Graduate Courses Spring 2024


Classes are listed alphabetically according to their first department listing. For the most up-to-date listings, check the Yale Course Search  website. ​To add or remove a course from this list, email

Last updated 11/16/23
Please note that this list may change as courses are added.
AMST 529 (30275) / AMST 529
Art and Extraction
Jennifer Raab
W 1:30-3:20pm
This graduate seminar examines the relationship of art with extraction: as visual representation and material condition, as shaping political consensus or giving form to dissent, as imagining land and geological time, and as naturalizing—or revealing—the violences of settler-colonialism and racial capitalism. We think about gold, silver, oil, and water, about mines, mills, rocks, and rivers, about empire and enslavement, about golden myth and toxic dust. Classes often revolve around works of art and visual culture held in Yale collections and museums. Instructor permission required.
ANTH 771 (27130) / ARCG 771
Early Complex Societies
Anne Underhill and Richard Burger
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
A consideration of theories and methods developed by archaeologists to recognize and understand complex societies in prehistory. Topics include the nature of social differentiation and stratification as applied in archaeological interpretation; emergence of complex societies in human history; case studies of societies known ethnographically and archaeologically.
ANTH 772 (27127) / ANTH 372 / ARCH 372 / ARCG 772
Cities in Antiquity: The Archaeology of Urbanism
Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos
M 9:25am-11:15am
Archaeological studies of ancient cities and urbanism. Topics include the origin and growth of cities; the economic, social, and political implications of urban life; and archaeological methods and theories for the study of ancient urbanism. Case studies include ancient cities around the world.
ANTH 964 (26826) / HIST 864 / HSAR 842 / HSHM 692
Topics in the Environmental Humanities
Paul Sabin and Sunil Amrith
W 5:30pm-7:20pm
This is the required workshop for the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Humanities. The workshop meets six times per term to explore concepts, methods, and pedagogy in the environmental humanities, and to share student and faculty research. Each student pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Humanities must complete both a fall term and a spring term of the workshop, but the two terms of student participation need not be consecutive. The fall term each year emphasizes key concepts and major intellectual currents. The spring term each year emphasizes pedagogy, methods, and public practice. Specific topics vary each year. Students who have previously enrolled in the course may audit the course in a subsequent year. This course does not count toward the coursework requirement in history. Open only to students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Humanities.
Image: Unrecorded Vietnamese artist, Water Dropper in the Shape of a Puffer Fish, late 15th–early 16th century, Yale University Art Gallery
ARCH 2247 (30250)
Soil Sisters
Mae-Ling Lokko
T 11am-12:50pm
This course aims to investigate a new paradigm for connecting agricultural waste to large-scale regional material supply chains, in which improving soil nutrition and soil resiliency underpin the design goal of providing cross-sectoral environmental performance through the provision of new biomaterial construction systems.
ARCH 3011 (30251)
Architecture and Modernity I: Sites and Spaces
Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen
W 11am-12:30pm
(Required of first-year M.Arch. I students; available as an elective for M.Arch. II and M.E.D. students.) The course embraces the last century and a half’s history of architecture, when traditional fables began to yield to more scientifically conceived ideas of architecture’s role in the creation of civilizations. As architecture gained importance in advancing social and industrial agendas, it also built a basis for theoretical reflection and visionary aesthetics. The expanding print and media culture accelerated the migration of ideas and propelled architecture beyond its traditional confines. Discussion of major centers of urban culture and their characteristic buildings alternates with attention to individual concepts and their impact in an increasingly interconnected culture of design.
ARCH 3290 (30254)
Body Politics
Joel Sanders
F 11am-12:50pm
COVID-19 underscores how public health and environmental justice are intimately related. This seminar explores the urgent need for transdisciplinary teams representing design, science, and the humanities to create safe, hygienic, accessible, and inclusive spaces that accommodate all bodies, including people of different races, genders, religions, and abilities that fall out of the cultural mainstream. Through in-depth analysis of everyday spaces—homes, workplaces, hospitals, museums—we look at how the conventions of architecture, transmitted through building typologies, standards, and codes, have marginalized or excluded persons who fall outside white, masculine, heterosexual, able-bodied norms. After analyzing each of these sites in their cultural and historical context, students generate innovative design proposals that allow a spectrum of differently embodied and culturally identified people to productively mix in a post-pandemic world. Limited enrollment.
ARCH 3328 (30259)
Latin American Modernity: Architecture, Art, and Utopia
Luis Carranza
M 11am-12:50pm
Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, architects, planners, landscape architects, artists, and designers understood and reacted to the specific conditions of their historical and geographical place within Latin America. In this way, they developed new yet fluid relationships with those and which each other that produced work ranging from the individual work of art, to buildings, cities, and possible utopias. How this production was made, theorized, and developed expresses alternate conceptions of and reactions to the specific forms of modernity developed there. The goal of this course is to engage in broad dialogues with historical case studies throughout Latin America during this period that show how the creation of ideas, works, space, and place was part of a critical practice with/in “alternative modernities;” self-conscious and original, yet operating under a progressive spirit.  We look at the self-reflexive practices and negotiations within/through modern art, architecture, and utopias in Latin America—as operations of vernacularization, transculturation or creolization, denaturalization, and deterritorialization—as fundamental works, problems, and didactic exercises intent on producing new knowledge and directions central to its socio-cultural development and to its architectural and artistic expressions.
ARCH 3330 (30261)
Feral Surfaces and Multi-Species Architecture: Rethinking Posthuman Territory
Ariane Harrison
W 9am-10:50am
This seminar examines the concepts and buildings that characterize the discourse on posthuman architecture over the past decade, asking whether architecture as a discipline has demonstrated a capacity to move away from its 500 years of anthropocentrism. A controversial term since its inception in the 1970s, the term “posthuman” is widely used to refer to work that embraces non-humans, from machines to multiple species. It is a term that is also criticized for its failure to acknowledge its racialized undertones within the environmental discourse. Other terms that address posthuman architectural programs include non-human, animal, multi-species, and feral: terms whose capacity to describe an inclusive and biodiverse approach to architecture we explore. The trajectory of the term is dedicated to mapping the new landscape of architecture for multiple species in projects and texts. The bulk of the seminar is devoted to describing the reality of building for multiple species and focuses on developing wall sections through LIDAR-based digital twins of case study buildings. We analyze built work that manifests the hybrid entanglement envisioned by posthumanism, but more critically, we interrogate its facture: how is the analogous habitat constructed? How is duration, maintenance, and other time-based process inscribed in building cladding? How do you represent scales that are typically too small for human consideration? The course is conceived as a workshop-style seminar in which students develop research, writing, and analysis of existing examples of multi-species architecture. The framework for this questioning will be provided by literature reviews and case studies in which students develop a familiarity with LIDAR scanning, point-cloud models, and their manipulation in Rhino and Revit. Time-based analysis integrates data from sensors. Our hypothesis is that the digital twin, and recent speculation on the digital twin city, harbors new potential for fostering biodiversity support as feral surfaces for the city. This research is envisioned within the framework of a new publication, building on my 2013 Routledge anthology Architectural Theories of the Environment: Posthuman Territory. In the short term, students build research skills and cultivate critical thinking, while in the long-term students establish a habit of design that seeks space for multiple species in contemporary architecture.
ARCH 4220 (30263)
Port City: Transformations of Urban Networks
Alan Plattus
W 11am-12:50pm
Historically, port cities around the world have played a crucial role as the nodes of connection and exchange for both local and vast global networks of production, trade, culture, and power. Since the industrial revolution, rapid development of new technologies of transport and communication has challenged the planners and developers of these cities to both adapt and innovate, creating new and hybrid spatial typologies and transforming vast areas of urbanized waterfront and rural hinterland. And now, climate change and its impact on coastal and riparian geographies add an additional layer of complexity and challenge. This seminar considers the changing and persistent patterns, functions, and images of port cities, particularly in the context of their regional and global networks, researching, analyzing, and mapping the architectural and spatial manifestations of those systems. Limited enrollment.
Image: Marsden Hartley, Flaming Pool—Dogtown, 1931, Yale University Art Gallery
ARCH 4223 (30265)
Introduction to British Landscape and Architectural History: 1500 to 1900
Warren Fuermann
F 11am-12:50pm
This seminar examines chronologically the history of landscape architecture and country-house architecture in Britain from 1500 to 1900. Topics of discussion include the history of the castle in British architecture and landscape architecture; Italian and French influences on the seventeenth-century British garden; military landscaping; the Palladian country house and British agricultural landscape; Capability Brown’s landscape parks; theories of the picturesque and of the landscape sublime; Romanticism and the psychology of nature; the creation of the public park system; arts and crafts landscape design; and the beginnings of landscape modernism. Comparisons of historical material with contemporary landscape design, where appropriate, are made throughout the term. The collection of the Yale Center for British Art is used for primary visual material, and a trip to England over spring break, partially funded by the School, allows students to visit firsthand the landscape parks studied in this seminar. Limited enrollment.
ARCH 4253 (30266)
Labs and Landscapes of the Green Revolution
Anthony Acciavatti
M 11am-12:50pm
In 1968, the director of the US Agency for International Development, William Gaud, christened the decades-long experiments with agriculture and technology as the “green revolution.” Juxtaposing it with the Red Revolution of the USSR and the White Revolution of the Shah of Iran, record harvests during the Cold War made the Green Revolution as much about food and hunger as it did geopolitics and diplomacy. This seminar explores the origins and development of the Green Revolution through its principal sites of experimentation: laboratories and landscapes. Whether hailed by some as a major turning point in the history of combatting hunger and food insecurity or castigated by others for perpetuating colonial and imperial asymmetries of power and environmental degradation, the legacies of the Green Revolution endure to this day. We attend to the global legacies of this color-coded revolution and how it reshaped the contours of the land, food distribution networks, settlement patterns, and cultures of eating and cooking, as well as reconfigured the habits and habitats of the human subject. Along with weekly readings and assignments that involve eating and cooking, we travel to one of the major laboratories and landscapes of the Green Revolution: India.
ARCH 4254 (30267)
The (Built) Environment: environmental design and urban transformation in practice
Jen Shin
Th 11am-12:50pm
Over the next decade, cities and human settlements will remain a critical lever for addressing the climate crisis and ecological collapse. Contemporary urbanization differs from historical patterns of urban growth in its scale and rate of global change, touching on such dimensions as food and agriculture, land use, biodiversity, water, energy, governance, and more. Large-scale urban expansion of new and growing cities as well as continued development of established cities present opportunities for a new conceptualization of the built environment in the context of sustainability. As cities dominate the globe, the intersection between architecture and environmental action must be redefined. This course is designed for students who seek new terrain for architectural thought within the context of evolving environmental challenges. The course is run as a colloquium and workshop. Invited guests forging new work in the built environment will share not only their current research and practice but also their methods of work. Student-moderated discussions with our guests will present the opportunity for students to build the skills to critically position themselves within the discourse of urbanization, architecture, and environmental action. Concurrently, students will workshop individual or group projects operating at the intersection of the built and natural environments resulting in a project proposal of each student’s choosing. In the short-term, students will build research skills and cultivate critical thinking. In the long-term, students will build the foundations for their future professional / academic trajectory by forging new methods of practice or research in urbanization and architecture. Students from all programs are encouraged to enroll and no design work is required. Projects can be historical, analytical, speculative, policy-oriented, etc. The only requirements is for the proposed project to interrogate the intersection between the built and natural environments and open new avenues for cross-disciplinary work about built form as a critical lever for global sustainability.
ARCH 4297 (30268)
Historic Preservation in the 21st Century
Norma Barbacci
W 2pm-3:50pm
This seminar explores the evolution of historic preservation from a narrow focus on monumental properties to its broader, more complex, and more inclusive current purview. The course begins by learning about the history of the field of preservation through the understanding of its theoretical roots, definitions, professional practice, and the basics of material conservation. This introduction serves as a preamble to the second part of the course which focuses on the expanding role and potential future of historic preservation as it aligns its objectives with the principles of sustainability, social inclusion, and decolonization. At the end of this seminar, the students should have a working understanding of the theory and practice of historic preservation, the wide array of its concerns and sub-specialties, and its potential as an agent for sustainable development and social inclusion; the basic concepts of material conservation and documentation of existing conditions; and the challenges and opportunities presented by a preservation project in an underserved community.
ARCH 4298 (30269)
Agroecological Urban Constellations
Ana Duran
W 9am-10:50am
Description TBA
ARCH 4304 (30347)
Architecture for a World After
Joyce Hsiang
W 4pm-5:50pm
Description TBA
EMST 649 (30060)
Environment and Infrastructure in Middle Eastern History
Alan Mikhail
M 3:30pm-5:20pm
This readings seminar explores how historians have understood the environment and infrastructure in the Middle East from the medieval period to the early twentieth century. We read most of the major works on these topics and look at questions of method, sources, and historiography to interrogate the possibilities of future scholarship in these areas.
Image: Unrecorded Temne artist, Mask with Superstructure in the Form of a Female Figure, mid to late 20th century, Yale University Art Gallery.
ENV 649 (28342)
Food Systems: The Implications of Unequal Access
Dorceta Taylor
Date/Time TBD
The course examines several dimensions of food insecurity. It starts with an assessment of household food insecurity in the United States, with discussions covering access to food in urban and rural areas. The course also examines the research and conceptualization of food systems as we analyze concepts such as “food deserts,” “food oases,” “food swamps,” “food grasslands,” and “food sovereignty.” We examine food systems and take a supply-chain approach wherein we study food producers (farmers, urban agriculturalists, community gardeners). We also study food suppliers and processors such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture, and food retailers. Students have an opportunity to study incubator kitchens and small-scale entrepreneurship in low-income communities. We also examine consumer access to food as well as perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors; understudied parts of food systems such as urban farms, community and school gardens, and emergency food assistance programs; and food production and food acquisition strategies in low-income areas. The course also studies the pricing of food and whether retailers decide to sell healthy foods or not. Three to four mandatory field trips are being planned—to farms, farmers markets, grocery stores, and other food outlets in and around the New Haven area—but these could be affected by the pandemic protocols and the weather. All students complete an individual take-home assignment, group class exercises, and a group term paper. Attendance at field trips, class attendance, and class participation (including class presentations) are also graded.
ENV 653 (28343)
Maple: From Tree to table
Joseph Orefice
Date/Time TBA
This course covers the cultural, industrial, and sustainable practices of nontimber forest products through the lens of maple sap and syrup. Maple sugar is a forest product unique to northeastern North America, and it has seen a resurgence in interest as global consumers seek nutritious, natural, and sustainably produced foods. This course covers the booming industry and culture around maple syrup, from backyard operations through modern 100,000-tap investment operations. Maple producers are on the front lines of climate change and forest health threats. The course provides students with the knowledge of how challenges related to forest health and climate change are directly impacting maple producers and how these producers are learning to adapt in ways that are environmentally friendly, ecologically sound, and financially competitive in a global market.
ENV 820 (30194)
Land Use Law and Environmental Planning
Marjorie Shansky
Date/Time TBA
This course explores the regulation by local governments of land uses in urban, rural, and suburban areas and the effect of development on the natural environment. The course helps students understand how the environment can be protected through effective regulation at the local level. It provides an introduction to federal, state, regional, and local laws and programs that promote watershed protection and to the laws that delegate to local governments primary responsibility for decision-making in the land use field. Theories of federalism, regionalism, states’ rights, and localism are studied, as are the cases that provide a foundation in regulatory takings and the legitimate scope of land use regulation. The history of the delegation of planning and land use authority to local governments is traced, leading to an examination of local land use practices that relate to human settlement patterns, water resources, low-impact development, watershed protection, alternatives to Euclidean zoning, brownfields redevelopment, and resiliency and adaptation in response to sea-level rise and climate change. Students engage in empirical research to identify, catalog, and evaluate innovative local laws that successfully protect environmental functions and natural resources, and the manner in which towns incorporate climate change into their planning and regulations. Nearby watersheds are used as a context for the students’ understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of local planning and regulation. Attention is paid, in detail, to how the development of the land adversely affects natural resources and how these impacts can be mitigated through local planning and subsequent adoption of environmental and other regulations designed to promote sustainable development in a climate-changing world.
ENV 975 (29505)
Western Lands and Communities Field Clinic: Research to Practice
Justin Farrell
Date/Time TBA
This project-based course is for students engaged in social research, humanities study, natural science, and/or conservation management and policy in Western U.S. landscapes. The Spring 2024 version of the course focuses heavily on helping students excel in the writing and publishing process. The course counts toward the MEM capstone if desired. There is a mandatory spring field trip (expenses generously covered by YSE) for experiential learning, research, and writing in the Rocky Mountain West during the second week of spring break. Western lands and communities face growing ecological, economic, and social equity problems that require integrated solutions. Students complete a self-driven writing project throughout the term. At the end of the term, they submit it for publication to an outlet fit to their field of study and career goals (i.e., scholarly journal, book press, reputable news media, audio/video script-writing, etc.). The course is capped and requires an application. No preference is given to a particular field of study. Strong preference is given to students with ongoing writing projects or new ideas that are refined.
EAST 508 (30314)
Mapping Asia: A World-History Perspective (Thirteenth-Eighteenth Centuries)
Angelo Cattaneo
W 1:30pm-3:20pm
Maps and mapping processes have become multilayered and transdisciplinary objects of study and analysis. Long considered and evaluated exclusively as objective scientific tools par excellence, in recent decades they have undergone a profound reconceptualization that has accentuated their being primarily devices of cultural interpretation framed in specific contexts of political, religious, colonial, social, and economic power. This stratification makes maps and mapping operations particularly interesting objects of historical analysis that have generated interest in many fields of knowledge, conveying perspectives, knowledge, interests, and worldviews through a combination of visuality and writing. These specific “intentionalities” aim to make an impact on the communities and societies they address: by representing worlds, they create worlds. It is these intentionalities that the course aims to bring out, study and analyze, particularly in the context of Asia, which has been mapped very precociously and has been a very important area of investigation and exploration by foreign travelers. Asia occupies a central place in the imagined geography of cartographers, as maps have been a fundamental tool that has shaped the continent, its self-perception, and its understanding of the world. Special attention is given to early modern mapping processes and cartography, from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. This period became a turning point in the way both European and Asian cartographers saw their regions and represented them, also giving rise to cartographic productions that complemented or juxtaposed their knowledge systems. The circulation of knowledge and visual cultures among cartographers from both macro-regions, with a focus on Japan and China, is a focus of the course. The analysis of the cartographic construction of Asia and its regions is integrated with a world history– research perspective, from classical to modern times, spanning the cultures of Asia, Europe and Islamic Africa, in turn examined through the maps that different cultures made of their own worlds. Students also have the opportunity to analyze a selection of historical maps in the Beinecke Library collections to discover how maps have variously embodied cultural lenses, religious beliefs, scientific discoveries, and political concerns.
FILM 779 (29880) / ITAL 783
Italian Film Ecologies: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Millicent Marcus
W 3:30-5:20pm
Landscape and the natural environment have never occupied “background” status in Italian film. Given the spectacular visual presence of its terrain—thanks to the relative proximity of mountain chains and the long seacoast—and given the pivotal importance of farming and pasturage in this traditionally agrarian economy, the synergy between the human and natural worlds has played a prominent role in Italian filmmaking since the very inception of the industry. Most recently, two developments have pushed this issue to the forefront of scholarly attention: the advent of ecocriticism, which found one of its earliest and most influential champions in Serenella Iovino, and the establishment of regional film commissions, grassroots production centers that sponsored cinematic works attuned to the specificity of “the local.” The course includes study of films that predate our current environmental consciousness, as well as recent films that foreground it in narrative terms. In the case of the older films, which have already attracted a great deal of critical commentary over time, we work to shift our interpretive frame in an “eco-friendly” direction (even when the films’ characters are hardly friends of the environment). Among the films considered are Le quattro volte, Il vento fa il suo giro, L’uomo che verrà, Gomorra, L’albero degli zoccoli, Riso amaro, Red Desert, Christ Stopped at Eboli, and Il ladro di bambini. We screen one film a week and devote our seminars to close analysis of the works in question.
HSHM 753 (26825) / HIST 749 / AMST 838
Research in Environmental History
Paul Sabin
T 9:25am-11:15am
Students conduct advanced research in primary sources and write original essays over the course of the term. Readings and library activities inform students’ research projects. Interested graduate students should contact the instructor with proposed research topics.
HSAR 565 (29407)
The Media of Architecture and the Architecture of Media
Craig Buckley
T 1:30pm-3:20pm
Architecture’s capacity to represent a world and to intervene in the world has historically depended on techniques of visualization. This seminar draws on a range of media theoretical approaches to examine the complex and historically layered repertoire of visual techniques within which architecture operates. We approach architecture not as an autonomous entity reproduced by media, but as a cultural practice advanced and debated through media and mediations of various kinds (visual, social, material, and financial). If questions of media have played a key role in architectural theory and history over the past three decades, recent scholarship in the field of media theory has insisted on the architectural, infrastructural, and environmental dimensions of media. The seminar is organized around nine operations whose technical and historical status will be examined through concrete examples. To do so, the seminar presents a range of differing approaches to media and reflects on their implications for architectural and spatial practices today. Key authors include Giuliana Bruno, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Beatriz Colomina, Robin Evans, Friedrich Kittler, Bruno Latour, Reinhold Martin, Shannon Mattern, Marshall McLuhan, Felicity Scott, and Bernhard Siegert, among others.
Image: Childe Hassam, The Evening Star, 1891, Yale University Art Gallery
REL 593 (30165)
Antioch and Dura-Europos
Laura Nasrallah
T 1:30pm-3:20pm
Antioch, a city located in ancient Syria (modern Turkey), and Dura-Europos, a city in Syria (close to the modern Iraqi border) were characterized by religious diversity. From them comes a wealth of stunning mosaics, frescoes, and other archaeological evidence. These, and a rich literary tradition, help us to understand life in the cities. In this seminar we join with students at Princeton University who are taking the same course to learn about these ancient cities and their social and religious history. Cultural heritage is also addressed. Yale students travel once to Princeton and Princeton students travel once to New Haven to learn about the collections that each of our universities has due to early twentieth-century participation in excavations. There, and in our respective universities, we engage in new research into historical reconstructions of Antioch and Dura, focusing on the topic of religion and power and using literary and material evidence. Permission of instructors required. Area I and Area III. Prerequisites: Coursework in the history of Mediterranean antiquity, at least one research language, at least one ancient language relevant to the coursework, or coursework in museum studies/cultural heritage.
REL 676 (28493)
Natural Theology and the New Animism
Willie Jennings
W 3:30-5:20pm
This seminar explores the question and status of natural theology in contemporary theology. We engage the question of a natural theology in relation to recent reflections on animism. Two questions guide our exploration. First, what is the relation between visions of animacy and concepts of revelation? Second, how is knowing (God and self) constituted within and/or formed in resistance to visions of an animate and communicative world? With these questions we are seeking to examine the relationship between the idea of a living communicative God and a living communicative world, and the various effects of how one articulates that relationship. Area II. Prerequisite: limited to second-year master’s students (unless students have had significant work in theology and philosophy before entering divinity school) who have had at least two courses in bible and two courses in theology and/or ethics. Students from outside the Divinity School are welcome to enroll with permission of the instructor.
REL 849 (28061)
Preaching for Creation
Carolyn Sharp
W 1:30pm-3:20pm
This course considers ways to bear witness to the inherent value of Earth as a living and interconnected community that teaches profound theological and ethical truths. In discussions and preaching structured around mutual witness and deep listening, students explore such issues as: ways in which Scripture passages testify to the intricate glories and stark vulnerabilities of creation as a site of God’s transforming work; the beauty, giftedness, intelligence, and relational sophistication of nonhuman creatures; human sin as a major vector for harms that cause untold suffering in creation; and grace as the divine intention not just for humanity but for all living beings, Earth, and the cosmos. Engaging contemporary homiletical theory and studying sermons from expert preachers, students develop their homiletical skills and capacity to imagine, honor, and advocate for the whole community of Earth and its flourishing. Together students listen for the Gospel in sermons focused on creation, explore the potential of micro-homilies to build the capacity of faith communities for ecotheological reflection and creation care, and attend to poetry and memoir writing as sources of wisdom. There is no prerequisite; those for whom this will be their first homiletics course are welcome. Area IV.
REL 992 (29981) / MDVL 992
Art and Ritual at Mount Sinai—Travel Seminar
Vasileios Marinis and Robert Nelson
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm
This course looks at art and ecclesiastical and pilgrimage rituals at the monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai. Founded by Emperor Justinian on a site already venerated by Christians as the place where, supposedly, Moses encountered the Burning Bush, the monastery is one of the oldest continuously inhabited Christian communities in the world. Its holdings of icons have no parallel and offer the opportunity to study Christian imagery in the context of both devotional use and corporate rituals, if not place of origin. This course introduces various aspects of Orthodox liturgy and religious pilgrimage relevant to the explication of the surviving church arts at the monastery and the surrounding area.
REL 995 (28486)
The End of the World
John Pittard and Matthew Croasmun
W 3:30pm-5:20pm
A philosophical investigation of present-day apocalyptic fears, utopian dreams, and possible ways that the world (as we know it) might end. Topics examined include the potential implications of artificial superintelligence, the assumptions dividing climate alarmists and their critics, the promises and perils of life in virtual worlds, competing views on whether we should seek to avert humanity’s extinction or welcome it, and contrasts between secular and religious ways of relating to the end. Engagement with these topics provides the occasion to engage with questions of enduring philosophical and existential importance: what is most valuable, how should we live, and for what should we hope? Area V.
SPAN 690 (30068) / ENV 690
Rethinking Nature and Culture from Latin America
Sebastian Acosta
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm
The present ecological crisis, characterized by climate change, species extinction, global pandemics, and the unequal distribution of environmental harm has brought about a transformation in critical thought. The “environmental humanities” denotes the integration of interdisciplinary perspectives analyzing the relations between humans and nature to critique dominant modes of production and consumption and envision alternate ways of inhabiting the earth. This seminar provides a critical overview of some of the key approaches and debates in this growing field, with an emphasis on Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx culture and history. Over the course of the semester, students carefully examine diverse contemporary frameworks generated both in the Global South and the Global North, such as posthumanism, new materialisms, ecofeminism, eco-Marxism, world-ecology, and the energy humanities. By engaging with recent works by philosophers, environmental historians, critical geographers, and scholars in literary and cultural studies, students gain a strong foundation in human and nonhuman relations within the broader context of the environmental history of capitalism. Students participate in class discussions, write weekly responses, lead and moderate academic-style presentations, write a book review, and produce a final research paper. Conducted in Spanish; may change to English depending on enrollment.