900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301
This course is an introduction to the historical roots of sustainability design to examine the thought and practices which have marked interactions between humans and the environment in the West prior to 1600. Focusing on key moments that have contributed significantly to the current context--the transition to agriculture, classical Athens, the later middle ages, and the age of global commerce, colonization, and scientific progress--the course will analyze 'green' versus traditional histories, interpret data about resource use, and analyze primary texts that speak to the human-nature relationship. The course will challenge students to analyze the extent to which our current thought and practices have roots in the historical past, understand humans' relationship to the environment as integral to the narrative of history in the West, analyze traditional historical categories such as periodization, causation, and narrative structure, and use the lens of sustainability to examine how values shape historical narratives.
Mode of Inquiry: Thinking Historically