Fall 2020

HIST 245

Jared Farmer

Wednesday 2:00 - 4:50 PM

Fossil fuel powered the makingnow the unmakingof the modern world. As the first fossil fuel state, Pennsylvania led the United States toward an energy-intensive economy, a technological pathway with planetary consequences. The purpose of this seminar is to perform a historical accountingand an ethical reckoningof coal, oil, and natural gas. Specifically, students will investigate the histories and legacies of fossil fuel in connection to three entities: the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania.Under instructor guidance, students will do original research, some of it online, much the rest of itin archives, on and off campus, in and around Philadelphia.Philly-based research mayalso involve fieldwork. While based in historical sources and methods, this course intersects with business, finance, policy, environmental science, environmental engineering,urban and regional planning, public health,and social justice. Student projects may take multiple forms, individual and collaborative, from traditional papers to data visualizations prepared with assistance from the Price Lab for Digital Humanities.Through their research, students will contribute to a multi-year project that will ultimately be made available to the public.

 

This course fulfills the EH Minor Requirement in Arts & Humanities Approaches to Environmental Inquiry. See the full minor requirements list.

course poster

Fall 2020

MUSC 232-301

Glenda Goodman

Friday, 12:00PM-3:00PM

Critical Birding: Music, Observation, and the Environment has two aims: building critical listening skills through direct observation of birds and introducing students to a history of Western music through the lens of nature and the environment (birdsong has inspired composers for centuries). This course brings listening practices and music history into conversation with the Environmental Humanities. This course fulfills the Elective requirement of the Music major.

 

This course fulfills the EH Minor Requirement in Arts & Humanities Approaches to Environmental Inquiry. See the full minor requirements list.

Fall 2020

SPAN 091-401

Teresa Giménez

Monday / Wednesday, 2:00PM-3:30PM

This interdisciplinary course is a Global Seminar that exposes students to the three dimensions of sustainable development -environmental, economic, and social- through an examination of three products -peyote, coca, and coffee- that are crucial in shaping modern identity in areas of Latin America. The course integrates this analysis of sustainable development in relation to cultural sustainability and cultural practices associated with peyote, coca, and coffee and their rich, traditional heritage and place in literature, film, and the arts. 

This course fulfills the EH Minor Requirements in Arts & Humanities Approaches to Environmental Inquiry. See the full minor requirements list.

Fall 2020

SPAN 391-401

Teresa Giménez

Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday, 12:00PM-1:00PM

This interdisciplinary course exposes students to the three dimensions of sustainable development -environmental, economic, and social- through an examination of three products -peyote, coca, and coffee- that are crucial in shaping modern identity in areas of Latin America. The course integrates this analysis of sustainable development in relation to cultural sustainability and cultural practices associated with peyote, coca, and coffee and their rich, traditional heritage and place in literature, film, and the arts. This is an upper level seminar open to majors and minors of Spanish and those who have completed Pre-requiste SPAN 219 or SPAN 223 or permission of the Undergraduate Chair. Cross-listings ENVS, LALS, ANTH

This course fulfills the EH Minor Requirements in Arts & Humanities Approaches to Environmental Inquiry.

Fall 2020

ANTH 310

Kristina Lyons

Marilyn Howarth

Tuesday, 1:30 - 4:30 PM

Emergent transdisciplinary fields, such as the environmental humanities, reflect a growing awareness that responses to contemporary environmental dilemmas require the collaborative work of not only diverse scientists, medical practitioners, and engineers, but also more expansive publics, including artists, urban and rural communities, social scientists, and legal fields. This course is inspired by the need to attend to environmental challenges as inherently social concerns.  The course is co-taught by faculty from the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine, and will address the challenges and possibilities of working across disciplinary boundaries, building collaborative affinities, and negotiating frictions between diverse methodologies and epistemological approaches. Through their different lenses, Dr. Lyons and Dr. Howarth will foster interdisciplinary collaboration and scholarship by engaging students in discussions and research that bring together the arts and sciences with a focus on urban air pollution, soil remediation, deforestation, and water contamination, among other issues. A comparative exploration of environmental justice in both Colombia and the U.S. will be infused into the course.

This course is a required course for the Environmental Humanities Minor. See the full minor requirements list.

Fall 2020

ENG 380-401 / AFRC 325

Herman Beavers

Suzana Berger

Monday, 2:00 - 5:00 PM

In this Ben Franklin Seminar, students will read Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright August Wilson's 20th Century Cycle: ten plays that form an iconic picture of African American traumas, triumphs, and traditions through the decades, told through the lens of Pittsburgh's Hill District neighborhood. In addition to Wilson’s plays, other readings include supporting material on Wilson's work and African American theatre, along with the works of contemporary playwrights whom Wilson has influenced (such as Suzan-Lori Parks and Tarell Alvin McCraney).  The readings will be contextualized through materials that shed light on Penn's relationship with West Philadelphia. In this Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) course, students will have the opportunity to enhance their understanding of the plays, and the history and culture that shaped them, by forming meaningful relationships with West Philadelphia residents, through our partnership with the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Wilson's plays provide the bridge between the two groups. In addition to a discussion of a Wilson play bringing students and community members together at mid-semester, the course culminates with students writing an original theatre piece inspired by the readings and relationships, which they will share during an end-of-semester performance.

This course fulfills the EH Minor Requirements in Arts & Humanities Approaches to Environmental Inquiry and Public Engagement. See the full minor requirements list.

Fall 2020

ARCH 111

Daniel Barber

Monday/Wednesday 2:00 - 3:30 PM

This course will use architecture and the built environmental as a lens to investigate the emerging field of the environmental humanities. Our goal will be to analyze and understand these new intellectual frameworks in order to consider the relationship between global environmental challenges and the process of constructing the built environment. As such, we will oscillate between social and political theory, environmental history, and architectural history and theory. Issues of importance will include: theories of risk, the role of nature in political conflicts; images, design and environmental communication; and the relationship between speculative design and other narratives of the future. These conceptual frameworks will be read alongside examples of related creative projects in art, literature, and architecture, and will be amplified through presentations and discussions with studio faculty and other visitors to the course.

This course fulfills the EH Minor Requirement in Arts & Humanities Approaches to Environmental Inquiry. See the full minor requirements list.

Fall 2020

GRMN 150

Simon Richter

Tuesday/Thursday, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

As a result of climate change, the world that will take shape in the course of this century will be decidedly more inundated with water than we're accustomed to. The polar ice caps are melting, glaciers are retreating, ocean levels are rising, polar bear habitat is disappearing, countries are jockeying for control over a new Arctic passage, while low-lying cities and small island nations are confronting the possibility of their own demise. Catastrophic flooding events are increasing in frequency, as are extreme droughts. Hurricane-related storm surges, tsunamis, and raging rivers have devastated regions on a local and global scale. In this course, we will turn to the narratives and images that the human imagination has produced in response to the experience of overwhelming watery invasion, from Noah to New Orleans and beyond. Objects of analysis include mythology, ancient and early modern diluvialism, literature, art, film, and commemorative practice in countries and regions such as the United States, China, India, Thailand, the Middle East, the Netherlands, and Peru. The basic question we'll be asking is: What can we learn from the humanities that will be helpful for confronting the problems and challenges caused by climate change and sea level rise?

This course fulfills the EH Minor Requirement in Arts & Humanities Approaches to Environmental Inquiry. See the full minor requirements list.

Fall 2020

HIST 258-401

Anne Berg

Monday 2:00-5:00 PM

The Amazon is burning. The glaciers are melting. Heat waves, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, and droughts devastate ever larger swaths of the earth, producing crop failures, air pollution, soil erosion, famine and terrifying individual hardship. At the same, time the so-called Western World is literally walling itself off from the millions who are fleeing from disaster and war with what little they can carry. White militants chant "blood and soil" and "Jews will not replace us," social media spreads memes and talking points about "white genocide" and "white replacement" and online ideologues fantasize about building white ethnostates. Are these developments connected? Is there a causal relationship? Or are these conditions purely coincidental? Increasingly, arguments about limits to growth, sustainability, development and climate change have come to stand in competitive tension with arguments for social and racial equality. Why is that case? What are the claims and underlying anxieties that polarize western societies? How do white nationalist movements relate to populist and fascist movements in the first half of the 20th century? What is new and different about them now? What is the relationship between environmentalism, rightwing populism and the climate crisis? And how have societies responded to the climate crisis, wealth inequality, finite resources and the threat posed by self-radicalizing white nationalist groups?

This course fulfills the EH Minor Requirement in Arts & Humanities Approaches to Environmental Inquiry. See the full minor requirements list.

Fall 2020

ENVS 411

Maria Antonia Andrews

Tuesday/Thursday 3:00 - 4:30 PM

This is an ABCS course designed to provide the student with an understanding of air pollution at the local, regional and global levels. The nature, composition, and properties of air pollutants in the atmosphere will also be studied. The course will focus on Philadelphia's air quality and how air pollutants have an adverse effect on the health of the residents. The recent designation by IARC of Air Pollution as a known carcinogen will be explored. How the community is exposed to air pollutants with consideration of vulnerable populations will be considered. Through a partnership with Philadelphia Air Management Service (AMS) agency the science of air monitoring and trends over time will be explored. Philadelphia's current non-attainment status for PM2.5. and ozone will be studied. Philadelphia's current initiatives to improvethe air quality of the city will be discussed. Students will learn to measure PM2.5 in outdoor and indoor settings and develop community-based outreach tools to effectively inform the community of Philadelphia regarding air pollution. The outreach tools developed by students may be presentations, written materials, apps, websites or other strategies for enhancing environmental health literacy of the community. A project based approach will be used to include student monitoring of area schools, school bus routes, and the community at large. The data collected will be presented to students in the partner elementary school in West Philadelphia . Upon completion of this course, students should expect to have attained a broad understanding of and familiarity with the sources, fate, and the environmental impacts and health effects of air pollutants.

This course fulfills the EH Minor Public Engagement Requirement. See the full minor requirements list.

Fall 2020