HNRS 366H_ official copy by xiaoyounan



                                        HNRS 366H
                       Men, Women and the Land: Myths and Realities
                                      Spring 2012
                              Wednesday 5-8 p.m. Glenn 308

                  “A study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary
                       to the emancipation of the mind.”—J. M. Keynes

Dr. Scott McNall                                             Dr. Sally McNall                               
Hours by appointment                                         Hours by appointment

Honors Program Goals and Objectives for Honors Theme Classes

   To engage students in an interdisciplinary studies experience in an interactive setting.
   To invite students to think reflectively about how this course connects to other course work.
   To teach students about the interrelationship of their roles as American citizens and as world
   To give students an understanding of the modern global community.
   To allow students to pursue their own research interests within the framework of
    interdisciplinary studies and the framework of each individual class.

GE Course Goals and Objectives

   To learn to analyze and synthesize a variety of materials reflecting narratives of the land.
   To sharpen writing and oral presentation skills.
   To understand how ideas about the land have played out in different times and locations
    within the United States.
   To learn how, since European contact, religion, literature, philosophy and values have shaped
    our understanding of the land in North America.
   To examine how our concepts of the land, the environment, and our relationship to both, are
    shaped by historical, political and economic ideas and factors.
   To learn about the relationship between our ideas of the land and the communities we create.
   To learn how to create the kind of communities in which we wish to live.
   To learn about the global and local impacts of decisions about the use of land, water, and air
    and other scarce resources.

                                   Course requirements
A. Timing and preparation
      1. Your presence is required. Be on time, stay the whole class period, and do not miss a
      class unless it is a dire emergency. One class is worth three daytime classes, your full
      allowance of cuts. If you should miss a class it is your group members' responsibility to
      bring you up to speed; respect this demand on them. You will be asked to write a two
      page paper on the topic of the week when you miss class. Class participation will be
      monitored and it will influence your grade positively if you have read the material and
      worked with it in the ways we give you, so that you can ask questions and contribute to
      discussions. You cannot expect to do this unless you have prepared. We are very
      serious about this.
      2. Take notes: always start class with a clean page dated at the top, and record
      information or ideas presented by anyone during discussions of the readings, and during
      the screening of films. These notes will be important when you take the comprehensive
      3. Break during class lasts ten minutes, no more. Respect your classmates' time and do
      not keep them waiting or distract them by returning late.
      4. Your presentations must be timed to the minutes allowed. Be prepared to be
      stopped if you run over.
      5. Read your e-mail on Friday and Monday. Sally will send notice of changes in the
      syllabus, if this is ever necessary, and sometimes she sends guides for reading the
      material. She will also send the groups our commentary and grades for their reports, and
      sometimes individual comments for work handed in. She will also email handouts from
      time to time, and these will be a part of your required reading.

B. Reading materials:
     1. Three books (all available at used prices, and resaleable) are at the bookstore.
     Everything else will be online, emailed to you to download, or printed as a handout if the
     permission fee is very high. The emailing works this way: The bookstore will create a
     PDF of all readings. Students come pay at the text office counter and wiil be marked off
     on the roster list. After everyone has paid (or a high percentage of those enrolled have
     paid) we release to each student who paid a password or code to access the PDF file which
     we will email to them.

              Willa Cather, selections from O Pioneers!
              Dave Eggers, Zeitoun
              Barbara Kinsolver, Animal, Vegtetable, Miracle

       2. Before you start the reading, get a notebook and a folder with pockets on each side.
       The first is for class and reading notes. Come to class with the current reading material
       (or good notes, in your class notebook) and out of class writing (which goes into the
       folder) when due. Good notes will allow to participate in classroom discussions of the
       material. The final will be based in part on how thorough, thought out, and complete
       your notebook is.

C. Written assignments and presentations:

There are three kinds of writing for the class 1) occasional responses to prompts in class, which
are recorded among your class notes 2) your class notes 3) out of class writing.

      2. Class notes: Always start class with a clean page dated at the top, and record
      information or ideas presented by anyone during discussions of the readings, and during
      the screening of films. Before you come to class, enter notes about your reading that
      week—this will make is easier for you to participate in discussion, and write the final.
      Date these notes by the class day. As the class progresses you may want to clarify or
      amplify these notes, so leave a page to do so. This will help when you later draw on them.

      3. Out of class writing: These assignments should be kept in a folder with pockets. They
      may be computer generated or handwritten if your writing is readable. Keep it all there
      (including the parts we have already seen, and our notes about them) until you want to put
      it in the portfolio. Date everything. Help us by using a post-it at the place where we are
      to begin reading each time it is handed in. Look over your returned work even if it is
      given an A, in case you have a question, theme or themes you can develop in them.

       On alternate weeks (beginning with week 2, and then 4, etc.) write 1-3 paragraphs on 3 of
       the following, and get to every one of them at least once by semester’s end. You will get
       them back in class the following week.

                something that is brought up in class, that you didn‘t have time to respond
               to (this will be filed under class participation)

                your weekly reading (especially if you get interested and read beyond the
               assignment or have related our material to that of another class you are taking),

                   things you notice in other media related to the ideas in this class

                related conversations with other students, family members, etc. –you can
               do deliberate field work and consciousness raising here

                and/or about experiences and conversations you have outside of class that
               make you think with the class materials—start the conversations!

                One entry will require participation in a free guided and reflective tour (see
               syllabus, March 27 or 28) of the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve, or if this is
               impossible, contact Jeff Mott at 898-5010 for a wildflower walk on the reserve.
               Or, if you have determined you can‘t join the field trip, you may call Wes
               Dempsey at 342-2293 or email to register for a tree
               tour in Chico. REGISTER NOW—THESE FILL UP FAST. If you miss the field

               trip because of last-minute issues, another alternative assignment will be found for
               you: not as much fun, more work, alas.

       3. Two papers (7 pages each, excluding notes and bibliographies) and the comprehensive
       final. See handout.

       4. One group report. See handout.

       5. Assessment policy. Papers, 15% each; class participation (includes punctuality,
       asking questions, raising issues and objections, introducing topics, helping to clarify
       points―USEFUL TALK, of which Sally keeps a log), 10%; presentation 20%, final 40%

                                       Course Schedule
                         (some of this may change as the class evolves)
Week One (1/25) Introduction to the class

Learning objective: Can we adapt to the world we live in?

Syllabus, course packet, field trip, reports (group formation), papers, weekly entries, office hours

Opening remarks by Sally and Scott, Q and A

Week Two (2/1)The North American Continent as Turtle Island

Learning objective: How does Native culture see the land, why, and what can we learn
from them?

Quiz on the syllabus.

Texts: Basso, ― ‗Stalking with Stories‘: Names, Places, and Moral Narratives Among the
       Western Apache,‖ bookstore email
       Silko, ―Landscape, History, and the Pueblo Imagination,‖ bookstore email

First regular biweekly assignment of out of class writing due

Week Three (2/8) Nature as Wisdom: Transcendentalism

Learning objective: Why do Americans seem to have a relationship to the land unlike any
other nation’s?

Texts: Thoreau, Walden, Chs. 1 and 2
Student report 1: The idea of wilderness in the American imagination

Week Four (2/16) The Virgin Land and the Wild West

Learning objective: How have myths about land fueled the expansion westward?

Texts: Willa Cather, O Pioneers, Part One, ―The Wild Land‖ and Part Two, ―Neighboring
       Fields,‖ chs. 1 - 4, purchased at bookstore

Out of class writing due

Paper #1 (2/16) family history (see handout)

Week Five (2/22) Cities and Neighbors

Learning objective: Can we locate and learn how to create “community”?

Texts: Rebecca Solnit, A Paradise Built in Hell, Section 1, bookstore e-mail
       Dave Eggers, Zeitoun (purchased at book store)

Student report 2: Environmental justice and cities: inner city, suburb, slum

  Field trip, the 24th or 25th of March, to Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve,
  directions on website (Jeff Mott)
  Text: Aldo Leopold
  and click on Land Ethic. Choose one item that speaks to you and bring it and writing
  materials along
  Those who cannot make it to the field trip, see page three above.

Week Six (2/29) Framing and Responding to Crises

Learning Objective: How can we think in practical terms about global climate change?

Text: Your papers: choose a crisis and describe how you might be able to prepare for it.
        Film The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (53 min.)
Out of class writing and paper #2, due (Above but see handout. You will all talk from these
papers in class.)

Week Seven (3/7) Feeding ourselves and the World

Learning objective: How do people get food? Contrast and comparison.

Texts: selection from Uwem Akpan , Say you’re one of them, bookstore e-mail

Student report 3 : Who is starving, and why? What are the potential problems with our own food

Week Eight (3/14) The Water Supply

Learning objective: Why is water becoming scarce?

Text: Film: Debating the Delta (57 min); selection from Sainath, Everybody loves a good
       drought, bookstore e-mail

Student report 5 Who doesn’t have fresh water, and why?

Out of class writing due

Week Nine (3/30) Population

Learning objective: What are the issues surrounding population growth?

Texts: Video on you tube--enter Population Growth and Hans Rosling (TED talk); chapter 1
        from Silverberg, The World Inside, bookstore e-mail

Student report 6: The population problem: what are its dimensions?

Visitor: Chunyan Song, from Sociology, about China‘s population issues

Out of class writing due

Week Ten (4/4) CATCH UP WEEK

Week Eleven (4/11)

Learning objective: Images of Post-Apocalyptic America

Texts: ―West,‖ from Card, Folk of the Fringe, bookstore email
        Film The Road (111 min.)

Paper # 2 (4/11) How can we frame any of these issues to promote action? (see handout)

Out of class writing due: why do we love disaster movies?? No, really, why?

Week Twelve (4/18) Learning objective: What has the economy got to do with it?

Selected readings will be emailed to everyone, and later a handout of the lecture.
Week Thirteen (4/27)

Learning objective: Can we make do with less?

Text: Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, purchased at bookstore

Out of class writing due, in this case, your answers to this question

Week Fourteen (5/2)

Thinking objective: If you have children within the next ten years, what that you learned
here could you teach them? What wouldn’t you teach them, and why?

Notice the word ―could.‖ This is not a binding commitment. But we do want you to be
completely honest, even if you suspect your ideas may annoy others. Scott and Sally actually
like that, and will talk about their grandchildren. We will all arrive with pages of notes.

Out of class—on this topic— writing due. Handout of final.

Week Fifteen (5/9)

Dinner with the McNalls, that evening at 5:30.
From the Park and Ride, take 32 east to Bruce and turn right, and then left onto the Skyway, to the third traffic light
in Paradise, which is at Elliott. Turn left. There is an abrupt right at the bottom of the hill, onto Oakmore. Follow
Oakmore to the top of the hill and turn left onto Crestview; then almost immediately turn left again onto Crestwood.
Follow Crestwood around a corner and you will see, across from a row of mailboxes, a redwood sign bearing the
number 520. That is us. The gates are for deer, not people. You can use the one that works manually, or struggle
with the keypad (0123). There is plenty of parking.

Final: due 5/16 or 5/9

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