Criminal Justice-COLL | Environmental Justice
P401 | 28815 | Kane


This is an intensive writing,  interdisciplinary course on
comparative environmental justice with a core focus on water issues.
We will draw on writings and fieldwork of scholars from the fields
of Anthropology, Geography, Human Rights Law, Criminology, Cultural
Studies, Communications, Journalism, and Ecology. Their writings and
films will provide us with the knowledge to compare and contrast
situations and interventions taking place in North and South
America, the Mexican borderlands, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and
Europe. Our goal will be to understand environmental crisis as a
combination of cultural, political, economic, legal and ecological
processes that are set in motion by different factors, and take on
different character in localized settings. In other words,
environmental crisis is a global issue with a wide and varied array
of local manifestations (Pearce). The study of particular community
and regional cases of environmental crises will provide us with a
challenging arena for contemplating the meaning of justice, and the
contested pathways we may take to achieve justice (Harvey). We will
also think analytically about social activism at the community level
and how it can be effective (or not) in creating change through
legal procedures in national and international justice systems,
through performing in the mass media, and through other creative
tactics, such as “Toxic Tours” (Pezzulo).

Students will work on independent research projects as an important
component of the course. You may choose to further develop the
class’s work on water issues and pursue research in such topics as
water law and pollution; hydroelectric dams, flooding, and displaced
persons; marine ecological reserves; aquifers, communities, and
multinational bottled water companies; international boundary water
disputes; rural and urban water conflicts in desert regions; poverty
and access to water and sanitation; etc. Alternatively, students can
expand the course theme according to their diverse interests in
environmental justice, focusing on such topics as, e.g.,
sustainability and social justice; the sociolegal impact of historic
industrial accidents (Union Carbide pesticide release in Bhopal,
India; Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska; BP Deep horizon spill in
the Gulf); eco-terrorism; ethics of global production of GMO crops;
international agreements to reverse global warming; rainforest
preservation and indigenous peoples, etc. In addition to their
independent projects, evaluation of student work will be based on a
series of short papers, class participation, and oral presentations.

Required Books:

David Harvey. 1997. Justice, Nature, and the Geography of
Difference. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Pearce, Fred. 2006. When the Rivers Run Dry: Water—The Defining
Crisis of the Twenty-First Century. Boston: Beacon.

Pezzulo, Phaedra C. 2007. Toxic Tourism: Rhetorics of Pollution,
Travel, and Environmental Justice. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama
Press. (Note paperback version will be 	available in fall 2009).

Note: Books will be available in Media Reserve in Wells
Library.

Class meeting:  5:45-8:15, Wednesday, WH 114

Distribution Credit: S&H, intensive writing

Instructor:  Professor Stephanie Kane, department of criminal justice