Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Nature & the Environment
This course explores the interwoven topics of nature and the environment. The first part of the course provides a history of the environmental movement, focusing on issues of wilderness preservation, environmental justice, animal rights, and global warming. The second part of the course investigates philosophies of nature from pre-Socratic discussions of the composition of the physical world to contemporary work in cultural studies on the problem of naturalizing categories of race, gender, and sexuality. The third part of the course deals with representations of nature in poetry with special attention to the history of the pastoral and the sublime. Students should expect to write a midterm paper based on our course readings and to collaborate with class members from other departments and schools in a final research project.