Ecology of Eating: Reporting from the Fields of Science and Art|
Fall 2011 not offered
Working across the fields of art and science, this course aims to create a physical and intellectual context in which to explore and connect the many food issues that are shaping our times. We will examine food-related stories that are finding their way to the front page: water shortages, soil depletion, the obesity epidemic, factory farming, and alternatives to the industrial food system. We will design creative research projects that draw on a host of connections between the American food system and its impact on our natural environments, health, and economy. You will learn new tools for translating your research through a series of creative activities leading to concrete outcomes. We will read essays in ecology, environmental history, and food issues; each of you will design a project that reports from the fields of science and art as you find new ways to make your research evident. Project designs may range from, but are not limited to, an interactive discussion, live performance, a video, or a workshop module for a particular community.
Designing, Creating, and Realizing
Design and create interdisciplinary research projects including performative and written modes of dissemination.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Studio||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENVS)
Berry, Wendell. THE UNSETTLING OF AMERICA: CULTURE AND AGRICULTURE, San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1996; "THE PLEASURES OF EATING" WHAT ARE PEOPLE FOR? New York: North Point Press, 1990; THE ART OF THE COMMONPLACE: THE AGRARIAN ESSAYS OF WENDELL BERRY, Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2003.
Carson, Rachel. SILENT SPRING, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1968.
Critser, Greg. FAT LAND: HOW AMERICANS BECAME THE FATTEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
Cronon, William. CHANGES IN THE LAND: INDIANS, COLONISTS, AND THE ECOLOGY OF NEW ENGLAND, New York: Hill and Wang, 1983.
Leopold, Aldo. A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC, New York: Oxford University Press, 1968.
Manning, Richard, AGAINST THE GRAIN: HOW AGRICULTURE HAS HIJACKED CIVILIZATION, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.
Patel, Raj. STUFFED & STARVED: THE HIDDEN BATTLE FOR THE WORLD FOOD SYSTEM, Brooklyn: Melville House, 2008.
Pollan, Michael. SECOND NATURE: A GARDNER'S EDUCATION, New York: Grove Press, 1991; THE BOTANY OF DESIRE: A PLANT'S-EYE VIEW OF THE WORLD, New York: Random House, 2002; THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA, New York: Penguin Group, 2006.
Pringle, Peter. FOOD, INC.: MENDEL TO MONSANTO--THE PROMISE AND PERILS OF THE BIOTECH HARVEST, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.
Schlosser, Eric. FAST FOOD NATION: THE DARK SIDE OF THE AMERICAN MEAL, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
Worster, Donald. NATURE'S ECONOMY: A HISTORY OF ECOLOGICAL IDEAS, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Your grade will be comprised of four parts:
Class Participation: 50%
Everyone in the course will be an active contributor to the generating of ideas, questions, content, and creative outcomes from the determined research topics. Sometimes we will work on solo assignments but more often the process will be highly collaborative. We will spend time in and out of the classroom, in the studio, on campus, and in the community. You should not expect to feel equally comfortable in all of these settings and scenarios. One of the objectives of the course is to examine what happens when we encounter discomfort and to find ways to turn it into a form of constructive action and inquiry.
Course Readings/Journal Responses: 20%
Readings will be assigned throughout the course and also gathered from the topics you pursue in your research. Journal responses will allow you to reflect on the discoveries, challenges, and questions that emerge from your research and the development of your projects. These reflections do not need to be long or stressful for you, they are simply a way to track your experience. I hope that it can be both an informative and enjoyable practice for you during the course. Although we will not be meeting every week, I hope that we can have open and ongoing communication throughout the course. Your experience and questions matter. I welcome and appreciate your input, ideas, and suggestions during the course. I encourage you to include these responses in your journals and to share them weekly rather than limiting them to the end of the course. We will also keep communication going between course meetings through the use of Moodle.
Final Project and Paper: 30%
As individuals and in groups you will be designing creative research projects. In addition to our time in class, you will be expected to research and drive these projects outside of class time. I am interested in how research can lead to multiple outcomes and ways of connecting with individuals, audiences, and communities. Your final projects are a way to experiment with one potential outcome to your research over the course. There are many possibilities and we will spend much time sorting through your ideas and designs in class. Your projects will be presented to the class and to an invited audience on December 4th during our final class. You will have a great start on your final papers from your weekly journal responses and can draw on this writing to dig deeper into your own reflections and discoveries from the course. What did you make? How did you make your research evident? Where did the making happen? How did you make it? Why did the making matter and what will you take away from this class in terms of tools, skills, new knowledge, and personal growth?
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This interdisciplinary course is cross-listed between the Dance Department and the College of the Environment and will draw on the instructor's personal experience as a choreographer and company member with the Dance Exchange. The Dance Exchange has developed a unique practice for art making and community building across generations and abilities. This course offers a window into this methodology through the sharing of tools that encompass movement, writing, interaction, and observation. Visit www.danceexchange.org for more information about the company and its online Toolbox, an ongoing, expanding effort to share the body of knowledge developed by Dance Exchange since its beginnings in 1976. It includes practice (how to do things), theory (why they work and what they mean) and history (where they came from and what happened when we did them).
This course has an irregular meeting pattern and will include intensive sessions that meet during the fall break. The schedule is as follows:
Friday, October 1 - Dance Exchange Performance of "Drift" at Wesleyan
Saturday, October 2, 2-4pm
Sunday, October 17, 5-7pm
Monday, October 18, 9am-5pm
Tuesday, October 19, 9am-5pm
Saturday, October 23 - attend Schumann Symposium
Saturday, November 13, 9am-5pm
Saturday, December 4, 9am-3pm