Contested Resources: Conservation, Controversy, and Economic and Cultural Autonomy in America

History 103D.004

Spring 2016
3205 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
F 1000-1200

This course will explore the intersections between cultural and natural resources, local, national, and international conservation policies, and social, political, and environmental boundaries. From the territorial boundaries of and natural resources found on reservation lands to the obstacles confronted by government resource agencies charged with managing species that migrate across a variety of borders and ecological regions, histories of energy development and fish and wildlife management illuminate a diversity of complex and contested political issues both shaping and reflecting patterns of economic development, cultural traditions, political autonomy, conservation science, and international diplomacy. This class will require students to read intensively about human relationships with animals, especially competing narratives about which animals should be regulated as game species, others that should be protected as iconic symbols of wildness and national pride, and still others that reflect selective media framing, anthropomorphic ideas and emerging ethical debates about the superstars of conservation controversies such as whales, wolves, and grizzly bears. We will also analyze the fishing and hunting customs of American Indians, poor whites, and immigrants to understand the arbitrary distinctions between game and non-game species imposed by state authorities that have disproportionately discriminated against subsistence stakeholders. In addition, students will read about and discuss the ways that both the abundance and scarcity of natural resources such as oil, coal and uranium on reservation lands have shaped indigenous politics, economic development, and environmental transformations in the twentieth century.

Course Books

Wastelanding: Legacies of Uranium Mining in Navajo Country by Tracy Brynne Voyles University of Minnesota Press. ISBN: 978-0816692675 Required
The Walleye War: The Struggle for Ojibwe Spearfishing and Treaty Rights by Larry Nesper University of Nebraska Press. ISBN: 978-0803283800 Required
The Nature of Borders: Salmon, Boundaries, and Bandits on the Salish Sea by Lissa Wadewitz University of Washington. ISBN: 978-0295991825 Required
The Sea is My Country: The Maritime World of the Makahs by Josh Reid Yale University Press. ISBN: 978-0300209907 Required
Seeking Refuge: Birds and Landscapes of the Pacific Flyway by Robert Wilson University of Washington Press,. ISBN: 978-0295992112 Required
After the Grizzly: Endangered Species and the Politics of Place in California by Peter Alagona University of California Press, . ISBN: 978-0520275065 Required
The Hunter’s Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-Century America, by Louis Warren Yale University Press. ISBN: 978-0300080865 Required
Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act, by E.P. Thompson Breviary Stuff Publications. ISBN: 978-0957000520 Required