June 19-25, 2016 (3 credits)
Taft-Nicholson Center, Centennial Valley, MT
UU Campus Pre-Meeting (required): Mon. May 9, 6-8 p.m., LNCO 2120
This graduate seminar explores the relationship of place and geography to our communication about climate change and how we make sense of it. As individuals we become attached to physical places (both “natural” and built), but we are situated in normative social environments and cultures that also emphasize certain meanings about place. If the places in our lives help us understand the world and what’s important in it, can place be a powerful tool to activate emotion and action about climate change? Or, is place conceptualized in such a way that it contributes to what Norgaard calls the “social organization of denial” and cultural paralysis?
This seminar will be highly interdisciplinary; graduate students from all fields are welcome. Readings include communication concepts and foundations, and draw from geography, sociology, environmental studies, and philosophy. For this intensive course, readings must be completed by June 19. A two-hour pre-meeting (required) will be held on the Salt Lake campus in May. A final research paper or project will be due in mid-August.
To explore the power of place, we will nestle ourselves in a spectacular place – Centennial Valley, a serene, expansive valley near the Continental Divide, about 33 miles west of West Yellowstone. This seminar takes place at the Taft-Nicholson Center for Environmental Humanities Education (an official extension of the UU campus), located in the fully restored ghost town of Lakeview, Montana. Accommodations include a student dormitory and guest cabins, classroom facilities, and a dining hall. Between class sessions, we will hike and explore the surrounding Gallatin National Forest and Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.
For more information:
Dept. of Communication
University of Utah