College of Arts and Sciences | Exploring Themester Ideas
T200 | 27992 | Barbour


COLL-T 200 27992 Exploring Themester Ideas (Barbour) (3 cr.)
4:00PM – 5:15PM TR

Sustainability is all the buzz these days and for most of us, in
theory anyway, it seems like a worthy idea.  Not using up the
planet’s resources and leaving plenty for future generations
certainly sounds like a good plan.

But as with any fervent popular movement, it’s important to balance
the enthusiasm of passionate supporters with our own critical
thinking by asking some careful questions:

What does sustainability mean?
What is the philosophical and scientific case for it?
Why is the science of sustainability so controversial?
What are the costs of choosing sustainable lifestyle alternatives
and what are the costs of not choosing them?
What does it mean to live a sustainable life for the planet, the
nation, the community, and the individual?
Assuming that the case for sustainable living persuades us, what
does it commit us to?
How does the goal of sustainable living influence our choice of
where to live, where to work, how to travel, how to play, how to
shop, cook and eat, etc.?

No one person can help us answer all these questions – to tackle
them properly we would need to consult biologists and
meteorologists, philosophers and political scientists, economists
and engineers, architects and anthropologists.  Fortunately, at IU,
we can do that.

T-200 is a team-taught class, drawing on expertise across
disciplines and schools at Indiana University as well as in the
broader Bloomington community to explore the College of Arts and
Sciences 2010 Themester topic, sustain.ability.  It will encourage
students to think critically about sustainability and introduce them
to the broad range of sustainability issues with regard to several
substantive subjects – food, transportation, energy, architecture,
recreation, computing, etc. The class will end with a focus on the
greening of the IU campus itself to pull all the themes together and
provide students with a real, concrete example of what green living
actually looks like.

After taking this class, students will have an understanding of what
sustainability entails and why it is important, the ability to think
critically about some of the main issues and controversies involved
in debates about sustainability and to understand the political
stakes involved in those debates, an awareness of the various kinds
of resources they personally consume and the ability to see linkages
between the personal decisions they make and the larger consequences
for the environment in which they live, and the practical knowledge
of what is needed to live a sustainable life.

Class meets twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 PM to
5:15 PM in Woodburn Hall 100.  Grading is based on attendance in
lecture, the keeping of a resource journal (where students will
record what kinds of resources they consume or save as they eat,
travel, play, work, sleep, etc.), online assignments and quizzes,
and a service learning component.

Several rows of seats at the back of Woodburn 100 are reserved for
visitors.  Lecture topics and speakers will be posted on line well
in advance and we cordially invite members of the community to
attend the lectures that interest them.  We only ask that visitors
be “silent observers” and reserve any opportunities for
participation to those students who have enrolled in the class.