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Ecology and Environmental Thought

Semester and Year FA 2006
Course Number K20.1298
Section 001
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement SCI


Ecological science and environmentalism appear to be relatively recent developments, but they have long and deep roots in our culture. Their interrelated histories, their connections to broader intellectual, cultural, social and political trends, their sometimes tenuous relationship to one another over the past century, and their continuing interactions in the discourse over the fate of nature constitute the subject of this course. Topics include the Protestant roots of both ecology and environmentalism, myths of the primitive (biological, anthropological, etc.), the transfer of metaphors between social theory and ecology, changing views of equilibrium and balance in nature, conservative and postmodern critiques of ecology, and recent debates over biodiversity, global warming, and environmental justice. Readings may include Paul Colinvaux, Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare, Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, Michael Lewis, Inventing Global Ecology, Vandermeer and Perfecto, Breakfast of Biodiversity, and DiMento and Doughman, Climate Change, as well as selections from Linnaeus, Darwin, Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, and a variety of contemporary ecologists and environmentalists.

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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