Spring 2024 - LBST 311 B100

Labour and the Environment (3)

Class Number: 7685

Delivery Method: Blended


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Wed, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Kendra Strauss
    Office Hours: Mondays, 10-11am on Zoom or in person by appointment
  • Prerequisites:

    30 units. Strongly Recommended: LBST 101.



The changing relationships between unions and environmental groups; how work in various industries contribute to climate change; and how climate-change policies affect workers in different ways. The consequences of climate policies for different categories of workers, identified by economic sector, geographic location, gender, ethnicity, and Aboriginal status.


In Spring 2024 Labour and the Environment will focus on how we understand and define labour and work and the relationship of working people, labour, and labour movements to the environment as the material basis of both production and social reproduction. We will examine labour movements and unions as social movements in relationship to movements for environmental and climate justice. And we will explore how critical and radical political economy, the social sciences, feminist and queer theory, political ecology, and environmental humanities grapple with the intersections of labour politics and environmental politics.

How this class is organized (blended format)

This is a blended course, which means course delivery is a mix of in-person tutorials and asynchronous Zoom lectures and online discussions:

  • We will meet in-person on alternating Wednesdays. In person-meetings will be in tutorial format: you will be divided into tutorial groups, and each tutorial group will meet with me for 50 minutes for small group discussion and group work.
  • We will have an asynchronous lecture that will be posted on Zoom weekly.
  • In addition, in the weeks when we do not meet in person, you will participate in online discussions on Canvas.
  • We will have a full-class, in-person written mid-term exam which all students will need to be present for.



In this course we will:

  • Explore and understand intellectual and political approaches to the relationships between labour, labour movements, the environment and the idea of “nature”, and environmental politics.
  • Analyze different approaches to climate change and just transition/green transition movements.
  • Draw on course materials and students' experiences to develop research, writing, and presentation skills through the class assignments.


  • Tutorial Participation (participation in tutorials and tutorial work) 15%
  • Online Discussion Participation (participation on Canvas) 15%
  • Short Assignments (short written assignments (2)) 20%
  • Mid-term exam (in-person written exam) 25%
  • Final project (students will have a choice of final projects) 25%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Labour Studies Program follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10.01‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.



There are no textbooks for this class. All readings will be made available through the SFU Library or on Canvas. This course will utilize a wide variety of readings, films, and other texts; a full list will be provided in Week 1 and on Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html