In his novel Ecotopia, Ernest Callenbach envisioned Northern California, Oregon, and Washington separating from the USA to become a breakaway "green" republic. Using this vision of the Northwest as a sustainable society as a touchstone, this course explores the multifaceted relationship between human identity and landscape (or place) in the region over the last century. Probing historical documents, visual representations, and literature, students investigate how different peoples have encountered, experienced, and represented the environment in the Pacific Northwest and how, in turn, the environment has shaped their sense of who they are. Additional topics may include the wilderness idea, globalization, and the way that social divisions such as gender and race have intersected with the process of making and re-making places in the region. Students write a substantial research paper on place and identity in the Northwest. Affiliate department: History.
Prerequisites: SSI2 enrollment requires completion of SSI1 seminar