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Possible Ideas for Class Discussions

r.graham.barrett's picture

In terms of topics we could talk about in class for the rest of the semester I think we should try having conversations about how all the topics and readings might overlap with one another. A specific example of this would be Pollan’s article about weeds and Silent Spring’s talk of pesticide use. Both discuss a similar subject matter, plant life that is unwanted/undesired by humans, and the possible implications to dealing with them (ignoring them/letting them grow in specialized plots according to Pollan and drenching them in pesticide as Carson puts it). Seeing how both pieces address a similar topic, I think it would be useful to look at the overlap between Carson and Pollan and discuss/compare it with one another. From there class conversations could also look other similarities we can find among the other readings as well. It would also be nice to see how previous readings we have looked at might have some implications on the subject matters we are currently examining, as well as contemporary environmental and gender issues (since Silent Spring has started to make us talk about such issues in greater depth already). Revising the course to have more conversations like these would be helpful because it would let us put many of the readings in context with one another and also look at the much broader scope that each reading’s subject matter might hold on relevant issues.