Communication and Culture | Topics in Media, Culture, and Society (Topic: Performances of Human/Nature: Defining Relationships with the Environment)
C204 | 28998 | Robinson, J.

TuTh, 11:15 AM-12:30 PM, TE F256

Fulfills College S&H Requirement

Instructor: Jennifer Robinson
Office: 800 E. 3rd St. – room 273
Phone: 855-4607

In fall 2008, C204 will focus on “Performances of Human/Nature:
Defining Relationships with the Environment.”  This course uses
fiction, journalism, public relations materials, and students’ first-
hand experiences to explore how people construct their relationships
to the natural world.  We will develop definitions of terms such as
human, nature, environment, wilderness, society, and civilization.
Our study will place special emphasis how understandings of the
human/nature relationship are performed and otherwise communicated
in everyday life.

In addition to those on ethnographic methods and performance theory,
readings will include Roderick Nash’s Wilderness and the American
Mind, David Crouch on “Performances and Constitutions of Nature,”
Claire Waterton’s “Performing the Classification of Nature,”
Bartolome de las Casas from The Devastation of the Indies, Ralph
Waldo Emerson from Nature, Rachel Carson from Silent Spring, Leslie
Marmon Silko’s “Landscape, History, and the Pueblo Imagination,”
James Dickey’s Deliverance, John Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, and
Michael Pollan’s “The Idea of a Garden.”  Assignments will include
autoethnographic/reflective writing, fieldwork, analytical text-
based writing, and exams.  The course continues the work of C122,
defamiliarizing culture for analysis and strengthening ethnographic
skills, and provides a foundation for more advanced courses on
environment, sustainability, and performance.