Principles for Transition: A Reading, Writing and Thinking Seminar
This is a 2-hour, 2-credit reading seminar in which students and instructor read four environmental books for an in-depth, contextualized understanding of environmental trends and human ecological relations.
Two books are read in common, most likely Cronon’s Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West and Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. Two additional books, one a history, and one fictional (or collection of stories) are chosen from a list.
Prior to each class session students write and submit a “principle of transition” derived from the week’s assigned readings. It can take the form of a general causal pattern or a “do something,” that is, a practical implication of the readings. The principle should orient to 21st-century transformation with rigorous sustainability as the goal.
One of the two chosen books is presented in class, one is presented one-on-one to the instructor. A 3-page write-up of each book is submitted at the end of the semester (guidelines provided).