The Simple Life (FYS)|
Fall 2018 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)(GRST-MN)(GRST)
Readings may include:
Werner the Gardener, FARMER HELMBRECHT
Adalbert Stifter, INDIAN SUMMER
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
Laura Ingalls Wilder, THE LONG WINTER
Petra Kelly, Essays and Autobiographical Writings
Winona LaDuke, ALL OUR RELATIONS
Sandra Steingraber, RAISING ELIJAH
Juliet Schor, TRUE WEALTH
Naomi Klein, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING
Articles by Dorceta Taylor, Bill McKibben, Michael Pollan, Elizabeth Kolbert, et al.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Five short papers in a variety of genres, with rewrites to improve style, structure, and argument; leading class discussion; collaborative research and oral report; a final research-based or creative project.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
THIS SECTION IS A FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR (FYS) CLASS.
Regular attendance and participation required.