From Consumer to Citizen: A Personal Ethics of Place
The average American consumes resources and produces waste at a rate that is about 32 times higher than the average member of the developing world. “We just need to consume less” is a common mantra. But, how? What would that look like, personally and collectively? Consumption not only drives the global economy, it also is one of the primary ways we create personal identity. What would it mean to construct our identity primarily as citizens, rather than as consumers? How do we create public spaces to foster the creation of alternative identities? This course will explore questions of identity, ethics, and place through close reading and project-based learning on and off-campus. Together we will investigate consumer culture and global capitalism; the movements of civic engagement, civil disobedience, and protest; what we mean by a “sense of place,” local versus industrial food systems; and how local identity resonates with the issues faced by global communities. Each student will develop a personal ethics of place and work with classmates on a project that addresses course themes.
Course taught by
Wendy Petersen Boring