Rebecca Kneale Gould

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Studies

 
 work802.443.2548
 Spring 2015: Tuesday 3:30- 4:30 and Thursday 1:30-3:30 and by appointment
 Franklin Environmental Ctr Hillcrest 209

Rebecca Kneale Gould is a scholar, writer and environmental advocate. She served for eight years as a tenured Associate Professor of Religion at Middlebury College and now holds the position of Senior Lecturer in Environmental Studies.  Her book on spirituality and back-to-the-land practices, At Home in Nature, was published by The University of California Press in 2005.  Gould has spoken and published widely on the connection between religious identity and environmental advocacy including "Religion: A Dialogue" (co-author, Mark Wallace) in Grounding Religion: A Field Guide to the Study of Religion and Ecology (Whitney Bauman, Richard Bohannon and Kevin O'Brien, editors; Routledge, 2011)and "Binding Life to Values," in Ignition (Jon Isham, Sissel Waage and Bill McKibben, editors; Island Press, 2007).  Gould also teaches and writes about Thoreau and Thoreauvians and has most recently published "Deliberate Lives, Deliberate Living: Thoreau and Steiner in Conversation," in American Philosophy and Rudolph Steiner, Robert McDermott, editor (Lindisfarne Books, 2012).

Gould writes and consults for a broader audience beyond the academy.  She is the co-creator with Phil Walker (Jump/Cut Productions) of the 2012 documentary film, The Fire Inside: Place, Passion and Planetary Healing and served as the primary librettist for The Emergent Universe Oratorio (2013) a choral work based on the writings of Thomas Berry and on Journey of the Universe, by Brain Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker (Yale University Press, 2011).  She is a monthly contributor to the "Ways of Seeing" series in the Addison County Independent.  Gould also speaks and consults on the role of contemplative practice in Higher Education. Her current book project is entitled Spacious.

 

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

ENVS 0215 - Nature's Meanings      

Topic determined by the instructor - please refer to the section. NOR

Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2015

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ENVS 0395 / RELI 0395 / RELI 1028 - Religion, Ethics + Environment      

Religion, Ethics, and the Environment ET
We will explore the relationship between religion and ecology through two general approaches. Firstly, we will examine what religious traditions (especially, Jewish and Christian, but also Hindu and Buddhist) have had to say about the human-nature relationship by studying such dominant themes as: doctrines of creation and stewardship, restraints on human impact, concepts of interdependence, and ideas of sacred space. Secondly, we will turn our attention to contemporary religiously-based environmental activism, examining the possibilities and problems that emerge when religious traditions are mobilized on behalf of the environment. Students may write research papers using one or both of these approaches. (RELI 0110 or RELI 0130 or RELI 0160 or RELI 0190 or RELI 0295 or ENVS 0215) 3 hrs. sem. PHL

Fall 2011, Winter 2013, Spring 2015

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ENVS 0401 - Environmental Studies Sr Sem      

Environmental Studies Senior Seminar
A single environmental topic will be explored through reading, discussion, and individual research. Topics will vary from semester to semester, but will focus on issues with relevance to the local region and with interdisciplinary dimensions, such as temperate forests, lake ecosystems, or public lands policy. The class involves extensive reading, student-led discussions, and a collaborative research project. (Senior standing; ENVS 0112, ENVS 0211, ENVS 0215, and GEOG 0120) 3 hrs. sem./3 hrs. lab

Fall 2013, Fall 2014

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ENVS 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
In this course, students (non-seniors) carry out an independent research or creative project on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. The project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty member with related expertise who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program, must involve a significant amount of independent research and analysis. The expectations and any associated final products will be defined in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students may enroll in ENVS 0500 no more than twice for a given project. (Approval only)

Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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ENVS 0700 - Senior Independent Study      

Senior Independent Study
In this course, seniors complete an independent research or creative project on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. During the term prior to enrolling in ENVS 0700, a student must discuss and agree upon a project topic with a faculty advisor who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program and submit a brief project proposal to the Director of Environmental Studies for Approval. The expectations and any associated final products will be defined in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students may enroll in ENVS 0700 as a one-term independent study OR up to twice as part of a multi-term project, including as a lead-up to ENVS 0701 (ES Senior Thesis). (Senior standing; Approval only)

Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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ENVS 1028 - Social & Environmental Justice      

Social Justice and Environmental Justice
In this course we will study contemporary environmental justice in the context of social justice movements that have preceded them, paying particular attention to how these earlier movements have influenced the challenges and tactics of environmental justice today. Drawing on the work of Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day, and others, we will explore the roles race, class, gender, and religion have played in confronting poverty, racism, and violence. We will then go on to examine contemporary environmental justice movements, exploring how these movements are rooted in as well as distinct from social justice movements of earlier periods. This course counts as a cognate for ENVS majors with a focus in the natural sciences. NOR PHL WTR

Winter 2015

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RELI 0270 / AMST 0270 - Thoreau/Lib Relig/Soc Change      

Thoreau, Liberal Religion and Social Change AR, WT
Thoreau is best known as a “nature writer,” but his contribution to American religion and culture is much broader. In this course, we will examine Thoreau’s work within the broader context of his deepest concerns, including challenges to Christian orthodoxies, the early study of “world religions,” abolitionism, non-violence, and the critique of capitalism. We will focus on Thoreau’s life and thought including Walden and beyond, reading widely among thinkers who most influenced him. In the second half of the seminar, we will explore Thoreau’s many modern legacies: liberal religion, religious pluralism, non-violent resistance, anti-consumption, environmentalism, and civil rights campaigns. 3 hrs. sem. NOR PHL

Spring 2012

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RELI 0274 - The Simple Life in America      

The Simple Life in American Culture AR
The pursuit of the simple life is rarely simple. Nevertheless, it has been a longstanding impulse in American culture. This course will explore the history and sociology of the American quest for the simple life, paying particular attention to the religious and spiritual contexts and dimensions of this pursuit. In the first half of the course, our approach will be historical, examining the emphasis on simplicity from Puritan beginnings to Progressive Era reformers. The second half of the course will examine more recent efforts, including those thinkers whose emphasis on simplicity includes religious, environmentalist and anti-consumerist visions of social change. (formerly RELI/AMCV 0274) 3 hrs. lect. NOR PHL

Spring 2012

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RELI 0400 - Seminar: Study of Religion      

Understanding Religion: Foundational Theories and Methods
In this seminar we will examine the genesis of the academic study of religion in the modern world by reading seminal texts of such founding thinkers as: Durkheim, Weber, James, Freud, Jung, and Eliade. We will analyze these and more recent theories and methods in the sociological, psychological, and comparative study of religion, discerning their assumptions and implications, strengths and weaknesses, and utilizing them in focused written assignments. We end with the study of text-critical methods, interpreting the Garden of Eden story from multiple perspectives. Open to juniors and seniors who have had two religion courses or by waiver. 3 hrs. sem.

Spring 2013

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RELI 0500 - Independent Research      

Independent Research
(Approval Required)

Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2015

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RELI 0601 - Senior Project in Religion      

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2011, Spring 2012

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RELI 0700 - Senior Project in Religion      

Senior Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2014

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RELI 0701 - Senior Thesis in Religion      

Senior Research for Honors Candidates
Approval required

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2014

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Department of Religion

Munroe Hall
427 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753