This course traces the history of garbage since the middle of the 19th century and explores how the stuff humans discard and the methods employed for dealing with that stuff have shaped our world. This course connects global, local and public history and makes these connections tangible.
This course as it draws on methods and approaches from disciplines in the Humanities and the Social Sciences. We assign course readings from and ask students to create final projects informed by literatures and methods in the following fields: social and cultural history, English, cultural studies, urban planning, public policy, geography, science and technology, and ethnography. This course is centered on a topic of broad contemporary and historical relevance and should appeal to students across the college of LSA and beyond. Rather than a specialized course, this course provides an introduction to the roles waste and recycling have played in shaping social and cultural change over time.
- Participation — 30% (blogging, garbage log, individual student instructor conferences, cooperative group projects)
- Project Proposal — 10%
- Explorative Essay — 20%
- Final Project — 40%
Students at any level and any department. History students, students interested in a history major or minor, students with interests in science and technology, urban planning, environmental science and engineering, anthropology, public policy and political science.
Two 90-minute lectures and one GSI-led discussion per week