UPCES Psychology Courses

Here you'll find the UPCES course offering related to Psychology. Please note that course offerings are subject to change or cancelation based on faculty availability and student enrollment. All course subjects must be approved by your home institution for departmental credit.

The listing below includes a detailed description, cross-listed subjects, and a downloadable syllabus.

Propaganda and Society


This course explores mass persuasion and propaganda in a developmental context with an emphasis on understanding approaches and techniques. It traces the emergence of strategic persuasive communication and propaganda from its origins to the present day. The basic principles, philosophy, and techniques of mass persuasion in different periods are considered, with an emphasis on contemporary contexts. Students will learn to identify different propaganda techniques and will gain the tools to evaluate and debunk propaganda campaigns. A developmental approach is used in order to allow the opportunity to see aspects of continuity and change in approaches. A combination of classic and contemporary texts in the area of propaganda and disinformation will be studied. Various approaches to propaganda will examined across a variety of media, with an emphasis in the second half of the course on emerging computational and participatory propaganda.

Psychoanalysis and Cultural Studies


This course examines in detail a select band of the seminars offered by the major post-Freudian psychoanalytic thinker, teacher and practitioner, Jacques Lacan (1901-81), and some outstanding Lacan-criticism.  The course also covers some important post-Lacanian thinkers with special reference to Slavoj Žižek (1949-) and to Julia Kristeva (1940-) in order to use psychoanalysis as a powerful critical tool to diagnose both individual and social reality, as well as individual artworks. 

Surveillance and Society
(originally: Surveillance in Central and Eastern Europe: Social Control Methods Before and After Communism)


This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the topic of surveillance in Central and Eastern Europe covering Pre-and-Post Communist realms of everyday life. The class dialogue will be focused on the analysis of historical rhetoric of surveillance and its wide range of tools used to gain social control and that of its individual members. We will focus on the comparative analysis of different methods of social control practice employed by select former communist states (mainly Czechoslovakia, Poland, and East Germany) during communism and after its fall. As it may appear that the communist organs of state surveillance, namely: StB in Czechoslovakia, Stasi in East Germany, and SB in Poland, ceased to exist with the fall of the totalitarian system, one could argue that the new mechanisms of social control continue to emerge, but this time offering no visible borders for one to easily escape from. Indeed, the faces of post-communist surveillance will be discussed from more inclusive perspective, touching upon the global resonance of 9/11, when surveillance has been legitimatized as a tool of social order and also openly questioned by individuals such as Edward Snowden. Moreover, surveillance today and the invasion of one’s privacy faces threats from many “little brothers” rather just only the state itself. Therein this course will probe several issues emerging from different types of relationships between the latest technologies and our society, as they may be used by those in power to cultivate the culture of social control, fear, and empowerment.