AMST 367
Colonialism and the Environment Fall 2022
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
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Class Details

In this course students will explore the intersections of environmental history and the history of colonialism in the United States. We will examine how scholars have crafted narratives that focus on “nature”–both as a cultural concept and as a set of biological processes and systems. Readings and assignments will analyze the ways in which these different “natures” have acted as both agents and objects of historical change. We will pay particular attention to how different environments were impacted by the Euro-American conquest of indigenous homelands. Course topics will include (but are not limited to) European settlement in New England, the North American fur trade, US continental expansion and the destruction of the bison, the transcontinental railroad, the creation of the National Park system, Native American environmental activism, and paramilitary responses to struggles over natural resources (such as the Dakota Access Pipeline protests).
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 1994
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Assignments will include participatory discussion, weekly responses to assigned readings, short papers, and a semester-long research project.
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: preference for upper-level (Junior/Senior) students
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
DPE Notes: This course focuses on race, colonialism, and the inequalities that can result from ecological changes that impact how communities live and interact with the natural world. Students in the course are asked to explore how difference, power, and inequality have shaped the environmental history of the United States.
Attributes: AMST Space and Place Electives

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