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