Environment and Social Justice SS 285
SS 285 Environment and Social Justice
Fall 2009 Syllabus
Office: FPH G9, x5600
MW 2:30-3:50, FPH 103
Office hours: Weds 10:00-12, Thurs 10:30-12:30
To make appointments, sign up on my Hampedia page: https://hampedia.org/wiki/Sue_Darlington’s_Office_Hour_Sign_Up
(Five College students email me to set up an appointment during office hours)
Description: This course critically examines the relationship between concepts of environmentalism and social justice in numerous settings. Recognizing the environment as a cultural artifact grounded in people’s beliefs, histories and interactions with the land and other living beings, plant and animal, around them, we will consider the conflicts and inequities that can arise as people lay claim to the environment for particular uses. Debates surround definitions and implementations of development and sustainability, the most effective methods for promoting both social justice and environmentalism, and relationships between scientific and traditional ecological knowledge. We will look at both the environmental justice movement in the U.S. and international forms of seeking social justice with an emphasis on the differences between them and the international implications of both.
Readings and discussion: This course is premised on everyone’s active participation in class discussion, so it is essential that students come to class having done the assigned readings. Participation in class discussion is strongly encouraged, regardless of a student’s prior experience with any particular topic, because together we will be critically analyzing the materials we have read. Most of the readings are available online through the course website. There are two books required for the course, which you can buy at Food for Thought Books Collective, 106 N.Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002, Tel: 413-253-5432:
- Guha, Ramachandra. 2006. How Much Should a Person Consume?: Environmentalism in Indian and the United States. Berkeley, Los Angeles, & London: University of California Press.
* McGurty, Eileen. 2009. Transforming Environmentalism: Warren County, PCBs, and the Origins of Environmental Justice. New Brunswick, NJ and London: Rutgers University Press.
Assignments: To receive an evaluation (or, for Five College students, a grade) in the course, in addition to participating in class discussion, you need to complete three short essays, a final research paper, an oral presentation, and a final self-evaluation:
1) the first short paper, an intellectual autobiography of the development of your ideas about environmentalism, will be modeled on the autobiographical material in Chapter 1 of Ramachandra Guha’s book How Much Should a Person Consume?: Environmentalism in India and the United States, and will be due on Wednesday, September 30;
2) the second short paper, on the Endangered Species Act,will be due on Friday, October 14;
3) the third short paper, on Environmental Justice, will be due on Wednesday, October 28;
4) the final research paper will be done in three stages:
a) a written topic proposal, due Wednesday, November 4;
c) an oral presentation, on Monday, November 30, or Wednesday, December 2;
d) a final paper, due Wednesday, Decmeber 16, by 4:00 p.m. in my mailbox in the SS office in FPH.
5) the self-evaluation with your entire course portfolio will be due Wednesday, Decmeber 16, by 4:00 p.m. in my mailbox in the SS office in FPH.
All written assignments are due at the beginning of the class for which they are listed, unless otherwise stated. I will not accept late papers without prior permission. Papers must be typed and double-spaced, with page numbers. Please plan ahead for printing your papers so that you don’t have last minute computer problems. You should always spell-check and proofread your assignments before turning them in.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the presentation of another person’s ideas or words as if they were your own, without acknowledging the source. Plagiarism is a serious offense, and can result in either No Evaluation for the course or even disciplinary withdrawal from the College. As you write your papers, you must be sure to cite your sources thoroughly and correctly, whether you are quoting directly or paraphrasing. Ignorance of plagiarism is not an excuse. If you are ever uncertain as to whether doing something is technically plagiarism, you should ask. You should also consult with writing reference manuals for correct citation and bibliographic formats, including for citing Internet sources.
Section I: Multiple Environmentalisms: North and South, East and West, Rich and Poor
Weds, Sept 9: Introduction to the Course
Mon, Sept 14: Nature, Culture, and History: Environmentalism in an Unjust and Ever-Changing World
- Di Chiro, Giovanna. 1997. “Local Actions, Global Visions: Remaking Environmental Expertise.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, Vol. 18, No. 2, Intersections of Feminisms and Environmentalisms. Pp. 203-231.
* Gupta, Akhil. 2006 . “Peasants and Global Environmentalism.” In Nora Haenn & Richard R. Wilk, eds. The Environment in Anthropology: A Reader in Ecology, Culture, and Sustainable Living. New York & London: New York University Press.
Weds, Sept 16: Different Visions of Sustainability
- Chapters 3-5, “Three Environmental Utopias,” “Democracy in the Forest,” and “Authoritarianism in the Wild.” In Ramachandra Guha. 2006. How Much Should a Person Consume?: Environmentalism in Indian and the United States. Berkeley, Los Angeles, & London: University of California Press. Pp. 71-151.
Mon, Sept 21: Developing an Environmental Philosophy
- Chapters 1, 7-9, “History sans Chauvinism,” “The Subaltern Ecology of Chandi Prasad Bhatt,” “The Democratic Social Ecology of Madhav Gadgil,” and “How Much Should a Person Consumer?” In Ramachandra Guha. How Much Should a Person Consumer? Environmentalism in India and the United States. 2006. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London. University of California Press. Pp. 1-34, 175-250.
Weds, Sept 23: Local and Global, Consumers All?
- Martello, Marybeth Long. 2004. “Negotiating Global Nature and Local Culture: The Case of Makah Whaling.” In Sheila Jasanoff and Marybeth Long Martello, eds. Earthly Politics: Local and Global in Environmental Governance. Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press. Pp. 263-284.
* Wilk, Richard. 2006. “ ‘But the Young Men Don’t Want to Farm Any More’: Political Ecology and Consumer Culture in Belize.” In Aletta Biersack and James B. Greenberg. Reimagining Political Ecology. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press. Pp. 149-170.
Mon, Sept 28: Yom Kippur – no class
Weds, Sept 30: People and the Endangered Species Act
Ø The first essay assignment, an intellectual autobiography of the development of your own ideas about environmentalism, is due onWeds, Sept. 30 in class. Use Guha’s autobiographical account in Chapter 1 as inspiration, but do NOT feel you have to follow the same format as he does – use what suits you best.
Section II: Environmental Justice
Mon, Oct. 5: History of environmentalism
- McGurty, Eileen. 2009. Transforming Environmentalism: Warren County, PCBs, and the Origins of Environmental Justice. New Brunswick, NJ and London: Rutgers University Press. Chs. 1-3 (pp. 1-80).
Weds., Oct. 7: Formation of the Environmental Justice Movement
- McGurty, Eileen. 2009. Transforming Environmentalism: Warren County, PCBs, and the Origins of Environmental Justice. New Brunswick, NJ and London: Rutgers University Press Chs. 4-7 (pp. 81-166).
Mon, Oct. 12: October Break – no class
Weds., Oct. 14: Before the “Movement”
- Washington, Sylvia Hood. 2008 “Mrs. Block Beautiful: African American Women and the Birth of the Urban Conservation Movement, Chicago, Illinois, 1917–1954.” Environmental Justice 1(1):13-23.
Ø Second Essay, on Endangered Species Act, due Friday, October 16.
Mon., Oct. 19: Race and Environment
- Holifield, Ryan. 2001 “Defining Environmental Justice and Environmental Racism.” Urban Geography 22(1):78–90.
* Ziser, Michael and Julie Sze. 2009. “Climate Change, Environmental Aesthetics, and Global Environmental Justice Cultural Studies. Discourse 29(2 & 3, Spring & Fall 2007):384–410.
Weds., Oct. 21: Environmental Justice in Indian Country
- Suagee, Dean B. 2002. “Dimensions of Environmental Justice in Indian Country and Native Alaska.” Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit - Summit II, Resource Paper Series, October 23, 2002.
* Rosier, Paul C. 2008. “‘We, the Indian People, Must Set an Example for the Rest of the Nation’: Environmental Justice from a Native American Perspective.” Environmental Justice 1(3):127-129.
Mon., Oct. 26: Coming to the Table
- Ranco, Darren J. 2008. “The Trust Responsibility and Limited Sovereignty: What can Environmental Justice Groups Learn from Indian Nations?” Society and Natural Resources 21:354–362.
* Lawson, Bill E. 2008. “The Value of Environmental Justice.” Environmental Justice 1(3):155-157.
Section IV: Ideas of Nature
Weds., Oct. 28: People, Forest and Ideas of Conservation
- Colchester, Michael. 2003. “Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas: Rights, Principles and Practice.” Nomadic Peoples NS 7(1):33-51.
* Campos, Marina T. & Daniel C. Nepstad. 2006. “Smallholders, The Amazon’s New Conservationists.” Conservation Biology 20(5):1553-1556.
Ø Weds., Oct. 28: Third essay, on Environmental Justice, due Wednesday, October 28 in class.
Mon., Nov. 2: People, Forest and Ideas of Conservation, con’t.
- Garfield, Seth. 2004. “A Nationalist Environment: Indians, Nature, and the Construction of the Xingu National Park in Brazil.” Luso-Brazilian Review 41(1):139-167.
Weds., Nov. 4: Advising Day – no class
Ø Weds., Nov. 4: written topic proposal and annotated bibliography for research project due in my box in Social Science by 4 p.m.
Mon., Nov. 9: Forms of Environmental Knowledge
- Goldman, Michael. 2004. “Imperial Science, Imperial Nature: Environmental Knowledge for the World (Bank).” In Sheila Jasanoff and Marybeth Long Martello, eds Earthly Politics: Local and Global in Environmental Governance. Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press. Pp. 55-80.
Section IV: Development and Environment
Weds., Nov. 11: Definitions of “development”
- Beckerman, Wilfred. 2006. “Income Levels and the Environment.” In Nora Haenn & Richard R. Wilk, eds. The Environment in Anthropology: A Reader in Ecology, Culture, and Sustainable Living. New York and London: New York University Press. Pp. 173-182.
* Maniates, Michael F. 2001. “Individualization: Plant a Tree, Buy a Bike, Save the World?” Global Environmental Politics 1(3):31-52.
Mon., Nov. 16: Carbon Offsetting: A Remedy for Development?
- Backstrand, Karin & Eva Lovbrand. 2006. “Planting Trees to Mitigate Climate Change: Contested Discourses of Ecological Modernization, Green Governmentality and Civic Environmentalism.” Global Environmental Politics 6(1):50-75.
Weds., Nov. 18: Biodiversity and marketing of genetic resources.
- Di Chiro, Giovanna. “Indigenous Peoples and Biocolonialism: Defining the ‘Science of Environmental Justice’ in the Century of the Gene.” In Ronald Sandler and Phaedra C. Pezzullo, eds. Environmental Justice and Environmentalism. Cambridge and London: The MIT Press. Pp. 251-283.
Mon., Nov. 23: Consequences of Biotechnology
- Boal, Iain A. 2001. “Damaging Crops: Sabotage, Social Memory, and the New Genetic Enclosures.” In Nancy Lee Peluso and Michael Watts, eds. Violent Environments. Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press. Pp. 146-154.
* Gupta, Aarti. 2004. “When Global Is Local: Negotiating Safe Use of Biotechnology.” In Sheila Jasanoff & Marybeth Long Martello, eds. Earthly Politics: Local and Global in Environmental Governance. Cambridge, MA & London: The MIT Press. Pp. 127-148.
Weds., Nov. 25: Thanksgiving Break- no class
Mon., Nov. 30: Student Presentations
Weds., Dec. 2: Student Presentations
Mon., Dec. 7: A Global Sense of Place
- DiChiro, Giovanna. 2004. “ ‘Living Is for Everyone’: Border Crossings for Community, Environment, and Health.” Osiris, 2nd Series 19, Landscapes of Exposure: Knowledge and Illness in Modern Environments:112-129.
Weds., Dec. 9: What Does It All Add Up To?: Conclusions, Insights, Questions
Final papers, portfolios and self-evaluations due Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 4:00 p.m.