HNUH248X: My Hometown, Our Wilderness: Ecology of Identity

Course Description: 

What has been the setting of your life? Suburbs? Cities? A farm? We may be used to thinking of environments as equal access across society, since everyone is free to visit our National Parks or spend a day at the beach. But there are striking ways in which identity affects our habitat. Race, class, gender, sexual preference, and other markers have strong influences on where we spend our time, what we eat, and how we work and relax. Suburbs, cities, wilds, and farms are not just physical places, they exhibit histories of social inclusion and exclusion. For example, the money and free time of affluent Americans serves as a portal to leisure spaces that would be inaccessible to working-class Americans who lack the ability to take time off, drive or fly long distances, and pay for it all. We'll profile identity ecology through the poetry of African American urban naturalists, essays of wilderness-loving men like Edward Abbey, the comedy of white environmental outrage, and the racialized class tensions in resorts like Aspen, CO. This survey will support your in-depth personal exploration of identity ecology in a collaborative video media project.

Fall 2021

Collaboration: Tour of Woods Hall Bioretention Area with Arboretum Director Karen Petroff