Fall 2018 not offered
Every day, we make conscious and unconscious decisions that define what we consider clean or dirty, good or bad, valuable or expendable. As the familiar saying goes, "one man's trash is another man's treasure." At an individual and societal level, our ways of wasting affect both the world we inhabit and our place within it. This course draws on readings in archaeology, anthropology, history, psychology, material culture studies, and environmental science to explore one of humanity's most prodigious products and greatest legacies: trash. We will study conceptions of waste from different times, places, and perspectives, as well as the impact of refuse on our everyday behavior, systems of ethics and meaning, and interactions with the environment.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Credit/Unsatisfactory|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Hawkins, THE ETHICS OF WASTE: HOW WE RELATE TO RUBBISH
Humes, GARBOLOGY: OUR DIRTY LOVE AFFAIR WITH TRASH
Rathje and Murphy, RUBBISH! THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF GARBAGE
We will also study additional book chapters, articles, documentary films, and selections from other works.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Assignments for this class include two shorter papers and a final research paper. The first shorter paper will be 3-5 pages in length, presenting and discussing the results of a hands-on, in-class "garbology" activity. The first paper will use only course readings in order for students to learn and practice proper citation of others' work and ideas. The second shorter paper will be 5-7 pages in length and will follow an everyday object through cycles of production, consumption, and discard, evaluating the economic, environmental, and ethical impacts of those processes and drawing on five references beyond the course readings. This paper will emphasize choosing appropriate sources of information for academic writing, developing an argument, and supporting claims with evidence. The final research paper will be 12-15 pages in length and will require students to analyze and evaluate waste management strategies employed in a specific time and place of their choosing (e.g., 1st-century Rome, 18th-century Mexico City, 21st-century Las Vegas, etc.). Before turning in their final research paper, students will prepare a prospectus that will be approved by the professor and a rough draft that will be edited by their peers.