Lectures take place in the Com Building Recital Hall (Com 107), with overflow in the Com Experimental Theater (Com 124) from 11:15 am to 12:45 pm on Wednesdays of weeks 1, 3, 5 & 9 during fall quarter, and weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 of winter and spring quarters. See Readings page for required readings each week
Instructions for One Method of Tanning Geoduck Skins: Like all skins, geoduck hides are prone to putrefaction and disintegration unless they are steeped or treated with a tanning solution. (Remember Frederica Bowcutt’s winter wk 1 presentation on the Tanoak tree?) One simple, local method is to harvest some Douglas Fir outer bark, brew it into a strong tea in fresh water, and soak the skins for two days in the the solution.
(April 13th): Staying with the Trouble: Making Oddkin in the Chthulucene,
Evans Scholar Donna Haraway
Donna Haraway is a Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department and Feminist Studies Departments at the University of California, Santa Cruz, United States. A prominent scholar in the field of science and technology studies, Haraway’s tentacular alternative to the anthropocene asks what it means to inherit the histories of companion species on a blasted earth in publications that include Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science; Situated Knowledges; Simians, Cyborgs, and Women; and When Species Meet.
(April 27th): Stick Your Neck Out to Create Change—Why and How, John Graham
”The main reason why important challenges such as climate change don’t get met as they should is not that people lack ideas or ideals. There are plenty of smart people with fine ideals. But becoming an agent of change can be scary and too many people hesitate to put the ideas and ideals they have into action. ” So says John Graham, a Director of the Giraffe Heroes Project, a global NGO that for more than 30 years has been inspiring and training people to stick their necks out to help solve tough public problems, from climate change to inner city violence to crimes against women. He’ll share with you what he’s learned about sticking your own neck out for what you believe in–lessons from the more than 1300 brave activists honored by the Giraffe Heroes Project so far–and from his own lifetime as a risk-taking adventurer, helping people the world over take on the problems that test our times.”
Week 7 ( May 11th): Sustainable Practices: Regional Responses to Climate Change-
: aka Captain WasteNot
, started his recycling career in 1986 traveling all over Lane County Oregon visiting schools to spread the recycling gospel. In 1988, he was hired by the City of Olympia to design and implement what was to become only the second residential curbside recycling program in the country. Today, Peter continues his crusade against wasteful habits as an educator with Thurston County Solid Waste. He is currently working to strengthen the local and regional food donation system to recover more surplus edible food to distribute to people in need in our communities. Peter is also a neighborhood organizer working on projects like new parks, sidewalks, trails, public art, and edible forest gardens to transform our community into a safer, more beautiful, more walkable, more bikeable, and more vibrant place to live.
: Beth brings 20 plus years of campaign experience to Climate Solutions. As Campaign Director, she is responsible for integrating campaign strategy into Climate Solution’s flagship programs. She currently serves as the Regional Director for the Power Past Coal campaign. She was the founding Executive Director of Washington Conservation Voters and served in that role from 1991 – 1995. In 1996 she was a field organizer for National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL). She also served as a campaign organizer and later the development director for Audubon Washington. Beth has worked in public, private, non-profit sectors and served in leadership staff positions in numerous political campaigns. She has managed communications, has extensive organizing and direct advocacy expertise, and significant fundraising experience. Beth has a BA from Indiana University in Political Science and Telecommunications. A mom of two young boys, she enjoys the outdoors, cycling, yoga, running, and traveling.
: An educator, information systems designer and project manager who was also one of the founding members of Thurston Climate Action Team
(TCAT) in 2008. He received his Masters of Education degree from Eastern Washington University, and his Bachelor of Arts from Gonzaga University. Currently retired, Tom’s career included curriculum design, training and technical assistance for Indian education projects in public schools throughout the Pacific Northwest, and consulting and training for information systems projects within state and local government and business organizations. He also worked with Puget Sound businesses to build awareness of the Natural Step
approach to sustainability, and is trained in the Dialogue Education
approach to adult learning. As a TCAT board member, Tom helped establish an innovative energy efficiency program, called Thurston Energy
, in partnership with Thurston Economic Development Council. He also led the development of Thurston County’s first comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory, and worked with faculty from local higher education institutions to complete a survey of county residents on attitudes toward climate change and clean energy.
(These organizations and agencies function with huge input from student interns and researchers.)
Week 9 ( May 25th): The Cat’s Cradle Studies Department Presents: THE COLLAPSE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION: A VIEW FROM THE FUTURE
Week 1 (September 30th): A Geologic Context for the “Anthropocene” and Ongoing Climate Change, Abir Biswas
Reading: The Human Age, Nature, 2015, by R. Monastersky (Required)
Additional resources: The “Anthropocene” by Crutzen & Stoermer
Reading prompt: What changes have scientists observed in earth surface processes and climate in recent history that have prompted discussions of creating a new geological epoch (currently dubbed the “Anthropocene”)? Consider how these changes could (1) be recorded in the geological record and (2) compare to catastrophic events in Earth’s past.
Week 3 (October 14th): Human Presence on Planet Earth, Karen Gaul
Reading: Climate of History – Dipesh Chakrabarty by Dipesh Chakrabarty (Required)
Week 5 (October 28th): Oceans and Contemporary Global Climate Change, Gerardo Chin-Leo
Reading:IPCCSummaryPolicyMakers , Climate Change Impacts on Marine Ecosystems
Week 9 (December 2nd): Ocean Change: The Carbonate Trajectory of Ocean Climate, Pauline Yu
Reading: The Pathway from Science to Policy, Oceanography, 2015 by Mathis, Cooley, Yates & Williamson
Reading prompt: Ocean Acidification (OA) is a wide-reaching global phenomenon, just like sea-level rise, overfishing and ocean warming. Our current lives are impacting and impacted by all 4 problems at different intensities and different stages of each threat. Based on the information presented in the paper, (and as a current Washington state resident), how does OA rank in priority among the listed ocean concerns locally for you or your community? How do you compare that local ranking to a priority ranking (assigned by you) for the global ocean concerns? Lastly, consider the question–is there non-monetary value that calcified marine animals might have in your life?
Week 1 (January 6th): The Tanoak Tree: An Environmental History of a Pacific Coast Hardwood, Frederica Bowcutt
Reading:Tanoak Landscapes: Tending a Native American Nut Tree, Madrono, 2013
Additional Resources: Bowcutt press release
Week 3 (January 20th): The Role of the Sun in Climate Change, EJ Zita
Reading: Living with a Variable Sun
Week 5 (February 3rd): Category Controversy: What Does It Mean To Say Anthropocene? Panel Discussion moderated by Miranda Mellis, with EJ Zita, Zoltan Grossman, Shangrila Wynn, and Alejandro de Acosta
Reading: Holmberg’s Mistake , The Anthropocene Debate , Haraway Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene Making Kin
Week 7 (February17th): The Resilience Doctrine: Disaster Cooperativism in the Climate Crisis, Zoltan Grossman
Reading: Interview with Rebecca Solnit
Additional Resources: Introduction to Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell
Week 9 (March 2nd): Politics in the Age of Environmental Thinking, Andrew Culp
Reading: The Non-political Politics of Climate Change
“What happens to the concept of ‘politics’ when ecological crises
become the leading threat to our way of life? Or more provocatively,
what happens when governance ‘no longer confronts us like a subject
facing us, but an environment that is hostile to us’? In this talk, I
discuss how the traditional concept of politics as conflict is
reconfigured by the ecological milieu, a diffusion of complex forces,
and non-human actors.”
Andrew Culp is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Rhetoric Studies at
Whitman College. His work is on the cultural study of new paradigms of
power. He recently completed a manuscript, Dark Deleuze and the Death
of This World, and his work has appeared in Angelaki: Journal of the
Theoretical Humanities, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies,
parallax, Radical Philosophy, and Affinities: A Journal of Radical
Theory, Culture, and Action.