Ecology, Democracy, Utopia: Introduction to Social Ecology – Register for College Credit

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This course is offered for 3 credit hours through Castleton University. While payment is processed through the Institute for Social Ecology, students must also separately register for the course through Castleton University (details to come).

This course introduces students to social ecology: an interdisciplinary body of ideas that explores the relationship between social and ecological problems. Students in this class will learn the foundations of social ecology and apply these insights to a variety of contemporary political and ecological problems, sharpening their understanding of the world while developing visionary ideas to change it. The course explores a broad range of interconnected themes including: social theory, hierarchy and domination, gender, race, capitalism, nature philosophy, food and technology, direct democracy and the state, political organizing and movement history, and reconstructive vision.  Offered most years during the fall season, sometimes more than once in a year. In Fall 2022, this course will be held on Monday evenings at 8pm Eastern Time, from October 3 to December 5.

Those taking it for credit will also be graded on a final project and reflection paper, developed in consultation with the instructors.

The ten units explore:

  • What is Social Ecology? 
  • Understanding Nature
  • The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy
  • Cisheteropatriarchy and Feminist Responses
  • Race and the Colonial Order
  • Capitalism, Critique, Alternatives
  • Agriculture, Climate, and Ecology
  • Politics Beyond the State: Direct Democracy & Popular Assemblies
  • Getting from Here to There: Social Movements and Community Organizing
  • Reconstructive Vision: Reclaiming Utopia

Instructors: Dan Chodorkoff, Chaia Heller, Brian Tokar, Kali Akuno, Peter Staudenmaier, Blair Taylor, Grace Gershuny, Mason Herson-Hord, and Brooke Lehman.