Here at the Pratt Institute, I am offering two sustainability seminars for Fall 2013. Each of these courses may count as a Social Science or Philosophy elective, and there are no prerequisites for any of them. (I hope to have news soon of other curricular options for these courses; check this space in April.)
One of these courses focuses how we design goods, and what implications our designs have for the environment as they age. If you have ever wondered how recycling works, or want to learn ways of minimizing waste in the design of everything from clothes to buildings, consider registering in SS 490-24 Production, Consumption, and Waste. The seminar examines the ways production and consumption patterns from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the present day have shaped the waste stream, the ways we have defined and handled waste, the consequences of that waste, and ways in which we might reduce the impact of our waste. Here’s a quick summary:
SS 490-24 Production, Consumption, and Waste
What happens to the trash we toss in dumpsters? How do we determine what waste is, and why do we make so much of it? Learn about the environmental and social consequences of mass production and disposal (past and present), and ways to make the waste stream safer.
Fall 2013: Tuesdays, 2pm-4:50pm. 3 credit hours.
The range of topics will in many ways resemble the scope of the Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage, as I kept in mind that reference work’s utility in the classroom when I was editing it. (Students will not have to buy that book, let alone lug it around!)
In addition to that seminar, I am leading a team of Pratt Institute faculty teaching the third offering of SUST 201P The Sustainable Core. This course is designed as our introduction to sustainability and is an excellent way to get familiar with the many ways sustainability is practiced at Pratt.
SUST 201P The Sustainable Core
This course provides an overview of sustainability by exploring definitions, controversies, trends, and case-studies in various systems and locales (urban/rural, local/national/global). Investigation of critical elements of sustainability, including environmental history and urban ecology, sustainable development and landscape transformations, recycling/waste management, ecosystem restoration, and environmental justice.
Fall 2013: Mondays, 2pm-4:50pm. 3 credit hours.
Both of these courses may count as a Social Science or Philosophy elective, and there are no prerequisites for any of them. If you are a Pratt student and have any questions for me about these courses, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.