Current Course Schedules

Fall 2016

5533 – Advanced Studies in the History of Modern Science │

Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor
Associate Professor Katherine Pandora
Section 001     R 1:30-4:20     BL 324

Thematic historical analyses of modern science and culture focusing on the European and American development and professionalization of scientific disciplines, interdisciplinary relations among the sciences, and intersections between scientific and public culture. Includes examination of sources and critical assessment of scholarly interpretations.

5550 – Topics in the History of Science│

Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor
Professor Steven Livesey
Section 001     M 1:30-4:20      PhSc 120

While the university was certainly not the only venue for the study of science, it was an especially important one, both for the inception and evolution of medieval scientific ideas and for their transmission during the middle ages and subsequently.  In this course, we will survey the institutions of learning available to scholars prior to the twelfth century as well as the preparatory schools in place after the formation of universities; the cultural and intellectual foundations of universities; the evolution of the institution from a handful of universal entities, drawing on a wide catchment for students, to national or regional foundations by the end of the middle ages; the curriculum, especially as it concerns scientific issues; techniques of teaching, learning and transmission of knowledge; the place of the university within the larger society; and educational shifts at the end of the middle ages.

 5623 – Practicum/Internship in the Digital Humanities

Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor
Associate Professor Katherine Pandora
Section 001          TR  10:30-11:45          PhSc 626

A practical, project-based internship, focused on the design and development of a project in the digital humanities under the close supervision of a faculty member.  (Slashlisted with 5623; no student may earn credit for both 4623 and 5623.)

 5970 – Seminar: Research, Criticism, and Analysis │

Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor
Associate Professor Hunter Heyck
Section 001                                       T 1:30-4:20                                        BL 324


Methods and practice of research in the history of science, including use of sources, bibliographical tools, and the writing of research results. Critical examination of different approaches to and interpretations of science’s past development and cultural relations.

5990 – Graduate Survey: History of Science to the 17th Century │ New Time

Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor
TBA (coordinator); participating faculty: Professor Peter Barker; Associate Professor Kathleen Crowther; Professor Steven J. Livesey; Associate Professor Kerry Magruder; Professor Rienk Vermij
Section 002                                       W 1:30-4:20                                           BL 324


This course introduces graduate students to the history and historiography of “science” between antiquity and the 17th century. Major themes include the interactions between natural knowledge and religious beliefs and practices; the institutional context of natural knowledge (including monasteries, universities, scientific societies, courts and museums); and the historiographical problem of the “Scientific Revolution.”

Rev. 07-26-16





Spring 2016 │
click here for pdf schedule

5523 – Advanced Studies in the History of Renaissance and Early Modern Science

Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor
Professor Rienk Vermij
Section 001          W 1:30-4:20          PhSc 119

Thematic historical analyses pf scientific ideas and practices in the scientific revolution and the enlightenment, 16th-18th centuries.  Includes examination of sources and critical assessment of scholarly interpretations.

 HSCI 5550 – Lives Worth Living: Disability and Ableism in History │description and reading list

Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor
Assistant Professor Aparna Nair
Section 001          M  9:00-11:50          BL 418
The course explores disability as experience, as identity and as difference in spaces as varied as modern Botswana to ancient Greece and early modern France. In the course of the semester, students will come to an appreciation of the immense import and potential of disability as a category of historical and social analysis. Employing literature from history, anthropology and disability studies, we explore diverse theoretical perspectives on disability from scholars including Foucault, Cangueilheim, Garland-Thomson, Stiker and Erevelles. Important themes that transect with disability in the course include labour, war, religion and eugenics.

We also will engage with the criticisms made of disability studies as being a neologism, a framework that emerged in the Anglophone world drawn on largely ‘western’ Judeo-Christian social and cultural norms of corporeal difference. The course will therefore also attempt to decolonise disability by considering the cultural fluidity of such an experience.This course uses documentaries and films to push students towards a more critical understanding of the complex narrative of the histories of the ‘abnormal’ body against the discourse of colonialism, biomedicine, gender, religion, poverty, race and class in the majority world. We trace how various cultures have developed criteria, practices and rituals that identify and regulate the non-normative body. In particular we explore the intersection between disability and poverty and how disability has been subsumed into the discourse of development, and the implications of this.
The questions that this course explores includes the following:

  • How do and how have we experienced and responded to corporeal difference and debility in our midst?
  • How have the definitions of disability changed across time; who has been excluded and who included?
  • What is disability’s impact on mainstream histories?
  • How did and does disability intersect with other categories of difference including gender, class, caste, race and sexuality?
  • How is disability socially constructed, produced and reproduced?
  • What was and is the relationship between science, biomedicine and the disabled or non-normative body?
  • How did societies begin to conceptualise the ‘normal’ and the ‘pathological’ through science and the scientific method; and how did those ideas reinforce power and penalise and stigmatise deviance?
  • What kinds of scientific understandings, social responses, political constructions, economic valuations and cultural articulations shaped the experience of disability in locations as diverse as the Ottoman Arab world, to modern Botswana or twentieth century Japan?
  •  HSCI 5613 – Issues and Methods in the Digital Humanities

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor
    Associate Professor Katherine Pandora
    Section 001          M  1:30-4:20          PhSc 119

    Introduction to the central issues, methods, and tools in the emerging field of the digital humanities. Digital humanities is an interdisciplinary set of methods, concepts, values, and practices that enable scholars to create and apply new technologies to answer social, cultural, and historical questions. (No student may earn credit for both 4613 and 5613.)

     5970 – Seminar: Research, Criticism, and Analysis │History of the Book │flyer

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor
    Associate Professor Kathleen Crowther
    Section 001          R  1:30-4:20          BL 418


    Continuation of the fall seminar, with a thematic focus designed to assist first-year students in focusing on individual fields of interest and selection of a thesis project.

     5990 – Graduate Survey: History of Science since the 17th Century

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor
    Assistant Professor Stephen Weldon (coordinator); participating faculty: Assistant Professor Piers Hale, Associate Professor Hunter Heyck, Associate Professor Suzanne Moon, Associate Professor Katherine Pandora, Assistant Professor Pete Soppelsa
    Section 002          T  1:30-4:15          BL 225


    Graduate introduction to selected topics in the history of modern science. Possible topics include history of biology and the environment, history of technology, history of science and popular culture, history of the social sciences, and history of the relationship between science and religion.

     GRAD 5550 – Writing and Publication

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor
    Professor Peter Barker and Professor Ronald Schleifer
    Section 001          R  1:30-5:05          ZH 105


    Intensive course in academic writing with the goal of submitting a paper for publication by the end of the semester.

     10-21-15