Week 1  Introductions

Tuesday, January 14

Mark Twain, “The Danger of Lying in Bed”

Thursday, January 16

Frank Furedi, Culture of Fear

Authur, “No Thrills Without Spills: Why danger is good for us” @

Parfitt, “Reading With A Purpose”

Week 2   Selling Risk: The Lure of Extreme Sports

Tuesday, January 21

Deborah Lupton, Risk, 148­–157

Brymer and Schweitzer, “Extreme Sports Are Good For Your Health”

Laird Hamilton, “How to Handle Danger Without Fear” @

Thursday, January 23

Catherine Palmer, “Shit Happens”

McNaughton, “How Social Was The Red Bull Stratos #LiveJump Publicity Stunt?” @

O’Conner,Words Fail Me, 9–25.

Week 3   Subversive Adventures

Tuesday, January 28

Bradley Garret, “Cracking the Paris Carrières”

Harris, “Coming to Terms”

“Crack the Surface: Episode I”

Thursday, January 30

Frohlick, “Wanting the Children and Wanting K2”

Workshop: Using Sources

Essay 1 draft due by 11pm.

Week 4   Toxic Fears

Tuesday, February 4

Graff and Birkenstein, “So What? Who Cares?”

Trimble, “Openers”

Workshop: Thesis and motive

Thursday, February 6

Penelope Green, “Domestic Detox: Extreme Home Cleaning”

Sarah Vogel, “Conceptualizing Risk in the Synthetic Age”

Week 5   Workshop

Tuesday, February 11

O’Conner, Words Fail Me, tba.

Workshop: Structure: Paragraphs

Thursday, February 13

No Class

Week 6     A Short History of DDT

Tuesday, February 18

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Thursday, February 20

Oreskes and Conway, Merchants of Doubt, 216–239.

Week 7     Carson Legacy

Tuesday, February 25

Bill Moyer, “Rachel Carson Remembered”

Thursday, February 27

O’Conner, Words Fail Me, tba.

Joseph Harris, “Forwarding”

Workshop: Using Sources II

Essay 2 draft due, 11pm

Week 8      Climate change: a global risk

Tuesday, March 4

Student conferences: no class.

Thursday, March 6

Elizabeth Kolbert, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, tba.

Hans Ostrom, “The Masks of Revision”

Workshop: Advanced Revision

Week 9     Climate Change II

Tuesday, March 11

Kolbert, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, tba.

Anthony Giddens, The Politics of Climate Change, 11–18

Thursday, March 13

Library research seminar. Meet at Bizzell Library.


Week 10   Climate Skeptics: the politics of uncertainty

Tuesday, March 25

Giddens, The Politics of Climate Change, 19–32.

“Three States Pushing ALEC Bill to Require Teaching Climate Change Denial”

Thursday, March 27

Oreskes and Conway, Merchants of Doubt, tba.

Week 11   Tuvalu and Climate (In)Justice?

Tuesday, April 1

Myers and Kulish, “The Growing Clamor About Inequities of Climate Crisis”

Whitty, “All the Disappearing Islands”

 Thursday, April 3

Giddens, The Politics of Climate Change, 163–184.

Paradise Drowned: Tuvalu, the disappearing nation

Week 12    Research Workshops

Tuesday, April 8


Thursday, April 10


Week 13    Research Workshops

Tuesday, April 15


Thursday, April 17


Friday, April 18.

Essay 3 drafts due


Week 14    Research Presentations

Tuesday, April 22


Thursday, April 24


Week 15    Research Presentations

Tuesday, April 29


Thursday, May 1

Last day of class.