Green Rhetoric

This blog originated as a course blog for the community of Rhetoric 181, "Green Rhetoric," in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of California at Berkeley, Fall, 2007. It continues its life as... something else.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

FINAL

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

PART I

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.

PART II:

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.

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