American Studies Program

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    * denotes primary appointment in the Department of History

Paola Bertucci

Assistant Professor of History of Science and Medicine.  Bertucci's current research focuses on natural catastrophes in the age of Enlightenment and on the material culture of science in eighteenth-century Italy.  She is the author of a book on the Italian journey of the French experimental philosopher Jean Antoine Nollet (Viaggio nel paese delle meraviglie. Scienza e curiosità nell’Italia del Settecento, Turin: Bollati Boringhieri, 2007) and co-editor of a volume on the history of the medical applications of electricity (Electric Bodies. Episodes in the history of medical electricity, Bologna: 2001). She has designed two new exhibitions for the permanent 18th-century collections of the Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy (opening in Fall 2009): “The Spectacle of Science” and “Domestic Science.”

Carol Carpenter


Senior Lecturer and Associate Research Scientist in Natural Resource Social Science and Adjunct Lecturer in Anthropology. Carpenter’s teaching and research interests focus on theories of social ecology, social aspects of sustainable development and conservation, and gender in agrarian and ecological systems. She spent four years in Indonesia engaged in household and community-level research on rituals and social networks. She then spent four years in Pakistan working as a development consultant, primarily on social forestry issues, for USAID, the World Bank, and the Asia Foundation, among others. Her current interests involve the invisibility of women’s economic activities in agrarian households and the implications of this invisibility for sustainable development. 

Michael Dove


Margaret K. Musser Professor of Social Ecology, Professor of Anthropology, Curator of Anthropology in the Peabody Museum.  Dove’s research focuses on the environmental relations of local communities, especially in South and Southeast Asia. Over the past three decades, he has spent more than a dozen years in the field in Asia, carrying out long-term research on human ecology in Borneo and Java, developing government research capacity in Indonesia, and advising the Pakistan Forest Service on social forestry policies. His most recent books are Conserving Nature in Culture: Case Studies from Southeast Asia (co-edited with P. Sajise and A. Doolittle, Yale Southeast Asia Program, 2005), Environmental Anthropology: A Historical Reader (coedited with C. Carpenter, Blackwell, 2007), and “Southeast Asian Grasslands: Understanding a Folk Landscape” (editor, New York Botanical Gardens Press 2008).  He has in press “Complicating Conservation: Beyond the Sacred Forest” (coedited with P.E. Sajise and A. Doolittle, Duke University Press, 2010) and is currently completing a book on the historic participation of Bornean tribal societies in global commodity production (Yale University Press).

Fabian Drixler


Fabian DrixlerAssociate Professor of History. Drixler is particularly interested in cultural history and historical demography, approaches that converge in his book, Mabiki: Infanticide and Population Growth in Eastern Japan: 1660-1950 (2013).  The book charts the rise and destruction of a premodern society in which couples raised only two to three children. Highlighting the role of contingency and individual agency in demographic history, it connects population patterns with changing understandings of human life, political space, and the nature of time.

John Mack Faragher


John Mack FaragherArthur Unobskey Professor of American History and Director of the Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders. His books include Women and Men on the Overland Trail (1979); Sugar Creek: Life on the Illinois Prairie (1986); Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer (1992); The American West: A New Interpretive History (2000), with Robert V. Hine; A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from their American Homeland (2005); and Frontiers: A Short History of the American West (2007), with Robert V. Hine. Faragher teaches courses on the history of the American West. 

Paul Freedman


Paul FreedmanChester D. Tripp Professor of History. Freedman specializes in medieval social history, the history of Spain, comparative studies of the peasantry, trade in luxury products, and history of cuisine.  He has offered graduate courses at Yale in the social history of the Middle Ages, church, society and politics, and agrarian studies (as part of a team-taught course). Freedman is the editor of Food: The History of Taste, an illustrated collection of essays about food from prehistoric to contemporary times published in the US by the University of California Press (2007).  He also is the author of a book on the demand for spices in medieval Europe, Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination (Yale, 2008).  Freedman also recently edited two other collections with Caroline Walker Bynum, Last Things: Death and the Apocalypse in the Middle Ages (1999) and with Monique Bourin, Forms of Servitude in Northern and Central Europe (2005).


Jay Gitlin

Lecturer and Associate Director of Howard R. Lamar Center on the Study of Frontiers and Borders.  Jay Gitlin's work focuses on the history of the French in the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes. He teaches courses on American Indian history, the history of the American West, Canadian history, and the suburbanization of America.  He is the author of The Bourgeois Frontier: French Towns in Mid-America and the Course of Westward Expansion, 1763 to 1863 (2009). He also has published numerous articles and contributed chapters to the Oxford History of the American West (1994) and The Louisiana Purchase and the Emergence of the American Empire (2003). He is also co-editor and co-author of Under an Open Sky: Rethinking America's Western Past (1992).

John Grim


John GrimSenior Lecturer and Scholar, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale Divinity School, the Department of Religious Studies.  He is Coordinator of the Forum on Religion and Ecology with Mary Evelyn Tucker, and series editor of “World Religions and Ecology,” from Harvard Divinity School’s Center for the Study of World Religions.  In that series he edited Indigenous Traditions and Ecology: the Interbeing of Cosmology and Community (Harvard, 2001). His published works include: The Shaman: Patterns of Religious Healing Among the Ojibway Indians (University of Oklahoma Press, 1983) and edited a volume with Mary Evelyn Tucker entitled Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994, 5th printing 2000), and a Daedalus volume (2001) entitled, “Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change?”

Robert Harms


Robert Harms

Robert Harms is the H. J. Heinz Professor of History and African Studies at Yale University.  He is the author of River of Wealth, River of Sorrow:  The Central Zaire Basin in the Era of the Slave and Ivory Trade, 1500-1891 (Yale University Press, 1981), the award-winning book Games Against Nature: An Eco-Cultural History of the Nunu of Equatorial Africa (Cambridge University Press, 1987/1999), the multiple-award-winning book The Diligent: A Voyage Through the Worlds of the Slave Trade (Basic Books, 2002), and co-editor of Paths Toward the Past:  African Historical Essays in Honor of Jan Vansina. (African Studies Association Press, 1994), and Indian Ocean Slavery in the Age of Abolition (Yale University Press, 2013).  He is currently doing research on the making of colonialism in equatorial Africa.

Dolores Hayden


Dolores HaydenProfessor of Architecture, Urbanism, and American Studies. Hayden, an architect and urban historian, is the author of several award-winning books about the history of American landscapes and the politics of the built environment, and a widely-published poet who often writes about the landscape. Her recent books include A Field Guide to Sprawl (W.W. Norton, 2004), a “devil’s dictionary” of bad building patterns illustrated with color aerial photography by Jim Wark, and Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000, a history of seven American landscapes (Pantheon, 2003).


Karen Hébert


Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Hébert is a cultural anthropologist whose research examines the development and implications of changing forms of natural resource production and consumption. Her work is situated in resource-dependent communities in the subarctic North. She has conducted long-term ethnographic fieldwork in southwest Alaska, where she has analyzed historical and recent transformations in the region’s salmon industry. Her research and teaching interests focus on issues of globalization and economic restructuring; the rise of market-driven policy paradigms and new modes of consumerism; the regulation of fisheries and agro-food systems; the production and experience of ecological risk and vulnerability; human-environment relations and sustainability; and the sociocultural theory of environment and economy.

Paul Kennedy


Paul KennedyDirector of ISS, the J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History, and Brady-Johnson Distinguished Fellow in Grand Strategy.  Kennedy writes and teaches about global political and economic history. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) in 2000 for services to History and elected a Fellow of the British Academy in June 2003.  Kennedy is the author or editor of nineteen books, including The Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism, The War Plans of the Great Powers, The Realities Behind Diplomacy, and Preparing for the Twenty-First Century. His best-known work is The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (Random House), which provoked an intense debate on its publication in 1988 and has been translated into over twenty languages.  In 1991, he edited a collection entitled Grand Strategies in War and Peace. He helped draft the Ford Foundation-sponsored report issued in 1995, The United Nations in Its Second Half-Century, which was prepared for the fiftieth anniversary of the UN. His latest book, The Parliament of Man: The Past, Present and Future of the United Nations, was published in Summer 2006 by Random House.  He is currently writing a study of the British imperialist author Rudyard Kipling, as well as a collection of essays on naval history.

Daniel Kevles


Daniel KevlesStanley Woodward Professor of History and Professor of History of Medicine, of American Studies, and of Law (adjunct). Kevles' research interests include: the interplay of science and society past and present; the history of science in America; the history of modern physics; the history of modern biology, scientific fraud and misconduct; the history of innovation and intellectual property in living organisms; the history of environmentalism; and the history of science, arms, and the state. His teaching areas are the history of modern science, including genetics, physics, science in American society, and U.S. history since 1940. He has written a number of articles and essays on environmentalism in the United States including most recently "The Contested Earth: Science, Equity, and the Environment" (Daedalus, spring 2008).

Alan Mikhail

Professor of History. Alan Mikhail’s first book, Nature and Empire in Ottoman Egypt: An Environmental History (2011), examines Ottoman history through the lens of water usage and environmental resource management in the empire’s most lucrative province of Egypt. Mikhail also edited Water on Sand: Environmental Histories of the Middle East and North Africa (2012), a collection of essays on the environmental history of the early modern and modern Middle East.  He is completing a new book on the history of human-animal relations in Egypt since 1500. He teaches courses in the history of the early modern Muslim world, the Ottoman Empire, Islamic science and medicine, animals, and other environmental subjects.


Peter Perdue


Professor of History.  Perdue is the author of Exhausting the Earth: State and Peasant in Hunan 1500-1850 A.D.(Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1987) and China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia (Harvard University Press, 2005). He has also written on grain markets in China, agricultural development, and environmental history. His research interests lie in modern Chinese and Japanese social and economic history, history of frontiers, and world history.


William Rankin

Assistant Professor of History of Science.  Rankin's interests cover a wide range within the history of the physical and earth sciences since the mid-nineteenth century. He is particularly interested in military, industrial, and governmental science, the history of cartography, science and architecture, urban planning, environmental history, and methodological problems of spatial, visual, and geographic analysis. His research focuses specifically on the relationship between science and space, from the territorial scale of states and globalization down to the scale of individual buildings. His current book project, tentatively titled After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century, focuses on the mapping sciences, sovereignty, and U.S. military globalism in the decades surrounding World War II.  Rankin is also an active cartographer, and his maps have appeared in numerous books, magazines, and exhibitions.

Paul Sabin


Associate Professor of History.  Sabin's research and teaching focus on United States environmental history, energy politics, and political and economic history, including natural resource development in the American West and overseas.  Sabin's recent book, The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble Over Earth's Future (2013), draws on an iconic story to examine the clash between environmentalists and their conservative critics from the late 1960s to the present.  His first book, Crude Politics: The California Oil Economy, 1900-1940 (2005), explores how politics and law shaped a growing dependence on petroleum in California and the nation.  He has written scholarly articles on environmental and legal history and U.S. overseas expansion and popular pieces on energy politics and leadership development.  His current research examines the evolution and impact of modern environmental law and regulation in the United States.  His website is .


Stuart Schwartz

George Burton Adams Professor of History.  Schwartz specializes in the History of colonial Latin America, especially Brazil and on the history of Early Modern expansion.  Among his books are Sovereignty and Society in Colonial Brazil (1973), Early Latin America (1983), Sugar Plantations in the Formation of Brazilian Society (1985), Slaves, Peasants, and Rebels (1992), as editor, A Governor and His Image in Baroque Brazil (1979), Implicit Understandings (1994), Victors And Vanquished: Spanish and Nahua Views of the Conquest of Mexico (2000), Cambridge History Of Native Peoples Of The Americas. South America (1999). He is the author, most recently, of Sea of Storms: A History of Hurricanes in the GReater Caribbean from Columbus to Katrina (2015).

Kalyanakrishnan (Shivi) Sivaramakrishnan


Kalyanakrishnan (Shivi) SivaramakrishnanProfessor of Anthropology; Professor of Forestry & Environmental Studies; Co-Director, Program in Agrarian Studies; and Chair, South Asian Studies Council. His research interests span environmental history, political anthropology, cultural geography, development studies, and science studies. Over the last fifteen years much of his research has dealt with the colonial and contemporary history and anthropology of forests and wildlife conservation in eastern India. He is the author of Modern Forests: Statemaking and Environmental Change in Colonial Eastern India (Stanford University Press 1999 & 2002); and the co-editor of Agrarian Environments: Resources, Representations, and Rule in India (Duke University Press 2000), Regional Modernities: The Cultural Politics of Development in India (Stanford University Press 2003), and Ecological Nationalisms: Nature, Livelihoods, and Identities in South Asia (University of Washington Press 2006). He has also written extensively on political anthropology, environmental history and rural development. He is currently working on several projects including inter-disciplinary study of the Indian state, essays on Indian environmental history, comparative study of postcolonial nature conservation in the tropical world, and new research on law, civil society, and environmental sustainability in India.

Frank Snowden


Frank SnowdenAndrew Downey Orrick Professor of History. Snowden teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Italian history, European social and political history, the history of infectious diseases, the history of public health and the intellectual history of medicine. His research interests include: the comparative history of epidemic diseases; the history of public health; the impact of emerging and resurgent diseases; issues in medical ethics; and bioterrorism.  His books include most recently Naples in the Times of Cholera (1995) and The Conquest of Malaria: Italy, 1900-1962 (2006). He is chair of the Program in the History of Science and Medicine.

Mary Evelyn Tucker


Mary TuckerSenior Lecturer and Senior Scholar, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Divinity School, and Department of Religious Studies. Tucker is a co-founder and co-director with John Grim of the Forum on Religion and Ecology. Together they organized a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions and were series editors for the published volumes. She is the author of, among other books, Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase (Open Court Press, 2003). She co-edited Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994), Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard, 1997), Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998), and Hinduism and Ecology (Harvard, 2000). She is a member of the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

John Wargo


Professor of Environmental Risk Analysis and Policy, and Professor of Political Science. Wargo's most recent work has focused on children’s exposure to air pollution, especially diesel emissions. He has conducted extensive research on childhood vulnerability to complex mixtures of toxic substances, particularly pesticides. His research explores spatial, temporal, and demographic distribution of environmental health risks, providing a basis for evaluating past environmental and natural resource management policies, and for suggesting legal reform. Our Children’s Toxic Legacy: How Science and Law Fail to Protect Us from Pesticides, a book published by Professor Wargo in 1996, presents a history of law governing pesticides and a history of scientific evidence of pesticide risks during the second half of the twentieth century. Professor Wargo has also conducted extensive research on the ecological basis of park and protected area management, concentrating on the Adirondack Park in New York, barrier islands within U.S. National Seashores, and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.