WGST 179/ENVS 179: Ecofeminism Annika Ljung-Baruth 331 Old Mill, University of Vermont Annika.

Ljung-Baruth@uvm.edu 802-6561256

Summer 2014 May 19-June 13 Office hours: by appointment

Contact information:   Email: annika.ljung-baruth@uvm.edu Please use UVM email only. On weekdays, I will respond within 24 hrs (usually much sooner).  Phone: If you’d like to speak on the phone with me you should email me so that we can set up a time.  Postal address: Department of English, Old Mill 331, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, 05405.

Course Description Like all environmental movements, ecofeminism is concerned with relationships between humans and the natural world. Exploring the connection between environmentalism and feminism, the field of ecofeminist studies specifically addresses the traditional interpretation of "nature" as female (or feminine), the connection between the oppression of women and the exploitation of nature, and ways in which environmental issues often affect women in particular. In this course we will read from a broad range of ecofeminist texts. Our goals will include learning about ecofeminist approaches to literature, studying various feminist theoretical responses to environmental issues as well as developing our own personal views of women, nature, sustainability, and patterns of environmental domination. Our reading list will include

authors such as Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Walker, Rachel Carson, Val Plumwood, Vandana Shiva, and Carolyn Merchant.

Learning objectives for the course :

To learn about historical and epistemological connections between the subjugation of women and the exploitation of nature in the West and globally.

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To learn how to situate ourselves in relation to ecofeminist studies. To gain knowledge about ecofeminist grassroots movements. To gain knowledge about systemic global exploitation of women, the poor, and the natural world.

To learn about ecofeminist approaches to literature.

Required Texts: Books Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring Kingsolver, Barbara. Small Wonder: Essays Plumwood, Val. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature Merchant, Carolyn. Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World Walker, Alice. The Color Purple Walker, Alice. Horses Make A Landscape Look More Beautiful Maathai, Wangari. Unbowed

Articles Online articles will be linked within "Tasks & Assignments" on Blackboard Films:

"Rachel Carson's Silent Spring" (Available at UVM Library and on Amazon) "Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai" (Available at UVM library and on Amazon, as well as online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNIQLE869VA)

How the course works 1. All assignments will be described in detail online in "Tasks & Assignments." 2. Course group projects are conducted online on the wiki. 3. Deadlines for essay and responses are available online in "Tasks and Assignments" and in the schedule summary.

Work expectations 1. You will be expected to complete all the reading and writing assignments in a timely fashion. Participation and timeliness are essential to your final grade. 2. You will be expected to be attentive and thoughtful readers and thinkers. Final grades will reflect your level of interaction with peers as well as your written performance.

Grading Policy The following aspects are each worth a third of your grade: 1. Participation and timeliness. 2. Reflections and Responses. 3. Formal Writing Assignments

Course Requirements:

You will need a computer and a connection to the Internet. If you do not have a cable, DSL, or other high-speed connection, plan to use a computer at a local library (or UVM) so that you can efficiently access the media files (take headphones).

You will need access to Microsoft Word, as you will write papers off-line in a wordprocessing program.

You will be expected to check all assignments described in detail in "Tasks & Assignments."

You will be expected to complete all the reading and writing assignments in a timely fashion.

You will need to watch the course home page and check your UVM email regularly for announcements.

Homework Submission Guidelines: All assignments should be submitted in Word Document format (1.5 spaced, 12-point font size). Always include your name, the instructor’s name, the course title, and date (in that order)

Academic Integrity: All students are required to take the Academic Integrity & Copyright Policy test linked at the bottom of the online syllabus.

Course Overview: Module One (May 19-June 1): Ecofeminism: History and Epistemology In the first section of the course, we will learn about our epistemological point of departure. As ecofeminist students at a North American University, our first concern must be to develop a critical awareness of Western culture and philosophy. Our main textbooks will be Val Plumwood's Feminism and the Mastery of Nature and Carolyn

Merchant’s Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World. The books examine Western ideas about identity, knowledge, and gender as well as various branches of the feminist movement. Module Two (June 1-June 13): Ecofeminism: Global Connections In this second section of the course, our goal is to study the global connections between race, gender, and class based oppression, and the exploitation of land, nature and resources. We will learn about the destructive impact of Western development on other parts of the world: how countries, communities, and families have eroded along with the land erosion caused by careless depletion of natural resources. Readings will include Barbara Kingsolver’s book Small Wonder, and articles by Vandana Shiva (available online), Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, and Wangari Maathai’s Unbowed.