AMST 251 Spring 2014 Discovering New England's Environmental Culture: From Howling Wildernesses to Managed Forests

Cross Listed as ENVI251
Williams College was founded in 1793, and in its first century, it was surrounded more by farmland than forest. How did we get from there to here, and why? More broadly, how and why has New England's material environment--and the way writers, politicians, farmers, and common laborers understood that environment--changed so drastically in the past two hundred years? This course will begin to answer those questions by exploring the historical, literary, and political trends that have defined New England's environmental culture, from European contact and settlement in the 17th century to the 21st century's battle over Cape Wind. Topics discussed will include deforestation and reforestation, fishing and overfishing, urbanization and industrialization, and gendered perspectives of the landscape. Key texts include Henry David Thoreau's Walden, Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs, and Michael Rawson's award-winning environmental history of Boston.
Class Format: lecture/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance and participation, weekly written responses to readings, two 5-7 page essays, and a final group research assignment (10-12 page essay and presentation)
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Prerequisites: none
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: ENVI Humanities, Arts + Social Science Electives,ENVP SC-B Group Electives
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 15
Class Number: 3997
AMST251-01(S) LEC New England's Envtl Culture Division 2: Social Studies Brian McCammack
TR 11:20 AM-12:35 PM Griffin 4 3997
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