Fall: 2021, Instructor: Dr. J. Terrence McCabe, Office: Hale 440
This course is designed to explore both the historical and current theories and paradigms concerning human/environmental relationships. Because this is an anthropology course, there will be an emphasis on how anthropologists have examined these relationships, but the readings will also incorporate how geographers and sociologists have looked at, and written about, humans and the environment. Emphasis will also be given to current debates in the literature, but during the first few weeks of the course we will cover important works that form the basis of research being conducted today. Specific paradigms to be discussed include: neo-functionalism, early and later systems ecology, evolutionary ecology, political ecology, symbolic or humanistic ecology, complex adaptive systems and resilience.
The readings will consist of a set of articles that outline or explain each theory being discussed, and for some paradigms, an ethnography in which an author utilizes that theoretical perspective in his/her analysis. Each student will be required to write a final seminar paper that takes one or more theoretical perspectives that have been discussed in class and examine how it has been used either topically or ethnographically. Other possibilities for the paper are the application of one of the paradigms to a specific research problem; or a paper based on the career and changes in thought of one of the more influential theorists in human ecology (e.g. Roy Rappaport or Robert Netting).