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Course Information

Instructor Info:Kelly Bitov
Term: 2014F
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 107
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 107

This course will explore the concept of environmental human rights, focusing on the environmental justice movement in the United States and its global linkages to environmental human rights law. Course materials focus on the similarities and differences between legislative, administrative, judicial and international organization responses to toxic and hazardous environmental conditions. Who has power, and how do those in power interface with communities most affected by environmental injustices? We will discuss legal concepts of "property", "fundamental human rights" and "justice". Readings will consist of seminal legal cases, primary source documents for international organizations and treaties, news articles, and academic analyses. Students will write one term paper on an environmental justice issue of their choosing, due near the end of the semester. The class culminates in an environmental justice group role-playing simulation in which students will take on stakeholder roles, attempt to creatively problem-solve and ultimately negotiate a settlement.

Additional Info:


Most of the readings will be available online through the course website. There are two required books for the course, which will be available at the Hampshire College Bookstore:

1) Winona Laduke. All Our Relations, Native Struggles for Land and Life. Cambridge & Minneapolis: South End Press, 1999.

2) Robert D. Bullard, The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution, ed. Robert. D. Bullard. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 2005.