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Fall 2021

FALL 2021 course SCHEDULE

Course Title Instructor Day/Time
ENVR_POL 340 Global Environments and World History Carson TTH 12:30-1:50
ENVR_POL 390-21 Political Ecology Rosenzweig MW 11:20-12:40
ENVR_POL 390-22 Energy Innovation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives Burns MW 11:00-12:20
ENVR_POL 390-23 Native American Environmental Issues and the Media Loew TTH 10:30-12:20
ENVR_POL 390-24 International Environmental Law & Policy Burns MW 2:00-3:20
ENVR_POL 390-25 Land, Identity and the Sacred Suzukovich TTH 3:30-4:50
ENVR_POL 390-26 Media, Communication and the Environment Schwoch MW 2:00-3:20
ENVR_POL 390-27 Red Power: Indigenous Resistance in the US and Canada Kiel TTH 11:00-12:20
ENVR_POL 390-29 Masala: Food and South Asian Boyk MW 11:00-12:20




COURSE 340 Global Environments and World History

Environmental problems have become part and parcel of popular consciousness: resources are being depleted at a record pace, human population levels may soon cross the eight billion threshold, extreme poverty defines the majority of people's daily lives, toxic contaminants affect all ecosystems, increasing numbers of species face extinction, consumerism and the commodification of nature show no signs of abating, climate changes are wreaking havoc in different places every year, and weapons and energy systems continue to proliferate that risk the planet's viability. This introductory lecture course is designed to help students understand the relatively recent origins of many of these problems, focusing especially on the last one hundred and fifty years. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the environmental effects of urbanization, industrialization, population growth, market economies, empire-building, intercontinental warfare, energy extraction, and new technologies. They will also explore different environmental philosophies and analytic frameworks that help us make sense of historical change, including political ecology, environmental history, science studies, and world history. Finally, the course will examine a range of transnational organizations, social movements, and state policies that have attempted to address and resolve environmental problems.

COURSE 390-21 Special Topics: Political Ecology

This class is an introduction to Political Ecology, a multidisciplinary body of theory and research that analyzes the environmental articulations of political, economic, and social difference and inequality. The key concepts, debates, and approaches in this field address two main questions: (1) How do humans' interactions with the environment shape power and politics? (2) How do power and politics shape humans' interactions with the environment? These questions are critical to understanding and addressing the current issues of climate change, the Anthropocene, and environmental justice. Topics discussed in this class will include environmental scarcity and degradation, sustainability and conservation. Readings will come from the disciplines of geography, anthropology and archaeology. Case studies will range from the ancient, to the historical and the present-day. No prior background in the environmental sciences is needed to appreciate and engage in this course.

COURSE 390-22 Special Topics: Energy Innovation: Historial and Contemporary Perspectives

This course will begin with a charting of the historical development of primary energy sources in the United States. The remainder of the course will focus on innovative energy technologies and the role of science, the law and politics in scaling up their use while minimizing risk and ensuring equity and justice.

COURSE 390-23 Special Topics: Native American Environmental Issues and the Media

Native American Environmental Issues and the Media introduces students to indigenous issues, such as treaty-based hunting, fishing, and gathering rights; air and water quality issues; mining; land-to-trust issues; and sacred sites. These issues have contributed to tension between Native and non-Native communities and have become the subject of news reports, in both mainstream and tribal media. We will focus on how the media cover these issues and how that coverage contributes to the formation of public opinion and public policy. Students will read and analyze newspaper and on-line news reports and view and critique broadcast news stories and documentaries about Native environmental topics.

COURSE 390-24 Special Topics: International Environmental Law & Policy

Global environmental problems, including the looming threat of climate change, the biodiversity crisis, and increasing pressures on ocean ecosystems due to human activities, have become pressing concerns in recent decades. In response, a sophisticated structure of global governance has emerged, including through the establishment of hundreds of multi-lateral treaties to confront these threats. As a consequence, nation-States have begun to cooperate with each other to an unprecedented extent, although not without facing significant obstacles, and not without domestic political agendas sometimes delaying or thwarting progress at the international level. This class examines the array of legal regimes, politics, governance processes and policy tools that have emerged in the arena of global environmental law and politics. We will focus on a number of different discrete international environmental problems, as well as how international environmental law is formulated and enforced at the international level.

COURSE 390-25 Special Topics: Land, Identity and the Sacred

This class focuses on a cross section of religion, law, cultural preservation, land management, and ethno-ecology. We will focus on Native American sacred sites and cultural landscapes and their relationships to land, ceremony, history, and tribal/ethnic identity. Central to the class will be a focus on the sacred aspects of tribal identity and the role that landscape plays in the creation and maintenance of these identities. The class will cover laws pertaining to religious freedoms and how they are applied to Native and non-Native contexts throughout U.S. history, along with the histories and philosophies that have, and still influences these polices.

The class will cover both Federal and Tribal management of sacred sites, ceremonial sites, and religious/spiritual traditions. Important to this discuss, will be the role of oral history in the preservation of culture and relationships to landscapes and how it has/is being utilized the U.S. legal system pertaining to Native American Tribes. The role of treaties and the conflicts that arise between Tribal/U.S. government to government relations and responsibilities will also be covered. 

COURSE 390-26 Special Topics: Media, Communication and the Environment

This course focuses on exploring, understanding, and researching questions and issues related to the environment and climate through the study of media and communication. Topics include electronic waste and outer space debris; environmental security; the digitization of the wilderness; outdoor and recreational activities in conjunction with media technologies and electronic information networks; ways of representing and communicating environmental and climatological issues through such examples as climate change communication, weather forecasting, documentaries, and feature-length fictional film, television and similar media; examples of environmental and climatological-themed government media and communication; and media-communication-environment in everyday life and pop culture. Student classwork includes lecture material, readings and audiovisual screenings, discussions, providing relevant discussion materials, and producing a research paper-project relevant to the topics and themes of the course.

COURSE 390-27 Special Topics: Red Power: Indigenous Resistance in the US and Canada

Red Power: Indigenous Resistance in the US and Canada, 1887-Present In 2016, thousands of Indigenous water protectors and their non-Native allies camped at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in an effort to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. That movement is part of a long history of Native activism. In this course, we will examine the individual and collective ways in which Indigenous people have resisted colonial domination in the U.S. and Canada since 1887. In addition to focusing on North America, we will also turn our attention to Hawaii‘i. This course will highlight religious movements, inter-tribal organizations, key intellectual figures, student movements, armed standoffs, non-violent protest, and a variety of visions for Indigenous community self-determination. This course will emphasize environmental justice. 

COURSE 390-29 Special Topics: Masala: Food and South Asian

Everyone eats, but not everyone eats the same way. What we eat, and when, and how, and with whom - all of these choices have the potential to define us. In this course, we will explore the meanings and practices surrounding food in South Asia and its diaspora. Whether in conflicts over forbidden foods, in crises of famine, in exoticist evocations of "the land of spices," or in nostalgic yearnings for the lost flavors of home, food has profound power over the imagination and the body. We will examine literature, films, cookbooks, and other materials - some of which we will eat! - to understand the roles that food plays in ritual, politics, art, and everyday life.