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American Studies Sustainability Project

Sustainability Events, 11/14-11/20

Green Bag Luncheon Series: Celebrating the Holidays Sustainably

Wednesday, November 16, 12:00pm, Sarratt 189
Presenters: Sustainability and Environmental Management Office (SEMO) staff.

Sponsored by the Sustainability and Environmental Management Office (SEMO) and the American Studies Sustainability Project the Green Bag luncheon series focuses on the environment and sustainability, both at work and at home. This educational series features informal lunchtime discussions and/or workshops – from sustainable food and dining choices to backyard composting to utility savings at home and work and much more. So bring your lunch and join us to learn interesting ways to incorporate sustainability into your life!

For more information or to view past Green Bag sessions, visit,, or contact SEMO.

Approaching Deadlines

VISAGE Study Abroad: Sustainable Building Design in Belfast, Northern Ireland

(Instructor: Lori Troxel, School of Engineering)

This course is open to anyone on campus. It is a one hour seminar in the spring of 2012 and a 4 week study abroad in Belfast, Northern Ireland with a short trip to Spain. Topics include policy and planning for sustainable developments, UK responses to climate change, green economics, and sustainable architecture.

For more information about the VISAGE in Northern Ireland, contact Lori Troxel at or go to the Vanderbilt VISAGE site to apply.

**Application Deadline: November 15, 2011

Maymester 2012: Ethics and Ecology

RLST 221: Students will examine the relationships between worldviews (philosophy, theology, epistemology) and moral action, be- tween what we believe is TRUE about the natural world and how we OUGHT to behave toward it. We will examine our own assumptions about Nature, God (or not), and we will assess the current “state of the planet” in light of what may be the end of an era of human ‘development’—expansion, reliance on fossil fuels—and we will consider a more eco-centered ethic. Seminar discussions, films, and visits by local environmentalists will balance the theoretical with the practical, the indoors with the outdoors. (Yes, some of the classes will be held outdoors! And yes, food will be involved!) For further information, or a sample syllabus, contact Gay Welch at

English 287: "America at a Turning Point: Telling Stories of Environmental Crisis and Innovative Breakthrough"

(Instructor: Amanda Little)
Class meets Wednesdays from 3:00-5:00 pm in Buttrick Hall 305. Dates are: January 11, January 18, February 1, February 15, February 22, February 29, March 14, March 28, April 11; film screening/guest speaker on April 18.

Taught by award-winning environmental journalist who has written for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and Outside Magazine, and authored Power Trip: The Story of America’s Love Affair With Energy, this course focuses on one of the most important global challenges of our time. Climate change presents both a crisis and an opportunity: As warming temperatures pose ecological threats, innovators are responding with a historic burst of new discoveries in renewable energy, electric cars, smart homes, and other pivotal technologies. This course will explore what’s going wrong, what’s going right, and the thrill and challenge of documenting historic change. Readings will include selections from essential environmental writings of the last half-century; seminal present-day texts by Thomas Friedman, Bill McKibben, Amory Lovins, and Elizabeth Kolbert; up-to-the-minute opinion writing and investigative journalism from publications ranging from to The Wall Street Journal.

The professor has traveled from deep-sea oil rigs into the guts of the electricity grid, from Kansas cornfields into the catacombs of the Pentagon, to investigate America’s changing energy landscape. Students will attempt their own high-adventure investigative journalism in this course—exploring stories locally and statewide that document the effects of climate change and the emerging green economy. We will discuss your pieces in class and the instructor will critique your writing in private conferences.

Note: A writing sample is no longer required in order to be considered for enrollment. You may enroll directly into the course.

...and many more! Visit our Courses on Sustainability page for the full list.

If you would like to list a course or to update your course description, email Derrick.

Sustainability Events in November and December:

  • International Lens Screening: O'er the Land (2009), Thursday, November 3, 7:00pm, Sarratt Cinema.
  • AEC Green Screen Presents: Waste Land (2010), Sunday, November 13, 2pm-4pm, Sarratt Cinema.
  • Vanderbilt Green Fund Applications Due, Sunday, November 13.
  • Green Bag Luncheon Series: Celebrating the Holidays Sustainably, Wednesday, November 16, 12:00pm, Sarratt 189.
  • AEC Green Screen: Queen of the Sun (2011), Saturday, December 3, 2pm, Sarratt Cinema.
  • Green Bag Luncheon Series: Utilities Savings at Home and at Work Wednesday, December 7, 12:00 p.m., Sarratt 189.

Stay Connected and Spread the Word!


Upcoming Events

11/13 2:00 p.m.
Green Screen: Waste Land (2010)

Vanderbilt Green Fund Proposals Due

11/15 12:15 p.m.
VISAGE Study Abroad Applications Due

11/16 12:00 p.m.
Green Bag Luncheon Series: Celebrating the Holidays Sustainably

12/3 2:00 p.m.
Green Screen: Queen of the Sun (2011)

12/7 12:00 p.m.
Green Bag Luncheon Series: Utilities Savings at Home and at Work


Contact Us: 132 Buttrick Hall (615)343-8724
Vanderbilt Operator (615) 322-7311