There is a wide variety of urban studies courses for Yale College students to consider from departments and schools across the University. If you are taking or teaching a course that should be listed here, or if you spot any inaccuracies or misclassifications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Cross-listed courses are organized here by their primary departmental classification with cross-listings noted in descriptions.
[Grace Hopper College Seminar] CSGH 400: Power and Organizing in the City
Professor: Peter Crumlish
Location: GH (Grace Hopper) LEWIS
How power is concentrated and distributed in an urban context and ways in which people organize and mobilize communities to bring about social change. Focus on New Haven as a case study, with community site visits and meetings with community leaders.
[Silliman College Seminar] CSSM 400: Future Cities
Professor: Manasvi Menon and Matthew Triebner
Location: WLH 209
This course addresses the forces that shape contemporary urban life to help us understand and contextualize the future of cities. We explore different elements of city life, from resiliency to retail, using case studies from Brooklyn to Barcelona. Analyzing cities through these multiple “probes” provides insights into how a city functions as well as the values, needs, and priorities of the people who inhabit them.
AMST 331: Photographing the City: Urban Pictures, Urban Spaces
Professor: Kristin Hankins
Location: WALL81 101
How do we see places? How do we see boundaries? How do our practices of looking reproduce, complicate, and transform places? This junior seminar explores these questions through an engagement with American urban places and analysis of their representations throughout the 20th century, beginning with photography at the turn of the century and ending with contemporary social practice art projects. We analyze the relationship between visual culture and public space; the ways in which urban visual culture conceals and reveals power dynamics; and different ways of approaching, engaging, and representing urban places. The primary objective is to foster critical engagement with urban space and its representations—to develop an analytical framework which grounds exploration of the impact of representational strategies on experiences of space and vice versa.
AMST 368: Marxism and Social Movements in the Nineteenth Century
Professor: Michael Denning
Location: LC 208
Also listed as: ER&M 224
The history and theory of the socialist and Marxist traditions from their beginnings in the early nineteenth century to the world upheavals of 1917–19. Relations to labor, feminist, abolitionist, and anticolonial movements.
AMST 425: American Culture and the Rise of the Environment
Professor: Michael Warner
Location: WLH 202
Also listed as: ENGL 430 & EVST 430
U.S. literature from the late eighteenth century to the Civil War explored in the context of climate change. Development of the modern concept of the environment; the formation and legacy of key ideas in environmentalism; effects of industrialization and national expansion; utopian and dystopian visions of the future.
ANTH 414: Hubs, Mobilities, and World Cities
Professor: Helen Siu
Location: SA10 105
Also listed as: EAST 417 & 575, ANTH 575
Analysis of urban life in historical and contemporary societies. Topics include capitalist and postmodern transformations; class, gender, ethnicity, and migration; and global landscapes of power and citizenship.
ARCH 200: Scales of Design
Professor: Bimal Mendis
Location: RDH HASTINGS
Exploration of architecture and urbanism at multiple scales from the human to the world. Consideration of how design influences and shapes the material and conceptual spheres through four distinct subjects: the human, the building, the city, and the world. Examination of the role of architects, as designers, in constructing and shaping the inhabited and urban world. Lectures, readings, reviews and four assignments that address the spatial and visual ramifications of design.
Not open to first-year students. Required for all Architecture majors.
ARCH 280: American Architecture and Urbanism
Location: YUAG AUD
Also listed as: AMST 197 & HSAR 219
Introduction to the study of buildings, architects, architectural styles, and urban landscapes, viewed in their economic, political, social, and cultural contexts, from precolonial times to the present. Topics include: public and private investment in the built environment; the history of housing in America; the organization of architectural practice; race, gender, ethnicity and the right to the city; the social and political nature of city building; and the transnational nature of American architecture.
ARCH 360: Urban Lab: An Urban World
Professor: Joyce Hsiang
Location: RDH 212
Understanding the urban environment through methods of research, spatial analysis, and diverse means of representation that address historical, social, political, and environmental issues that consider design at the scale of the entire world. Through timelines, maps, diagrams, collages and film, students frame a unique spatial problem and speculate on urbanization at the global scale.
EVST 245: Global Environmental Governance
Professor: Benjamin Cashore
Location: KRN 319
Also listed as: PLSC 146, F&ES 245, & F&ES 829
The development of international environmental policy and the functioning of global environmental governance. Critical evaluation of theoretical claims in the literature and the reasoning of policy makers. Introduction of analytical and theoretical tools used to assess environmental problems. Case studies emphasize climate, forestry, and fisheries.
EVST 403: The City in Modern East Asia
Professor: Michael Thornton
Location: SML 218
Also listed as: HIST 369J & EAST 404
Cities in East Asia developed into cosmopolitan urban centers in the modern era. They hosted encounters with Western empires and witnessed the rise of new forms of participatory politics; they not only reflected the broader efforts of their respective nation-states to modernize and industrialize, but also produced violent reactions against state regimes. They served as nodes in networks of migrants, commerce, and culture that grew more extensive in the modern era. In these ways, the history of East Asian urbanism is the history of the fluidity and dynamism of urban society and politics in the context of an increasingly interconnected modern world. We study cosmopolitan cities across East Asia from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day. A comparative approach allows us to explore both general trends and themes, and distinct historical experiences across the countries of the region. Specific seminar topics include: urban politics, including state-society relations; cities as sites of geopolitical and imperial encounters; changes in urban society, including the impact of migration and social conflict; the urban environment, including natural and man-made disasters; urban planning, at the local, national and transnational scale; and ways of visualizing the city.
HIST 055: A History of Modern London
Professor: Becky Conekin
Location: WHC B-03
Chronological and thematic exploration of modern London as a metropolitan and imperial center from the late-nineteenth-century to the present day. Topics include race, gay rights, women’s rights, consumer culture, the experience of war, and the development of a multi-racial society. The fashion, food, and popular music of London emerge as important components of the city’s global identity in the twentieth century.
Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.
HIST 158J: American Indian Law and Policy
Professor: Ned Blackhawk
Location: LC 203
Also listed as: ER&M 308 & AMST 398
Survey of the origins, history, and legacies of federal Indian law and policy during two hundred years of United States history. The evolution of U.S. constitutional law and political achievements of American Indian communities over the past four decades.
HUMS 247: Material Culture and Iconic Consciousness
Professor: Jeffrey Alexander
Location: WALL81 101
Also listed as: SOCY 352 & 620
How and why contemporary societies continue to symbolize sacred and profane meanings, investing these meanings with materiality and shaping them aesthetically. Exploration of “iconic consciousness” in theoretical terms (philosophy, sociology, semiotics) and further exploration of compelling empirical studies about food and bodies, nature, fashion, celebrities, popular culture, art, architecture, branding, and politics.
HUMS 444: The City of Rome
Professor: Virginia Jewiss
Location: WALL81 101
An interdisciplinary study of Rome from its legendary origins through its evolving presence at the crossroads of Europe and the world. Exploration of the city’s rich interweaving of history, theology, literature, philosophy, and the arts in significant moments of Roman and world history.
PLSC 151: Global Economic Governance in the 21st Century
Professor: Tyler Pratt
Location: RKZ 102
Also listed as: GLBL 285
The modern global economy is characterized by enormous flows of money, goods, and people across national borders. These flows are a frequent source of political contestation between countries. International disputes over trade, finance, and immigration have intensified in recent years, following the 2008 financial crisis, the “Brexit” referendum in the United Kingdom, and the election of US President Donald Trump. This course examines the political processes, rules, and actors that govern international economic exchange.
PLSC 215: Global Food Challenges: Environmental Politics and Law
Professor: John Wargo
Location: LORIA 250
Also listed as: F&ES 255 & EVST 255
SOCY 396: Cities, Suburbs, and School Choice
Professor: Mira Debs
Location: WTS B51
Also listed as: EDST 240
The changing dynamic between cities and suburbs and the role of individuals and institutions in promoting desegregation or perpetuating segregation since the mid-twentieth century. The government’s role in the expansion of suburbs; desegregating schools; the rise of school choice through magnets and charters; the effects of inner-ring suburban desegregation and of urban gentrification on the landscape of education reform.
Recommended preparation: EDST 110. Preference to Education Studies Scholars.
STCY 176: Introduction to the Study of the City
Professor: Alexander Garvin
Location: RDH 322
Also listed as: ARCH 230
An examination of forces shaping American cities and strategies for dealing with them. Topics include housing, commercial development, parks, zoning, urban renewal, landmark preservation, new towns, and suburbs. The course includes games, simulated problems, fieldwork, lectures, and discussion.