Current Courses

Most courses are open to medical students. For more information, please get in touch with the individual faculty. 

For course times, locations, and syllabi for the current academic year, Please see OCI (Online Course Information).

Fall 2015

Problems in the History of Medicine and Public Health
HSHM 701 / AMST 878 / HIST 930 - John Harley Warner

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, relition, and region in the experience of health care and sickness and in the construction of medical knowledge; the interplay between lay and professional understandings of the body; the role of the marketplace in shaping professional identities and patient expectations; citizenship, nationalism, and imperialism; and the visual cultures of medicine.

Problems in the History of Science
HSHM 702 / HIST 931 - Henry Cowles

Close study of recent secondary literature in the history of science, broadly construed. 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.

Problems in Science Studies
HSHM 710 / HIST 921 - Joanna Radin

Exploration of the methods and debates in the social studies of science, technology, and medicine. This course covers the history of the field and its current intellectual, social, and political positioning. It emphasizes the debates on constructivism and relativism and provides critical tools to address the relationships among science, technology, medicine, and society.

Photography and the Sciences
HSHM 656 / HIST 949 - Chitra Ramalingam

Does photography belong in the history of art, or does its status as an “automatic” or “scientific” recording technique and its many uses in the sciences distinguish its history from that of earlier visual media? How does photography look when we approach it from the cultural history of science? How might role in the sciences have shaped photographic aesthetics in the arts? This course will examine the making of photography’s discursive identity as an experimental and evidentiary medium in the sciences, from its announcement to the public in 1839 to the digital innovations of the present day. We take a historical and archival perspective on uses for (and debates over) photography in different fields of the natural and human sciences, grounded in visits to photographic collections at Yale.

History of Chinese Science
HSHM 680 / HIST 911 - William Summers

Major themes in Chinese scientific thinking from antiquity to the twentieth century. Non-Western concepts of nature and the development of science in China; East-West scientific exchanges; and China’s role in modern science.

Geography and History
HSHM 713 / HIST 913 - William Rankin

A research seminar focused on methodological questions of geography and geographic analysis in historical scholarship. We consider approaches ranging from the Annales School of the early twentieth century to contemporary research in environmental history, history of science, urban history, and more. We also explore interdisciplinary work in social theory, historical geography, and anthropology and grapple with the promise (and drawbacks) of GIS. Students may write their research papers on any time period or geographic region, and no previous experience with geography or GIS is necessary. Undergraduates are admitted with permission. 

Health Politics, Body Politics
HSHM 736 / HIST 943 / WGSS 736 - Naomi Rogers

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.

For course times, locations, and syllabi for the current academic year, please see OCI (Online Course Information).

Spring 2016