Course Description: This course examines the concept of environmental justice through interdisciplinary lenses. We begin by examining different attempts to define “environmental justice” (and focus on environmental justice in the United States for reasons of time and scope, although environmental justice issues are also important at the global level). Various frameworks analyze environmental issues through the lens of social justice and human inequality, specifically categories of race, class and gender.
We begin by looking at historical approaches to environmental justice. Then, we analyze environmental racism and the environmental justice movement (EJM) through social scientific approaches, including empirical documentation of the problem, examination of the roots and consequences of environmental racism, and the social movements that have arisen in the last two decades to combat it. In addition to environmental racism, we will examine how gender impacts the production and experience of environmental injustices. Lastly, we utilize humanities approaches to representations of environmental injustice, including literary, philosophical and cultural frameworks.
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