ENVS 035. Environmental Justice: Ethnography, Politics, Action/Philadelphia


(Cross-listed as SOAN 035 )
An introduction to the history and theory of environmental justice, an interdisciplinary field that examines how inequalities based on race, class, ethnicity, and gender shape how different groups of people are impacted by environmental problems and how they advocate for social and environmental change. This semester the course will be taught at the Philadelphia Friends Center and will concentrate on urban environmental justice issues and creative strategies for change in Philadelphia. Drawing on the work of scholars and activists from a wide variety of disciplines in the social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts & humanities, we critically examine the conceptual divisions between "nature and society," "urban and rural," and the"community and the planet." We will analyze the history of the widely used concept of "sustainability" focusing on the diverse ways it has been embraced, transformed, and implemented in different cultural and urban contexts. We will investigate some of the challenges facing cities like Philadelphia as they implement sustainability initiatives and try to avoid "green gentrification" (sustainability improvements such as green buildings, eco-parks, and upscale farmers' markets that increase property values, pricing out and displacing local, low-income residents). We will likewise explore the promise of urban areas as important centers for supporting the flourishing of diverse, equitable, and ecologically sustainable communities. Course incorporates a community-based learning component.
This class will be taught in Philadelphia as part of the Tri-Co Philly Program.
Social Sciences.
1 credit.
Eligible for ENVS, ESCH, PEAC
Fall 2023. Di Chiro.
Fall 2024. Di Chiro.
Fall 2025. Di Chiro.
Catalog chapter: Environmental Studies  
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/environmental-studies


Access the class schedule to search for sections.




Print-Friendly Page (opens a new window)