Catalog 2013-2014

Special Topics in Humanities: Nature, Culture, Consciousness

  • Semester: Spring
  • Course Number: HM382
  • Instructors: David Gilligan
  • Credit: 3

Course Description

What is Nature? This course investigates how humans have answered this fundamental question and follows the development of our perspectives on nature from the Pleistocene to the present. The first part of the course explores the world views of hunting and gathering cultures past and present, and how the legacy of eons of hunting and gathering play out in our lives today. The second part of the course explores the wisdom traditions of the world, east and west, that coincided with the development of arable agriculture, and investigates what these traditions have to say about the human relationship with nature. The third and final part of the course explores emerging movements that have coincided with the development of industrialism: romanticism and transcendentalism, ecology, deep ecology, ecopsychology, bioregionalism and biophilia. The course is designed as a second or third year survey and seminar program, integrating content-rich lectures and student-driven discussions.