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  • Summer 1994 AMAZON HISTORY AND CLIMATE OF A RAINFOREST

     Profs. M. Conniff (HC 7024, MWTh 10)                           HY 390          
     R. Perritt (HC 2195, TTh 1-2:30)                               GY 300          
    

    Meets M-F 9 in HC 2124

    This course provides a sweeping view of the evolution of the Amazon basin rain forest and of human occupation in it. We intend to give equal attention to natural and human forces, showing how each acted upon the other. The story begins with native American peoples and ends with the modern dilemma of sustainable development of the region. The course offers lectures, assigned texts, audio-visual materials, and guest appearances.

    Evaluation will be based on a midterm exam, a term paper, and a final exam, weighted 25 percent, 35 percent, and 40 percent respectively. No attendance will be taken, but much of the examination material will come from class presentations. The exams will have a mix of essay and short answer questions and will be taken without notes or books. Make- up exams only on dead day or by special permission.

    The term paper should be approximately 10 pp., presented in standard format (endnotes, typed double-spaced, bibliography, etc.). The general topic areas are: 1. international policies, organizations, conferences; 2. historical topics; 3. indigenous and poor farmer- gatherers, social conflict; 4. long-term climate changes, including global warming; 5. deforestation, resource management, sustainable agriculture; 6. Brazilian development efforts in the Amazon, including colonization, forestation, highways, mining. Students working on topics 1-3 will work with Prof. Conniff, those on 4-6 with Prof. Perritt.

    After students choose topics, we will meet in small groups to discuss themes, methods, and bibliographies, and to develop comparative perspectives. Each study group will organize a presentation of its findings.

    Required reading: Susan E. Place, ed., Tropical Forests: Latin American Nature and Society in Transition (Scholarly Resources, 1993); Marcio Souza, The Emperor of the Amazon (Bard, 1980); Roger D. Stone, Dreams of Amazonia (Penguin, 1993); plus reserve readings in the library (with an asterisk).

    DATE TOPIC READINGS June: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: MYTHS, DREAMS AND PERCEPTIONS

       16  Introduction: Slides                           Place, pp. xii-29         
       17  Late Ice-age Savannas                          Stone, ch. 1              
       20  Physical Setting                               Perritt*                  
       21  Earliest Human Settlement                      Stone, ch. 2              
       22  European Explorers                                                       
       23  Orellana and Aguirre                           Stone, ch. 3              
    

    24 Non-Iberians and Portuguese 27 Friars and Scientists 28 Gusmao, Pombal and the Grao Para Company 29 Bibliographic Session to Define Topics 30 Defining Topics in Class 1 Film: Will the Rainforest Survive?

    July: CLIMATE, DEFORESTATION AND DEVELOPMENT

       5   Tropical Rainforest Climate                    Gabler*                   
       6   Hydrology of the Amazon River Basin            Salati*                   
       7   Tropical Soils and Vegetation                  Stone, ch. 6              
       8   NGOs and Extractive Reserves                   Browder*                  
       11  Late Colonial Boom                             Place, pp. 29-150         
       12  Humboldt and Other Scientists                  Stone, ch. 4              
       13  Caboclos and Native Amerindians                                          
       14  Amazonian Colonization--Small Farmers          Fearnside-Ambio*          
       15  Amazonian Colonization--Cattle Ranchers        Hecht*                    
    

    18 Cobia Internacional: the Herndon Expedition 19 Mid-Term exam 20 Film: Road to the End of The Forest. 21 Film: Road to the End of the Forest. 22 Class Discussion 25 Ken McNabb--Plantation Forestry in Jari McNabb* 26 Grande Carajas Project, Hydro Dams, and Roads Fearnside-Rankin* 27 Student Presentations (all term papers due) 28 Student Presentations 29 Student Presentations

    August: INTERNATIONAL POLITICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT 1 Origins of Rubber Trade Place, pp.151-222 2 Rubber: the Early Decades 3 Rondon and Farquhar

       4   Acre and the Rubber Defense Plans              Souza, all                
       5   Fordlandia and the Vargas Era                  Stone, ch. 5              
    

    8 Film: Fitzcarraldo 9 Film: Fitzcarraldo 10 Geopolitics and Military Planning, 1960s & 70s Stone, ch. 7 11 The Amazon Pact 12 Mineral Wealth--Why and How? Stone, ch. 8 15 Native Peoples 16 Global Warming Debates 17 "Discovering" El Nino 18 Rio '92 Stone, ch. 9 19 Review

    25 Final Exam: 9-11:30 am

    Information provider:
    Unit: H-Net program at UIC History Department Email: H-Net@uicvm.uic.edu
    Posted: 8 Aug 1994

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