Graduate Fall 2019
FALL 2019 GRADUATE COURSES
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 email@example.com
AFST 839 (11143) /HIST 839
Environmental History of Africa
An examination of the interaction between people and their environment in Africa and the ways in which this interaction
has affected or shaped the course of African history.
AMST 716 (13761) /ANTH 769/ARCH 769/HSAR 716
Landscapes of Meaning: Museums and Their Objects
This seminar explores how museums convey various meanings about ethnographic, art, and archaeological objects through
the processes of collecting, preparing exhibitions, and conducting research. Participants also discuss broader theoretical
and methodological issues such as the roles of museums in society, relationships with source communities, management of
cultural heritage, and various specializations valuable for careers in art, natural history, anthropology, history, and other
AMST 878 (11108) /HSHM 701/HIST 930
Problems in the History of Medicine and Public Health
An examination of the variety of approaches to the social, cultural, and intellectual history of medicine, focusing on the
United States. Reading and discussion of the recent scholarly literature on medical cultures, public health, and illness
experiences from the early national period through the present. Topics include the role of gender, class, ethnicity, race,
religion, and region in the experience of health care and sickness and in the construction of medical knowledge; the
interplay between vernacular and professional understandings of the body; the role of the marketplace in shaping
professional identities and patient expectations; health activism and social justice; citizenship, nationalism, and
imperialism; and the visual cultures of medicine.
ANTH 541 01 (13459) /F&ES 836/HIST 965/PLSC 779
Agrarian Societies: Culture, Society, History, and Development
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.
ANTH 581 (14146) /F&ES 520
Society and Environment: Introduction to Theory and Method
An introductory graduate core course on the scope of social scientific contributions to environmental and natural resource
issues. Section I presents an overview of the field and course. Section II deals with the way that environmental problems
are initially framed. Case studies focus on placing problems in their wider political context, new approaches to uncertainty
and failure, and the importance of how the analytical boundaries to resource systems are drawn. Section III focuses on
questions of method, including the dynamics of working within development projects, and the art of rapid appraisal and
short-term consultancies. Section IV is concerned with local peoples and the environment, with case studies addressing
myths of tropical forest use and abuse development discourse, and with the question of indigenous peoples and
ANTH 963 (12607) /HIST 963/HSAR 841/HSHM 691
Topics in the Environmental Humanities
Paul Sabin and Tomo Sugimoto
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.
ARCH 3280 (10201)
While usually focused on designing buildings, designers might also design the medium in which those buildings are
suspended. Considering ground instead of figure or field instead of object, medium design inverts some dominant cultural
logics about problem solving and offers additional aesthetic pleasures and political capacities. Medium is assessed for latent
properties that unfold over time and territory, propensities within a context, potentials in relative position, or the agency in
arrangement, and like an operating system or a growth medium, it decides what will live or die. In this matrix of activity
where it is easier to detect, discrepancy, latency, temperament and indeterminacy, right answers are less important than
unfolding or branching sequences of response. Benefitting from an artistic curiosity about reagents and spatial mixtures or
spatial wiring, medium design suggests different organs of design or different ways to register the design imagination.
Beyond buildings, master plans, declarations, laws, or standards, it deploys multipliers, switches or time released organs of
interplay like bargains, chain reactions, ratchets. While not dominant, this habit of mind is ever-present in many disciplines
and leads to readings that include: Gilbert Ryle, Michael Polanyi, Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Gilles Deleuze, J.J.
Gibson, Gregory Bateson, Stephen Mumford, Vilem Flusser, Bruno Latour, Jane Bennett, Caroline Levine, Harold Innis,
Jacques Rancière, and John Durham Peters. An in-class presentation and final paper complete the requirements of the
course. Limited enrollment.
ARCH 4224 (10235)
Out of Date: Expired Patents
What if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had developed “soft infrastructures” and “living systems” for dealing with the
changing flows of the Mississippi in and around New Orleans? What if Henry Ford had used soy protein for automotive
parts and synthetic meats in the 1940s? Or what if South Asian nation states had adopted the Ganges Water Machine
model in the 1970s to address critical water shortages in urban areas? What do these three, seemingly disparate examples
all have in common? Each is based on a patent or series of patents that were never adopted for one reason or another.
These are just a few of the questions that animate this course. Historians ask the why and the how, but they are rarely
trained to visualize what a city, a meal, or a landscape might have looked like had a particular technology or living system
been adopted. Rather than shy away from such counterfactuals, we will explore and seek to visualize these historical whatifs by taking a comparative, global perspective on the history of patents as visual and textual artifacts. No prior knowledge
of the history of science and technology or architecture is required to enroll in this course.
ART 516 00 (12684)
Color Landscape Workshop: What is Color?
We start with biology—the human body, its colors, and its ability to sense color—and then move on to chemistry and
physics, examining whether color is inherent in objects or in light or in the mind: is a blue object bluer when perceived
outside Earth’s atmosphere? We study the ways in which colorists before us have systematized and rationalized color given
their own technological or philosophical context and ponder which is the best way for each of us to think about color and
utilize it in our work. We are bound to bump up against the cultural and psychological contexts of color and how language
itself affects our perception of color. How comprehensively are we to take the whiteness of Melville’s whale? What does
Wittgenstein have to say about the relative brightness of the blue sky versus a blank white canvas under that same open
sky? What is the difference between purple and violet? This course is bound to generate more questions than it can
answer; it is open to those working in all subject areas but is taught from the point of view of a painter. Meets six times for
CLSS 819 (12912)
Ecocultures of Antiquity: Studies in the Ecocriticism of Ancient Greece and Rome
This seminar examines how the Greeks and Romans exploited their natural surroundings not only as physical resources,
but also as resources for human thought. The focus is on how ancient thinkers, living lives that were largely city-bound
and detached from nature, structured their thoughts about the lives they lived (and about human existence more
generally) by reference to their nonhuman surroundings: creatures, plants, and places, some of which existed in the real
world (in places far off, largely unknown and elsewhere; in places penetrated, explored, and/or told of), others of which
existed entirely in the imagination, whether as inherited lore, or as places and creatures invented ad hoc by individuals and
groups to get certain kinds of cultural work done. We look not only at the how and what, but at the why of nature’s
encoding via culture, and vice versa (their symbiosis), paying special attention to ancient Rome (though with a short first
glance at Homer, Hesiod, and Aristotle). We begin by scrutinizing the categories themselves, attempting to find historically
appropriate ways to connect modern ecocritical concerns and ways of thought to the ancient world. The readings are highly
varied, ranging from cosmological lore, histories, treatises on politics, natural history, agriculture, medicines, and diet
(Hesiod, Aristotle, Livy, the Elder Pliny, Celsus, Cato, and Columella) to poems on human work (in the fields of war and on
farms), rivers, wine, banquets, bees, and flowers (Homer, Virgil, Horace, Martial, Statius, Juvenal). Among the main topics
explored are: the cosmos, the heavens, and the first humans (and first peoples in their places); humans in their “kinds,”
and animals wild and tame; mountains, rivers, the sea, and the undersea; human and animal foods, farming, and food
ways; wine and fermentation; groves, forests, and trees; gardens, flowers, vegetables, and fungi; birds, fish, weasels, and
snakes; earthquakes, floods, and natural disasters; pollution, dirt, and the city of Rome; the ecocultural lives of others.
F&ES 878 (14151) /ANTH 409 /EVST 422/ER&M 394/F&ES 422
Climate and Society from Past to Present
Discussion of the major currents 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
F&ES 522 (13531)
Topics in Community Engagement
This basic knowledge course is designed to introduce students to a range of sociocultural and political factors that drive the
actions of individuals and communities surrounding natural resource management. In Part 1, Introduction to Social Science
and Conservation, we explore basic questions such as: What is knowledge? What is nature? Students are introduced to the
many disciplines that intersect environmental problems, and specific attention is placed on the field of political ecology.
In Part 2, Justice and Indigenous Peoples, we learn the basic concepts of “justice” and discuss the ways in which climate
change can be seen as a justice issue. We also explore the thorny issues of integrating local knowledge with scientific
knowledge. In Part 3, Environmental Governance, we explore the role of the state and markets in shaping natural resource
use. Concepts like property rights, the commons, and decentralization are introduced. Finally, in Part 4, Pulling It
Together: Working with Communities, we discuss basic approaches to community-based, participatory research and how to
integrate culture and livelihoods into conservation.
F&ES 619 (13648)
Ethics and Ecology
This is a philosophical introduction to environmental ethics. The course introduces students to the basic contours of the
field of environmental ethics and to a small number of special topics and special philosophical problems within that field.
No philosophical background is required or expected.
F&ES 646 (13846)
Foundations of Agriculture and Environment
Agricultural systems have a profound impact on the environment, but also depend on environmental processes—such as
climate and nutrient cycling—for continued productivity. Because of this two-way relationship, there has been a growing
integration of environmental and agricultural sciences over the past several decades with growing recognition that
designing and implementing agricultural systems that minimize environmental harm and benefit people is necessary to
sustainable development. This course provides foundational knowledge of how agricultural and environmental systems are
linked. The goal is to provide theoretical understanding of the important environmental and human processes, as well as
practical experience interpreting these processes and applying them to real-world scenarios.
F&ES 719 (13717) /EVST 209/HSHM 209/HIST 465
Making Climate Knowledge
This is a course about how humans have come to know what we know about our impacts on the earth’s climate and our
vulnerability to climate change. When did humans first know that their actions, in the aggregate, could transform the
planet? Did scientists bear responsibility to warn of these consequences? In what ways has the modern science of climate
both appropriated and undermined traditional and indigenous forms of climate knowledge? Students learn to work with the
methods of history of science: we analyze science as a social and material process bound to the cultural and
epistemological particularities of its historical context, and we examine the political dimensions of historical narratives
about the emergence of the theory of global warming. Via hands-on experience with Yale’s historical collections, students
learn to analyze maps, artifacts, and instruments as historical sources. They also gain familiarity with the methods of
environmental history, learning to attend to historical evidence of shifting relationships between humans and non-humans.
Finally, students become more attuned to the evidence of climate change around them and more confident in their ability
to make climate knowledge for themselves.
F&ES 750 (13724)
Writing the World
This is a practical writing course meant to develop the student’s 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
are allowed to notice. What you write during the term is driven entirely by your own interest and attention. How you write
is the question at hand. We explore the overlapping habitats of language—present and past—and the natural environment.
And, to a lesser extent, we explore the character of persuasion in environmental themes. Every member of the class writes
every week, and we all read what everyone writes every week. It makes no difference whether you are 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. Enrollment limited to fifteen.
Social Justice in the Global Food System Capstone
This course explores social justice dimensions of today’s globalized food system, considering justice in terms of
sociopolitical and environmental dynamics. We connect theory and practice through work with community-based
organizations working at the nexus of food, agriculture, and social justice. The capstone project work is grounded in food
and social justice concepts examined through course materials and seminar discussions. We examine how governmental
environmental strategies affect social equity in the food system at multiple scales. We discuss how land grabbing or food
insecurity is connected to relative power on the global stage. We consider how phenomena such as structural violence and
neoliberalization surface within the food system, and what this means for sustainability and justice—in urban and rural
settings. We examine and debate concepts and practices including food sovereignty, agroecology, black agrarianism, and
the right to food used to advance positive change. Through the capstone project, students have the opportunity to deepen
learning and contribute to the work of community groups forging pathways for equity and justice in the food system,
particularly among communities historically marginalized from mainstream economies and policy making. Project work
includes meetings with organizational leaders to understand context and co-develop appropriate project approaches.
Students work in groups to conduct in-depth research and analysis, and engage in additional professional and educational
activities connected to the project. Student groups prepare a final presentation and report to be shared with the partner
organizations. The course provides opportunities to develop competencies in analyzing global food system phenomena
through social justice frameworks, and working within diverse settings on food and social justice issues, as practice for
management, policy making, and other professional roles.
GMAN 603 (13619) /LITR 330/GMAN 227/PHIL 402/CPLT 699/PHIL 602
Heidegger’s Being and Time
Systematic, chapter by chapter study of Heidegger’s Being and Time, arguably the most important work of philosophy in
the twentieth-century. All major themes addressed in detail, with particular emphasis on care, time, death, and the
meaning of being.
HIST 791 (11135)
Cities of Empire
Paul Kennedy and Jay Gitlin
A study of the relationship between imperialism and urbanism from the early modern period to the twentieth century.
Topics include Roman medieval precedents; the uses and meanings of walls; merchant colonies and Latin Quarters;
modernist urban planning and the International Style in Africa and the Middle East; comparative metro system in Paris,
Algiers, and Montreal; decolonization and imperial nostalgia. Cities to be discussed include Delhi/New Delhi, New Orleans,
Dublin, Cape Town, Tel Aviv, Addis Ababa, and many others.
HIST 913 (11111)
Geography and History
A research seminar focused on methodological questions of geography and geographic analysis in historical scholarship.
We consider approaches ranging from the Annales School of the early twentieth century to contemporary research in
environmental history, history of science, urban history, and more. We also explore interdisciplinary work in social theory,
historical geography, and anthropology and grapple with the promise (and drawbacks) of GIS. Students may write their
research papers on any time period or geographic region, and no previous experience with geography or GIS is necessary.
Open to undergraduates with permission of the instructor.
HIST 949 (11105) /HSHM 656/HSAR 832
Photography and the Sciences
Does photography belong in the history of art, or does its status as an “automatic” or “scientific” recording technique and
its many uses in the sciences distinguish its history from that of earlier visual media? How does photography look when we
approach it from the cultural history of science? How might its role in the sciences have shaped photographic aesthetics in
the arts? This course examines the making of photography’s discursive identity as an experimental and evidentiary
medium in the sciences, from its announcement to the public in 1839 to the digital innovations of the present day. We take
a historical and archival perspective on uses for (and debates over) photography in different fields of the natural and
human sciences, grounded in visits to photographic collections at Yale.
REL 610 (10259)
Worship, Cosmos, Creation
This course explores the manifold intersections between practices of Christian worship and understandings of creation and
cosmos. The specific intersections highlighted during the term include biblical, historical, visual, and musical materials as
well as contemporary theological and pastoral reflections on practices of worship. The course seeks to engage the many
voices of a “green” Christian faith that have emerged among scholars and practitioners of worship during a time of
unprecedented attention to ecological and cosmological concerns. Area II.
REL 759 (10269)
Land, Ecology, and Religion in U.S. History
This course explores the varied intersections between land, ecology, and religion in U.S. history and situates American
religion within a broader history of the Anthropocene. How have religious ideologies and institutions worked to shape
American spaces, places, and landscapes? In an age of accelerating ecological crisis, how have diverse religious groups
interacted with, participated in, or reacted against the environmental movement? How have race, gender, settler
colonialism, and other intersectional social formations shaped these histories? How are the social formations we call
religions implicated in and reinvented by the climactic transformations of the Anthropocene? Area III.
REL 934 (10227)
Ecological Ethics and Environmental Justice
This seminar examines historical sources and recent debates within environmental and ecological ethics. It gives special
attention to the influence of religious and theological worldviews; practices of ethical and spiritual formation; the land
ethic; environmental movements for preservation and conservation; eco-feminism and womanism; and quests for
economic, global, and environmental justice. The course draws from a range of intellectual and interdisciplinary
approaches, including theology, philosophy, literature, sociology, anthropology, and postcolonial studies. Questions
concerning race, place, empire, gender, and power are integral to our examination of these topics. Area V.