Professor: David Meek
CRN 32926: Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00-11:20am @ GER 248
This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to human wellbeing. We will take a thematic approach to analyzing the factors that impact wellbeing, focusing on health, education, and the environment. The course begins with an introduction, during which we will explore basic perspectives on wellbeing and whether or not something called “wellbeing” is a human universal. The remainder of the course is broken into three major (3-week) thematic sections. The first section focuses on health and wellbeing. Over three weeks, we will explore the relations between nutrition and wellbeing, body image and globalization, and the roles of industrial and alternative agriculture in shaping our bodies, health, and wellbeing. The second section centers around the linkages between education and wellbeing. This section begins by introducing theories from the study of comparative education and moves on to explore the role of education in sustainable development. As part of this section, we will explore how global economic visions, such as neoliberalism, structure educational priorities. We will explore synergies between health and education by analyzing nutrition education and its linkages with wellbeing. This section will conclude with an exploration of how grassroots educational systems shape wellbeing. The third section of the course focuses on the connections between the environment and wellbeing. Through this section we will first explore the myriad contributions that a healthy environment makes to wellbeing. We will then analyze how connection with nature contributes to wellbeing. We will conclude the course with an examination of how climate change is impacting wellbeing, and how different communities are developing resilience to its impacts.