This Environmental Humanities seminar provides a basic introduction to, and contrasting cultural perspectives on, desert environments. The desert has been viewed as geographical barrier, barren wasteland, locus of punishment, and the abode of evil. Yet, the desert was also seen as a source of vast resources, a pathway to freedom, and as the ideal setting for the pursuit of enlightenment and salvation. This course combines classroom activity with a weekend experience in the Colorado Desert (the westernmost portion of the Sonoran Desert) at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park . With more than 620,000 acres, ABDSP is the largest state park in the American West and is surrounded by thousands of acres of land protected by federal authority. There is a $120 fee for this excursion which covers the cost of transportation, food, and equipment.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” (Gospel of Matthew 4:1)
“What makes the desert beautiful…is that somewhere it hides a well.” (The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)