HOS/HIS 599 - Graduate Seminar: Reckoning with Biological Determinism (Fall 2018) [Syllabus] This seminar explores the changing intellectual landscapes on which debates about biological determinism were waged, from the 18th century to the present day. The readings alternate between weeks that focus on humans and weeks that focus on non-human actors to illustrate the variety and flexibility of biological narratives in the service of naturalizing some individual, social, and political behaviors (and casting others as “unnatural”). These readings will also allow us to ask questions about causality in historical writings about nature(s), including mosquito empires, global populations, and epigenetic landscapes.
Freshman Seminar 161: Histories of the Future (Fall 2016) [Syllabus] What if history is not a neutral construction through which time unfolds? In this seminar we explore the ways in which the texture of history itself has changed covered the twentieth century, from the perspective of the history of science.
HIS 392 - Undergraduate Lecture: History of Evolution (Spring 2017) [Syllabus] Interweaving intellectual and cultural history, this course covers the history of evolutionary theory from Charles Darwin, and the scholars on whom he drew, to the late 20th century. Throughout this century and a half we explore how biologists invested in evolutionary theory the capacity to explain the diversity of life on this planet, our all too human nature, and perhaps, therefore, to help us solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. We will also discuss how and why critics have attacked evolution as amoral and socially dangerous, seeking to remove it from public schools and the lives of their children. In doing so, we investigate how scientists have negotiated the dynamic (and sometimes fraught) relationship between professional and public science.
HIS/ENV 394 - Undergraduate Class: History of Environmentalism and Ecology (Spring 2018) [Syllabus] From a scientific perspective, ecologists study the interactions between and among organisms and their environments. From an activist perspective, ecology is synonymous with the environmental movement, green politics, and conservation. This course explores this dynamic tension between science and political activism, between professional identity and personal conviction, as a historical phenomena that developed over the course of the twentieth century.
HIS 400 - Junior Seminars - History of Ecology and Environmentalism (Fall 2014) [Syllabus] and Scientific Animals (Fall 2012) [Syllabus] Junior Seminars introduce history majors to the tools, methods, and interpretations of historical research and writing. Topics are generally cross-national and comparative, to allow for a variety of chronological and geographical interests.
HIS/HOS/GSS 519 - Graduate Seminar: Gender and Science (Fall 2017, Spring 2015) [Syllabus] This graduate seminar is designed to introduce students to a set of questions and analytical tools developed by scholars from history, history of science, and feminist science studies.