Introductory Seminar in Human Ecology

Schedule of Readings and Activities

This will change, especially toward the second half of the course. When in doubt, check the online version.

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Class Date Reading Comments
W e e k    Z e r o
1 Thursday, September 9
Introductions. Ice Cream exercise.
W e e k    O n e
2 Monday, September 13
  • Chapters I-V, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • Come to class with two written questions on the reading:
    1. A big question, as big as you can think of. Something thematic or large.
    2. A "little" question. Focus on the text. Why did Fitzgerald use a certain word? Or why does he bother to tell us a certain detail?
    3 Thursday, September 16
  • Chapters VI-IX, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • Meet in small groups. Come to class with a few discussion questions on Gatsby
    W e e k    T w o
    4 Monday, September 20
  • Bellah, et al., The Good Society, pages 3-18.
  • Come to class with a paragraph or so on the following question: What are the institutions (in the sense of Bellah et al) through which you live? You will hand this paragraph in to me.
    5 Thursday, September 23
  • Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, pages 1-119.

  • Friday, September 24 First Paper Due
    W e e k    T h r e e
    6 Monday, September 27
    Finish Ehrenreich, Nickle and Dimed.

    7 Thursday, September 30
  • Mosaics of Inequality, from Bowles, Edwards, and Roosevelt, Understanding Capitalism: Competition, Command, and Change (3rd edition), forthcoming, 2004.

  • W e e k    F o u r
    8 Monday, October 4
  • Selections from Ackerman, et al, eds., The Political Economy of Inequality.
  • Introduction to Gini Coefficients
  • 9 Thursday, October 7
  • Amitava K. Dutt, "Consumption, Happiness, and Religion" in Dutt and Jameson (eds.), Crossing the Mainstream: Ethical and Methodological Issues in Economics, University of Notre Dame Press, 2001.

  • W e e k    F i v e
    10 Monday, October 11
  • Write paragraph on the question "why do you consume?"
  • 9.11 Victim Compensation Exercise
  • 11 Thursday, October 14
  • John Culhane, "Sandbags Full of Money: Victim Compensation After 9/11," Dissent, Fall 2003.
  • Midterm Evaluation
  • W e e k    S i x
    12 Monday, October 18
  • Julian Lamont, Distributive Justice, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2003 Edition).
  • For each of the first six justice principles, be prepared to:
    1. summarize the principle
    2. give an example of something that you think should be distributed according to that principles
    Discuss these questions in groups before class.

    Wednesday, October 20 Problem Set Due
    13 Thursday, October 21 Thomas Schelling, On the Ecology of Micromotives. The Public Interest. 25:61-98. 1971.
    W e e k    S e v e n
    14 Monday, October 25
  • Duane Eligin, Voluntary Simplicity and the New Global Challenge.
  • Michael Maniates, In Search of Consumptive Resistance: The Voluntary Simplicity Movement. Only up to page 212, although if you're interested in this stuff I strongly encourage you to read the whole thing.

  • 15 Thursday, October 28
    Karen Waldron to join discussion.
    W e e k    E i g h t
    16 Monday, November 1
  • TBA
  • Doreen Stabinsky to join our discussion

    Tuesday, November 2. U.S. Election Day
    17 Thursday, November 4. No class Faculty Retreat
    W e e k    N i n e
    17 Monday, November 8 Readings on Culture Jamming. Dru Colbert joins our discussion
    18 Thursday, November 11
    Readings on comparative political economies.

    W e e k    T e n
    19 Monday, November 15

    20 Thursday, November 18
    Conclusions, summary, course evaluations.

    [ Dave ] [ Intro to Human Ecology ] [ COA ]