Karen T Litfin
Format may range from seminar/discussion to formal lectures to laboratory or modeling work.
Political Ecology of the World Food System Where does our food come from? What are the social, political and environmental roots and consequences of the current agricultural practices? Who wins and who loses? In particular, we will focus on the pivotal role of petroleum in the world food system, the political consequences of disrupting the global carbon and nitrogen cycles, the question of meat, and the question of genetically modified organisms. We will study all of these issues and more against the backdrop of North/South inequality.
Student learning goals
Students will learn how to do commodity chain analysis.
Improved capacity for integrative thinking, linking science, politics and ethics.
Improved oral communication skills
Improved writing skills
Improved capacity for collaborative work as a consequence of commodity chain project.
Greater awareness of the relationship between our personal lives and the world system.
General method of instruction
Lectures, discussion, films, small group work on commodity chain projects
None, though a basic knowledge of international politics and sustainability issues will be helpful.
Class assignments and grading
Midterm, final exam, and commodity chain project on one of the following foods: wheat, beef, chocolate, coffee, tea, bananas, cotton, rice, coconut oil, corn. This course will include a service learning option.
To be announced