On our mailing list, Bethe Hagens shared the following invitation to participate in a panel on teaching sustainability.
Jessie Fly and I are organizing a panel discussion on innovations in and challenges of teaching sustainability for the upcoming SfAA meetings in Santa Fe. Participation will include a short, informal presentation of a classroom activity or project aimed at teaching issues of sustainability and then (we hope) a robust discussion of teaching sustainability more broadly. If you’re interested, please contact me <email@example.com> and we can discuss your possible contribution to the panel.
Panel Discussion, Society for Applied Anthropology,
Santa Fe, NM, March 28-April 1
Jessie Fly, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Eckerd College
Dave Himmelfarb, Visiting Assistant Professor, Envir. Studies, Eckerd College
Sustainability is a hot topic on college campuses, inspiring pedagogical innovations in business, engineering, and other applied disciplines. Of the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, economic, and social – the latter tends to get short shrift both on campus and off. By providing nuanced understandings of social landscapes that can be incorporated into planning processes, anthropologists are uniquely positioned to contribute to discussions of sustainability, particularly in the classroom. Yet, anthropologists have also been among sustainability and sustainable development’s most vociferous critics, often calling deserved attention to the complexities and shortcomings of sustainability-oriented interventions, while remaining uneasy about proposing alternatives. As a concept that straddles the line between the descriptive and prescriptive, sustainability lends itself to pedagogical innovation, but also raises challenges that can be difficult to resolve. The participants on this panel will share practical classroom strategies and engage in a discussion of the merits and pitfalls of teaching sustainability.