Energy in History and Culture
Energy is everywhere. Unfortunately, the modern obsession with fuel and its uses have caused us to lose sight of this ubiquity and plenitude. This course will follow energy—and the consciousness of energy—across the landscape and through history. Breezes, for example, powered transportation long before wind turbines began generating electricity. In crossing oceans, sustainability began with sail. Selected from major texts, modest readings will range from Rick Bass’s Oil Notes to Richard Wrangham’s Catching Fire: How Cooking Made us Human. Ultimately, students will be emboldened to appropriate energy in everything from growing plants to clotheslines—and to insist that broader society do the same.