History | Environmental History
W300 | 26638 | Bieder


A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section open to undergraduates only

This course will look at the development of an environmental
consciousness in the Western world beginning in the nineteenth
century and continuing until today.  Since some of the environmental
concerns raised in the twentieth century touch upon continents other
than Europe and North America, lectures will take us frequently to
Africa, Asia, South America,
Antarctica and to the world’s oceans.

Subjects to be covered are the rise of international environmental
organizations, political restraints, third world economics and trade
in endangered species, alternative medicines and endangered species,
water quality, deforestation, urban pollution, air quality and
global warming.  These are a few of the topics that will be covered
in this course of lectures and discussion.

Why take this course?  Because of the history of the regions under
study in this course, we are in an environmental mess.  But that
said, is the public anymore sensitive about the environment today
than in the past?  As long simmering problems like global warming
become major threats to the world’s population, do the “powers-that-
be” really care enough to do something about them?  Are world
governments taking effective action?  Does business, local
politicians, developers, educators care?  We have more plastic
flamingos than real flamingos; more teddy bears than real bears.
Does Western history provide clues as to why this should be?  The
purpose of this course is to search for these clues.

Grades for the course will be determined by quizzes, class
contribution, a final exam and two hour-long exams during the
semester.  Attendance is not optional but mandatory and will also be
part of your grade.  There will be no make-up exams or quizzes.  If
you have a valid excuse for your absence, see the instructor.
Students arriving 5 minutes after the beginning of class or leaving
early will be penalized.

For more about the course, contact rbieder@indiana.edu