Syllabus

 

 

 

 

 

Spring
2013 - Swarthmore College
Weds. 1.15-4.00 PM

Pearson
210

ENVS 091

Environmental Studies Capstone: The Extractive
Industries, Planetary Peril, and the Promise of the Liberal Arts

 

Professor Mark Wallace
mwallac1@swarthmore.edu


Office: 216 Pearson Hall

Office ph.
610-328-7829
Office hrs: Tues./Thurs. 2.30-3.30 PM

 

 

 

 

Overview

This course will be a student-centered, workshop-style study
of the threat the fossil fuels industry poses to planetary well being – and the
range of reactions to this threat inside and outside the academy. Questions will be asked about the history
and role of the extractive industries in climate change; the moral leadership
institutions of higher learning must demonstrate in addressing this change;
the importance of bioregional study of impacted places for developing
adequate responses to this change; and the power of land-based spiritualities
(with special reference to Amerindian worldviews) for engendering a living
passion for the health and welfare of human societies and the wider natural
world.

Goal

The course objective is to understand the relationship
between the extractive industries and global warming; and as a response, to interrogate
sustainable models for robust stewardship of bioregional communities through
problems-based, case-study analysis and scholarship.

Précis

1 -- Weekly one page papers: class members write analyses of and
statements about readings each week

2 -- Student class leadership: class members lead initial discussion
of readings during a particular class period

3 -- End-of-term project: class members’ projects that combine public
dissemination of projects and individual research and writing for the projects. In sum

· Class presentations of projects in class

· Wordpress summaries of projects for public dissemination

· Public poster sessions about projects

· Individual research papers

 

Required Texts

Alley: Earth: The
Operators’ Manual

Coll: Private Empire:
ExxonMobil and American Power

Wilber: Under the Surface:
Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale

Silko: Ceremony

Black Elk/Neihardt: Black Elk Speaks

Note: Extra weekly
readings will be periodically added by student discussion leaders

 

 

 

Schedule

1 – Jan. 23  Introduction and Organization

 

2 – Jan. 30 Black Elk Speaks, chaps 1-2

 Earth: Operators’ Manual, chaps 1-3

 Abram, Spell of the Sensuous, pps 1-29

 

3 – Feb. 6  Black Elk Speaks, chaps 3-5

 Earth: Operators’ Manual, chaps 4-7

 Krech III, Ecological Indian, pps 1-40

 

4 – Feb. 13 Black Elk Speaks, chaps 7-10

 Earth: Operators’ Manual, chaps 8, 11

 Private Empire, chap 1

 Peterson, “Talking the Walk,” in Ecospirit,
ed. Kearns and Keller, pps 45-62

 

5 – Feb. 20 Black Elk Speaks, chap 11

 Earth: Operators’ Manual, chaps 12, 14

 Private Empire, chap 2-3

 

6 – Feb. 27 Black Elk Speaks, chaps 12-13

 Earth: Operators’ Manual, chaps 15-16

 Private Empire, chap 4

 

7 – March 6 Black Elk Speaks, chaps 17-19

 Earth: Operators’ Manual, chaps 17-18

 Private Empire, chap 5

 

Spring Break

 

8 – March 20 Black Elk Speaks, chaps 20-21

 Earth: Operators’ Manual, chaps 19-20

 Private Empire, chaps 6-7

 

9 – March 27 Black Elk Speaks, chaps 24-26

 Earth: Operators’ Manual, chaps 21-22

 Under the Surface, chaps 1-2

 

10 – April 3 Ceremony, pps xi-57

 Earth: Operators’ Manual, chaps 23-24

 Private Empire, chaps 8-9

 Under the Surface, chap 3

 

11 – April 10 Ceremony, pps 58-120

 Private Empire, chaps 13, 15, 18

 Under the Surface, chap 4

 

12 – April 17 Ceremony, pps 121-186

 Private Empire, chap 20

 Under the Surface, chaps 5-6

 

13 – April 24 Ceremony, pps 187-243

 Private Empire, chaps 27-28

 Under the Surface, chap 7

 

14 – May 1 Conclusion, Presentations, Planning