The Simple Life (FYS)|
Spring 2021 not offered
ENVS 230F, GELT 230F|
As the human population grows toward nine billion and our planet's carrying capacity comes under increasing pressure, many observers believe the human project itself is at risk. What human beings have accomplished is probably unique in the history of the universe; once lost to war, famine, and ecological collapse, the understandings and physical creations of our cultures will be irrecoverable. We must ask ourselves, with considerable urgency, the following questions: How do our values, our economic systems, and our behaviors--as individuals, groups, societies, and cultures--affect the conditions under which we, future generations, and the plants and animals with which we share the earth might live in the future? To what extent and at what cost can technology enable us to adapt to changes already under way? Should we take an "après moi, le déluge" attitude or try to prolong the life of our species, and if so, in what form? Does the so-called simple life, as conceptualized in different times and places, offer any useful models? Does living "green" make sense? What about environmental (in)justice? This course will draw on texts from a variety of periods and disciplines, written in a range of styles and from many perspectives, to examine how these questions and others can be approached. Creative thinking will be strongly encouraged. We will pay particular attention to contemporary sustainability initiatives and threats to the environment in the present moment.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENVS-MN)(ENVS)(GRST-MN)(GRST)
Selections and complete works will include:
Werner the Gardener, FARMER HELMBRECHT
Adalbert Stifter, INDIAN SUMMER
Henry David Thoreau, WALDEN
Emile Guillaumin, LIFE OF A SIMPLE MAN
Scott and Helen Nearing, THE GOOD LIFE
Rachel Carson, SILENT SPRING
Frances Moore Lappé, DIET FOR A SMALL PLANET
Al Gore, EARTH IN THE BALANCE
Writings by Bill McKibben, Michael Pollan, Petra Kelly, Winona LaDuke, Dorceta Taylor, et al.
Naomi Klein, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
Juliet Schor, TRUTH WEALTH
Several films will be viewed, including WASTE LAND, CHASING ICE, and AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Short papers with rewrites to improve style, structure, and argument; collaborative research and oral reports; a final project, which can be research-based or creative.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Regular attendance and participation and timely completion of assignments are required.
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