Undergrad Courses Spring 2023


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 148 (23589) / HSAR 26
A Sense of Place: Sculpture, Public Art, Monuments in and throughout Connecticut
Andrianna Campbell
TTh 1pm-2:15pm
Areas HU
This course is an introduction to an exploration of localities. There will be a particular focus on Connecticut’s regional art projects, public sculpture commissions, and installations. Classes are thematically clustered and temporally range from post-1969 period until the present. In conjunction with traditional sculpture, the course examines recent art installations such as those by contemporary artist Tom Burr, whose work addresses the intersection of Black Power, queer aesthetics, and the post-2000s mercantile economization of space. The aim is for students to develop a sense of the variegated and sometimes forgotten richness of the Connecticut art landscape. The end results in an essay, which allows students to consider their residence and interaction with local art as foundational rather than separate from the canon of art history. Nevertheless, course readings consider global themes of race, culture, gender, sculpture, public art, and monuments as foundationally networked to those sited in Connecticut’s regional examples.
AFAM 164 (23187) / PLSC 263 / URBN 304
The Politics of “The Wire”: HBO’s Portrayal of the American City
Allison Harris
Time TBA
Areas SO
This class uses HBO’s groundbreaking series “The Wire” to investigate cities, their problems, and their politics. We watch all five seasons of the show as social scientists and use it to learn about important social scientific concepts and theories, and apply those theories to such phenomena as the politics of crime, policing, and local elections. Each week, the assigned readings—articles and book excerpts from political science as well as other social sciences—highlight the social scientific concepts displayed in the assigned episodes and provide context for lectures. All of the assignments work together to expose students to social science, how social science is conducted, and how political science can help us better understand the world around us.
AFAM 326 (22160) / AMST 312 / WGSS 298
Postcolonial Cities of the West
Fadila Habchi
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm
Areas HU
Examination of various texts and films pertaining to the representation of postcolonial cities in the global north and a range of social, political, and cultural issues that concern those who inhabit these spaces.
AFST 001 (20877) / NELC 001 / ARCG 001
Egypt and Northeast Africa: A Multidisciplinary Approach
John Darnell
MW 9am-10:15am
Areas HU, WR
An introduction to Egyptology, examining approximately 10,000 years of Nile Valley cultural records and 3,000 years of Egyptian history. The course presents an overview of the historical and archaeological study of Egypt and her southern neighbor Nubia. Various original written and visual sources are used, including the collections of the Peabody Museum and the Yale Art Gallery, with some material accessible in the classroom. Students gain a basic understanding of the hieroglyphic script and the Ancient Egyptian language, and are able to read some inscriptions in museum visits at the end of the course. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.
AFST 200 (24149) / ER&M 216 / ANTH 200
Social Dimensions of Evolution in Africa
Veronica Waweru
Time TBA
Areas SO
Africa as the cradle of humanity is a widely accepted theory in scientific studies. Elsewhere nationalist archaeology has been used to bolster nationalism and facilitate state building. Africans, while embracing their recent history, have a marked disconnect to the cradle paradigm. A paradox thus arises out of the fact that the cradle of humanity status of Africa appears to hold no special place in the psyche of most of its inhabitants. This course examines symbolism, colonialism, poverty, media, literacy, and religion as agencies that distance the ‘humanity cradle’ status of Africa from nationalist and identity discourses.
AFST 335 (20242) / HIST 335 / ER&M 325
A History of South Africa
Daniel Magaziner
TTh 1:30pm-2:20pm
Areas HU
An introduction to the history of southern Africa, especially South Africa. Indigenous communities; early colonial contact; the legacies of colonial rule; postcolonial mismanagement; the vagaries of the environment; the mineral revolution; segregationist regimes; persistent inequality and crime since the end of apartheid; the specter of AIDS; postcolonial challenges in Zimbabwe, Angola, and Mozambique.
AMST 029 (21314)
Henry Thoreau
Michael Warner
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm
Areas HU
Henry Thoreau played a critical role in the development of environmentalism, American prose, civil rights, and the politics of protest. We read his writing in depth, and with care, understanding it both in its historical context and in its relation to present concerns of democracy and climate change. We read his published writing and parts of the journal, as well as biographical and contextual material. The class makes a field trip to Walden Pond and Concord, learning about climate change at Walden as revealed by Thoreau’s unparalleled documentation of his biotic surroundings. Students consider Thoreau’s place in current debates about the environment and politics, and are encouraged to make connection with those debates in a final paper. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program. 
AMST 258 (22277) / ER&M 258 / EVST 258 / HSAR 258
Wilderness in the North American Imagination
Alison Kibbe
W 3:30pm-5:20pm
Areas HU
Framing the terms “wilderness” and “North America” expansively, this seminar examines the construction of and the relationships between the human and the non-human in the “New World” through the lens of the conquest encounter and its ongoing impacts. We approach “North America” as a construct that we cannot disentangle from the construction of the Americas as a whole. We unpack how concepts such as wilderness, nature, wild, tame, and human are deeply imbricate with the construction of race, gender, and capitalism and cannot be understood outside of the historical and cultural context of the conquest of the Americas. This interdisciplinary course is grounded in Black studies, Black geographies, mobility studies, food studies, and Black and Indigenous understandings of the other-than-human. We consider academic texts, literature, performance, creative production, and community projects as intellectual production and theoretical interventions. Through field trips and special guests we connect with local Black and Indigenous agricultural producers and outdoor educators working in New England and learn how multi-modal and community-engaged scholarship can offer models for critical intervention and healing. This course requires permission from the instructor. Email alison.kibbe@yale.edu.
AMST 358 (21821) / ENGL 281
Animals in Modern American Fiction
James Berger
Th 1:30-3:20pm
Areas HU
Literary portrayals of animals are used to examine the relations between literature, science, and social and political thought since the late nineteenth century. Topics include Darwinist thought, socialism, fascism, gender and race relations, new thinking about ecology, and issues in neuroscience.
ANTH 203 (21172)
Primate Conservation
David Watts
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm
Areas SO
A study of nonhuman primates threatened by deforestation, habitat disturbance, hunting, and other human activities; the future of primate habitats, especially tropical rainforests, as they are affected by local and global economic and political forces. Examination of issues in primate conservation, from the principles of conservation biology and rainforest ecology to the emergence of diseases such as AIDS and Ebola and the extraction of tropical resources by local people and by transnational corporations.
ANTH 322 (21205) / EVST 324 / SAST 306
Environmental Justice in South Asia
Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm
Areas SO 
Study of South Asia’s nation building and economic development in the aftermath of war and decolonization in the 20th century. How it generated unprecedented stress on natural environments; increased social disparity; and exposure of the poor and minorities to environmental risks and loss of homes, livelihoods, and cultural resources. Discussion of the rise of environmental justice movements and policies in the region as the world comes to grips with living in the Anthropocene.
ANTH 326 (23786) / ARCG 326
Ancient Civilizations of the Eurasian Steppes
William Honeychurch
F 3:30-5:20pm
Areas SO
Examination of peoples of the steppe zone that stretches from Eastern Europe to Mongolia. Overview of what archaeologists know about Eurasian steppe societies, with emphasis on the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron, and medieval ages. Attention both to material culture and to historical sources. Topics range from the domestication of the horse to Genghis Khan’s world empire, including the impact these events had on neighboring civilizations in Europe and Asia.
ANTH 331 (21253) / EVST 354 / ARCG 354 / HIST 204J / NELC 324
The Ancient State: Genesis and Crisis from Mesopotamia to Mexico
Harvey Weiss
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm
Areas HU, SO
Ancient states were societies with surplus agricultural production, classes, specialization of labor, political hierarchies, monumental public architecture and, frequently, irrigation, cities, and writing. Pristine state societies, the earliest civilizations, arose independently from simple egalitarian hunting and gathering societies in six areas of the world. How and why these earliest states arose are among the great questions of post-Enlightenment social science. This course explains (1) why this is a problem, to this day, (2) the dynamic environmental forces that drove early state formation, and (3) the unresolved fundamental questions of ancient state genesis and crisis, –law-like regularities or a chance coincidence of heterogenous forces?
ANTH 414 (21181) / EAST 417 / ANTH 575 / EAST 575
Hubs, Mobilities, and World Cities
Helen Siu
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm
Areas SO
Analysis of urban life in historical and contemporary societies. Topics include capitalist and postmodern transformations; class, gender, ethnicity, and migration; and global landscapes of power and citizenship.
ANTH 438 (21174)
Culture, Power, Oil
Douglas Rogers
W 9:25am-11:!5am
Areas SO
The production, circulation, and consumption of petroleum as they relate to globalization, empire, cultural performance, natural resource extraction, and the nature of the state. Case studies include the United States, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela, and the former Soviet Union.
ANTH 492 (21162) / ARCG 492 / NELC 321
Imaging Ancient Worlds
Klaus Wagensonner and Agnete Lassen
MW 9am-10:15am
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 those sites. Use of new technologies in computer graphics, including 3D imaging, to support current research in archaeology and anthropology.
ARCG 031 (20871) / NELC 026 / EVST 030
Origins of Civilization: Egypt and Mesopotamia
Harvey Weiss
TTh 9am-10:15am
Areas HU, SO
The origins of the earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt along the Nile and Tigris-Euphrates Rivers explored with archaeological, historical and environmental data for the origins of agriculture, the classes and hierarchies that marked earliest cities, states and empires, the innovative monumental architecture, writing, imperial expansion, and new national ideologies. How and why these civilizational processes occurred with the momentous societal collapses at periods of abrupt climate change. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.
ARCH 213 (22991) / HSAR 312
Modern Architecture in a Global Context, 1750-present
Craig Buckley
TTh 1:30pm-2:20pm
Areas HU
Architects, movements, and buildings central to the development of modern architecture from the mid eighteenth century through to the present. Common threads and differing conceptions of modern architecture around the globe. The relationship of architecture to urban transformation; the formulation of new typologies; architects’ responses to new technologies and materials; changes in regimes of representation and media. Architects include Claude Nicolas Ledoux, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, John Soane, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Lina Bo Bardi, Louis Kahn, and Kenzo Tange. 
ARCH 331 (25383) 
In Ruins: Cultural Dimensions of the Climate Crisis
Vijayanthi Rao
W 3:30pm-5:20pm
Areas SO
How are unpredictable weather events, extreme socio-economic inequality and political instability connected and interpreted in the everyday lives of ordinary citizens across the globe? What forms of collective value and imaginaries of the future are emerging from this moment of planetary-scale danger and crisis? The hope of a progressive future of endless growth and prosperity, promised by technology and modernization is no longer viewed as sustainable for most of the world’s population. Nevertheless, the climate crisis is motivating new forms of collective action grounded in new, cross-cultural understandings of the interconnections between beings and their environments under the sign of climate change. This course explores the role of cultural and historical specificity in perceptions and experiences of climate change across the globe and the challenges of operating in a world of unknown risks, hidden dangers and unprecedented uncertainty. Drawing on works by anthropologists, architects, literary critics, historians as well as fictional accounts, we explore and foreground culturally situated accounts, speaking to the possibilities of life on a ruined planet. These accounts offer students a transdisciplinary history of the present, expanding upon the technical and policy-oriented literature that dominates debates about climate change. This course gives priority to juniors and seniors.  
ARCH 341 (22515) / GLBL 253 / LAST 318 / URBN 341
Globalization Space
Keller Easterling
Areas HU
Infrastructure space as a primary medium of change in global polity. 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 in East Africa, spatial products of tourism in North Korea, and management platforms of the International Organization for Standardization.
ARCH 392 (21812) / ENGL 478
Writing About Place
Cynthia Zarin
W 9:25-11:15am
Areas HU, WR
An exploration of reading and writing about place. Definitions of home; different meanings and intent of travel. Readings include exemplary contemporary essays from the eighteenth century to the present. Workshop for assigned student essays.
CLCV 258 (22177) / EVST 257 / HIST 201
Ecocultures of Antiquity: Ecocritical Approaches to Ancient Greece and Rome
Kirk Freudenburg
TTh 1pm-2:15pm
Areas HU
This class examines how the Greeks and Romans exploited their natural surroundings not only as physical resources, but 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. Topics include: 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.
ENGL 121 – Section 05 (22528)
Styles of Academic and Professional Prose: Writing About Cities
Pamela Newton
MW 11:35am-12:50pm
Areas WR
A seminar and workshop in the conventions of good writing in a specific field. Each section focuses on one academic or professional kind of writing and explores its distinctive features through a variety of written and oral assignments, in which students both analyze and practice writing in the field. Section topics, which change yearly, are listed at the beginning of each term on the English departmental website. This course may be repeated for credit in a section that treats a different genre or style of writing; may not be repeated for credit toward the major. Prerequisite: ENGL 114, 115, 120, or another writing-intensive course at Yale.
ENGL 196 (20107)
Introduction to Media
John Peters
Areas HU, WR
Introduction to the long history of media as understood in classical and foundational (and even more recent experimental) theories. Topics involve the technologies of modernity, reproduction, and commodity, as well as questions regarding knowledge, representation, public spheres, and spectatorship. Special attention given to philosophies of language, visuality, and the environment, including how digital culture continues to shape these realms. 
ER&M 401 (20092)
Writer/Rioter: Public Writing in the 21st Century
Leah Mirakhor
Areas HU
In his collection Lunch with A Bigot: The Writer in the World, Amitava Kumar asks “What divides the writer from the rioter?” This class is concerned with unpacking the various ways writers participate in the 21st century world as disturbers of the peace. This century has seen great advances in technology, health, alternative energies, new forms of communication, but also vast consolidations of power, mass incarceration, climate change, poverty, homelessness, wars, state surveillance, and sexual violence. Our current historical moment increasingly asks us to craft broader and deeper connections between personal, local, national, and international issues. This course explores cultural criticism on a range of issues that examine the intersections of history, politics, media, and various crises in the 21st century by writers from a variety of backgrounds: journalists, academics, activists, artists, scientists, and politicians. We analyze how these writers use their professional expertise to craft work for the public arena, and what it means to create a history of the present. The course’s four sections cover various responses to some of the issues most publicly contested across college campuses nationwide, and here at Yale: racial unrest, sexual assault, climate change, poverty, incarceration, fascism, and gun violence.
EVST 060 (20996)
Topics in Environmental Justice
Michael Fotos
TTh 1pm-2:15pm
Areas SO, WR
This seminar introduces students to key concepts in environmental justice and to a selection of cases representing a wide range of environmental dilemmas. Course readings and discussions impart awareness of the diverse contexts in which problems of environmental justice might be studied, whether historical, geographic, racial, social, economic, political, biological, geophysical, or epistemic. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.
EVST 189 (20248) / HIST 246
The History of Food
Paul Freedman
TTh 10:30am-11:20am
Areas HU
The history of food and culinary styles from prehistory to the present, with a particular focus on Europe and the United States. How societies gathered and prepared food. Changing taste preferences over time. The influence of consumers on trade, colonization, and cultural exchange. The impact of colonialism, technology, and globalization. The current food scene and its implications for health, the environment, and cultural shifts.
EVST 215 (20580) / MB&B 459 / ENGL 459
Writing about Science, Medicine, and the Environment
Carl Zimmer
M 1:30-3:20pm
Areas WR
Advanced non-fiction workshop in which students write about science, medicine, and the environment for a broad public audience. Students read exemplary work, ranging from newspaper articles to book excerpts, to learn how to translate complex subjects into compelling prose. Admission by permission of the instructor only. Applicants should email the instructor at carl@carlzimmer.com with the following information: 1. One or two samples of nonacademic, nonfiction writing. (No fiction or scientific papers, please.) Indicate the course or publication, if any, for which you wrote each sample. 2. A note in which you briefly describe your background (including writing experience and courses) and explain why you’d like to take the course.
EVST 219 (21588) / PHIL 290
Philosophical Environmental Ethics
Stephen Latham
TTh 9am-10:15am
Areas SO
This is a philosophical introduction to environmental ethics. The course introduces students to the basic contours of the field and to a small number of special philosophical problems within the field. No philosophical background is required or expected. Readings are posted on Canvas and consist almost entirely of contemporary essays by philosophers and environmentalists.
EVST 255 (21006) / F&ES 255 / GLBL 282 / PLSC 215
Environmental Law and Politics
John Wargo
T 1:30pm-3:20pm
Areas SO
We explore relations among environmental quality, health, and law. We consider global-scale avoidable challenges such as: environmentally related human illness, climate instability, water depletion and contamination, food and agriculture, air pollution, energy, packaging, culinary globalization, and biodiversity loss. We evaluate the effectiveness of laws and regulations intended to reduce or prevent environmental and health damages. Additional laws considered include rights of secrecy, property, speech, worker protection, and freedom from discrimination. Comparisons among the US and  EU legal standards and precautionary policies will also be examined.  Ethical concerns of justice, equity, and transparency are prominent themes.
EVST 349 (20177) / HSHM 449 / URBN 382 / HIST 449J
Critical Data Visualization: History, Theory, and Practice
Bill Rankin
T 1:30pm-3:20pm
Areas HU
Critical analysis of the creation, use, and cultural meanings of data visualization, with emphasis on both the theory and the politics of visual communication. Seminar discussions include close readings of historical data graphics since the late eighteenth century and conceptual engagement with graphic semiology, ideals of objectivity and honesty, and recent approaches of feminist and participatory data design. Course assignments focus on the research, production, and workshopping of students’ own data graphics; topics include both historical and contemporary material. No prior software experience is required; tutorials are integrated into weekly meetings. Basic proficiency in standard graphics software is expected by the end of the term, with optional support for more advanced programming and mapping software.
FILM 344 (23018) / GMAN 344
Landscape, Film, Architecture
Fatima Naqvi
Th 9:25-11:15am
Areas HU 
Movement through post-1945 landscapes and cityscapes as a key to understanding them. The use of cameras and other visual-verbal means as a way to expand historical, aesthetic, and sociological inquiries into how these places are inhabited and experienced. Exploration of both real and imaginary spaces in works by filmmakers (Wenders, Herzog, Ottinger, Geyrhalter, Seidl, Ade, Grisebach), architects and sculptors (e.g. Rudofsky, Neutra, Abraham, Hollein, Pichler, Smithson, Wurm, Kienast), photographers (Sander, B. and H. Becher, Gursky, Höfer), and writers (Bachmann, Handke, Bernhard, Jelinek). Additional readings by Certeau, Freytag, J.B. Jackson, L. Burckhardt.
GERM 167
Green Germany, History and Culture of Sustainability
Marion Gehlker
MW 11:35-12:50pm
Areas HU, LA (5)
Climate change and global warming, with their catastrophic effects on life on earth, such as accelerated ice-melting and extreme weather patterns, loss of biodiversity and habitat, safety and health risks, are the defining issues of our time. How did we get there? How will we get out? In this course, we explore Germany’s history and culture of environmentalism and sustainability, which is often traced back to Saxon mining administrator Hans Carl von Carlowitz’ demand in 1716 that only so much wood be cut as could be regrown. We discuss Germany’s history and culture of environmentalism and sustainability from 1900 (Lebensreform, biodynamic agriculture, vegetarianism, Gartenstadt inspired settlements) to the present, with emphasis on 70s and 80s social (justice) movements (alternative life-styles,anti-nuclear protests, Green Party) to the present (Energiewende, renewables, coal and nuclear phase-out, food waste, factory farming & bioethics, consumerism & sustainable life-styles, slow growth/degrowth). Prerequisite: L5 class or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.
HIST 156J (25475)
Capitalism, Labor, & Class Politics in Modern U.S.
Jennifer Klein
T 9:25am-11:15am
Areas HU, WR
A history of American capitalism from the mid-19th century through the 21st century, the course examines different modes of capitalist accumulation and creation of landscapes, territories, boundaries. Readings will enable us to look at how regionalism, race, and class power shaped the development of American capitalism. We’ll consider the continuum of free and coerced labor well after the end of slavery in the U.S. We read about indigenous communities, the environment, energy politics, and on-going struggles with the state. This mix of labor history, social theory, intellectual history, business history, social history, and geography will also impel us to imagine the workings of American capitalism beyond the borders of the nation—to think about how capitalists and workers move through space and reshape space; the exchange of workers, ideas, technologies, and resources across national, imperial, and oceanic boundaries. What creates a market? How did political reformers, intellectuals, labor activists, immigrants, managerial elites think about markets and political power at different moments in time? How have citizenship and rights been fundamentally linked to labor hierarchies or modes of production? What have been the processes of racial formation and gendered hierarchies? Under what conditions did divides of skill, race, gender, ethnicity, or class become salient in various workplaces or communities? At what moments could these divides be transcended or transformed and for what ends? What is the role of the state in class formation, trade and commerce, and natural resource appropriation? What was the relationship between deconcentration, capital flight, religion, and conservative political culture? What has been the relationship between global and domestic political economy? 
HIST 432J (24074) / HSHM 404
Colonialism, Capitalism, and Climate Science
Instructor TBA
T 1:30-3:20pm
Areas HU, WR
This course has two parts: the first investigates how climate science was shaped in colonial contexts—examples include the mistranslation of indigenous climate knowledge in colonial Latin America and Africa, the construction of the Early American climate by agrarian settlers, and the racialization of tropical climates. The second unit addresses key debates about climate science in a global capitalist world. Case studies cover the role of fossil fuel companies in spreading doubts over global warming in the 1970s, attempts at climate engineering in the post-WWII era, and ongoing discussions of climate reparations. While nominally successive, this course connects, entangles, and traces flows of capital into the colonial past and colonial legacies up to and through the present day. Understanding the complex and contested history of climate science gives students the tools to both defend the legitimacy and poignancy of climate concerns while simultaneously reckoning with the blanks and harms reproduced in the unequal production of climate science. Ultimately, to interweave the history of climate science with histories of colonialism and capitalism is to insist on the situatedness of climate science and to open the possibility for alternative responses to climate change based on scientific as well as humanistic sensibilities.
HIST 458J (21058) / SAST 421
Environmentalism from the Global South
Sunil Amrith
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm
Areas HU, WR
Most histories of the environmental movement still privilege the American and European experience. This research seminar examines the diverse forms of environmental thought and activism that have emerged from the global South—drawing examples from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America—since the early twentieth century. The course examines: the environmental legacies of colonialism, the role of ecology in anticolonial movements, early articulations of environmental justice in the 1970s, the role of violence and repression in state responses to environmental activism, the rise of increasingly networked environmental movements from the Global South that made themselves heard at the Rio Earth Summit of 1992—which took place 30 years ago, and the moral and political histories that underpin the negotiating stance of countries of the Global South in climate change negotiations. This class makes extensive use of primary sources, including material from the Yale collections and it straddles the boundaries between environmental, intellectual, and political history.
HIST 459J (23161) / HUMS 228 / EVST 228 / LITR 345
Climate Change and the Humanities
Katja Lindskog
MW 11:35-12:50pm
Areas HU
What can the Humanities tell us about climate change? The Humanities help us to better understand the relationship between everyday individual experience, and our rapidly changing natural world. To that end, students read literary, political, historical, and religious texts to better understand how individuals both depend on, and struggle against, the natural environment in order to survive.
HSAR 436 (22995)
The Art of Crisis
Joanna Fiduccia
T 1:30-3:20pm
Areas HU
This course examines the intersection of artistic and political crises from the nineteenth century to the present. We explore an array of calamities, from psychological breakdowns and identity crises to political revolutions, financial crashes, and climate chaos. Reading primary texts alongside artworks that illustrate or issue out of these crises, we investigate whether there is such a thing as an art of crisis: a set of formal characteristics or strategies for coming to terms with, surviving, or accelerating crisis. We ask: does art made during times of crisis obey different aesthetic criteria, or require different interpretive tools? How does the cyclical structure of crisis and recovery relate to narratives of cultural progress? Do we require the concept of crisis to explain the production of art in general, and how might art appear without it?
HSAR 457 (23250)
Japanese Gardens
Mimi Yiengpruksawan
W 9:25-11:15am
Areas HU
Arts and theory of the Japanese garden with emphasis on the role of the anthropogenic landscape from aesthetics to environmental precarity, including the concept of refugium. Case studies of influential Kyoto gardens from the 11th through 15th centuries, and their significance as cultural productions with ecological implications.
HSHM 006 (20156)
Making Climate Knowledge
Deborah Coen
Th 2pm-5pm
Areas HU, WR
This is a course about how scientists have come to know what they know about our impacts on the earth’s climate and our vulnerability to climate change. At what point in history did humans become the first species to consciously alter the conditions of life on earth? What evidence did their knowledge rest on? Did scientists bear responsibility to warn of these consequences? These historical questions are pivotal to thinking today about who bears moral responsibility for the climate crisis and about future courses of action. Knowledge of the causes and impacts of climate change hinges on a range of disciplines, from ecology to agriculture to public health. In this course, we attend to the multiplicity of ways of knowing climate, as well as to the challenges of integrating them. We also track the historical entanglements of climate knowledge with imperialism, racism, and extractive capitalism. The course includes visits to the Yale Farm, the Peabody Museum’s collections, and the Yale Center for British Art, and a trip to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.
HSHM 417 (22330)
Before the Anthropocene: Global Environment in the Preindustrial World
Ivano Dal Prete
M 1:30pm-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.
SPAN 218 (22297) / CPLT 968 / HUMS 196 / LITR 401 / SPAN 618
The End of the World
Jesus Velasco
MW 11:35am-12:50pm
Areas HU, LA
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. Instruction is in Spanish.
SPAN 228 (23715) / LAST 228 / ER&M 278
Borders & Globalization in Hispanophone Cultures
Luna Najera
TTh 1pm-2:15pm
Areas LA (5)
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.) Prerequisite: SPAN 140 or 145, or in accordance with placement results. A maximum of one course in the 200-230 range may count as an elective toward the Spanish major. Permission is managed through the YCS registration system.
SPAN 404 /(22012) / ARCG 264 / ANTH 264
Aztec Archaeology and Ethnohistory
Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos
TTh 11:35am-12:50pm
Areas SO
An anthropological and ethnohistorical examination of the Aztec civilization that dominated much of Mexico from the fourteenth century until the Spanish Conquest of 1521.