GEOG 050 – D2:SU: Global Environments and Cultures
This course offers an introduction to geography from global, regional, and place-based perspectives. We examine socio-environmental transformations that arise from interactions between natural systems and human activities through six analytical modules: i) protected areas and biodiversity, ii) cultivation, land tenure and labor, iii) sustainability, ‘green economies’ and energy transitions, iv) water and environmental justice, v) political ecology, and vi) ‘extreme environment’ cultures of science and technology. Within each module, we will review key concepts that are likely familiar to students at this stage of learning, but that we re-examine from critical and diverse perspectives. The course encourages students to think geographically about global processes and their many social, political and environmental impacts. Although this is a required course for geography majors and highly recommended for geography minors, students of all interests and majors are welcome!
ENVS 143 – Political Ecology
Overview and Structure Political ecology is a community of practice best realized in conversation with others. Through a writing-intensive and research-based approach, this course examines how politics shape our understandings of and interactions with various forms and ideas of nature in geographically diverse contexts. ‘Nature’ is a historically and culturally contingent concept, deployed unevenly for the benefit of some and to the detriment of others.
GEOG 178 – Gender, Space and Environment
This intermediate course examines key feminist concepts and methods regarding gender, space and environment. This course highlights different feminist storytelling approaches and provides opportunities for practicing different writing, visualization and collaborative learning skills, including digital game analysis, app analysis, citizen science practices and autoethnographic writing. Key course concepts include more-than-human politics and relations, embodiment, emotion and affect, environmental subjectivity, justice, and expertise. A key theme in this course will be the emerging field of Feminist Digital Natures (FDN). We will experiment with different methods of digital analysis. Students should be prepared for thoughtful and challenging discussion and writing in this course, as well as visiting and observing various sites on campus and in virtual spaces.
GEOG 245 – NATURES, PLACES AND THE POLITICS OF TRUTH
This advanced seminar examines natures, places and the politics of truth through an approach known as feminist political ecology. We begin with feminist writings from the ‘Andean’ region, a ‘place’ rooting decolonial theory that connects with eco-social and indigenous movements through Central and South America. How well do these decolonial theories and practices ‘travel’ from their roots in the Andes to other places? We will think with scholars centering critical Black, Indigenous, Disability, Feminist and Queer studies approaches. This course will examine highly contested spaces such as hostess bars in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, imagined post-catastrophic worlds, cancer treatment clinics in California, USA and a feminist, anti-colonial science laboratory in Newfoundland, Canada, among others. These spaces are sites of remaking power relations, natures and knowledge. Two ethnographies, a science fiction trilogy, two books about doing science and other works will help us carefully unpack common gendered and racialized figures or tropes of sex workers, humanity’s remaining fertile survivors, breast cancer warriors and expert scientists in ways that radically rethink ideas of nature, modernity, agency, freedom, expertise, relating and other concepts. Students should be prepared for thoughtful and challenging discussion and writing in this course.