The subject of the class is highly interdisciplinary, and I encourage each of you to select topics, readings, and assignments with your own interests in mind. The course has in the past had a theme of the "tragedy of the commons" with special focus on the coastal (marine) commons. For most of this course we will focus on the creation of a web site that presents your thinking about issues related to the tragedy of the commons. The class will debate and select a theme for this effort. Please look at the web site that was created by the class in 1998 (and also in 1996 and 1995).
Or from the Kenyon homepage, click on "Academics" then on "Academic Projects" then "Large Dams" or "The Tragedy of the Coastal Commons."
The creation of substantive written content (case studies, disciplinary perspectives, etc) is expected in the creation of this web presentation that we can share with others. There is much latitude in the selection of a specific theme for the web presentation, and this will be discussed in our first class meetings. Usually, this collaborative project is based on the work of four or five teams whose final work is then linked to that of the other teams. The final product will be graded by me, but I also allocate "points" to each team member for them to anonymously assign to their team members counting for 15-20% of the grade on the web publication. In this manner, both the product and collaborative process are graded.
In the first two meetings of the class, we will focus on the selection of the theme for the work. Student "presentations" don't dominate the course. There is more literature to be gathered and read than we all can manage, so each of you will be expected to bring new and relevant information to the course. I may suggest some readings but these are only starting points. I want you to be able to demonstrate that you can find and review critically new material. We may have a session with a reference librarian on the use of reference materials such as Academic Universe or FirstSearch.
I hope to have one or more guest lectures brought into the classroom through the video conferencing systems.