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Nature
and
the
City
 Focal
Point
Seminar
(LSP
112‐314)
 McGowan
South
Room
206
 [M/W
2:40pm‐4:10pm]
 Instructor:
Dr.
Anthony
Paul
Smith
(anthonypaul.smith@gmail.

com)
 773‐931‐9570
(cell)
 Office
hours:
By
appointment
only
 
 Course
Description
 As
the
science
of
ecology
helps
us
to
understand
the
natural
world
better
we
see
that
the
 old
dichotomy
of
nature
and
the
city
no
longer
works.
That
is
because
ecology
teaches
 us
that
cities
are
also
ecosystems
and
there
is
some
evidence
that
they
will
be
vitally
 important
in
any
resilient
response
to
the
ecological
crisis.
We
don’t
need
to
leave
the
 city
to
experience
nature,
because
the
city
is
already
in
nature.
But
this
also
requires
a
 rethinking
of
nature,
no
longer
can
nature
simply
be
something
“over
there”
but
is
part
 of
our
everyday
life
as
urban
citizens.
 
 In
this
course
we
will
explore
the
meaning
of
both
“nature”
and
“the
city”.
We
will
begin
 by
looking
at
the
way
nature
and
the
city
used
to
be
separated
and
how
both
were
given
 an
identity
by
opposing
one
to
the
other.
We
will
then
examine
the
collapse
of
this
 dichotomy,
focusing
on
how
that
collapse
has
been
experienced
as
a
natural
disaster
or
 the
return
of
nature
in
human
cities.
This
intertwining
of
a
savage
nature
and
a
savage
 city
will
be
examined
through
JG
Ballard’s
re‐telling
of
Robinson
Crusoe
in
Concrete
 Island
before
turning
to
a
more
positive
way
to
understand
this
breakdown.
Finally
as
a
 class
we
will
participate
in
the
ecosystem
that
is
our
city
by
participating
in
a
ecological
 restoration
activity.
 
 By
the
end
of
this
course
you
will
gain
an
understanding
of

how
concepts
like
“nature”
 and
“the
city”
gain
value
and
meaning
and
you
will
come
to
see
Chicago,
our
city,
as
a
 wild
space,
an
ecosystem,
where
the
drama
of
nature
plays
out.


 
 Learning
Outcomes

 Upon
completing
the
course
the
student
should
be
able
to:
 • engage
with
multiple
disciplines
and
media,
from
philosophical
writings
to
 novels,
in
order
to
investigate
and
understand
a
concept
(in
this
case
nature
and
 the
city).
 • identify
and
explain
the
different
conceptions
of
nature
and
the
city
found
in
our
 texts;

 • be
able
to
identify
the
central
themes
and
arguments
of
the
texts
and
state
them
 in
a
clear
and
sympathetic
way
in
class
discussion;
 • be
able
to
formulate
criticisms
in
a
way
that
is
attentive
to
the
original
author’s
 intent
and
argumentation.
 
 Grade
Summary
 There
will
be
two
tests
(comprised
of
short‐answer
questions
and
essay
questions),
one
 written
response
to
a
set
question
each
week,
and
a
final
paper
(10‐pages,
double‐ spaced).
Each
test
will
count
for
15%
(for
a
total
of
30%)
of
your
final
grade,
the
 seminar
writing
(5‐pages,
double‐spaced)will
count
for
15%,
your
seminar
 presentation/leading
will
count
for
10%,
and
the
final
paper
will
count
for
30%,
and
 finally
15%
for
classroom
participation.

 


1
 


It
is
important
that
you
do
not
miss
a
class
and
especially
an
exam.
Any
make‐up
for
the
 in‐class
exams
will
only
be
given
due
to
extreme
situations,
and
this
is
done
very
rarely.
 You
must
have
prior
permission
from
the
instructor
to
take
a
make­up.


 
 The
paper
is
due
via
Desire2Learn
(click
the
“Dropbox”
tab)
or
my
email
by
the
end
of
 the
day
(11:59PM)
on
Thursday
June
7th.
The
paper
is
to
be
submitted
electronically
 only.
I
prefer
that
the
paper
be
a
PDF.
Details
concerning
the
paper
(its
format
and
 content)
will
be
passed
out
after
the
first
exam.
Late
papers
will
not
be
accepted.
 Cheating/plagiarism
will
be
dealt
with
as
the
serious
infractions
that
they
are,
possibly
 leading
to
failure;
see
the
Student
Handbook
for
details.

 
 In
groups
of
2
you
will
prepare
to
lead
a
seminar.
For
this
you
will
need
to
summarize
 the
important
parts
of
the
reading,
fill
us
in
on
some
background
information,
and
come
 up
with
discussion
questions.
You
must
write
at
least
5
pages
(double­spaced)
of
 preparation
and
turn
this
in
to
me
for
part
of
your
seminar
grade.
You
are
encouraged
to
 use
media
(powerpoint,
short
films
clips,
etc.).
 
 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
non‐lecture
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.
 Desire2Learn
 Please
make
sure
that
you
check
the
email
attached
to
your
Desire2Learn
profile.
I
will
 be
sending
emails
to
that
address.
All
course
documents,
powerpoints,
audio
of
lectures,
 and
other
helpful
links
will
be
available
on
the
Desire2Learn
course
page.

 Remarks
on
Lectures,
Readings,
Films,
and
Classroom
Discussions
 We
are
dealing
with
adult
themes
and
a
range
of
different
belief
systems
in
this
class.
 You
will
be
exposed
to
different
ways
of
thinking
both
in
the
readings,
the
lectures,
and
 discussions
in
class.
At
times
you
may
find
yourself
offended
by
one
or
more
of
the
ideas
 presented
and
when
you
are
not
offended
a
fellow
classmate
may
well
be.
This
is
ok!
 While
of
course
verbal
or
physical
abuse
is
strictly
not
tolerated,
we
have
to
give
each
 other
permission
to
be
offensive
(within
the
bounds
of
respectful
discourse)
and
to
be
 offended.
By
remaining
in
this
course
you
are
agreeing
to
have
respectful
conversations
 about
a
wide
range
of
different
beliefs.

 This
goes
especially
for
the
films
and
clips
we
will
watch
in
class.
At
times
I
have
chosen
 material
that
may
be
offensive
to
some.
Some
films
will
be
rated‐R
and
some
clips
from
 TV
shows
will
be
rated
TV‐MA.
By
remaining
enrolled
in
this
class
after
the
first
session
 you
are
entering
into
a
non‐verbal
agreement
that
you
understand
and
accept
you
will
 be
asked
to
watch
these
films
and
clips.
 


2
 


Required
Texts

 • Course
reader
(found
on
D2L)
with
selections
from:
 o William
Cronin,
Nature’s
Metropolis
(Norton)
 o Mike
Davis,
Planet
of
Slums
(Verso)
 o Mike
Davis,
Ecology
of
Fear:
Los
Angeles
and
the
Imagination
of
Disaster
 (Vintage)
 o Michel
de
Certeau,
“Walking
in
the
City”
in
The
Practice
of
Everyday
Life
 (University
of
California
Press)
 o Bill
McKibben,
The
End
of
Nature
(Anchor)
 o Henry
David
Thoreau,
“Walking”
in
Walden
(public
domain)
 
 • JG
Ballard,
Concrete
Island
(Picador)

 • Bruno
Latour,
We
Have
Never
Been
Modern
(Harvard
UP)



 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.
The
schedule
and
 procedures
for
this
course
are
subject
to
change
in
the
event
of
extenuating
circumstances;
 changes
will
be
announced
in
class.

 
 Each
class
will
consist
of
lecture
and
organized
group
discussion
of
the
text.
 March
26th


 
 Introduction
 
 Part
1:
Leaving
the
City
to
Be
in
Nature
 March
28th


 
 Walking
Out
of
the
City
into
Nature
 
 
 
 
 Seminar
1
 
 
 
 
 Thoreau,
pp.
1‐30
(course
reader)
 
 
 
 
 
 April
2nd
 

 
 The
End
of
Nature
 
 
 
 
 Seminar
2
 
 
 
 
 McKibben,
pp.
47‐93
(course
reader)
 
 April
4th

 

 
 Walking
in
the
City
 
 
 
 
 de
Certeau,
pp.
91‐110
(course
reader)
 
 Part
2:
Nature
Attacking
the
City
 
 
 
 
 th

 April
9 
 
 Natural
Disasters
 
 
 
 
 Seminar
3
 
 
 
 
 Davis,
Ecology
of
Fear,
selections
from
Chapter
1
(course
reader)
 
 April
11th
 

 
 The
State
of
Nature
in
the
Slums
 
 
 
 
 Seminar
3
 
 
 
 
 Davis,
Planet
of
Slums,
pp.
121‐150
(course
reader)
 
 
 
 
 
 April
16th
 

 
 Robinson
Crusoe
(film)
 
 April
18th
 
 
 The
City
as
Wild
Nature
I
 
 
 
 
 Seminar
4
 
 
 
 
 Ballard,
pp.
1‐60
 
 April
23rd

 

 
 The
City
as
Wild
Nature
II
 
 
 
 
 Ballard,
pp.
61‐120
 


3
 



 
 April
25th

 
 
 The
City
as
Wild
Nature
III
 
 
 
 
 Seminar
5
 
 
 
 
 Ballard,
pp.
121‐180
 
 April
30th
 

 
 Test
#1
 
 
 Part
3:
Rethinking
Nature
and
the
City
 May
2nd

 

 
 Urban
Ecology
and
the
Urban
Ecosytem
 
 
 
 
 Cronon,
pp.
97‐147
(course
reader),
[Note
that
there
is
more
 reading
for
today’s
class
than
usual,
so
plan
more
time
than
 usual.
 
 May
7th
 

 
 No
Class
 
 
 
 
 
 May
9th
 

 
 No
Class
 
 May
14th

 

 
 Field
Trip
(meet
in
the
quad,
class
will
end
at
Lincoln
Park)
 
 
 
 
 The
Hybrid
of
Nature
and
the
City
I:
What
is
a
hybrid?
 
 
 
 
 Seminar
6
 
 
 
 
 Latour,
pp.
1‐24
 
 May
16th
 
 
 The
Hybrid
of
Nature
and
the
City
II:
How
does
science
 think?
 
 
 
 
 Seminar
7
 
 
 
 
 Latour,
pp.
24‐48
 
 May
21st

 


 
 The
Hybrid
of
Nature
and
the
City
III:
What
mediates
 between
nature
and
the
city?
 
 
 
 
 Seminar
8
 
 
 
 
 Latour,
pp.
49‐73
 
 May
23rd



 
 
 The
Hybrid
of
Nature
and
the
City
IV
 
 
 
 
 Seminar
9
 
 
 
 
 Latour,
pp.
74‐97
 
 May
28th

 
 
 No
Class,
Test
#2
(take
home)
 
 May
30th

 
 
 The
Hybrid
of
Nature
and
the
City
VI
 
 
 
 
 Seminar
10
 
 
 
 
 Latour,
pp.
98‐145

 
 
 
 



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