History 3327 • Spring 2018

Earth, Wind, & Fire: Nature & History in America

Professor Mark Stoll

Holden Hall 135

E-mail: mark.stoll@ttu.edu   Web: http://www.markstoll.net/

Office Hours: Tuesday 12:30–1:00 p.m., Thursday 9:30–10:50 a.m., and by appointment

DESCRIPTION OF COURSE

Through lectures, readings, and film, the course explores two evolving topics in American history: the interrelationship and mutual impact of humans with the land and its plant and animal life; and cultural attitudes and thinking about nature and the environment.

TEXTS

William Cronon, Changes in the Land

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra

Stradling and Stradling, Where the River Burned

Donald Worster, Dust Bowl

Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma

ASSIGNMENTS

17.5% each

Midterm examinations

25%

Final examination

30%

Six book quizzes

10%

Analytical book review

Exams: Exams will be essay exams. Students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of environmental history as well as to engage issues raised in lectures, discussions, and readings. The final exam will have the same format as midterms, with the addition of a cumulative section. Make-up exams will be given on the last Monday of class (May 8) only.

Book quizzes: Short quizzes given on the discussion day for each book will encourage students to have read the books and be ready to discuss them.

Papers: Students will write an analytical book review on a book of their choice.
Instructions for the analytical book review: For this review, students will select a book on environmental history from the bibliography of American environmental history on the professor’s Website (excluding edited collections of essays or books required for the course). There is a full bibliography here: http://www.markstoll.net/Bibliographies/US/Environmental. htm. Students may select another book if the professor approves it. The book review will be four to six pages long and have three sections:

1.      A short summary (not a table of contents or outline) of the book’s contents; this should not take more than a paragraph or two.

2.      An explanation of the book’s thesis, with a discussion of how the author has supported the thesis. You can often find a statement of the book’s thesis in its preface, introduction, or conclusion. Reread these sections after you finish your book. (Ask the professor, if you have any doubts. Many students miss or confuse the thesis!)

3.      Most important, an analysis of the book, including how successful it is (or is not!) in supporting its thesis, what the author’s bias (that is, its point of view) is, whether it agrees or disagrees with other class material, how it might be improved, how well it is written, and whether you agree with the book’s conclusions. Would you recommend it to others? Give examples to support each point of your analysis.

Papers will be printed in 12-point Times New Roman, double spaced, with 1" margins all around (or 1¼" right and left margins and 1" margins top and bottom). Do not add space between paragraphs (and if your word-processing program does so automatically, adjust the “Paragraph” settings). If you quote directly from the text of your book, cite your source by adding the page number or numbers in parentheses immediately after the quotation. For example:

The poet wrote, “That is the way the world ends” (42).

No footnotes or bibliography are necessary. Grammar and punctuation must be correct. For links to online writing advice, see http://english.ttu.edu/uwc01/Resources/default.asp. Also the University Writing Center (paid for by your fees!) would be happy to help you polish your writing. They can help you in person or via the Internet, and can be reached through their Website: http://english.ttu.edu/uwc01/.

 Attendance: The professor will call roll at the beginning of each class. Students with a perfect attendance record will receive three bonus points on their final grades. Students with more than two absences will receive 1½ points off their final grades for each absence over two. The instructor will accept excuses in cases of true need if appropriately documented.

 Plagiarism: Using text written by someone else (even in a close paraphrase) is academic dishonesty. It is strictly against university and departmental policy. Papers that have been plagiarized in whole or in part receive a 0 for the assignment, and a further penalty of 10 points will be deducted from the student’s final grade average.

 Electronics in the Classroom: Because electronic devices distract both the student and other students around them, all electronic devices must be turned off during class time. This means no texting or other use of cell phones, and no laptops. Students using cell phones in class will be asked to leave and will be counted absent for the day. Laptops may be used only if the instructor gives permission, but students must use the computer for class-related activities only, such as note-taking. This means no e-mail, social media, Internet surfing, video watching, or other non-academic activities. If, during an exam, a student is seen using any electronic device, the exam will be collected immediately at that moment and receive a failing grade.

 

Note: Any student who intends to observe a religious holy day should make that intention known to the instructor prior to the absence.  A student who is absent from class for the observance of a religious holy day shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment scheduled for that day within a reasonable time after the absence.  See University Standard Operating Procedure 34.19.
Note: Any student who, because of a disability, may require special arrangements in order to meet the course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make any necessary arrangements. Students should present appropriate verification from Student Disability Services during the instructor's office hours. Please note: instructors are not allowed to provide classroom accommodations to a student until appropriate verification from Student Disability Services has been provided. For additional information, please contact Student Disability Services in West Hall or call 806-742-2405.

The professor reserves the right to change this syllabus at his discretion. Changes will be announced in class and posted at the Web address listed above.


 

SPRING 2018 COURSE SCHEDULE

Date

Assignment

Jan 18

Introduction

Jan 23

Were Indians environmentalists?
Krech, Shepard. The Ecological Indian: Myth and History. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999.
Mann, Charles C. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. New York: Knopf, 2005.
Spence, Mark David. Dispossessing the Wilderness; Indian Removal and the Making of the National Parks. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
White, Richard. The Roots of Dependency: Subsistence, Environment, and Social Change among the Choctaws, Pawnees, and Navajos. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983.

Jan 25

Arrival of the Europeans: ecological imperialism
Crosby, Alfred W. The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1972.
Crosby, Alfred W. Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Jan 31

Reading: William Cronon, Changes in the Land

Feb 1

Slavery and the Southern environment
Cowdrey, Albert E. This Land, This South: An Environmental History. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1983.
McNeill, John Robert. Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620-1914. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Silver, Timothy. A New Face on the Countryside: Indians, Colonists, and Slaves in the South Atlantic Forests, 1500-1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Stewart, Mart A. "What Nature Suffers to Groe": life, labor, and landscape on the Georgia coast, 1680-1920. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996.

Feb 6

Southern culture and the environment
Kirby, Jack Temple. Mockingbird Song: Ecological Landscapes of the South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.
Morris, Christopher. The Big Muddy: An Environmental History of the Mississippi and Its Peoples from Hernando de Soto to Hurricane Katrina. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
Brady, Lisa M. War Upon the Land: Military Strategy and the Transformation of Southern Landscapes During the American Civil War. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2012.

Feb 8

Puritans, New England, and the natural environment
Donahue, Brian. The Great Meadow: Farmers and the Land in Colonial Concord. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004.
Campanella, Thomas J. Republic of Shade: New England and the American Elm. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003.
Cumbler, John T. Reasonable Use: The People, the Environment, and the State, New England, 1790-1930. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Stoll, Steven. Larding the Lean Earth: Soil and Society in Nineteenth-Century America. New York: Hill & Wang, 2002.
Judd, Richard William. Second Nature: An Environmental History of New England. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2014.

Feb 13

Reading: John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra

Feb 15

Romanticism
Judd, Richard William. The Untilled Garden: Natural History and the Spirit of Conservation in America, 1740-1840. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Nash, Roderick. Wilderness and the American Mind. 4th ed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.
Schmitt, Peter J. Back to Nature: The Arcadian Myth in Urban America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969.
Novak, Barbara. Nature and Culture: American Landscape Painting, 1825-1875. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.
Huntley, Jen A. The Making of Yosemite: James Mason Hutchings and the Origin of America's Most Popular National Park. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2011.
Purchase, Eric. Out of Nowhere: Disaster and Tourism in the White Mountains. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.
Wulf, Andrea. Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation. New York: Knopf, 2011.

Feb 20

First Midterm Exam

Feb 22

Transformation of the West
Worster, Donald. Rivers of Empire: Water, Aridity, and the Growth of the American West. New York: Pantheon, 1985.
DeBuys, William. Enchantment and Exploitation: The Life and Hard Times of a New Mexico Mountain Range. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1985.
Morse, Kathryn. The Nature of Gold: An Environmental History of the Klondike Gold Rush. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003.
Isenberg, Andrew C. Mining California: An Ecological History. New York: Hill & Wang, 2005.
West, Elliott. The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, & the Rush to Colorado. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000.
Lockwood, Jeffrey Alan. Locust: The Devastating Rise and Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect That Shaped the American Frontier. New York: Basic Books, 2004.
Flores, Dan. Caprock Canyonlands: Journeys into the Heart of the Southern Plains. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990.

Feb 27

Industrialization and the rise of the cities
Steinberg, Theodore. Nature Incorporated: Industrialization and the Waters of New England. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Greene, Ann Norton. Horses at Work: Harnessing Power in Industrial America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008.
McShane, Clay, and Joel A. Tarr. The Horse in the City: Living Machines in the Nineteenth Century. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.
Melosi, Martin V. The Sanitary City: Urban Infrastructure in America from Colonial Times to the Present. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.

Mar 1

Industrialization and urban environmental problems
Melosi, Martin V. Precious Commodity: Providing Water for America's Cities. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011.
Melosi, Martin V. Garbage in the Cities: Refuse, Reform, and the Environment: 1880-1980. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1981.
Cronon, William. Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West. New York: Norton, 1991.
Stradling, David. Smokestacks and Progressives: Environmentalists, Engineers and Air Quality in America, 1881-1951. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.
Maysilles, Duncan. Ducktown Smoke: The Fight Over One of the South's Greatest Environmental Disasters. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
Hurley, Andrew. Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945-1980. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995.

Mar 6

Reading: Donald Worster, Dust Bowl

Mar 8

Cleaning the cities and the rise of conservation
Hays, Samuel P. Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Conservation Movement, 1890-1920. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959.
Judd, Richard W. Common Lands, Common People: The Origins of Conservation in Northern New England. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997.
Judd, Richard William. The Untilled Garden: Natural History and the Spirit of Conservation in America, 1740-1840. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Reiger, John F. American Sportsmen and the Origins of Conservation. 3rd ed., rev. & expanded. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2001 [1975].
Coleman, Jon T. Vicious: Wolves and Men in America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004.
Righter, Robert W. The Battle over Hetch Hetchy: America's Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Runte, Alfred. National Parks: The American Experience. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979.
Steen, Harold K. The U.S. Forest Service: A History. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1976.
Dunlap, Thomas R. Saving America's Wildlife. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988.
Jacoby, Karl. Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.
Fiege, Mark. Irrigated Eden: The Making of an Agricultural Landscape in the American West. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999.
Hanson, Elizabeth. Animal Attractions: Nature on Display in American Zoos. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002.
Kohlstedt, Sally Gregory. Teaching Children Science: Hands-on Nature Study in North America, 1890-1930. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.
Stoll, Mark. Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Mar 10–18

Spring Break

Mar 20

The Progressive conservation movement: conservation achieved
Book review due

Mar 22

Progressive conservation
Clements, Kendrick A. Hoover, Conservation, and Consumerism: Engineering the Good Life. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000.
Tobey, Ronald C. Saving the Prairies: The Life Cycle of the Founding School of American Plant Ecology, 1895–1955. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981.
Worster, Donald. Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Mar 27

The New Deal
Maher, Neil M. Nature's New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Phillips, Sarah T. This Land, This Nation: Conservation, Rural America, and the New Deal. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Sutter, Paul S. Driven Wild: How the Fight against Automobiles Launched the Modern Wilderness Movement. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002.
White, Richard. The Organic Machine. New York: Hill and Wang, 1995.

Mar 29

Consumer capitalism and the environment
Gutfreund, Owen D. Twentieth-Century Sprawl: Highways and the Reshaping of the American Landscape. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Brown, Kate. Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
Findlay, John M., and Bruce William Hevly. Atomic Frontier Days: Hanford and the American West. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011.
Kirsch, Scott. Proving Grounds: Project Plowshare and the Unrealized Dream of Nuclear Earthmoving. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2005.

Apr 3

Reading: Carson, Silent Spring

Apr 5

Rising environmental problems
Rome, Adam. The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Pearson, Byron E. Still the Wild River Runs: Congress, the Sierra Club, and the Fight to Save Grand Canyon. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2002.
Reisner, Marc. Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. New York: Viking Penguin, Inc., 1986.
McCool, Daniel. River Republic: The Fall and Rise of America's Rivers. New York Columbia University Press, 2012.
White, Richard. The Organic Machine. New York: Hill and Wang, 1995.
Mitman, Gregg. Reel Nature: America's Romance with Wildlife on Film. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999.
Nash, Roderick. Wilderness and the American Mind. 5th ed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.
Hays, Samuel P. A History of Environmental Politics since 1945. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000.
Paris, Leslie. Children's Nature: The Rise of the American Summer Camp. New York: New York University Press, 2008.
Schrepfer, Susan. Nature's Altars: Mountains, Gender, and American Environmentalism. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2005.
Buhs, Joshua Blu. The Fire Ant Wars: Nature, Science, and Public Policy in Twentieth-Century America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
Harvey, Mark W.T. A Symbol of Wilderness: Echo Park and the American Conservation Movement. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1994.

Apr 10

Second Midterm Exam

Apr 12

The 1960s: Rise of the environmental movement
Biggs, David A. Quagmire: Nation-Building and Nature in the Mekong Delta. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010.
Connelly, Matthew James. Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008.
McWilliams, James E. American Pests: The Losing War on Insects from Colonial Times to DDT. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008.

Taylor, Joseph E. Making Salmon: An Environmental History of the Northwest Fisheries Crisis. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999.
Lifset, Robert. Power on the Hudson: Storm King Mountain and the Emergence of Modern American Environmentalism. Pittsburg: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014.
Rome, Adam.
The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Apr 17

The 1970s: Nixon and the environmental decade
Rome, Adam. The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-in Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation. New York: Hill and Wang, 2013.

Flippen, J. Brooks. Nixon and the Environment. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2000.
Zelko, Frank S. Make It a Green Peace!: The Rise of Countercultural Environmentalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Apr 19

The 1970s: Carter and the Energy Crisis, Toxic Waste, and Nuclear Power
Murchison, Kenneth M. The Snail Darter Case: TVA versus the Endangered Species Act. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2007.
Walker, J. Samuel. Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.
Walker, J. Samuel. The Road to Yucca Mountain: The Development of Radioactive Waste Policy in the United States. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.
Newman, Richard S. Love Canal: A Toxic History from Colonial Times to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Jones, Christopher F. Routes of Power: Energy and Modern America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014.

Apr 24

Reading: Stradling and Stradling, Where the River Burned

Apr 26

The 1980s: Reagan and the End of an Bipartisan Environmentalism
Speece, Darren Frederick. Defending Giants: The Redwood Wars and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2016.
Short, C. Brandt. Ronald Reagan and the Public Lands: America's Conservation Debate, 1979- 1984. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1989

May 1

Environmental Justice; International Solutions to Acid Rain and Ozone Depletion, but Not Global Warming
Steinberg, Ted. Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Spears, Ellen Griffith. Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014.
McGurty, Eileen Maura. Transforming Environmentalism: Warren County, PCBs, and the Origins of Environmental Justice. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2007.
Kahrl, Andrew W. The Land Was Ours: African American Beaches from Jim Crow to the Sunbelt South. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012.
Langston, Nancy. Toxic Bodies: Hormone Disruptors and the Legacy of DES. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010.
Weart, Spencer R. The Discovery of Global Warming. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003.
Price, Jennifer. Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America. New York: Basic Books, 1999.
Oreskes, Naomi, and Erik M. Conway. Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2010.
Elmore, Bartow J. Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism. New York: Norton, 2015.

May 3

A New Environmentalism for the Twentieth Century?

May 8

Reading: Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma

May 12

Saturday, 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.: FINAL EXAM