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Anthony Paul Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) Room: Room 129, Munroe Hall (2312 North Clifton Avenue) Phone: 773-325-3259 (room) 773-931-9570 (cell) Office hours: 2:00pm-3:00pm M/W or by appointment
Course Description The purpose of this course is to advance ecological literacy. The seminar presents the study of the environmental to students in a philosophical, cultural, and historical context, and in addition makes them aware of some foundational ideas of the discipline through a selection of new and classic literature. We will be reading and critically assessing selections from a recent Anthology of American Environmental Writing entitled American Earth. We will examine why the piece has been influential and will admire its merits. Additional we will question whether each piece we read illustrates perspectives that now seem outmoded, unhelpful, or biased in a particular way. In addition, you will be asked to provide additional critical perspectives where these are apparent. Grade Summary Your grade is based on three criteria: Discussion leadership (20%), informed participation (40%), and 9 mini-essays (40%). Student's performance in this class will be evaluated based upon classroom contribution, and good performance will depend upon a close and critical reading of the assigned texts. A series of topics will be assigned each week. I will introduce the topic and provide background information, including where useful biographical details on the author. That topic will form the core of the discussion for the week after. I will call for one (or two) student(s) to lead in the discussion on the readings. Leading the discussion will involve providing 1. A summary of the article, 2. A assessment of the influence of the piece and a critique using the assessment tool 3. Preparing a series of questions that might provoke debate. Discussants will also comment on their assessment of the piece. All attendees (including those not officially registered for the course) must read the texts closely. With a small class size it is vital that everyone contributes. Please avail yourself of an opportunity to talk with me before presenting, if you require any help with the material. Remember when reading the material if a term, concept or name is unfamiliar to you look it up in the library or on the web (or ask). For each article/chapter selected each student is expected to provide a mini-essay (470 words, giving an overview and
reflection on the readings). I will collect these at the end of each class session The final paper is due via Desire2Learn (click the “Dropbox” tab) or by email by the end of the day (11:59PM) on Tuesday, March 13th. The paper is to be submitted electronically only. Late papers will not be accepted except for extreme situations. Cheating/plagiarism will be dealt with as the serious infractions that they are, possibly leading to failure; see the Student Handbook for details. Attendance is important and is taken by collecting your mini-essays. Cell Phone and Laptop Policy While I understand the addiction to cell phones, especially smart phones, the material we are studying is very difficult and therefore requires your undivided attention. If you are caught using your phone during a lecture you will be given one warning (either verbally or by email). If you are caught a second time or more you will face a reduction of five points for each offense from your highest scoring piece of coursework. Please turn all cell phones off during the lecture. If I can do it, so can you. Laptops are acceptable in the class, but for note taking only. If you appear not to be paying attention because you’re distracted by something nonlecture related on your laptop then I will ask you to read the last line of notes you have just written. If you can’t then you will be given a warning (either verbally or by email). If you are caught a second time or more you will face a reduction of five points for each offense from your highest scoring piece of coursework. Required Text: Bill McKibben (ed), American Earth: Environmental Writings Since Thoreau (The Library of America) Outline of Course and Reading Schedule Readings listed are to be read for that class period. If the reading is listed under September 14th, it is to be read prior to the September 14th session of class. To help guide your reading, I will provide two study question per reading assignment (via email) which you should come to class as prepared as possible to answer; writing out answers beforehand is not required but is encouraged. The schedule and procedures for this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances; changes will be announced in class. January 10th January 17th January 24th January 31st February 7th Thoreau, pp. 2-36; Snyder pp. 473-479; Crumb, pp. 591-494; Merwin, 716-717, Oliver, 737-738 Whitman, pp. 62-70; Marsh, pp. 71-80; Abram, pp. 815834; Solnit, pp. 971-998 Muir, pp. 85-112; Pinchot, pp. 173-180; Zahniser, pp. 392-394; McKibben, pp. 718-724 Leopold, pp. 266-294; Dick, pp. 451-453 Jeffers, pp. 251-253; Berry, pp. 505-530; Pollan, pp. 948-960
February 14th February 21st February 28th March 6th
Eiseley, pp. 337-347; Dillard, pp. 531-549; Kingsolver, pp. 939- 947 White, pp. 405-412; Ehrlich, pp. 434-437; Hardin, 438450 Jacobs, pp. 359-365; Carson, pp. 366-376; Cronon, pp. 632-658 Chávez, pp. 690-695; Gore, pp. 855-859; Quammen, 874-897