Spring Courses – MLS 490: The Street and Urban Planning and CMNS 529: Environmental Rhetoric and Politics

MLS490: Special Topics: The Street and Urban Planning (SQ2011, M 6 – 9:15 pm)
Instructor:  Heather Smith

The City of Chicago has 4,456 miles of streets and  2,131 miles of alleys.  How do these outdoor rooms shape the neighborhood character of neighborhoods?  What are the ideologies that have shaped these streets over time? What urban design characteristics make these streets successful? Who is responsible for caring for all of the complex functions that happen in these spaces? Who are the audiences and users?  These are some of the questions we will explore in this course while tackling hands on field work analyzing Chicago streets.


CMNS 529 Environmental Rhetoric and Politics (SQ2011, T 5:45 – 9 pm)
Instructor:  Barb Willard

The idea of nature and the way in which we relate with the environment are intertwined with human communication.   Our social constructions of nature and environment ultimately result in a material reality when these ideas directly influence environmental policy (e.g. the Endangered Species Act) and environmental practices (e.g. recycling).  The purpose of this course is to analyze the discourse that has influenced environmental policy and practice.  We will explore both the more formal aspects of environmental communication (federal, state, and local policy) as well as the less formal (representations of nature in mediated contexts, social movement rhetoric, and corporate communication about the environment).  Students should leave this course with a heightened critical sensibility about the ways in which our language not only shapes our understanding of the environment but also influences political and personal action.