Designed to facilitate students’ understanding of the natural world as central to major trends and events throughout United States history ranging from the Salem witch trials to the Civil Rights movement. The class will address themes including the Columbian Exchange, competing perceptions of “nature” between settlers and natives, the commodification of the landscape, ecological influences on sectional division and the Civil War, the impacts of industrialization, debates pitting conservation versus preservation, and the emergence of the modern environmental movement. It will challenge students to develop a new perspective on the nation’s history through an array of sources. The class will use primary, secondary and film examples to anchor both the lecture and discussion components of the course.
CANCELED: Summer I, 2015