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CHID 480 A: Special Topics: Advanced Study of the History of Ideas

Meeting Time: 
W 2:30pm - 5:20pm
MAR 268
Joint Sections: 
HONORS 396 A, CHID 498 A, HONORS 391 A, SMEA 550 C
July Hazard Headshot
July Hazard

Syllabus Description:

July Hazard, PDL B-102B, office hours 11 am to 2 pm Friday and by appointment. Sign up here:
Cleo Woelfle-Erskine,  MAR 233, office hours 11am - 1 pm Wednesday and by appointment (on Wednesdays only). Sign up here:

Course meeting time: Spring 2018 MAR 268 W 2:30-5:20

Ecopoetics Along Shorelines

Ecopoetics Along Shorelines is an interdisciplinary field course, seminar, and writing lab. This course draws together theories and practices from ecological science, indigenous studies, environmental humanities, geophysics, cultural studies, science and technology studies (STS), critical theory, and poetry. There are two segments: a Spring Break intensive field course at Friday Harbor Laboratories, with visits to Samish Nation and Swinomish Community en route, and a Spring Quarter weekly seminar and writing practicum.

In the field intensive, we visit tribal projects, reflecting on ecocultural politics of fishing, shellfishing, health, restoration, and resource management. We spend hours each day observing, writing, and sketching. We practice close observation of tidal rhythms, explore shoreline biotic communities and island historical sites, and compose odes to creatures in the laboratory archives. The field syllabus describes this segment in more detail.

In the seminar and practicum, we explore shadow histories of Seattle area waterways, examining historic maps, oral histories, engineering drawings, and on-the-ground legacies of drainage projects. We trace buried waterways, gutters, and storm drains of Seattle, examine Salish inhabitation through place names, and address human health impacts of urban runoff. We develop apparatus for investigating buried flows. We contemplate post-sea-level-rise futures in which the city becomes an archipelago. We immerse ourselves in diverse ecopoetic visions, and probe varied theories of
relation. We draw on archives of texts and maps from different eras on boats, navigation, and inter- island commerce.

Through these extended explorations of local shorelines, you will be plunged into your own poetics of relation to local waters. You will place your field observations and creative and scientific writing into dialog with texts ranging from indigenous and mestiza poetics and queer feminist theory to European explorers’ logs and floodplain engineering documents. You will produce poetic and scientific writing, maps, and collage. The course will conclude with a public delivery of projects along the Montlake Cut / Lake Washington shoreline.

Required texts
Please acquire your own hard copies of the reader and of all required books. This is important to us in part so that all readings are readily portable for reading in the field, and in part for ease of reference in the classroom.

Available at Professional Copy N Print, University and 42nd: Ecopoetics Along Shorelines Course Reader (hereafter ESCR)

Available at UW Bookstore:
Forrest Gander and John Kinsella,
Redstart: An Ecological Poetics

Edouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation, trans. Betsy Wing
Brenda Hillman,
Practical Water
Marianne Moore, Observations: Poems
Luis J. Rodríguez, The Concrete River: Poems
Kathleen Flenniken, Plume: Poems

Fredric Raichlin, Waves

Required materials**
Bound notebook, recommended with unlined pages so that you can also draw

Pen and pencil
Colored pencils or fine-tipped markers

Necessary equipment**

Rain gear
Sturdy shoes or boots Water bottle

Clothes for warm and cold weather

A “longhand” classroom
We ask all class members to hold space for engaged conversation and focused writing, and to

cultivate attention and deliberate presence. One method we will employ to this end is keeping the classroom “longhand”—using notebooks and handwritten notes, and avoiding the use of laptops and other electronic devices. (Unless you need these devices, of course—meet with us if you do, and we will work out an accommodation).

Field journal
Reading responses & seminar notes Final project

Graduate student expectations and additional assignments
We expect graduate student writing, seminar contributions, and final projects to reflect their advanced level of study, and will grade accordingly. In weeks when undergraduate students are assigned selections from a course text, graduate students are expected to read at least one additional chapter of their choice, and are encouraged to read the entire text if it is closely aligned with their scholarly interests. Finally, graduate students will include an additional section in their critical documentation, relating the relations they explore to one of their fields of study. More detail will be provided in the assignment sheet for the final project.

Illustrated Field Journal

You will keep a field journal with three entries per week, logging and reflecting on shoreline relations. Field journals are a standard for field scientists like geologists, botanists, and wildlife biologists—as lab journals have been for laboratory scientists. But similar journals make up a crucial

practice for poets, artists, and travelers as well. You might find inspiration from any of these traditions.

Reading Responses

Five times over the quarter, you will post your reading responses to the course website,, in the form of “hundreds.” Hundreds are a tool for bringing focus and precision to a writing practice; they are precisely 100 words long and tightly focused around one idea or question. We’ll post a guiding question each Friday; your responses should be posted by midnight Monday, to give everyone a chance to read one another’s posts. You will post in two “science / history” weeks and two “poetry / theory” weeks; the fifth post is your choice. Any additional posts you choose to make are welcome! To post to the website, you’ll need to create a user account. We will give you instructions on this process in class.

Seminar Notes

Three times over the quarter, you will participate in seminar as a listener, tracking the conversation in your notes, and posting these to the course site after class. Listening is a key practice in seminar, underlying all spoken contributions. You will take on each of the following missions once, for a total of three notes contributions:

1. Track the opening question. Write down the question, and then note when conversation gets diverted, when someone brings up the opening question again, when someone states it in a modified form, whether the original question transforms, resolves, or is lost entirely. How, if at all, does it get “answered”?

2. Track new questions that are posed. What observations or evidence do participants bring in when they pose a different question? What kinds of questions are these new questions? Which, if any, ever resolve?

3. Log other texts that connect to the conversation. Note the statement that provoked the association in your mind, and the text or scholar whose ideas resonate with that statement for you. “Texts” here refers broadly to films, artworks, and other media, as well as printed matter. (You can also note other texts that participants bring into the conversation.)

On the days that you’re a listener and note-taker, you won’t speak in the conversation, except at the very end when the instructors ask for final thoughts.

Final Project

The final project will be accomplished in four parts: a proposal, a work of shoreline relational art, critical documentation, and a reflective statement. We will distribute an assignment sheet in week 3 that gives detailed instructions for how to accomplish this project. In brief:

–Proposal (due 5/2 in class)
Proposed methods and justification, description of the justice dimension, proposed format of relational art, abstract of critical documentation, and bibliography.

–Shoreline relational art (presented at the final exam slot)
You’ll compose something meaningful to bring to the water’s edge: a monologue or poem, performance installation, dance, audio recording, musical performance, sculpture, or other artistic

creation. Time-based projects should take no more than 5 minutes, and be repeatable. Your project should relate to some specific site or passage, and should engage substantially with associations and/or relations along shorelines or edges.

–Critical documentation (Due 5/30 in class)
Here you will ground your creative work in course texts and guest presentations. We envision this as a revision of your proposal, augmented with a section that traces influences, theoretical provocations, and scholarly conversations to which your creative project contributes.

–Reflective statement (due at the final exam slot)
Here you’ll reflect briefly on field writing as a practice that contributed to your final project. How has your practice grown through course texts, seminar, and weekly writing? How do you envision using field writing in your future artistic or scholarly work?

Participation entails thoughtful, consistent, lively engagement with course activities and materials, with writing work, and with one another. Please talk, listen, and collaborate with openness and respect. If you aren’t sure how to participate strongly and visibly, meet with us in office hours to talk about it. ***Unless you are physically present for activities and conversation, we will have no evidence of your participation in these crucial parts of the class.*** In particular:

Seminar and sharing work

Please come to class prepared, having done the week’s readings and your field writing, and ready to talk and write and share. During seminar, we ask all class members to hold space for engaged conversation and listening, and to cultivate attention and deliberate presence.

Trips and visits

On our day trips, and when guests visit our class, please stay engaged with the class activities. Please do not wander off, unless of course we’ve told you to! Always let us know if you can’t come along on a class excursion, or if you need to step out briefly or leave altogether.

Office visit

Sometime in the first three weeks of class, bring a conversation to one of us in office hours.

A partial philosophy of seminar
The work of seminar is shared inquiry into unfamiliar territory. While each class session contains its own discussion, we also sustain our collective conversation across the whole quarter. Attentive reading, clear thought, inspired listening, and generosity of spirit are the lifeblood of the seminar. In part, this means all participants shape the conversation, through response to the guiding questions, but also, crucially, by asking probing questions of other speakers, by incorporating and extending others’ thoughts in your response, by turning to the text for example—and most often by listening carefully as others speak.


Your final grade depends on three parts:

33% Participation 33% Journals 33% Final projects

Within each of these three parts, we work with a 4 point scale. Roughly, it breaks down to: 4 Outstanding
3 Strong
2 Satisfactory, but nothing more

1 Does not meet standards

So, a 2 would meet all the requirements of an assignment; a 3 would be a strong and thoughtful showing; and a 4 would do all a 3 did and also go beyond that. A 1 might be incomplete, or carelessly done, or off-topic, or clearly unsatisfactory in other ways.

Access and accommodations
Your experience in this class is important to us. Also, it is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law. In addition to normal accommodations you may expect from every classroom-based class, the field trips may present more barriers to access. Please let us know at or soon after the first class if you require accommodations for the field trips, as our first walking field trip takes place during week 2. If you experience barriers to access due to a temporary health condition or permanent disability (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), and require accommodations, please contact Disability Resources for Students (DRS) at 425-352-5307 or If you have already established accommodations with DRS, please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.
DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions. Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s), and DRS.

Academic honesty
Do not plagiarize! Do not present others’ words or ideas as your own. Do not assist anyone else in doing this. UW code on academic misconduct is spelled out here:
and expanded on here:
We will also upload the University’s statement on Academic Responsibility to our Canvas site. Anytime you are unsure of your practices, talk to us, or to a writing studio tutor, librarian, or other knowledgeable authority.

Interdisciplinary Writing Studio
We encourage you to use this excellent resource. Here’s their self-description, pulled from

The Interdisciplinary Writing Studio (located in Smith Hall 113B) offers tutoring sessions for students working on projects in AES, AIS, CHID, GEOG, and GWSS. Our tutors have experience writing and tutoring in these departments and can work with you on all aspects of writing and research from brainstorming and planning, through writing and revising. All kinds of projects are welcome: reading responses; reflections; creative pieces; research papers, literature reviews; position statements; fellowship, job, or graduate school applications; and more! We can talk with you about drafts, research strategies, disciplinary expectations, and finding your own voice in writing. Schedule an appointment:

Course Themes and Readings Names

Marianne Moore, Observations: Poems, ed. Linda Leavell (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016).

Simon J. Ortiz, Song, Poetry, and Language—Expression and Perception Occasional Papers, Volume III (Music and Dance Series) No. 5 (Tsaile, AZ: Navajo Community College Press, 1977).

Anna Tsing et al.,“Bodies Tumbled Into Bodies,” in Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene (Minneapolis: Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2017).

Coll Thrush, “City of the Changers,” Pacific Historical Review 75, no. 1 (2006): 89–117.
M. W. Klingle, “Fluid Dynamics-Water Power, and the Reengineering of Seattle’s Duwamish

River,” Journal of the West 44, no. 3 (2005): 22–29. Edges

Luis J. Rodríguez, The Concrete River: Poems, 1st edition (Willimantic, CT : East Haven, CT: Curbstone Books, 1995).

Gloria E. Anzaldúa, 2015. “Chapter 2 - Flights of the Imagination”, Light in the Dark / Luz en lo oscuro: Rewriting identity, Spirituality, Reality. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Andrew S. Matthews, “Ghostly Forms and Forest Histories,” in Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017).

Fredrich Raichlen, Waves (Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 2012).
David L. Strayer et al., “A Classification of Ecological Boundaries,”
BioScience 53, no. 8 (2003):

Julie Sze et al., “Defining and Contesting Environmental Justice: Socio
natures and the Politics of

Scale in the Delta,” Antipode 41, no. 4 (September 2, 2009): 807–43. Passage

Edouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation, trans. Betsy Wing (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997). [selections]

Kathleen Flenniken, Plume: Poems, Reprint edition (University of Washington Press, 2013). W.T. Edmonson, “Sixty Years of Lake Washington: A Curriculum Vitae,” Lake and Reservoir

Management 10, no. 2 (1994): 75–84.

Stacy Alaimo, “Your Shell on Acid: Material Immersion, Anthropocene Dissolved," Exposed: Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016).


Edouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation, trans. Betsy Wing (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997). [selections]

Brenda Hillman, Practical Water (Wesleyan, 2011).
Charles Wilkinson,
Messages from Franks Landing: A Story of Salmon, Treaties, and the Indian Way

(Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2006).
José Esteban Muñoz, "A Jeté Out The Window”,
Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer

Futurity (NYU Press, 2009). Predation

Forrest Gander and John Kinsella, Redstart: An Ecological Poetics, 1 edition (Iowa City: University Of Iowa Press, 2012).

Handout: Selected poems

Selections from the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission blog (I): "Seals, Sea Lions Slowing Salmon Recovery,” April 6, 2015; “Tribes Monitor Fish in Nearshore ‘Nursery,’” June 12, 2009.

Brandon Chasco et al. “Competing Tradeoffs between Increasing Marine Mammal Predation and Fisheries Harvest of Chinook Salmon | Scientific Reports,” Nature 7, Article number: 15439 (2017)

Selections from the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission blog (II): “Being Frank: Life Without The Orca?” June 12, 2006; “Did a Winter Visit By Orcas Help Puget Sound Steelhead?,” May 27, 2015

Robert McClure and Colin McDonald, “Will It Be Safe to Eat Fish from the Duwamish?” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 26, 2007

Catalog Description: 
Examines a different subject or problem from a comparative framework with an interdisciplinary perspective. Satisfies the Gateways major/minor requirement. Offered: AWSp.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 9:02pm