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, abode of evil, and — at best — source of resources, whether oil, precious metals, or other commodity. Yet, the desert has also been seen as a gateway to existential freedom, a setting for enlightenment and salvation, and even as home itself. 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 West and is surrounded by vast acreage of additional land under federal protection. There is a $120 fee for this course which covers the cost of transportation, food, and all necessary 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)