are available online, but before you can use the data you need to wrangle it. In this course you’ll learn to access data via APIs, bring data in JSON and XML formats into Excel, combine it with data from other sources, and reshape it and aggregate it to produce exactly the data files you need to do your research. Course uses Excel; no programming required. Cannot be taken for credit by students who have taken a CSC class at the 200-level or above.

    Prerequisite: SST 115 SST 125 STA 209 POL 237 , POL 239 , or POL 258 .       
    Note: Dates: January 27 to March 17. Half-semester deadlines apply.
    Instructor: Bauder
  • SST 295-04 - Special Topic: Considering Student Success

    4 credits (Spring)

    What does it mean for students to succeed in college? Together, we will explore a range of theories and perspectives on college student development and success and will engage in campus research about how students at Grinnell understand success in the context of their own studies. Students will receive qualitative methods and ethics research training and will contribute to a collaborative, class-wide report on the subject of student success at Grinnell. 


    Prerequisite: Second-year standing.
    Instructor: Newhouse, Peltz, Robinson