The rapidly warming planet makes it clear that the natural and human worlds are inseparable and that local ecologies are inextricable from global political and economic processes. While resulting devastation has more recently emerged as global crisis, the assimilation of local landscapes and ecologies into global social processes has a deep history. This class considers the development and intensification of such global connections through the lens of political ecology. It contextualizes local ecological changes wrought by expansive colonial powers – poisoned mountains, mono-cropped landscapes, and disappeared forests – within the emergence of a global economy in the early modern era. he course is roughly divided into two parts. First, it examines the political ecology of colonialism, considering links between extractive practices of land management and the imbalances of power typical of colonial contexts. Secondly, it assesses how the extraction and expansion inherent to colonial projects provided impetus to the emerging global economy from the 16th to 20th centuries, and considers how those historical processes continue to reverberate into the present. While historicizing contemporary environmental issues, students will be introduced to political ecology, environmental history, ‘the Anthropocene’ concept, theories of commodification and value, and world systems analysis.
Tue Thu : 12:30 PM-01:50 PM
Cobb Hall 319