Inside the Classroom


Three new postdocs are helping bring new breadth and depth to the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies curriculum, at both introductory and advanced levels.

Tait Keller
History, Faculty Fellow for Environmental Studies
B.A., University of Rochester; M.A., Georgetown University; Ph.D., Georgetown

In his Hist 105 course, the History of Disease and Epidemics, Dr. Keller guides students in analyzing the influence of infectious disease on human history. Society’s responses to disease reveal cultural values, social processes, political agendas and evolving medical practices. Students explore the interactions between humans and parasites, bugs, bacteria and viruses by focusing on a select group of diseases and epidemics. Case studies will include the bubonic plague, leprosy, cholera, yellow fever, malaria, influenza, syphilis and HIV/AIDS.

In Hist 205: Topics in Environmental History, students examine how humans have influenced the environments around them and how the environment itself has influenced the course of human societies. Because environmental change often transcends national boundaries, this course places important subjects in environmental history—such as disease, agriculture, frontiers, industrialization and conservationism—into a global context.

Rob Lusteck
Anthropology/ Sociology, Faculty Fellow for Environmental Studies
B.A., Mississippi State University; M.A., University of Alabama; Ph.D., University of Minnesota.

In Anth/Soc 103: Introduction to Anthropology, Dr. Lusteck covers diverse topics such as human origins, human social organizations, human thought and just about anything else you can think of that humans do. This course is intended to provide a general introduction to the concepts of anthropology and help familiarize students with the range of human variation, physically, mentally and culturally.

In Anth/Soc 321: Ecological Anthropology, students study the relationships between people and their environment. The goal of this course is to understand how people adapt to or shape their environments and what the resulting ecosystem looks like, for better or for worse. Students examine diverse topics such as subsistence practices, modern and traditional foodways, identity, indigenous rights and the impact of global warming.

Jennifer Sciubba
International Studies, Faculty Fellow for Environmental Studies
B.A., Agnes Scott College; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Maryland

IS 100: Introduction to International Relations is a reading, writing and thinking intensive course designed to serve as a foundation for all other IS courses. Students become familiar with the various approaches to thinking about international politics, basic concepts like power and globalization and areas such as international trade and non-state actors.

In IS 431: Global Ecopolitics, Dr. Sciubba introduces students to the ecological politics paradigm, an alternative way of viewing international politics that is becoming increasingly popular and relevant in international relations. Students explore how environmental issues, population, disease and technology create both problems and solutions to traditional questions of international relations—like war and peace, sovereignty and power—and raise new areas of inquiry.


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