Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Women’s Studies 400- Sowing Seeds of Change: Environmental Justice, Feminism, and Globalization

                      Syllabus*August 5, 2008

                      Instructor Moya Z. Bailey, Department of Women’s Studies

Class meets:

Office Hours: by appointment only

Email: mzbaile@emory.edu (Use this address only, all email will be read between 9-5 on weekdays)


WS 100

Course Description

This course will invite students to explore the connections between globalization, westernization, environmental racism, consumption, and global activist movements. We will look at water, land, and people as sites of inquiry, where these issues play out. Students

Goals and Objectives

Students will

  • Learn about global environmental justice issues
  • Familiarize themselves with global resistance movements
  • Develop their own theories about these issues
  • Present their research to the larger community
  • Offer solutions and insights into the issues of environmental justice

Required Texts

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

E-reserve Readings


  1. Weekly blog post and response (20%)
  2. Active participation in class discussions (15%) (preparation, reading books/articles, attendance, etc.)
  3. Activist research project (20%)
  4. Dissemination Project (25%)
  5. Assigned discussion leadership (15%)
  6. Sustainable classroom efforts (5%)

Class Blog

All students will post 11 weekly blog entries that reflect their reaction to the required reading material and shows a connection to larger issues happening in the world. You will be graded on the evolution of your responses over the course of the class as well as your ability to draw parallels between class material and local/global events. Each entry should be at least two paragraphs. Blog entries must be posted no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesdays. Students must also comment on another classmate’s entry once a week. By the end of the semester students must have 11 posts and 11 responses. Students are expected to read each others responses. Students who go beyond this minimum may receive extra credit. FYI- Blogs are a public forum so other people from around the world can drop in our class conversations and will. Be prepared for this.

Class Participation

Students must participate in classroom discussions. To do so students must be present. Students can miss one class without penalty. Students must submit in writing their reason for being absent before it occurs and must still turn in the week’s assignment. Any absence beyond one will result in a percentage decrease from your class participation grade. Tardiness is unacceptable. Excessive tardiness will result in a percentage decrease from your class participation grade.

Activist Research Project

Students must research an activist movement from around the globe that is grounded in issues of the environment, globalization, or consumerism. This could include the No Logo Campaign, movements around water in India. Early in the semester students will submit a proposal on their possible research project and at the end of the semester a presentation on their findings. I will meet with each student to discuss the dimensions of the presentation as they develop. You will be graded on your ability to connect class material to your research in your presentation.

Class Assignments

All assignments are detailed on the syllabus or on the web. Late work will receive a letter grade deduction for each day it is late. It is your responsibility to alert me in writing (an e-mail) when you will miss class and how you intend to make up the lost time.

  • Grocery Field-Trip: Students will travel to a grocery store in the immediate Emory area and also travel to a grocery story in the Atlanta University Center area. Students will compare prices and quality.
  • Research Proposal: Students will submit a one page write up of their research project.

Dissemination Project

As a class we will discuss ways to disseminate the material generated through the course to the greater Emory community. The blog is a component of this but students may elect to do a mini symposium on campus, meet with Emory trustees, invite a guest to campus to speak about these issues, make a video, etc. The class will delegate responsibility to all members of the class and evaluate each other’s performance.

Assigned Discussion Reading

During the semester student pairs will be assigned one day to facilitate a class discussion. You are responsible for guiding the class through the assigned reading for that day as well as fostering discussion for an hour of class time. You should also integrate blog comments and/or related information from the media. Provide a bio sketch of the authors of the articles you are assigned including a list of their major works, theoretical perspectives, and critiques of their work. Students may sign up for a day on the class calendar. You may use handouts, powerpoint, or a medium of your choice to engage the class.

Sustainable Classroom Efforts

We will attempt to tread a little lighter on the planet, at least in the context of this classroom. Papers, assignments, and grades will be submitted electronically and you are encourages to use both sides of the page if you prefer for print assignments and handouts. Recycling backs of paper is encouraged, as well as students’ suggestions of other sustainable practices that can be employed in the class.

Extra Credit

Students may attend events detailed on the Class Calendar for this class and write a two page reflection on the event. Other extra credit opportunities will be announced in class.


A 100 – 94

A- 93 – 90

B+ 89 – 87

B 86 – 84

B- 83 – 80

C+ 79 – 76

C 75 – 73

C- 72 – 70

D 69 – 64

F 64 – Below

Any students who feel they may need academic adjustments and/or accommodations should speak with me during the first two weeks of class. All discussions will remain confidential. Students with disabilities should also contact the Office of Disability Services.

Academic Honesty and Classroom integrity

Students are expected to be familiar with the Academic Honesty policy of the college. If you have any questions, be sure to come see me during office hours or send me an email. You are also expected to be respectful of your classmates. Many of the issues discussed are highly contested and your opinions will often differ so it is important that everyone is courteous with their contention.

Reading and Discussion Schedule

  1. Introduction (Week 1)
    1. Hey! How are you? Who are you? Why are you here?
    2. Syllabus
  2. The Scope (Weeks 2-5)
    1. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler chapters 1-6
    2. Story of Stuff
    3. Parable of the Sower chapters 7-10
    4. The Globetrotting Sneaker by Cynthia Enloe
    5. Parable of the Sower chapters 11-14
  3. Water (Weeks 6)
    1. Scientists Warn of Depletion of Ocean Fish in 40 Years http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2006-11/2006-11-02-voa61.cfm?CFID=21934462&CFTOKEN=62741429
    2. 150 'dead zones' counted in oceans U.N. report warns of nitrogen runoff killing fisheries http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4624359/
    3. Water Wars by Vandana Shiva (selected chapters)
  4. Land (Weeks 7-8)
    1. Haunani-Kay Trask. 1999. From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai’i. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Revised Edition. (Selected Chapters)
    2. Snipp, “The First Americans.”
    3. LaDuke. “Nuclear Waste: Dumping on the Indians.”
    4. Pulido, Laura. 2000. “Rethinking Environmental Racism: White Privilege and Urban Development in Southern California.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 90(1): 12-40.
    5. Clapp, Jennifer. 2001. Toxic Exports: The Transfer of Hazardous Wastes from Rich to Poor Countries. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, chapters 1, 2 and 7 (40 pages).
    6. Anderton, D., A. Anderson, et al. (1994). "Environmental Equity: The Demographics of Dumping." Demography 31(2): 229-248. (E).
    7. Research project proposal
  5. People (Weeks 9-10)
    1. Deafness and Disability—Forgotten Components of Environmental Justice: Illustrated by the Case of Local Agenda 21 in South Wales by Andrew Charles and Huw Thomas
    2. Winona LaDuke, “Mothers of Our Nation: Indigenous Women Address the World” (1995)
    3. Yang, Tseming “International Environmental Protection, Human Rights and the North South Divide,” from Justice and Natural Resources (2002)
    4. Garwal, Anil, Narain, Sunita and Aharma, Anju. “The Global Commons and Environmental Justice – Climate Change,” from Environmental Justice, Discourses in International Political Economy (2002).
    5. Zarsky, Lyuba “Global Reach: Human Rights and Environment in the Framework of Corporate Accountability” from Human Rights and the Environment, Conflicts and Norms in a Globalizing World.” (2002).
    6. Women and toxic waste protests: Race, class and gender as resources of resistance by Celene Krauss
    7. John Lie, "From Agrarian Patriarchy to Patriarchal Capitalism: Gendered Capitalism Industrialization in Korea," in Valentine Moghadam, ed., Patriarchy and Economic Development: Women's Positions at the End of the Twentieth Century (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996)
    8. “No Remedy for the Inuit: Accountability for Environmental Harms under U.S. and International Law.” by Anne E. Lucas
    9. Mortality Rates in Appalachian Coal Mining Counties: 24 Years Behind the Nation by Michael Hendryx Environmental Justice. March 2008, 1(1): 5-11
  6. Dissemination Project (Weeks 11-14)
  7. Presentations and Projects Due (Week 15)

No comments: