4323 2008

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Nature & Americans:

The Sixties
and the Origins of Environmentalism


Dr. Mark Stoll
Holden Hall 135 -- (806) 742-1004 ext. 250 -- mark.stoll@ttu.edu
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
Class Webpage: http://www2.tltc.ttu.edu/stoll/

Dig the Crazy Purpose of the Course:

This course explores the origins of the modern American environmental movement in the culture, society, politics, and tumultuous events of the 1960s. Using lecture, discussion, readings, video, and music, the instructor will create the context within which modern environmental concerns and activism first appeared. Environmentalism arose at the height of the Cold War crisis and, like the Chicano, feminist, and gay rights movements, achieved its greatest accomplishments after the civil rights and antiwar movements began to wind down. All of these movements lost steam in the second half of the 1970s, and the Reagan Administration reversed course on them in 1981. Hence, the era from 1945 to 1980 captures all the essential elements and accomplishments of both the Sixties and the environmental movement.

This is a writing intensive course. In addition to completing exams and short papers, students will focus on a particular leader, organization, or aspect of the environmental movement, and produce a research paper that puts that subject into the context of the era.

Far-Out Readings:

bulletMark Hamilton Lytle, America's Uncivil Wars: The Sixties from Elvis to the Fall of Richard Nixon
bulletSteven Stoll, U.S. Environmentalism since 1945: A Brief History with Documents
bulletWilliam Kelleher Storey, Writing History: A Guide for Students

Online Readings:

bulletRome, Adam. "'Give Earth a Chance': The Environmental Movement and the Sixties." Journal of American History 90 (September, 2003): 525-554.
bulletPfister, Christian. "The 'Syndrome of the 1950s' in Switzerland: Cheap Energy, Mass Consumption, and the Environment." In Susan Strasser, Charles McGovern, and Matthias Judt, eds. Getting and Spending: European and American Consumer Societies in the Twentieth Century. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998, 359-377.
bulletAn optional updated version (in German): Pfister, Christian. "Energiepreis und Umweltbelastung. Zum Stand der Diskussion über das '1950er Syndrom.'" In Wolfram Siemann, ed. Umweltgeschichte: Themen und Perspektiven. Munich: Beck, 2003, 61-86.
bulletHarvey, Mark W. T. "Battle for Dinosaur: Echo Park Dam and the Birth of the Modern Wilderness Movement." Montana the Magazine of Western History 45 (Winter, 1995): 32-45.
bulletDavis, Jack E. "'Conservation is Now a Dead Word': Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the Transformation of American Environmentalism." Environmental History 8 (January, 2003): 53-76.
bulletHays, Samuel P. "From Conservation to Environment: Environmental Politics in the United States since World War II." Environmental Review 6 (Fall, 1982): 14-41.
bulletSmith, Thomas G. "John Kennedy, Stuart Udall, and New Frontier Conservation." Pacific Historical Review 64 (3) (Aug. 1995): 329-362.
bulletLear, Linda J. "Rachel Carson's Silent Spring." Environmental History Review 17 (Summer, 1993): 23-48.
bulletLutts, Ralph H. "Chemical Fallout: Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Radioactive Fallout, and the Environmental Movement." Environmental Review 9 (Fall, 1985): 211-225.
bulletHazlett, Maril. "'Woman vs. Man vs. Bugs': Gender and Popular Ecology in Early Reactions to Silent Spring." Environmental History 9 (October 2004):701-729.
bulletSundquist, James L. Politics and Policy: The Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson Years. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1968: Chapter 8, "For All, a Better Outdoor Environment."
bulletWebb, Melody. "Parks for People: Lyndon Johnson and the National Park System." In Frontier and Region: Essays in Honor of Martin Ridge, edited by Robert C. Ritchie and Paul Andrew Hutton. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1997. 121-137
bulletGould, Lewis L. "Lady Bird Johnson and Beautification." In The Johnson Years, Volume Two: Vietnam, the Environment, and Science, edited by Robert A. Divine. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1987. 150-180
bulletMelosi, Martin V. "Lyndon Johnson and Environmental Policy." In The Johnson Years, Volume Two: Vietnam, the Environment, and Science, edited by Robert A. Divine. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1987. 113-149
bulletDunaway, Finis. "Gas Masks, Pogo, and the Ecological Indian: Earth Day and the Visual Politics of American Environmentalism." American Quarterly 60.1 (2008): 67-97.
bulletFeenberg, Andrew. "The Commoner-Ehrlich Debate: Environmentalism and the Politics of Survival." In Minding Nature: The Philosophers of Ecology, edited by David Macauley. New York: Guilford Press, 1996. 257-282
bulletKirk, Andrew. "Appropriating Technology: The Whole Earth Catalog and Counterculture Environmental Politics." Environmental History 6 (July, 2001): 374-394.
bulletBarrow, John C. "An Age of Limits: Jimmy Carter and the Quest for a National Energy Policy." In The Carter Presidency: Policy Choices in the Post-New Deal Era, edited by Gary M. Fink and Hugh Davis Graham. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998. 158-178.
bulletStine, Jeffrey K. "Environmental Policy during the Carter Presidency." In The Carter Presidency: Policy Choices in the Post-New Deal Era, edited by Gary M. Fink and Hugh Davis Graham. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998. 179-201.

Groovy Details:

This is a writing-intensive course. Students will write one take-home midterm and one take-home final exam. In addition, students will write one research paper on a subject relating to the history of the postwar environmental movement.

Style: All written work will be typed, double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman, with 1" margins top and bottom and 1-1/4" margins on each side, and page numbers in the margin. Include a cover sheet. Do not add any space between paragraphs.

Research Paper: Students will research and write a paper of at least twelve pages on a topic of their choice. In frequent consultation with the professor, students will master the secondary literature and find primary sources on their chosen subject. Students may write on one of the topics below, or come up with a subject on their own in consultation with the professor. Some possible topics include:

bulletEarth Day 1970
bulletEisenhower and an environmental issue
bulletKennedy and an environmental issue
bulletJohnson and an environmental issue
bulletNixon and an environmental issue
bulletCarter and an environmental issue
bulletLady Bird Johnson and the environment
bulletThe legislative origins of the EPA or other major legislation or government agency
bulletThe Rockefeller family and the environment
bulletConservative environmentalists
bulletSixties science fiction and the environment (for example, Ursula K. LeGuin or John Brunner)
bulletEnvironmental themes in popular music
bulletEnvironmental themes in film (for example, Chinatown or China Syndrome)
bulletA major environmentalist, such as David Brower, Barry Commoner, or Paul Ehrlich
bulletAn environmental organization, such as the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace, or other
bulletThe Storm King controversy, or an environmental court case
bulletThe impact of The Population Bomb, The Closing Circle, Limits to Growth, Small is Beautiful, Ecotopia, Whole Earth Catalog, or other important book
bulletResources for the Future
bulletThe first international environmental summit in Stockholm, 1972
bulletThe 1973 oil crisis, or the 1979 oil crisis, and its effect on environmentalism
bulletLove Canal, "Valley of the Drums," Times Beach, Missouri, or other toxic waste controversy
bulletThe Three Mile Island nuclear accident
bulletThe controversy over plans for a specific nuclear power plant, such as Seacaucus or Diablo Canyon
bulletNuclear testing, the environment, and human health (such as Utah residents or nearby Indian tribes)
bulletThe Vietnam War and the environment (such as the Agent Orange controversy)
bulletThe relationship of the environmental movement to society or to other movements (antiwar, feminism, etc.)
bulletThe battle against a dam, such as Echo Park, Grand Canyon, or Tellico
bulletThe controversy over DDT or another pesticide
bulletThe rise of the organic farming movement or natural foods stores
bulletThe counterculture and the environment
bulletCommunes or the back-to-the-land movement
bulletMinorities and the environment
bulletThe Santa Barbara oil spill
bulletOne aspect of the fight against water pollution, such as the "death" of Lake Erie or the Hudson River cleanup
bulletOne aspect of the fight against air pollution, such as the rise and control of smog or the Donora crisis
bulletThe politics of the energy crisis
bulletThe "Sagebrush Rebellion" and public lands
bulletControversy over the cross-Florida canal, the Florida airport, or another major Florida development
bulletPreserving species or wildlife
bulletMaking suburbs more environmentally friendly
bulletThe movement for the development of renewable fuel sources, such as solar or wind power
bulletThe fight for auto emission control

Grading: The final grade will be calculated on the following basis:

bullet10% Class participation
bullet25% Midterm exam
bullet25% Final exam
bullet40% Research paper

Students may optionally submit a re-write of their research papers, due on June 28 at 5:00 p.m., and the average of the grades of the two papers will be entered as the grade for the paper.

Plagiarism: Using text written by someone else (even in a close paraphrase) without clear and unambiguous acknowledgment is academic dishonesty and will result in an "F" for the course.

Attendance: The professor will call roll at the beginning of each class. Students with a perfect attendance record will receive three bonus points on their final grades. Students with more than one absence will receive one point off their final grades for each absence over one. The instructor will accept excuses in cases of true need if appropriately documented. Students who leave class early may be counted absent. Three tardies count as one absence. Students more than 10 minutes late will be counted absent.

Schedule of Happenings:

May 28 Introduction; The Sixties Era, 1945-1980
29 The Fifties
Discussion: Lytle, pp. 1-43; Pfister
30 The Fifties
Lytle, pp. 44-71;
Related NPR story: "Cronkite: 'See it Now' and McCarthy"
June 2 The Fifties
Lytle, pp. 72-140; Storey, ch. 1-2
3 The Fifties
Lytle, pp. 143-173
4 The Fifties and the Origins of Environmentalism
Davis; Harvey; Stoll, documents 1-5
5 Rachel Carson's Silent Spring
Discussion: Lytle, pp. 174-193; Lear; Lutz; Hazlett; Stoll, 12
6 The Sixties: The Kennedy Years
Lytle, pp. 194-216; Hays; Rome
9 Midterm due
The Sixties: The Great Society
Discussion: Webb; Gould; Sundquist; Melosi; Stoll, 24, 11
10 The Sixties
Discussion: Lytle, pp. 217-265; Feenberg; Stoll, 7, 8
11 1968
Discussion: Lytle, pp. 269-315; Kirk; Stoll, 6, 18, 19, 26
Hear some excellent stories in the NPR series remembering 1968: "Echoes of 1968"
12 The Seventies: Nixon and Ford
Discussion: ; Lytle, 316-356; Dunaway; Stoll, 9, 13, 14, 20
13 The Seventies: The Carter Years
Discussion: Barrow; Stine; Stoll, 21, 27, 28, 29
16 Writing a research paper
Discussion: Lytle, 357-379
17 Discussion: Storey, ch. 3-4
Film: Cadillac Desert
18 Discussion: Storey, ch. 5-7
Film: Rachel Carson (American Experience)
19 The Eighties: The Reagan Years
Discussion: Storey, ch. 8-10
20 The Nineties: The George H.W. Bush and Clinton Years
The New Century: G.W. Bush and beyond
23 Research Paper Due
Discussion of papers
24 Discussion of papers
25 Discussion of papers
26 Discussion of papers
28 Final Exam due

Note: Students who, because of a disabling condition, may require some special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make necessary accommodations. Students should present appropriate verification from the Disabled Students Services in the Dean of Students Office.

The professor reserves the right to change this syllabus at his discretion. Changes will be announced in class and posted at the Web address listed above.

Last updated: Friday, June 27, 2008 03:41 PM

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