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The Syllabus Project: Diversifying Environmental History Syllabi

Thu, April 11, 1:30 to 3:00pm, Hyatt Regency Columbus, Fairfield

Session Submission Type: Experimental Session

Abstract

Has anyone else noticed how often environmental history syllabi largely omit women and scholars of color? The proposed roundtable provides concrete strategies so that we can all diversify our syllabi to strengthen our teaching, our scholarship, and our field. After a twitter discussion about scholars of color and women in environmental history and their underrepresentation in EH syllabi, several of us collated the numerous excellent suggestions offered by our fellow twitterstorians and created a collaborative website  (www.TheSyllabusProject.weebly.com) and group Zotero library (https://www.zotero.org/groups/2170789/the_syllabus_project). This library now has over 500 sources by women, scholars of color, and scholars working on global environmental histories. This project was sparked by Dolly Jørgensen's comment on  a twitter discussion about EH syllabi. Nancy Langston created the website and the Zotero group, and David Fouser collated the suggestions offered in the twitter thread. A discussion on the Women’s Environmental History Network email list occurred simultaneously, and we integrated those suggestions. The Zotero group library is intentionally collaborative, so anyone can join, add citations, and tag and annotate sources. Roundtable participants will discuss the structural reasons that have led many historians to design syllabi that lack diversity, and offer data on diversity within existing syllabi available online. We will focus most of our attention on concrete strategies for diversifying syllabi. We will explore the collaborative Zotero group library and encourage participants to practice using and adding to the library. Participants will briefly discuss (7 minutes) their own experiences with creating syllabi, and we will save at least 45 minutes for audience discussion of  best practices  for diversifying environmental history syllabi. Participants include Nancy Langston, Sarah Elkind, David Fouser, Mary Mendoza, Sara Pritchard, Brinda Sarathy, and Anna Zeide.

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