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Alan Tully, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Megan Raby

Assistant Professor Ph.D., 2012, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Contact

  • Phone: 512-475-7925
  • Office: GAR 0.114
  • Office Hours: Spring 2014: MW 4-5 p.m. & by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: B7000

Interests

History of Science, Environmental History, US and Caribbean, 19th and 20th c.

HIS 322G • Hist Of Modern Life Sciences

39510 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm JGB 2.218
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The History of the Modern Life Sciences traces the study of living things from the seventeenth century to the present. We will examine how naturalists and biologists have searched for order in nature––from cabinets of curiosity to maps of biodiversity, and from the theory of cells to the structure of DNA. In this course, students will examine the development of changing practices and approaches to investigating life in the field, the museum, and the laboratory. Students will confront critical problems in the history of biology and society, including those related to exploration and empire; race, gender, and classification; theories of evolution; genetics and eugenics; ecology and conservation; molecular biology; and biotechnology. How has the meaning of "life" changed through history? How have ideas about social order and natural order mirrored or shaped each other? To explore these questions, we will analyze historians' interpretations, historical actors' own accounts of their work and ideas, as well as historical images and objects of scientific practice.


Course readings may include:

Farber, Paul Lawrence. Finding Order in Nature: The Naturalist Tradition from Linnaeus to EO Wilson. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.

Otis, Laura. Müller's Lab. Oxford University Press, 2007.

Watson, James D., and Gunther S. Stent. 1980. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA. New York: Norton.

...as well as other article or chapter-length primary and secondary sources on a variety of topics in the history of the life sciences, posted on Canvas or available on electronic reserve through the library.


Grading:

First Essay Exam (20%)

Second Essay Exam (25%)

Final Essay Exam (30%)

Homework and In-class Writing (15%)

Participation (10%)

HIS 350L • Global Environmental History

39605 • Fall 2014
Meets MW 400pm-530pm MEZ 1.102
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Global Environmental History explores how human societies and natural environments have shaped each other in world history. In order to tackle this formidable subject, the course is divided into three thematic units. We will begin by critically examining “bird’s eye views” of deep human and natural history, discussing historiographic controversies over the role of humans in the ancient extinctions; the origins of agriculture; and relationships among climate, society, and disease. Next, we delve into a series of comparative histories of societies’ ways of knowing and making a living in nature. These will examine cultural and economic encounters from the Columbian Exchange through 19th-century colonialism. Finally, we turn to the 20th century in order to trace the transnational flows of global capitalism––commodities, human migrations, pollution, “invasive species,” and environmentalist movements. This course is an upper-division, reading- and writing-intensive seminar. It acts as an introduction to the growing field of environmental history, as well as to a variety of approaches to understanding history at a scale beyond the nation-state. 

Texts:

Simmons, I. G. Global Environmental History: 10,000 BC to AD 2000. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008.

Crosby, Alfred. The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1972.

Soluri, John. Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005.

Guha, Ramachandra. Environmentalism: A Global History. New York: Longman, 2000.

Grading:

Grades will be based on three 6-8 page critical essays (60% total), several short reading responses (20%), and participation, which includes signing up and leading class discussion at least once in the semester (20%).

HIS 329U • Perspectives On Science & Math

39795-39800 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAI 4.18
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Perspectives on Science and Math explores the intellectual, social, and cultural history of science and mathematics, focusing on the 17th century to the present. This is an upper-division history course designed for students in UTeach Natural Sciences. It has four interlocking goals: to give you an overview of the history of science and math in order to broaden your understanding of subjects you will teach in the future; to enable you to put this broader history and context to work in science and math pedagogy; to improve your ability to research, analyze, and evaluate information; and to improve your writing and communication skills.

This is a Writing Flag course. It is designed to give you experience writing within an academic discipline. You can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback to help you revise your writing. You will also have the opportunity to read and discuss your peers’ work.

Texts:

Berlinghoff, William P., and Fernando Q. Gouvêa. Math Through the Ages: A Gentle History for Teachers and Others. Expanded ed. Washington, DC: The Mathematical Association of America and Oxton House Publishing, 2004.

Ede, Andrew, and Lesley B. Cormack. A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility. Second ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012.

Basis of Grading:

Participation  10%

Reading Comprehension/Reflection Questions 15%

Essay 1  15%

Essay 2 25%

Lesson Plan 35%

HIS 329U • Perspectives On Science & Math

39805-39810 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm PAI 4.18
show description

Perspectives on Science and Math explores the intellectual, social, and cultural history of science and mathematics, focusing on the 17th century to the present. This is an upper-division history course designed for students in UTeach Natural Sciences. It has four interlocking goals: to give you an overview of the history of science and math in order to broaden your understanding of subjects you will teach in the future; to enable you to put this broader history and context to work in science and math pedagogy; to improve your ability to research, analyze, and evaluate information; and to improve your writing and communication skills.

This is a Writing Flag course. It is designed to give you experience writing within an academic discipline. You can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback to help you revise your writing. You will also have the opportunity to read and discuss your peers’ work.

Texts:

Berlinghoff, William P., and Fernando Q. Gouvêa. Math Through the Ages: A Gentle History for Teachers and Others. Expanded ed. Washington, DC: The Mathematical Association of America and Oxton House Publishing, 2004.

Ede, Andrew, and Lesley B. Cormack. A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility. Second ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012.

Basis of Grading:

Participation  10%

Reading Comprehension/Reflection Questions 15%

Essay 1  15%

Essay 2 25%

Lesson Plan 35%

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