Food, Diet, and Health (Fall 2016)

What constitutes healthy food? A healthy diet? This course explores how various cultural and medical values have continually shaped our relationship with food, diet, and health over the last 200 years. Some questions we'll explore: How have medical authorities continually redefined what it means to be healthy and what constitutes a healthy diet? How have politics and industry influenced dietary guidelines and health policies? Why have so many fad diets come into and gone out of fashion? What can historical perspectives on topics like fast food, GMOs, organic food, vitamins, and obesity offer contemporary debates on these issues?

Historiography (Fall 2016)

What is history? What is it for? Who is it for? How should it be done? This course presents a kind of history of history, with an emphasis on how historians have developed and employed various analytical and interpretive frameworks for making sense of the past. This course also presents a historical overview of various theories and philosophies of history that ask difficult questions about the relationship between the past (what has happened), the historical record (how we can learn about the past), and history (the interpretations of the historical record by historians).

History of Premodern Medicine (Fall 2015)

This course chronologically explores the wide range of theories and practices employed by pre-modern physicians and healers. It emphasizes their various approaches to understanding and treating disease and the gradual development of the medical profession. Although medieval and early modern medicine can seem utterly irrelevant to today's world, this course illustrates how a historical awareness of medicine gives us important perspectives on contemporary medical practices. Even more broadly, the course provide synthetic and interpretive frameworks for understanding the evolution of western medicine over time, such as how shifting social and cultural values have motivated (and continue to motivate) change in medicine. The emphasis shall always remain on showing how and why medical theory and practice looked like it did rather than simply regurgitating what happened over time.

Graduate Historiography (Fall 2015)

This course explores some of the most prominent and influential approaches and analytical frameworks that historians have used in creating historical accounts and interpretations. It addresses various philosophies of history (the underlying assumptions of how we can access and understand the past), as well as various interpretive lenses that have shaped the professional practice of history (ways of considering place, culture, labor, communities, identity, etc). The course focuses on developments after the mid nineteenth-century professionalization of history. This course is required of history graduate students, but should be accessible and indeed beneficial to graduate students of any humanistic discipline.

The Metaphor of Plague (Spring 2015)

This course explores the metaphor of plague as described in various historical sources with a focus on medical literature, literary texts, and popular media. We are concerned not only with the scientific disease known as plague, but also how various other epidemic diseases (like syphilis, tuberculosis, AIDS, and ebola) have been labeled as plagues. How and why does the label of “plague" become applied to certain disease and not others? How does such a construction shape the way we understand and respond to them? How do various “plagues" grow out of their particular cultural circumstances and inform the next one?

Digital Methods for the Humanities (Fall 2014)

This course explores the theoretical and methodological issues now facing humanists working in a digital age. Combining provocative readings from the field of Digital Humanities and gentle technical tutorials, we’ll talk about and experiment with powerful new research methodologies that now allow humanists to ask and answer fundamentally different kinds of questions, and use new media to communicate them in innovative ways. With an emphasis on collaborative teaching and learning, we’ll explore topics such as digital workflows for organizing, accessing, and analyzing sources, data visualization, geospatial analysis, text mining, web publishing, and a bit of programming.

Digital Mapping (Summer 2014)

We are in the midst of a major paradigm shift in human consciousness and society caused by our ubiquitous connectedness via the internet and smartphones. These globalizing forces have telescoped space and time to an unprecedented degree, while paradoxically heightening the importance of local places.

The course explores the technologies, tools, and workflows that can help collect, connect, and present online interpretations of the spaces around us. Throughout the week, we'll discuss the theoretical and practical challenges of deep mapping (producing rich, interactive maps with multiple layers of information). Woven into our discussions will be numerous technical tutorials that will allow us to tell map-based stories about Albuquerque's fascinating past.

This course differs from introductory cartography, geography, and GIS courses in fundamental ways. While we cover some of the basics of each of these, the course focuses on their intersection with each other, history, sociology, anthropology, web and interface design, web programming, and the technical string that allows you to tie them all together as limited by your imagination, not technical aptitude.

We'll move from creating simple maps with Google Maps/Earth to creating your own custom, interactive online maps with various open source tools like QGIS, Open Street Map, and D3 that leverage the power of open data from local and national repositories to provide new perspectives on the built environment. We'll also use various mobile apps for data collection, online exhibit software, (physical and digital) historical archives at the Center for Southwest Research. Along the way we'll cover the various data formats (KML, XML, GeoJSON, TopoJSON) used by different tools and how to move between them, allowing you to craft the most efficient workflow for your mapping purposes.

Medieval Science & Medicine (Spring 2014)

This course explores the nature of science and medicine in Western Europe roughly spanning 400–1400. After a brief introduction to the crucial contributions in natural philosophy and medicine from the classical world, we’ll examine how various social, cultural, and institutional structures influenced medieval understandings of the world. In terms of specific topics, we’ll look at cosmology, astronomy, astrology, alchemy, chemistry, natural history, physics, and philosophy. We’ll also investigate broader themes, such as the theoretical and practical sides of medieval medicine, the contributions of Islamic culture to Western science, interactions between science and religion (especially natural philosophy and theology), and the university’s rise and influence on the Western intellectual tradition. While surveying the context of medieval frameworks for investigating and explaining the natural world, we’ll also reflect on the nature and utility of the term “science,” the extent to which the origins of modern science can be located in the Middle Ages, and the importance of putting the modern scientific enterprise in historical perspective.