Graduate Spring 2022


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

AFST 833 (21717) / HIST 833

Agrarian History of Africa

Robert Harms

W 9:25am-11:15am


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.

ARCH 4253
Labs & Landscapes of the Green Revolution
Instructor: Anthony Acciavatti
Th 9:00-10:50am
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 in Asia 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 will attend to the global legacies of this color-coded revolution and how it reshaped the contours of the land, food distribution networks, settlement patterns, cultures of eating and cooking, as well as reconfigure the habits and habitats of the human subject. Along with weekly readings and assignments that involve eating and cooking, we will travel to one of the major laboratories and landscapes of the Green Revolution: India. 

ARCH 4250 (23461)

A Critical History of Domestication: Environments of Subsistence

Elisa Iturbe


The premise of this joint seminar is to interrogate the human settlement through a critical genealogy of domestication and its corresponding architectures and ecologies. Our main hypothesis is that domestication, the process by which our industrial, capitalist civilization has been produced, works on two registers: the house and the environment. From prehistory to contemporary times, the practice of environmental disturbance has been fundamental to human existence, yet within practices of ecological intensification, the rise of the sedentary family household marks an act of enclosure that fundamentally disturbed the pooling of resources that was characteristic of premodern settlements. In other words, the logic of the house as primary enclosure initiated a transformation of the whole environment, with the domestication of crops and animals becoming an irreversible ecological turning point and an origin point for the patriarchal premises of both capitalism and colonialism. By studying the evolution of the household alongside changing practices of subsistence, this seminar locates the house and the environment as two fundamental sites of transformation.

REL 640 (23532)

Body and Land

Willie Jennings

T 1:30pm-3:20pm

This course considers the relationship between the body and land, between bodily awareness and awareness of place, space, geography, and animals. The questions it seeks to answer are: What is the status of the geographic in the Christian imaginary? How do land and animal figure into contours of consciousness, theological vision, and life? How do ideas of private property, land enclosure, and spatial and racial segregation inform theories and theologies of the built environment? Our goal is to construct a cognitive map that integrates a theology of connectivity of body and land to a theology of relationality of peoples to each other, to the material world, and to God. Such a map might enable the formation of a moral geography that informs the creation of more just, inclusive, and nondestructive living spaces. Area II.

ANTH 619 (21770)

Urban Culture, Space, and Power

Erik Harms

T 9:25am-11:15am

This course looks at urban environments as spatial landscapes infused with power relations. Readings come from urban studies, anthropology, and cognate disciplines. Anthropological perspectives are used to analyze spatial dimensions of cities and to understand how social life transforms, and is transformed by, the cities we live in.

ARCH 559 (20094)

Ph.D. Seminar: Ecosystems in Architecture II

Anna Dyson


Required in, and limited to, Ph.D. first year, spring term, Ecosystems track. Seminar covers the history and theory of the environment.

ENV 727 (23824)

Global Food Challenges

John Wargo

W 1:00pm-3:50pm

This seminar explores significant challenges posed by the global food supply to environmental quality and human health. The primary obligation is a research paper, dissertation chapter, master’s project, or senior essay draft. We read critically 150–200 pages per week, and students should be prepared to discuss or present analyses. Challenges examined include fresh vs. processed foods, nutritional sufficiency and excess, radionuclides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, animal feeds, plastics, flame retardants, flavors, fragrances, ingredient fraud, genetic modification, waste, energy input and yield, locality, processing technologies, packaging, and carbon emissions. Corporate case histories are considered in a number of sessions. Private innovations in the production and management of food are analyzed, including trends in certification and labeling initiatives. Most sessions examine one or several foods. Examples include cow’s milk, human milk, infant formula, grapes, wine, corn, bananas, tomatoes, salmon, cod, tuna, sodas, fruit juice, water, coffee, and olive oil. Enrollment limited to sixteen.

ENV 796b/ANTH 796b 
Biopolitics of Human-Nonhuman Relations. Seminar on post-humanism and multi-species ethnography. 
Michael R. Dove 
Th 4:00pm-6:50pm

Seminar on the “post-humanist” turn toward multispecies ethnography. Section I, introduction to the course.  Section II, the ontological turn: multispecies ethnography; and ecology and human consciousness; Section III, fauna: human-animal conflict?; hunting and politics; and the bushmeat ‘crisis’.  Section IV, flora: ‘weedy/invasive/pest’ species; and ethnobotany.  Section V, the long and broad view: the history of natural history; and the classics.  Section VI, class contributions: student-selected readings; student presentations of seminar papers; and lecture by teaching fellow.

EVST 429 (21126) / ENV 729

Caribbean Coastal Development: Science and Policy

Gaboury Benoit, Mary Beth Decker

MW 1pm-2:15pm

Areas SC, SO

This seminar explores human-ecosystem interactions at the land-sea interface in the tropics, with Caribbean islands as the main study sites. Many tropical islands are undergoing rapid, uncontrolled development, placing severe local stress on several unique and vulnerable ecosystems types. In addition, human induced environmental changes on scales up to global also impose stresses. This course examines the normal functioning of these ecosystems, scientific methods to evaluate and characterize ecosystem condition and processes, how human activities interfere with natural cycles in biophysical systems, and what management and policy tools can be applied to reduce impacts.

ANTH 964 (21722) / HIST 964 / HSAR 842 / HSHM 692

Topics in the Environmental Humanities

Paul Sabin, Siobhan Angus

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.

ARCH 569 (20095)

Ph.D. Seminar: Ecosystem in Architecture IV

Anna Dyson


Required in, and limited to, Ph.D. second year, spring term, Ecosystems track. Seminar covers the history and theory of the environment.

ARCH 423 (24034)

Ghost Towns

Elihu Rubin


This is an advanced, interdisciplinary seminar in architectural history, urban planning, vernacular building, the politics of preservation, collective memory, tourism, and, ultimately, urban sustainability. Looking at a broad spectrum of failed or almost-failed cities in the United States and across the globe, this seminar uses the ghost town and its rhythms of development and disinvestment to establish a conceptual framework for contemporary urban patterns and processes. Students develop skills in urban and architectural research methods, visual and formal analysis, effective writing, and critical reasoning. Limited enrollment.

ENV 902 (23836) / ANTH 902

Environmental Anthropology Research Lab

Michael Dove

F 1:00pm-4:50pm

A biweekly seminar for Dove doctoral advisees and students in the combined YSE/Anthropology doctoral program. Presentation and discussion of grant proposals, dissertation prospectuses, and dissertation chapters; trial runs of conference presentations and job talks; discussion of comprehensive exams, grantsmanship, fieldwork, data analysis, writing and publishing, and the job search; and collaborative writing and publishing projects.

ANTH 597 (23860) / ENV 839

Power in Conservation

Carol Carpenter

Th 1:00pm-3:50pm

This course examines the anthropology of power, particularly power in conservation interventions in the global South. It is intended to give students a toolbox of ideas about power in order to improve the effectiveness of conservation. Conservation thought and practice are power-laden: conservation thought is powerfully shaped by the history of ideas of nature and its relation to people, and conservation interventions govern and affect peoples and ecologies. This course argues that being able to think deeply, particularly about power, improves conservation policy making and practice. Political ecology is by far the best known and published approach to thinking about power in conservation; this course emphasizes the relatively neglected but robust anthropology of conservation literature outside political ecology, especially literature rooted in Foucault. It is intended to make four of Foucault’s concepts of power accessible, concepts that are the most used in the anthropology of conservation: the power of discourses, discipline and governmentality, subject formation, and neoliberal governmentality. The important ethnographic literature that these concepts have stimulated is also examined. Together, theory and ethnography can underpin our emerging understanding of a new, Anthropocene-shaped world. This course will be of interest to students and scholars of conservation, environmental anthropology, and political ecology, as well as conservation practitioners and policy makers. It is a required course for students in the combined YSE/Anthropology doctoral degree program. It is highly recommended for M.E.Sc. students who need an in-depth course on social science theory. M.E.M. students interested in conservation practice and policy making are also encouraged to consider this course, which makes an effort to bridge the gap between the best academic literature and practice. Open to advanced undergraduates. No prerequisites. Three-hour discussion-centered seminar.

ENV 685 (23820)

Engaging Landholders and Communities in Conserving and Restoring Tropical Forest Landscapes

Eva Garen

TTh 1:00pm-2:20pm

The design and implementation of sustainable land management strategies in tropical forest landscapes must effectively involve the people and communities who manage and govern these regions. In many cases, however, practitioners design projects that focus on technical solutions only and ignore people altogether, or base their projects upon incorrect assumptions about the people at the heart of their interventions. These trends ultimately lead to project failure and can cause a host of adverse unintended consequences that further exacerbate the problems that practitioners were trying to resolve. This pattern is particularly prevalent with recent pledges by global organizations and national governments to plant trillions of trees around the globe in an effort to address the adverse effects of climate change (The Bonn Challenge and Trillion Trees). While these initiatives are well-intended, they largely ignore the sociocultural and political complexities of the landscapes where the trees would be planted, including whether landholders already plant or protect trees and if they want to increase this practice and how; which species they want to plant or protect and how; and the effects of tree planting on land tenure systems, traditional livelihood strategies, and gender dynamics. Little attention is also given to examining who removed the trees from the landscape and why, and whether tree planting is an appropriate solution.

ENV 649 (23858)

Food Systems: The Implications of Unequal Access

Dorceta Taylor

Th 1:00pm-3:50pm

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.

HIST 943 (20443) / HSHM 736 / WGSS 730

Health Politics, Body Politics

Naomi Rogers

W 3:30pm-5:20pm

A reading seminar on struggles to control, pathologize, and normalize human bodies, with a particular focus on science, medicine, and the state, both in North America and in a broader global health context. Topics include disease, race, and politics; repression and regulation of birth control; the politics of adoption; domestic and global population control; feminist health movements; and the pathologizing and identity politics of disabled people.

AMST 403 (22616) / PHUM 903 / AMST 903 / HIST 746

Introduction to Public Humanities

Ryan Brasseaux

Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

Areas: HU

Introduction to the various media, topics, debates, and issues framing public humanities. The relationship between knowledge produced in the university and the circulation of ideas among a broader public, including modes of inquiry, interpretation, and presentation. Public history, museum studies, oral and community history, public art, documentary film and photography, public writing and educational outreach, and the socially conscious performing arts.

ENV 959 (23590) / EPH 555

Clinic in Climate Justice, Climate Policy, Law, and Public Health

Robert Dubrow, Laura Bozzi, Marianne Engelman-Lado

T 3pm-4:50pm

This course, an innovative collaboration between Yale School of Public Health, Yale School of the Environment, and Vermont Law School, includes students from both Yale and Vermont Law School. In the course, interdisciplinary student teams carry out applied projects that incorporate elements of climate justice, climate policy, and/or law with public health. Each team works with a partner organization (e.g., state agency, community organization, other nongovernmental organization) or on an ongoing project of the Yale Center on Climate Change and Health and/or the Vermont Law School Environmental Justice Clinic. A given team may include students from one institution or from both institutions, in which case team members work together remotely. The course meets weekly at Yale School of Public Health and Vermont Law School, respectively, connected by Zoom. It affords the opportunity to have a real-world impact by applying concepts and competencies learned in the classroom. This course should be of interest to graduate and professional students across the University and is open to Yale College juniors and seniors. In addition, this course is one of the options available to students to fulfill the practice requirement for the M.P.H. degree at YSPH and the capstone requirement for the M.E.M. degree at the Yale School of the Environment. Enrollment is by application only; check the Yale Center on Climate Change and Health website or the course’s Canvas site for more information.

ENV 857 (23689) / REL 906H

Environmental History and Values

W 4:00pm-6:50pm
John Grim, Mary Evelyn Tucker

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.

REL 917H (23690) /ENV 785

Asian Religions and Ecology

John Grim, Mary Evelyn Tucker

T 4pm-6pm

This course introduces students to Asian religious traditions and their intersection with ecology. The first half of the course explores the South Asian religious traditions of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. The second half explores the East Asian religious traditions of Confucianism, Daoism, and East Asian Buddhism. These traditions are studied in the context of the emerging field of religion and ecology. This course identifies developments in religious traditions that highlight their ecological implications into the contemporary period. In particular, it relates religious concepts, textual analysis, ritual activities, and institutional formations to engaged, on-the-ground environmental projects. It investigates the symbolic and lived expressions in religious ethics and practices that can be defined as religious ecologies. Similarly, it identifies narratives in South Asian religious traditions and East Asian religious traditions that orient humans to the cosmos, namely, religious cosmologies. This interrelationship of narratives and religious environmentalism provides pathways into the study of religion and ecology. At present the rapid modernization in South and East Asia is causing extreme environmental problems. This course investigates Asian religions in relation to this ecological crisis. Both the problems and promise of religions are acknowledged. Religions are now widely seen as significant social, intellectual, and spiritual forces that both shape and are shaped by cultural worldviews. Moreover, religions are containers of symbolic language that often evoke nature’s processes and reflect nature’s rhythms. The multiform roles of religions, then, provide historical sources for reflection upon human behavior guided by values embedded in individual and social bodies, projected onto ecosystems, and molded into cosmological narratives. Area V.