HIST-LIT 90EA: Water Justice and Resistance in the Americas

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2020

Instructor: James Mestaz
Meeting time: Tuesday, 3:00 - 5:00

Water is life, but is it a human right? Water governance is a contentious issue globally because humans rely on water for nearly every productive activity; moreover, it is often scarce and not distributed equally. To better understand the persistence and escalation of struggles over water access around the world, this course uses a multidisciplinary approach that allows students to examine both the social and physical shape of water in a modern and historical context. While all bodies of water deserve mention, civilizations have most often centered on rivers acting as veins pumping their life blood. This class discusses water issues in a global context, but pays particular attention to populations from South America through Canada. This course often takes an ethno-gendered approach by specifically examining women’s and indigenous peoples’ hydraulic social mobilization practices through the lens of their physical and cultural connection to water sources. Students will have the opportunity to interrogate the complexity of water policies, and learn how marginalized groups executed water justice strategies to defend their identity, material wealth, and health.