Undergraduate Spring 2020




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


AFST 235 (20879) /ER&M 239/GLBL 235

Race, Space, Power: Mapping the Global Color Line

Leslie Gross-Wyrtzen

W 9:25am-11:15am

Areas SO

This seminar is an interdisciplinary, comparative exploration of how race makes space and how space makes race in US and global contexts. We explore these relationships through historical and contemporary case studies, with attention to how geographies of white supremacy and settler/colonial power seek to erase or subsume the spatial practices of certain groups of people. Because we take a comparative approach, the cases selected are sited in various locations in the Americas, Africa, and Europe, three regions among many we could have chosen. The goal is not to provide a comprehensive survey of all the places in which race is produced, lived, and reworked, but to identify some of the domains through which race and space are co-produced to shore up powerful groups’ dominance over disempowered groups. These domains include the colony, land, the city, the nation and the body—just a few of the many overlapping domains through which we could explore how relationships of power create uneven social and material terrains. Much of the critique we engage with emanates from Black geographic thought (which itself draws upon Black feminist theorizing), postcolonial theory, and settler colonial theory. Students are invited to use the analytical concepts and cases we discuss in class as a starting point for their own explorations of the “fatal couplings of power and difference” (Gilmore 2002) in sites connected to their own research, interests, and political commitments.

AFST 271 (20758) /ARCG 217/NELC 617/AFST 619/NELC 271

From Africa to Arabia: Worlds of the Ancient Red Sea

Julien Cooper

MW 4pm – 5:15pm

Areas HU

This course introduces students to the diverse and unique worlds of the ancient Red Sea, from Ancient Egypt, the Kingdoms of South Arabia, ancient Ethiopia, and the myriad nomadic peoples who dwelt on its shores. The focus of the course is how the specific geography of the Red Sea shaped the history of trade and politics in the region, juxtaposed with much better researched ancient maritime spaces in the Mediterranean. Students learn about many ancient cultures and empires not commonly encountered in history courses, as well as how this frequently ignored space acted as one of the most important trading corridors in the ancient world. 

AFST 369 (20314) /MMES/369/FREN 369

Deserts, Oceans, Islands: Literature of Migration & Refuge

Jill Jarvis

M 1:30pm-3:20pm

Areas HU

A critical study of literature and film that charts different spaces shaped by intersecting—or colliding—routes of colonization and forced migration: deserts (Sahara, Sonoran), oceans (Indian, Atlantic, Mediterranean), and islands (Haiti, Martinique, Zanzibar, Mauritius, Sri Lanka). Students contribute to the Desert Futures interdisciplinary symposium to be held at Yale in spring 2020. Seminar is conducted in English. 

Prerequisite: Reading knowledge of French required (FREN 160 or above; contact instructor with questions about language preparation).

AMST 197 (28636) /ARCH 280/HSAR 219/URBN 280

American Architecture and Urbanism

Elihu Rubin

MW 11:35am-12:50pm

Areas HU

Introduction to the study of buildings, architects, architectural styles, and urban landscapes, viewed in their economic, political, social, and cultural contexts, from precolonial times to the present. Topics include: public and private investment in the built environment; the history of housing in America; the organization of architectural practice; race, gender, ethnicity and the right to the city; the social and political nature of city building; and the transnational nature of American architecture.

AMST 255 (20041) /HIST 155

California Capitalism

Travis Ross

TTh 11:35am-12:25pm

Areas HU

This course examines the rise of California to become the world’s fifth largest economy as a case study in the history of capitalism. California offers an important case study through which to think historically about the complicated relationships between the environment, globalized capitalism, national politics, and individual choices within the world economy as they have intersected in a state defined by its booms and busts. The course begins with the earliest attempts by European empires to establish a foothold on the Pacific Ocean in California and concludes with California’s global hegemony as a powerhouse in cultural production, technological development, agricultural output, and environmental policy. We pay particular attention to how California’s culture of entrepreneurship has created both solutions to and new problems for advancements in global hunger, environmental sustainability, income inequality, labor, and media distribution.

AMST 330 (26917) /ENGL 236

Dystopic and Utopian Fictions

James Berger

M 9:25am-11:15am

Areas HU

Attempts since the late nineteenth century to imagine, in literature, cinema, and social theory, a world different from the existing world. The merging of political critique with desire and anxiety; the nature and effects of social power; forms of authority, submission, and resistance.

AMST 350 (20123) /ER&M 356/WGSS 235

Political Landscapes of Tourism

Jacinda Tran

T 1:30pm-3:20pm

Areas HU

This interdisciplinary course mobilizes tourism as a site for exploring dimensions and scales of power along racial, gendered, sexual, economic, historic, and geopolitical axes. By taking spatial analysis as the main mode of inquiry, students learn how to critically read the visual cultures, laboring bodies, and uneven topographies that comprise the cultural terrain of tourist landscapes. Temporally, the class covers colonial cartographies of tourism, the postwar turn towards mass tourism, and our current age of global post-Fordist tourism. How does the tourist industrial complex develop alongside modes of colonial, military, and financial world-making? In what ways do semiotic, affective, and technologic regimes map onto geographies of tourism? Is there space for critical engagement?

AMST 452 (29386) /ER&M 453/AMST 628

Movement, Memory, and U.S. Settler Colonialism

Laura Barraclough

T 9:25am-11:15am

Areas HU

This research seminar examines and theorizes the significance of movement and mobility in the production and contestation of settler colonial nation-states. 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 the foundations and some of the key debates within each of these fields, we examine four case studies: The Freedom Trail and the Black Heritage Trail in Boston; the Lewis and Clark expedition and its recuperation as a site of healing and education for tribal nations in the Upper Midwest and Northwest; the Trail of Tears and the contest over southern memory; and the relationships between settlement, labor migration, and regional racial formation in California. Students then conduct their own research projects that integrate primary source research on a particular organized movement (of people, non-human animals, ideas, practices) with two or more expressions of memory about that movement (in the form of public history installations, popular culture, literature, music, digital memes, etc.). 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 459 (29398)

Multispecies Worlds

Kathryn Dudley

Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

Areas SO

This seminar explores the relational and material worlds that humans create in concert with other-than-human species. Through an interdisciplinary analysis of the problematic subject of anthropology—Anthropos—we seek to pose new questions about the fate of life worlds in the present epoch of anthropogenic climate change. Our readings track circuits of knowledge from anthropology and philosophy to geological history, literary criticism, and environmental studies as we come to terms with the loss of biodiversity, impending wildlife extinctions, and political-economic havoc wrought by global warming associated with the Anthropocene.  A persistent provocation guides our inquiry: What multispecies worldings become possible to recognize and cultivate when we dare to decenter the human in our politics, passions, and aspirations for life on a shared planet?

ANTH 241 (27374) /EAST 406

Nature and Culture in and of East Asia

Tomo Sugimoto

W 1:30pm-3:20pm

Areas SO

How is nature in East Asia shaped by distinct histories of modernization, colonialism, militarism, the Cold War, and developmentalism in the region? What is the impact of transnational flows of objects, people, ideas, and discourses—whether they are natural resources, waste, environmental activists, or green urbanism—on nature? How do recent anxieties about adulterated food, radiation, and pollution reveal environmental interconnections among Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, and beyond? Why are marginalized groups like Okinawans, indigenous people, and rural poor peasants disproportionately affected by environmental problems? By addressing such questions, this course aims to unpack the relationship between nature, culture, and power in East Asia. Reading interdisciplinary accounts from history, anthropology, and literary and cultural studies, we engage the growing field of environmental humanities from a uniquely East Asian perspective. Topics include the relationship between East Asian colonial experience and nature; state power and water resources; air pollution; nuclear radiation; the emergence of environmental conservation discourse; interspecies connections; and food safety.

ANTH 339 (26958)

Urban Ethnography of Asia


M 9:25am-11:15am

Areas SO

Introduction to the anthropological study of contemporary Asian cities. Focus on new ethnographies about cities in East, Southeast, and South Asia. Topics include rural-urban migration, redevelopment, evictions, social movements, land grabbing, master-planned developments, heritage preservation, utopian aspirations, social housing, slums and precariousness, and spatial cleansing.

ANTH 399 (26964)

The Anthropology of Outer Space

Lisa Messeri

TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

Areas SO

Examination of the extraterrestrial through consideration of ideas in anthropology and aligned disciplines. Students discuss, write, and think about outer space as anthropologists and find the value of exploring this topic scientifically, socially, and philosophically.

ANTH 414 (20292) / EAST 417

Hubs, Mobilities, and World Cities

Helen Siu

M 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 (20882) /ANTH 638

Culture, Power, Oil

Douglas Rogers

W 9:25am-11:15am

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 473 (20197) /EVST 473/ARCG 473/NELC 473

Climate Change, Societal Collapse, and Resilience

Harvey Weiss

Th 4pm-5:50pm

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.

ARCG 031 (29299) /HIST 020/CLCV 059/EVST 030/NELC 026

Rivers and Civilization

Harvey Weiss

TTh 9:00am-10:15am

Areas HU, SO

The appearance of the earliest cities along the Nile and Euphrates in the fourth millennium B.C. Settlements along the rivers, the origins of agriculture, the production and extraction of agricultural surpluses, and the generation of class structures and political hierarchies. How and why these processes occurred along the banks of these rivers; consequent societal collapses and their relation to abrupt climate changes. Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.

ARCG 492 (20093) /ANTH 492/NELC 321/NELC 537/ANTH 692

Imaging Ancient Worlds

Roderick McIntosh, John Darnell, Agnete Lassen, and Klaus Wagensonner

W 9.25-11.15

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 the sites. Use of new technologies in computer graphics, including 3-D imaging, to support current research in archaeology and anthropology

ARCH 230 (28632) /STCY 176

Introduction to the Study of the City

Alexander Garvin

T 1:30pm-3:20pm

Areas SO

An examination of forces shaping American cities and strategies for dealing with them. Topics include housing, commercial development, parks, zoning, urban renewal, landmark preservation, new towns, and suburbs. The course includes games, simulated problems, fieldwork, lectures, and discussion.

ARCH 341 (28638) /GLBL 253/LAST 318/F&ES 782/URBN 341

Globalization Space

Keller Easterling

MW 10:30am-11:20am

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 360 (28641) /URBN 360

Urban Lab: An Urban World

Joyce Hsiang

Th 10:30am-1:20pm

Areas HU

Understanding the urban environment through methods of research, spatial analysis, and diverse means of representation that address historical, social, political, and environmental issues that consider design at the scale of the entire world. Through timelines, maps, diagrams, collages and film, students frame a unique spatial problem and speculate on urbanization at the global scale. 

ENGL 114 - Section 05 (13024)
Black and Indigenous Ecologies
Rasheed Tazudeen
MW 2.30-3.45
Areas WR

“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 13 (20334)

Nature and Healing

Hyoun Yang

TTh 4pm-5:15pm

Areas WR

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 275 01 (27492)

Emerson, Dickinson, and Melville

Richard Deming

TTh 11.35-12.50

Areas HU, WR

Study of central works by three foundational writers of the nineteenth century. Cultural and historical context; questions

concerning American identity, ethics, and culture, as well as the function of literature; the authors’ views on the

intersections of philosophy and religious belief, culture, race, gender, and aesthetics. Readings include novels, poems,

short fiction, and essays.

ENGL 318 (29940) /ENGL 756

The Possibilities of Romanticism: Byron, Shelley, Keats

Paul Fry

Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

Areas HU, WR

Poetry and prose of Byron, Shelley, and Keats with emphasis on both their differences and their common qualities. Special attention is given to the complex interactions of these poets with Wordsworth and Coleridge.

ENGL 432 (29937)

Writing about Food

Barbara Stuart

TTh 11:35am-12:50pm

Areas WR

Writing about food within cultural contexts. Through reading essays written by the luminaries of the food world, students explore food narratives from many angles, including family meals, recipes, cookbooks, restaurant reviews, memoir, and film.

ENGL 478 (27514)

Writing about Place

Cynthia Zarin

W 1:30pm-3:20pm

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.

EVST 189 (27789) /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 211 (27729) /HSHM 211/G&G 211/HIST 416

Global Catastrophe since 1750

William Rankin

MW 10:30am-11:20am

Areas HU

A history of the geological, atmospheric, and environmental sciences, with a focus on predictions of global catastrophe. Topics range from headline catastrophes such as global warming, ozone depletion, and nuclear winter to historical debates about the age of the Earth, the nature of fossils, and the management of natural resources. Tensions between science and religion; the role of science in government; environmental economics; the politics of prediction, modeling, and incomplete evidence.

EVST 247 (28265) /PLSC 219/EP&E 497

Politics of the Environment

Peter Swenson


Areas SO

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. Focus on politics in the U.S., including the role of public opinion; attention to international regulatory efforts, especially with regard to climate change.

EVST 255 (29823) /F&ES 255/GLBL 282/PLSC 215

Global Food Challenges: Environmental Politics and Law

John Wargo

MW 1:00pm-2:15pm

Areas SO

We explore relations among food, environment, health, and law. We consider global-scale avoidable challenges such as: starvation and malnutrition, obesity, other food related human diseases, climate instability, soil loss, water depletion and contamination, microbial hazards, chemical contamination, food waste, dietary convergence, air pollution, energy, packaging, culinary globalization, and biodiversity loss. We focus on laws that influence the world’s food system, including those intended to reduce or prevent environmental and health damages. Other laws protect rights of secrecy, property, speech, confidential business information, free trade, worker protection, equal opportunity, and freedom from discrimination. Ethical concerns of justice, equity, and transparency are prominent themes. Examples of effective law, consumer movements and corporate innovations provide optimism for the future of responsible food.

EVST 368 (27748) /HSHM 479/HIST 491J/RLST 368

The History of the Earth from Noah to Darwin

Ivano Dal Prete

Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

Areas HU, WR

Young earth creationism and flood geology have long been among the most divisive features of American culture and politics. Yet a basic postulate is shared across the spectrum: for better or worse, the old age of the Earth is regarded as the recent product of a secular science, consistently rejected by traditional Christianity. This seminar challenges this long-established narrative, by uncovering the surprising boldness, complexity, and societal diffusion of pre-modern debates on the history of the Earth, and of humankind itself. Students have opportunity to explore the nature, assumptions, and methods of Earth sciences before the advent of modern geology, to question ingrained assumptions about their relation to religion and society, and to place outstanding issues into historical perspective. How have the great monotheistic religions dealt with the possibility of an ancient Earth? Was a young creation always important in traditional Christianity? If not, what led to the emergence of young Earth creationism as a force to be reckoned with? What are the intellectual roots of American preadamism, which claims that the black and white races were created at different times and do not descend from the same ancestor? These and other questions are addressed not only through scholarly literature in the field, but also with the analysis of literary, visual, and material sources available on campus. 

FILM 344 (27575)

Landscape, Film, Architecture

Fatima Naqvi

W 7pm-10pm and Th 9:25am-11:15am

Areas HU

Movement through landscapes and cityscapes as a key to understanding them. Simulation of travel, using movie cameras and other visual-verbal means, as a way to expand historical, aesthetic, and sociological inquiries into how places are inhabited and experienced. Exploration of both real and imaginary places traversed in works by Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, César Aira, Georges Rodenbach, Patrick Keiller, Georges Perec, and Andrei Tarkovsky.

FILM 442 (28480) /RUSS 403/LITR 403

The City in Literature and Film

Katerina Clark

TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

Areas HU

Consideration of the architecture, town planning, and symbolic functions of various cities in Europe, Latin America, the United States, and East Asia. Discussion of the representation of these cities in literature and film. Works include older Soviet and Chinese films about Shanghai and contemporary films about Hong Kong and Beijing.

FREN 307 (27610) /LITR 302

France by Rail: Trains in French Literature, Film, and History

Morgane Cadieu

F 1:30pm-3:20pm

Areas HU, WR

Exploration of the aesthetics of trains in French and Francophone literature and culture, from the end of the nineteenth-century and the first locomotives, to the automatically driven subway in twenty-first century Paris. Focus on the role of trains in industrialization, colonization, deportation, decolonization, and immigration. Corpus includes novels, poems, plays, films, paintings, graphic novels, as well as theoretical excerpts on urban spaces and public transportation. Activities include: building a train at the CEID and visiting the Beinecke collections and the Art Gallery.

HIST 006 (27765) /HSHM 005

Medicine and Society in American History

Rebecca Tannenbaum

TTh 1pm-2:15pm

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.

HIST 128J (27746) /HSHM 475

Race and Disease in American Medicine

Sakena Abedin

T 9:25am-11:15am

Areas HU, WR

An exploration of the history of race and disease in American medicine from the late 19th century to the present, focusing on clinical practice and clinical research. We discuss cancer, psychiatric disease, sickle cell disease, and infectious diseases including tuberculosis and HIV. We examine the role of race in the construction of disease and the role of disease in generating and supporting racial hierarchies, with special attention to the role of visibility and the visual in these processes. We also consider the history of race and clinical research, and the implications of racialized disease construction for the production of medical knowledge. 

HIST 244 (29035) /HSHM 321

Cultures of Western Medicine

John Warner

MW 11:35am-12:25pm

Areas HU

A survey of Western medicine and its global encounters, encompassing medical theory, practice, institutions, and healers from antiquity to the present.  Changing concepts of health, disease, and the body in Europe and America explored in their social, cultural, economic, scientific, technological, and ethical contexts.

HIST 289J (27734) /HSHM 407/HSAR 399/HUMS 220

Collecting Nature and Art in the Preindustrial World

Paola Bertucci

W 1:30pm-3:20pm

Areas HU, WR

A history of museums before the emergence of the modern museum. Focus on: cabinets of curiosities and Wunderkammern, anatomical theaters and apothecaries’ shops, alchemical workshops and theaters of machines, collections of monsters, rarities, and exotic specimens.

HIST 321 01 (27799) /EAST 220

China from Present to Past, 2015–600

Valerie Hansen

TTh 1:30pm-2:20pm

Areas HU

Underlying causes of current issues facing China traced back to their origins in the premodern period. Topics include economic development, corruption, environmental crises, gender, and Pacific island disputes. Selected primary-source readings in English, images, videos, and Web resources. *Optional additional Chinese-language and English-language sections.

HIST 344J (27808)

The Middle East Before Oil

Camille Cole

W 3:30pm-5:20pm

Areas HU, WR

For many of us, oil defines Middle Eastern modernity. In fact it defines the Middle East—its economies, its politics, its societies. Focusing on the parts of the Middle East now associated with oil, this course looks first at states and next at economies to ask what, who, and where was modern in the Middle East before oil? How has the Middle East participated in crafting the global modern? Considering issues of capital, empire, and technology, before ending with a discussion of some of the less-studied cultural aspects of oil modernity, the course ultimately asks us to consider what is special—and not—about the Middle East, and about oil. Cultural and political material produced by individuals and states in the region—from maps to music and diaries to film—provide a variety of perspectives on the last years of empire in the region. The diverse economic, political, and technical responses Middle Eastern actors offered to European imperialism and global capital, and the ways those responses in turn shaped imperialism and capitalism, outline an unexpected Middle Eastern modernity.

HIST 403J (27744) /HSHM 473

Vaccination in Historical Perspective

Jason Schwartz

M 1:30pm-3:20pm

Areas HU

For over two centuries, vaccination has been a prominent, effective, and at times controversial component of public health activities in the United States and around the world. Despite the novelty of many aspects of contemporary vaccines and vaccination programs, they reflect a rich and often contested history that combines questions of science, medicine, public health, global health, economics, law, and ethics, among other topics. This course examines the history of vaccines and vaccination programs, with a particular focus on the 20th and 21st centuries and on the historical roots of contemporary issues in U.S. and global vaccination policy. Students gain a thorough, historically grounded understanding of the scope and design of vaccination efforts, past and present, and the interconnected social, cultural, and political issues that vaccination has raised throughout its history and continues to raise today.

HSAR 383 (27852)

Sacred Space in South Asia

Subhashini Kaligotla

MW 11.35am-12:50p,

Areas Hu

“Sacred” space in the Indian subcontinent was at the epicenter of human experience. This course presents Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, and Jain monuments and the gamut of social meanings and activities associated with them. Moving from the ritual spaces of the Indus Valley Culture to nineteenth-century colonial India, we learn how the organization and imagery of these spaces supported devotional activity and piety. We learn too how temples, monasteries, and shrines supported the pursuit of pleasure, amusement, sociability, and other worldly interests. We also explore the symbiotic relationship between Indian kingship and religion, and the complex ways in which politics and court culture shaped sacred environments. The course concludes with European imaginings of Indian religion and religious places.’’

HSHM 441 (20050) /HIST 322J

Bodies, Science, and Goods: Exchanges in the Early Modern Mediterranean

Barbara Di Gennaro

Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

Areas HU, WR

The Mediterranean is the liquid surface that facilitated constant exchanges of knowledge, people, and goods between Europe, Africa, and Asia and, at the same time, the sea that constituted a barrier between religions and cultures. This seminar explores the Mediterranean in the Early Modern period. We approach the Middle Sea from two main perspectives. First, through scientific knowledge about the sea itself and its inhabitants, such as cartography, medicine, and theories about human diversity. Secondly, we study the experiences of men and women moving across shores because they chose to do so or were forced to: merchants, converts, pirates, and slaves. The contradictory essence of the Mediterranean in this period (16th-18th centuries) emerges from the interplay of constraints—geographic and political boundaries, epidemics and poverty—and possibilities, such as commercial and maritime practices, or malleable religious and social identities.

HSHM 477 (20024) /HUMS 463/RLST 437

Critical Theories of Science and Religion

Joanna Radin, Noreen Khawaja

M 1:30pm-3:20pm

Areas HU

This course is an introduction to new thinking about the relationship of science and religion in global modernities. Drawing from work in feminist and indigenous studies, critical race theory, postcolonial studies, and multispecies thought, we explore systematic questions at the intersection of metaphysics, history of science, and politics. How can attending to the role of practice alter our understanding of how knowledge is produced across scientific and religious worlds? What is a world, and who gets to define it? How might a new contract between science and religion reveal fresh possibilities for an ethical response to late capitalism: addressing historic exclusions, structural inequalities, and human-nonhuman relations? Readings may include: Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, Kim TallBear, Anna Tsing, Isabell Stengers, Cathy Gere, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Karen Barad, Robert Bellah, Gabriel Marcel, Elizabeth Povinelli, Nadia Abu El-Haj, Aicha Beliso-De Jesus, Marilyn Strathern, Catherine Keller, Abou Farman, Webb Keane.

HUMS 247 (28501) /SOCY 352/SOCY 620

Material Culture and Iconic Consciousness

Jeffrey Alexander

M 3:30pm-5:20pm

Areas HU, SO

How and why contemporary societies continue to symbolize sacred and profane meanings, investing these meanings with materiality and shaping them aesthetically. Exploration of “iconic consciousness” in theoretical terms (philosophy, sociology, semiotics) and further exploration of compelling empirical studies about food and bodies, nature, fashion, celebrities, popular culture, art, architecture, branding, and politics.

PHIL 269 (28198)

The Philosophy of Science

Mark Maxwell

MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

Areas HU

Central questions about the nature of scientific theory and practice. Factors that make a discipline a science; how and why scientific theories change over time; interpreting probabilistic claims in science; whether simpler theories are more likely to be true; the laws of nature; whether physics has a special status compared to other sciences; the legitimacy of adaptationist thinking in evolutionary biology.

PLSC 257 (28271)

Bioethics and Law

Stephen Latham


Areas SO

The treatment by American law of major issues in contemporary biomedical ethics: informed consent, assisted reproduction, abortion, end-of-life care, research on human subjects, stem cell research, and public health law. Readings include legal cases, statutes, and regulations. No background in law assumed.