Environment and Society
M/W, 12:00-1:00pm + Friday recitation
This course is an introduction to the historical and social study of the human environment. One of its main objectives to develop a critical vocabulary for describing and analyzing the complex environmental challenges we face today. We will explore the historical roots of concepts such as “nature,” “environment,” “ecology,” and “the Anthropocene,” seeking to situate them in their social and cultural contexts and to excavate the assumptions that lie buried within them. We will also discuss major changes in human environments over the past several centuries, including imperialism, capitalism, industrialization, urbanization, and globalization, as well as the rise of the environmental movement. Finally, through class discussions, assignments, and exams, you will have the opportunity to develop your skills in critically reading a diverse range of textual and non-textual sources and in using them to craft well-organized and well-evidenced arguments.
This course fulfills Social Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry requirement.