Global Problems, Local Solutions

Bennington College, 2009-2014

In this course we will consider how global environmental problems take on societal importance and what steps have been taken to deal with them. What is the role of science in describing environmental problems? How does ideology shape what are described as problems? What kinds of conflict arise in the process of defining problems and solutions? The course will focus on the American environment movement from the 1960s to the present day to familiarize students with its main actors and issues and to track the change in environmental thought over time. We will focus on how people pursue solutions through policy, grassroots organizing, research, and writing. Students in this course will be asked to confront their own ideologies about the environment and reconcile them with the knowledge gained in the course. The course uses environmental issues to explore how normative and empirically based arguments are used in public discourse to achieve change.

ENV 2115 Global Problems, Local Solutions course syllabus (pdf)