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Course Details

Spring 2013-2014
* ANT 364 / ENV 364 (SA)  

The Politics of Nature

Susan H. Ellison

In this course we will consider the social and political life of nature from an anthropological perspective. How are our ideas about nature historically and culturally produced? What is the relationship between resource control and the consolidation of power? From the work of conservation NGOs (nonprofit organizations) to laboratory-produced GMOs (genetically modified organisms), we will explore how notions of pristine wilderness, polluting people, and ethical business are produced and contested. Course themes range from the lived effects of extractive industries to nature as both a commodity and the grounds for claiming political rights.

Sample reading list:
Watts, Michael, Nature as Artifice and Artifact
Cronon, William, Changes in the Land
West, Paige, Conservation is Our Government Now
Kosek, Jake, Understories: The Political Life of Forests
Mitchell, Timothy, Carbon Democracy
Masco, Joe, Mutant Ecologies

Reading/Writing assignments:
Approx. 150 pp reading per week (full-length ethnographies and scholarly articles). Two 8-10 page essays during the term. Dean's Date essay in lieu of final exam also 8-10 pp.

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in lieu of Final - 20%
Papers - 40%
Oral Presentation(s) - 20%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43277 S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm M   Butler Building D Hall   028   Enrolled:15 Limit:24