Fall 2021

Anthropology 059
Culture & Environment
Professor Luis Vivanco

This course examines the socio-cultural causes and consequences of environmental degradation around the world, as well as the efforts to solve these problems. We analyze the increasing globalization of human-nature interactions and environmental degradation and consider how solutions to environmental problems have dealt (or not dealt) with culturally-distinct definitions of nature and social change. We do this by examining several case studies of cultural and natural transformations, including (among others) the relationship between capitalism and environmental degradation, debates surrounding water and global warming, and the relationship of indigenous peoples to economic development processes and ecological change. We closely examine the political, moral, and cultural assumptions and operations of the global environmental movement, especially as it relates to non-Western cultures. Reflecting the inherently interdisciplinary and problem-centered character of environmental issues, this course introduces social scientific approaches to environmental problems and the study of environmentalism, drawing primarily from the discipline of cultural anthropology, and to a lesser extent from the disciplines of sociology, history, and political economy. The purpose of this course is to learn how to approach and reflect creatively and critically upon a number of key issues: increasingly globalized structures of inequality and dependence, the impact of development policies on specific peoples and ecosystems (and the resistance of some of those people to these policies), the global circulation of certain kinds of environmental activism, and processes of socio-cultural transformation in non-Western contexts. In other words, this course does not intend to provide right or wrong answers to the profoundly problematic issues it raises, but through case studies, to introduce and analyze patterns, persistent problems, and alternatives to solutions that have already been posed.

Political Science 094
Global Gender Inequality
Professor Caroline Beer

This course asks the question, “Why does the status of women vary so dramatically across countries?” and seeks to answer this question using social science research methods. The main assignment is a workshop style, multi-stage research/writing assignment about the status of women across the world. Each student chooses an indicator of gender equality, collects data on that indicator, and uses the data to test hypotheses about the causes of gender equality. The course includes dedicated time where we work on the research project.

Spring 2022

Geography 099
Global Cities
Professor Pablo Bose

What does the global city look like? How has it been produced and reproduced? In this course, we will explore the idea of the global city, not only in its contemporary form, but also through earlier historical periods. We look at various manifestations and mutations, at failed experiments, reinventions and renewals in both the Global South and Global North. From London, New York and Paris to Tokyo, Mumbai and Beijing, from Dubai, Bangalore and Singapore to Toronto, Dublin and Sydney and many more besides, these are the nodes in interconnected networks of capital, labor, resources, and culture. We explore such flows and patterns of interdependencies with particular attention to issues such as inequality, governance, informality, and social justice.


History 096
Latin American Revolutions
Professor Sarah Osten

Modern Latin American history has been regularly punctuated by political and social revolutions, both armed and unarmed. Indeed, one of our principle tasks in this class will be to determine what we consider to be “revolutionary.”  We will closely consider the causes and long-term legacies of Latin American revolutions, broadly defined, starting with the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920, and ending with the “refoundation” of Bolivia under Evo Morales. In between, we will study a broad variety of revolutions and revolutionary movements across Central and South America, and the Caribbean. We will examine how different revolutionary leaders and movements sought to transform their own countries, the extent to which they succeeded, the influence of global political trends and philosophies on Latin American revolutions, as well as the international impact and reception of various Latin American revolutions. This will include careful study of who each of these movements and conflicts was intended to benefit, as well as who was included (as well as excluded) from active participation.  We will pay particularly close attention to questions of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class and race in each of our case studies, including the roles of women and indigenous people in revolutionary movements, and the extent to which different revolutionary movements extended new rights to traditionally excluded or marginalized populations.