FYS*101*14 Description

First-Year Seminar

The stuff we send out to the curb and down the drain is often "out of sight and out of mind." This class will change that. We will explore the processes and places that define how we make, move, and manage waste in modern life and how they came to be that way. From the local landfill to the waste water treatment plant to an unregulated scrapyard for e-waste in the global South, this course will highlight the human and environmental costs of waste in modern consumer economies. After exploring the history of waste-making and its impacts on the American landscape, we will turn to a global perspective that explores the consequences of increased consumption in emerging economies. We will also engage in first-hand exploration of "spaces of consumption" and "spaces of disposal" around the campus and vicinity. Students will tackle critical questions about waste and the environment while also developing their research, writing, and presentation skills.