Further information: Matt Rohn:  U.S. Environmental History

Expanded Description:  Our text is Carolyn Merchant, American Environmental History, An Introduction, 2007 (see bookfinder.com: as low as $26.00 new and $12.00 used). Each session will involve guided discussions usually centered on two of her short (20 pages long) chapters in Part I of the text plus a special reading in pdf form supplied by the instructor on one or more topics that day.  Each participant will also be encouraged to choosea topic the course hasn’t covered or one they want to explore in more depth, findings to be shared in the last session.

Course schedule:

Week 1— Introductions. Special read: William Cronon, “A Place for Stories: Nature, History, and Narrative. Text: “Introduction.”

Week 2— First Nations & Eco-cultural Confrontations. Text: 1-“The American Environment & Native-European Encounters, 1000-1875”. Special reads: Jack Forbes, “Indigenous Americans: Spirituality and Ecos,” in Daedalus, Fall, 2001; Lawrence Hinman, “Diversity of Religious Traditions” in Ethics; Jared Diamond, “The Ancient Ones: The Anasazi & Their Neighbors,” in Collapse.

Week 3-— Euro-American Foundational Eco-cultural Values. Text: 2-“The New England Wilderness Transformed, 1600-1850” & 3-“The Tobacco and Cotton South, 1600-1900”. Special reads: John Locke, “Of Property” in his Second Treatise on Civil Government, 1690 & Lynn White, Jr., “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis,” in Science,1967

Week 4–The Industrial Revolution & Resistance to It in the Newly Conceived ‘Nature’s Nation’. Text: 4-“Nature and the Market Economy, 1750-1850” & 5-“Western Frontiers: The Settlement of the Pacific Coast and the Great Plains, 1820-1930.” Special reads: Angela Miller, “The Fate of Wilderness in American Landscape Art,” to page 101 in A Keener Perception: Ecocritical Studies in American Art History; Images: John Gast, “American Progress,” 1872; Jasper Francis Cropsey, “Starrucca Viaduct, Pennsylvania,” 1865

Week 5— Conservation’s Importance & Its Troubling Structural Racism. Text: 8-“Indian Land Policy, 1880-1900” & 7-“Conservation and Preservation, 1785-1950.” Special reads: Angela Miller, “The Fate of Wilderness in American Landscape Art,” page 101 – 106; Image: Thomas Moran, “Grand Canyon of the Yellow Stone,” 1872.

Week 6–Environmentalism & Race in the Urban Contexts. Text : 6-“Urban Environments, 1850-1960.” Special reads: Giovanna Di Chiro, “Nature as Community: The Convergence of Environmental and Social Justice” with its inclusion of “The Principles of Environmental Justice” from Uncommon Ground. Email Matt by today: Your first proposal for any Interest to Share you might want to do week 8.

Week 7— Ecology & Environmentalism. Text : 9-“The Rise of Ecology, 1890-1900” & 10-“Environmentalism and Globalization, 1960-2005.” Special reads: Aldo Leopold, excerpts from The Sand County Almanac: “April” & “The Land Ethic”.

Week 8— Interests to Share at The End of Nature and Looking Back. Special Read: Bill McKibben, “The Emotional Core of ‘The End of Nature,’” Organization & Environment, June 2005.