Yale Sustainable Food Program

Fall 2018 Graduate Courses

The following graduate courses in food and agriculture will be offered this Fall 2018 semester. Undergraduate courses that enroll graduate students may also be of interest.


course titleprofessordescription
ANTH 541: Agrarian Societies: Culture, Society, History, and DevelopmentJames Scott; Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan; Elisabeth WoodAn interdisciplinary examination of agrarian societies, contemporary and historical, Western and non-Western. Major analytical perspectives from anthropology, economics, history, political science, and environmental studies are used to develop a meaning-centered and historically grounded account of the transformations of rural society (Also F&ES 836/PLSC 779).
CDE 543: Global Aspects of Food and NutritionDebbie HumphriesThe course presents a core topic in global health and development that is at the intersection of science, society, and policy. The course familiarizes students with leading approaches to analyzing the causes of malnutrition in countries around the world and to designing and evaluating nutrition interventions. It covers micronutrient and macronutrient deficiencies; approaches to reducing malnutrition; the cultural, economic, environmental, agricultural, and policy context within which malnutrition exists; and the relationships between common infections and nutritional status (Also EMD543).
CDE 572: Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle Interventions Melinda IrwinThis course reviews the methods and evaluation of obesity prevention and lifestyle interventions conducted in multiple settings (e.g., individual, family, and community settings, as well as policy-level interventions). Topics include physical activity, nutrition, and weight-loss interventions in various populations (children, adults, those who are healthy, and those with chronic diseases). The course combines didactic presentations, discussion, and a comprehensive review of a particular lifestyle intervention by students. This course is intended to increase the student’s skills in evaluating and conducting obesity prevention and lifestyle interventions.
F&ES 692: Science and Practice of Temperate AgroforestryJoseph OreficeThis course explores the science and practices of temperate agroforestry, covering current knowledge of agroforestry science and shedding light on the myths and assumptions that have yet to be tested regarding the integration of trees in agricultural systems. The course begins with an overview of modern agriculture to help us better understand why agroforestry systems have potential to improve the sustainability of farming systems. We also cover the social science regarding agroforestry and why it has not been widely adopted. Silvopasture and forest farming systems are the primary focus, but windbreaks, alley cropping, and riparian forest buffers are also covered. The field of agroforestry has struggled with the promotion of hypothetical practices; this course introduces students to real-world production agroforestry systems and helps them better contribute to financially viable and environmentally sound agricultural operations.
F&ES 709: Soil ScienceMark BradfordLectures, labs, and discussions of soil science, with emphasis on soil ecology. Topics cover the structure and functioning of soils, and how this relates to soil fertility and ecosystem health in a changing environment.
F&ES 727: Food: Science, Law, and PolicyJohn WargoThis seminar explores significant challenges posed by the global food supply to environmental quality and human health. The primary obligation is a research paper, dissertation chapter, master’s project, or senior essay draft. We read critically 150–200 pages per week, and students should be prepared to discuss or present analyses. Challenges examined include fresh vs. processed foods, nutritional sufficiency and excess, radionuclides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, animal feeds, plastics, flame retardants, flavors, fragrances, ingredient fraud, genetic modification, waste, energy input and yield, locality, processing technologies, packaging, and carbon emissions. Corporate case histories are considered in a number of sessions. Private innovations in the production and management of food are analyzed, including trends in certification and labeling initiatives. Most sessions examine one or several foods. Examples include cow’s milk, human milk, infant formula, grapes, wine, corn, bananas, tomatoes, salmon, cod, tuna, sodas, fruit juice, water, coffee, and olive oil.
F&ES 764: Environment, Culture, Morality, and PoliticsJustin FarrellThis course equips students to think critically and imaginatively about the social aspects of natural landscapes and the communities who inhabit them. It draws on empirical cases from the United States to examine interrelated issues pertaining to culture, morality, religion, politics, power, elites, corporations, and social movements. Because of the deep complexity of these issues, and the fact that this is a reading- and writing-intensive course, it requires a significant time commitment from each student. Students in the course gain fluency with cutting-edge empirical research on these issues; better recognize the social, moral, and political roots of all things; and finally, are able to apply philosophical theory to concrete environmental problems.
F&ES 772: Social Justice in the Global Food SystemKristin ReynoldsThis course explores social justice dimensions of today’s globalized food system, considering sustainability in terms of sociopolitical as well as environmental dynamics. We examine how governmental and nongovernmental environmental strategies affect social equity in the food system at multiple scales. We discuss how issues such as land grabbing or food insecurity are connected to relative power on the global stage. We consider how phenomena such as structural violence and neoliberalization surface within the food system, and what this means for sustainability and justice. With an emphasis on connecting theory and practice, we examine and debate concepts including food sovereignty, agroecology, and the Right to Food that are used by governmental and/or civil society actors to advance positive change. Throughout the term we explore our own positions as university-based stakeholders in the food system. The course includes guest speakers; students are encouraged to integrate aspects of their own academic and/or professional projects into one or more course assignments.
F&ES 866: Climate Change and Animal LawDouglas Kysar; Jonathan LovvornThis course examines the relationship between climate change, humans, and animals. With few exceptions, researchers and policy advocates looking at the impact of climate change on animals tend to focus on species loss and biodiversity at a macro level. But climate change is also having profound impacts on the individual lives and well-being of billions of animals. Large-scale human use of animals for food is also a significant and often overlooked cause of climate change emissions. The course seeks to develop a deeper understanding of the impacts of climate change on animals; the power dynamic between privileged human actors and the disenfranchised victims of climate change; and the intersection of animal welfare, environmentalism, food policy, and climate change. The course is organized partly as a traditional seminar and partly as a collective research endeavor to gather and analyze information on this significant and neglected topic. As part of the course experience, students work in small groups to conduct research and write a report on an underdeveloped topic concerning animals and climate change. The various sub-reports are edited into a single white paper that will be distributed to the animal welfare, environmental, food policy, and climate change advocacy communities.
SBS 594: Maternal-Child Public Health NutritionRafael Perez-EscamillaThis course examines how nutrition knowledge gets translated into evidence-informed maternal-child food and nutrition programs and policies. Using multisectorial and interdisciplinary case-study examples, the course highlights (1) socioeconomic, cultural, public health, and biomedical forces that determine maternal-child nutrition well-being; and (2) how this understanding can help shape effective programs and policies capable of improving food and nutrition security of women and children. Topics include maternal-child nutrition programs, food assistance and conditional cash-transfer programs, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.