New Courses for Fall/Winter 2021-2022

Fall 2021

HPS206H1: Science and State: Science and Forming of Modern Nations

Course instructor: Wen-Ching Sung (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials) 

Mondays 10 am -12 pm Delivery Method: ONLSYNC

In this course, we will learn about the complicated relations between science and state in the modern world.  The state is often the main patronage to scientists.  Science and technology have played crucial parts in political, economic, social, and cultural development. For poor countries, science has been a solution to catch up with rich countries.  Yet the risk of science and technologies often unequally falls on the developing world.  Drawing from anthropological, social, and historical studies of science, we will examine, among other topics, science and nation-building from ethnicity, population control, internet, big data, technocracy, scientists’ self-fashioning and global capitalism.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS354H1: History of Medicine and Public Health in the Middle East

Course instructor: Elise Burton (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

Mondays 1 pm -3 pm Delivery Method: CLASS

This course provides a broad thematic overview of the history of medicine and public health in the Middle East. Focusing on the modern period, the course highlights the region as a contact zone of medical traditions and a key site in the emergence of colonial medicine and international public health. Students examine the social and cultural effects of new developments in medical thought and practice, including ideas about contagion and disease prevention; the notion of public health and hygiene; eugenics and forensic medicine; and the construction of colonial and postcolonial medical schools and hospitals. Prerequisites: A minimum of 4.0 course credit or instructor’s approval. Recommended Preparation: A prior course in HPS, History, or NMC

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

Winter 2022

HPS205H1: Science, Technology, and Empire

Course instructor: Elise Burton (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials) 

Mondays 2 pm-4 pm Delivery Method:  CLASS

This gateway course introduces the emergence of the modern science and technology and the rise of European mercantile and colonial empires as closely intertwined processes. Beginning with the European discovery of the Americas, this course provides a broad thematic overview of the transformation of scientific practices in imperial contexts, including but not limited to geography and cartography; medical botany and plantation agriculture; biogeography and evolutionary biology; ecology and environmentalism; and race science and anthropology. The course primarily focuses on British and French colonial contexts in South Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas, but also considers Iberian, Russian, Dutch, and other imperial formations.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS301H1: Topics in the History of Science: A Global History of Mapping Sciences

Course instructor: Adrien Zakar (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

Fridays 10 am-12 pm Delivery Method: CLASS

Maps are pervasive in our world: so indispensable, and so disposable that thousands are made, used, and discarded every day. Yet not long ago, maps were both rare and strange technological things. When and why did modern maps and mapping systems come into being? Behind this transformation lie contentious stories of objects and people, makers and users, global forces and local dynamics, metropoles and colonies, technologies and cultures, and the modes of interaction that brought them together. Focusing on the period from the early 1800s to the present, this course introduces students to a broad range of research in the fields of science and technology studies, cartography, and history. Each week will illuminate maps and their importance in our world by focusing on a keyword, such as power, territory, worldmaking, imperialism, capitalism, and countermapping.  Prerequisites: A minimum of 4.0 course credit or instructor’s approval Recommended Preparation: A prior course in HPS, History, or NMC

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course

Breadth Requirement: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

HPS356H1: Child Science: Knowing and Caring for Children in Modern World

Course instructor: Wen-Ching Sung (24 Lectures, 10 Tutorials)

Mondays 10 am -12 pm Delivery Method:  ONLSYNC 

‘Childhood’ has had diverse meanings throughout human history. In a western industrial society, responsibility for childcare has mainly fallen upon parents’ shoulders, with help from various professionals. Also, studies to improve knowledge and care for children have evolved into distinct fields across the life sciences, humanities, and social sciences. The child sciences, which include education, developmental psychology, and child and adolescent psychiatry, shape our views of children and influence parenting practices. In this course, we will examine how these sciences have penetrated families and schools to structure the daily life of children in the modern world.
Prerequisite: a minimum of 4.0 FCE’s or instructor’s approval

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a humanities and social science course

Depth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)

HPS413H1: Reading and Writing about Physics

Course instructor: Chen-Pang Yeang (24 Seminars)

Monday 10 am-12 pm Delivery Method:  CLASS

 Historians, philosophers, and sociologists have produced a wealth of literature on the analysis and examination of physics from the early modern period to the present. In this seminar, we read and discuss in depth a collection of recent classics and cutting-edge works on the historical studies of physics. Students also conduct research based on this literature. We aim to use physics as a lens to understanding key themes in the making of modern science, from incommensurability, epistemic cultures, and historical ontology, to materiality, social construction, pedagogy, and countercultures.
Prerequisite: At least one HPS course
Recommended preparation: Develop the ability to read scholarly books and conduct research in history of science

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course

Breadth Requirement: Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

HPS444H1: Health, Medicine, and Society in the Mediterranean World

Course instructor: Lucia Dacome (24 Seminars)

Tuesday 4 pm-6 pm Delivery Method:  CLASS

This course examines healing practices and medical knowledge in the Mediterranean world, focusing on the early modern period. We will address topics such as the interplay between medicine and religion, the relationship between patients and practitioners, and the role of women as both healers and patients and across Mediterranean shores. We will also consider how individuals in different Mediterranean regions experienced the relationship between health and the environment, explore the bearings that medical pursuits had on the creation and consolidation of notions of sex and gender, and examine how medical knowledge shaped views of the body and informed health policies.
Prerequisites: A minimum of 8.0 credits or the instructor’s approval
Recommended preparation: This course presupposes having some background in the history of medicine and/or history of science and having engaged in historical research projects. It is highly recommended that students have taken one or more courses in History of Medicine (or History of Science and/or Technology). Ideally, students will have taken HPS318H or HPS319H, or at least one-half course in HPS or HIS with a focus on the history of science at the 200-level or higher.

Distribution Requirement Status: This is a Humanities course

Breadth Requirement: Society and its Institutions (3)