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Special Topics in Environmental Policy and Culture (390-0-24)


Nature, Culture, & Environmentalisms


LaShandra Patrice Sullivan

Meeting Info

University Hall 112: Wed 2:00PM - 4:50PM

Overview of class

Overview of class
This course examines anthropological treatments of the concept of nature and human relations with the natural environment. We discuss how conceptions of nature are always shaped, transformed, and produced by social relations. Course materials focus primarily on ethnographies on the intersections of political ecology, science studies, and postcolonial critiques. Course topics include the history of the Western nature-culture opposition and its critics, as well as recent scholarship on such topics as food studies, the social life of forests, race and the genome, human-animal interactions, and interspecies relations. Instructor Bio: LaShandra Sullivan (Ph.D., University of Chicago 2013) researches social movements, race, and environmental politics in Brazil. She conducts fieldwork in Rio de Janeiro, as well as in the center-west state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Sullivan's research in Rio de Janeiro focuses on the intersections of Black activism, LGBTQ organizing, and black empowerment in the city, particularly as it regards historical transformations in land ownership and land occupation. In Mato Grosso do Sul, Sullivan conducted research in roadside squatter camps of indigenous land protesters and their confrontations with agribusiness plantation owners. She analyzes the emergence of squatter protests with rural economic development—specifically deforestation, mass displacement of indigenous people, and the casualization of labor—in recent decades.

Registration Requirements

Reserved for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors from every undergraduate school only. First year students need permission to enroll into the course.

Class Materials (Required)

Books (available electronically and/or hard copy via the library and book store), book chapters, and articles provided electronically via library and canvas