History of Science
HOS 519 / HIS 519 / GSS 519: Gender and Science
The seminar begins by exploring classic scholarship centered on four historical periods, each posited as important moments in the origin of gendered science: medieval Christianity, the scientific revolution, the professionalization of scientists in the late-19th century, and 20th-century second-wave feminism. We then turn to a series of well-developed analytical tools employed by historians of science and gender, and finally to recent scholarship. In all cases, we will analyze the imbricated processes by which science as a social enterprise has been fundamentally gendered and the implicit gendering of the sciences of sex and sexuality.
Instructor: Erika Milam
HOS 591 / HIS 591: The Scientific Revolution
Problems in the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, including both the development of scientific thought and practice and the changing role of science in the surrounding culture. The precise topic varies from year to year; representative subjects include mathematics, mechanics, experimentation, and Isaac Newton.
HOS 592 / HIS 592: Science in Antiquity and the Middle Ages
Problems in the history of science before the Scientific Revolution, including both the development of scientific thought and practice and the changing role of science in the surrounding culture. The precise topic varies from year to year; representative subjects include medieval mechanics, Ptolemaic and Copernican astronomy, and the relation between medieval and Renaissance science.
HOS 593 / HIS 593: Science from the Enlightenment to the Present
Problems in the history of science since the Scientific Revolution. The precise topic varies from year to year; representative subjects include the history of the human sciences and science in colonial context.
HOS 594 / HIS 594: History of Medicine
Problems in the History of Medicine and the Medical Sciences. Topic varies from year to year. Representative subjects would include the history of health and disease, medicine and the body, and the history of the mind and mental illness.
Instructor: Katja Guenther
HOS 595 / HIS 595: Introduction to the Historiography of Science
An introduction for beginning graduate students to the central problems and principal literature of the history of science from the Scientific Revolution through the 20th century. The course is organized around several different methodological approaches, and readings include important works by anthropologists, sociologists and philosophers, as well as by Historians of Science.
Instructor: Angela N.H. Creager
HOS 596 / HIS 596: History of the Life Sciences
Problems in the history of the life sciences. The precise topic varies from year to year; representative subjects include the construction and reception of Darwin’s theory of evolution, the history of physiology, and the emergence of molecular biology.
HOS 597 / HIS 597: History of the Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Problems in the development of the physical and mathematical sciences. The precise topic varies from year to year; representative subjects include the history of thermodynamics, chemistry in the 19th century, and the physical sciences since 1900.
Instructor: Michael D. Gordin
HOS 598 / HIS 598: Introduction to the Historiography of Technology
This graduate reading course will introduce students to scholarly literature in the History of Technology. Readings include classic texts as well as more recent scholarship, and demonstrate a variety of approaches to the task of thinking and writing about technology from a historical perspective.
Instructor: Emily Thompson
HOS 599 / HIS 595: Special Topics in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine
Explores specialized topics in the history of science. The precise topic varies from year to year.
Focuses on current problems in and approaches to the historiography of science. Most meetings take the form of discussions of research papers, dissertation chapters, and other forms of research-in-progress by graduate students and faculty members. Some meetings are devoted to the discussion of published work by scholars outside the program. All program graduate students in residence are expected to attend the seminar.
Pertinent Courses in Allied Departments
ANT 415: The Anthropology of Science
This course considers how the sciences can be studied ethnographically, how they vary culturally one from another, and how scientific knowledge is generated. It develops an understanding of the values and social contexts of Western scientific practice through the comparative study of Western and non-Western systems of knowledge, and explores the implications and validity of the assumption that the sciences are culturally produced rather than objective standards transcending culture.
PHI 520: Logic
The course is a study of selected topics in logic.
PHI 527: Philosophy of the Social Sciences
A presentation and discussion of key concepts and foundational issues in the cognitive and social sciences. The distinction between two types of representations, descriptions and interpretations, is explored. The ontology of culture; varieties of inferences, concepts, and beliefs; relevance and communication; and the epidemiology of representations are studied.
PHI 531: Philosophy of Science
The course is a study of selected problems concerning the structure, methods, and presuppositions of the natural and the social sciences.
PHI 536: Philosophy of Mathematics
The course is a study of selected philosophic issues in mathematics: truth and proof, the relation of mathematics to logic, constructivity, the traditional viewpoints of formalism, intuitionism, and logicism.
PHI 538: Philosophy of Physics
A discussion of philosophic problems suggested by theories of physics, such as the logical status of Newton's laws; the nature of theories of space and time; the foundations of special and general relativity theory; and problems of quantum theory, including causal versus statistical laws, complementarity, correspondence, and measurement in quantum mechanics.