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Course Perspectives, Goals and Keywords:

These are some of the keywords, perspectives, and questions you will explore as you travel the Chesapeake in your readings, discussions, and experiences with environmental art, ethics, and writing. Think of these as concepts to learn as well as interrogate: to what extent does the term/concept help us make sense of something we are encountering in the Chesapeake? in science and social science? What are the uses and the limitations of this term and its perspectives? As a practical matter, using these keywords in your writing, starting with your blogging, is a good way to build toward the sort of “deeper references” Thoreau has in mind. We suggest use these and other keywords you encounter in the Semester as tags for a blog post. That way, at the end of the semester as you complete your final project, you will be able to track your thinking.

Ethical Perspective: an understanding of philosophical principles that inform the ways we develop moral consideration and make ethical judgments of value. These are ways of thinking and valuing that you will develop across the Chesapeake Semester and encounter in course readings and discussions.

Aesthetic Perspective: an understanding of artistic principles that inform the ways we perceive, represent, and even create the environment. These are ways of seeing, hearing, and feeling that you will develop across the Chesapeake Semester and encounter in the course readings and discussions.

Rhetorical Perspective: an understanding of rhetorical principles that inform the ways we express, communicate, and argue from our experiences and persuade others of our ideas and beliefs These are ways of communicating and expressing that you will develop across the Chesapeake Semester and encounter in the course readings and discussions.

The goals for this course are to gain a better grasp on these perspectives through our readings, discussions, and field experiences; to engage and intersect these perspectives with other perspectives and issues across the Chesapeake Semester, in your Social Science and Natural Science courses the range of interdisciplinary experiences you will have; to your grasp of, and engagement with, these perspectives in the work you produce in the writing assignments and for the final project.

Key intersections we will be considering at various points in Chesapeake Humanities:

  • Nature and Culture
  • Science and Belief
  • Local and Global
  • Pattern and Chaos

Keywords you will encounter:

  • Aesthetic
  • Analogy
  • Anthrocentric and Ecocentric
  • Context
  • Ethic
  • Instrumental Value and Intrinsic Value
  • Irony
  • Love
  • Moral Consideration
  • Pattern
  • Rhetoric
  • Seeing
  • Sentience
  • Wilderness/Wildness

These keywords and intersections make for good material to explore in your blogging and stalking.


Questions for Debriefings

For each Journey, we will ask you to carry two general questions with you into the field and be prepared to discuss your response to them in the debriefings when you return. In addition, your responses to these questions provide great material for you to incorporate into your blog and the Stalking writing assignment.

Question 1: What is an Ethical, Aesthetic, and/or Rhetorical Perspective that you encountered during the journey? Make a connection between a perspective that you encounter in the field (in a person, a place or site, an issue or problem) and an element of ethics, aesthetics, or rhetoric you encountered in class readings and discussions.

Question 2: Horton’s Bay Country covers many aspects of the Chesapeake that you are encountering in the field; however, it is almost thirty years old. Make note of any element of the Chesapeake that you encounter that Horton also writes about. What does Horton get right in his discussion? What needs to be updated or revised?

In addition to these two questions for each journey, you might be given additional questions in class discussion more specific to the Journey or a particular issue discussed in the course at that point.


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