Linwood J. Lewis

BA, Manhattanville College. MA, PhD, City University of New York. MS, Columbia University. Special interests in the effects of culture and social context on conceptualization of health and illness; effects of the physical environment on physical, psychological, and social health; multicultural aspects of genetic counseling; the negotiation of HIV within families; and the development of sexuality in ethnic minority adolescents and adults. Recipient of a MacArthur postdoctoral fellowship and an NIH-NRSA research fellowship. SLC, 1997–

Undergraduate Courses 2020-2021


Children and Families

Intermediate , Seminar—Fall

This course focuses on the development of the child within the context of family, school, and community in the United States and globally. We will examine the interplay of culture, social structure, and individual-level variation in effecting the life course of children. We will also study the development of families from spousal pair bonding through child raising and the interaction between adult children and parents. Our approach will be to explore the connections across multiple levels of organization, from the biological to individual to sociocultural and structural; our readings will range from classic to contemporary literatures in anthropology, developmental and family psychology, sociology, and public health. This is a good course for students interested in graduate study in a variety of social science and health fields.


Health in a Multicultural Context

Intermediate , Seminar—Spring

A background in social sciences or education is recommended.

This course offers, within a cultural context, an overview of theoretical and research issues in the psychological study of health and illness. We will examine theoretical perspectives in the psychology of health, health cognition, illness prevention, stress, and coping with illness and will highlight research, methods, and applied issues. We will also explore the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic within the frame of these theoretical perspectives. This class is appropriate for those interested in a variety of health careers. Conference work may range from empirical research to bibliographic research in this area. Community partnership/service-learning work may be an option in this class.


Intersectionality and the Matrix of Race

Open , Small Lecture—Fall

Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us....You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television....It is the wool that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. Neo: What truth? Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo.... The Matrix (1999)

....the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil and gifted with second-sight in this American world—a world which yields him no true self-consciousness but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. —W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903)

The construct of race is adaptive and healthy but can also lead to human misery through deception about our (hierarchical) relationship to each other. Racially organized hierarchies, such as The Matrix or DuBois’ veil metaphor, interfere with our ability to clearly perceive our relationships to ourselves and to each other as racial/ethnic beings. In this lecture, we will examine the social construction of the matrix of racialized hierarchy, race, social class, and ethnicity within a historical perspective and how those constructs implicitly and explicitly inform psychological inquiry. We will use an intersectional frame to examine identity and social structure and will include readings by Morrison, Appiah, Haney Lopez, and Hill Collins, among others. We will also examine the development of racial/ethnic identity in childhood and adolescence, as well as gendered and sexual aspects of race/ethnicity. Finally, we will move toward a broader understanding of psychological aspects of prejudice, ethnic conflict, and immigration and how those themes are expressed within the United States and abroad.


Emerging Adulthood

Intermediate , Seminar—Spring

We have time, energy, questions, and few responsibilities. We want to push the envelope, resist compromise, lead revolutions, and turn the world upside down. Because we do not yet know quite how to be, we have not settled and will not let the dust settle around us. —Karlin & Borofsky, 2003

Many traditional psychological theories of development posit a brief transition from adolescence to adulthood; however, many people moving into their 20s experience anything but a brief transition to “feeling like an adult,” pondering questions such as: How many SLC alums can live in a Brooklyn sublet? What will I do when I finish the Peace Corps next year? In this course, we will explore the psychological literature concerning emerging adulthood, the period from the late teens through the 20s. We will examine this period of life from a unified biopsychosocial and intersectional perspective.


Graduate Courses

Child Development 2019-2020

Intersectionality Research Seminar

Graduate Seminar—Fall

Students who have studied race/ethnicity, gender, or sexuality in at least one other class would be best prepared to take this class.

This class is a hands-on introduction to conducting qualitative and quantitative psychological research on the intersection of race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Although research is an indispensable part of scientific endeavors, the conduct of research itself is part scientific ritual and part art form. In this class, we will learn both the science and the art of conducting ethical research with diverse participants. What is the connection of race, sexuality, and gender within an American multicultural and multiethnic society? Is there a coherent, distinct, and continuous self existing within our postmodern, paradigmatic, etc. contexts? How is the sexual/racial/gendered implicated in the creation of this self-identity? Is there principled dynamic or developmental change in our concepts of self as human beings, sexual beings, and/or racial/ethnic beings? This class explores the analysis of race, ethnicity, and sexualities within psychology and the broader social sciences; how those constructs implicitly and explicitly inform psychological inquiry; and the effects of those constructs on the “psychology” of the individual in context. This class regularly moves beyond psychology to take a broader, social-science perspective on the issue of intersectionality.


Art of Teaching 2019-2020

Health Advocacy 2018-2019

Ethics and Advocacy

In-Person Intensive and Online

Using a social-justice framework, this course will provide a theoretical foundation for the exploration and application of ethical dilemmas relevant to the health care system in the United States. The ethics of advocacy, in its various forms, will be explored from different positions—from the patient and family level to health care institutions, funding mechanisms, and public-policy perspectives. Due to shifting demographics of who provides care, the “where” of health care and the resulting ethical dilemmas will be explored—as the majority of long-term care in the United States is provided in the community by family caregivers. In addition, as the medical model of disease has shifted to include the social-ecological model—recognizing the importance of the social on all aspects of health, wellness, and illness—ethical dilemmas have changed, as well. The shift away from purely medical bioethics to a more socially informed version of health care requires different approaches to solving new problems encountered within the current health care system. This course is not intended to teach you a moral code. It will not teach you to act ethically, although it will likely make you think more about how you act and why. You will be challenged to identify ethical problems and explore various outcomes and solutions, making real-world decisions within a climate of moral ambiguity and competing priorities. Ethical dilemmas that you have or with which you are engaging in your field placements will provide possibilities for fertile conversations about these real-world dilemmas and how to effectively grapple with the range of possible outcomes. This course begins online for six weeks and concludes with a weekend, in-person intensive.


Research Methods for Health Advocacy


This course introduces students to the research process that supports effective health advocacy in the community. Students will learn the principles of literature review, instrument construction and implementation, and issues specific to community-based work and needs assessment. They will be exposed to the process of ethical approval for research involving human subjects in the community. Students will have an opportunity to apply these principles of research in the community setting, gaining an in-depth understanding of context-driven, community-based participatory research and the concept of co-production of knowledge. They will develop assessment and evaluation skills, gaining practical experience and applying statistical principles. By introducing students to data-collection concepts and analysis, this course establishes foundations that will be further refined in subsequent course work in the program.


Previous Courses

“Sex Is Not a Natural Act”: Social Science Explorations of Human Sexuality

Open , Lecture—Spring

A background in social sciences is recommended.

When is sex NOT a natural act? Every time a human engages in sexual activity. In sex, what is done by whom, with whom, where, when, why, and with what has very little to do with biology. Human sexuality poses a significant challenge in theory. The study of its disparate elements (biological, social, and individual/psychological) is inherently an interdisciplinary undertaking: From anthropologists to zoologists, all add something to our understanding of sexual behaviors and meanings. In this class, we will study sexualities in social contexts across the lifespan, from infancy to old age. Within each period, we will examine biological, social, and psychological factors that inform the experience of sexuality for individuals. We will also examine broader aspects of sexuality, including sexual health and sexual abuse. Conference projects may range from empirical research to a bibliographic research project. Service learning may also be supported in this class.

Related Disciplines

Advanced Research Seminar

Intermediate/Advanced , 3-credit seminar—Year

Permission of the instructor is required.

In this research seminar, students will gain valuable research experience through a weekly seminar meeting focused on research methods, research ethics, and contemporary research questions and approaches; a weekly lab meeting with one of the faculty members leading the research seminar; and individual and group conference meetings with faculty supervisors on a regular, as-needed basis. The seminar component will include readings on, and discussions of, research methods and ethics, both broad and specific to the research in which students are involved, as well as the discussion of contemporary research articles that are relevant to student and faculty research projects. All faculty and students involved in the research experience will take turns leading the discussion of current research, with faculty taking the lead at the beginning of the semester and students taking the lead as their expertise develops. Weekly lab meetings will also involve reading and discussing research articles and research methods papers specific to the topics of research being undertaken by each student and faculty member. Students will be expected to learn the current research approaches being employed by their supervising faculty member, contribute toward ongoing research in the form of a research practicum, and develop and implement their own independent research projects within the labs in which they are working. Faculty supervising each lab will also be available to meet with students individually and in small groups on an ongoing basis, as needed and at least every other week, in addition to the regular weekly, hour-long lab meeting. Students participating in the Psychology Advanced Research Seminar will be expected to attend and actively participate in weekly full group seminars, weekly lab meetings, and regular (typically, at least biweekly) individual and group conference meetings; keep an ongoing journal and/or scientific lab notebook; select and facilitate group and lab discussions of relevant contemporary research articles (at least once for each meeting type); work at least 5 hours within a lab and/or community setting, as appropriate for their projects; contribute toward ongoing research and practice within their lab or community settings; develop, implement, and report on (in the form of a short paper prepared for possible publication and a poster at the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Poster Session) an independent research project; and provide their colleagues with ongoing verbal and written feedback on their projects.

Related Disciplines

Children’s Health in a Multicultural Context

Graduate Seminar—Spring

A background in social sciences or education is recommended.

This course offers, within a cultural context, an overview of theoretical and research issues in the psychological study of health and illness in children. We will examine theoretical perspectives in the psychology of health, health cognition, illness prevention, stress, and coping with illness and highlight research, methods, and applied issues. This class is appropriate for those interested in a variety of health careers. Conference work may range from empirical research to bibliographic research in this area. Community partnership/service learning work is an option in this class.

Related Disciplines