Just finished teaching a new course on art and the environment (an art history/contemporary art course). (See courses page for syllabus).
The course subtitle was “Changing Views of Landscape” and we examined the very meaning of the term “landscape”– a term that has long-standing aesthetic subtexts — and landscape painting and photography, which have informed our expectations for our environment.
We read historical texts that contributed to the formation of our landscape ideas by writers like Uvedale Price, Richard Payne Knight, Henry David Thoreau, John Brinkerhoff Jackson, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and all the rest, and explored recent movements like deep ecology and eco-terroism. The overarching perspective from the present were the ecological writings of philosopher Timothy Morton, especially his book Hyperobjects (U. Minn. 2013)
Students used historical, aesthetic, and ethical discussions to ground their own community-engagement projects addressing clean air and water issues and how people deal with them. Below are some links to the class projects.
Environmental Justice Now
Losing Louisiana: A Memorial Service for New Orleans