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Course Information

Instructor Info:Kelly Bitov
TA Info:Erika Held
Term: 2014S
Meeting Info: Monday
02:30 PM - 03:50 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 108
02:30 PM - 03:50 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 107

This course will explore the legal regime in the United States in which citizens and activists work to protect public health and the environment, and various approaches to environmental activism. How does the law help protect us and our environment? What are its shortfalls? Who are the stakeholders in this system? What can you do to make change happen? We will explore the law and policy around major environmental issues including global climate change, mass toxic chemical exposure, environmental impacts of the industrial food system and more, through analyzing the different approaches, values and impacts of environmental activists dedicated to these issues. The different kinds of activism we will analyze in this course include: 1. direct action and eco-terrorism; 2. formal legal action; 3. grassroots activism; 4. corporate social responsibility work, and; 5. artivism. In addition to assigned readings, students will watch a collection of topical environmental documentaries and films. Coursework will include weekly short writing assignments responding to questions posted on Moodle, a medium-length reflective paper on an environmental action you will take (details below) and a semester-long project focused on an environmental activist or activist group culminating in a final written report and in-class presentation.

Course Objectives:


RebLaw, the Rebellious Lawyering Conference - - Yale, New Haven, CT, February 21-22

Local Environmental Action Conference 2014 - Northeastern University, Boston, MA, March 2

Shalefield Justice Spring Break Madisonburg, PA, March 15-22

Earth Week Retreat at Earthdance - Plainfield, MA, April 20-27

Evaluation Criteria:

Class participation, weekly postings, write up of "required environmental action" experience and thought process, semester-long written report and end-of-semester 5-10 minute oral presentation.