Critical studies of class, gender and race differences in environmental politics. The political-economic dimensions of ecological change. Contemporary environmental movements including the varieties of bioregionalism, deep ecology, ecofeminism, ecosocialism, environmental justice, and social ecology. Offered: jointly with ENVIR 459.
Social and political forces are deeply involved in environmental degradation. Likewise, ecology and natural resources play important roles in political and social institutions within a society. This seminar examines a range of approaches to the analysis of ecological and social processes, drawing on interpretations of different socio-ecological studies by historians, sociologists, geographers and anthropologists. We will begin with the key writings in the field of Political Ecology from 1980s written in response to environmental determinism and scarcity and follow through with an overview of trends in the field. Topics include human/environment relations through the lens of gender, race, class, livelihoods, the topic of nature and nature conservation, local knowledge, resistance and resilience, environmental discourses, social movements and the connections between production and consumption. Students will gain an understanding of how hierarchies, privilege, status and power shape patterns of natural resource use; who and what causes environmental problems; and what the solutions might be.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading