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History 2260 Environmental History

History 2260 Environmental History

1. Over the past several years a battle has raged over whether or not the Vancouver Aquarium should be allowed to keep whales and other cetaceans in captivity. Examine this debate and the ideas about nature and the human relation to it that have motivated both those who want to maintain the whale displays and those who are opposed to the keeping of whales (but clearly not opposed to the keeping of fish generally speaking).
2. In recent months a “raw water” fad has emerged in the US and Canada. What is this fad? What do proponents and consumers of raw water believe are its benefits? What ideas about nature are involved in this fad?
3. From the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth century a variety of new movements emerged that responded to the conditions of industrial society of that time by promoting a “return” to nature. Examine this phenomenon in relation to either the Boy Scout movement, the German Wandervogel movement, the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift in England, or another similar movement of your choosing.
4. Across the western world the 1960s was a decade of unparalleled political, social, and cultural protest – including a countercultural protest in which individuals sought to lead a more “natural” life in terms of dress, comportment, sexuality, the food people ate, etc. These themes were addressed in the popular music of the era and some activists retreated to rural communes. In an essay, explore the “back to nature” movement of the sixties, why activists thought they needed to go back to nature ad what they thought that return would deliver to them.
5. One of the earliest and enduring responses to industrial society throughout Europe and North America has been the rise of the suburb. Explore the development of the suburb at any time in the last two centuries and the extent to which it is and how it functions asboth an embodiment of modern nature loving and an important response to the growth of urban industrial society.

 
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