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Rivers are the circulatory systems of civilization, yet for much of modern history they have been treated as little more than sewers, roads, and sources of power. Today they are in crisis. Rivers and the people who rely on them face a multitude of problems, including climate change, pollution, unsustainable agriculture, and ill-conceived dams. These problems will threaten human rights, public health, political stability, and ecological resilience far into the future unless we learn to manage rivers more justly and sustainably. Can we reimagine rivers before it is too late? This course will pursue this question by examining the social, cultural, and political dimensions of conflict over rivers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Drawing on scholarship from a wide range of social science and humanities disciplines and focusing on case studies in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, it will explore a diverse array of sources: film, fiction, ethnography, history, journalism, and more.
Format: tutorial; This class will be taught in a modified tutorial format, with five groups of three students, each of which will meet for one 75-minute session per week. Sessions will be held in-person and remotely.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Each week, each student will either write a 4-5-page essay on assigned readings or write a 2-page critique of a partner's paper.
Environmental Studies 101
Environmental Studies majors and concentrators
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENVI Humanities, Arts + Social Science Electives