Undergraduate Courses Fall 2023
(PRELIMINARY DRAFT OF FALL 2023 COURSE LISTINGS PACKET)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preliminary Draft - Last updated 3/10/23
Please note that this list may change as courses are added.
AFAM 329 (18041) / SOCY 342
Managing Blackness in a “White Space”
“White space” is a perceptual category that assumes a particular space to be predominantly white, one where black people are typically unexpected, marginalized when present, and made to feel unwelcome—a space that blacks perceive to be informally “off-limits” to people like them and where on occasion they encounter racialized disrespect and other forms of resistance. This course explores the challenge black people face when managing their lives in this white space.
AFST 277 (17029) / ANTH 235 / ER&M 277
Introduction to Critical Border Studies
This course serves as an introduction into the major themes and approaches to the study of border enforcement and the management of human mobility. We draw upon a diverse range of scholarship across the social sciences as well as history, architecture, and philosophy to better understand how we find ourselves in this present “age of walls” (Tim Marshall 2019). In addition, we take a comparative approach to the study of borders—examining specific contemporary and historical cases across the world in order to gain a comprehensive view of what borders are and how their meaning and function has changed over time. And because there is “critical” in the title, we explicitly evaluate the political consequences of borders, examine the sorts of resistances mobilized against them, and ask what alternative social and political worlds might be possible.
AFST 385 (18485) / EP&E 350 / HIST 391J / HLTH 385 / PLSC 429
Pandemics in Africa: From the Spanish Influenza to COVID-19
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 031 (17032)
LGBTQ Spaces and Places
Overview of LGBTQ cultures and their relation to geography in literature, history, film, visual culture, and ethnography. Discussion topics include the historical emergence of urban communities; their tensions and intersections with rural locales; race, sexuality, gender, and suburbanization; and artistic visions of queer and trans places within the city and without. Emphasis is on the wide variety of U.S. metropolitan environments and regions, including New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, the Deep South, Appalachia, New England, and the Pacific Northwest.
AMST 439 (17036) / ER&M 439
Fruits of Empire
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.
AMST 451 (18469) / ER&M 452
Mobility, Race, and U.S. Settler Colonialism
This research seminar explores the significance of movement in the making of settler colonial nation-states, as well as contemporary public history projects that interpret those histories of mobility. To do so, it brings together the fields of settler colonial studies, critical Indigenous studies, ethnic studies, public history, and mobility studies. After acquainting ourselves with key debates within each of these fields, we examine case studies from various regions of the settler United States and diverse Indigenous nations. Our goal is to deepen awareness of the complex ways that movements–voluntary and forced, and by settlers, Natives, migrants, and people of color–are reproduced and remembered (or not) in public memory, and how these memories reproduce or destabilize settler colonialism’s social and cultural structures. This course is best suited to students who have initial ideas about a potential research topic and are exploring related ideas for their senior essay.
AMST 358 (21821) / ENGL 281
Animals in Modern American Fiction
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 385 (18423)
Archaeological methods for analyzing and interpreting ceramics, arguably the most common type of object found in ancient sites. Focus on what different aspects of ceramic vessels reveal about the people who made them and used them.
ANTH 409 (17408)
Climate and Society: Perspectives from the Social Sciences and Humanities
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.
ANTH 450 (18421)
Analysis of Lithic Technology
Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos
Introduction to the analysis of chipped and ground stone tools, including instruction in manufacturing chipped stone tools from obsidian. Review of the development of stone tool technology from earliest tools to those of historical periods; relevance of this technology to subsistence, craft specialization, and trade. Discussion of the recording, analysis, and drawing of artifacts, and of related studies such as sourcing and use-wear analysis.
ANTH 473 (17412)
Climate Change, Societal Collapse, and Resilience
Areas HU, SO
The coincidence of societal collapses throughout history with decadal and century-scale abrupt climate change events. Challenges to anthropological and historical paradigms of cultural adaptation and resilience. Examination of archaeological and historical records and high-resolution sets of paleoclimate proxies.
ARCH 150 (18582)
Introduction to Architecture
Lectures and readings in the language of architecture. Architectural vocabulary, elements, functions, and ideals. Notebooks and projects required. Not open to freshmen. Required for all Architecture majors.
ARCH 250 (18584)
Methods and Forms in Architecture I
Analysis of architectural design of specific places and structures. Analysis is governed by principles of form in landscape, program, ornament, and space, and includes design methods and techniques. Readings and studio exercises required. Enrollment limited to 25. Open only to Architecture majors.
ARCH 271 (17696)
Introduction to Islamic Architecture
Introduction to the architecture of the Islamic world from the seventh century to the present, encompassing regions of Asia, North Africa, and Europe. A variety of sources and media, from architecture to urbanism and from travelogues to paintings, are used in an attempt to understand the diversity and richness of Islamic architecture. Besides traditional media, the class will make use of virtual tours of architectural monuments as well as artifacts at the Yale University Art Gallery, accessed virtually.
ARCH 360 (18585)
Urban Lab: An Urban World
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. Prerequisites: For non-majors: permission of the instructor is required. For ARCH majors: ARCH 150, 200, and 280.
CLCV 160 / HSAR 243 / ARCH 243
Greek Art and Architecture
Monuments of Greek art and architecture from the late Geometric period (c. 760 B.C.) to Alexander the Great (c. 323 B.C.). Emphasis on social and historical contexts.
EDST 144 (18044) / SOCY 144 / ER&M 211 / EVST 144
Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration
Exploration of sociological studies and theoretical and empirical analyses of race, ethnicity, and immigration, with focus on race relations and racial and ethnic differences in outcomes in contemporary U.S. society (post-1960s). Study of the patterns of educational and labor market outcomes, incarceration, and family formation of whites, blacks (African Americans), Hispanics, and Asian Americans in the United States, as well as immigration patterns and how they affect race and ethnic relations.
EDST 263 (17301)
Place, Race, and Memory in Schools
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. EDST 110 recommended.
ENGL 418 (17406) / EVST 224
Writing about the Environment
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. Formerly ENGL 241. Admission by permission of the instructor only. Students interested in the course should email the instructor at email@example.com with the following information: 1.) A few paragraphs describing your interest in taking the class. 2.) A non-academic writing sample that best represents you.
EP&E 497 (18665) / PLSC 219 / EVST 247
Politics of the Environment
Historical and contemporary politics aimed at regulating human behavior to limit damage to the environment. Goals, strategies, successes, and failures of movements, organizations, corporations, scientists, and politicians in conflicts over environmental policy. A major focus is on politics, public opinion, corporate interests, and litigation in the U.S. regarding climate change.
ER&M 081 (18036)
Race and Place in British New Wave, K-Pop, and Beyond
This seminar introduces you to several popular musical genres and explores how they are tied to racial, regional, and national identities. We examine how music is exported via migrants, return migrants, industry professionals, and the nation-state (in the case of Korean Popular Music, or K-Pop). Readings and discussions focus primarily on the British New Wave (from about 1979 to 1985) and K-Pop (1992-present), but we also discuss first-wave reggae, ska, rocksteady from the 1960s-70s, British and American punk rock music (1970s-1980s), the precursors of modern K-Pop, and have a brief discussion of Japanese City Pop. The class focuses mainly on the British New Wave and K-Pop because these two genres of popular music have strong ties to particular geographic areas, but they became or have become extremely popular in other parts of the world. We also investigate the importance of music videos in the development of these genres. Enrollment limited to first year students. Pre-registration required: see under First Year Seminar Program.
ER&M 302 (17434)
Indigenous Politics Today
Areas HU, SO
This seminar examines Indigenous politics in our current moment. Movements for Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination, often forged in solidarity with other Indigenous communities, as well as Black people, brown people, and settlers, engage urgently with the tensions–and promises–that underpin theories of political power, sovereignty, territoriality, dispossession, and cultural identity. Readings for this course hedge closely to Native North America before extending comparatively to Oceania, Palestine, and South America in order to think broadly about the effects of globalization and neoliberalism; climate change and environmental racism; and extractive regimes and racial capitalism upon Indigenous communities around the world. This material, then, helps us to envision the kinds of decolonial futures proposed by the activists, scholars, and artists encountered in this course.
ER&M 316 (17435)
Indigenous Food Sovereignty
Areas HU, SO
What does it mean to be food sovereign? Are contemporary American diets colonial? This course takes a comparative approach to understanding how and why food is a central component of contemporary sovereignty discourse. More than just a question of eating, Indigenous foodways offer important critiques of, and interventions to, the settler state: food connects environment, community, public health, colonial histories, and economics. Students theorize these connections by reading key works from across the fields of critical indigenous studies, food studies, philosophy, history, and anthropology. In doing so, we question the potentialities of enacting food sovereignty within the settler state, whether dietary decolonization is possible in the so-called age of the Anthropocene, and the limits of working within and against today’s legacies of the colonial food system. Students previously enrolled in ER&M 040 are not eligible to enroll in this course.
ER&M 344 (18524) / SOCY 344 / URBN 318
Leigh-Anna Hidalgo Newton
The informal sector is an integral and growing part of major global cities. With a special focus on the context of U.S. cities, students examine where a burgeoning informality is visible in the region’s everyday life. How planners and policymakers address informality is an important social justice challenge. But what is the informal sector, or urban informality, or the informal city? This class addresses such questions through a rigorous examination of the growing body of literature from Sociology, Latinx Studies, Urban Planning, and Geography. We reflect on the debates and theories in the study of informality in the U.S. and beyond and gain an understanding of the prevalence, characteristics, rationale, advantages and disadvantages, and socio-spatial implications of informal cities. More specifically, we examine urban informality in work—examining street vendors, sex workers, and waste pickers—as well as housing, and the built environment.
EVST 040 (17394)
Collections of the Peabody Museum
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. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.
EVST 219 (17395) / PHIL 290
Philosophical Environmental Ethics
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.
HIST 006 / HSHM 005
Medicine and Society in American History
Areas HU, WR
Disease and healing in American history from colonial times to the present. The changing role of the physician, alternative healers and therapies, and the social impact of epidemics from smallpox to AIDS. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.
History of Incarceration in the U.S.
Areas HU, WR
This course explores the history of incarceration in the U.S. over more than two centuries. Among the topics we explore are the carceral conditions of slavery; the rise of the penitentiary and racial control; convict leasing and other forms of prison labor; the prisoners’ rights movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s; the effects of “welfare reform,” the “war on drugs” and the “war on crime” on the mass incarceration of the late twentieth century; immigration detention; and the privatization and globalization of carceral practices.
HIST 109 (17606) / EVST 109
Climate & Environment in American History: From Columbian Exchange to Closing of the Frontier
This lecture course explores the crucial role that climate and environmental conditions have played in American history from the period of European colonization to the end of 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 lectures offer a new framework for organizing and periodizing North American history, based on geographical and environmental conditions rather than traditional national and political frameworks. The course provides a historical foundation for understanding contemporary American (and global) climate and environmental issues.
HIST 131J (17610) / ER&M 392
Urban History in the United States, 1870 to the Present
Areas HU, WR
The history of work, leisure, consumption, and housing in American cities. Topics include immigration, formation and re-formation of ethnic communities, the segregation of cities along the lines of class and race, labor organizing, the impact of federal policy, the growth of suburbs, the War on Poverty and Reaganism, and post-Katrina New Orleans.
HIST 140 (17549) / HSHM 215
Public Health in America, 1793 to the Present
A survey of public health in America from the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 to AIDS and breast cancer activism at the end of the past century. Focusing on medicine and the state, topics include quarantines, failures and successes of medical and social welfare, the experiences of healers and patients, and organized medicine and its critics.
HIST 239 (17589)
Britain’s Empire since 1763
The varieties of rule in different parts of Britain’s vast empire, from India to Africa to the West Indies. Ways in which events in one region could redirect policy in distant ones; how British observers sought to reconcile empire’s often authoritarian nature with liberalism and an expanding democracy at home; the interaction of economic, cultural, political, and environmental factors in shaping British imperial development.
HIST 293J (18000) / RUSS 325 / RSEE 325 / URBN 303
Ten Eurasian Cities
Areas HU, SO
This course explores histories and identities of ten cities in Northern and Central Eurasia. Its approach is based on an assumption that studying cities is crucial for an understanding of how societies developed on the territory of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and post-Soviet states. The course is structured around the study of ten cities—Kyiv, Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Odesa, Baku, Magnitogorsk, Kharkiv, Tashkent, Semey (former Semipalatinsk), and Nur-Sultan (former Astana)—that are located on the territory of modern Ukraine, Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. We study these cities through the prism of various scholarly approaches, as well as historical and visual sources. Literary texts are used not only as a means to illustrate certain historical processes but as artifacts that were instrumental in creating the identity of these cities within and beyond their territories. The ultimate goal of the course is to acquaint all participants with the dynamics of social, cultural, and political development of the ten Eurasian cities, their urban layout and architectural features. The course also provides an overview of basic conceptual approaches to the study of cities and ongoing urbanization in Northern and Central Eurasia.
HIST 435J (17602)
Colonial Cities: A Global Seminar
Areas HU, WR
Cities of empire, both imperial capitals and colonial outposts, played crucial roles in the reinforcement of racial hierarchies, the flow of goods, people, and capital, and the representation of imperial power. This course looks at histories of cities around the world in the age of empire, and how they were shaped by these forces. Students gain visual analysis and mapping skills, and learn about the history and theory of imperial, colonial and postcolonial cities, and how they still inform debates over the urban environment today.
HSAR 455 (17689)
Conceptualization of Space
Introduction to the discipline of architecture through the elusive concept of space. This course traces key shifts in the conceptualization of space in aesthetics and architectural theory from the eighteenth century through to the present.
HSAR 457 (17690)
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 217 (17536)
Biomedical Futures and Michael Crichton’s Monsters
Areas HU, SO
What forms of life have been produced by modern science? The literal life-changing technologies that began to emerge after the Second World War also provoked new anxieties. They expressed themselves in the speculative fiction of Michael Crichton in terms of monsters: the virus in The Andromeda Strain, the androids in Westworld, the velociraptors of Jurassic Park, and even the patients maimed by gunshot wounds in ER. Crichton wrote thrilling stories that also asked his readers to consider what monsters humans could make if they didn’t stop to consider whether or not they should. This course examines the emergence of modern life science to consider what it would take to produce more life-sustaining futures.
HSHM 422 (17539)
Cartography, Territory, and Identity
Areas HU, WR
Exploration of how maps shape assumptions about territory, land, sovereignty, and identity. The relationship between scientific cartography and conquest, the geography of statecraft, religious cartographies, encounters between Western and non-Western cultures, and reactions to cartographic objectivity. Students make their own maps. No previous experience in cartography or graphic design required.
HSHM 458 (17540)
Scientific Instruments & the History of Science
Areas HU, WR
What do scientific instruments from the past tell us about science and its history? This seminar foregrounds historical instruments and technological devices to explore how experimental cultures have changed over time. Each week students focus on a specific instrument from the History of Science and Technology Division of the Peabody Museum: magic lantern, telescope, telegraph, astrolabe, sundial, and more!
HUMS 037 (17780)
The Limits of the Human
As we navigate the demands of the 21st century, an onslaught of new technologies, from artificial intelligence to genetic engineering, has pushed us to question the boundaries between the human and the nonhuman. At the same time, scientific findings about animal, and even plant intelligence, have troubled these boundaries in similar fashion. In this course, we examine works of literature and film that can help us imagine our way into these “limit cases” and explore what happens as we approach the limits of our own imaginative and empathetic capacities. We read works of literature by Mary Shelley, Kazuo Ishiguro, Richard Powers, Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, and Jennifer Egan, and watch the movies Blade Runner, Ex Machina, Arrival, Avatar, and Her. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.
LAST 394 (18099) / PORT 394 / LITR 294 / PORT 960
World Cities and Narratives
Kenneth David Jackson
Areas HU, WR
Study of world cities and selected narratives that describe, belong to, or represent them. Topics range from the rise of the urban novel in European capitals to the postcolonial fictional worlds of major Portuguese, Brazilian, and Lusophone cities. Conducted in English.
RUSS 355 (18015) / EVST 294 / HUMS 294 / RSEE 355
Ecology and Russian Culture
Interdisciplinary study of Russian literature, film, and art from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries, organized into four units—forest, farm, labor, and disaster. Topics include: perception and representation of nature; deforestation and human habitation; politics and culture of land-ownership; leisure, labor, and forced labor; modernity and industrialization; and nuclear technologies and disasters. Analysis of short stories, novels, and supplementary readings on ecocriticism and environmental humanities, as well as films, paintings, and visual materials. Several course meetings take place at the Yale Farm. Readings and discussions in English.
SOCY 169 (18499)
Introduction to themes and methods in visual sociology. The role and use of visual information in social life, including images, objects, settings, and human interactions. Ethnographic photography, the study of media images, maps and diagrams, observation and coding of public settings, unobtrusive measures, and the use of internet resources.
Reading Environments: Nature, Culture, and Agency
Extreme weather, proliferation of species extinctions, climate migration, and the outbreak of pandemics can all be understood as instances of koyaanisqatsi, the Hopi word for life out of balance. They may also be viewed as indications that we are living in the age of the Anthropocene, a term in the natural and social sciences that acknowledges that human activities have had a radical geological impact on the planet since the onset of the Industrial revolution. In this course we study relations between humans and other-than-humans to understand how we arrived at a life out of balance. We inquire into how binary distinctions between nature and culture are made, sustained, or questioned through a diversity of meaning-making practices in Spanish, Latin American, and indigenous literature, visual culture, and material culture. The indigenous artifacts studied include Popol Vuh, poetry, petroglyphs, and documentaries by indigenous people of the Amazon, which will provide opportunities for asking pressing questions: To what extent does the nature and culture binary foreclose alternative possibilities for imagining ourselves and our relation to the world? Are there ways of perceiving our world and ourselves that bypass such binaries and if so, what are they? In the final weeks of the course, we shall draw from our insights to investigate where the nature/culture binary figures in present discussions of environmental catastrophes and rights of nature movements in Latin America. Taught in Spanish.
THST 227 (18726)
Queer Caribbean Performance
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 (18186)
Food, Identity, and Desire
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.