Related Courses, Fall 2021
Advanced Literary Translation
Students apply to this workshop with a project in mind that they have been developing, either on their own or for a senior thesis, and they present this work during the class on a regular basis. Practical translation is supplemented by readings in the history of translation practice and theory, and by the reflections of practitioners on their art. These readings are selected jointly by the instructor and members of the class. Topics include the history of literary translation—Western and Eastern; comparative approaches to translating a single work; the political dimension of translation; and translation in the context of religion and theology. Class time is divided into student presentations of short passages of their own work, including related key readings; background readings in the history of the field; and close examination of relevant translations by accomplished translators. Students receive intensive scrutiny by the group and instructor.
Permission of the instructor required.
Approaching History: Problems, Methods, and Theory
An introduction to the professional study of history, which offers new doctoral students an opportunity to explore (and learn from each other about) the diversity of the field, while also addressing issues of shared concern and importance for the future of the discipline. By the end of the term participants have been exposed to some of the key methodological and theoretical approaches historians have developed for studying different time periods, places, and aspects of the human past. Required of and restricted to first-term History Ph.D. students.
Art and the Senses in Europe, 500-1700
How do we experience a work of art? Art history has long privileged vision as the primary sense for experiencing works of art but increasingly embraced art’s engagement with touch, smell, sound, and even taste. This seminar explores historically grounded ways of thinking about sensory experience of art objects and material culture in premodern and early modern Europe (ca. 500 – 1700 CE). We meet in Yale collections, including Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG), Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Print Study Room of YUAG, and Cushing/Whitney Medical Library. We look closely at works of art across different media, from small luxury objects to architectural monuments, and in a variety of materials, from stone to wax. We also examine a wide range of primary sources, such as scientific writings, courtly ceremonies, and accounts of religious experiences. Topics include: cultural history of the senses; senses and human cognition; pleasure and the bodily senses; multisensory aesthetics; function of various senses in art and ritual; sensory worlds of cultural encounters. We primarily focus on art and material culture of Europe, but our readings range more broadly.
Banking Crises and Financial Stability
GLBL 311 / ECON 480
Focus on systemic risk, banking crises, financial stability and macroprudential policies. Additional emphasis on systemic risk and prudential policies in peripheral European economies and emerging economies.
Prerequisites: ECON 115 and 116, or equivalent.
Chaucer and Translation
CPLT 582 / ENGL 545 / FREN 802 / MDVL 502
An exploration of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1340–1400), brilliant writer and translator. Using modern postcolonial as well as medieval theories of translation, memory, and bilingualism, we investigate how texts in French, Latin, and Italian are transformed, cited, and reinvented in his writings. Some key questions include: What happens to language under the pressure of crosslingual reading practices? What happens to the notion of translation in a multilingual culture? How are ideas of literary history affected by understanding Chaucer’s English in relation to the other more prestigious language worlds in which his poetry was enmeshed? Texts include material in French, Middle English, Latin, and Italian. Proficiency in any one or more of these languages is welcome, but every effort is made to use texts available in modern English translation, so as to include as wide a participation as possible in the course.
Detailed study of Anton Chekhov’s writing in all genres: fiction, nonfiction, and drama. Focus on Chekhov’s formal innovations, literary polemics with contemporaries and predecessors, and his works’ embeddedness within the social contexts of late imperial Russia and late Victorian Europe. Attentive close reading of texts is combined with interdisciplinary approaches to the study of Chekhov, such as ecocriticism, performance studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, theories of the spatial turn, and medical humanities.
Prerequisite: students without reading knowledge of Russian need permission of the instructor.
Comparative Politics I: Research Design
This course is part of a two-term course series designed to introduce students to the study of comparative politics. This half of the sequence focuses on issues related to research design and methodology in comparative politics. Although there are a handful of weeks devoted entirely to methodological debates, most of our weekly discussions are focused around one book as an exemplar of a particularly interesting or important research design. The course is helpful for students who plan to take the comparative politics field exam.
Critique and Crisis
CPLT 524 / GMAN 650
In our time, when everyone is suspected of being hypercritical, it is not surprising that the limits of critique, its function, and institutional location are called to question. The idea of “post-critique” has been much discussed in recent years. This course develops critical models, primarily from the German tradition, in order to show the great variety of options available beyond the “hermeneutics of suspicion.” Topics include post-critique, the history of critique/criticism, the Romantic concept of critique, traditional vs. critical theory, historicism, philology vs. hermeneutics, science (Wissenschaft) vs. the critique of positivism. Main protagonists include Kant, Schiller, Schlegel, Nietzsche, Dilthey, Max Weber, Lukács, Husserl, Benjamin, Adorno, Koselleck, Szondi, Gadamer, Gumbrecht, Latour, Felski.
Culture, Power, Oil
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.
Democracy Promotion and Its Critics
GLBL 216 / PLSC 173
A seminar on the history, justifications, and various forms of democracy promotion—and their controversies. Topics include foreign aid, election observers, gender, international organizations, post-conflict development, revolutions, and authoritarian backlash.
This class examines the process of democratic backsliding, including its causes and consequences. Our analysis builds on prominent contemporary and historical cases of democratic backsliding, especially Hungary, India, Poland, Russia, and Venezuela. Implications for democratic stability in the United States are considered.
Development in Crisis
Development assistance has been in a perennial state of crisis since its founding in the aftermath of World War II. This course is taught by a historian of international development and by a practitioner who has run development programs in the field and managed a large development agency. The course engages both with economic theories and with practical case studies of development in action. It examines the different justifications given for development over the past seventy years and the impact of domestic politics on development programs. The course seeks to understand both the forces that have shaped the past and present of development and those that will shape its future.
Documentary Film Workshop
ENV 592 / FILM 735
This workshop in audiovisual scholarship explores ways to present research through the moving image. Students work within a Public Humanities framework to make a documentary that draws on their disciplinary fields of study. Designed to fulfill requirements for the M.A. with a concentration in Public Humanities.
Early Modern Spain
Reading and discussion in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish texts (all available in English translation) and also in recent scholarship on early modern Spain.
Eastern Europe to 1914
Eastern Europe from the medieval state to the rise of modern nationalism. The Ottoman Empire, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Hapsburg monarchy, and various native currents. Themes include religious diversity, the constitution of empire, and the emergence of secular political ideologies.
European Civilization, 1648–1945
An overview of the economic, social, political, and intellectual history of modern Europe. Topics include the rise of absolute states, the scientific revolution, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and Napoleon, the industrial revolution, the revolutions of 1848, nationalism and national unifications, Victorian Britain, the colonization of Africa and Asia, fin-de-siècle culture and society, the Great War, the Russian Revolution, the Europe of political extremes, and World War II.
European Intellectual History since Nietzsche
HIST 271 / RSEE 271 / HUMS 339
Major currents in European intellectual history from the late nineteenth century through the twentieth. Topics include Marxism-Leninism, psychoanalysis, expressionism, structuralism, phenomenology, existentialism, antipolitics, and deconstruction.
Feminist Performances of Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe
Thirty years after the dictatorial regimes collapsed in Central and Eastern Europe, performances of resistance have recently gained a new momentum, both in artistic venues and at public spaces. In the now “illiberal democracies” of the region, expressions of dissent and the mobilization of the suppressed opposition have become increasingly important to protect human rights, freedom rights, and the civil society. This course sets out to study the genealogy of feminist artistic and political resistance in the region. First, we study the foundational texts of feminism in activism and academia. Then, we consider the many genres in and themes through which Central Eastern European artists covertly, and later overtly, expressed their political views to their audiences. We look at performances that we may consider today as the forerunners of the political changes of 1989 and read protest texts penned by dissidents, including Ewa Partum, Sanja Ivekovic, and Ottilia Solt, about their frustrations with the repressive state and their utopian visions of an alternative political system. Building on our analyses of the political performances during state socialism, we then turn to the present and analyze recent and contemporary artistic movements and political performances that advocate for resistance in the “illiberal democracies” of Hungary, Poland, and Macedonia. Through the discussion of theatrical performances, subcultural art events, and public protest movements, we explore the ways in which the legacies of dissidence, apathy, and self-censorship continue to shape the praxis and aesthetics of resistance. To initiate a transnational and transcontinental discussion, some of the readings center on Latin American and U.S. artists, whose underground artworks critiqued the dictatorships of the 1970s and 1980s or challenge the authoritarian regimes of the present.
Foundations of Epidemiology and Public Health
This course presents an introduction to epidemiologic definitions, concepts, and methods. Topics include history of epidemiology, descriptive epidemiology, measurement of disease occurrence and association, study design (ecologic, cross-sectional, case-control studies, cohort, and intervention), surveillance, measurement validity and screening, random variation and precision, bias, confounding, effect modification, and causality. The course also teaches skills for quantitative problem solving and for understanding epidemiologic concepts in the published literature.
Four Conflicts through a Human Rights Lens
This course focuses on four conflicts of the 1990s—Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Kosovo—specifically through the lens of human rights, which are all linked by a common theme: humanitarian intervention. In some cases, it went horribly wrong, Rwanda and Bosnia being prime examples. In other cases—Sierra Leone—the wars were able to end. The 1990s was the era of supposed “humanitarian intervention” and “just” wars, when doctrines such as “The Blair Doctrine” presided and were used to save civilian lives. Can we learn from what happened in that decade given the horror of Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Iraq today? The course uses a mix of video footage from the wars from reputable journalists as well as testimonies, texts, and articles from the time. Students also examine the 1990s conflicts under the Right to Protect doctrine of Kofi Annan and compare how humanitarian intervention was used then—as opposed to now, in the case of the Syrian war. An important dimension of the course is lessons learned. The Blair Doctrine is examined. There are several guest speakers throughout the term who were directly involved in these conflicts.
General Economic History: Western Europe
A survey of some major events and issues in the economic development of Western Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, stressing the causes, nature, and consequences of the industrial revolution in Britain and on the Continent, and the implications of the historical record for modern conceptions of economic growth.
Prerequisites: simultaneous enrollment in or successful completion of ECON 500 and ECON 510; permission of the instructor.
Georg Büchner’s Revolutions
CPLT 656 / GMAN 643
Georg Büchner’s (1813–1837) work is a work across times and places. In Danton’s Death he reenacts the French Revolution, in the pamphlet Hessian Messenger he calls for revolution in German lands. Büchner’s other, simultaneous, revolution is one of language and literature. In the narrative Lenz and the theater play Woyzeck, Büchner turns the Romanticism of his own time upside down, and the two works resurface only ca. 1900 as trailblazers of social naturalism and modernist (postdramatic) theater. Celan, in The Meridian, gives an idiosyncratic account of Büchner’s travel across times and places. This course contextualizes the close reading of Büchner’s work with materials from the French Revolution, early socialists, and Marx; French, German, and British Romanticism; prose and theater ca. 1900 when Büchner is rediscovered; and Celan.
German New Waves in Cold War Europe
CPLT 716 / GMAN 730 / FILM 729
Before 1961, Berlin was the best place in Europe to follow both Eastern and Western Europe’s emerging cinematic New Waves. And first in East, then in West Germany, young filmmakers developed distinctive approaches to political and documentary filmmaking, to the Nazi past and the Cold War, to class, gender, and social transformation. This course juxtaposes the two German New Waves, focusing on aesthetic ferment, institutional barriers, and transformation. Features, documentaries, and experimental films by Gerhard Klein, Konrad Wolf, Alexander Kluge, Herbert Vesely, Edgar Reitz, Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Jürgen Böttcher, Heiner Carow, Frank Beyer, Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Helke Sander, Helke Misselwitz, read against other Eastern and Western New Wave films (i.e., by Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz, Andrzej Munk, Alain Resnais, Mikhail Kalatozov, Milos Forman).
Goethe’s Faust, with special attention to Faust II and to the genesis of Faust in its various versions throughout Goethe’s lifetime. Emphasis on the work in context of Goethe’s time and in the later reception and criticism. Reading knowledge of German beneficial but not required.
This is a seminar on historicism as a mode of knowing, thinking, and writing in literary studies. What kinds of claims do historicists make, and what kinds of evidence do they provide? How do they connect archival research to close reading and other interpretive practices? What are historicism’s prevailing genres and modes? Pursuing these questions, we explore how critics use history and literature to explain each other. In practice, this means reading works of historicist theory and criticism as our primary, rather than secondary sources—studying academic genres like book chapters and articles “for craft” to see how they tell their stories and develop their arguments. The syllabus includes representative examples from several intellectual movements of the past fifty years, including new historicism (Miller), Marxist criticism (Ngai), historical poetics (Jackson), and Black studies (Hartman).
History of Architecture to 1750
ARCH 260 / HSAR 326
Introduction to the history of architecture from antiquity to the dawn of the Enlightenment, focusing on narratives that continue to inform the present. The course begins in Africa and Mesopotamia, follows routes from the Mediterranean into Asia and back to Rome, Byzantium, and the Middle East, and then circulates back to mediaeval Europe, before juxtaposing the indigenous structures of Africa and America with the increasingly global fabrications of the Renaissance and Baroque. Emphasis on challenging preconceptions, developing visual intelligence, and learning to read architecture as a story that can both register and transcend place and time, embodying ideas within material structures that survive across the centuries in often unexpected ways.
History of Landscape Architecture: Antiquity to 1700 in Western Europe
This course presents an introductory survey of the history of gardens and the interrelationship of architecture and landscape architecture in Western Europe from antiquity to 1700, focusing primarily on Italy. The course examines chronologically the evolution of several key elements in landscape design: architectural and garden typologies; the boundaries between inside and outside; issues of topography and geography; various uses of water; organization of plant materials; and matters of garden decoration, including sculptural tropes. Specific gardens or representations of landscape in each of the four periods under discussion—Ancient Roman, medieval, early and late Renaissance, and Baroque—are examined and situated within their own cultural context. Throughout the seminar, comparisons of historical material with contemporary landscape design are emphasized. Limited enrollment.
Imagining the New World
CPLT 973 / SPAN 870 / RNST 870
This course focuses on the use of images of and in the “New World” during the first century of European exploration, conquest, and colonization in the Americas. We explore printed illustrations that shaped European perceptions of New World “exoticism” and “barbarism,” as well as indigenous pictorial manuscripts that continued and adapted native visual practices and offered alternative views of the conquest. Besides reading texts by European and indigenous authors in which images played an important role (Columbus, Las Casas, Oviedo, Staden, Léry, Raleigh, Sahagún, Guaman Poma), we study nonalphabetic visual sources such as Nahua codices and maps, and portraits and festive performances of Afro-descendants. We also examine how images of the Americas were disseminated in Europe through copied illustrations, generating clichés and stereotypes—terms originally associated with printing techniques—that contributed to the racism and colonialism that have shaped the modern world. We conclude with a discussion of examples of contemporary films that reimagine the colonial Americas.
Immigration, Integration, and Multiculturalism in the West
Do immigrants integrate? What determines the attitudes of native-born communities toward immigrants? Are immigrants good or bad for local economies? Does the presence of immigrants fuel far-right movements? Which policy tools encourage integration, and which can spur backlash? These are some of the questions we investigate together by reviewing the evidence base on immigration, integration, and multiculturalism. This course emphasizes research design and statistical methods for moving beyond correlations and toward understanding the causal effects of immigration and immigration policy.
Imperial Russia, 1801-1922
Russian Empire from the Napoleonic Wars to the Revolution and Civil War of 1917-1922. Main themes include autocratic political culture and challenges of liberalism, conservatism, nationalism; institutions and practices of serfdom and the development of capitalism and industrialization; main cultural trends from Romanticism to Silver Age; great-power politics, the “Great Game” competition against Britain, and the Eastern Front of the First World War. The three Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917. Émigré culture and politics after 1917, politics of remembering imperial Russia in the twentieth and twenty-first century.
Independent Study for E&RS Students
By arrangement with faculty.
Intellectual History as Storytelling
This seminar explores the discipline of intellectual history from the perspective of the historian’s role as author of that history. Topics include the challenges of working with highly personal and subjective sources; the moral dilemmas of relativism; and the relationship between voyeurism and empathy. How do historians relate to novelists grappling with similar material? How can we narrate the history of ideas? How can we write nonfiction about people whose worldviews involved elaborate fantasies about the past, present, and future? How can we situate abstract ideas in concrete times, places, and lives? How do we integrate narrative and analysis? When is it justified to write about the present? The relationship between lunacy and genius is often very intimate; we discuss how historians can approach morally ambiguous historical protagonists be they communist poets, surrealist novelists, fascist philosophers, or others. We focus on storytelling, on history as both art and Wissenschaft. Readings include novels, essays, narrative nonfiction, and the genres in between.
Introduction to Modern Central Asia
RUSS 329 / RSEE 329 / MMES 300
An overview of the history of modern Central Asia—modern-day Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. This course shows Central Asia to be a pivotal participant in some of the major global issues of the 20th and 21st centuries, from environmental degradation and Cold War, to women’s emancipation and postcolonial nation-building, to religion and the rise of mass society. It also includes an overview of the region’s longer history, of the conquests by the Russian and Chinese empires, the rise of Islamic modernist reform movements, the Bolshevik victory, World War II, the perestroika, and the projects of post-Soviet nation-building. Readings in history are supplemented by such primary sources as novels and poetry, films and songs, government decrees, travelogues, courtly chronicles, and the periodical press. All readings and discussions in English.
Introduction to Research in Medieval History
The seminar provides an introduction to research in medieval European history: often-used source genres, methods, and research tools. We focus on working with primary sources in original languages, occasionally in their original manuscript and early printed form. A working knowledge of a medieval language is, therefore, desirable. Yale is particularly fortunate in that the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library possesses much relevant material, including medieval manuscripts and early printed bibles.
Introduction to the Study of Politics
The course introduces students to some of the major controversies in political science. We focus on the five substantive themes that make up the Yale Initiative: Order, Conflict, and Violence; Representation and Popular Rule; Crafting and Operating Institutions; Identities, Affiliations, and Allegiances; and Distributive Politics. We divide our time between discussing readings on these subjects and conversations with different members of the faculty who specialize in them. There is also some attention to methodological controversies within the discipline. Requirements: an annotated bibliography of one of the substantive themes and a take-home final exam.
Italian Renaissance Art
This course surveys the art of Renaissance Italy (c. 1420–1550) in its full breadth, including architecture, sculpture, and painting. Lectures situate artworks within broad cultural themes, while sections include the first-hand study of objects in the Yale University Art Gallery. Topics include the display of art in civic space; the influence of Roman antiquity on monumental architecture; the conception of nature in paintings and gardens; the representation of the human body in portraiture and heroic sculpture; the rise of women artists and patrons. The course scrutinizes acknowledged masterworks by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael, in the artistic centers of Florence, Rome, and Venice. At the same time, it considers lesser known yet no less vibrant artistic sites, such as those in Southern Italy. It also draws map connections beyond Europe, revealing rich cultural exchanges with the Ottoman empire and the Americas.
Jews and Christians in the Formation of Europe, 500–1500
HIST 603 / MDVL 603 / JDST 806 / RLST 616
This seminar explores how medieval Jews and Christians interacted as religious societies between 500 and 1500.
This seminar explores how medieval Jews and Christians interacted as religious societies between 500 and 1500.
Language, Culture, and Ideology
Review of influential anthropological theories of culture, with reference to theories of language that inspired or informed them. American and European structuralism; cognitivist and interpretivist approaches to cultural description; the work of Bakhtin, Bourdieu, and various critical theorists.
Law & Society in Comparative Perspective
This advanced seminar is about the functions of law across historical, political, and cultural contexts. We discuss what is law, why people obey the law, and how do societies govern themselves in the absence of strong state legal institutions. The class explores the relationship between law and colonialism, the functioning of law under the authoritarianism and democracy, and in conflict-ridden societies.
Machiavelli and his Readers
Machiavelli remains the most widely discussed and debated figures in the Western political canon. This course offers a close reading of this two major treatises, the Prince and the Discourses on Livy as well as important sections from Livy’s history of Rome. We then consider influential nineteenth and twentieth century interpreters of Machiavelli from Hegel to Gramsci to Leo Strauss.
Prerequisites: DS, Intro to Political Philosophy, or some familiarity with Early Modern Intellectual History
Marketing and Literature
CPLT 816 / FREN 874
Books are not only the medium of great literary works. They are also competing commercial products that, in order to be bought and/or read, must attract and retain attention, spark interest, and excite or meet a specific need. This course examines how markets, production techniques, habits, fashions, or advertising practices shape literary production. Drawing from the Beinecke collections, we study a wide range of diverse early modern French books to rethink the way we approach literature in general, from titles to typography, from structure to the very content of a work.
Master's Thesis of the E&RS MA Program
By arrangement with faculty.
Methods in Climate Change and Health Research
ENV 606 / EHS 560
Climate change is recognized as one of the greatest public health challenges of the twenty-first century. This course takes multidisciplinary approaches to identify, assess, quantify, and project public health impacts of climate change and of measures to address climate change. It first introduces the fundamental principles of health impact assessment and gives a brief overview of the public health approaches to address climate change. Then it applies advanced data analysis methodologies in environmental epidemiology, including time-series analysis, spatial epidemiology, and vulnerability assessment, to characterize the present climate-health (exposure-response) relationships and to identify vulnerable populations. This course discusses key concepts of scenario-based climate projections and their applications in projecting future health impacts, evaluating health co-benefits of climate mitigation polices, and assessing climate change adaptation measures. Emphasis is placed on hands-on computer lab exercises with real-data examples and R scripts.
Migration and the Everyday in Russia and Eurasia
E&RS 536 / ANTH 319 / RSEE 375
The end of the 20th century was characterized by movement—as Cold War era barriers lifted, citizens from Russia, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia joined their counterparts across the globe as they crossed national borders. In this course, we zoom in from the macro questions of what forces propel migration to focus on the everyday, lived experiences of migration to ask: (1) How do individuals and communities experience and understand new forms of belonging that emerge through transnational migration? (2) How do societies, governments, NGOs, scholars, and others legitimize some forms of migration over others (such as refugees versus economic migrants)? (3) How do societies and governments seek to regulate migration, and how do migrants navigate such obstacles to assert belonging? Drawing on the anthropology of migration—and that of kindred social sciences—we explore migration, citizenship, and belonging as debated and lived in Russia, Eastern Europe, Eurasia.
Nationalism in the World
Maria Jose Hierro
Nationalism is the most powerful political force in the world. It can explain why countries come together and why countries come apart. It can also explain why people praise and trust those who belong to the nation and despise and distrust those who do not. This course introduces students to the study of nationalist thought and practice. The course first examines the concept of nationalism and other adjacent concepts, and reviews different theoretical approaches to the study of nationalism. From here, the course moves to examine nationalist practices: the origin of the nation, the crafting of a national identity, the practice of inclusion and exclusion, the relationship between nationalism and democracy and nationalism and conflict, nationalism in the postcolonial world and nationalism in the world today. The course examines nationalist thought and practice in different geographic areas and relies on both theoretical and empirical literature from several disciplines (history, economy, sociology, psychology and political science) to understand the power of nationalism in the world today.
Political History of European Jewry, 1589–1897
HIST 252 / JDST 340
The reshaping of political principles that governed Jewish life in the European diaspora during the modern period. The Jews’ internal traditions of political self-understanding and behavior; the changing political status of Jews in Europe; Jewish political participation in European society.
GLBL 215 / MGRK 237 / SOCY 389 / PLSC 375 / LAST 386
Investigation of the populist phenomenon in party systems and the social movement arena. Conceptual, historical, and methodological analyses are supported by comparative assessments of various empirical instances in the US and around the world, from populist politicians such as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, to populist social movements such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street.
Power, Knowledge, and the Environment: Social Science Theory and Method
ANTH 581 / ENV 759
Course on the social scientific contributions to environmental and natural resource issues, emphasizing equity, politics, and knowledge. Section I, introduction to the course. Section II, disaster and environmental perturbation: the social science of emerging diseases; and the social origins of disaster. Section III, boundaries: cost and benefit in the Green Revolution; riverine restoration; and aspirational infrastructure. Section IV, methods: working within development projects, and rapid appraisal and consultancies. Section V, local communities, resources, and (under)development: representing the poor, development discourse, and indigenous peoples and knowledge. This is a core M.E.M. specialization course in YSE and a core course in the combined YSE/Anthropology doctoral degree program. Enrollment capped.
Principles of Language Teaching and Learning
Introduction to the basic principles of second-language acquisition theory, focusing on current perspectives from applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, and psycholinguistics. Topics include language teaching methodology, communicative and task-based approaches, learner variables, intercultural competence, and models of assessment.
Putin's Russia and Protest Culture
FILM 360 / RUSS 380 / RSEE 380 / LITR 301
Survey of Russian literature and culture since the fall of communism. The chaos of the 1990s; the solidification of power in Putin’s Russia; the recent rise of protest culture. Sources include literature, film, and performances by art collectives. Readings and discussion in English; texts available in Russian.
Qualitative Social Science Research Methods
This course is designed to provide a broad introduction to issues of qualitative research methods and design. The course is intended for both doctoral students who are in the beginning stage of their dissertation research, as well as master’s students developing research proposals for their thesis projects with a focus on understanding the nexus of human-environment issues. The course covers the basic techniques of designing qualitative research and for collecting, interpreting, and analyzing qualitative data. We explore three interrelated dimensions of research: theoretical foundations of science and research, specific methods available to researchers for data collection and analysis, and the application and practice of research methods—all with a strong emphasis on the relationship between people and natural resources. The final product for this course is a research proposal.
Real-World Environmental Data Science
The goal of this course is to provide students with a foundational understanding of what it takes to perform environmental data work in a practical, professional setting. To make sound policy decisions, we need data, and the reality is that data is often messy, difficult to find, and incomplete. In order to effectively leverage the data, students need to be able to troubleshoot when there is a problem. We focus on understanding the mechanics and nuances of working with messy data in the professional setting, not teaching statistics. We provide a high-level explanation of methods, what they tell us, and how they are useful, and then focus on implementation.
Relations of the Great Powers since 1890
GLBL 793 / HIST 790
Reading seminar. Among the topics covered are the “New Imperialism,” the military and naval arms race prior to 1914, the relationship between domestic politics and foreign affairs, the First World War and the alteration of the Great Power order, the “new diplomacy,” appeasement, the rise of the dictator-states, the origins of the Second World War, military and strategic results of the war, the Cold War, reconfigurations of the 1970s and ’80s, the end of the Cold War, post-Cold War relations. There is a heavy emphasis on historiography and an encouragement to relate economic and strategical trends to diplomatic. Open to undergraduate seniors with permission of the instructors.
CPLT 684 / ENGL 574 / RNST 684 / ITAL 720
This course looks at Renaissance epic poetry in relationship to classical models and as a continuing generic tradition. It examines epic type scenes, formal strategies, and poetic architecture. It looks at themes of exile and imperial foundations, aristocratic ideology, and the role of gender. The main readings are drawn from Vergil’s Aeneid, Lucan’s Bellum civile, Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata, Camões’s Os Lusíadas, and Spenser’s Faerie Queene.
Representing the Spanish Civil War
This course examines the continuing fascination and complexities of the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) through a dual national and international perspective and an analysis of the literature and culture produced during and after the conflict. The course is divided into four sections: the war “from within,” the war “from without,” women in the war, and memory of the war. Texts include Sender’s Réquiem por un campesino español, Rodoreda’s La plaza del Diamante, Llamazares’s Luna de lobos, Cercas’s Soldados de Salamina, Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, poems by Miguel Hernández, Auden, and Spender, and films (Rojo y negro, El laberinto del fauno, The Spanish Earth). In Spanish.
Research in Sociocultural Anthropology: Design and Methods
The course offers critical evaluation of the nature of ethnographic research. Research design includes the rethinking of site, voice, and ethnographic authority.
Russia from the Ninth Century to 1801
HIST 290 / RSEE 225
The mainstream of Russian history from the Kievan state to 1801. Political, social, and economic institutions and the transition from Eastern Orthodoxy to the Enlightenment.
Russian Avant-Garde Poetry
This graduate seminar explores generations of Russian poetic avant-gardes in their cultural, historical, and political contexts. We focus on poetry but draw on visual culture, music, performance, and political actions as we follow our iconoclasts across genres and media, into and outside of the institutions they critique. We read seminal and recent theories of the avant-garde (Frankfurt school; Bürger; Mann; Sell) and poetry and aesthetic productions of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. From the demiurgic ambitions of the historical avant-garde (Khlebnikov, Mayakovsky, Vertinsky) we move to its Soviet continuation and transformation (Kharms, Oberiu); nonconformist Soviet-era practices (Nekrasov, Roald Mandelstam); Conceptualism (Prigov, Rubinstein); and finally post-Soviet and contemporary leftist avant-gardes (Medvedev, Chukhrov). Our readings include the works of Tsvetaeva, recontextualized in an alternative tradition of Russian poetry, as well as poems published this very year. What do such interventions mean today? The artistic avant-garde has always stood as a metaphorical surrogate for political violence; but has the “avant-garde tradition” become a travesty of the ambitions that marked its historical beginnings? Our approach emphasizes language, form, and medium as well as theory, philosophy, and politics. Weekly practices involve close reading, research, theoretical reframing, and ongoing collaborative participation.
Russian Intelligence, Information Warfare, and Social Media
This course explores the evolution of information warfare as a national security threat to the United States and democratic countries around the world. Beginning with the KGB’s use of “active measures” during the Cold War, the course looks at how propaganda and disinformation campaigns became central to the Putin regime and how social media has facilitated their expansion. We examine the psychology of disinformation and how media “bubbles” and existing social fissures in the United States, such as racism and political polarization, provide ripe vulnerabilities for exploitation by foreign actors. Using Russia’s efforts in U.S. presidential elections and during COVID as examples of this new form of warfare, students explore potential policy solutions in the realm of Internet regulation, civic education, media literacy, and human “social capital” as defenses against this growing threat. Guest speakers with expertise in Russian intelligence, information warfare, psychology, and other disciplines complement the discussion.
Russian Literature and Film in the 1920s and 1930s
FILM 778 / RUSS 695
This course presents a historical overview, incorporating some of the main landmarks of the 1920s and 1930s including works by Pilnyak, Bakhtin, the Formalists, Platonov, Mayakovsky, Bulgakov, Zoshchenko, Eisenstein, Protazanov, Pudovkin, the Vasilyev “brothers,” and G. Aleksandrov.
Social Mobility Today
FREN 958 / WGSS 783
The seminar examines the representation of upward mobility, social demotion, and interclass encounters in contemporary literature and cinema. Topics include emancipation and determinism; inequality, precarity, and class struggle; social mobility and migration; the interaction between social class and literary style; intersectionality; mixed couples; labor and the workplace; homecomings. We also discuss ways of approaching a contemporary corpus. Works by Angot, Eribon, Ernaux, Houellebecq, Linhart, Louis, NDiaye, Taïa. Films by Cantet, Diop, Kechiche, Klotz. Theoretical readings by Berlant, Bourdieu, Foucault, Nancy, Rancière. Members of the seminar have the opportunity to compare French mobilities to other literary traditions. Conducted in English. No knowledge of French required.
Spotlight on Sicily in Literature and Film
FILM 366 / ITAL 306
Sicily has always occupied a privileged place in the Italian imagination. The course focuses on a series of fictional works and films―from the early 20th century until today―which reveal how this island has served as a vital space for cinematic experimentation and artistic self-discovery. Topics range from unification history, the Mafia, the migrant crisis, environmental issues, gender, and social/sexual mores. The course is taught in English, but those who wish to enroll for credit towards the certificate in Italian, or the major, can make arrangements to do so.
Study of the domestic and international determinants of functional states from antiquity to date. Analysis of state-formation in Europe in pre-modern and outside Europe from colonial times to date. Topics include centralization of power, capacity to tax, and contract enforcement.
The Challenge of Politics
This course examines the recent failures of Western governments, the populist response, and the possible solutions. It considers these issues through five main areas of government policy—the environment, defense, criminal justice, rural policy, and international development—from the perspective of a civil servant, a legislator, and a cabinet minister. It explores the impossible burden of public expectations and the temptation to respond with either political fantasies or technocratic arguments. It describes the struggle to make citizens engage in politics, and how social media can function as a tool both for the extremes and for the radical center. Among other issues, it explores how lobbying muffles environmental policies, how jargon allows violence to flourish in prisons, and what such pressures mean for international development. Students consider the role of classical virtue in modern politics. And ultimately the course examines how all these factors shape the question of what we wish our societies to be.
The City of Rome
HUMS 444 / ITAL 332
An interdisciplinary study of Rome from its legendary origins through its evolving presence at the crossroads of Europe and the world. Significant moments of Roman and world history will be considered through the literature, intellectual history, political science, theology, and arts inspired by Rome.
The Economics and Politics of Migration
This course provides an introduction to contemporary social science research on immigration and emigration. Key questions we examine include: (1) Why do people migrate (or not)? Who migrates and why? Where do people migrate? (2) What are the consequences of migration for migrants and for the broader economy/society? for politics? (3) What is the relationship between migration and conflict? (4) How do different types of migration (for example, female vs. male migration, high-skill vs. low-skill migration, refugee flows vs. “economic” migrants, internal vs. international migrants, etc.) differ and how do those differences matter for public policy? (5) What are some of the methodological challenges associated with measuring and studying migration? (6) What are some of the political challenges associated with creating migration policies? Throughout, we review important methods and theories for the social-scientific study of migration. We also read new work on the research frontier of this topic, drawing on examples from both developed and developing countries across the world. Students have the opportunity to develop their own research projects on the politics and economics of migration.
The Mortality of the Soul: From Aristotle to Heidegger
CPLT 510 / GMAN 604
This course explores fundamental philosophical questions of the relation between matter and form, life and spirit, necessity and freedom, by proceeding from Aristotle’s analysis of the soul in De Anima and his notion of practical agency in the Nicomachean Ethics. We study Aristotle in conjunction with seminal works by contemporary neo-Aristotelian philosophers (Korsgaard, Nussbaum, Brague, and McDowell). We in turn pursue the implications of Aristotle’s notion of life by engaging with contemporary philosophical discussions of death that take their point of departure in Epicurus (Nagel, Williams, Scheffler). We conclude by analyzing Heidegger’s notion of constitutive mortality, in order to make explicit what is implicit in the form of the soul in Aristotle.
The Politics of Fascism
GLBL 244 / PLSC 445
The subject of this course is fascism: its rise in Europe in the 1930s and deployment during the Second World War as a road map to understanding the resurgence of nationalism and populism in today’s political landscape, both in Europe and the United States. The course begins with an examination of the historic debates around fascism, nationalism, populism, and democracy. It then moves geographically through the 1930s and 1940s in Europe, looking specifically at Weimar Germany, Vichy France, the rise of fascism in England in the 1930s, and how fascist ideology was reflected in Italy’s colonial ambitions during the Abyssinian War. The course examines fascism and the implementation of racial theory and the example of anti-Semitism as an ideological and political tool. It also looks at the emergence of fascism in visual culture. The second part of the seminar turns to fascist ideology and the realities of today’s political world. We examine the political considerations of building a democratic state, question the compromise between security and the preservation of civil liberties and look at the resurgence of populism and nationalism in Europe and the US. The course concludes by examining the role of globalization in contemporary political discourse.
The Third Reich in Postwar German Film, 1945 to Present
FILM 319 / LITR 368 / GMAN 273
Close study of the intersection of aesthetics and ethics with regard to how German films, since 1945, have dealt with Nazi history. Through the study of German-language films (with subtitles), produced in postwar East, West, and unified Germany, students consider and challenge perspectives on the Third Reich and postwar Germany, while learning basic categories of film studies.
Tolstoy and Dostoevsky
LITR 245 / RUSS 254 / RSEE 254
Close reading of major novels by two of Russia’s greatest authors. Focus on the interrelations of theme, form, and literary-cultural context. Readings and discussion in English.
Trajectories in Contemporary German Literature
This course introduces students to the fast-shifting terrain and political stakes of contemporary German literature. The program is updated every year. Topics may include: new realisms versus alternative history writing and post-apocalyptic fiction; Black German Afrofuturisms; multilingual transmigrant literatures; #ClimateClassQueerness and other digital media writing; theater as the new public sphere; political poetry now. We also discuss authors’ published poetologies, such as literary award acceptance speeches. Seminar includes opportunities to draft a journal article, learn to write about literature beyond academia, and/or practice creative writing. Conducted in German.
Translating the Renaissance
CPLT 809 / ENGL 668 / ITAL 668 / RNST 668
Would there have been a Renaissance without translation? We approach this question by beginning with the first modern treatise on translation, by the Florentine chancellor Leonardo Bruni, and moving on to consider the role of translation in Florence’s and Tuscany’s growing cultural and political mastery over the peninsula—and in Italy’s cultural domination of Europe. We go on to explore the translation of “medieval” into “early modern” Europe, the translation of visual into verbal material, and the role of gender in the practice of translation. Students engage in their own translation projects as we dedicate the last part of the seminar to the diffusion of the Petrarchan sonnet tradition in early modern Europe.
This reading seminar examines the history of twentieth-century Europe through recent scholarship that employs a range of methods and styles. Rather than attempting to establish a historiographical canon, the course offers an introduction to major themes that have occupied historians of this period and geography. After exploring the defining questions of the nineteenth century in order to understand the longer roots of many concerns of the twentieth, we turn to the topics of migration, war, revolution, anti-Semitism, democracy, the Cold War, decolonization, multiculturalism, and neoliberalism.
War and Peace in Northern Ireland
GLBL 289 / PLSC 431
Examination of theoretical and empirical literature in response to questions about the insurgency and uneasy peace in Northern Ireland following the peace agreement of 1998 which formally ended the three-decade long civil conflict known widely as The Troubles and was often lauded as the most successful of its kind in modern history. Consideration of how both the conflict and the peace have been messier and arguably more divisive than most outside observers realize.
Weird Greek Wave Cinema
FILM 341 / : MGRK 238 / WGSS 233
The course examines the cinematic production of Greece in the last fifteen years or so and looks critically at the popular term “weird Greek wave” applied to it. Noted for their absurd tropes, bizarre narratives, and quirky characters, the films question and disturb traditional gender and social roles, as well as international viewers’ expectations of national stereotypes of classical luminosity―the proverbial “Greek light”―Dionysian exuberance, or touristic leisure. Instead, these works frustrate not only a wholistic reading of Greece as a unified and coherent social construct, but also the physical or aesthetic pleasure of its landscape and its ‘quaint’ people with their insistence on grotesque, violent, or otherwise disturbing images or themes (incest, sexual otherness and violence, aggression, corporeality, and xenophobia). The course also pays particular attention on the economic and political climate of the Greek financial crisis during which these films are produced and consumed and to which they partake
Western and Postcolonial Marxist Cultural Theory
CPLT 754 / ENGL 915
An introduction to classic twentieth-century Western and postcolonial Marxist theorists and texts focusing on historical and intellectual exchange between these critical formations. Reading theoretical works in conjunction with some selected literary texts, the course tracks how key Marxian concepts such as capital and class consciousness, modes of production, praxis and class struggles, reification, commodification, totality, and alienation have been developed across these traditions and considers how these concepts have been used to rethink literary and other cultural forms and their ongoing transformation in a changing world system. Writers discussed may include G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Georg Lukács, Mikhail Bakhtin, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Toril Moi, C.L.R. James, W.E.B. Du Bois, Frantz Fanon, Paul Gilroy, Antonio Gramsci, Raymond Williams, Fredric Jameson, Perry Anderson, Giovanni Arrighi, Cornel West, and others. The object of the seminar is to provide students with a solid intellectual foundation in these still-developing hermeneutic traditions.
Witchcraft and Witch-hunting in Early Modern Europe and America
This seminar examines witchcraft and witch-hunting in Europe and America from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century through reading and discussion of primary documents and classic and recent studies in the field—including social, cultural, and intellectual history, gender and women’s studies, anthropology, psychology, sociology, and town and environmental studies. Students learn about the interaction of religious beliefs relating to witchcraft and the occult with social and cultural conditions and shifts, the history of the interpretation of witchcraft and witch-hunting, and the continuing relevance of witchcraft studies as a laboratory for new approaches and methods. Area III.
HSAR 480 / WGSS 481
This seminar focuses on women artists of the 19th and 20th centuries in Western Europe and the United States, while also looking back to the Renaissance through the 18th centuries, and forward to our own “global” moment. Beginning with the advent of feminist art history, it moves chronologically, intertwining the history of women artists with such questions as: What are the pros and cons of singling out women artists? What were the institutional restraints on women’s entering the the canon of “great” art? How did conceptions of “femininity,” female agency, and the “male gaze” intersect with the history of art by women? How did women’s roles as artist’s patrons or models inflect their own or others’ activities as artists? How did the political revolutions of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries change things for women artists? How did the public and private spheres of modernity shape the role of women in the story of “modernism”? How did the first, second, and third waves of feminism address the problem of the women artist? How did/do matters of sex and gender intersect with those of race and class in the identity politics of contemporary world art? What is feminist art? This class is offered in tandem with the YUAG exhibition “On the Basis of Art: 150 Years of Women at Yale,” and culminates in a conference addressed to the two key terms of “Woman/Artist.”
Women Writers of Spain
SPAN 323 / WGSS 403
The development of women’s writing in Spain, with a focus on the modern era. Equal attention to the sociohistorical and cultural contexts of women writers and to the narrative and poetic strategies the authors employed. Some readings from critical and theoretical works.
Workshop in Cultural Sociology
This workshop is designed to be a continuous part of the graduate curriculum. Meeting weekly throughout both the fall and spring terms, it constitutes an ongoing, informal seminar to explore areas of mutual interest among students and faculty, both visiting and permanent. The core concern of the workshop is social meaning and its forms and processes of institutionalization. Meaning is approached as both structure and performance, drawing not only on the burgeoning area of cultural sociology but on the humanities, philosophy, and other social sciences. Discussions range widely among methodological, theoretical, empirical, and normative issues. Sessions alternate between presentations by students of their own work and by visitors. Contents of the workshop vary from term to term, and from year to year. Enrollment is open to auditors who fully participate and for credit to students who submit written work.
Workshop in Urban Ethnography
The ethnographic interpretation of urban life and culture. Conceptual and methodological issues are discussed. Ongoing projects of participants are presented in a workshop format, thus providing participants with critical feedback as well as the opportunity to learn from and contribute to ethnographic work in progress. Selected ethnographic works are read and assessed.
World Cities and Narratives
Study of world cities and selected narratives that describe, belong to, or represent them. Topics range from the rise of the urban novel in European capitals to the postcolonial fictional worlds of major Portuguese, Brazilian, and Lusophone cities.
Conducted in English