I teach various courses exploring the tangled causes and unequal consequences of environmental problems, the political relations that shape these problems, and the predicaments of those now seeking to address them. In the classroom, a key goal of mine is to help students forge connections that regularly engage more theoretical concepts and debates with their own experiences and with the broader urgencies of the ecological transformations that increasingly surround them.
To this end, my teaching emphasizes vigorous dialogue as a means of advancing student learning: dialogue with each other, dialogue with me, and dialogue with the wider worlds in which my students are implicated, locally and globally, personally and professionally. That includes challenging students to be mindful about their intentions as they try to define themselves as thinkers, as active participants in their communities, and as agents of social change in their own right facing important choices in their lives and careers. I conceive of education as a process of personal and intellectual transformation whose rewards far exceed the acquisition of new knowledge or new skills. As an educator, I am committed to helping my students navigate the difficult work inherent to this process and steering them toward the vital experiences of insight, wonder, and empowerment I believe it makes uniquely possible.
This course serves as an introduction to the politics of conservation and environmental policy-making in the United States. The class is divided into four units. We will first take stock of the alarming environmental transformations currently in motion and consider divergent perspectives on the political implications. Next, we will look historically at the key actors,… Continue reading Conservation & Environmental Policy
We live in a moment defined by environmental change. Yet the causes and consequences of these planetary transformations are profoundly uneven. Across race, class, gender, and other forms of difference, “environmental problems” manifest in radically unequal ways, disproportionately burdening some while benefiting others. In this course, we will grapple with this key tension in debates… Continue reading Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene
This seminar will introduce you to the field of political ecology: as an eclectic body of scholarship for understanding nature-society relations; as a source of methods for studying these relations; and as a “way of seeing” which prompts us to critically examine the political causes and unequal consequences of environmental problems, the purported solutions to… Continue reading Global Political Ecology
Clashing perspectives about how to envision and enact “social change” have long riven the environmental movement, animating deep disagreement among activists. In this seminar, we will explore these debates by (1) analyzing various efforts aimed at “changing the world” and (2) troubleshooting their different methods, strategies, and underlying ideas about change. Through close analysis of… Continue reading Theories of Change
We are frequently told we must “never give up hope.” But what is at stake in hoping? In this course we will interrogate this ubiquitous injunction to hope. We will analyze contemporary debates about the possibility of hope in the face of uncertain planetary futures to consider the affective politics of how, in what ways,… Continue reading The Politics of Hope
In 2018, I taught my program’s senior seminar: the capstone “community-engaged practicum” (ENVS 401) required by all our Environmental Studies majors and structured around group projects undertaken by students for our community partners. Under the supervision of myself and Diane Munroe, students worked with Energy Action Network (EAN), the Vermont Natural Resource Council (VNRC), Efficiency Vermont… Continue reading Community-Engaged Environmental Practicum