Postgraduate Course: Social Movements and the Environment (PGGE11276)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course will provide students with a deep understanding of humans¿ engagement with the environment in the context of grassroots activism in the global North and global South. Students will obtain skills in critical thinking, application of concepts, writing, presenting, and working collectively in groups.
This course is designed for students who are interested in learning about different forms of environmental activism across places and cultures, how this activism manifests, and how it reflects a diversity of relationships between humans and the non-human world. From Ecuador and Peru, to the United Kingdom and New Zealand, this course explores the cultural politics of grassroots activism around topics such as the climate emergency, the extraction of natural resources, and rights-based frameworks for the environment. Core Teaching on the course is divided into two segments. The first segment (weeks 1-6) is dedicated to learning relevant concepts and debates around social movements and the environment, where each week we apply a particular concept to a real-world case study. Concepts taught throughout this segment include Counter-Hegemony, Cultural Politics, Post-Materialism, The Environmentalism of the Poor, and Social Movements and Scale. The second segment (weeks 7-9) is dedicated to conducting a small-group research project on an environmental social movement of the group¿s choice. This will culminate in a group presentation to be delivered to the rest of the class in week 11. The outline of the course is as follows: (1) Social Movements and Power: an introduction (2) Cultural Politics of Environmental Social Movements (3) Social Movements and the Environment in the Global North (4) Social Movements and the Environment in the Global South (5) Transnational Social Movements and the Environment (6) Is There a Global Environmental Movement? (7) Group Research Project (8) Group Research Project (9) Group Research Project (10) Essay Q&A (11) Group Research Project Presentations
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 33,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||ASSESSMENT 1 (30%): Students will spend three in-class sessions, plus independent study time, working in small groups in order to conduct a research project on a social movement of their choice. They will produce a report which details and analyses the history, development, and key strategies of that movement in relation to the environment. As well as the report, students will be expected to produce a PowerPoint (or similar format) presentation which will be delivered to the class, explaining their case study and analysis. Each student is expected to contribute equally to their peers to the report and the presentation. This assessment links to Learning Outcomes 2 and 3. «br /»
ASSESSMENT 2 (70%) Students will write an independent 2,500 word essay, applying one of the concepts from the course sessions to a social movement of their choice. They must choose a different social movement to the one they focused on for their group research project. Specific essay questions are not prescribed, but students can confirm their own essay questions with the course organiser by week 10 if they wish. This assessment links to Learning Outcomes 1 and 3.
Assessment 1- Group Research Report due week 8 and Group Presentation due week 10.
Assessment 2- Essay due week 12.
||The Course Organiser will provide students with group-based oral feedback progressively throughout the preparation stages of ASSESSMENT 1 (weeks 7-9), guiding them toward the successful completion of the report and presentation as a group. This feedback will focus on their chosen approach to the project, their chosen case study, and the sources they are using to support their project. Students will also receive formal written feedback as a group on their report and on their presentation, commenting on the overall depth of understanding demonstrated, their use of academic sources, and that the presentation accurately represents the report and vice versa. This feedback will occur after the presentations have taken place and have been graded. The Course Organiser will provide oral feedback during the preparation stage of ASSESSMENT 2 in week 10 during the Essay Q&A, helping to frame their thinking around essay questions and topics. Students will receive formal written feedback from the Course Organiser once their essays have been graded. This feedback will focus on writing style, essay structure, depth of understanding of the case study and the concept applied, and use of relevant sources to support their argument.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Be able to apply a range of critical concepts to practical situations relating to humans¿ relationship with the environment
- Have acquired and/or enhanced transferable skills in teamwork, report writing, and oral presentation
- Understand the different historical, social, cultural and political underpinnings of social movements' engagement with the environment
|Key texts for the course include the following: Martinez-Alier, J., 2002. The environmentalism of the poor: a study of ecological conflicts and valuation. Edward Elgar // Guha, R., Alier, J.M., 2013. Varieties of Environmentalism: Essays North and South. Routledge. // Lewis, T.L., 2016. Ecuador¿s Environmental Revolutions: Ecoimperialists, Ecodependents, and Ecoresisters. The MIT Press. // Braun, B., Castree, N., 2005. Remaking Reality: Nature at the Millennium. Routledge. // Peet, R., Watts, M., 2002. Liberation ecologies: environment, development and social movements. Routledge. // Ekers, M., Hart, G., Kipfer, S., Loftus, A., 2012. Gramsci: Space, Nature, Politics. John Wiley & Sons. // Williams, G., Mawdsley, E., 2006. Postcolonial environmental justice: Government and governance in India. Geoforum 37, 660¿670. // Doherty, B., Doyle, T., 2006. Beyond borders: Transnational politics, social movements and modern environmentalisms. Environmental Politics 15, 697¿712. // Espinosa, C., 2014. The Advocacy of the Previously Inconceivable: A Discourse Analysis of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth at Rio+20. The Journal of Environment & Development 23, 391¿416. // Espinosa, C., 2017. Bringing about the global movement for the rights of nature: sites and practices for intelligibility. Global Networks // Alvarez, S.E., Dagnino, E., Escobar, A., 1998. Cultures of politics, politics of cultures: re-visioning Latin American social movements. Westview Press.|
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Students will strengthen outlook and engagement by gaining a better understanding of the world around them in the context of the environment and particular human behaviours around its protection. They will also strengthen their enquiry and lifelong learning due to the topical nature, immediacy, and future-thinking context of humans¿ relationship with the environment, climate change and environmental sustainability. Through conducting a small-group research project, students will also strengthen their research and enquiry skills, as well as their personal and intellectual autonomy skills. This project will also build on their skills in teamwork and project management. Students¿ skills in communication will also be greatly enhanced through group work and oral presentation. Through the oral presentation, students will also obtain report writing and delivery skills. Throughout the course, students will also develop their skills in the application of theory to the real world, and enhance their critical thinking skills
|Keywords||Social movements,environment,cultural politics,environmentalism,activism,human geography
|Course organiser||Dr Stefan Rzedzian
|Course secretary||Ms Louisa King
Tel: (0131 6)50 2543