Undergraduate Fall 2019
Fall 2019 UNDERGRADUATE COURSES
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 email@example.com.
AFST 295 (13015) / ENGL 295/ LITR 461
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 327 (14280) /EP&E 327/GLBL 324/EVST 327
Human-Wildlife Conflict in Africa
This course looks at human-wildlife conflict in Africa and related attempts to conserve wildlife whilst ensuring sustainable livelihoods for people. Africa provides a lens for considering broader political economic questions about conservation, development, ‘green grabbing,’ and eco-tourism. The course pays particular attention to the challenges involved in enabling communities to protect and benefit from wildlife through tourism and hunting concessions.
AMST 236 (12323) /HIST 199/EVST 318/HSHM 207/F&ES 583
American Energy History
Areas HU, WR
The history of energy in the United States from early hydropower and coal to present-day hydraulic fracturing, deepwater oil, wind, and solar. Topics include energy transitions and technological change; energy and democracy; environmental justice and public health; corporate power and monopoly control; electricity and popular culture; labor struggles; the global quest for oil; changing national energy policies; the climate crisis.
AMST 257 (11988)/ENGL 325
Modern Apocalyptic Narratives
The persistent impulse in Western culture to imagine the end of the world and what might follow. Social and psychological factors that motivate apocalyptic representations. Differences and constant features in apocalyptic representations from the Hebrew Bible to contemporary science fiction. Attitudes toward history, politics, sexuality, social class, and the process of representation in apocalyptic texts.
AMST 258 01 (22914) /EVST 258
Wilderness in the North American Imagination
The wilderness has played pivotal roles in North American history: on the one hand, it has inspired pilgrims, pioneers, and tourists, and on the other hand, it has been a site of racism, sexism, and settler colonialism. In this course, we will learn how North Americans—including Natives, Latinxs, Blacks, Whites, and other ethno-racial groups—have reimagined and reshaped the wilderness. By engaging with literature, art, and other media, we will recover conflicting wilderness imaginaries. And by reading in ethnic studies, the environmental humanities, and other fields, we will discover how these wilderness imaginaries have impacted human and more-than-human worlds.
AMST 335 (11992) /ER&M 320
Areas HU, SO
This seminar examines the spatiality of indigenous communities, both on their own terms and in relationship to ongoing processes of settler colonialism. Focusing primarily on indigenous geographies and place-making practices in the settler United States, it explores the survivance and creativity of Native peoples in the face of persistent spatial violence. While rooted in the intellectual traditions of critical indigenous studies, we also engage scholarship from history, geography, architecture and planning, anthropology, sociology, and education. Topics include: land-based ways of knowing, relations of care, and identity/community formation; treaties, relocation, and reservation-making; ideologies and practices of property; urbanization, urban indigenous communities, and urban activism; cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS); movement and mobility; environmental justice hazards and activism; public memory, monuments, and place-names; the significance of borders (both national and local), especially in relationship to violence; and place-based efforts toward co-existence and solidarity in a more-than-human world.
AMST 439 (12001) /ER&M 429
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.
ANTH 318 (14356) /SAST 308
Peril and Possibility in the South Asian City
For the first time in human history, at some point in the last decade a majority of humankind became city dwellers. A fifth of these city-dwelling masses inhabit the massive and massifying megacities of the Indian sub-continent. Karachi, Dhaka, and Bombay frequently threaten to be the most populous urban centers on earth, and it may only be faith in the accuracy of government census data that defers this dubious honor. For while these cities are plugged into the global flows of people, ideas, things, and capital; such developments also bring with them anomie, alienation, dispossession, and depredations. Historical social conflicts born of a century of European colonialism and millennia of caste society have in some cases been mitigated, in others intensified in ways both insidious and invidious. Much ink has been spilt on contouring both the perils and possibilities attending the urbanization of the sub-continent. This course explores a groundup view of the many ways in which the urban denizens of these bustling cities where pasts and futures collide, experience this collision. While this course draws on interdisciplinary scholarly examinations engaging the urban emergent, it focuses on the realm of experience, desire and affect germinating in the city. Students sample ethnography, art, speculative fiction, and film to map out the textures of this complex and mutating fabric. In doing so we chart the emergence and application of new ideas and cultures, practices and constraints, identities and conflicts in the contemporary urban landscapes.
ANTH 322 (10360) /EVST 324/SAST 306
Environmental Justice in South Asia
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 406 (11607) /PLSC 420/EVST 424
Rivers: Nature and Politics
The natural history of rivers and river systems and the politics surrounding the efforts of states to manage and engineer them.
ANTH 409 (14149) /F&ES 878/EVST 422/ER&M 394/F&ES 422
Climate and Society from Past to Present
Discussion of the major currents of thought—both historic and contemporary—regarding climate, climate change, and society; focusing on the politics of knowledge and belief vs disbelief; and drawing on the social sciences and anthropology in particular.
ARCH 353 (10402) /URBN 353
Urban Field Geography
A methods seminar in urban field geography. Traveling on foot, students engage in on-site study of architecture, urban planning and design, cultural landscapes, and spatial patterns in the city. Learn how to “read” the urban landscape, the intersection of forces that have produced the built environment over time.
ARCH 362 (14122) /URBN 362
Urban Lab: City Making
How architects represent, analyze, construct, and speculate on critical urban conditions as distinct approaches to city making. Investigation of a case study analyzing urban morphologies and the spatial systems of a city through diverse means of representation that address historical, social, political, and environmental issues. Through maps, diagrams, collages and text, students learn to understand spatial problems and project urban interventions.
ENGL 027 (12857)
Poetry and Protest in America
Areas HU, SO
Survey of poetry’s work within social movements from the 1960s to today. Readings range from the Civil Rights, Third World, and Women’s Liberation movements of the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s to more recent writing from Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, and climate change activists. What radical thinking does poetry make possible within activist contexts? How can we recover and engage in poetry’s life off of the page and within workshops, sit-ins, public readings, or artistic collaborations? How might a longer timeline of activist work enrich our understanding of politically-informed poetic composition today?
ENGL 114 - Section 05 (13024)
Black and Indigenous Ecologies
“Red earth, blood earth, blood brother earth” —Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to My Native Land (1965) Who gets to define the meaning of ecology, along with the earth we stand on, and how is this definition bound up with the legacies of colonial power, empire, slavery, and other forms of racialized oppression? And what new modes of ecological thought might emerge once we engage with the perspectives of indigenous peoples and communities of color—traditionally excluded from dominant environmentalist discourses—and their alternative ways of thinking and imagining a relation to the earth? Through readings in anthropology, geology, critical race studies, philosophy, literature, and poetry, this course explores the ecologies and counter-ecologies born of anti-imperial opposition, from 1492 to the present. Struggles for liberation, as we will examine, are never separable from struggles for land, food, water, air, and an earth in common. From Standing Rock to Sao Paulo, the Antilles to New Zealand, and Mauna Kea to Lagos, we will engage with anti-colonial and anti-racist attempts to craft an image of the earth no longer made in the ecocidal image of imperialist Western Man (or the anthropos of “Anthropocene”), and to imagine a future to be held and composed in common by all.
ENGL 114 - Section 07 (13405)
How do we encounter animals in our world? Does how we view and treat them say something about human nature? This course will investigate the ways in which the human encounters itself in and through the animal in order to better understand what it means for us to be “truly two.” By examining the ways in which the human has been positioned both historically and rhetorically against its human and non-human others, our course will shed light on contemporary anxieties such as artificial intelligence, technology, and the loss of authenticity. Our sites of encounter with animals both real and discursive center not only around physical and institutional spaces such as the zoo, the museum, the laboratory, and the cinema, but also areas of human knowledge such as biology, philosophy, literature, and film.
ENGL 114 – Section 16 (13414)
The Logistics of Climate Change
According to the most recent climate report from the UN, we need to decouple economic growth from fossil fuels by 2030 to avoid catastrophic global warming. Yet as every new pipeline and fracking site attests, economic growth as we know it depends on burning more fossil fuels, not less. Economists, scientists, theorists, engineers, activists, and lawmakers alike thus face a cascading series of dilemmas: How do we save the planet while providing everyone on it with what they need to thrive? Why is the pace of climate change quickening alongside the emergence of supposedly post-industrial economies in the developed world while the consequences of global warming fall unevenly upon developing nations? And what can we do about that pace amid growing social inequity today? This class surveys two sweeping transformations of social life in recent decades to grasp those dilemmas. Climate change, we will wager, can’t be understood apart from the logistics revolution that made globalization possible: The massive freeway systems, ports, microprocessors, algorithms, mines, and container ships transporting goods and money from one corner of the globe to another. Along the way we will tarry with current debates over the Green New Deal as well as the uneven racial and gender dynamics governing who lives how in a world arranged by the logistics revolution driving climate change today.
ENGL 114 - Section 31 (13940)
The Real World of Food Barbara Stuart
This section will begin with a close examination of the Farm Bill, the omnibus legislation that largely controls food and farming in this country. In spite of its reach, the Farm Bill is an almost invisible piece of legislation. (How often does the president or any politician mention food or farming?) We will discuss whether or not our food system is broken and which fixes are politically, environmentally, and economically feasible. Among the topics considered: Has industrial agriculture failed us? What can be done about our food system’s contributing to pollution, ruining our soil, and depleting our water supplies? If food in our nation is cheap and plentiful, why are so many Americans hungry? And why is it that those who go hungry may suffer from obesity and diabetes? Should everyone in the United States have access to nutritious, affordable food? We will discuss how to effect changes in our food system that can benefit most Americans.
ENGL 114 - Section 33 (13943)
Earth, Sky, Stardust: Humans and the Cosmos
Are we alone in the universe? And—if we are alone—why are we alone? Contemplating our place in the cosmos forces us to rethink the human condition: what it means to be alive and to be with others—how we alienate each other and how we long for connection. This course explores the philosophical, ecological, political, and aesthetic valences of the cosmos. Space is a place of discovery—a site of human striving, resilience, and ingenuity—but it is also a place of isolation, disconnection, and even violence. Space is an escape. It is a frequent place of fantasy projection, as well as a “Plan B” we dream of when we are anxious about climate change and the sustainability of living on earth. But where should our priorities be in the Anthropocene—at home, or in the stars? Is space the place where the sciences and the humanities can meet? This writing seminar will help you build strong skills in researching, constructing arguments, and writing. Your final assignment will, in part, ask you to think along the lines of the Voyager Golden Records and pick 20-30 “artifacts” that you would send into space to encapsulate humanity.
ENGL 114 - Section 34 (13944)
Nature and Healing
Areas WR, HU
What is healing about Nature? What are the things for which we seek healing? What is the “Nature” that we refer to when talking about its therapeutic qualities? In this course, we will explore these questions through an interdisciplinary approach. Nature is often held up as therapeutic and curative in our sociocultural imagination. From architectural designs of hospitals that seek to bring in elements of the natural environment, to writing about one’s walk out in the woods to capture a sense of well-being and fulfillment, the range of interconnections between health and Nature is vast. In talking about the healing qualities of Nature, we will also grapple with the definition of Nature itself, and the distinction between nature and Nature. What do we mean when we say that we go out to Nature? Does a tuft of weed growing through the cracks of the sidewalk count as Nature? How about an idyllic, rolling farmland that produces excess runoff, and was created by deforestation? What are we expecting from such encounters?
ENGL 418 (13514) /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.
ENGL 459 (11334) /MB&B 459/EVST 215
Writing about Science, Medicine, and the Environment
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.
EVST 007 (110818)
The New England Forest
Exploration of the natural history of southern New England, with specific focus on areas in and around New Haven. Pertinent environmental issues, such as climate change, endangered species, and the role of glacial and human history in shaping vegetative patterns and processes, are approached from a multi-disciplinary framework and within the context of the surrounding landscape. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.
EVST 020 01 (11087) /F&ES 020
Sustainable Development in Haiti
The principles and practice of sustainable development explored in the context of Haiti’s rich history and culture, as well as its current environmental and economic impoverishment. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.
EVST 040 (10998)
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 209 (12898) /HSHM 209/HIST 465/F&ES 719
Making Climate Knowledge
This is a course about how humans have come to know what we know about our impacts on the earth’s climate and our vulnerability to climate change. When did humans first know that their actions, in the aggregate, could transform the planet? Did scientists bear responsibility to warn of these consequences? In what ways has the modern science of climate both appropriated and undermined traditional and indigenous forms of climate knowledge? Students learn to work with the methods of history of science: we analyze science as a social and material process bound to the cultural and epistemological particularities of its historical context, and we examine the political dimensions of historical narratives about the emergence of the theory of global warming. Via hands-on experience with Yale’s historical collections, students learn to analyze maps, artifacts, and instruments as historical sources. They also gain familiarity with the methods of environmental history, learning to attend to historical evidence of shifting relationships between humans and non-humans. Finally, students become more attuned to the evidence of climate change around them and more confident in their ability to make climate knowledge for themselves.
EVST 292 01 (11030) /GLBL 217/PLSC 149
Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century
Sustainability as a guiding concept for addressing twenty-first century tensions between economic, environmental, and social progress. Using a cross-disciplinary set of materials from the “sustainability canon,” students explore the interlocking challenges of providing abundant energy, reducing pollution, addressing climate change, conserving natural resources, and mitigating the other impacts of economic development.
HIST 445J (11096) /HSHM 454/HSHM 719/HIST 917/RNST 519
Natural History in History
The changing meaning and practice of natural history, from antiquity to the present. Topics include: technologies and epistemologies of representation, the commodification of natural specimens and bioprospecting, politics of collecting and display, colonial science and indigenous knowledge, and the emergence of ethnography and anthropology. Students work on primary sources in Yale collections.
HSHM 422 (11093) /HIST 467J
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 406 (11089) /HIST 150J
Healthcare for the Urban Poor
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.
HSHM 415 (11091) /HIST 179J
Historical Perspectives on Science and Religion
Ivano Dal Prete
Areas HU, WR
The engagement between science and religion from a historical standpoint and a multicultural perspective. The Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, and Christian traditions; the roots of modern creationism; salvation expectations and the rise of modern science and technology. General knowledge of western and world history is expected.
HSAR 176 (12235) /HUMS 176
Introduction to the History of Art: The Politics of Representation
This global introductory course surveys how works of art and architecture have responded to political ideals, shaped political life, and galvanized political debate from antiquity to the present. We consider the relation between visual representation and political representation, addressing how artists and architects have responded to the demands of democracy, empire, war, and revolution, and how individuals and communities have reacted with and against the works that they produced. Topics span from propaganda to public monuments, icons to iconoclasm, civic buildings to border walls, and from the politics of display to political censorship. Ranging from painting, sculpture, prints, and photography to architecture, landscape design, and military fortification, this course aims to de-center ‘western’ notions of artistic achievement in its multi-media and transnational scope. Lectures and assignments emphasize close looking and close reading, skills which are essential to making us better viewers and citizens. Open to all, including those with no prior background in art history. Sections will include visits to collections and sites across Yale campus.
HSAR 410 (11991) /AMST 332
Humbugs and Visionaries: American Artists and Writers Before the Civil War
This course examines American literature and visual culture of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. We look in particular at outliers, prophets, and self-promoters, from the radical Puritan writer Anne Bradstreet to popular entertainers like P. T. Barnum. Topics include: visuality and the public sphere; landscape and politics; genre painting and hegemony; race and identity; managerial culture and disembodied vision. Class trips to the Yale University Art Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum (New York).
HSAR 455 (12247)
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 326 (10400) /ARCH 260
History of Architecture I: Antiquity to the Baroque
The first half of a two-term sequence in the history of architecture. Architecture and urbanism from ancient Egypt through Greek and Roman classical traditions to the Enlightenment. The formal expression—organizational, structural, and ornamental—and social context of specific buildings and urban areas. Architecture as a form of social expression that builds on its own stylistic development, articulating a response to changes in history and culture. Emphasis on Western architecture, with selections from other parts of the world.
LITR 306 (12303) /RUSS 776/CPLT 841/RUSS 327/FILM 409/RSEE 327
The Danube in Literature and Film
Areas HU, WR
The Danube River in the film, art, and literature of various Danubian cultural traditions, from the late nineteenth century to the present. Geography and history of the region that includes the river’s shores and watershed; physical, historical, and metaphoric uses of the Danube; the region as a contested multilingual, multicultural, and multinational space, and as a quintessential site of cross-cultural engagement. Readings and discussion in English.
THST 427 01 (11959) /AMST 349
Technologies of Movement Research
An interdisciplinary survey of creative and critical methods for researching human movement. Based in the motion capture studio at the Center for Collaborative Arts and Media, the course draws movement exercises and motion capture experiments together with literature from dance and performance studies, art, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, cognitive science, and the history of science to investigate the ways that artists and scholars conceive of human movement as a way of knowing the world. Students will develop their own projects over the course of the semester. No prior experience in dance required.
WGSS 260 (11965)
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.