Graduate Fall 2018



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

ANTH 541 01 (13894) /F&ES 836

Agrarian Societies: Culture, Society, History, and Development

W 1.30-3.20

An interdisciplinary examination of agrarian societies, contemporary and historical, Western and non-Western. Major analytical perspectives from anthropology, economics, history, political science, and environmental studies are used to develop a meaning-centered and historically grounded account of the transformations of rural society. Team-taught.

ART 516 00 (14367)

Color Landscape Workshop: What is Color?

Byron Kim

Th 2.00-5.00

We start with biology—the human body, its colors, and its ability to sense color—and then move on to chemistry and physics, examining whether color is inherent in objects or in light or in the mind: is a blue object bluer when perceived outside Earth’s atmosphere? We study the ways in which colorists before us have systematized and rationalized color given their own technological or philosophical context and ponder which is the best way for each of us to think about color and utilize it in our work. We are bound to bump up against the cultural and psychological contexts of color and how language itself affects our perception of color. How comprehensively are we to take the whiteness of Melville’s whale? What does Wittgenstein have to say about the relative brightness of the blue sky versus a blank white canvas under that same open sky? What is the difference between purple and violet? This course is bound to generate more questions than it can answer; it is open to those working in all subject areas but is taught from the point of view of a painter. Meets six times for 1.5 credits.

CPLT 699 01 (13374) /GMAN 603/PHIL 602

Heidegger’s Being and Time

A systematic, chapter-by-chapter study of Heidegger’s Being and Time, arguably the most important work of philosophy of

the twentieth century. All the major themes of the book are addressed in detail, with a particular emphasis on care, time, death, and the meaning of being.

EALL 593 01 (14420)

Hiroshima to Fukushima: Ecology and Culture in Japan

Stephen Poland

TTh 1.00-2.15

This course explores how Japanese literature, cinema, and popular culture have engaged with questions of environment, ecology, pollution, and climate change from the wake of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945 to the ongoing Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in the present. Environmental disasters and the slow violence of their aftermath have had an enormous impact on Japanese cultural production, and we examine how these cultural forms seek to negotiate and work through questions of representing the unrepresentable, victimhood and survival, trauma and national memory, uneven development and discrimination, the human and the nonhuman, and climate change’s impact on imagining the future. Special attention is given to the possibilities and limitations of different forms—the novel, poetry, film, manga, anime—that Japanese writers and artists have to think about humans’ relationship with our environment.

F&ES 520 01 (12576)

Society and Environment: Introduction to Theory and Method

Michael Dove

M 9.00-11.50

Introductory course on the scope of social scientific contributions to environmental and natural resource issues. Section I, overview of the field and course. Section II, framing of environmental problems: placing problems in their wider political context, new approaches to uncertainty and failure, and the importance of how the conceptual boundaries to resource systems are drawn. Section III, methods: the dynamics of working within development projects, and the art of rapid appraisal and short-term consultancies. Section IV, local communities, resources, and (under)development: representing the poor, development discourse, and indigenous peoples and knowledge. There are two guest lectures by leading scholars in the field. No prerequisites. This is a core M.E.M. specialization course in F&ES, a core course in the combined F&ES/Anthropology doctoral degree program, and a prerequisite for F&ES 869/ANTH 572. Three hours lecture/seminar.

F&ES 756 01 (12762)

Modeling Geographic Objects

Charles Tomlin

Th 1.00-3.50

This course offers a broad and practical introduction to the nature and use of drawing-based (vector) geographic information systems (GIS) for the preparation, interpretation, and presentation of digital cartographic data. In contrast to F&ES 755, the course is oriented more toward discrete objects in geographical space (e.g., water bodies, land parcels, or structures) than the qualities of that space itself (e.g., proximity, density, or interspersion). Three hours lecture, problem sets. No previous experience is required.

F&ES 764 01 (12763)

Environment, Culture, Morality, and Politics

Justin Farrell

Th 9.00-11.50

This course equips students to think critically and imaginatively about the social aspects of natural landscapes and the communities who inhabit them. It draws on empirical cases from the United States to examine interrelated issues pertaining to culture, morality, religion, politics, power, elites, corporations, and social movements. Because of the deep complexity of these issues, and the fact that this is a reading- and writing-intensive course, it requires a significant time commitment from each student. Students in the course gain fluency with cutting-edge empirical research on these issues; better recognize the social, moral, and political roots of all things; and finally, are able to apply philosophical theory to concrete environmental problems.

F&ES 772 01 (12764)

Social Justice in the Global Food System

Kristin Reynolds

Th 1.00-3.50

This course explores social justice dimensions of today’s globalized food system, considering sustainability in terms of sociopolitical as well as environmental dynamics. We examine how governmental and nongovernmental environmental strategies affect social equity in the food system at multiple scales. We discuss how issues such as land grabbing or food insecurity are connected to relative power on the global stage. We consider how phenomena such as structural violence and neoliberalization surface within the food system, and what this means for sustainability and justice. With an emphasis on connecting theory and practice, we examine and debate concepts including food sovereignty, agroecology, and the Right to Food that are used by governmental and/or civil society actors to advance positive change. Throughout the term we explore our own positions as university-based stakeholders in the food system. The course includes guest speakers; students are encouraged to integrate aspects of their own academic and/or professional projects into one or more course assignments.

F&ES 774 01 (12766) /NELC 606

Agriculture: Origins, Evolution, Crises

Harvey Weiss

Th 3.30-5.20

Analysis of the societal and environmental causes and effects of plant and animal domestication, the intensification of agroproduction, and the crises of agroproduction: population pressure, land degradation, societal collapses, technological innovation, transformed social relations of production, sustainability, and biodiversity. From the global field, the best-documented eastern and western hemisphere trajectories are selected for analysis.

F&ES 826 01 (12775)

Foundations of Natural Resource Policy and Management

Susan Clark

M 1.00-3.50

This course offers an explicit interdisciplinary (integrative) framework that is genuinely effective in practical problem solving. This unique skill set overcomes the routine ways of thinking and solving conservation problems common to many NGOs and government organizations by explicitly developing more rigorous and effective critical-thinking, observation, and management skills. By simultaneously addressing rational, political, and practical aspects of real-world problem solving, the course helps students gain skills, understand, and offer solutions to the policy problems of managing natural resources. The approach we use requires several things of students (or any problem solvers): that they be contextual in terms of social and decision-making processes; that they use multiple methods and epistemologies from any field that helps in understanding problems; that they strive to be both procedurally and substantively rational in their work; and, finally, that they be clear about their own standpoint relative to the problems at hand. The approach used in this course draws on the oldest and most comprehensive part of the modern policy analytic movement—the policy sciences (interdisciplinary method)—which is growing in its applications worldwide today. The course includes a mix of critical thinking, philosophical issues, history, as well as issues that students bring in. Among the topics covered are human rights, scientific management, decision-making, community-based approaches, governance, common interest, sustainability, professionalism, and allied thought and literature. In their course work students apply the basic concepts and tools to a problem of their choice, circulating drafts of their papers to other seminar participants and lecturing on and leading discussions of their topics in class sessions. Papers of sufficient quality may be collected in a volume for publication. Active participation, reading, discussion, lectures, guests, and projects make up the course.

Enrollment limited to sixteen; application required.

F&ES 839 01 (12778)

Social Science of Conservation and Development

Carol Carpenter


This course is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of the social aspects involved in implementing conservation and sustainable development projects. Social science makes two contributions to the practice of conservation and development. First, it provides ways of thinking about, researching, and working with social groupings—including rural households and communities, but also development and conservation institutions, states, and NGOs. This aspect includes relations between groups at all these levels, and especially the role of politics and power in these relations. Second, social science tackles the analysis of the knowledge systems that implicitly shape conservation and development policy and impinge on practice. The emphasis throughout is on how these things shape the practice of sustainable development and conservation. Case studies used in the course have been balanced as much as possible between Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa, and Latin America; most are rural and Third World. The course includes readings from all noneconomic social sciences. The goal is to stimulate students to apply informed and critical thinking (which means not criticizing others, but questioning our own underlying assumptions) to whatever roles they may come to play in conservation and sustainable development, in order to move toward more environmentally and socially sustainable projects and policies. The course is also designed to help students shape future research by learning to ask questions that build on, but are unanswered by, the social science theory of conservation and development.

No prerequisites. This is a requirement for the combined F&ES/Anthropology doctoral degree program and a prerequisite for some advanced F&ES courses. Open to advanced undergraduates. Three hours lecture/seminar.

F&ES 840 01 (12779)

Climate Change Policy and Perspectives

Daniel Etsy

MW 2.30-3.50

This course examines the scientific, economic, legal, political, institutional, and historic underpinnings of climate change and the related policy challenge of developing the energy system needed to support a prosperous and sustainable modern society. Particular attention is given to analyzing the existing framework of treaties, law, regulations, and policy—and the incentives they have created—which have done little over the past several decades to change the world’s trajectory with

regard to the build-up of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. What would a twenty-first-century policy framework that is designed to deliver a sustainable energy future and a successful response to climate change look like? How would such a framework address issues of equity? How might incentives be structured to engage the business community and deliver the innovation needed in many domains? While designed as a lecture course, class sessions are highly interactive. Self-scheduled examination or paper option.

F&ES 866 01 (12781)

Climate Change and Animal Law

Douglas Kysar

Jonathan Lovvorn

M 6.10-8.00

This course examines the relationship between climate change, humans, and animals. With few exceptions, researchers and policy advocates looking at the impact of climate change on animals tend to focus on species loss and biodiversity at a macro level. But climate change is also having profound impacts on the individual lives and well-being of billions of animals. Large-scale human use of animals for food is also a significant and often overlooked cause of climate change emissions. The course seeks to develop a deeper understanding of the impacts of climate change on animals; the power dynamic between privileged human actors and the disenfranchised victims of climate change; and the intersection of animal welfare, environmentalism, food policy, and climate change. The course is organized partly as a traditional seminar and partly as a collective research endeavor to gather and analyze information on this significant and neglected topic. As part of the course experience, students work in small groups to conduct research and write a report on an underdeveloped topic concerning animals and climate change. The various sub-reports are edited into a single white paper that will be distributed to the animal welfare, environmental, food policy, and climate change advocacy communities. Paper required.

F&ES 873 01 (12782) /NELC 605

Global Environmental History

Harvey Weiss

TTh 9.00-10.15

The dynamic relationship between environmental and social forces from the Pleistocene glaciations to the Anthropocene

 present: Pleistocene extinctions; transitions from hunting to gathering to agriculture; Old World origins of cities, states, and civilization; adaptations and collapses of Old and New World civilizations in the face of climate disasters; the destruction and reconstruction of the New World by the Old. In the foreground of each analysis are the issues of adaptation, resilience, and sustainability: what forced long-term societal changes?

F&ES 878 01 (13079)

Climate and Society: Past to Present

Michael Dove

Th 1.30-3.20

Seminar on the major traditions of thought—both historic and contemporary—regarding climate, climate change, and society, drawing on the social sciences and anthropology in particular. Section I, overview of the field and course. Section II, continuities from past to present: use of differences in climate to explain differences among people, differences between western and non-western intellectual traditions, and the ethnographic study of folk knowledge. Section III, impact on society of environmental change: environmental determinism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, attribution of historic cases of societal “collapse” to extreme climatic events, and the role of extreme events in the development of a society. Section IV, vulnerability and control: how societies cope with extreme climatic events, and how such events reflect, reveal, and reproduce socioeconomic fault lines. Section V, knowledge and its circulation: construction of knowledge of climate and its extremes, and contesting of knowledge between central and local authorities and between the global North and South. The main texts, The Anthropology of Climate Change and Climate Cultures, were written especially for this course. No prerequisites; graduate students may enroll with permission of the instructor. Two hours lecture/seminar.

FREN 969 01 (12604) /AFST 969/CPLT 985

Islands, Oceans, Deserts

Jill Jarvis

W 3.30-5.20

This seminar brings together literary and theoretical works that chart planetary relations and connections beyond the paradigm of francophonie. Comparative focus on the poetics and politics of spaces shaped by intersecting routes of colonization and forced migrations: islands (Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Martinique), oceans (Indian, Mediterranean, Atlantic), and deserts (Sahara, Sonoran).

Prerequisite: reading knowledge of French; knowledge of Arabic and Spanish invited. Conducted in English.

HIST 508 01 (12864) /CLSS 847

Climate, Environment, and Ancient History

Joseph Manning

F 3.30-5.20

An overview of recent work in paleoclimatology with an emphasis on new climate proxy records and how they are or can be used in historical analysis. We examine in detail several recent case studies at the nexus of climate and history. Attention is paid to critiques of recent work as well as trends in the field.

HIST 749 01 (12874) /AMST 838/HSHM 753

Research in Twentieth-Century United States Environmental History

Paul Sabin

T 1.30-3.20

Students conduct advanced research in primary sources and write original essays over the course of the term. Topics are particularly encouraged in twentieth-century environmental history (broadly defined, no specified geography) as well as in U.S. history, with a focus on politics, law, and economic development. Readings and library activities inform students’ research projects. Interested graduate students should contact the instructor with proposed research topics.

HIST 839 01 (11369) /AFST 839

Environmental History of Africa

Robert Harms

W 9.25-11.15

An examination of the interaction between people and their environment in Africa and the ways in which this interaction has affected or shaped the course of African history.

HSAR 651 01 (13860)

Global Landscape in an Age of Empire

Tim Barringer

W 1.30-3.20

This seminar uses Yale resources to explore the global travels of European artists in the long nineteenth century (ca. 1770–1914), the age of empire. A key focus is the resistance encountered in contact zones and spaces beyond Europe, such as the countersigns of Indigenous cultures that refuse to be accommodated within the conventions of the picturesque and sublime. The course is divided into four segments: South (the Grand Tour and Pacific exploration), North (the Picturesque in the British Isles), East (European artists traveling in the Ottoman world and Asia), and West (the Caribbean and the Americas). In each case, histories of European art are disrupted by other narratives and forms of visual resistance that may also be understood as political. Research papers are based on materials in Yale collections, with an emphasis on materials little examined in the existing historiographies.

HSAR 709 01 (14389)


Pamela Lee

M 10.30-12.20

An intensive reading seminar on precarity and neoliberalism, and the aesthetic and art-critical responses to the diverse phenomena these terms encompass and name. Topics include bio- and necropolitics; the Anthropocene and environmental justice; human capital and its complements in immaterial, reproductive, and contingent labor; black, brown, and red bodies under perpetual siege and surveillance; education, credit, and debt. Readings in autonomist/workerist and post-Marxist literature; debates on the status of critique within the arts; strategies of protest and/or refusal/withdrawal within the art world and its institutions; and how artists, students, and arts professionals confront the material realities of precarious life. Enrollment limited and by approval of the instructor.

HSAR 735 01 (13861)

Material Literacy

Edward Cooke

W 10.30-12.20

In the past decade, art history, history, and literary studies have taken a material turn. Much of this interdisciplinary work begins from the perspective of the viewer/user and then works toward a formal and associational “reading” of an object. Such an approach privileges vision over tactility and other senses and emphasizes the final product rather than exploring the deliberate choices taken along the way of making. This perhaps reflects an ever-increasing illiteracy about our relationship to materials and processes. This seminar offers an alternative approach, one that is process-driven. This type of inquiry begins on the inside of an object and works outward toward the final product and its context. We emphasize the choice and use of materials and analyze the tools and maneuvers chosen to manipulate the material. Issues that may arise include intensive versus extensive tool use; labor systems; seasonal or life-cycle rhythms of production; transmission of skills, motives, and impact of clients; metaphorical implications of specific materials and processes; and function and unanticipated adaptation. We discuss objects not simply as reflections of values, but as active, symbolic agents that emerge in specific contexts yet might change in form, use, or value over time. Human activity creates material culture, which in turn makes action possible while also recursively shaping and controlling action.

HSHM 701 01 (13347) /HIST 930/AMST 878

Problems in the History of Medicine and Public Health

John Warner

W 1.30-3.20

An examination of the variety of approaches to the social, cultural, and intellectual history of medicine, focusing on the United States. Reading and discussion of the recent scholarly literature on medical cultures, public health, and illness experiences from the early national period through the present. Topics include the role of gender, class, ethnicity, race, religion, and region in the experience of health care and sickness and in the construction of medical knowledge; the interplay between vernacular and professional understandings of the body; the role of the marketplace in shaping professional identities and patient expectations; health activism and social justice; citizenship, nationalism, and imperialism; and the visual cultures of medicine.

HSHM 716 01 (13350) /HIST 936

Early Modern Science and Medicine

Paola Bertucci

Th 1.30-3.20

The course focuses on recent works in the history of science and medicine in the early modern world. We discuss how interdisciplinary approaches—including economic and urban history, sociology and anthropology of science, gender studies, art and colonial history—have challenged the classic historiographical category of “the Scientific Revolution.” We also discuss the avenues for research that new approaches to early modern science and medicine have opened up, placing special emphasis on the circulation of knowledge, practices of collecting, and visual and material culture.

HSHM 764 01 (15477)

Decolonizing the Anthropocene

Zoe Todd

T 9.25-11.15

This course explores diverse narratives of the Anthropocene epoch, interrogating the scientific work of defining and situating this era of anthropogenic change of the Earth system. Critical discourses from anthropology, indigenous studies, science and technology studies, Afrofuturism, geography, and philosophy are examined to complicate understandings of the Anthropocene.

REL 809 01 (10331)

Loving Creation: Spirituality, Nature, and Ecological Conversion

Janet Ruffing

Th 3.30-5.20

Areas DI (4)

This course focuses on the spiritual dimension of ecology. Spiritual thought and practice are enriched through being situated in the natural world, and scientifically based ecology is given added depth and meaning by extending the ecological field to include traditions of spiritual thought and practice. The spiritual tradition offers practices and a history of a quality of mind and heart that cultivates an awareness of the beauty and significance of the living world as well as its fragility and need for respectful care. In this course, we explore a contemplative ecology rooted in the ancient desert tradition primarily through the work of two thinkers: Douglas Burton-Christie’s “Contemplative Ecology” and Denis Edwards’s Trinitarian theology, which expands our sense of the ongoing involvement of God in creation and requires ecological conversion of all of us to repair the harm caused by the distorted utilitarian and individualistic ethic. Area IV.

REL 934 01 (10375)

Ecological Ethics and Environmental Justice

Clifton Granby

M 6.00-8.00

Areas DI (5)

This seminar examines historical sources and recent debates within environmental and ecological ethics. It gives special attention to the influence of religious and theological worldviews; practices of ethical and spiritual formation; the land ethic; environmental movements for preservation and conservation; eco-feminism and womanism; and quests for economic, global, and environmental justice. The course draws from a range of intellectual and interdisciplinary approaches, including theology, philosophy, literature, sociology, anthropology, and postcolonial studies. Questions concerning race, place, empire, gender, and power are integral to our examination of these topics. Area V.