IDS385W-00P: Special Topics

Topic: Writing Emory's History

January 10, 2017 - April 24, 2017
DaysTimeLocationInstructorGERCreditOPUS #
2:30pm - 3:45pm
Callaway Center N109
Barlett, Peggy F

Fall, spring. Highly focused courses, drawing on multiple disciplines of the humanities and social sciences; may be repeated for credit when topics vary.

Sustainability Leadership and Practice

Over the last ten years, Emory has become nationally visible as a higher education leader in sustainability, and with the adoption of a new strategic Vision for sustainability for the next ten years, this is a critical moment to assess Emory’s first decade of university transformation. In this class, students will write the history of the leaders, strategies, setbacks, and contributions of this significant cultural change. Working in groups and individually, students will tease out the historical record, interview past and current leaders, and analyze their findings in light of patterns observed in other schools. Topics to be studied will be drawn from all parts of the sustainability effort, including food, water, waste, purchasing, transportation, hospitals, curriculum, laboratories, Emory as Place, and the Climate Action Plan. The written histories that emerge from this course will go on the Emory website and be archived for future historical work.

Writing Emory's History: Sustainability Leadership and Practice

This course will also be an introduction to qualitative anthropological methods and will offer concrete, hands-on training in research skills that can contribute to future careers. The class will explore data recording techniques, data analysis, ethnographic writing, and the role of theoretical perspectives in shaping research methods. Students will collaborate to strengthen final products. Students interested in practical, applied experience in research are encouraged to apply.

This course is by permission only. Students interested in this course should send an email to Dr. Barlett ( and respond to the following questions:

  • What attracts you to a course on writing Emory’s sustainability history? How might this course be useful for your desired future work?
  • How does this course material fit or extend your major(s) and academic experience with anthropology, history, sociology, journalism, or other relevant investigative work?
  • What is your background in basic sustainability issues?
  • What experience (if any) have you had with interviewing or qualitative research?
  • Name, year, ID #, and any other relevant information.

Permission to enroll will be granted on a rolling basis until the class is full.

Preliminary book list:

Leal Filho, 2000. Sustainability and University Life: Environmental Education, Communication, and Sustainability. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Barlett & Chase, 2004, Sustainability on Campus: Stories and Strategies for Change. MIT Press.

Rappaport & Creighton, 2007. Degrees that Matter: Climate Change and the University. MIT Press.

Aber, Kelly & Mallory, 2009. The Sustainable Learning Community: One University’s Journey to the Future. University of New Hampshire Press.

The schedule of courses on O.P.U.S. is the official listing of courses, including days and times they meet and the General Education Requirements they satisfy. Students should use course descriptions as general guidelines. Course requirements, grading details, book lists, and syllabi are subject to change.