Current Course Offerings

 Fall 2013 | Spring 2014

FALL 2013

Undergraduate Courses

HSHM 007a/HUMS 076a, Epidemics in Global Perspective.  William Summers
Interaction of epidemic diseases and society. The response of government, medicine, and the public to the threat or actual presence of widespread contagious diseases. The notion of major epidemics as one of the key contingencies of history, critically examined through contemporary medical, political, and literary accounts. The changing responses of societies and governments to epidemics as well as the reasons for those responses.  MW 2:30-3:45

HSHM 008a/HUMS 075a, History of Scientific Medicine.  Sherwin Nuland
The development of scientific medicine traced from classical antiquity to the dawning of the modern biomedical era. Focus on the biographies of major contributors and on cultural and intellectual currents affecting discovery.
Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required: see under Freshman Seminar Program.  MW 11:35 - 12:50

HSHM 202a/AMST 247a/HIST 147a/HLTH 170a, Media & Medicine in Modern America   John Warner, Gretchen Berland
Relationships between medicine, health, and the media in the United States from 1870 to the present. The changing role of the media in shaping conceptions of the body, creating new diseases, influencing health and health policy, crafting the image of the medical profession, informing expectations of medicine and constructions of citizenship, and the medicalization of American life.   TTh 10:30 - 11:20

HSHM 213a/AMST 228a/HIST 137a, Science, Medicine, and the Politic of American Families, 1873-2013.  Ziv Eisenberg
How have American families changed between 1873 and 2013? Why? What has not changed? This course surveys the impact of government policies, the law, political ideologies, religion, the market and the media on families. A particular attention is given to the influence of scientific research, innovative technologies, medical care and expertise. Topics include marriage, divorce, parenthool and parent-child relationship, adoption, pregnancy, childbirth, reproduction control, and the politics of "family values."  M W 11:35-12:25 

HSHM 215a/HIST 140a, Public Health in America, 1793 - 2012.  Naomi Rogers
A survey of public health in America from the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 to AIDS and breast cancer activism at the end of the past century. Focusing on medicine and the state, topics include quarantines, failures and successes of medical and social welfare, the experiences of healers and patients, and organized medicine and its critics.  MW 10:30-11:20

HSHM 447a/HIST 379Ja, History of Chinese Science.  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.  T 1:30-3:20

HSHM 459a/HIST 159Ja/HUMS 317a, Spies, Secrets, and Science.  Paola Bertucci
The course explores the relationship between secrecy, intellectual property, and science from the Middle Ages to the Cold War. Topics covered: alchemy and esoteric knowledge: the Manhatten project and other secret scientific projects run by the state; the history of patents and copyright laws; scientists as spies.  W 1:30-3:20

HSHM 464a/HIST 142Ja, Mad Men and Hysterical Women: The Cultural History of Mental Illness.  Courtney Thompson
What does it mean to be "mad"? In this seminar, students will explore the ways in which "madness" and mental illness have been constructed and mad men and women have been made. Topics in the history of psychiatry will be addressed in this seminar, including the rise and fall of the asylum, the development of psychoanalytic theory, and development of psychopharmaceuticals in the treatment of mental illness, and especially the makings and meanings of diagnoses which shaped the treatment and experiences of the mentally ill.  M 3:30-5:20

Graduate Courses

HSHM 634a/AMST 879a/HIST 914a, Media and Medicine in Modern America.  John Harley Warner, Gretchen Berland
An exploration of the relationships among medicine, health, and the media in the United States from 1880 through the present. Focus on newspapers, magazines, professional journals, advertising, exhibitions, radio, film, television, and the internet; and on interactions among researchers, health professions, medical and public health institutions, journalists, advocacy organizations, the state, industry, and the public. Topics include the changing role of the media in shaping conceptions of the body; creating new diseases; influencing health and health policy; crafting the image of the medical profession; informing expectations of medicine and constructions of citizenship; and the medicalization of American life.  TTh 10:30 - 11:20

HSHM 680a/HIST 911a, History of Chinese Science.  William Summers
A study of the major themes in Chinese scientific thinking from Antiquity to the twentieth century. Emphasis on non-Western concepts of nature and the development of science in China, East-West scientific exchanges, and China's role in modern science.  T 1:30 - 3:20

HSHM 701a/AMST 878a/HIST 930a,  Problems in the History of Medicine and Public Health.  John Harley Warner
An examination of the variety of approaches to the social and cultural history of medicine and public health. Readings are drawn from recent literature in the field, sampling writings on health care, illness experiences, and medical cultures in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa from antiquity to the twentieth century. Topics include the role of gender, class, ethnicity, race, religion, and region in the experience of health care and sickness; the intersection of lay and professional understandings of the body; and the role of the marketplace in shaing professional identities and patient expectations.  W 1:30 - 3:20

HSHM 710a/HIST 921a, Methods for the Social Studies of Science, Technology, and Medicine.  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.  M 1:30 - 3:20

HSHM 716a/HIST 936a, Early Modern Science and Medicine.  Paola Bertucci

The course focuses on recent works in the history of science and medicine in the early modern world. We discuss how interdisciplinary approaches--including economic and urban history, sociology and anthropology of science, gender studies, art and colonial history--have challenged the classic historiographical category of "the Scientific Revolution." We also discuss the avenues for research that new approaches to early modern science and medicine have opened up, placing special emphasis on the circulation of knowledge, practices of collecting, and visual and material culture.  T 1:30 - 3:20   







Spring, 2014 Undergraduate Courses


HSHM 206b/HIST 144b/AMST 176b/EVST 206b/HUMS 323b, Science and Technology in the U.S.  Daniel Kevles
The development of science and technology in American Society from the colonial period through the late twentieth century. The rise of the United States to world-class scientific and technological power; the American scientific community and the tensions it has faced in the democratic society; the role of science and technology in exploration, agriculture, industry, national defense, religion, culture, and social change.  MW 11:35 - 12:50

HSHM 212b/HIST 146b/HLTH 280b, Historical Perspectives on Global Health.  Joanna Radin
The broader historical context of contemporary prictices, policies, and values associated with the concept of global health. Historical formations around ideas about disease, colonialism, race, gender, science, dilomacy, security, economy, and humanitarianism; ways in which these formations have shaped and been shaped by attempts to negotiate problems of health and well-being that transcend geopolitical borders.  TTh 11:35-12:25

HSHM 235b/HIST 234b, Epidemics, Public Health, and Society.  Frank Snowden
A study of the impact of epidemic diseases such as bubonic plague, cholera, malaria, and AIDS on society, public health, and the medical profession in comparative and international perspective. Topics include popular culture and mass hysteria, the mortality revolution, urban renewal and rebuilding, sanitation, the germ theory of disease, the emergence of scientific medicine, and debates over the biomedical model of disease.  TTh 10:30 - 11:20

HSHM 242b/HIST 193b, Molecules, Life & Disease:  20th Century.  William Summers
The emergence of the molecular vision of life and disease in the twentieth century. Topics include the role of technology and research practices, intellectual and political migrations, science policy and philanthropic foundations, constructions of risks and patenting of life, big science and biotechnology, politics of memory, and popular representation of science. Relationships to broad intellectual, social, cultural, and political changes.  M W 10:30-11:20 

HSHM 424b/HIST 155Jb, Science, Invention & Art Since Darwin.  Bettyann Kevles
The influence of scientific theories and technologies on the visual arts from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Understandings and misunderstandings of scientific concepts and inventions as they appear in artistic works. Topics include relativity, quantum mechanics, medical images inside the human body, and images from space. Focus on American and European artists and art movements.  W 1:30-3:20

HSHM 437b/HIST 435Jb, The Global Crisis of Malaria.  Frank Snowden
The global crisis of malaria examined in comparative and historical context. The mosquito theory of transmission and other developments in scientific understanding of the disease; World Health Organization strategies to eradicate malaria since 1955; the development of tools such as insecticides, medication, and bed nets; the attempt to create an effective vaccine.  T 1:30 - 3:20

HSHM 460b/HIST 146Jb/HUMS 356b, Art, Technology & Science to 1800. Paola Bertucci
Changes in the notions of art and science in the West through 1800. The association of the term "art" with the fine arts as a legacy of the Enlightenment; implications of this semantic shift for early modern European culture. Visual and material cultures of science, including anatomical and natural history illustrations, curiosity cabinets and Wunderkammern, microscopy and astronomy, Greek and Roman military technology and warfare, and Leonardo and the engineers of the Renaissance. Use of rare books, manuscripts, and historical scientific instruments from library and museum collections at Yale.  Th  1:30-3:20

HSHM 465b/HIST 139Jb/WGSS 457b, Reproductive Health, Gender & Power in the U.S.  Ziv Eisenberg
This seminar examines women's and men's reproductive health in the United States from the 19th century to the present. Topics include abortion, activism, childbirth, contraceptives, eugenics, fertility, pregnancy, reproductive science and technology, sexual health, and sterilization.  T 3:30 - 5:20

HSHM 467b/HIST 140Jb, History of the Modern Body.  Ziv Eisenberg
The human body has universally familiar features. We are conceived, born, breathe, eat, and sleep. Sometimes we are healthy; occasionally we get sick. We age and eventually die. And yet, our bodies have complex histories. This seminar takes a global approach to investigate how different societies and individuals have understood bodies. Topics include disease, body parts, bodily functions, gender and sexuality, reproduction, mental health, disability, enhancement, and aging.  Th 2:30 - 4:20


Graduate Courses

HSHM 676b/HIST 938b/LAW 21441, The Engineering and Ownership of Life.  Daniel Kevles
This course will examine the history of innovation in plants, animals, and human genes and the arrangements that innovators have devised through the law and by other means to establish and protect intellectual property rights in the fruits of their labors. Attending mainly though not exclusively to the United States, it willl probe the history of these two subjects both in their own right and their connections to each other and the larger social, economic, and political context from the late eighteenth century to the present. In the first half of the course, which will run to about 1950, we will consider the history of plant and animal breeding and the role in establishing and maintaining intellectual property rights in plants and animals of devices such as breeder's associations, paintings, contracts, trade secrets, and the Plant Patent Act of 1930 which provided the first patent coverage of any type of living organisms in the world. The second half of the course, which will run from c. 1950 to the present, will cover in part advances in plant breeding and enlargement of intellectual property protection for plants both in the U.S. and Europe through the creation of the plant variety protection system. The bulk of the second half will be devoted to the rise of genetic engineering, statutory and case law establishing patent protection for living organisms in the U.S. and Europe, the biotechnologies of medical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture, and the controversies surrounding these developments, including the legal battles over the patenting of human DNA, in the context of glovalization.  W 3:30 - 5:20

HSHM 702b/HIST 931b, Problems in the History of Science.  Paola Bertucci

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.  T 1:30 - 3:20