Common Courses

The heart of the Bellarmine Forum is a cluster of courses that invite students into the deepest engagement with the theme. All Bellarmine Forum common courses meet at the same class time, and gather for interdisciplinary seminars and events.

Spring 2022 Courses Include:

  • Modern Global Environmental History (HIST 1060)

    Taught by Amy Woodson-Boulton, Professor of History, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

    This Core Historical Analysis and Perspectives course covers modern global history, c. 1500 to the present, with a particular focus on environmental history, exploring how humans, animals, natural forces, and science and technology have shaped the environment; the ways in which historical developments such as migration, empire, trade, industrialization, and urbanization have affected humans’ relationships with nature; and how the environment has affected historical developments. Students will consider a wide variety of economic, political, and cultural conceptions of – and relationships with – environments, animals, and “nature.”

  • Sustainable Cities (URBN 3998)

    Taught by Mona Seymour, Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Studies, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

    This course focuses on sustainable urban development. It identifies our climate emergency as the broad contemporary context for sustainability planning, and to some extent we will also consider how the new coronavirus outbreak relates to urban sustainability. We will explore concepts including sustainability, sustainable development, and resilience; tension and conflict between the various goals of sustainable development; sustainability-related planning paradigms; and tools used to plan for and evaluate sustainability. The course will pay special attention to low impact diets as an instrument of global sustainability in the context of our climate crisis. The course is heavily oriented toward Global Northern perspectives and sustainable urbanism in the United States.

  • Nature Writing (JOUR 4404)

    Taught by Evelyn McDonnell, Professor of Journalism, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

    Students will study the history of nonfiction writing about nature and explore the current state of environmental journalism. They will experience, observe, reflect on, and write about nature.

  • Environments, Bodies, and the Climate Crisis (SOCL 4998) 

    Taught by Rachel Washburn, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Health and Society, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

    This course will use the concepts of vulnerability and resilience to orient our examination of the relationships between bodies and environments within the context of the current climate crisis. We will look at how we have understood this relationship over time, geographies of risk inequitable patterning of health and disease, and how communities are working to curb climate change and promote racial justice. The course draws on scholarship from a variety of fields and areas, including sociology of the body, environmental justice, science studies, and biopolitics.

  • MGMT 3690 Environmental Strategy 
    Taught by Trevor Zink, associate professor of management and director of the honors program

    The industrial revolution heralded the beginning of the Anthropocene Era-a new era dominated and shaped by humans. During this era, humans have expanded their geographic reach, their lifespans, and their intellectual and creative abilities far beyond what was previously imaginable. However, the cost of this expansion to the rest of the community of life on Earth-and, ultimately, humans, themselves-has been devastating. This course is designed to provide an in-depth examination of the problems currently facing the natural environment, how human industrial activity contributes to those problems, and how both private organizations (firms and NGOs) and governments can work to solve those problems. In the first part of the course, we will frame the issues through the lens of environmental philosophy and economics. Then we will move to specific environmental problems, examining their causes, and effects. Finally, we will turn to potential solutions from science, policy, and industry perspectives. For each of these issues, we will discuss potential impacts on and responses from private organizations, including the current state of scholarly and practitioner understanding of how to capitalize on solving environmental problems.