Political Economy of the City
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Department: Urban Studies
Course Number: LURB 4521
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: Yes
  • Urban Studies
Focuses on the growth of “chemical environmentalism” and the rise of social justice movements. Beginning with Rachel Carson and her celebrated book Silent Spring on the dangers of pesticides, the course explores the community toxics movements battling industrial pollution, and examines the rise of environmental justice activism in the 1980s, the struggle to regulate chemical carcinogens and endocrine disruptors in the 1990s and recent controversies over “fracking” in natural gas exploration, GMO pesticides and chemical plasticizers like BPA. The course includes topics on the evidence for health and environmental effects; policy responses to chemicals interfering with reproductive health of wildlife and humans; Green Chemistry in production and product development; the precautionary principle; social and environmental movements involved in toxic chemical reduction; the treaty on persistent organic pollutants (POPs), new testing/screening programs for pesticides and plastics. In the adopt-a-chemical project students learn to do a toxics profile of a chemical of choice. Three books assigned are: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, Our Stolen Future by T. Colborn, D. Dumanoski, and J.P. Myers and Hormonal Chaos by S. Krimsky. There will also be additional readings from journals and the popular media.
Course Open to: Degree Students with Restrictions


Open to Undergraduate students.