Professor: Lisa Bardwell and James C.G. Walker
Institution: University of Michigan
Course Number: ES 450
The primary purpose of this seminar is to integrate humanistic and social science perspectives into the discussion of environmental issues. We will look at the ways in which culture, values, and the very nature of human beings have shaped our environmental dilemma. The capstone is organized in conjunction with an interdisciplinary faculty seminar (which meets every other Tuesday). We will participate in that seminar and build on it in our capstone discussions. This format lets us bring together a broad spectrum of people — undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty interested in exploring “new” territory together. We are going to rely on the insights and experience of everyone — there are no “right” ways to think about the ideas we will discuss.
FOCUS FOR FALL 1993
This year, we want to look at some of the cultural and social paradoxes that seem to have gotten us into a fair amount of environmental trouble and that seem to stymie meaningful action. The class will develop a framework for understanding these dynamics and approaches to reconciling the paradoxes inherent in environmental issues.
WHY A CAPSTONE?
The flexibility of an Independent Concentration (ICP) brings with it the challenge of achieving some integration and synthesis of the varied coursework you have taken. Furthermore, even though there are a number of ICP majors, there have been few opportunities for all of you to work together. The capstone is an effort to provide a setting where we can begin to explore some of the bigger questions together. The class is a seminar. Each of you is expected to be a participating member, engaging each other and faculty in discussions and providing support and constructive feedback (verbal and written) to your colleagues.
In addition to completing written assignments, you are expected to:
a) read all assigned materials and attend all seminars;
b) be prepared for class discussions;
c) actively participate and provide feedback (written and verbal) to your peers and faculty;
d) participate in a small group responsible for leading one seminar;
e) identify readings for the class you will help lead.
We will meet 1-2:30 Tuesday and Thursday. Every other Tuesday (starting September 14th), we will meet with the faculty seminar. Grades will be based on written assignments, class participation and presentations. We will announce office hours in class. We encourage you all to have at least one meeting with one of us.
BOOKS AND COURSEPAK
You will be reading several books in their entirety. They will be available at Shaman Drum (313 S. State, 662-7407). The coursepak is at Dollar Bill Copying (611 Church, 665-9200). In addition to all assigned readings and books, we will have a number of optional reading materials on reserve at the Undergraduate Library.
FURTHERMORE: Small teams (2-3 of you) will be responsible for identifying materials for your class discussion. We will need to have those 2 weeks BEFORE you lead class. These materialscan be from additional chapters of books already assigned in the course, articles, books or even films or music. Please limit the readings to about 20 pages per class period.
Books: (indicated with a $$ in the syllabus)
Durning, A. How much is enough?
Kline, D. Great Possessions
Orr, D. Ecological Literacy
RESERVE BOOKS LIST: The references with a (UR) are on reserve in UGLI. You may want to look at some of them as you are deciding what you’d like the class to read later in the term (i.e. additional readings may include chapters of these books or some of the references they list).
READING EVALUATIONS FORM
This is the first time we have done a Capstone, and we welcome — no, ENCOURAGE your feedback and input. One aspect of that entails letting us know what you thought about the readings. We will discuss filling out the evaluation forms in class.
This averages out to about 1 written assignment and 1 set of questions per week.
1) Response papers to FIVE of the faculty lectures (2-3 pages):
You will be sharing these papers with class members and the lecturer for feedback and discussion. We encourage several of you to write on the same topic.
2) FOUR short essays (5-6 pages):
These essays will represent your thoughts about and reactions to each of the 4 units or sections of the course (see the roman numerals in the course outline).
The final essay will provide the background and starting point for a class discussion near the end of the term. You will also be responsible for pulling together some readings to go along with that discussion.
3) THREE to FIVE questions:
These questions should reflect a thoughtful reading of the day’s materials. We will use them to shape our discussion. Your questions will be judged on quality, not quantity. Some may be specific to certain readings, others might represent a broader sweep of all of the selections. These questions are due at the beginning of each non-faculty lecture class for which you do not have an essay due.
4) TWO class facilitations: We thought we’d give you a trial “run” early in the term. Starting in late September, each of you will be responsible for the first 10 15 minutes of class. That’s enough time for us to discuss the implications of a newspaper article, a current event, an editorial, or something else related to the class. Whatever you do, you should have some way of getting everyone else up to speed about your topic. Later in the term, as a small team, you will facilitate a discussion of your last short essay.
HUMAN VALUES AND THE ENVIRONMENT: OUTLINE
I. Some of the paradoxes and dilemmas
B. Why? The nature of the beast: some perspectives on humans
II. The role of culture
A. Culture as the problem
B. Culture as a solution
III. Values we can live with
A. Identifying sustainable values
B. Expressing those values in decisions
C. Some examples
IV. How do we get there from here?
A. Revisiting the paradoxes: What must we remember in thinking about alternatives?
B. What IS working in our culture?
C. Steps towards sustainability
READINGS WEEK BY WEEK
WEEK 1: INTRODUCTION
Sept 9: Red tape, introductions
WEEK 2: SOME OF THE PARADOXES and DILEMMAS
Sept. 14: Faculty Seminar: JCG Walker
Readings: McElroy, JJ. (1988) Words that work. PAS Memo. April: 1-4. Orr, D. (1992) What is education for? Earth.Etliics. 3(3):I-5.
Sept. 16: Examples
Readings.- Bennett, G. (1992) Dilemmas. London: Earthscan. pp. xi-12 (UR) Lear, N. (1993) Americans are losing sight of the big picture. AA News. July 2: A8.
Odum, E. (1992) Earth stewardship. Earth Ethics. 3(3):11-12.
Koshland, D. (1988) For Whom the Bell Tolls. Science. Sep 16:1405.
Orr, D. (1992) Ecological Literacy, Chptr. 1 and 2 ($$)
WEEK 3: SOME OF THE PARADOXES and DILEMMAS
Sept. 21: Examples (cont)
Readings: Overbye, D. (1989) Fear in a handful of numbers. Time. Oct 9:119-200.
Lohmann, L. (1991) Dismal green science. The Ecologist 21(5):194-5.
Maser, C. (1992) Global Imperative. Stillpoint: Walpole, NH, pp. 59-99 (UR).
Mander, J. (1991) In the absence of the sacred. Sierra: San Francisco, pp. 11 -36 (UR)
Sept. 23: Why? The nature of the beast: some perspectives on humans
Readings: Cantril, H. (1982) The Human Design, in Kaplan, S. & Kaplan, R. Humanscape, Ulrich: Ann Arbor, pp. 94-102.
Allman, W.F. (1985) Staying alive in the 20th century. Science85, Oct:31-41.
Pfeiffer, J. (1981) Silliness and Survival. Science8l: 36-37.
Midgley, M. (1978) Beast and Man. Cornell: Ithaca, pp. 285-317.
WEEK 4: THE ROLE OF CULTURE
Sept. 28: Faculty Seminar — J. Knott
Sept. 30: Culture as the problem
Readings: Durning, A. (1991) How Much, is Enough?, chptrs. 1-7
Kansas, D. 1993. But they smile when…… Wall Street Journal June 23: B 1.
WEEK 5: THE ROLE OF CULTURE
Oct. 5: Culture as the problem
Readings: Coleman, D. (1991) Experts are treating television… AANews, Oct. 16.
Rosenberg, H. (1991) Just say no. AA News, June 7.
MacNeil, R. (1987) Is television shortening our attention span? Phi Kappa Journal. Fall: 21-23.
Wiowode, L. (1992) Television: the cyclops that eats books. Imprimis 21(2):I-3.
Easton, NJ. (1993) Pop culture skips niceties…. AANews, Feb. 9.
Howe, F. (1992) The plot sickens. Lear’s. December pp. 30-31.
Postman, N. (1985) Amusing Ourselves to Death. NY: Penguin Books, pp. 83-98, 142154. (UR)
Oct. 7: Culture as a problem
Readings.- Coombs, HC (1990) The return of scarcity. NY: Cambridge Univ. Press, pp. 61-82 (UR)
Hardin, G. (1978) The Tragedy of the Commons. Science 162:1243-1248.
Orr, D. (1992) Ecological Literacy, pp. 155-181 ($$)
WEEK 6: THE ROLE OF CULTURE
Oct. 12: Faculty Seminar: D. Wessel Walker
Oct. 14: Culture as the solution
Readings: Coombs, HC (1990) The Return of scarcity. pp. 107-127 (UR)
Cunniff, J. (1992) Professor touts ways people can help… AANews, Oct. 23.
Gibbon, P.H. (1993) In search of heroes. Newsweek, Jan. 18:9.
Orr, D. Ecological Literacy, chptrs. 4 & 5 ($$)
La Bier, D. (1986) Modern madness. NY: Addison-Wesley, pp. 152-56.
DUE: Mid-course corrections
WEEK 7: VALUES CAN WE LIVE WITH
Oct. 19 Identifying sustainable values
Readings: Bender, T. (1978) New Values. In DeMoll & Coe (eds). Stepping Stones. NY: Schocken Books, pp. 47-51.
Borelli, P. (1986) Epiphany. The Amicus Journal, Winter: 34-39.
Eagle, BM. (1992) The Rainbow Bridge. EarthEthics. Spring:9-10.
Reinhart, P. (1986) The Eleventh Commandment. Whole Earth Review, Spring: 83-84.
Renewing the Earth. (1991) United States Catholic Conference.
Voice of the Trees. (1992) Shomrei Adamah. 2(2)
Bruchac, J. (1993) The circle is the way to see. In Story Earth. San Francisco: Mercury House, pp. 3-13 (UR).
Oct. 21: Expressing those values in our personal decisions Readings:
Durning, A. (1992) How much is enough?, chptrs. 8 & 9 ($$)
Daly, HE & Cobb, JB (1989) For the coming good: redirecting the economy toward community, the environment and a sustainable future. Boston: Beacon Press, pp. 376-400. (UR)
Devall, B. (1988) Simple in means, rich in ends. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, pp. 81-121 (UR)
WEEK 8: VALUES CAN WE LIVE WITH
Oct. 26: Faculty Seminar: T. Huntington
Readings: Kline, D. (1990) Great Possessions: an Amish farmer’s journal. San Francisco: North Press ($$)
Oct. 28: Expressing those values in our political decisions
Readings: Daly, HE & Cobb, JB (1989) For the common good. Boston: Beacon, pp. 355-374. (UR)
A Platform for the Politics of Meaning (1992) Tikkun 7(4):11-23.
Orr, D. Ecological Literacy, pp. 133-152 ($$)
Dodge, J. (1990) Living by Life. in Andruss, V. et al (eds) Home! A Bioregional Reader. Philadelphia: New Society, pp. 5-12. (UR)
WEEK 9: VALUES CAN WE LIVE WITH
Nov. 2: Some examples
Readings: Mander, J. (1991) In the absence of the sacred. San Francisco: Sierra, pp. 246-262. (UR)
Stavrianos, LS (1989) Lifelines from Our Past. NY: Pantheon, pp. 15-86. (UR)
Nov. 4: Mystery Day
DUE: Reading lists for WEEK 11’s facilitated class
WEEK 10: HOW DO WE GET THERE FROM HERE?
Nov. 9: Faculty Seminar: S. Kaplan
Readings: DeYoung, R. and S. Kaplan. (1988) On Averting the Tragedy of the Commons. Environmental Management 12(3):273-283.
Nov. 11: Revisiting the paradoxes: What can we say now?
Readings: Oates, D. (1989) Earth Rising. Corvallis: Oregon State Univ. Press, pp. 148-177 (UR).
Verhelst, T. (1990) No Life Without Roots. Atlantic Heights, NJ: Zed Books, pp. 59-88.
Orr, D. Ecological Literacy, chptr. 8, Epilogue ($$)
DUE: Reading lists for WEEK 13’s facilitated class
WEEK 11: HOW DO WE GET THERE FROM HERE?
Nov. 16: What IS working?: the search for sustainable values
Readings: Ehrenfeld, D. (1993) Affluence and austerity. Orion, Spring:4-5.
Goodman, E. (1 992) Tending one’s perspective. AA News May 29: Al 1.
Speth, G. (1993) Toward a future that works. The Amicus Journal, p. 56.
Sanders, SR (1991) Secrets of the universe. Boston: Beacon Press, pp. 228-244.
Holliday, J. (1991) A sustainable future for tomorrow’s communities? Town, and Country Planning, February:41-43.
Williams, HS. (1977) Smallness and the small town. Small Town 8(4):7-15.
Durning, A. How much is enough?, chptr. 10 ($$)
Nov. 18: student facilitation
WEEK 12: HOW DO WE GET THERE FROM HERE?
Nov. 23: Faculty Seminar: M. Velez
Nov. 25: Thanksgiving
WEEK 13: GETTING THERE: SMALL STEPS
Nov. 30: student facilitation
Dec. 2: student facilitation
DUE: written class evaluations
Dec. 7: Faculty Seminar: R. Tucker
Dec. 9: Conclusion