AMST 214 Fall 2013 African American Environmental Culture from Slavery to Environmental Justice (D)

Cross Listed as AFR218, ENVI212
Until the environmental justice movement rose to prominence over the past few decades and invited a more critical perspective on the connection between race and the environment, popular understanding of the American environmental (and environmentalist) tradition had effectively been whitewashed. But why? This course will work to find answers to that question while unearthing the deeper roots of African American environmental culture in conversation with key moments in African American history; from slavery to sharecropping, from migration and urbanization to environmental justice. With an interdisciplinary approach that considers sources as diverse as slave narratives, fiction, poetry, songs, photographs, maps, and ethnographies, we will consider African American intellectuals, writers, and visual and musical artists not always associated with environmental thought, from W.E.B. Du Bois and Zora Neale Hurston to the Black Panthers and Marvin Gaye. Evaluation considers active, informed participation in class discussion based on assigned readings, midterm and final exams, and three 5-7 page essays. Students are also expected to research and respond to one news article exploring some aspect of the intersection between race and the environment over the course of the semester, and to share your findings with the class for discussion. This course fulfills the Exploring Diversity Initiative requirement by examining the themes of empathetic understanding and power and privilege. Among many other paths of inquiry, we will examine how African American environmental culture has evolved in conversation with an historical context of discrimination, racism, and inequality.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: active, informed participation in discussion on assigned readings, midterm & final exams, &three 5-7 page essays;
Additional Info: students also expected to research &respond to at least one news article exploring some aspect of the intersection between race and the environment over the course of the semester, &to share your findings with the class for discussion
Additional Info2: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the Gaudino option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: open to first-year and continuing students
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes: carries Division 2 credit
Divisional Attributes: Division II,Exploring Diversity
Other Attributes: ENVP SC-B Group Electives
Enrollment Limit: 20
Expected Enrollment: 15
Class Number: 2010
AMST214-01(F) LEC Afrcn Amrcn Envirnmntl Cltr (D) Division 2: Social StudiesExploring Diversity Initiative Brian McCammack
TR 11:20 AM-12:35 PM Chemistry 206 2010
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