Undergrad Courses Fall 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 environmentalhumanities@yale.edu.

AFAM 284 (10971) / AMST 282 / ENGL 414 / ER&M 284
Black Life and the Human/Body
Cera Smith
W 3:30-5:20pm
Areas HU
African American activists have long demanded equal rights by asserting the humanity of Black people. These activists have rejected their racist treatment as animals and property by championing the qualities ascribed to Western Man. More recently, however, scholars have questioned whether claims to humanity really result in freedom and justice for all Black people. They ask, “Does mobilizing humanity as a strategy for recognition and respect benefit Black non-men, disabled people, or the working class? What impact does this assertion of humanity have on our species’ relationship to other living beings and our environments?  Ultimately, are all people allowed to be ‘human?’” In this course, we evaluate the category of the “human” by studying the challenge that the U.S. Black past and present pose to the category’s assumed neutrality. We attend to how Black peoples’ bodily experiences confirm, deny, and complicate humanness. We read poetry, short fiction, novels, and creative nonfiction to investigate what it means to live a Black life. Analyzing historical, social scientific, legal, and theoretical texts alongside literature helps us explore the debates over the power dynamics that underlie claims to humanity. Through writing and in-class discussions, we explore the relationship between race, species, and political strategy. 
AFAM 459 (10771) / ER&M 402 / AMST 479
The Displaced: Migrant and Refugee Narratives of the 20th and 21st Centuries
Leah Mirakhor
W 9:25am-11:15am
Areas HU
This course examines a series of transnational literary texts and films that illuminate how the displaced—migrants, exiles, and refugees— remake home away from their native countries. The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have produced massive displacements due to wars, genocides, racial, ethnic and religious conflicts, economic and climate change, among other factors. Our course focuses on several texts that explore questions of home, nation, and self in the context of specific historical events such as the Holocaust, civil rights movements in the U.S., internment, the Indian partition, African decolonization, and Middle Eastern/Arab ethno-religious conflicts and wars. We examine these events alongside the shifting legal and political policies and categories related to asylum, humanitarian parole, refugee, and illegal alien status. Exploring themes such as nostalgia, longing, trauma, and memory, we look at the possibilities and limitations of creating, contesting, and imagining home in the diaspora. Our objective is to debate and develop the ethical, political, geographic, and imaginative articulations of home in an era of mass displacements and geo-political crises. We examine how notions of home are imagined alongside and against categories of race, gender, and sexuality.
AFST 368 (10398) / HIST 366J / EVST 369
Commodities of Colonialism in Africa
Robert Harms
W 1:30-3:20pm
Areas HU, WR
This seminar examines the intersections of postcolonialism and ecocriticism as well as the tensions between these conceptual nodes, with readings drawn from across the global South. Topics of discussion include colonialism, development, resource extraction, globalization, ecological degradation, nonhuman agency, and indigenous cosmologies. The course is concerned with the narrative strategies affording the illumination of environmental ideas. We begin by engaging with the questions of postcolonial and world literature and return to these throughout the semester as we read the primary texts, drawn from Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia. We consider African ecologies in their complexity from colonial through post-colonial times. In the unit on the Caribbean, we take up the transformations of the landscape from slavery, through colonialism, and the contemporary era. Turning to Asian spaces, the seminar explores changes brought about by modernity and globalization as well as the effects on both humans and nonhumans. Readings include the writings of Zakes Mda, Aminatta Forna, Helon Habila, Derek Walcott, Jamaica Kincaid, Ishimure Michiko, and Amitav Ghosh.
AFST 385 (12938) / EP&E 350 / HIST 391J / HLTH 385 / PLSC 429
Pandemics in Africa: From the Spanish Influenza to Covid-19
Jonny Steinberg
Th 3:30-5:20pm
Areas SO
The overarching aim of the course is to understand the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic in Africa in the context of a century of pandemics, their political and administrative management, the responses of ordinary people, and the lasting changes they wrought. The first eight meetings examine some of the best social science-literature on 20th-century African pandemics before Covid-19. From the Spanish Influenza to cholera to AIDS, to the misdiagnosis of yaws as syphilis, and tuberculosis as hereditary, the social-science literature can be assembled to ask a host of vital questions in political theory: on the limits of coercion, on the connection between political power and scientific expertise, between pandemic disease and political legitimacy, and pervasively, across all modern African epidemics, between infection and the politics of race. The remaining four meetings look at Covid-19. We chronicle the evolving responses of policymakers, scholars, religious leaders, opposition figures, and, to the extent that we can, ordinary people. The idea is to assemble sufficient information to facilitate a real-time study of thinking and deciding in times of radical uncertainty and to examine, too, the consequences of decisions on the course of events. There are of course so many moving parts: health systems, international political economy, finance, policing, and more. We also bring guests into the classroom, among them frontline actors in the current pandemic as well as veterans of previous pandemics well placed to share provisional comparative thinking. This last dimension is especially emphasized: the current period, studied in the light of a century of epidemic disease, affording us the opportunity to see path dependencies and novelties, the old and the new.
AMST 197 (11016) / ARCH 280 / HSAR 219 / URBN 280
American Architecture and Urbanism
Elihu Rubin
TTh 11:35am-12:25pm
Areas HU
Introduction to the study of buildings, architects, architectural styles, and urban landscapes, viewed in their economic, political, social, and cultural contexts, from precolonial times to the present. Topics include: public and private investment in the built environment; the history of housing in America; the organization of architectural practice; race, gender, ethnicity and the right to the city; the social and political nature of city building; and the transnational nature of American architecture.
AMST 425 (10235) / ENGL 283 / EVST 430
American Culture and the Rise of the Environment
Michael Warner
MW 11:35am-12:50pm
Areas HU, WR
U.S. literature from Thomas Jefferson to Aldo Leopold explored in the context of climate change. Development of the modern concept of the environment; the formation and legacy of key ideas in environmentalism; effects of industrialization and national expansion; utopian and dystopian visions of the future. 
AMST 439 (10062) / ER&M 439
Fruits of Empire
Gary Okihiro 
W 1:30pm-3:20pm  
Areas HU, SO  
Readings, discussions, and research on imperialism and “green gold” and their consequences for the imperial powers and their colonies and neo-colonies. Spatially conceived as a world-system that enmeshes the planet and as earth’s latitudes that divide the temperate from the tropical zones, imperialism as discourse and material relations is this seminar’s focus together with its implantations—an empire of plants. Vast plantations of sugar, cotton, tea, coffee, bananas, and pineapples occupy land cultivated by native and migrant workers, and their fruits move from the tropical to the temperate zones, impoverishing the periphery while profiting the core. Fruits of Empire, thus, implicates power and the social formation of race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation.
ANTH 294 (12226) / ARCG 294
The Ancient Maya
Oswaldi Chinchilla Mazariegos
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
Areas SO
Introduction to the archaeological study of ancient Maya civilization in southern Mexico and northern Central America. Maya origins and modes of adaptation to a tropical forest environment; political history of the Classic Maya and competing theories about their collapse; overviews of Maya art, calendar, and writing.
ANTH 409 (12021) / EVST 422 / ER&M 394 / FE&S 422 / GLBL 394
Climate and Society: Perspectives from the Social Sciences and Humanities
Michael Dove 
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm
Areas SO, WR
Discussion of the major currents of thought regarding climate and climate change; focusing on equity, collapse, folk knowledge, historic and contemporary visions, western and non-western perspectives, drawing on the social sciences and humanities.
ARCH 006 (10789) 
Architectures of Urbanism: Thinking, Seeing, Writing the Just City 
Michael Schlabs 
Areas HU 
What is architecture, and how is it conceived, relative to notions of the urban – to the broader, deeper, messier web of ideas, forms, and fantasies constituting “the city?” Can architecture play a role in defining the city, as such, or does the city’s political and social construction place it outside the scope of specifically architectural concerns? Likewise, what role can the city play in establishing, interrogating, and extrapolating the limits of architecture, whether as a practice, a discourse, or a physical manifestation of human endeavor in the material environment? This course addresses these and other, related questions, seeking to position art and architecture in their broader urban, social, cultural, political, intellectual, and aesthetic contexts. It explores issues of social justice as they relate to the material spaces of the modern city, and the manner in which those spaces are identified, codified, and made operative in service of aesthetic, social, and political experience.
ARCH 327 (11056) / URBN 327
Difference and the City 
Justin Moore
Four hundred and odd years after colonialism and racial capitalism brought twenty and odd people from Africa to the dispossessed indigenous land that would become the United States, the structures and systems that generate inequality and white supremacy persist. Our cities and their socioeconomic and built environments continue to exemplify difference. From housing and health to mobility and monuments, cities small and large, north and south, continue to demonstrate intractable disparities. The disparate impacts made apparent by the COVID-19 pandemic and the reinvigorated and global Black Lives Matter movement demanding change are remarkable. Change, of course, is another essential indicator of difference in urban environments, exemplified by the phenomena of disinvestment or gentrification. This course explores how issues like climate change and growing income inequality intersect with politics, culture, gender equality, immigration and migration, technology, and other considerations and forms of disruption. 
ARCH 345 (11066) / URBN 345
Civic Art: Introduction to Urban Design
Alan Plattus
Areas HU
Introduction to the history, analysis, and design of the urban landscape. Principles, processes, and contemporary theories of urban design; relationships between individual buildings, groups of buildings, and their larger physical and cultural contexts. Case studies from New Haven and other world cities.
ARCH 360 (11084) / URBN 360 
Urban Lab: An Urban World
Joyce Hsiang
MW 1:30-3:20pm
Areas HU
Understanding the urban environment through methods of research, spatial analysis, and diverse means of representation that address historical, social, political, and environmental issues that consider design at the scale of the entire world. Through timelines, maps, diagrams, collages and film, students frame a unique spatial problem and speculate on urbanization at the global scale. 
ARCH 363 (11116) / URBN 363 
Urban Lab: Stories and Counterstories
Anne Barrett
T 12pm-3pm
How do our constructed environments embody, maintain, and/or intensify dominant power structures and embedded biases, and how might we uncover fuller and more heterogeneous–if possibly discordant or uneasy–understandings of place? This is a multidisciplinary design-research seminar in which students learn and utilize visual methods of research and analysis to interrogate, exhume, examine, record, represent, and speculatively re-frame the social, political, architectural, ecological, economic,  infrastructural, and material stories of place. We consider urban, suburban, and rural environments at multiple scales, from street names to planning resolutions, as we explore both visible and invisible spatial characteristics. Students select and work on their own research site, and respond to assignments organized around four conceptual themes/representational techniques (Monuments/Mappings; Spaces/Collage; Characters/Diagramming; Boundaries/Section). Work evolves cumulatively over the semester to produce the final project: a “visual anthology” of student sites. 
CSTC 370 (11487) 
Technological Innovation and the Future of the American City
Jonny Dach, Nate Loewentheil
Th 1:30-3:20pm
Technological innovation shapes the growth of cities and the lives of their inhabitants. This course examines historical technologies that were profoundly revolutionary at their time, such as the electric light and the automobile; the demands those technologies created for new kinds of infrastructure, like our electric grid and national highway system; and how that infrastructure in turn created new forms of urban development. We focus on archetypal U.S. cities whose most significant periods of growth corresponded to different technological innovations: New York City, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. With that history in mind, the second part of the course explores how emerging technologies like ride hailing, electric scooters, drones, autonomous vehicles, flying cars, and smart infrastructure will impact our urban future.
CSBK 370 (12663)
Writing Portraits of Places
Donald Barkin
W 1:30-3:20pm
Certain places stay with you. Writing about them is a way to keep the spell alive―a sort of souvenir or charm. But it’s also a way to look into the meaning of that enchantment. Your way of describing a place tells you about your deeper nature―your dreams, your wounds, and your values. Students visit places in their lives, grand and grubby, and develop a range of skills for writing about them. 
EDST 263 (12544)
Place, Race, and Memory in Schools
Errol Saunders
W 3:30pm-5:20pm
Areas SO
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and widespread, multiracial protests calling for racial justice across the United States, there is a renewed interest in the roles that schools play in perpetuating racial disparities in American society and the opportunities that education writ large might provide for remedying them. As places, schools both shape and are profoundly shaped by the built environment and the everyday experiences of the people that interact with them. Teachers, administrators, students, and parents are impacted by the racialized memories to explain the past, justify the present, and to move them to action for the future. These individual and collective memories of who and where they are, and the traumas, successes, failures, and accomplishments that they have with regard to school and education are essential to understanding how schools and school reforms work. Grounded in four different geographies, this course examines how the interrelationships of place, race, and memory are implicated in reforms of preK-12 schools in the United States. The course uses an interdisciplinary approach to study these phenomena, borrowing from commensurate frameworks in sociology, anthropology, political science, and memory studies with the goal of examining multiple angles and perspectives on a given issue.
ENGL 114 – Section 03 (11503) 
Felisa Baynes-Ross 
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm 
Areas WR 
Where do you call home? Is your sense of home fixed to specific places, persons, languages, or memories? Must the idea of home always suggest rootedness ? What does it mean to feel at home?  In this course, we examine the affective responses elicited by various notions of home, from feelings of nostalgia and familiarity to estrangement, and we consider the ways in which generic and particular spaces enable or constrain individual agency and constitute our relation to others. Unsettling the easy boundary between the private and the public, we will seek to understand what various imaginings of home reveal about our collective and individual desires and anxieties, and we will examine the social and political forces at play in the making of home. Drawing from multiple disciplines and different modes of argument including essays, poetry, song, and film, we will study how home overlaps with spirituality, language politics, hierarchies of gender and labor, and educational opportunities, and how climate crises, pandemics, global economies, and immigration policies impact home. As we examine the debates and contests over space, we will think about who has the right to belong where and what it means—for instance—to belong at Yale. Informed by various theories and poetics of home, at the end of the course, we will revisit the places that make us.
ENGL 114 – Section 05 (11505) 
The Politics of Food
Max Chaoulideer
MW 4pm-5:15pm 
Areas WR 
Instruction in writing well-reasoned analyses and academic arguments, with emphasis on the importance of reading, research, and revision. Using examples of nonfiction prose from a variety of academic disciplines, individual sections focus on topics such as the city, childhood, globalization, inequality, food culture, sports, and war. [Specific description forthcoming.]
ENGL 248 (10478) / HUMS 430 / PHIL 361 / LITR 483 / HSHM 476
Thought Experiments: Connecting Literature, Philosophy, and the Natural Sciences
Paul Grimstad
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm
Areas HU, WR
The course looks closely at the intersection of literature, philosophy and natural science through the lens of the thought experiment. Do thought experiments yield new knowledge about the world? What role does narrative or scene setting play in thought experiments? Can works of literary fiction or films function as thought experiments?  Readings take up topics such as personal identity, artificial intelligence, meaning and intentionality, free will, time travel, the riddle of induction, “trolley problems” in ethics and the hard problem of consciousness. Authors may include Mary Shelley, Plato, Albert Einstein, Franz Kafka, H.G. Wells, Rene Descartes, Kazuo Ishiguro, Rivka Galchen, Alan Turing, Hilary Putnam, as well as films (The Imitation Game) and television shows (Black Mirror). 
ENGL 418 (12019) /EVST 224 
Writing About the Environment
Alan Burdick 
T 9:25am-11:15am 
Areas WR
Exploration of ways in which the environment and the natural world can be channeled for literary expression. Reading and discussion of essays, reportage, and book-length works, by scientists and non-scientists alike. Students learn how to create narrative tension while also conveying complex—sometimes highly technical—information; the role of the first person in this type of writing; and where the human environment ends and the non-human one begins.
EVST 040 (12009)
Collections of the Peabody 
David Skelly 
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm 
Areas SC
Exploration of scientific questions through the study and analysis of objects within the Peabody Museum’s collections. Formulating a research question and carrying out a project that addresses it are the core activities of the course.
EVST 123 (12952)
You, Your Planet, and A Sustainable Future
Aaron Dollar
TTh 1-2:15pm
Areas SC
This course attempts to give a holistic view of the major inter-relationships between humans and our planet, along with an examination of options for paths to a future that is more sustainable. It seeks to be personal and practical where possible, with a strong focus on ways that individuals can make a difference in their daily lives to the pressing issues around the climate and biodiversity crises. We examine concepts primarily through simple, fundamental physical principles which help to “see the forest for the trees” without getting bogged down by complex details.
EVST 212 (11914) / PLSC 212 / EP&E 390
Democracy and Sustainability
Michael Fotos
Th 9:25am-11:15am
Areas SO, WR
Democracy, liberty, and the sustainable use of natural resources. Concepts include institutional analysis, democratic consent, property rights, market failure, and common pool resources. Topics of policy substance are related to human use of the environment and to U.S. and global political institutions
EVST 350 (12014) 
Writing the World  
Verlyn Klinkenborg 
T 2:30-5:20pm
Areas WR 
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. 
HIST 036 (10357)
Utopia and Dystopia: From Classic Times to the Present in Western Culture
Maria Jordan
TTh 1-2:15pm
Areas HU, WR
We live in a time of dysfunctional societies but, at the same time, in a moment of ecological, egalitarian, and tolerant societies. In this class we examine utopian ideas from Antiquity to the present in Western societies, and compare them with the ones that we formulate in our days. Also, we examine the correlation between dystopias and utopias. 
HIST 104J (10359)
Climate and Environment in America, 1500-1870
Mark Peterson
M 1:30-3:20pm
Areas HU, WR
This seminar introduces students to the broad range of historical scholarship on climate and environmental conditions and change in North America and the Caribbean from the 15th to the 19th century. Its focus is on the dramatic changes brought about by the encounters among Indigenous, European, and African peoples in this period, the influence of climate and climate change on these encounters, and the environmental transformations brought about by European colonization and conquest and the creation of new economies and polities (including chattel slavery). The course provides a foundation for understanding modern American and global climate and environmental issues. It also introduces students to the wide-ranging opportunities for research and scholarly writing in this field.  
HIST 108J (13417)
Infrastructure and Ecosystems in Modern US History: Toward a Green New Deal
Taylor Rose
W 1:30-3:20pm
Areas HU
This course covers United States history from the colonial period to the present through the lens of infrastructure and the environment. Settlement, development, and maintenance of large technical systems which undergird the U.S. political economy and utilize natural resources. Topics include the foundations of territory and property law; the advent of the Post Office; enslaved labor and plantation agriculture; energy production, distribution, and consumption; issues related to nutrition and public health; and the rise of the surveillance state alongside U.S. global imperialism.
HIST 130J (10067) / AMST 441 / ER&M 370
Indians and the Spanish Borderlands
Ned Blackhawk
W 9:25-11:15am
Areas HU, WR
The experiences of Native Americans during centuries of relations with North America’s first imperial power, Spain. The history and long-term legacies of Spanish colonialism from Florida to California.
HIST 150J (10046) / HSHM 406
Healthcare for the Urban Poor
Sakena Abedin
T 9:25-11:25am
Areas HU, WR
Exploration of the institutions, movements, and policies that have attempted to provide healthcare for the urban poor in America from the late nineteenth century to the present, with emphasis on the ideas (about health, cities, neighborhoods, poverty, race, gender, difference, etc) that shaped them. Topics include hospitals, health centers, public health programs, the medical civil rights movement, the women’s health movement, and national healthcare policies such as Medicare and Medicaid. 
HIST 224J (10860) / GLBL 224
Empires and Imperialism Since 1840
Arne Westad
Th 3:30-5:20pm
Areas HU, WR
Empire has been a main form of state structure throughout much of human history. Many of the key challenges the world faces today have their origins in imperial structures and policies, from wars and terror to racism and environmental destruction. This seminar looks at the transformation empires and imperialisms went through from the middle part of the nineteenth century and up to today. Our discussions center on how and why imperialisms moved from strategies of territorial occupation and raw exploitation, the “smash and grab” version of empire, and on to policies of racial hierarchies, social control and reform, and colonial concepts of civilizational progress, many of which are still with us today. The seminar also covers anti-colonial resistance, revolutionary organizations and ideas, and processes of decolonization. 
HIST 225J (10372)
Maria Jordan 
T 9:25am-11:15am
Areas HU, WR
This course explores the history of utopia and the ways in which societies at different times defined and conceived alternative or ideal worlds. It explores the relationship between real historical conditions and the models of utopia that were elaborated. By examining classic texts like Plato and Thomas More, as well as fictional accounts, students discuss the relationship between utopias and dystopias. The course also discusses how the crises of the last century, with WWII, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the difficulties of global capitalism provoked what some people now consider to be a crisis of utopian thought or, a moment of a redefinition of utopias as more pragmatic, inclusive, and egalitarian of societies.
HSAR 275 (11594)
The Body in Indian Art
Subhashini Kaligotla
TTh 10:30am-11:20am
Areas HU
How did artists in South Asia represent and view the body? And what do such representations reveal about the values of the time and place that produced them? This introductory lecture course explores these questions across time and through a range of figures that cut across gender and social group. We consider the representation of divine figures such as the Buddha, Hindu gods and goddesses, Jain saviors, and Muslim mystics; portraits of kings, queens, ministers, and courtly figures; and images of saints, yogis, ascetics, mendicants, and other renunciants. We also see how a range of non-human figures from birds and animals to powerful mythical beings such as demons, tree spirits, and snake demi-gods were depicted. Course materials include textual sources and visual media such as painting, sculpture, architecture, and more. Together they help us examine the imagination of their makers as well as the cultures, politics, and religions of the Indian subcontinent that gave rise to them.
HSAR 326 (11014) / ARCH 260
History of Architecture to 1750
Kyle Dugdale 
TTh 10:30am-11:20am
Areas HU
Introduction to the history of architecture from antiquity to the dawn of the Enlightenment, focusing on narratives that continue to inform the present. The course begins in Africa and Mesopotamia, follows routes from the Mediterranean into Asia and back to Rome, Byzantium, and the Middle East, and then circulates back to mediaeval Europe, before juxtaposing the indigenous structures of Africa and America with the increasingly global fabrications of the Renaissance and Baroque. Emphasis on challenging preconceptions, developing visual intelligence, and learning to read architecture as a story that can both register and transcend place and time, embodying ideas within material structures that survive across the centuries in often unexpected ways.
HSAR 405 (13409) / FILM 393 / HSHM 472 / HUMS 246
Early Modern Media
Marisa Bass and John Peters
W 1:30-3:20pm
Areas HU
How did ideas move in the early modern world across time and place, between people and things? Looking beyond art history’s traditional understanding of “medium” as referring to what a work of art is made from, this seminar explores the broader range of “media” that were central to discourse and debates about faith, politics, and the natural world during a period of great technological innovation and global expansion, as well as violence, upheaval, and uncertainty. Focusing on Dutch art, science, and thought during the long seventeenth century—a context in which experiments with media at home and encounters with media from abroad were especially charged, our discussions range from optics to navigation, theology to mathematics, landscape to microscape, clocks to cannons, and shells to flowers. Readings both historical and theoretical complement several visits to study works firsthand in nearby collections. 
HSHM 417 (11250)
Before the Anthropocene: Global Environment in the Preindustrial World
Ivano Dal Prete
M 1:30-3:20pm
Areas HU, WR
This seminar explores the cultural history of climate change, environmental catastrophes, and human agency over nature in the pre-industrial world. Students discuss scientific theories, religious beliefs, economic imperatives, and ideological and gender prisms that paved the way for an era of unprecedented exploitation of the Earth’s resources and environment. Special emphasis is placed on the study of visual and material primary sources at the Beinecke and other venues on campus.
HSHM 453 (11633) / HUMS 336 / E&EB 336
Culture and Human Evolution
Gary Tomlinson
W 3:30-5:20pm
Areas HU, SC
Examination of the origins of human modernity in the light of evolutionary and archaeological evidence. Understanding, through a merger of evolutionary reasoning with humanistic theory, the impact of human culture on natural selection across the last 250,000 years.
LAST 228 (10871) / SPAN 228
Borders & Globalization in Hispanophone Cultures
Luna Najera
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
Areas LA
The borders that constitute the geographical divisions of the world are contingent, but they can have enormous ordering power in the lives of people and other beings. Human-made borders can both allow and disallow the flow of people and resources. Like geographical borders, social borders such as race, caste, class, and gender can form and perpetuate privileged categories of humans that restrict access of excluded persons to natural resources, education, security, and social mobility. Thus, bordering can differentially value human lives. Working with the premise that borders are sites of power, in this course we study bordering and debordering practices in the Hispanic cultures of Iberia, Latin America, and North America, from the 1490s to the present. Through analyses of a wide range of texts students will investigate the multiple ways in which social, cultural, and spatial borders are initiated, expressed, materialized, and contested. Some of the questions that will guide our conversations are: What are social borders and what are the processes through which they perdure? How do the effects of local practices that transcend borders (e.g., environmental pollution, deforestation) change our understanding of borders? How does globalization change discourse about borders? (To be conducted in Spanish.)
SOCY 204 (12125)
Empire, Nation, and Decolonization
Jonathan Wyrtzen
Areas HU, SO
What is an empire? What is a nation?  How do these interact in moments of crisis like decolonization? This course examines how spatial boundaries and social boundaries interact as empires expand, both over land and over seas, and as empires contract.  Our central focus is how the “nation” works as a contested notion, and a contented boundary, within the broader frame of empire. We trace struggles over national identities as metropolitan cores and colonial peripheries have been produced in the Americas (including the Caribbean), Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The two main empire-nation cases the course focuses on are the United States and France, but we also consider the British, Russian/Soviet, Hapsburg, Japanese and other empires.
THST 227 (12323)
Queer Caribbean Performance
Amanda Reid
W 1:30-3:20pm
Areas HU
With its lush and fantastic landscape, fabulous carnivalesque aesthetics, and rich African Diaspora Religious traditions, the Caribbean has long been a setting where New World black artists have staged competing visions of racial and sexual utopia and dystopia. However, these foreigner-authored fantasies have often overshadowed the lived experience and life storytelling of Caribbean subjects. This course explores the intersecting performance cultures, politics, and sensual/sexual practices that have constituted queer life in the Caribbean region and its diaspora. Placing Caribbean queer of color critique alongside key moments in twentieth and twenty-first century performance history at home and abroad, we ask how have histories of the plantation, discourses of race and nation, migration, and revolution led to the formation of regionally specific queer identifications. What about the idea of the “tropics” has made it such as fertile ground for queer performance making, and how have artists from the region identified or dis-identified with these aesthetic formations? This class begins with an exploration of theories of queer diaspora and queer of color critique’s roots in black feminisms. We cover themes of exile, religious rites, and organizing as sights of queer political formation and creative community in the Caribbean.  
WGSS 260 (10726)
Food, Identity, and Desire 
Maria Trumpler 
Th 9:25am-11:15am 
Exploration of how food—ingredients, cooking practices, and appetites—can intersect with gender, ethnicity, class, and national origin to produce profound experiences of identity and desire. Sources include memoir, cookbooks, movies, and fiction.