HISTORY 491 - Topics in History: HistoryLabs 2
Winter 2020, Section 001 - Areas of Concern: Great Lakes Environmental History
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
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Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
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In 1987, the United States and Canada designated 42 “Areas of Concern”: dangerously polluted places in Great Lakes watersheds. In the following decades, they have spent billions of dollars on environmental remediation. Areas of Concern were centers of the extractive and manufacturing industries that fueled the region’s economic boom in the twentieth century. The toxic waters and soils they left behind were poisonous testaments to the legacy of deindustrialization. Yet in the twenty-first century, massive reclamation projects have led to hopeful stories of revitalized communities. This intensive research seminar will explore the social, political, economic, and environmental history of three Great Lakes Areas of Concern in Michigan. Students will perform original research to produce to show how these places became so damaged, who benefitted and who suffered as a result, and what citizens and policymakers can learn from this history to make a better future. The goal will be to publish the case studies online through the Michigan Sustainability Cases platform, where they can be used in high school and college classrooms and inform stakeholders engaged in ongoing Areas of Concern remediation projects. Students will have the opportunity to learn archival, digital, and oral history research skills as well as practice multimedia, public-facing storytelling.

Course Requirements:

This seminar requires students to perform independent research, work in teams with their peers, and meet deadlines. Some travel off-campus for interviews, archival research, and visual documentation can be expected.

Intended Audience:

This course is intended for students interested in performing original research and with some background in history or environmental issues.

Class Format:

The lab will include some discussion and much independent and collaborative work.


HISTORY 491 - Topics in History: HistoryLabs 2
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
1/8/20 - 4/21/20

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