Course Title：Humanity, Science, and Nature in the West
|Teacher||Nancy M. Thompson|
|Venue||Room 322 Comprehensive Building, West Campus|
This seminar course begins with the earliest cities in the Mediterranean and ends in the early twentieth-century West. We cover a long span of time, but take a rather narrow focus: we look at how the art, poetry, philosophy, and even gardens reflect human attitudes toward our place in the natural world. We will start with selections from works that shaped the western world view: the Hebrew scriptures and the literature of the Greeks. We will discuss the shift in perspective that came with the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, when Europeans felt supremely confident in the possibility of mastering nature. Next we will investigate the nineteenth-century Romantic reaction to Enlightenment rationalism and industrial progress. We will conclude with some influential factors in the growth and development of the United States: the concept of the American frontier, debates over the proper use of resources, and the early conservation movement.