Faculty of arts and sciences

FAS faculty offer new cross-divisional courses

In early 2020, Faculty of Arts and Science dean Tamar Gendler ’87 and Yale College dean Marvin Chun issued a call to FAS faculty: they invited proposals for new courses, team-taught by faculty representing two FAS academic divisions, that exemplify cross-disciplinary ways of thinking. Faculty rose to the challenge, and after a year of planning and preparation, three new cross-divisional undergraduate courses debuted during the Spring 2021 semester: 

In Choice Theory and its Critics, Daniel Greco (philosophy) and Larry Samuelson (economics) draw on approaches from philosophy, behavioral economics, and psychology to explore human rationality. 

Cinema and Physics: When the Birth of Cinema and the Scientific Revolution Met, taught by Francesco Casetti(humanities and film & media studies) and Michel Devoret (applied physics), explores the relationship between the art of moving pictures and the science of fundamental physical laws. 

In Racial and Economic Justice in Transgender Health, Greta LaFleur (American studies), a historian of gender and sexuality, collaborated with Ronica Mukerjee ’17DNP, clinical lecturer at the Yale School of Nursing, to teach a course on how medicine, society, and culture shape the well-being of transgender people.  

Motivated by the success of this initiative, FAS faculty will develop additional cross-divisional courses for 2021–22. This collaborative approach to pedagogy is one of many facets of the FAS-wide commitment to creating and sustaining collaboration across departments and divisions.  

Professor elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Caryl Phillips, professor of English, is a genre-crossing writer whose acclaimed novels, plays, and essays illuminate the histories and stories of people of the African diaspora. Now, he can add a new item to his list of accolades: in March 2021, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the honor society whose membership is limited to 300 of the most distinguished artists, writers, and performers in the country. 

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