Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Our Syllabus

Summer 2017

Instructor: Dale Carrico:,
Course Blog:
Meeting: July 3-August 11, 2017, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 9-11.30am, Rhetoric Conference Room, 7415 Dwinelle Hall

Rough Basis for Final Grade, subject to contingencies -- Participation/Attendance, 15%; Reading Notebook, 15%; Object Reading, 1-2pp., 10%; Toulmin/Precis, 2-3pp., 15%%; Presentation, 15%; Final Project/Keyword Map, 30%.

Course Description

Of what does "Greenness" consist? In what does "Greenness" abide? Just what is "Greenness" good for? In this course we will survey a range of key vocabularies of environmental thought and activism -- Deep Ecology, eco-socialism, eco-feminism, environmental justice, anti-civilizationism, permaculture, sustainable development, disaster capitalism, and futurological geo-engineering -- as well as engage with more specifically and indicatively American traditions, from Transcendentalism to wilderness conservation (or exterminism), the land ethic, and consumer lifestyle ecology. We will also delve into what seem to be prevalent rhetorical strategies to communicate the urgency of environmental crises and mobilize sufficient constituencies to address them. What is compelling or not about current forms of environmental journalism? What delights lie in store for the reader of international agreements on climate change and policy papers available from the Environmental Protection Agency? Does the scientificity of statistics lend force to environmental claims or alienate people from narratives of lived distress and shared threat? If liberal governance is inadequate to address environmental catastrophe are efforts to circumvent the political via macro-design strategies or micro-mindfulness lifeways more likely to succeed? Does the proliferation of environmentalist identities and subcultures facilitate necessary political organization or undermine it or simply reveal its ineradicable intersectional stratification? We will even ponder why so many environmentalist websites make recourse to similar color palettes and fonts and images. Our focus will never drift far from current dilemmas, but the premise of the course is that these dilemmas are illuminated by critical vocabularies just as the critical vocabularies are substantiated by the dilemmas to which they are applied. At the end of the term, each student will create a conceptual-keyword map tracing their own course through the course materials and finding their own settlement within them, however unsettling it may be.

Provisional Schedule of Meetings

Week One

Tuesday, July 4 -- Holiday

Wednesday, July 5 {Introductions}

Thursday, July 6 {Inconvenient Truths}
-- Screening and discussion of film, "An Inconvenient Truth" (1-2pp. Object Reading due Tuesday)
-- Bill McKibben, With the Ascent of Trump Is It Game Over for the Climate Change Fight?

Week Two

Tuesday, July 11 {Hyperobjects, Slow Violences, Number Soup, Intersections}
-- Timothy Morton, The End of the World
-- Naomi Klein, Climate Rage
-- Rob Nixon, Slow Violence
-- Bill McKibben, Global Warming's Terrifying New Math
-- Brentin Mock, Are There Two Different Versions of Environmentalism, One "White," One "Black"?

Wednesday, July 12 {Transcendentalist Precursors and Successors}
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Nature
-- Henry David Thoreau, from Walden
-- Mary Austin, The Land of Little Rain
-- Aldo Leopold, Thinking Like A Mountain
-- Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic

Thursday, July 13 {Ah, Wilderness!}
-- PBS Site for the Ken Burns Miniseries, America's Best Idea
-- Alan Spears, No, National Parks Are Not America's "Best Idea"
-- Lisa Campbell, National Parks and Environmental Racism
-- John Muir, Save the Redwoods
-- Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, Chapters 1-3
-- Astra Taylor, Who Speaks for the Trees?

Week Three

Tuesday, July 18 {Deep Ecology}
-- Arne Naess, The Shallow and the Deep
-- Arne Naess and George Sessions, Deep Ecology Platform
-- Stephen Harding, What Is Deep Ecology?
-- Joanna Macy, The Ecological Self
-- William Cronon, The Trouble With Wilderness
-- Murray Bookchin, Social Ecology Versus Deep Ecology

Wednesday, July 19 {Eco-Feminism}
-- Rosemary Radford Reuther, Ecofeminism
-- Cathleen and Colleen McGuire, Ecofeminist Visions
-- Catherine Keller, Dark Vibrations: Ecofeminsm and the Sacred
-- Nick Estes, This Land Was Made for Decolonized Love
-- Allison Kilkenny, 5 Reasons You Should Care About Environmental Justice If You Care About Women
-- Greta Gaard, Toward A Queer Ecofeminsm
-- Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands, Unnatural Passions? Notes to a Queer Ecology

Thursday, July 20 {Eco-Socialism} (Precis/Toulmin)
-- John Bellamy Foster, The Four Laws of Ecology and the Four Anti-Ecological Laws of Capitalism
-- John Bellamy Foster, Trump and Climate Catastrophe
-- Vandana Shiva, The US Patent System Legalizes Theft and Biopiracy
-- Systems Change Not Climate Change, What Is Ecosocialism?
-- Jason Moore, The End of Cheap Nature
-- David Schwartzman, From Climate Crisis to Solar Capitalism

Week Four

Tuesday, July 25 {Environmental Justice}
-- Robert Bullard, Poverty, Pollution, and Environmental Racism
-- Laura Pulido, Flint, Environmental Racism, and Racial Capitalism
-- Sarah Lazare, From Fracking to Coal Waste, NAACP Confronts Environmental Racism in North Carolina
-- Melissa Harris-Perry, Being Black on Earth Day
-- Larry Buhl, The Color of Pollution
-- Rio Declaration
-- Johannesburg Declaration

Wednesday, July 26 {Permaculture/Polyculture}
-- John Zerzan, Agriculture
-- Malcolm Scully, The Destructive Nature of Our Bountiful Harvests
-- Wes Jackson and Wendell Berry, A 50-Year Farm Bill
-- Wes Jackson, Becoming Native To This Place
-- The Land Institute, Vision and Mission and Our Work
-- David Holmgren, Permaculture Design Principles
-- UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Agroforestry, Basic Knowledge (By all means, dig deeper.)

Thursday, August 27 {Green Eats} (Potluck Brunch)
-- Clara Jeffery, Michael Pollen Fixes Dinner
-- Dale Allen Pfeiffer, Eating Fossil Fuels
-- Claudia Deutsch, Trying to Connect the Dinner Plate to Climate Change
-- John Vidal, Ten Ways Vegetarianism Can Help Save the Planet
-- Sarah Henry, Former Black Panther Launches Urban Farm to Give Ex-Prisoners a New Start
-- Marc Abrahams, Food for Thought
-- Gretel Schueller, The Truth Behind Food Labels
-- EPA, Food and Pesticides
-- Tom Philpott, Trump's EPA Greenlights A Nasty Chemical

Week Five

Tuesday, August 1 {Standing Rock}
-- History
-- Nick Estes, Fighting For Our Lives
-- Wikipedia, List of Pipeline Accidents in the 21st Century
-- Julian Brave Noisecat and Ann Spice, A History and Future of Resistance
-- Black Lives Matter, Solidarity With Standing Rock
-- Anna J. Willow and Sara Wiley, Politics, Ecology, and New Anthropology of Energy: Hydraulic Fracking

Wednesday, August {Peak Everything}
-- James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency
-- Michael Klare, Are Resource Wars Our Future?
-- Maxwell, Fuller, Brooks, and Watson, Biodiversity: The Ravages of Guns, Nets, and Bulldozers
-- Saul Landau, Reagan and Bottled Water
-- World Wildlife Fund, Deforestation
-- Kate Kelland, Antibiotics Overuse Threatens Modern Medicine

Thursday, August 3 {Green Capitalism/Disaster Capitalism}
-- Paul Hawken, Natural Capitalism
-- Michael Albert, Natural Capitalism?
-- Richard Stroup, Free Market Environmentalism
-- Herman Daly and Kenneth Townsend, Sustainable Growth: An Impossibility Theorem
-- The Economist, The Triple Bottom Line
-- IPCC, Thirty Years To Climate Calamity If We Carry On Blowing the "Climate Budget"
-- Harvey Wasserman, King CONG vs. Solartopia
-- Bruce Watson, The Troubling Evolution of Corporate Greenwashing
-- Naomi Klein, Get Ready for the First Shocks of Trump's Disaster Capitalism

Week Six

Tuesday, August 8 {Green Urbanity} (Last of the Presentations)
-- Mike Davis, Slum Ecology
-- Mike Davis, Sinister Paradise: Does the Road to the Future End at Dubai?
-- Stewart Brand, How Slums Can Save the Planet
-- Bob Berwyn, To Keep Cities Cool We Must Green Them Right
-- Joshua Leon, What Broadacre City Can Teach Us
-- Annalee Newitz and Emily Stamm, 10 Failed Utopian Cities That Influenced the Future

Wednesday, August 9 {Tech Talk}
-- John Zerzan, Against Technology
-- Kirkpatrick Sale, Lessons from the Luddites
-- Bryan Walsh, Your Data Is Dirty
-- Aaron Labaree, Our Science Fiction Apocalypse
-- Marc Stiegler, The Gentle Seduction
-- Naomi Klein, Geoengineering: Testing the Waters
-- Karl Mathiesen, Is Geoengineering A Bad Idea?

Thursday, August 10 {Final Symposium} (Hand in Final Project, Keyword Map)

Thursday, November 22, 2007


You will be handing in your final exam to me at the beginning of our last scheduled class meeting together.


Here, in alphabetical order, are seventy-one Green Keywords that have figured centrally in various ways in a number of the texts we have read and discussed over the course of this term.

1. "Abrasion,"
2. "Agroforestry,"
3. "Backstory,"
4. "Biodiversity,"
5. "Biomimicry,"
6. "Biopiracy,"
7. "Bioregional"
8. "Biosphere,"
9. "Capital,"
10. "Climate Change,"
11. "Commodification,"
12. "Commons,"
13. "Companion Planting,"
14. "Consensus Science,"
15. "Cradle-to-Cradle,"
16. "Culture Industry,"
17. "Deep Ecology,"
18. "Democracy,"
19. "Denial,"
20. "Depletion,"
21. "Ecofeminism,"
22. "Ecology,"
23. "Economy,"
24. "Ecosocialism,"
25. "Ecosystem,"
26. "Ecotage,"
27. "Endangered Species,"
28. "Energy Descent,"
29. "Environmentalism,"
30. "Externality,"
31. "Field Worker,"
32. "Footprint,"
33. "Greenhouse Gas,"
34. "Greenwashing,"
35. "Guerilla Gardening,"
36. "Heirloom Produce,"
37. "Industrial Agriculture,"
38. "Integrated Pest Management,"
39. "Leapfrogging,"
40. "Limit,"
41. "Luddite,"
42. "Malthusian,"
43. "Monoculture,"
44. "Native,"
45. "Natural Capitalism,"
46. "Natural Capital,"
47. "Naturalist,"
48. "Nature,"
49. "Objectification,"
50. "Offsets,"
51. "Organic,"
52. "Recycling/Downcycling,"
53. "Permaculture,"
54. "Pollution,"
55. "Polyculture,"
56. "Post-Scarcity,"
57. "Precautionary Principle,"
58. "Primitivism,"
59. "Profit,"
60. "Renewable,"
61. "Seed Saving/Seed Sharing,"
62. "Service/End Use,"
63. "Sustainability,"
64. "Technical Metabolism,"
65. "Toxicity,"
66. "Triple Bottom Line,"
67. "Use Value/Exchange Value,"
68. "Vegetarianism,"
69. "Viridian,"
70. "Waste,"
71. "Wilderness"

Choose fifty Keywords from this list. Organize your chosen Keywords into three separate, conceptually connected, sets. You can use any criteria that seems useful to you to organize these sets. The only rule is that no resulting set can contain fewer than six Keywords.

Each set should have a title or heading that indicates the criteria governing inclusion to that set. Once you have organized your three sets in this way, briefly define each one of the Keywords you have included in each set in your own words. Ideally, your definitions should be as clear and as concise as possible. These definitions should be a matter of a sentence or two rather than a paragraph or two. They are definitions, not essays or explanations. It should be clear from your definitions why each of the Keywords in each of the three sets are conceptually connected to each other, but it is also crucial that no terms within a set are to be treated as synonymous, and that your definitions distinguish Keywords from one another (even if the resulting distinctions are sometimes matters of nuance).

Once you have defined all these Keywords, provide a short quotation (feel free to edit and prune to keep your chosen citations properly pithy) from one of the texts we have read this term to accompany your definition. The quotation you choose can be a definition you found helpful in crafting your own definition, it can be an example or illustration you found especially clarifying, it can a matter of contextualization, framing, or history that you found illuminating, it can even be something you disagreed with so strongly it helped you understand better what you really think yourself.

Obviously, there are endless ways of organizing these sets, defining their Keywords, distinguishing them from one another, and connecting them up to the texts we have read. What matters for this first part of the exam is that you follow the rules of the exercise, not that you arrive at some single "right answer" you may think I have in mind.


Write a short essay (5pp.), in which you show that the conception(s) of "nature" -- understood as intelligibility, as sublimity, as home, as resource, as object, as wilderness, as custom, or what have you -- assumed or expressed in the argument of one or two (at most two) of the texts we have read together this term yields unexpected insights or problems for that text, or provides the basis for an unexpected commonality or continuity between two texts texts you are comparing in your reading. (How do you know the problem or insight you are calling attention to in your reading is sufficiently strong to warrant consideration as "unexpected" in the sense I mean? That's easy: It must simply be a strong enough claim that you can imagine an intelligent opposition to it.)

Second Option: Some of you may want to use the short essay as an occasion to explore the The Monkey Wrench Gang a little further. I am open to that aspiration, but you must let me know in advance that you want to pursue this option, and provide me with the thesis you mean to substantiate with your close reading no less than one week before the final is due.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Provisional Syllabus

Rhetoric 181: Green Rhetoric, Fall 2007

Instructor: Dale Carrico;
Course Site:

Grade Breakdown:
Attendance/Participation 20%
Co-facilitate Class Discussion/Precis 20%
In-Class Report 20%
Final Exam: 40%

Week One | Introductions

August 18 Administrative Introduction

August 30 Personal Introductions

Week Two | Contemporary Environmentalist Idols and Transcendentalists Precursors

September 4 Curtis White, Idols of Environmentalism, Ecology of Work

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

September 6 Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Nature; Henry David Thoreau, from Walden

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Three | Ecofeminism

September 11

Cathleen McGuire and Colleen McGuire, Ecofeminist Visions
Rosemary Radford, Ruether, Ecofeminism: Symbolic and Social Connections of the Oppression of Women and the Domination of Nature, from Carol Adams, ed., Ecofeminism and the Sacred

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

September 13

Catherine Keller, Dark Vibrations: Ecofeminism and the Democracy of Creation
Greta Gaard, Toward a Queer Ecofeminism

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Four | Ecosocialism

September 18
An Ecosocialist Manifesto by Joel Kovel and Michael Lowy
Joel Kovel, Why Ecosocialism Today?

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

September 20

Common Voice, Ecosocialism
James O'Conner: Selling Nature
Mike Davis, Slum Ecology
Walter R. Sheasby's Amazon Guide: "So You'd Like to… Replace Capitalism with Green Socialism"

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Five | Natural Capitalism

September 25

Paul Hawken: Natural Capitalism
A Roadmap for Natural Capitalism, Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins, Paul Hawken
Michael Albert: Natural Capitalism?
Wayne Normand and Chris MacDonald, Getting to the Triple Bottom Line

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

September 27

James Boyle, Enclosing the Genome
Peter Barnes: Capitalism, 3.0
Time to Upgrade
A Short History of Capitalism
The Limits of Government
The Limits of Privatization
Reinventing the Commons
Trusteeship of Creation
Universal Birthrights
Sharing Culture
Building the Commons Sector
What You Can Do

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Six | Deep Ecology

October 2

Arne Naess, The Shallow and the Deep
Introduction to Deep Ecology, An Interview with Michael E. Zimmerman, by Alan Atkisson
E.P. Pister, The Rights of Species and Ecosystems

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

October 4

Church of Deep Ecology
Murray Bookchin, Social Ecology Versus Deep Ecology

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Seven | Some Victoriana

October 9

Guardian UK Review: Victorian Holocausts
Amartya Sen NYT Review, Victorian Holocausts
Mike Davis, Victorian Holocausts, Chapter One.

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

October 11

Oscar Wilde, The Decay of Lying
John Stuart Mill, On Nature

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Eight | Critique of Technological Society

October 16

Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception
Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

October 18

John Zerzan, Agriculture
John Zerzan, Technology
John Zerzan, Why Primitivism?
Marc Stiegler, The Gentle Seduction

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Nine | Bright Green or Dim?

October 23

Bruce Sterling, Viridian Design
Grist on Worldchanging's Bright Green Principles (read the Comments!)
Apple Computer: Fun for You, Toxic for the Environment
When 1st Life Meets 2nd Life

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

October 25

Kirkpatrick Sale, Lessons from the Luddites
The Californian Ideology

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Ten | Toxic World

October 30

Al Gore on Silent Spring
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, The Obligation to Endure
Michael Braungart, Intelligent Materials Pooling: Evolving a Profitable Technical Metabolism

November 1

What Happened at Bhopal?
Alex Kirby, Contaminated Breastmilk
Blacksmith Institute, 10 Most Polluted Places

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Eleven | Alternative Agricultures

November 6

Malcome Scully, The Destructive Nature of Our Bountiful Harvests
Introduction to Permaculture: Concepts and Resources
Deborah Madison, Grace Before Dinner

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

November 8

Ted Nace, Breadcast of Democracy
Jack Kittredge, Pesticides in Food
AMS/USDA, Organic Food Standards and Labels
Sustainable Agrigulture Delivers the Crops

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Twelve | Extracting Ourselves from Extraction

November 13

Saul Landau, Ronald Reagan and Bottled Water
National Resources Defense Council, Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype?
BBC: World Water Crisis
The Coming Water Wars: Demography and Water Resources
The Coming Water Wars: Chart

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

November 15

Dale Allen Pfeiffer, Eating Fossil Fuels
Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency
Howard Kunstler, A Five Part Online Video Exploration: The Long Emergency
Chris Vernon, Agriculture Meets Peak Oil

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Thirteen | The Monkey Wrench Gang

November 20 Edward Abbey, The Monkey Wrench Gang

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

November 22 Thanksgiving Holiday

Week Fourteen | The Death of Environmentalism

November 27

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, The Death of Environmentalism

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

November 29

Don't Fear the Reapers
, A Grist Special Series on the Alleged Death of Environmentalism

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report:

Week Fifteen | An Inconvenient Truth

December 4 "An Inconvenient Truth" (Screening)

December 6 Closing Remarks Hand in Take Home Final Exam

Co-facilitation of Class Discussion/Precis:
In-Class Report: