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IDSEMUG 1298 - Ecology and Environmental Thought

This course explores the historical and current relationship between the science of ecology and environmental philosophy and policy. The focus will be on case studies, past and present, that shed light on interactions between ecological science and environmental thinking, the connections of both to broader intellectual, cultural, social and political trends, their sometimes tenuous relationship to one another over the past century, and their continuing interactions in the discourse over the fate of nature. Considerable attention will be given to the science of ecology–its concepts, explanations, and methods—as well as to the broad cultural background in which it has developed. Topics include changing views of equilibrium and the balance of nature, myths of the primitive, the transfer of metaphors between social theory and ecology, cross-cultural transfers and exchanges of ecological knowledge, and recent debates over biodiversity, population, “invasive” species, global warming, and environmental justice. Readings will include historical works by authors from Linnaeus and Darwin to Thoreau, George Perkins Marsh, and Rachel Carson, and a variety of works by recent and contemporary ecologists and environmental thinkers, such as Paul Colinvaux, Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare, Chris Thomas, Inheritors of the Earth, and Ken Thomson, Where Do Camels Belong?. Class Notes: Section 001 Not Open to Environmental Studies majors. Add Consent: Department Consent Required. Enrollment Requirements: Restr for ARTS-UG N. ENVST.
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Spring 2020
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