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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

Nature with and without us

Instructor(s): Bakary Diaby, English

Recent events make apparent both humanity's power over the Earth as well as our heightened vulnerabilities to the environment. In this seminar, we will complicate this tension, historicizing and examining the concepts of "the natural" and "the human" through various disciplines. Working on material ranging from eighteenth-century poems on mice to the philosophy of microbiology, how have we conceived of the relationships between the living and the non-living? Or between human beings and other species? We will critique various modes of understanding environments and the subjects (human or otherwise) that inhabit them. Further, we will explore how environmentalism, climate change, and agriculture intersect with issues of indigeneity, gender, race, class, and more. 

Students will write short response papers, complete bi-weekly writing exercises, and a final paper.

Course Offered: