Karen T Litfin
Advanced topics in environmental studies. Offered: AWSpS.
This course will address these questions and more: Where does our food come from? What are the social, political and environmental roots and consequences of current agricultural practices? Who wins and who loses? To what extent are non-state actors altering the world political system? How does our planetary food web challenge our sense of personal identity and ethical responsibility? 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 questions of meat and genetically modified food, and new social movements focusing on food.
Student learning goals
Critical thinking skills about some of the most important issues of our day
You will expand capacity for integrative thinking through linking science, politics and ethics.
You will enhance your ability to articulate ideas and feelings about these issues, in writing and conversation.
You will gain a deeper sense of what it means to be a human being living at this moment in history,
Students who choose the research paper option will learn how to do commodity chain analysis.
Students who do service learning will improve a range of skills, from organic gardening to data analysis.
General method of instruction
Lectures Interactive, reflective & contemplative exercises Discussion
Class assignments and grading
Five 1-page papers on readings Service Learning or commodity chain research paper Final exam
Five mini-papers 20% Research proposal/ SL assessment 10% Research paper/ SL paper 25% Final exam 20% Participation 25% Participation 25%