701-0019-00L  Readings in Environmental Thinking

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersJ. Ghazoul
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish



Courses

NumberTitleHoursLecturers
701-0019-00 SReadings in Environmental Thinking2 hrs
Fri16:15-18:00CHN G 42 »
J. Ghazoul

Catalogue data

AbstractThis course introduces students to foundational texts that led to the emergence of the environment as a subject of scientific importance, and shaped its relevance to society. Above all, the course seeks to give confidence and raise enthusiasm among students to read more widely around the broad subject of environmental sciences and management both during the course and beyond.
ObjectiveThe course will provide students with opportunities to read, discuss, evaluate and interpret key texts that have shaped the environmental movement and, more specifically, the environmental sciences. Students will gain familiarity with the foundational texts, but also understand the historical context within which their academic and future professional work is based. More directly, the course will encourage debate and discussion of each text that is studied, from both the original context as well as the modern context. In so doing students will be forced to consider and justify the current societal relevance of their work.
ContentThe course will be run as a ‘book reading club’. The first session will provide a short introduction as to how to explore a particular text (that is not a scientific paper) to identify the key points for discussion.

Thereafter, in each week a text (typically a chapter from a book or a paper) considered to be seminal or foundational will be assigned by a course lecturer. The lecturer will introduce the selected text with a brief background of the historical and cultural context in which it was written, with some additional biographical information about the author. He/she will also briefly explain the justification for selecting the particular text.

The students will read the text, with two to four students (depending on class size) being assigned to present it at the next session. Presentation of the text requires the students to prepare by, for example:
• identifying the key points made within the text
• identifying issues of particular personal interest and resonance
• considering the impact of the text at the time of publication, and its importance now
• evaluating the text from the perspective of our current societal and environmental position

Such preparation would be supported by a mid-week ‘tutorial’ discussion (about 1 hour) with the assigning lecturer.

These students will then present the text (for about 15 minutes) to the rest of the class during the scheduled class session, with the lecturer facilitating the subsequent class discussion (about 45 minutes). Towards the end of the session the presenting students will summarise the emerging points (5 minutes) and the lecturer will finish with a brief discussion of how valuable and interesting the text was (10 minutes). In the remaining 15 minutes the next text will be presented by the assigning lecturer for the following week.
LiteratureThe specific texts selected for discussion will vary, but examples include:
Leopold (1949) A Sand County Almanach
Carson (1962) Silent Spring
Egli, E. (1970) Natur in Not. Gefahren der Zivilisationslandschaft
Lovelock (1979) Gaia: A new look at life on Earth
Naess (1973) The Shallow and the Deep.
Roderick F. Nash (1989) The Rights of Nature
Jared Diamond (2005) Collapse
Robert Macfarlane (2007) The Wild Places

Discussions might also encompass films or other forms of media and communication about nature.
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesfostered
Method-specific CompetenciesMedia and Digital Technologiesfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence assessed
Sensitivity to Diversityassessed
Negotiationassessed
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection assessed
Self-direction and Self-management fostered

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersJ. Ghazoul
Typeungraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.

Learning materials

 
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Groups

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Restrictions

Places20 at the most
Waiting listuntil 29.09.2023

Offered in

ProgrammeSectionType
Doctorate Environmental SciencesBasic and Scientific SkillsWInformation
History and Philosophy of Knowledge MasterSeminarsWInformation
Environmental Sciences MasterAdditional ElectivesWInformation