ANTH 210
Governing Nature Spring 2015
Division II Writing Skills
Cross-listed ENVI 210 / ANTH 210 / JLST 210
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

This course analyzes the regulation of natural resources, primarily in today’s United States. We will study how shared definitions of nature and, hence, nature’s resources are instituted in law and policy and the extent to which these legal mandates shape actual landscapes. We will examine the workings of government bureaucracies–for example, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service–to see how their understanding and administration of natural resources operate on the ground and affect local communities. We will consider an array of questions: What is the relationship between nature and what anthropologists call “the State”? Does scientific expertise command authority? When is the governance of natural resources synonymous with the governance of people? To what extent are taken-for-granted terms like “endangered” in reality social and legal constructs? In order to unpack these and other puzzles, we will turn to historical works and ethnography, focusing on insights from political and environmental anthropology. We will also read legal doctrine, such as the Wilderness Act of 1964 and judicial opinions regarding tribal sovereignty and fishing rights. Our case studies will range from rivers and national forests in the American Southwest to local conservation issues in the Berkshires, including land trusts.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3148
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active participation, two 5- to 7-page papers on assigned readings, one 12- to 15-page research paper
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Anthropology and Sociology majors, ENVI majors/concentrators and Justice and Law concentrators
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENVI 210 Division II ANTH 210 Division II JLST 210 Division II
Attributes: ENVI Environmental Policy
ENVP PE-B Group Electives
ENVP PTL-A Group Electives
ENVP SC-B Group Electives
JLST Interdepartmental Electives

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