The Simple Life|
Fall 2014 not offered
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, our descendants, 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 environmental consciousness in Germany.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENVS-MN)(ENVS)(GRST-MN)(GRST)
Readings will be taken from:
Plato, Socratic dialogues
Virgil, THE GEORGICS
Werner the Gardner, FARMER HELMBRECHT
Adalbert Stifter, INDIAN SUMMER
Henry David Thoreau, WALDEN
Stella Gibbons, COLD COMFORT FARM
Scott and Helen Nearing, THE GOOD LIFE
Rachel Carson, SILENT SPRING
Frances Moore Lappé, DIET FOR A SMALL PLANET
Barbara Kingsolver, ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE
World Watch Institute papers
Winona La Duke, ALL OUR RELATIONS
Writings by Amory Lovins, Derrick Jensen, Bill McKibben, et al.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Weekly response papers with rewrites to improve style and structure, collaborative research and oral reports, a final project based on research or creative in nature.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
THIS SECTION IS A FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR (FYS) CLASS.
Regular attendance and participation required.
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