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Environment and Human Culture

Concentration Adviser: Jane Costlow

This concentration focuses on the diverse and complex ways in which culture and environment intersect, considering both historical traditions and contemporary institutions. Cultures have profound impacts on human perceptions of and engagements with the other-than-human. Human responses to landscapes or ecosystems, plants or animals, animate or inanimate features of the environment are shaped by technology, language, media, and a range of cultural assumptions and institutions, while environmental factors have their own shaping influence. These intersections vary greatly among cultures and among historical periods, and understanding their dynamics varies greatly among academic disciplines. This cluster of courses is representative of work which can be done.

Courses that count for the fourth course (200- or 300-level) requirement within the core:

  • ENVR 240 Water and Watersheds
  • AN/ES 242 Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples
  • ENVR 229 The Electric Grid
  • ENVR 310 Soils
  • AN/ES 337 Social Movements, NGOs, and the Environment
  • ENVR 350 Environmental Justice in the Americas
  • ECON 222 Environmental Economics

Concentration Requirements:

  1. Anthropology 101 and/or ACS 100 Introduction to American Cultural Studies
  2. One 200-level course in cultural studies and the environment ENVR 227
  3. One course in Environmental Ethics or Environmental Justice Environmental Studies 214 or Interdisciplinary Studies 228 Caring for Creation: Physics, Religion and the Environment
  4. One course in History and Technology Studies, chosen from the following:
    • HI/WS 210 Technology in U.S. History
    • HI/WS 267 Blood, Genes, and American Culture
    • WGST 355 Gender and Technology
    • ES/HI 211 U.S. Environmental History
    • INDS 215   The Environmental History of Japan: Pollution, Protection, and the Public Good
    • INDS 219   Environmental Archeology
    • HIST 244   Native American History
    • HIST 390F The American West
    • HI/WS 390Q A Woman’s Place: Gender and Geography in the United States, 1800-2000
    • HIST 390Z American Migrations
    • ES/HI 390M Maine: Environment and History
    • ES/HI 390R Nature and Empire
  5. and 6. Two additional courses which focus on either literature or visual culture.  For a list of     currently available courses, consult the Environment in the Literary and Visual Arts concentration on the ES website.

At least one course in the concentration must be a 300-level seminar.


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