This course asks how experimentation in the arts and sciences can inform the type of work that environmental humanists do. We will investigate this through a semester-long engagement with histories of and experiments in environmental sustainability. Rooted in environmental DIY culture, radical feminist approaches to environmental justice and agroecology, as well as queer-crip practice, this course will combine hands-on building with traditional seminar discussion. Students will keep a commonplace book for the course, help to maintain a community lab notebook, and will complete a final project.
Overview of units
• co-creating a sustainable/sustaining lab space
• agroecology, perennial agriculture, carbon farming
• papermaking with invasive plants
• DIY solar panel construction and urban installation
Final Project Assignment
1. Create a seed bank plan using Sketchup. This final project requires research into sustainable ecological systems and human health. This research will be self-guided, though I am available for consultation. The seed bank should include: a list of all contents as well as an annotated bibliography that explains why each component is necessary for the bank. The seed bank should have a name and should include a design plan. You are also required to provide a 3,000-word explanation of your seed bank plan.
2. Create a perennial agriculture plan for a one to three-acre plot on Bryn Mawr or Haverford’s campus using Sketchup. This plan should include: a seasonal and yearly map of the respective campus as well as an index of the included components. You are also required to provide a 3,000-word explanation of your perennial agriculture plan.
3. Create a renewable energy plan for one building on campus using Sketchup. This final project requires research into electrical systems and yearly usage. This research will be self-guided, though I am available for consultation. The plan should include: an analysis of usage data, an installation program, and a cost analysis. You must also include an annotated bibliography that outlines your research materials used. You must include a design plan. You are also required to provide a 3,000-word explanation of your plan.
4. Create a sustainabilities manual that offers a variety of practical lessons based on the experiments we have conducted in this class, as well as other sustainable practices vital to environmental studies (this project can only be completed by one person in the course).
5. Create hand-made paper art project. This will begin with a design plan. In addition to the project itself, you will be required to provide a 3,000-word explanation of your art project that elaborates on process and meaning.
Commonplace Book––3 submissions throughout the semester on the following dates: Wednesday, 9/25 (5%); Wednesday, 11/12 (5%); full book submission at the end of term (10%)
Final Project Proposal (15%): Tuesday, 11/5
Final Project Draft (15%): Tuesday, 12/3 & 12/10
Project Presentation (30%): Tuesday, 12/10 & 12/10
Class Participation: (10%)
Two Self-Assessments: (2.5% each), Wednesday, 10/8; Wednesday, 11/26
Community Lab Notebook: (5%)––each lab participant will choose a week during the semester to take lab notes during our session. These notes will be shared with the group via GoogleDrive directly following class.
If you'd like to make an appointment to speak with me during office hours, please do so here: https://calendly.com/sgrossman1