Political Economy of The City
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy
Department: Milano General Curriculum
Course Number: NURP 5008
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Environmental Studies
  • Social Justice
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. (Offered Fall, Spring, and sometimes Summer Term.)
Course Open to: Degree Students with Restrictions, Majors Only


Not open to Freshman students.

Not open to Junior students.

Not open to Sophomore students.