Columbia
Courses in Science and Society at Columbia University

Columbia and Barnard have a constellation of faculty members located in a variety of departments and institutes whose research and interests lie at the intersection of science and the humanities. Among many specializations, include the historical development of scientific knowledge and in the processes—technical, social, political, intellectual, material and cultural—by which knowledge has been acquired, disseminated, and employed.

List of Courses: 2015 Spring Graduate

Archive for 2015 Spring Graduate

HIST G8906: Craft and Science: Making Objects in the Early Modern World | P. Smith

M 10:10-2:00 | 4 Points
This course will study the materials, techniques, settings, and meanings of skilled craft and artistic practices in the early modern period (1350-1750), in order to reflect upon a series of issues, including craft knowledge and artisanal epistemology; the intersections between craft and science; and questions of historical methodology and evidence in the reconstruction of historical experience. The course will be run as a “Laboratory Seminar,” with discussions of primary and secondary materials, as well as hands-on work in a laboratory. This course is one component of the Making and Knowing Initiative of the Center for Science and Society. Thus, in its first years, this course contributes to the collective production of a critical edition of a late sixteenth-century manuscript, Ms. Fr. 640. Students are encouraged to take this course for both semesters (or more) but will only receive full credit once.
Link to Vergil

 

GU4321: Human Nature: DNA, Race & Identity | M. Pollack and R. Pollack

Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology
Undergraduate and Graduate Seminar
W 2:10-4PM

The course focuses on human identity, beginning with the individual and progressing to communal and global viewpoints using a framework of perspectives from biology, genetics, medicine, psychiatry, religion and the law.

Link to Vergil

HIST W4588: Communities of Color and Histories of Substance Abuse Politics, Research, and Treatment | S. Roberts

Through a series of secondary- and primary-source readings and research writing assignments, students in this seminar course will explore one of the most controversial aspects of African-American public health history. Readings are primarily historical, but sociologists, anthropologists, and political scientists are also represented on the syllabus. With examinations also of alcohol, cocaine, and opium, the principal temporal focus of the course ranges from heroin since its emergence in the 1950s through the era of crack cocaine. Topics of discussion include print and visual media representations; drug policy and the carceral state; the war on drugs and the expansion of the population of women in carceral institutions; methadone maintenance; histories of harm reduction, domestic and international; and urban politics.  See syllabus

INAFU 8910: Struggles for Sustainability | S. Tjossem

M 2:10-4:00 | 3 Points
U.S. agricultural practice has been presented as a paradigm for the rest of the world to emulate, yet is a result of over a century of unique development. Contemporary agriculture has its historical roots in the widely varied farming practices, social and political organizations, and attitudes toward the land of generations of farmers and visionaries. We will explore major forces shaping the practice of U.S. agriculture, particularly geographical and social perspectives and the development and adoption of agricultural science and technology. We will consider how technological changes and political developments (government policies, rationing, subsidies) shape visions of and transmission of agriculture and the agrarian ideal.

 


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