ILRLR 2070

ILRLR 2070

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2018-2019.

Topics change depending on semester and instructor.

When Offered Fall or Spring.

Permission Note Enrollment limited to: 15 ILR sophomores or permission of the instructor.

Satisfies Requirement Satisfies the ILR Advanced Writing requirement.

View Enrollment Information

Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session. 

  • 3 Credits GradeNoAud

  • Topic: Work and Nature in American History

  • 17240 ILRLR 2070   SEM 101

  • Human labor has the capacity to drastically alter nature in all its various forms. Labor's power in this regard is perhaps best demonstrated in the process of human induced climate change. Nature, however, was never a neutral foundation on which the systems and structures of American capitalism were built. Nature reacts to labor and forces it to change. An important part of American history is the story of the changing ways that workers probed nature to find out how value could be squeezed from it and how nature reacted to this exploitation. The readings and discussions in this class will focus on how people and systems have attempted to make nature valuable and the obstacles they encountered in the process. We will begin this class by reading several works of theory that can be used as a lens through which to read the rest of the semester's material. The course will then move slowly through the history of work and nature in America from the pre-Columbian time to the present. Throughout this course, students will be expected to think critically and creatively about the meaning of work and nature in an historical context.