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Political Ecology (384-0-20)


Melissa Rosenzweig
1812 Hinman #304
Office Hours: Mondays, 1:00 – 3:00 pm or by appointment. Room 304, 1812 Hinman

Meeting Info

ANTHRO Sem Rm B07 - 1810 Hinmn: Mon, Wed 11:00AM - 12:20PM

Overview of class

This class is an introduction to Political Ecology, a multidisciplinary body of theory and research that analyzes the environmental articulations of political, economic, and social difference and inequality. The key concepts, debates, and approaches in this field address two main questions: (1) How do humans' interactions with the environment shape power and politics? (2) How do power and politics shape humans' interactions with the environment? These questions are critical to understanding and addressing the current issues of climate change, the Anthropocene, and environmental justice. Topics discussed in this class will include environmental scarcity and degradation, sustainability and conservation, and environmental justice. Readings will come from the disciplines of geography, anthropology and archaeology. Case studies will range from the historical to the present-day. No prior background in the environmental sciences is needed to appreciate and engage in this course.

Learning Objectives

Articulate the key issues in political ecology. Apply perspectives in political ecology to important environmental debates (e.g. scarcity and security, the construction of nature, conservation policy, etc.). Use political ecology to evaluate real world problems in their environmental, historical, political, and social contexts. Write, speak and communicate clearly about environmental politics.

Teaching Method


Evaluation Method

Reading responses, student-led discussion, midterm, final paper

Class Attributes

Social and Behavioral Science Foundational Discipl
U.S. Perspectives on Power, Justice, and Equity
Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro Area