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American Injustice
Global Injustice
The Future

1st Exam, Due Jan 23
2nd Exam, Due Feb 13
3rd Exam, Due Mar 15




Smith 102 T-Th 9:30-11:20
Sections Wednesdays

Stevan Harrell
Office: Denny 238
Office hours: Make an appointment; I'm flexible.

Teaching Assistant:
P. Joshua "Griff" Griffin
Office Hours: Make an appointment: most appointments will be right before or after class, but other times are available if needed. Place of mutual convenience, since TA's in the newly rebuilt Denny no longer have places where they can meet students.

Class Description
This course is about how people in different places and at different times have interacted with the natural environment. We begin with "intensification:" tracing the history of transformations in human subsistence and production, from the time that we were all foragers to the present when most of us get everything at the store and have little direct involvement with the resources we use, while we deplete those resources at a faster rate than ever. We then move on to "science," to the different ways people understand nature and its parts. Then to "politics and justice" the interaction between human institutions and practices relating to environment and resources, with particular emphasis on inequalities produced by those relationships, along with the ways we might address these inequalities.

Special notice: This course is political. My duties as a scholar, teacher, and citizen compel me to devote extra attention to the ways in which the U.S. Administration that takes office on January 20 is planning to make it much more difficult for us to address the environmental challenges that we already face. This means I must consistently present facts and call out lies. Anyone who wants a "politically neutral" approach to the human-environment relations will feel very frustrated in this class.

You are required to complete three kinds of assignments for this class, with an option of substituting for one of the exams:
  • Three take-home essay examinations. Each exam will consist of two broad essay questions. You must answer each question in 600 words or less. They will cover materials from readings, films, lectures, and sections. Your grade in the class will be determined by your scores on these exams.
  • Projects that you are required to complete for each Wednesday's section. You must complete at least 8 of these projects successfully to pass the class; they will be scored pass/fail.
  • Occasional in-class writing assignments. These will be set out in the daily assignment pages, and you will have 10 minutes to write them. You must complete all but two of these assignments successfully to pass the class; they will be scored pass/fail.
To pass the class, you must turn in answers to both questions on all three take-home exams, as well as completing at least 8 of the 10 Wednesday section assignments and all but two of the in-class writing assignments. Grades are based on an average of your grades on the exams. There is no other optional or "extra credit" (i.e. remedial) work available. Detailed rules about missing assignments and other matters of academic conduct can be found on the grading page.

Books and Other Readings
There are three required books for this class:
Zapotec Science, by Roberto Gonzalez. Ebook available at UW Library.
Strangers in their Own Land, by Arlie Russell Hochschild Ebook available at UW Library
The Consequential Damages of Nuclear War, by Johnston and Barker
All are available at the University Bookstore, and also at various online outlets.

Other readings are accessible as .pdf files or as UW library resources from links on this website.