Fall 2021 - GEOG 389W D100
Nature and Society (4)
Class Number: 4310
Delivery Method: In Person
Examines the relationship between nature and society, covering the dominant geographical approaches to human-environment interaction, and their social, spatial, and political economic effects. Writing.
The human-environment relationship is a high-stakes one. Humans depend inescapably on ecological systems, but economies today grow by degrading these ecologies. From escalating extinction levels to climate change, humans – some more than others – are modifying environments at a rapid pace with devastating consequences for many species’ lives and ways of living. Humans, too, bear these consequences – but not equally. For a long time, some people have profited from ecological change while others have lost out. As a result, the relationships between society and nature, or humans and the world beyond humans, are sites of intense political struggle. To explore these relationships and struggles, in this course we draw on geographical and critical approaches, including political ecology, environmental justice, and Indigenous and ecofeminist thought. Through academic and popular readings, writing-focused assignments, lectures, films, and class discussion, the course stages conversation between students and 1) cultural commentaries on nature-society relations, 2) academic ideas about ecological issues, and 3) people struggling to institute more equitable relations with nature. Students will thus refine their ability to contribute to public debate over key nature-related issues, and to make connections between these issues by situating them in shared systems and histories.
*There will be no tutorials during the first week of class
- 3 Reading/film response essays 30%
- Midterm exam 25%
- Position paper 25%
- Tutorial attendance, preparation/questions and participation 20%
No required course textbook
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TEACHING AT SFU IN FALL 2021
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