History of Environmental Thought and Activism

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This course uses a race, class and gender approach to examine the history of American environmental inequalities, ideology and activism from the 1600s to the present.  The course is divided into three units.  The first unit examines environmental conditions in the city (health, sanitation, housing, overcrowding, occupational safety, and open space), the rise of an urban American environmental consciousness, and activism related to urban issues.  Unit II examines the rise of the conservation and preservation movements.   It analyzes the relationship between hunting, wildlife extinction and the rise of conservation ethics.  This unit also examines the role of the countryside, frontier, and wilderness in environmental thought and activism.  It examines conquest, conservation, primitivism, Transcendentalism, and Romanticism and the emergence of the preservation/conservation movement. Unit III focuses on contemporary environmental thought; it examines the birth of the modern environmental movement and the emergence of reform environmentalism.  It also examines other aspects of the contemporary environmental movement such as deep ecology, the green party, ecofeminism, new urbanism, environmental justice, urban agriculture, food security, climate change, and biofuels.   The course also examines the way in which a person's social class, race, gender, environmental, and labor market experiences influence their environmental perceptions and the kinds of environmental ideologies they develop.  The course examines the rise of major environmental paradigms and the factors that make them influential.



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Terms Offered

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