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Univesity of Albany
>Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 12:39:45 -0400 (EDT) >From: RH4754@ALBNYVMS.BITNET
I will be teaching a course entitled The West--Environment and Domination at the University at Albany in the Spring. I am forwarding a copy of it to the list for comment, pro or con. I would like to thank everyone who comments on this syllabus before you send me your responses--thanks.
This course, "The West--Environment and Domination (Hist 390)" will not be concerned with a general history of the West but will emphasize definitions of the West, the governmental role in the West, adaptations of humans to the ecologies of the West, and aspects of environmentalism of the West.
We will begin class by reading some of the contemporary literature of the West. You can choose to read either Stegner's *Angle of Repose* or McPhee's *Rising from the Plains*.
Next we will investigate several articles which deal with how scholars
define the West. We will read:
Turner "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" Webb; Selections from *The Great Plains* Worster; "New West, True West"
Then we will spend the greater part of the semester exploring the
struggles over the creation of the United States National Park
Service. We will read:
Runte; *The National Park Service*
Schrepfer; *The Fight to Save the Redwoods* Chase; *Playing God in Yellowstone*
Nash; *Wilderness and the American Mind* Pomeroy; *In Search of the Golden West* Worster; "John Muir and the Origins of American Environmentalism Cohen; *The History of the Sierra Club*
Next, we will investigate human adaptation to the ecologies of the
West. We will explore, in particular, the role private economic
power and governmental power have played in this adaptation.
We will read:
Worster; "History as Natural History"
Cronon; "Modes of Prophecy and Production" Merchant; "Gender & Environmental History" White; "Environmental History, Ecology, and Meaning" Worster; "Grassland Follies"
ibid; Hydraulic Society in Caligornia"
ibid; "Hoover Dam"
ibid; Cowboy Ecology"
Peterson; "The Impact of Agricultural Systems on the Utah Landscape" Bennion; Mormon County a Century Ago"
The class will close with the literary reprsentation of the West. You can read either Maclean's *A River Runs Through It & Other Stories* or Ed Abbey's *The Monkey Wrench Gang*.
A paper of teneen to twenty pages
A paper of ten to twwenty pages
(50% of the grade)
This can be combined with a in class presentation (30% paper, 20% presentation)
A journal which will be handed in bi-weekly (50%)
The class will be divided as follows:
Section one--Week one
Section two--Week two
Section three--Weeks three through eight Section four--Weeks nine through eleven Section five--last week
The weeks between section eleven and the last week of class will be used for paper research, writing, and for tutorials.
The class will attempt to introduce Environmental History to the students using the West. It hopes to show the complexity of the relationships environmental historians postulate and explore.
Department of History
University at Albany
Albany, NY 12222-1952
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