Undergraduate Courses

Please consult the online course catalog for complete course information.

The courses listed below are provided by Student Information Services (SIS). This listing provides a snapshot of immediately available courses within this department and may not be complete. Course registration information can be found on the Student Information Services (SIS) website.

Column one has the course number and section. Other columns show the course title, days offered, instructor's name, room number, if the course is cross-referenced with another program, and a option to view additional course information in a pop-up window.

FYS: The Hospital
AS.001.101 (01)

Johns Hopkins invented the modern hospital along with modern medical education. This seminar will explore the history of the hospital from its monastic origins to its current form, with particular attention to how hospital design has reflected and reinforced ways of thinking about health, disease and medical treatment. We will also consider specialized hospitals and clinics, for the mentally ill, for particular diseases, for women and children, among other topics.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level:
  • Days/Times: MW 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Leslie, Stuart W
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

FYS: Japanese Robots
AS.001.102 (01)

Japan is a world leader in biomimetic robotics. Japanese society enthusiastically embraces robotic nurses, robotic guides, robotic waiters, robotic pets, and even robotic girlfriends. What are the origins of the Japanese love of robots? What role did robotics engineers play in creating the image of loveable robots? What societal fears do Japanese robots assuage and what hopes do they foster? In the course of the semester, students will learn about the evolution of Japanese robotics, and explore the implications of this evolution to humans’ relationship with robots. While learning about Japanese robots, students will acquire skills necessary for college-level education, including how to write an email to a professor, how to organize and manage digital tools, how to navigate the information resources, and how to develop, complete, and present research projects. This course will equip students with skills essential to their success in college and beyond.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level:
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Frumer, Yulia
  • Room: Gilman 77
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

FYS: When Worlds Collide - Science Goes Global
AS.001.103 (01)

In this First-Year Seminar, we will explore instances of contact between different world cultures and pre-modern and modern science (16th-20th c.). The premise of the course is the understanding that in addition to the cultural, religious and political negotiations that took place during cross-cultural encounters, science also underwent a similar process. We understand science expansively, as the study of nature and the production of knowledge about it embedded in a particular cultural context. The historical episodes we will discuss are selections of instances where agents of the West—missionaries, explorers, businessmen, colonists, scientists—established prolonged contact with non-western cultures and engaged in conversations about their worldviews. Some cases considered include Jesuits in the Chinese imperial court, Spanish missionaries among the Maya, and English explorers in the Pacific islands.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level:
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Portuondo, Maria M
  • Room: Gilman 277
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Leonardo da Vinci: The Renaissance Workshop in the Formation of Scientific Knowledge
AS.010.208 (01)

How does a notary’s son trained as a painter come to claim expertise in the construction of machines and acquire knowledge of the principles of optics, human anatomy, the flight of birds, the dynamics of air and water? The course will focus critically on the myth of Leonardo’s singularity and explore his achievements with regard to the artisanal culture of his time, as well as the problems of authority in the recognition of artisanal knowledge as scientific discovery.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
  • Instructor: Campbell, Stephen
  • Room: Gilman 177
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 20/20
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Mirror Mirror: Reflections in Art from Van Eyck to Velázquez
AS.010.212 (01)

Explores the different ways Early Modern painters and printmakers incorporated mirrors and optical reflections into their works for the sake of illusion and metaphor, deception and desire, reflexivity and truth-telling. Connecting sense perception and ethical knowledge, embedded mirror images often made claims about the nature of the self, the powers of art, and the superiority of painting in particular.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Merback, Mitchell
  • Room: Gilman 177
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 19/20
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Medicine in Ancient Egypt
AS.130.119 (01)

A survey of medicine and medical practice in Egypt and, to a lesser extent, the ancient Near East in general. The abundant sources range from magical spells to surprisingly "scientific" treatises and handbooks. Readings are selected from translations of primary sources in the writings of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Israel. Topics will include the sources of our knowledge; the nature of medical practitioners, medical treatment, and surgery; beliefs about disease and the etiology of illness; concepts of contagion and ritual purity.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MWF 11:00AM - 11:50AM
  • Instructor: Jasnow, Richard
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 100/100
  • PosTag(s): n/a

History of Medicine
AS.140.105 (01)

Course provides an introduction to health and healing in the ancient world, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. Topics include religion and medicine; medicine in the Islamicate world; women and healing; patients and practitioners.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, F 10:00AM - 10:50AM
  • Instructor: Fissell, Mary E
  • Room: Virtual Online
  • Status: Reserved Open
  • Seats Available: 20/20
  • PosTag(s): MSCH-HUM

History of Medicine
AS.140.105 (02)

Course provides an introduction to health and healing in the ancient world, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. Topics include religion and medicine; medicine in the Islamicate world; women and healing; patients and practitioners.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, F 10:00AM - 10:50AM
  • Instructor: Fissell, Mary E
  • Room: Virtual Online
  • Status: Reserved Open
  • Seats Available: 20/20
  • PosTag(s): MSCH-HUM

History of Medicine
AS.140.105 (03)

Course provides an introduction to health and healing in the ancient world, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. Topics include religion and medicine; medicine in the Islamicate world; women and healing; patients and practitioners.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AM
  • Instructor: Fissell, Mary E
  • Room: Virtual Online
  • Status: Reserved Open
  • Seats Available: 20/20
  • PosTag(s): MSCH-HUM

History of Biology
AS.140.178 (01)

The course surveys the emergence and development of life sciences since the 1700s. It examines major ideas, approaches, and debates regarding life, along with their material and cultural underpinnings as well as social impacts. One crucial question throughout the course is how social and cultural contexts have shaped views of life at particular times and places. Topics include natural history, classification, morphology, cell theory, physiology, evolution, genetics and eugenics, molecular biology, biomedicine, and biotechnology. Lectures are supplemented with discussions about primary historical texts and scholarly articles. Students will learn about the course content, methods in historical inquiries of scientific fields, and will develop an original research essay as a final project.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AM
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 14/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

History of Biology
AS.140.178 (02)

The course surveys the emergence and development of life sciences since the 1700s. It examines major ideas, approaches, and debates regarding life, along with their material and cultural underpinnings as well as social impacts. One crucial question throughout the course is how social and cultural contexts have shaped views of life at particular times and places. Topics include natural history, classification, morphology, cell theory, physiology, evolution, genetics and eugenics, molecular biology, biomedicine, and biotechnology. Lectures are supplemented with discussions about primary historical texts and scholarly articles. Students will learn about the course content, methods in historical inquiries of scientific fields, and will develop an original research essay as a final project.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AM
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 15/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Food, Environment, and Society
AS.140.232 (01)

A seminar discussing crucial events and processes in global history which have shaped how food production and consumption impacted the environment and human societies. Students will learn how food practices, originally bounded within certain places and cultures, became transformed in modern societies with the rise of modern agricultural, transportation and food processing technologies, as well as the public health and environmental consequences of these transformations. Sessions will include lectures, seminar discussions, field visits or guest speaker events, and some hands-on activities. For the final project, students will conduct original research on topics of interest and produce a multi-media, public-facing intellectual product.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 16/16
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

The Politics of Science in America
AS.140.312 (01)

This course examines the relations of the scientific and technical enterprise and government in the United States in the 20th and 21st centuries. Topics will include the funding of research and development, public health, national defense, etc. Case studies will include the 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic, the Depression-era Science Advisory Board, the founding of the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, the institution of the President’s Science Advisor, the failure of the Superconducting Supercollider, the Hubble Space Telescope, the covid pandemic, etc.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: W 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Ginsberg, Benjamin, Kargon, Robert H
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 14/15
  • PosTag(s): INST-AP

Eating in Early Modern East Asia
AS.140.323 (01)

Can we identify a distinctly East Asian food culture, or can we only speak of East Asian food cultures, plural? How are regional food cultures and culture writ large mutually constitutive? In this discussion-based course, we explore these questions through focused readings on the following aspects of local and regional foodways: agricultural environment, ingredient availability, recipe composition, meal preparation, dining practices, and the relationship between diet, health, and illness in early modern medical discourse.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Zanolini, Sarah Jean
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 19/19
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Commercializing Science: Academic Entrepreneurs from Kelvin to Venter
AS.140.324 (01)

From the 19th century physicist William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) to contemporary geneticists such as Walter Gilbert and Craig Venter, academic scientists and engineers across a broad range of disciplines have commercialized academic knowledge and inventions as patentees, consultants, and entrepreneurs. This course examines the motives and strategies behind such commercialization activities, ethical issues associated with them, and the factors influencing their success. We will also explore the history of currently dominant policies and institutions designed to foster the commercialization of academic science and evaluate their impact from a longer-term perspective.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Mercelis, Joris Hans Angele
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 15/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Science and Technology in Slave Regimes
AS.140.328 (01)

This course explores the questions that arise when we juxtapose slave regimes with scientific and technological change. We’ll consider very broad questions, such as, was slavery compatible with modernity? As well as study specific cases where slavery and technology intersected, such as the cotton gin or sugar cane plantations, but also the existence of “modern” scientific societies within slave regimes. We’ll explore these questions from a trans-national perspective by comparing cases in the Antebellum US, Cuba, Brazil, Haiti and other countries.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Kargon, Robert H, Portuondo, Maria M
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 15/15
  • PosTag(s): INST-GLOBAL

Photography in Science and Medicine (19th Century-Present)
AS.140.335 (01)

Since the 19th century invention of photography as a new “art-science,” photographic evidence and techniques have been central to many fields of (social) science and medicine. This seminar examines the uses of photography and related imaging technologies in various disciplines including astronomy, bacteriology, criminology, geology, and radiology. We will also explore how photography has historically shaped (among many other things) notions of scientific objectivity and ideas about racial difference.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Mercelis, Joris Hans Angele
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 19/19
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Science & Technology in the Development of Modern Latin America
AS.140.339 (01)

This seminar will survey the development of science and technology in modern Latin America, and explore their dynamics in the context of cultural, political, and economic forces.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 1:30PM - 2:45PM
  • Instructor: Alsina, Marc Joseph
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 15/15
  • PosTag(s): INST-GLOBAL, MSCH-HUM

History Of Genetics
AS.140.347 (01)

Intellectual and social history of the gene concept, including Mendelism, eugenics, medical genetics, DNA, genomics, and personalized medicine.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: T 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Comfort, Nathaniel
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 20/20
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Encoding Bias: Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and the History of Computing
AS.140.396 (01)

How can an inanimate object be biased? How is it possible for a machine or software to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or economic status? After all, machines are supposed be free from the lapses of judgement that can cloud human minds. And yet, the more we rely on digital technologies, the more we realize that algorithms are not as neutral and objective as we hoped they would be. This course traces the origins of computer bias to the aspirations, ideals, metaphors, hopes, fears, and, of course, biases of the people who developed computer technologies. During the semester, we will learn about the humble origins of computing technologies, the original, human “computers” in astronomical labs, Alan Turing’s invention of a “digital” mechanical computer to decipher Nazi codes, the Cybernetics movement, the models of rationality and intelligence that guided the development of AI, the gendering of the computing profession, the advent of personal computers, and more. While exploring these episodes in the history of computing we will discuss and analyze the social and structural origins of computer and algorithm bias.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: T 3:00PM - 5:30PM
  • Instructor: Frumer, Yulia
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 14/14
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Senior Research Seminar
AS.140.411 (01)

For majors pursuing independent research.

  • Credits: 2.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Mercelis, Joris Hans Angele
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 15/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Plagues, Power, and Social Control
AS.230.306 (01)

While developments in biomedicine and health care have led to the eradication, cure and management of many human health problems, disease, illness and health have also been the focus for aggressive social controls and population management. The technologies and practices of disease control and health management have been foundational to some of the most aggressive structures of oppression in recent history such as the Jewish Ghetto, the Concentration Camp, the South African Township and techniques of segregation. This course seeks to explore how epidemics and disease control are linked to larger questions of power, state craft and international dynamics. This course asks how have outbreaks of infectious disease shaped social and political action? How do societies respond to outbreaks and why? What do epidemic moments tell us about global structures of power and the dynamics of control? Drawing on historical cases including plague during the European Renaissance and before, the HIV/AIDS Pandemic and the West African Ebola Outbreak of 2013-2016, this course will introduce students to the history and practices of disease control as well as important theoretical perspectives by which to understand the sociological and historical effects of disease and the responses to them. Students will engage sociological concepts such as biopolitics, social construction of disease and illness and biosecurity and produce a final research paper examining the outcomes and responses to an epidemic event to show mastery of the topics covered in the course.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: T 3:00PM - 5:30PM
  • Instructor: White, Alexandre Ilani Rein
  • Room:  
  • Status: Reserved Open
  • Seats Available: 18/20
  • PosTag(s): INST-IR, INST-GLOBAL

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room PosTag(s) Info
AS.001.101 (01)FYS: The HospitalMW 12:00PM - 1:15PMLeslie, Stuart W 
AS.001.102 (01)FYS: Japanese RobotsTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMFrumer, YuliaGilman 77
AS.001.103 (01)FYS: When Worlds Collide - Science Goes GlobalTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMPortuondo, Maria MGilman 277
AS.010.208 (01)Leonardo da Vinci: The Renaissance Workshop in the Formation of Scientific KnowledgeTTh 1:30PM - 2:45PMCampbell, StephenGilman 177
AS.010.212 (01)Mirror Mirror: Reflections in Art from Van Eyck to VelázquezTTh 12:00PM - 1:15PMMerback, MitchellGilman 177
AS.130.119 (01)Medicine in Ancient EgyptMWF 11:00AM - 11:50AMJasnow, Richard 
AS.140.105 (01)History of MedicineMW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, F 10:00AM - 10:50AMFissell, Mary EVirtual OnlineMSCH-HUM
AS.140.105 (02)History of MedicineMW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, F 10:00AM - 10:50AMFissell, Mary EVirtual OnlineMSCH-HUM
AS.140.105 (03)History of MedicineMW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AMFissell, Mary EVirtual OnlineMSCH-HUM
AS.140.178 (01)History of BiologyMW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AMStaff 
AS.140.178 (02)History of BiologyMW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AMStaff 
AS.140.232 (01)Food, Environment, and SocietyMW 3:00PM - 4:15PMStaff ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.140.312 (01)The Politics of Science in AmericaW 1:30PM - 4:00PMGinsberg, Benjamin, Kargon, Robert H INST-AP
AS.140.323 (01)Eating in Early Modern East AsiaTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMZanolini, Sarah Jean 
AS.140.324 (01)Commercializing Science: Academic Entrepreneurs from Kelvin to VenterMW 12:00PM - 1:15PMMercelis, Joris Hans Angele 
AS.140.328 (01)Science and Technology in Slave RegimesM 1:30PM - 4:00PMKargon, Robert H, Portuondo, Maria M INST-GLOBAL
AS.140.335 (01)Photography in Science and Medicine (19th Century-Present)MW 3:00PM - 4:15PMMercelis, Joris Hans Angele 
AS.140.339 (01)Science & Technology in the Development of Modern Latin AmericaMW 1:30PM - 2:45PMAlsina, Marc Joseph INST-GLOBAL, MSCH-HUM
AS.140.347 (01)History Of GeneticsT 1:30PM - 4:00PMComfort, Nathaniel 
AS.140.396 (01)Encoding Bias: Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and the History of ComputingT 3:00PM - 5:30PMFrumer, Yulia 
AS.140.411 (01)Senior Research SeminarMercelis, Joris Hans Angele 
AS.230.306 (01)Plagues, Power, and Social ControlT 3:00PM - 5:30PMWhite, Alexandre Ilani Rein INST-IR, INST-GLOBAL