HIS 350L • Environmental History of North America
This course examines ideas of nature, wilderness, and environment by looking at the ways that different groups have utilized the environment at different times and in different places. For instance, what is a "wilderness"? Who gets to define it? What is "public space" and who gets to use it? This course tracks the history of these questions along with the debates and issues related to land use in, primarily, the United States. Human interaction with rural, urban, suburban spaces will all be examined as will the use/preservation/conservation of "open" spaces like national parks, forests, beaches, and deserts. Issues related to race, class, and gender will also be explored. Finally, policy decisions from colonialism to Kyoto will be woven throughout the course but special attention will be paid to the 20th century.
Class Presentations: 25% of grade Weekly Papers: 35% of grade In-class Participation: 15% of grade Paper Topic Assignment: 5% of grade Final Research paper: 20% of grade
Tenative reading list: Richard White, The Organic Machine Mark Reisner, Cadillac Desert Donald Worster, The Dust Bowl Virginia Scharff, Seeing Nature through Gender John Krakauer, Into the Wild