Week 1: Introduction to Environmental Sociology, Animals and Society, Coronavirus as an Environmental Issue
Openstax. The environment and society. In Introduction to Sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX.
Vidal, John (2020) “The perfect conditions for coronavirus to emerge.” Scientific American. March 18.
van Doreen, Tom (2020) “Pangolins and pandemics: The real source of this crisis is human, not animal.” New Matilda. March 20.
“What is Deep Ecology” (n.d.) Wikipedia.
Week 2: New York City and Its Environment: Water and Sanitation Systems
Schifman, Jonathan (2019) “How New York City found clean water.” The Smithsonian Magazine. November 25.
Soll, David (2013) “Introduction: The evolution of the watersystem.” In: David Soll, The Empire of Water: An Environmental and Political History of the New York City Water Supply. Ithica, NY: Cornell University Press.
Nagle, Robin (2013) “Center of the universe” and “Garbage faeries.” Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Week 3: Key Concepts: Environmental Justice, Ecological Modernization, Inverted Quarantine
Johnson, Ayana Elizabeth (2020) Podcast: “The inseparable link between climate change and racial justice.” Short Wave. June 18.
EJ Definitions (n.d.) “A brief history of environmental justice & EJ definitions.”
MacLeod, Madison (2018) “The inverted quarantine.” Zero Waste California. November 21.
Szasz, Andrew (2009) “Drinking.” In: Andrew Szasz, Shopping Our Way to Safety: How We Changed from Protecting the Environment to Protecting Ourselves. Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota University Press.
Schlosberg, David & Sara Rinfret (2008) “Ecological modernisation, American style.” Environmental Politics, 17(2): 254–275.
Week 4: Environmental Justice in New York City, Community Engagement, Citizen Scientists
Carter, Majora (2006) Greening the ghetto. Ted Talks.
Ottinger, Gwen (2016) “Citizen engineers at the fenceline.” Issues in Science and Technology, 32(2): 72.
Week 5: Plastics, Recycling, Personal vs. Corporate Responsibility
Dickinson, Tim (2020) “Planet Plastic.” Rolling Stone. March 3.
“The Crying Indian.” (1970). Keep America Beautiful campaign.
Shaw, Wendy S. (2019) “Trashion treasure: A longitudinal view of the allure and re-functioning of discarded objects.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 37(1):122–141.
O’Neill, Kate (2019) “The global political economy of waste.” In: Kate O’Neill, Waste. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Week 6: Animals and Industrial Production
Driessen, Clemens, Leonie L.F.M. Heutinck (2015) “Cows desiring to be milked? Milking robots and the co-evolution of ethics and technology on Dutch dairy farms.” Agriculture and Human Values 32, 3–20.
Pachirat, Timothy (2011) “Hidden in plain sight.” In: Timothy Pachirat, Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Blanchette, Alex (2020) “Introduction: The factory farm.” In: Alex Blanchette, Porkopolis: American Animality, Standardized Life, and the Factory Farm. Raleigh, NC: Duke University Press. [Links to Amazon preview page, awaiting for CUNY access]
Week 7: Extinctions, Struggles to Preserve Biodiveristy
Duffy, Rosaleen (2014) Waging a war to save biodiversity: The rise of militarized conservation.” International Affairs, 90(4), 819–834.
Fower, Cary (2009) “One seed at a time, protecting the future of food.” Ted Talks. Available at:
Kolbert, Elizabeth. 2015. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
Week 8: The Future of Food
Friend, Tad (2019) “Can a burger help solve climate change.” New Yorker. September 23.
Barber, Dan (2020) Podcast “Eating the whole farm.” Slate. April 21.
Pollan, Michael (2009) In Defense of Food. London: Penguin Press.
Broad, Garrett M. (2020) “Know your indoor farmer: Square Roots, techno-local food, and transparency as publicity.” American Behavioral Scientist, 64(11): 1588–1606.
Week 9: Soil and Land Ethics
Carrington, Damian (2020) “Global soils underpin life.” The Guardian. December 4.
Montgomery, David R. (2013) Excerpts from Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Leopold, Aldo, et al. (1991) Excerpts from The River of the Mother of God and Other Essays by Aldo Leopold. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
Berry, Wendell (1977) Excerpts from The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture. Sierra Club Books.
Week 10: Subterranean Politics: Oil Extraction and Environmental Disasters
Freudenburg, William R. and Robert Gramling (2011) “Storied sunlight and its risks.” In: William R. Freudenburg and Robert Gramling, Blowout in the Gulf: The BP Oil Spill Disaster and the Future of Energy in America. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011.
Time (2010) “The oil spill by the numbers.” Time. June 18.
60 minutes (2010) “Blowout: The Deepwater Horizon Disaster.” CBS.
Week 11: Energy and Development
Tilt, Bryan (2014) “The moral economy of water and power.” In: Bryan Tilt, Dams and Development in China: The Moral Economy of Water and Power. New York: Columbia University Press.
Bridge, Gavin and Philippe Le Billon (2013) “Developing through oil.” In: Gavin Bridge and Philippe Le Billon, Oil. London: Polity Press.
Brown, Kate (2013) Excerpts from Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Popovic, Nadja and Brad Plumer (2020) “How does your state produce electricity.” The New York Times. October 28.
CNBC (2020). “Should the US ban fracking?” January 5.
Week 12: Climate Crisis Denial and Science Communications
Harvey, Jeffrey A et al. (2018) “Internet blogs, polar bears, and climate-change denial by proxy.” BioScience, 68(4): 281–287.
Lewandowsky, Stephan, Naomi Oreskes, James S. Risbey, Ben R. Newell, Michael Smithson (2015) “Seepage: Climate change denial and its effect on the scientific community.” Global Environmental Change, 33: 1–13.
Oreskes, Naomi (2014) “Why we should trust scientists.” Ted Talks.
Farrell, Justin (2016) “Corporate funding and ideological polarization about climate change.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113: 92–97.
Week 13: Environmental Design and Inequalities
Schultz, Kathryn (2015) “The really big one.” The New Yorker. July 20.
New York City Economic Development Corporation (2019) “Lower Manhattan coastal resiliency.”
Nixon, Rob (2011) Excerpts from Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Milman, Oliver (2020) “Rich Americans’ homes generate 25% more greenhouse gasses than those less affluent.” July 21. The Guardian.
Week 14: Global Environmental Politics
Sengupta, Somini and Julfikar Ali Manik (2020) “As Bangladesh drowns.” The New York Times. July 30.
“World Systems Theory” (n.d.) Wikipedia.
McDonnell, Tim (2018) “The refugees that the world barely pays attention to.” NPR. June 20.
Week 15: Indigenous Perspectives on the Anthropocene; Final exam
Davis, Heather and Zoe Todd (2017) “On the importance of a date, or, decolonizing the Anthropocene.” ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 16(4), 761–780.