Invitation to History (Theme: Human-Plant Relations in the Great Lakes Region) (HIST*1050)
Code and section: HIST*1050*02
Term: Fall 2022
“From fur and scale to feather and branch, intertwined powers work together each day constantly renewing this life that you belong to. As you exist, so do they; there is no separation.”
-- Kristi Leora Gansworth, 2018
A blend of asynchronous learning, meaning you schedule the place at and time during which you will complete guided activities, and synchronous learning during which the instructor will engage class participants in real time.
HIST*1050 invites you to study the relationships between human beings and their other-than-human relations in Anishinaabe-Aki. You will learn about Anishinaabe relations to the earth, sky, flora, and fauna, and how these relationships shaped precolonial land use. You will also learn about how environmental racism has impacted Anishinaabe communities in what is now known as Canada. Environmental racism, as defined by Benjamin Chavis, refers to “racial discrimination in environmental policy-making.” Lastly, you will learn about the history of Indigenous land-back movements and Anishinaabe efforts to protect all our relations from colonial harms.
Methods of Evaluation and Weights:
Mid-Term Exam @ 20%
This mid-term exam will gauge your understanding of key concepts covered by assigned videos and readings.
Weekly Q&A @ 20%
You will be invited to join the instructor and your peers during a weekly Q&A. During this time, you will discuss course content (and quizzes) online and in real time. We will also use this time to review citation guidelines.
Each meeting is worth 5% of your final grade. You can choose which 4 classes you would like to be evaluated in. Participation in weekly Q&As will develop your group skills (like listening to and supporting others) and your oral communication skills.
If you have not yet participated in or experienced a seminar-like environment, the instructor encourages you to review these engagement tips.
Question Generator @ 10%
You will be asked to develop 5 questions to help generate scholarly discussion during the Weekly Q&As once each semester. These will be submitted to the instructor the Friday before class for review.
As Question Generator, you will play a vital role in encouraging content discussion by sharing your questions during the assigned class. To ensure you can help direct your peers toward the appropriate answer, you are required to include a written answer to your question. This answer should not exceed 5-10 complete sentences (which can be presented in a bullet-point list). Your submission should adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style’s author-date guidelines and include a reference page.
This activity will test several skills including (but not limited to) content comprehension, written communication, citation, and leadership skills.
Note: Your role as Question Generator is separate from and cannot overlap with your contributions as a Participant.
First Essay on Plant Relations @ 15%
Using Seek by iNaturalist (an app for your smartphone) photograph and identify plants near your home or workplace. Do your best to find a plant that is indigenous to your area. Trees may be easiest to identify during winter months.
Write a short 750-word essay (plus reference page) to identify and describe your relationship to this plant. What is it? What is your relationship to this plant? What do you know about this plant (e.g., life cycle, interspecies relationships)? Be sure to include a screenshot of your iNaturalist results to illustrate your submission.
While you may draw on personal experience to describe your relationship to this plant, you are required to cite 3-5 secondary sources (e.g., academic monographs or scholarly articles) to describe this plant. Your submission should adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style’s author-date guidelines.
This activity will test several skills including (but not limited to) critical reflection, written communication, and citation.
Note: if you have a plant image uploaded to your phone from summer or fall, you can try uploading it to Seek for consideration.
Second Essay on Plant Relations @ 15%
In the first essay, you will have identified a plant and described its role in your life. For the second essay 750-word essay (plus reference page), you are to research and explain how First Nations used (and use) this plant. What is the history of Plant-People relationships associated with it?
You are required to cite 3-5 secondary sources (e.g., academic monographs or scholarly articles) to describe this plant. Your submission should adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style’s author-date guidelines.
This activity will test several skills including (but not limited to) secondary source selection, written communication, and citation.
For an example (written by a professional historian), please see: John Lutz, “Preparing Eden: Indigenous Land Use and European Settlement on Southern Vancouver Island,” in Plants, People, and Places: The Roles of Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology in Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights in Canada and Beyond, ed. By Nancy Turner (Montreal-Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020).
Final Exam @ 20%
In this open book, essay-style exam, you will have the opportunity to showcase your understanding of course content.
Advice for Incoming Students:
1. Bring a copy of the assigned reading and your notes to the weekly Q&A to help you ground the discussion.
2. Listen actively and support the contributions of other students to create a positive, collaborative learning environment.
3. Expand on your course notes by incorporating key material introduced by your classmates through the online forum or during the Weekly Q&A. The instructor recommends scheduling a moment of reflection at the end of each week. Use this moment to:
a. Correct any errors or misinterpreations that appear in your notes;
b. Create a bullet-point list that includes new, essential information that adds to your notes;
c. Identify any oustanding questions to raise in the next Q&A.
Texts and/or Resources Required Include All or Parts of:
• Seek by iNaturalist (a smartphone app)
**Please note this is a preliminary web description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.**