Rebecca Kneale Gould
Office
Franklin Env Ctr-Hillcrest 209
Tel
(802) 443-2548
Email
rgould@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Spring 2022 office hours: Monday 2:00 - 3:30; Thursday 1:30 - 3:00, and by appointment

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 Associate Professor 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 (Small Circle Films) of the 2012 documentary film, The Fire Inside: Place, Passion and the Primacy of Nature.  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 Taught

Course Description

Contested Grounds: U.S. Cultures and Environments
Throughout the history of the United States, Americans have created a complex set of meanings pertaining to the environments (wild, pastoral, urban, marine) in which they live. From European-Native contact to the present, Americans’ various identities, cultures, and beliefs about the bio-physical world have shaped the stories they tell about “nature,” stories that sometimes share common ground, but often create conflicting and contested understandings of human-environment relationships. In this course we will investigate these varied and contested stories from multi-disciplinary perspectives in the humanities—history, literature, and religion--and will include attention to race, class, gender, and environmental justice. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

AMR

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Course Description

Religion, Ecology and Justice
In this class we will consider the relationship between religion and ecology in some of the world’s great wisdom traditions, particularly Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism. Our approach will be comparative and attentive to “big ideas” about human-nature relationships. How do religious traditions perpetuate ideas of the natural world that are sometimes positive and protective and sometimes apathetic or destructive? Exploring such topics as stewardship, sacred landscapes, and the interdependence of living beings, we will consider both past and present, including examining how religious identity has fueled and shaped religiously-based environmental justice activism today.

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Fall 2021

Requirements

CMP, PHL

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Course Description

Community-Engaged Environmental Studies Practicum
In this course students work in small groups with one of a variety of partners and organizations to complete a semester-long, community-engaged project. Project themes vary by term and typically focus on local and regional environmental issues that have broader application. Projects rely on students’ creativity, interdisciplinary perspectives, skills, and knowledge developed through their previous work. The project is guided by a faculty member and carried out with a high degree of independence by the students. Students will prepare for and direct their project work through readings and discussion, independent research, collaboration with project partners, and consultation with external experts. The course may also include workshops focused on developing key skills (e.g., interviewing, public speaking, video editing). The project culminates in a public presentation of students’ final products, which may various forms such as written reports, policy white papers, podcasts, or outreach materials. (Open to Juniors and Seniors) (ENVS 0112, ENVS 0211, ENVS 0215, GEOG 0120 or GEOG 0150) 3 hrs. sem./3 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

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Course Description

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)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

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) or ENVS 0703 (ES Senior Integrated Thesis). (Senior standing; Approval only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Thesis
This course is the culminating term of a multi-term independent project, resulting in a senior thesis on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. Approval to enroll is contingent on successful completion of at least one term (and up to two) of ENVS 0700 and the approval of the student’s thesis committee. The project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty advisor who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program, will result in a substantial piece of scholarly work that will be presented to other ENVS faculty and students in a public forum and defended before the thesis committee. (Senior standing; ENVS major; ENVS 0112, ENVS 0211, ENVS 0215, GEOG 0120, and ENVS 0700; Approval only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Contemplative Practice and Social Change
What is the relationship between contemplative practice and social transformation? We will examine the lives and works of Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Joanna Macy. Each of these transformational reformers understood their work to be deeply rooted in spiritual practices of various kinds, reflecting— but often going beyond— the traditions of Hinduism, Protestantism, Catholicism and Buddhism. In each case, our intention will be to investigate closely the relationship between spiritual identity and social reform. We will also develop our own (non-religious) community of practice in order to gain an embodied understanding of the questions we will pursue. (Pass/Fail) this course counts as a humanities cognate for environmental studies majors.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

CMP, PHL, WTR

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Course Description

Sophomore Seminar in the Liberal Arts
The current pandemic, and all the questions it brings to the fore about what we value in a college experience, make this an ideal moment to consider the meaning and purpose of your liberal arts education. At the heart of this exploration will be a question posed by physicist Arthur Zajonc: “How do we find our own authentic way to an undivided life where meaning and purpose are tightly interwoven with intellect and action, where compassion and care are infused with insight and knowledge?” We will examine how, at this pivotal moment of decision making, you can understand your college career as an act of “cultivating humanity” and how you can meaningfully challenge yourself to take ownership of your intellectual and personal development. Through interdisciplinary and multicultural exploration, drawing from education studies and philosophical, religious, and literary texts, we will engage our course questions by way of student-led discussion, written reflection, and personal, experiential learning practices. In this way we will examine how a liberal arts education might foster the cultivation of an ‘undivided’ life, “the good life”, a life well-lived. (The course is open to sophomores and second semester first-year students. Juniors by permission only.)

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

CMP

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