HC301H - The Natural World (Spring/2024)

Professor: Gantt Gurley

4.00 credits

  • CRN 32049: Monday & Wednesday, 2:00-3:20pm @ GSH 132

This interdisciplinary course explores the history of scientific, philosophical, and literary thinking that attempts to explain, codify, and shape the world. Students will be exposed to theory of myth, precritical science, natural philosophy, and ecosophical traditions while learning critical research and analytical skills in a project-based format. Beginning with the history of science, we will look at Hippocrates and Theophrastus alongside readings from the ancient Indian Ayurveda tradition, tracing modes of thought into the Renaissance and Early Modern period. Our investigation will continue with the illustrations of Maria Sibylla Merian and the development of acute observation that culminates in Carl Linneaus’ notion of taxonomy that lays the groundwork for binominal nomenclature. As we read into the contemporary world, students will encounter texts from the deep ecology movement, Radiolab podcasts, the indigenous resistance movement, green syndicalism, and genetic engineering. Classes will be equally dedicated to instructor presentation; group discussion; and individual project research, development, and presentation.