Terrorists and Treehuggers

Nels Christensen, English Department, teaches ENG 238: Terrorists and Treehuggers. Albion College’s website describes the course as, “An interdisciplinary study of the past, present, and future of environmental radicalism. Typical authors include Rachel Carson, Edward Abbey, Paul Watson, and Wangari Maathai.”

The course meets three times a week: twice in the regular classroom, and once in the nature center. Throughout the course, students were to keep up a journal in which they would scribe their thoughts about the course, readings, and life in general. Another major requirement of the class was for students to complete a project in which they would direct the student body and faculty members to the environment and environmental issues. Some students used chalk on sidewalks, while some made sculptures and other works.

In the Spring of 2013, Christensen’s then-current course established a pen-pal system with a class at American University of Beruit in Lebanon, who were participating in the same course as Christensen’s. Through email and a Facebook group, students were able to communicate their experiences with the environment in drastically different settings.