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Course Details

Fall 2014-2015
HUM 470 / ART 470 / AMS 470 / ENV 471 (LA)   na, npdf

Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities - Revisiting Nature's Nation - An Ecocritical History of American Art

Alan C. Braddock
Karl E. Kusserow

This course critically explores the interface of American art and environmental history while laying the basis for a groundbreaking traveling exhibition on the subject being organized by the Princeton University Art Museum. Using emerging interpretive strategies of "ecocriticism," we will approach American art as creative material that has imagined and embodied environmental issues concerning land use, species extinction, pollution, climate change, sustainability, and justice in a variety of historical contexts since the 18th century - when the foundations of "ecology" as an idea first began to materialize.

Sample reading list:
Donald Worster, Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas
William Cronon, ed, Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature
Louis S. Warren, ed, American Environmental History
Mark V. Barrow, Nature's Ghosts: Confronting Extinction from the Age of Jeff
Jennifer Anderson, Mahogany: The Costs of Luxury in Early America
Timothy Morton, The Ecological Thought

Reading/Writing assignments:
Active participation in seminar discussions. In-class oral presentation and write-up. Final paper, due on dean's date.

Paper in lieu of Final - 40%
Oral Presentation(s) - 30%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%

Other Requirements:
Not Open to Freshmen.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
The course is open to all sophomores, juniors, and seniors; no previous experience required.

Other information:
Museum fieldtrips and visits to campus laboratories to observe scientific analysis of art materials and their environmental implications.


Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
21418 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm W   McCormick Hall   274   Enrolled:6 Limit:16