Spring 2021 Class Schedule
ENVR_POL 101: First-Year Seminar: Chicago Environmental Justice
The concept of environmental justice in the United States emerged in the early 1980s as African-American residents fought hazardous waste sites planned in and around their communities. Since then, the environmental justice perspective has been expanded to include the struggles of other minority groups disenfranchised on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender or class. In the first part of the course, students will learn about the history of the environmental justice movement in the US and its development. Next, the course will take a closer look at environmental justice in Chicago, both past and present. A mandatory field trip to a local environmental justice organization is part of the course.
ENVR_POL 390-21: Environmental Anthropology
Anthropology has had a long, storied relationship with questions of nature and culture, society and environment, during which time a variety of theoretical approaches have been developed. This class will review these intellectual developments and recent trends with the aim of giving students toolkits for analyzing present-day environmental concerns.
ENVR_POL 390-22: Earth, Politics, and Poetics
Planet Earth” has a political and social history. The Copernican turn and geological notions of deep time, for example, radically shifted understandings of the Earth, time, and humans’ relationship to them. Whole Earth images first generated by the Apollo Space missions in the late 1960s and 1970s have been the characteristic form of planetary imagination during the late twentieth century. Earthrise and The Blue Marble images enabled humans to imagine the planet as an interconnected whole against the backdrop of the Cold War and environmental disasters. They have been crucial to the emergence of a “global consciousness” and became famous icons of the global environmental movement, depicting the planet as the common home of humans as one species. The power of these images has not decreased, yet other forms of representation and imagination have emerged as well. The development of Google Earth or advanced climate modeling systems, for example, mark a different notion of Earth, characterized by dynamic, heterogeneous, and open systems. This course examines such shifting notions of the Earth by tracing how practices and discourses of geopolitics, political theory, cartography, population studies, climate modeling, deep ocean sensing, outer space exploration and mining, and science fiction literature, have come to sense, know, represent, and imagine the planet since the 18th century. In doing so, this course also surveys shifting socio-political currents, from the intersection of the military-industrial complex and technoscience to how climate crisis, Anthropocene debates, and Earth Systems analysis reflect further shifts in the ways the planet is understood today. Tracing these shifts in planetary representation and imagination is also crucial to understanding how core concepts such as “humanity” and “species” are made and unmade. Understanding the deeply mediated processes behind planetary depictions is not only central to making sense of contemporary politics and policies that propose to shape the future, but also to imagining alternative worlds and futures beyond our grim ecological predicament.
ENVR_POL 390-23: Art and Nature in the Global Early Modern
Description Coming Soon
ENVR_POL 390-24: Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy
This course focuses on laws, policies and the decision-making process related to coastal and ocean resources in the United States, and internationally. Through examination of treaties, statutes, cases, administrative materials, and academic articles, we will explore issues such as coastal land use, offshore energy, ocean pollution, the impacts of climate on ocean/coastal ecosystems, marine mammal conservation, and fisheries management.
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