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Course Information

Instructor Info:Sue Darlington
Office Extension x5600
TA Info:Suyeon Min
Cassidy Rappaport
Term: 2014F
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
09:00 AM - 10:20 AM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 104
09:00 AM - 10:20 AM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 104

Humans have long identified with the land on which they live. Yet different people tell different stories of themselves, their histories, their relations with the land and the land itself. Whose stories are heard while others are silenced? How do told and untold stories affect access and rights to land or decisions about land use? This course will explore cases from around the world, examining debates such as creation and use of national parks, urban development, environmental justice, and questions of indigenous rights versus economic development. We will examine our own histories, experiences with, and concepts of land and nature to frame the course. We will use Hampshire's history as a case study to think about our connections to land and history. Concepts such as "nature," "environment," and "community" will be unpacked and critically examined from multiple cultural perspectives.

Course Objectives:
  • Develop critical thinking, reading and writing skills through close examination of differing interpretations of people’s relationships with land and how their stories are told or not told.
  • Develop analytical skills as students learn to approach complex environmental issues and concepts of land from interdisciplinary and multiple theoretical angles.
  • Increase students’ awareness of the influence of culture, history, politics and economics on approaches to ecological problems and how people conceive of and represent their relationship with land.
  • Go beyond tendencies to idealize stereotyped cultural approaches to ecological issues to understand the full cultural, socio-political and historical contexts within which these approaches are developed and implemented.
  • Strengthen research, reading, writing and presentation skills through a series of written and oral assignments designed to challenge students to develop their own critical approaches and analyses.
  • Conceive and complete project-based work in the form of individual research projects.
  • Help students learn about Hampshire—academically, socially, physically—as new students.
Evaluation Criteria:

Assignments include reading, writing, class presentations, and project-based work. I expect readings to be done thoughtfully and critically before the class date for which each assignment is listed as discussion is largely based on the readings. Students will be expected to participate in and occasionally run discussions.

To receive an evaluation for the course, you must complete all assignments on time and make satisfactory progress on the course learning goals. I expect a lot of writing and class participation. If you miss more than two class meetings without a good reason, you may not get a good evaluation. (If you miss a significant number of class meetings, you may not get an evaluation.) Remember: Communication with me about your status in the class can help you meet the course goals and do well in this course.

I do not give Incompletes unless negotiated before assignment due dates, including the final paper and portfolio.

Additional Info:

Plagiarism is the presentation of another person’s ideas or words as if they were your own, without acknowledging the source. Plagiarism is a serious offence, and can result in either No Evaluation for the course or even disciplinary withdrawal from the College. As you write your papers, you must be sure to cite your sources thoroughly and correctly, whether you are quoting directly or paraphrasing. Ignorance of plagiarism is not an excuse. If you are ever uncertain as to whether doing something is technically plagiarism, you should ask. You should also consult with writing reference manuals for correct citation and bibliographic formats, including for citing Internet sources.