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Fall Term 2017 TOP: WILDERNESS - 6024 - ENST 200
Registration for this term is over. Changes or corrections to registration now by petition only. Students should contact their academic advisor.
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Catalog Description : Study of a particular topic of current interest in environmental studies. Topics will vary with each offering of the course, and may include field research, community engagement, or other experiential learning opportunities. Course may be repeated when topic is different.

Topic for Fall 2017: Wilderness in the North American Imagination
Wilderness is a powerfully symbolic landscape in the North American imagination. At once a place, an experience, an idea, and cultural construction, the formation of American culture and identity took root in the wild places and minds, in the work and daily lives, of people connected to and alienated from nature. This course examines the changing role of wilderness in United States culture, aiming to arrive at new understandings of wilderness as an environment, as well as a fluid concept that has transformed over time. An origin story commonly linked to United States history opens with the Western frontier and pivots on the moment when the frontier no longer existed. We apply a transnational approach to explore the way notions of wilderness transcend the nation-state. Across the globe diverse peoples have debated its meaning, fought over its dominion, worked to preserve and restore its beauty. Human attempts to tame the wilderness have always been incomplete, sometimes fraught with violence, uncertainty, and environmental degradation. Control over wild places has been a source of political and economic power and as such these landscapes serve a central role in debates about human rights and the use and allocation of natural resources. Part cultural history, part literary exploration, and an invitation to visually and physically engage with wilderness, this interdisciplinary course incorporates history, art, literature, film, and public policy in its approach. We will read classic work in the nature-writing tradition alongside diverse perspectives that consider the impacts of gender, class, and race on the wilderness experience. Open to all students.

Topic for Spring 2018: Environmental Documentary
Environmental documentary has emerged as an important and popular genre in cinema. This course focuses on films that have been used to leverage social change by raising awareness of the world’s growing environmental crisis as well as the social inequalities that force poor and marginalized communities to endure higher levels of environmental risk. Through screenings, readings, attention to grassroots environmental and community development movements by visual artists, this course engages the role of creative work in educating and shifting public opinion on environmental inequities.

Attributes: Foundation/Gateway Course


Fall Term 2017


Sigma Colon


ENST 200

Grade Mode




Final Exam

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 06:30 p.m. - 09:00 p.m.





Class Time

02:30-04:20 TR MAIN 104

Start-End Date

Sep 11, 2017-Nov 21, 2017


Appleton Main Campus



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