Graduate Fall 2017

FALL 2017 GRADUATE COURSES 

(CLICK HERE FOR ILLUSTRATED PDF OF FALL 2017 UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE COURSES)

For the most up-to-date listings, check the Online Course Information website. ​To add or remove a course from this list, email environmentalhumanities@yale.edu

ANTH 541 01 (13190) /F&ES836/HIST965/PLSC779

Agrarian Societies: Culture, Society, History, and Development

Peter Perdue

James Scott

Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan

W 1.30-5.20

Fall 2017

An interdisciplinary examination of agrarian societies, contemporary and historical, Western and non-Western. Major analytical perspectives from anthropology, economics, history, political science, and environmental studies are used to develop a meaning-centered and historically grounded account of the transformations of rural society. Team-taught.

ARCG 399 01 (13246) /EVST399/NELC399/F&ES774/ANTH478/NELC606

Agriculture: Origins, Evolution, Crises

Harvey Weiss

Th 3.30-5.20

Fall 2017

Areas So

Permission of instructor required

Analysis of the societal and environmental drivers and effects of plant and animal domestication, the intensification of agroproduction, and the crises of agroproduction: land degradation, societal collapses, sociopolitical transformation, sustainablity, and biodiversity.

ANTH 407 01 (10366) /ARCG407/ARCG707/ANTH707

Origins of Complex Societies in West Africa

Roderick McIntosh

T 2.30-4.20

Fall 2017

Areas So

Permission of instructor required

YC Anthropology: Archaeology

Meets during reading period

The great diversity of complex societies that emerged in prehistoric West Africa. Readings from site reports and primary source articles.

ARCG 226 01 (13240) /NELC268/EVST226/NELC605

Global Environmental History

Harvey Weiss

TTh 9.00-10.15

Fall 2017

Areas So

The dynamic relationship between environmental and social forces from the Pleistocene glaciations to the Anthropocene present. Pleistocene extinctions; transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture; origins of cities, states, and civilization; adaptations and collapses of Old and New World civilizations in the face of climate disasters; the destruction and reconstruction of the New World by the Old. Focus on issues of adaptation, resilience, and sustainability, including forces that caused long-term societal change.

HSAR 749 01 (12541) /ANTH646

Three Thousand Years of Mexican Feasting: 1500 B.C.E. to 1519 C.E.

Mary Miller

Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos

M 3.30-5.20

Fall 2017

This course sits at the cusp of anthropology and art history, considered through the lens of the most central of human activities, the consumption of food. Feasting was integral to the prehispanic peoples of Mesoamerica, who domesticated and cultivated maize, beans, chocolate, vanilla, tomatoes, chilies, and squashes, and served dogs, ducks, and turkeys on the most festive of occasions. They developed special ceramics, from elaborate tamale plates to tall chocolate pots, for ritual service, some of which then became assemblages with which to honor the dead, and sometimes preserving a performance otherwise not visible in the present. In this course, the role of food both as object of ritual and performance and as subject is examined. Seasonal celebrations, as documented in the sixteenth-century Florentine Codex, are examined alongside painted and sculpted representations of food and its rituals. Cross-cultural consideration of the feast as a conceptual category that ranges from the potlatch of the Northwest Coast peoples to modern Day of the Dead practice helps shape class discussion of Mesoamerican feasting before European contact, as does study of gender and the spatial settings of consumption. The problem of sampling and identification is considered through scientific study and practice, and vessels in New Haven and New York are explored for potential residues.

CPLT 882 01 (12486) /RUSS882/ENGL709

What Happened to Race, Class, and Gender? Keywords of Recent Critical Theory

Ayesha Ramachandran

Marta Figlerowicz

M 1.30-3.20

Fall 2017

What did happen to race, class, and gender? This course examines the persistence of older theoretical frameworks such as Marxism or feminism in current critical discourse. It also explores new critical keywords—biopolitics, affect, the Anthropocene, and others—that now help structure theoretical debates in the humanities. Intended as a fast-paced, reading-heavy introduction to recent critical theory, the course will help graduate students in literature acquire a better sense of their field of study and reflect upon the methodologies they will use in their dissertation projects. Readings include the work of older theorists such as Jacques Derrida, Theodor Adorno, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, and Donna Haraway, as well as recent ones such as Jasbir Puar, Sianne Ngai, Tiqqun, Paolo Virno, and Dipesh Chakrabarty.

CPLT 907 01 (12527) 

Media Archaeologies: The Visual and the Environmental

Francesco Casetti

Rüdiger Campe

M 3.30-5.20

Fall 2017

The seminar aims at retracing two divergent cultural processes: how and why, starting from the discovery of artificial perspective, an increasing number of cultural practices were devoted to making the world visible; and correlatively how and why, starting from the first half of the nineteenth century, visuality increasingly met with the resistance of other modes of accessing the world through the human body and the role of the environment? These two trajectories are retraced through a special attention to the media that were on the forefront of these cultural processes: from Brunelleschi’s mirror to Alberti’s window and grid, from camera obscura to Galileo’s telescope, from Panorama to Phantasmagoria, from the optical toys of the nineteenth century to the increasing implication of art into social and political questions. The seminar privileges the cultural practices that underpin both the trust in visuality and the discovery of environmentality, and it gives due attention to the political questions that the changing fortunes of the optical media imply. The seminar is the first part of a two-year project and will be followed next year by an analysis of the prevalence of the environmental dimension in contemporary media.

ANTH 636 01 (12461) /G&G636/ARCG636

Geoarchaeology: Earth and Environmental Sciences in Archaeological Investigations

Ellery Frahm

MW 2.30-3.4

Fall 2017

A survey of the numerous ways in which theories, approaches, techniques, and data from the earth and environmental sciences are used to address archaeological research questions. A range of interfaces between archaeology and the geological sciences are considered. Topics include stratigraphy, geomorphology, site formation processes, climate reconstruction, site location, and dating techniques.

EMD 543 01 (13475) /CDE543

Global Aspects of Food & Nutrition

Debbie Humphries

MW 3.00-4.20 LEPH 101

Fall 2017

The course presents a core topic in global health and development that is at the intersection of science, society, and policy. The course familiarizes students with leading approaches to analyzing the causes of malnutrition in countries around the world and to designing and evaluating nutrition interventions. It covers micronutrient and macronutrient deficiencies; approaches to reducing malnutrition; the cultural, economic, environmental, agricultural, and policy context within which malnutrition exists; and the relationships between common infections and nutritional status.

F&ES 772 01 (13557) 

Social Justice in Food System

Kristin Reynolds

Th 1.00-3.50

Fall 2017

This course explores social justice dimensions of today’s globalized food system and considers sustainability in terms of social, in addition to environmental indicators. We develop an understanding of the food system that includes farmers and agroecological systems; farm and industry workers; business owners and policymakers, as well as all who consume food. Based on this understanding, we examine how phenomena such as racism, gender discrimination, and structural violence, and neoliberalization surface within the food system in United States and globally, drawing examples from such diverse sectors as agriculture, labor, public health, and international policy. We discuss conceptual frameworks—such as food justice and food sovereignty—that farmers, activists, critical food scholars, humanitarian agencies, and policy makers are using to create food systems that are both sustainable and just. We also investigate how current ideological debates about the intersections of food, agriculture, and social justice shape policy making and advocacy at multiple scales. Throughout the semester we explore our own position(s) as university- based stakeholders in the food system. The course includes guest speakers and students are encouraged to integrate aspects of their own scholarly and/or activist projects into one or more course assignments.

F&ES 764 01 (13556) 

American West: A Case Study in Social Structure

Justin Farrell

Th 1.00-3.50

Fall 2017

3 credits. The social and environmental context of the North American West provides fertile ground to examine important issues pertaining to culture, politics, environmental justice, social movements, and institutional structures. This course equips students to think critically and imaginatively about the social aspects of natural landscapes and the communities who inhabit them. This is not a history course, but it does examine stability and change across time. The course draws on empirical cases dealing with a range of interrelated issues, including economic change, environmental values, energy and water conflicts, native experiences, religion, American mythologies, gender, race, and the culture of individualism. Engaging with important theories, debates, and scholarly work around these exciting cultural and political issues is the primary goal of this course. Because of the importance of engaging these issues on the ground in real-life situations, the course includes a short (and optional) field trip during the October break.

E&RS 511 01 (12498) /GLBL693

United States and Russian Relations since the End of the Cold War

Thomas Graham

M 1.30-3.20

Fall 2017

This course examines the factors—political, socioeconomic, and ideological—that have shaped U.S.-Russian relations since the end of the Cold War, as well as specific issues in bilateral relations, including arms control, counterterrorism, energy, and regional affairs. The goal is to understand the way each country constructs relations with the other to advance its own national interests, and the implications of U.S.-Russian relations for global affairs.

F&ES 750 01 (13548) 

Writing the World

Verlyn Klinkenborg

T 2.30-5.20

Fall 2017

This is a practical writing course meant to develop your skills as a writer. But its real subject is perception and the writer’s authority—the relationship between what you notice in the world around you and what, culturally speaking, you’re allowed to notice. What you write during the semester is driven entirely by your own interest and attention. How you write is the question at hand. We’ll be exploring the overlapping habitats of language—present and past—and the natural environment. And, to a lesser extent, we’ll be exploring the character of persuasion in environmental themes. Every member of the class will write every week, and we will all read what everyone writes every week. It makes no difference whether you’re a would-be journalist, scientist, environmental advocate or policy-maker. The goal is to rework your writing and sharpen your perceptions, both sensory and intellectual.

HSHM 701 01 (11390) /HIST930

Problems in the History of Medicine and Public Health

John Warner

W 1.30-3.20

Fall 2017

An examination of the variety of approaches to the social and cultural history of medicine and public health. Readings are drawn from recent literature in the field, sampling writings on health care, illness experiences, and medical cultures in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the United States from antiquity through the twentieth century. Topics include the role of gender, class, ethnicity, race, religion, and region in the experience of health care and sickness; the intersection of lay and professional understandings of the body; and the role of the marketplace in shaping professional identities and patient expectations.

HIST 927 01 (12547) /HSHM711

Death, Degeneration, and Decay

Joanna Radin

M 1.30-3.20

1 HTBA

Fall 2017

This reading seminar addresses questions of finitude, breakdown, loss, and the limits of life as they have been articulated from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Specific topics encompass biomedical interest in cell death, ecological attention to ecosystem collapse, and racial theories of degeneration. Because theories of cybernetics and computing are a fundamental dimension of postwar life and biomedical science, we also consider how ideas about life and death have been addressed in the engineering and maintenance of digital infrastructures.

REL 502 01 (10201) 
Bounty and Duty: The Hebrew Bible and Creation
Gregory Mobley
F 8.30-10.20
Areas DI (1)
The course explores ideas about creation and the interconnectedness among the created realms in the Hebrew Bible, then juxtaposes the ancient worldview with the science and ethics of contemporary ecological concerns. Area I.

REL 640 01 (13447) 
Body & Land
Willie Jennings
W 1.30-3.20
Areas DI (2), DI DIV

REL 809 01 (10208) 
Loving Creation: Spirituality, Nature, and Ecological Conversion
Janet Ruffing
Th 3.30-5.20
This course focuses on the spiritual dimension of ecology. Spiritual thought and practice are enriched through being situated in the natural world, and scientifically based ecology is given added depth and meaning by extending the ecological field to include traditions of spiritual thought and practice. The spiritual tradition offers practices and a history of a quality of mind and heart that cultivates an awareness of the beauty and significance of the living world as well as its fragility and need for respectful care. In this course, we explore a contemplative ecology rooted in the ancient desert tradition primarily though the work of two thinkers: Douglas Burton-Christie’s “Contemplative Ecology”; and Denis Edwards’s Trinitarian theology, which expands our sense of the ongoing involvement of God in creation and requires ecological conversion of all us to repair the harm caused by the distorted utilitarian and individualistic ethic. Area IV.

REL 918H 01 (10105) 

Native American Religions & Ecology

John Grim

Mary Tucker

T 4.00-5.20

Fall 2017

Areas DI (5), DI DIV, DI NXN

2 credits. This six-week hybrid course explores a diversity of Native American peoples and examines their ecological interactions with place, biodiversity, and celestial bodies as religious realities. The dynamic interactions of First Nations’ cultures and bioregions provide a lens for understanding lifeways, namely, a weave of thought and practice in traditional Native American life. Through symbolic languages, subsistence practices, and traditional rituals, lifeways give expression to living cosmologies, namely, communal life lived in relation to a sacred universe. This is an online hybrid course; no shopping period.

Environmental Writing

Fred Strebeigh

T 6.30-9.30p

Students in this course should plan to produce one full-length article, 3,000 to 4,000 words, that could appear in a wide-circulation magazine such as Audubon, Orion, Sierra, or The New Yorker. One-credit students begin a potentially publishable article; three-credit students complete a publishable article. Admission is by application, which must include a proposed writing topic, at the beginning of the term. Three hours seminar and writing workshops.

Architecture and the Kinetic Image

Craig Buckley

T 1.30-3.20

HSAR 747 01 (11423) 

Fall 2017

This seminar examines the relationship between concepts of architectural and cinematic space in the twentieth century. The aim is to provide an introduction to the literature on architecture and cinema and to examine a series of laboratories, buildings, sets, pavilions, and environments marked by the impact of moving images, encounters that have transformed concepts of space and expanded the media through which architects think and work. Examining the collaborations of architects, film directors, set designers, critics, and technicians, the course probes the evolving nature of technologies of the kinetic image, and its complement, the manner in which architects have increasingly sought to conceptualize space in terms of movements and flows, from that of the human body, to the automobile, to information. Topics may include Étienne-Jules Marey’s experimental station; expressionist film sets; film experiments at the Bauhaus; cinema design in Weimar Berlin, Amsterdam, and Paris; the multiscreen films of Charles and Ray Eames; the Philips Pavilion; Intermedia environments of the 1960s; the use of film in urban analysis by Donald Appleyard, Denise Scott Brown, and Robert Venturi; the projection environments and multimedia pavilions of Expo ‘70; early video installations by Dan Graham and Dara Birnbaum; and the introduction of computer animation into architectural design.

HIST 916 01 (15751) /HSHM714 

Science, Environment, and Empire 

Deborah Coen 

M 1.30-3.20 

A reading seminar exploring recent historiographical trends at the intersection of the history of science, imperial history, and environmental history. 

REL 918H 01 (10105) 

Native American Religions & Ecology

John Grim

Mary Tucker

T 4.00-5.20

Fall 2017

Areas DI (5), DI DIV, DI NXN

2 credits. This six-week hybrid course explores a diversity of Native American peoples and examines their ecological interactions with place, biodiversity, and celestial bodies as religious realities. The dynamic interactions of First Nations’ cultures and bioregions provide a lens for understanding lifeways, namely, a weave of thought and practice in traditional Native American life. Through symbolic languages, subsistence practices, and traditional rituals, lifeways give expression to living cosmologies, namely, communal life lived in relation to a sacred universe. This is an online hybrid course; no shopping period.

F&ES 736E 01 (13260) 

Environmental Ethics

Michelle Bell

HTBA

Fall 2017

Environmental issues are closely tied to ethical considerations such as the impacts on public health, future generations, less industrialized nations, and nonhuman entities. This course is designed to provide a broad overview of topics related to ethics and the environment including perspectives of environmental ethics (e.g., anthropocentrism), environmental justice, environmental economics, and climate change. The intersection of ethics and the environment could be studied from multiple disciplines such as philosophy, history, anthropology, medicine, or environmental science. All perspectives and backgrounds are welcome in this course. The purpose of this class is not to distinguish “right” from “wrong” but to encourage critical thinking and discussion on the ethical consequences of environmental decisions and to provide a better understanding of key topics on ethics and the environment. This course is conducted as a combination in-person/online class over a six-week period. Graded credit/fail for graduate students.

ANTH 615 01 (13192) 

Anthropological Perspectives on Science and Technology

Lisa Messeri

W 9.25-11.15

Fall 2017

The course focuses on ethnographic work on scientific and technical topics, ranging from laboratory studies to everyday technologies. Selected texts include canonical books as well as newer work from early scholars and the most recent work of established scholars. Divided into four units, this seminar explores the theme of “boundaries,” a perennial topic in anthropology of science that deals with the possibility and limits of demarcation. Each week, different kinds of boundaries are examined, and students learn to see their social constructedness as well as the power they carry. We begin by exploring where science is and isn’t, followed by the boundary between ourselves and technology, which is a specific example of the third boundary we examine: the one artificially drawn between nature and culture. We end with readings on geopolitics and the technologies of delineating nation from nation as well as thinking about postnational scientific states. Class discussion guides each session. One or two students each week are responsible for precirculating a book review on the week’s reading, and a third student begins class by reacting to both the texts and the review. The final assignment is a research paper or a review essay.

ANTH 409 01 (11093) /F&ES878/F&ES422/EVST422/ER&M394

Climate and Society from Past to Present

Michael Dove

Th 1.30-3.20

Fall 2017

Areas So

Permission of instructor required

YC Anthropology: Sociocultural

Discussion of the major traditions of thought—both historic and contemporary—regarding climate, climate change, and society; focusing on the politics of knowledge and belief vs disbelief; and drawing on the social sciences and anthropology in particular.

Imaging Ancient Worlds

Roderick McIntosh

John Darnell

W 9.25-11.15

Fall 2017

The interpretation of epigraphic and archaeological material within the broader context of landscape, by means of creating a virtual model to reconstruct the sensory experiences of the ancient peoples who created the sites. Use of new technologies in computer graphics, including 3-D imaging, to support current research in archaeology and anthropology.

REL 903H 01 (10103) F&ES 783E 01 (13561)  

Introduction to Religions & Ecology

John Grim

Mary Tucker

T 4.00-5.20

Fall 2017

Areas DI (5)

This hybrid online course introduces the newly emerging field of religion and ecology and traces its development over the past several decades. It explores human relations to the natural world as differentiated in religious and cultural traditions. In particular, it investigates the symbolic and lived expressions of these interconnections in diverse religious texts, ethics, and practices. In addition, the course draws on the scientific field of ecology for an understanding of the dynamic processes of Earth’s ecosystems. The course explores parallel developments in human-Earth relations defined as religious ecologies. Similarly, it identifies narratives that orient humans to the cosmos, namely, religious cosmologies. This is a six-week, two-credit course with a three-credit option. Area V.