Graduate Spring 2020



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

AFAM 752 (27761) /HSHM 761/HIST 937

Medicine and Empire

Carolyn Roberts

M 9:25am-11:15am

A reading course that explores medicine in the context of early modern empires with a focus on Africa, India, and the Americas. Topics include race, gender, and the body; medicine and the environment; itineraries of scientific knowledge; enslaved, indigenous, and creole medical and botanical knowledge and practice; colonial contests over medical authority and power; indigenous and enslaved epistemologies of the natural world; medicine and religion.

AFST 833 (27830) /HIST 833

Agrarian History of Africa

Robert Hams

W 1:30pm-3:20pm

This course examines changes in African rural life from precolonial times to the present. Issues to be examined include land use systems, rural modes of production, gender roles, markets and trade, the impact of colonialism, cash cropping, rural-urban migration, and development schemes.

AFST 619 (20762)/NELC 617

From Africa to Arabia: Worlds of the Ancient Red Sea

Julien Cooper

MW 4pm – 5:15pm

Areas HU

This course introduces students to the diverse and unique worlds of the ancient Red Sea, from Ancient Egypt, the Kingdoms of South Arabia, ancient Ethiopia, and the myriad nomadic peoples who dwelt on its shores. The focus of the course is how the specific geography of the Red Sea shaped the history of trade and politics in the region, juxtaposed with much better researched ancient maritime spaces in the Mediterranean. Students learn about many ancient cultures and empires not commonly encountered in history courses, as well as how this frequently ignored space acted as one of the most important trading corridors in the ancient world. 

AMST 667 (26930)

Critical Human Geography

Laura Barraclough

M 9:25am-11:15am

This readings courses immerses students in the critical/radical tradition of human geography, which investigates how power relations and structural inequalities are spatially produced, contested, and transformed. Topics include the relationship between geography’s development as a discipline and histories of imperialism; indigenous geographies and spatial persistence; spatial theories of capitalism and uneven development; feminist and queer geographies; geographies of blackness, white supremacy, and settler colonialism; gentrification and urban change; critical geographic information science and counter-mapping; and new approaches to landscape and region.

AMST 767 (29325) /HIST 724

Research Seminar in U.S. Urban History

Mary Lui

Th 9:25am-11:15am

Students conduct archival research to write an original, article-length essay on any aspect of U.S. urban history in any century. The first half of the seminar consists of weekly readings and discussions while the latter half consists of article workshop meetings focused on student writing.

AMST 785 (20298)

Religion and the Performance of Space

Sally Promey

Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

This interdisciplinary seminar explores categories, interpretations, and strategic articulations of space in a range of religious traditions in the United States. The course is structured around theoretical issues, including historical deployments of secularity as a framing mechanism, conceptions of space and place, and perceived relations between property and spirituality. Examples of the kinds of case studies treated in class include public displays of religion, the enactment of ritual behaviors within museums, the marking of religious boundaries of various sorts, and emplaced articulations of “spiritual” properties or real estate. Several campus events, including research group presentations, are coordinated with the seminar.

Permission of the instructor required; qualified undergraduates are welcome.

AMST 839 (29327) /HIST 743/HSHM 744

Readings in Environmental History

Paul Sabin

Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

Readings and discussion of key works in environmental history. The course explores major forces shaping human-environment relationships, such as markets, politics, and ecological dynamics, and compares different approaches to writing about social and environmental change.

AMST 854 (27525) /ENGL 847

Colonial and National: American Literature to 1830

Michael Warner

M 9:25am-11:15am

An introduction to both the primary texts and the current scholarship in the field, including transatlantic and hemispheric perspectives; the public sphere; evangelicalism and the secular; the rise of African American public intellectuals; varieties of pastoral in contexts of settler colonialism; cultural geographies of literary capitals and the backcountry; nationalism; polite letters and popular genres; Native American literacies; the early American novel; and the modern social imaginary. Writers and preachers studied include Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Samson Occom, Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, Phillis Wheatley, John Marrant, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Judith Sargent Murray, Timothy Dwight, and Charles Brown. The course ends with the generation of Washington Irving, William Cullen Bryant, James Fenimore Cooper, and Catharine Sedgwick.

ANTH 539 (28622)

Urban Ethnography of Asia

Erik Harms

T 9:25am-11:15am

Introduction to the anthropological study of contemporary Asian cities. Focus on new ethnographies about cities in East, Southeast, and South Asia. Topics include rural-urban migration, redevelopment, evictions, social movements, land grabbing, master-planned developments, heritage preservation, utopian aspirations, social housing, slums and precariousness, and spatial cleansing.

ANTH 575 (20297)

Hubs, Mobilities, and Global Cities

Helen Siu

M 1:30pm-3:20pm

Analysis of urban life in historical and contemporary societies. Topics include capitalist and postmodern transformations, class, gender, ethnicity, migration, and global landscapes of power and citizenship.

ANTH 594 (28625) /AMST 747/WGSS 633

Affect and Materiality

Kathryn Dudley

T 1:30pm-3:20pm

Recent scholarship in the fields of affect studies and the new materialisms raises important questions about the ethnographic encounter and the kind of knowledge it produces. Refusing to grant ontological status to classic oppositions between nature/culture, self/other, subject/object, and human/nonhuman, this work encourages anthropologically inclined ethnographers to rethink longstanding assumptions about the composition of the “social” and the “political” in an anthropocentric world that ignores the vulnerabilities and agential capacities of global ecosystems at its peril. Reading across ossifying disciplinary divides, this seminar examines the intellectual projects of writers such as Jane Bennett, Bruno Latour, Lauren Berlant, and Kathleen Stewart, among others. Our objective is to theorize the intersection between public and private feelings and human and nonhuman materiality in ways that bring the political and aesthetic implications of ethnographic research and writing to the fore.

ANTH 638 (20883)

Culture, Power, Oil

Douglas Rogers

W 9:25am-11:15am

The course analyzes the production, circulation, and consumption of petroleum in order to explore key topics in recent social and cultural theory, including globalization, empire, cultural performance, natural resource extraction, and the nature of the state. Case studies from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela, and the former Soviet Union, among others.

ANTH 692 (20102) /ARCG 492 /ANTH 492/NELC 321/NELC 537

Imaging Ancient Worlds

Roderick McIntosh, John Darnell, Agnete Lassen, and Klaus Wagensonner

W 9.25-11.15

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.

ANTH 710 (21050) /ARCG 710

Settlement Patterns and Landscape Archaeology

Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos

T 9:25am-11:15am

An introduction to the archaeological study of ancient settlements and landscapes. Topics include an overview of method and theory in settlement and landscape archaeology; field methods of reconnaissance, survey, and remote sensing; studies of households and communities; studies of ancient agricultural landscapes; regional patterns; roads and networks of communication; urbanism and ancient cities; and symbolic interpretations of ancient landscapes.

ANTH 964 (28915) /HIST 964/HSAR 842/HSHM 692

Topics in the Environmental Humanities

Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan, Tomo Sugimoto

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. Open only to students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Humanities.

CPLT 968 (20983)

The End of the World

Jesus Velasco

TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

In this course we study different kinds of narratives about the end of times and its consequences in Iberian and Latin American cultures. We include political, theological, social, and environmental narratives across periodizations in Iberian and Latin American cultures.

ENGL 756 (27523) /ENGL 318

The Possibilities of Romanticism: Byron, Shelley, Keats

Paul Fry

Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

Poetry and prose of Byron, Shelley, and Keats with emphasis on both their differences and their common qualities. Special attention is given to the complex interactions of these poets with Wordsworth and Coleridge.

F&ES 637 (20240) /HIST 818

Commodity Production and Environmental History

Reinaldo Funes Monzote

T 3:30pm-5:20pm

This seminar is designed as an introduction to the history of the environment of the Caribbean and Latin America with an emphasis on the human relationship to the ecology over the last five centuries, and especially on the social and ecological impact of commodity production. The course is composed of weekly readings and discussions in which students make presentations and lead the weekly discussions. The instructors make short presentations each week highlighting various themes that intersect with the readings or that explore other themes and related materials.

F&ES 653 (30013)

Maple: From Tree to Table

Joseph Orefice

M 5:30pm-6:50pm

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.

F&ES 764 (29986)

Nature, Rationality, and Moral Politics

Justin Farrell

Th 9:00am-11:50am

This course equips students to think critically and imaginatively about the social aspects of natural landscapes and the communities who inhabit them. It draws on empirical cases from the United States to examine interrelated issues pertaining to culture, morality, religion, politics, power, elites, corporations, and social movements. Because of the deep complexity of these issues, and the fact that this is a reading- and writing-intensive course, it requires a significant time commitment from each student. Students gain fluency with cutting-edge empirical research on these issues; better recognize the social, moral, and political roots of all things; and finally, are able to apply philosophical theory to concrete environmental problems.

F&ES 769 (29987)

Public Lands and Policy in the American West

Justin Farrell

W 4:00pm-5:50pm

Nearly 30 percent of land in the United States is owned and managed by the federal government, almost all of which is in the western U.S. (e.g. 85% of Nevada is federally owned, compared to 0.03% of Iowa and Connecticut). Thus the problems, policies, and management issues facing western lands are remarkably different than other contexts, especially in light of the west’s unique ecological, social, and political landscapes. This seminar takes up these issues with a focus on the nuts and bolts of public land policy and management, using a variety of historical and contemporary case studies.

F&ES 782 (29985) /ARCH 341/GLBL 253/LAST 318/URBN 341

Globalization Space: International Infrastructure and Extrastatecraft

Keller Easterling


The course researches global infrastructure space as a medium of polity. It considers networks of trade, energy, communication, transportation, spatial products, finance, management, and labor as well as new strains of political opportunity that reside within their spatial disposition. Case studies include free zones and automated ports around the world, satellite urbanism in South Asia, high-speed rail in Japan and the Middle East, agripoles in southern Spain, fiber-optic submarine cable and mobile telephony in East Africa, spatial products of tourism in the DPRK, and the standards and management platforms of ISO.

F&ES 789E (29997) /REL 912H

Journey of the Universe

John Grim, Mary Tucker

T 4pm-6pm

This semester long course draws on the resources created in the Journey of the Universe project—a film, a book, and a series of twenty interviews with scientists and environmentalists. Journey of the Universe weaves together the discoveries of evolutionary science with cosmological understandings found in the religious traditions of the world. The authors explore cosmic evolution as a creative process based on connection, interdependence, and emergence. The Journey project also presents an opportunity to investigate the daunting ecological and social challenges of our times. This course examines a range of dynamic interactions and interdependencies in the emergence of galaxies, Earth, life, and human communities. It brings the sciences and humanities into dialogue to explore the ways in which we understand evolutionary processes and the implications for humans and our ecological future.

F&ES 796 (20013)

Human-Animal Relations: New Anthropological Approaches to the Nonhuman

Michael Dove

Th 1:00pm-3:50pm

Advanced seminar on the “post-humanist” turn toward multispecies ethnography. Section I, introduction to the course; and “sacred cows.” Section II, theory and practice of multispecies ethnography; the question of human consciousness; and the tradition of natural history studies. Section III, current work on human-animal relations: wildlife conflict; biopower/biopolitics; hunting and mimesis; colonial/postcolonial politics. Section IV, presentations by the students and teaching fellow. One other class is devoted to student selections of influential current literature; and there are two guest lectures by prominent scholars in the field. Enrollment capped. Prerequisite: F&ES 520/ANTH 581, F&ES 838/ANTH 517, or F&ES 839/ANTH 597.

F&ES 846 (29981)

Perspectives on Environnemental Injustices

Amity Doolittle

MW 10:30am-11:50am

In this seminar we explore domestic and global environmental issues from a perspective that foregrounds questions of social justice. This course is based on three fundamental premises: (1) all individuals and communities, regardless of their social or economic conditions, have the right to a clean and healthy environment; (2) there is a connection between environmental exploitation, human exploitation, and social justice; and (3) many environmental and social injustices are rooted in larger structural issues in society that must be understood. With these premises as a starting point, we turn to more difficult questions such as, Why and through what political, social, and economic processes are some people denied this basic right to a clean and safe environment? What is the state of scientific evidence surrounding environmental injustice and what are the current scientific challenges in assessing environmental injustices in relationship to human health? What legal frameworks exist within the United States to address environmental injustice?

F&ES 857 (29998) /REL 906H

Environmental History and Values

John Grim, Mary Tucker

W 4:00pm-6:00pm

This course provides an overview of major figures, ideas, and institutions in American environmentalism. The course explores the development of environmental awareness in America as distinct historical strands with diverse ethical concerns. It begins with an examination of Native American perspectives on land and biodiversity and then focuses on writings by Thoreau and Emerson to explore early American voices in the discourse on “nature.” Readings from Pinchot, Muir, and Leopold have been selected to investigate the emergence of conservation and forest management. The beginnings of urban and park planning are considered in relation to these positions on the management of nature. Students survey the environmental movements from the 1960s onward in readings from the social sciences and humanities. The course explores the major debates in environmental ethics and the broader reach for global ethics. Writings celebrating biodiversity are examined along with the emergence of conservation biology as an example of engaged environmental scholarship. New efforts to widen the interdisciplinary approaches toward environmental issues are introduced in investigating world religions and ecology as well as cosmology and ecology.

F&ES 951 (20508)

Policy, Politics, and Public Lands

James Lyons

Th 2:30pm-5:20pm

The federal government is responsible for the management of over 600 million acres of public lands in the Western United States, or about 28 percent of the land in the continental United States, and more than 100 million acres (26 percent) of the lands in Alaska. Over the course of the nation’s history, these public lands and natural resources have been critical to the settlement and growth of the western states and the health of their communities and the U.S. economy. At the same time, decisions associated with the management and use of the public lands and natural resources have often been and continue to be contentious and controversial. In this course, students learn how policy, politics, and other factors influence the decisions affecting the use, management, and protection of our public lands. Using a case study approach, students discuss both past and present natural resource/public land policy issues to understand the conflicts and controversies at play as well as the means by which people with different values, policy objectives, and political affiliations can work together to resolve contentious land and resource management issues. Students gain a greater understanding of how natural resource and public land management decisions are made and the factors that are critical to resolving the complex public land management issues. Students then use this knowledge to work in teams with clients in Washington, D.C., on a current public land management issue of concern to their client. The take-away from the course should be an appreciation and deeper understanding of the important skills needed and role played by resource management and policy professionals in finding consensus within polarized decision processes subject to special interest advocacy and partisan politics.

HSAR 730 (29956)

Religion and the Performance of Space

Margaret Olin, Sally Promey

Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

This interdisciplinary seminar explores categories, interpretations, and strategic articulations of space in a range of religious traditions. In conversation with the work of major theorists of space, this seminar examines spatial practices of religion in the United States during the modern era, including the conception, construction, and enactment of religious spaces. It is structured around theoretical issues, including historical deployments of secularity as a framing mechanism, ideas about space and place, geography and gender, and relations between property and spirituality. Examples of case studies treated in class include the enactment of rituals within museums, the marking of religious boundaries such as the Jewish “eruv,” and the assignment of “spiritual” ownership in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. The seminar coordinates with several campus events, including research group presentations and an exhibition of work by Thomas Wilfred at the Yale University Art Gallery. Prerequisite: permission of the instructors; qualified undergraduates are welcome.

HSHM 702 (27754) /HIST 931

Problems in the History of Science

Deborah Coen

T 9:25am-11:15am

Close study of recent secondary literature in the history of the physical and life sciences. An inclusive overview of the emergence and diversity of scientific ways of knowing, major scientific theories and methods, and the role of science in politics, capitalism, war, and everyday life. Discussions focus on historians’ different analytic and interpretive approaches.

HSHM 710 (27756) /HIST 921

Problems in Science Studies

Joanna Radin

Th 9:25am-11:15am

Exploration of the methods and debates in the social studies of science, technology, and medicine. This course covers the history of the field and its current intellectual, social, and political positioning. It provides critical tools—including feminist, postcolonial, and new materialist perspectives—to address the relationships among science, technology, medicine, and society.

HSHM 749 (29217) /HIST 925

Visual and Material Cultures of Science

Paola Bertucci

T 1:30pm-3:20pm

The seminar discusses recent works that address the visual and material cultures of science. Visits to Yale collections, with a particular emphasis on the History of Science and Technology Division of the Peabody Museum. Students may take the course as a reading or research seminar.

REL 677 (28759)

Natural Disasters in the Christian Tradition: Ritual and Theological Responses


MW 1:30pm-2:50pm

Natural disasters are uniquely productive sites of ritual action and theological reflection, cutting to the core of a group’s identity and threatening the stability of theological systems. In the Christian tradition, natural disasters have been critical moments in which the relationship among humans, God, and the world are negotiated, both in ritual action and theological reflection. This seminar explores natural disasters in the Christian tradition by examining ritual and theological responses to environmental catastrophe from early Christianity to the present. The questions raised by the course are: How does environmental instability affect the practice and theory of Christianity? What continuities and discontinuities can be seen in Christian responses to natural disasters across time and space? What resources can the history of disaster responses provide for contemporary religious practice? Students are expected to participate actively in class discussions and write a 10–12-page research paper related to the themes of the course. Students present their work to the class, conference style, in the final two weeks of class. Area II and Area V.

REL 964 (26827)

Imagining the Apocalypse: Scripture, Fiction, Film

David Mahan

T 6:00pm-8:00pm

This course explores the literary-theological and sociological facets of the apocalyptic, primarily through modern works of the imagination. Sessions begin with an introduction to various definitions and ideas of the apocalyptic, with special reference to biblical literature in the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the New Testament. From these distinctively theological/religious visions, in which God is the primary actor and God’s people figure as the main subjects, the course explores how that framework for the apocalyptic has undergone significant transformations in the literary imagination of late-modern, particularly Western, societies. Through such prose works as A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, the course considers how literary portrayals of apocalypse contemplate themes that resonate with significant theological concerns. Area V.

REL 994 (28766)

Visual Cultures of the Sacred in the Pre-Columbian and Colonial Andes

Ananda Cohen-Aponte

T 8:30am-11:20am

This seminar focuses on visual and material cultures of the Andes, with a special focus on modalities of the sacred from the Inca empire (ca. 1438–1534) to the period of Spanish colonial rule (1532–1821). The first part of the course focuses on pre-Hispanic expressions of the sacred through the built environment, exploring Inca practices of place-making through the construction of shrines and religious architecture. The remainder of the course considers the persistence of Andean ontologies in the articulation of localized, syncretic forms of Catholicism. We trace the literature, architecture, and visual and material cultures of the colonial encounter, from evangelization efforts of the sixteenth century to the adoption of “popular” and vernacular religious representations on the eve of Independence. The course focuses primarily on the Cuzco region of Peru due to its special status as capital of the Inca empire and cultural hub for indigenous artistic and religious expression from the colonial period into the present day. Nevertheless, we also touch on other areas of the Andean world, including modern-day Bolivia and northern Chile. We analyze a range of visual material, including textiles, paintings, architecture, sculpture, and manuscripts, to understand the intersections between religiosity and visual expression in the Andes. Readings are drawn from an array of disciplines, including art history, visual culture studies, literary studies, and anthropology.