Spring 2018 GRADUATE COURSES
Classes are listed alphabetically according to their first department listing. For the most up-to-date listings, check the Online Course Information website. To add or remove a course from this list, email firstname.lastname@example.org
AMST 667 01 (23432)
Critical Human Geography
This readings courses immerses students in the critical/radical tradition of human geography, which investigates how power relations and structural inequalities are spatially produced, contested, and transformed. Topics include the relationship between geography’s development as a discipline and histories of imperialism; indigenous geographies and spatial persistence; spatial theories of capitalism and uneven development; feminist and queer geographies; geographies of blackness, white supremacy, and settler colonialism; gentrification and urban change; critical geographic information science and counter-mapping; and new approaches to landscape and region.
AMST 834 01 (21039) /FILM423/EVST366/AMST364/FILM733
Documentary and the Environment
The environmental documentary has emerged as one of cinema’s most vital genres of the past ten years (in documentary, its only rivals are probably those concerned with the Second Gulf War). As the world’s environment faces a growing crisis, documentary has come to serve as a key means to draw public attention to specific issues. This course combines screenings with readings on documentary such as Bill Nichols’s important book Representing Reality. Often films have book tie-ins, and we consider how they complement each other and work together to maximize the impact of their message. Readings also focus on news items, debates, websites, and other media forms that are employed in conjunction with the films.
ANTH 473 01 (20304) /NELC588/ARCG773/ARCG473/EVST473/ANTH773/F&ES793
Abrupt Climate Change and Societal Collapse
Areas Hu, So
Permission of instructor required
YC Anthropology: Sociocultural
The coincidence of societal collapses throughout history with decadal and century-scale drought 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.
ANTH 561 01 (23389) /F&ES 877 01
Anthropology of the Global Economy for Conservation and Development
3 credits. This seminar explores topics in the anthropology of the global economy that are relevant to conservation and development policy and practice. Anthropologists are often assumed to focus on micro- or local-level research, and thus to have limited usefulness in the contemporary, global world of conservation and development policy. In fact, however, they have been examining global topics since at least the 1980s, and little current anthropological research is limited to the village level. More importantly, the anthropological perspective on the global economy is unique and important. This course examines the topics that make up this perspective, including using a single commodity to study the global economy, theorizing the transition to capitalism, the moral relation between economy and society, models for thinking about power in the global economy, articulations between rural households and the global economy, rural-urban relations in the global economy; the process of becoming a commodity, the commons debate, credit and debt, contracting and flexible accumulation, globalization and scale, and theorizing REDD. Readings for the course come from the subfields of environmental anthropology, economic anthropology, the anthropology of development, and the anthropology of conservation. This class is a prerequisite for F&ES 965. Though designed for master’s and doctoral students, it is open to advanced undergraduates. Three-hour lecture/seminar.
ANTH 598 01 (23390) F&ES 965 01
Advanced Readings: Social Science of Conservation and Development
3 credits. This course is an advanced seminar on the social science theory of conservation and development, designed as an M.E.M. capstone course and to give M.E.Sc. and doctoral students a wider theoretical context for analyzing and writing up their research. The course traces the conceptual history of the social science theory of conservation and development, focusing on theories of power, governmentality, subject creation, and the economy. It examines relations between these theories, alternative theories, and how this history influences the field. The course covers the works of Michel Foucault most relevant to the field, important social scientists who have used Foucault’s ideas (e.g., Timothy Mitchell, Tania Li, Donald Moore, David Mosse, Anand Pandian), alternative theories of power (e.g., James Scott, Bruno Latour, Timothy Mitchell), applications of Foucault’s ideas to development (James Ferguson, Arturo Escobar), applications of Foucault’s ideas to the environment (especially Arun Agrawal, Bruce Braun, Eric Darier), theories of the economic subject (Peter Miller and Ted O’Leary, Anna Tsing, Katherine Rankin), Foucault on the economy and neoliberalism, the power of the economy in Tania Li, theories of resistance and counter-conduct (Foucault, Carl Death, James Scott), and Foucault and space. Students are expected to use the course to develop, and present in class, their own research and writing. Three hours lecture/seminar. Enrollment limited to twelve.
ANTH 736 01 (20322) /ARCG736
Advanced Topics in Asian Archaeology
This seminar reviews the archaeology of Asia of the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs with emphasis on East, Southeast, and South Asia. Asian archaeology remains little known to most Western researchers, although some of the earliest hominid remains and some of the most powerful states are found in that part of the world. The course emphasizes the particularities of Asian cultural sequences, while illustrating how processes in these sequences compare to those found elsewhere in the world. The diverse Asian record provides a basis for refining key concepts in anthropological archaeology, including domestication, inequality and hierarchy, heterarchy, and complexity. Topics to be covered include history and theory in Asian archaeology; the Pleistocene and paleolithic record of Asia; origins of plant and animal domestication; early farming communities; models of complexity; and early states and empires.
EALL 210 01 (20692) /EALL510/LITR172
Man and Nature in Chinese Literature
Kang-i Sun Chang
Readings in translation
An exploration of man and nature in traditional Chinese literature, with special attention to aesthetic and cultural meanings. Topics include the concept of nature and literature; neo-Taoist self-cultivation; poetry and Zen (Chan) Buddhism; travel in literature; loss, lament, and self-reflection in song lyrics; nature and the supernatural in classical tales; love and allusions to nature; religious pilgrimage and allegory.
All readings in translation; no knowledge of Chinese required. Some Chinese texts provided for students who read Chinese. Formerly CHNS 200.
ENGL 717 01 (22187)
Loves of the Plants: Imagining Flora, 1735–1835
Study of literary treatments of plant life between Carl Linneaus and Charles Darwin. Special focus on botany and gender; new systems of classification; the aesthetics of flowers in poetry and the decorative arts; the movement of plants around the globe through imperial trade and settler colonialism; medicinal and commercial uses of plants; and nascent environmentalism. Readings include poems by William Cowper, Erasmus Darwin, William Wordsworth, and Charlotte Smith; prose fiction by Daniel Defoe, Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, and Johann Wyss; and samples of reference works and treatises. Opportunities for students to explore related topics through independent research.
ENGL 922 01 (23052) /FILM802
Studies in Sound and Voice
Since the late nineteenth century, human and nonhuman voices have been technically amplified, recorded, distorted, enhanced, synthesized, and measured for purposes of art, science, and politics. This class explores classic and recent books and essays on the media of sound and culture, with a particular focus on the voice. We are guided by two fundamental questions: How do voices get into bodies and bodies into voices? How do media capture something whose existence amounts to vibrations and whose essence involves disappearance? The voice is a key but conflicted site for defining what it means to be a human being. This complex organ or apparatus depends on lungs, brain, vocal tract, emotion, training, and culture. The voice implicates physics and music, communication and culture, anatomy and art. It raises questions about beauty, identity, power, religion, art, poetry, style, culture, race, gender, and age. Animals and machines have voices; so may the stars.
F&ES 614 01 (23536)
Justice, Nature, and Reflective Environmental Practice Seminar
3 credits. Nature, identity, and politics intersect in interesting ways in environmental governance. Through an interdisciplinary approach to public health, and urban and environmental studies, we will examine intersectionality and the changing relationship between social systems, urbanization, biodiversity conservation, and environmental justice. Particular attention will be focused on institutional values, reflective environmental practice, and how race, class, gender, and sexuality impacts environmental participation and justice in the distribution of natural resources and the equitable development of cities. Students will examine social theories of “nature,” as well as a range of policy responses to address environmental inequities. In the seminar, we define reflective practice as the ability to reflect on one’s professional experiences, actions, and positionality, so as to engage in a process of continuous learning. Students will focus on “reflective practice” exercises to engage in the practical and theoretical methods used in the field of environmental policy and planning to address the immediate and long-term sustainability challenges posed by global and local environmental change. Urban and sociological theories will be complemented by real-world environmental controversies that require group collaboration to produce in-class presentations, role-playing negotiation case simulations, and the completion of a final research paper.
HIST 537 01 (22210) /MDVL612
The Mediterranean in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages
This course looks at the Mediterranean in late antiquity and the Middle Ages. How unified or diverse was this area in terms of climate, cultures, and populations? Historiography of the Mediterranean includes works by Braudel, Abulafia, McNeil, Horden, and Purcell.
HIST 724 01 (23083) /AMST767
Research Seminar in U.S. Urban History
Students conduct archival research to write an original, article-length essay on any aspect of U.S. urban history in any century. The first half of the seminar consists of weekly readings and discussions while the latter half consists of article workshop meetings focused on student writing.
HIST 742 01 (22214) /HSHM732
Readings in the Environmental Humanities
An interdisciplinary seminar to explore the emerging field of the environmental humanities. This reading course examines how humanities disciplines can best contribute to a broad scholarly and societal conversation about humanity and the fate of the planet. We consider how environmental problems and questions might reshape humanities teaching and research, and what humanities scholars can learn through greater collaboration with social and nature scientists. This seminar draws on faculty expertise from a range of humanities disciplines and engages students in defining the field, including designing possible future courses in the environmental humanities.
HIST 818 01 (24327) /F&ES637
Commodity Production and Environmental History in Latin America and the Caribbean
Reinaldo Funes Monzote
This course presents readings across the past six centuries that examine the human impact on the environment of the region from a geographical and ecological perspective. Topics include the transformation of landscapes by plantation agriculture; the introduction of exogenous plant and animal species; and the impact of extractive industries, natural disasters, climate change, conservation, and tourism. Open to undergraduates with permission of the instructor.
HIST 893 01 (21281)
History of China’s Republican Period
This reading seminar examines recent English-language scholarship on China’s Republican period (1912–1949) covering themes from state and economy to society and culture. Weekly topics include state institutions and law, nationalism, politics and political movements, the development of cities, media and publication, public health, education, labor, and rural reconstruction.
HIST 931 01 (21189) /HSHM702
Problems in the History of Science
Close study of recent secondary literature in the history of the physical and life sciences. An inclusive overview of the emergence and diversity of scientific ways of knowing, major scientific theories and methods, and the role of science in politics, capitalism, war, and everyday life. Discussions focus on historians’ different analytic and interpretive approaches.
HIST 939 01 (22223) /HSHM750
Approaches to the History of Technology
An introduction to the history of technology, with a focus on classic and recent works in the field. Students discuss theoretical problems and case studies from the Middle Ages to the present. Topics include technological determinism, technology transfer, the Industrial Revolution, the social construction of technology, thing theory, the human-machine relationship.
HIST 943 01 (21191) /HSHM736/WGSS730
Health Politics, Body Politics
A reading seminar on struggles to control, pathologize, and normalize human bodies, with a particular focus on science, medicine, and the state, both in North America and in a broader global health context. Topics include disease, race, and politics; repression and regulation of birth control; the politics of adoption; domestic and global population control; feminist health movements; and the pathologizing and identity politics of disabled people.
HSAR 811 01 (22216)
Cartographic Japan in the Age of Exploration
It has been well noted that maps and more broadly the cartographic sciences constitute the very core of a voracious desire to know and consume the world that is intimately tied to the European expansion of the 1500s. The existence of Theatrum orbis terrarum and Civitates orbis terrarum virtually insure that the story is typically told from the European perspective. In this seminar we take up the East Asian perspective with emphasis on the ways in which cultural entanglement “east to west” brought about cultural productions in China, Korea, and Japan whose analysis yields insights into the interplay of local and translocal at the heart of the early modern world system.
HSAR 827 01 (22218)
Lacquer in a World Context
Taking advantage of the Art Gallery’s recent acquisition of a ca. 1600 lacquered namban writing cabinet and the accessibility of collections from the Art Gallery and the Peabody Museum on West Campus, this seminar offers students a global perspective on lacquer. The use of plant-based materials to provide a durable and decorative surface on wood has a long history, but different cultures drew on different types of materials and different techniques of application, and as a result developed their own aesthetic. This course draws on firsthand examination of and readings on East Asian, South Asian, Anglo-Dutch-American, and New Spain examples to understand the way in which the language of lacquer was shared throughout the world during the age of expansion from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century.
REL 510 01 (20161)
Bible & the Environment
Areas DI (1)
This course explores the theme of the environment in the Bible against a broad backdrop of scholarly research on religion and science/ecology. Students are oriented to the subject matter through readings and lectures by experts in the biological sciences, environmental studies, and at the intersection of biblical studies/theology/ethics/religion and science/ecology. Students then read a variety of biblical texts and traditions that deal with the environment, exploring the history of their interpretation and application in different periods and contexts. The research paper focuses on one such biblical text/tradition. Area I.
REL 911H 01 (20100) /F&ES787E
Thomas Berry: Life and Thought
Areas DI (5)
Thomas Berry (1914–2009) was a priest and historian of religions, and an early and significant voice awakening religious sensibilities to the environmental crisis. He is particularly well known for articulating a “Universe Story” that explores the world-changing implication of evolutionary sciences. This course investigates the life and thought of Berry in relation to the field of religion and ecology as well as the Journey of the Universe project. As an overview course it draws on his books, articles, and recorded lectures to examine such ideas as the New Story, the Great Work, and the Ecozoic era. In addition, the course explores his studies in world religions including Buddhism, Confucianism, and indigenous traditions. Finally, the course highlights Berry’s challenge to Christianity to articulate theologies of not only divine-human relations, but also human-Earth relations. This is a six-week, two-credit course with a three-credit option. Area V.
REL 912H 01 (20101) /F&ES789E
Journey of the Universe
Areas DI (5)
This course draws on the resources created in the Journey of the Universe project: a film, a book, and a series of twenty interviews with scientists and environmentalists. Journey of the Universe weaves together the discoveries of evolutionary science with cosmological understandings found in the religious traditions of the world. The authors explore cosmic evolution as a creative process based on connection, interdependence, and emergence. The Journey project also presents an opportunity to investigate the daunting ecological and social challenges of our times. This course examines a range of dynamic interactions and interdependencies in the emergence of galaxies, Earth, life, and human communities. It brings the sciences and humanities into dialogue to explore the ways in which we understand evolutionary processes and the implications for humans and our ecological future. This is a six-week, two-credit course with a three-credit option. Area V.
RLST 544 01 (23016)
Animals in Indian Religions
Students read Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain texts dealing with animals. We examine divergent beliefs about the place of animals in the hierarchy of living beings. Readings include stories of the Buddha’s births as an animal, the Ramayana on the monkey god Hanuman, and Jain rebirth narratives. Philosophical readings on animal sacrifice culminate in a consideration of recent debates against sacrifice in the Indian supreme court.
RLST 686 01 (22854) /REL718
Religion in the American West
This course investigates the histories of religious encounter and the formation of diverse religious identities in the American West, placing them in broader contexts of Atlantic world, Pacific world, hemispheric, and national histories. The West has played multiple roles in the nation’s imagination: a place to be conquered and controlled, a place for new beginnings (religious or otherwise), a place of perils and of opportunities. Over the course of the term we ponder the religious dimensions of each of these constructed meanings and examine their very real impact on the people and landscapes of the West.