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American Environmental History
DrDWilliams Environmental History Class
DrDWilliams Environmental History Class

American Environmental History's posts

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A few people have asked, How do we write a Mythos, Logos, Ethos essay?

In brief, it goes like this:

There are three parts to this essay. First comes mythos, then logos, and then ethos in that order. I recommend that you write your essay in a different order.

After you choose a topic relevant to this week (we are looking at the 19th century, you could select a general topic like exploration, Indians and buffalo, Buffalo Hunters, Western Expansion, Indian Wars, or whatever), write the logos part of the essay. This part will use your historical and analytical voice. This is easy because it is in the modern way that we explain things. In essence, you explain the topic. ie. In 1843, blah, blah, blah .

Then write a "mythological story" about the topic. This can be creative writing or you can draw on an existing folk tale or legend. The key here is to use your meaning-making, mythic voice. You might find some help with this at The site is about mythology and art, but I think you can figure out how to transfer the concepts to narrative.

Then, read through what you have and ask "why is this significant and what actions does it inspire or what lessons emerge to me as I read it?" Then write about that using your reflective voice for the final "ethos" component.

Be sure to remember that writing is actually about Rewriting until you are really communicating.


This summer The National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution (NMNH) will again be home to the NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates Site: Natural History Research Experiences (NHRE). The 10 week paid research internship for undergraduates will run from May 29th - August 3rd. Interns are selected through a competitive process and applications are due February 1st. Please circulate this information widely to your undergraduate students. Information and applications can be found at

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Timothy Egan's The Worst Hard Time is available on Amazon Kindle here. If you haven't already, you may want to experiment with e-reading. If you have a kindle it's easy. If not, you can download a Kindle reader to your computer and read from there. You can of course, buy a paper copy if you like.

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You might find the tutorials at mashable helpful as you figure out G+

Just found out that books aren't in yet. So if you were counting on buying from the SNU bookstore, you won't have the books. We'll work around that. If you find out otherwise, comment on this.

See the environmental history course syllabus @

For tomorrow night's class read the following

N. Scott Momaday, Excerpt from The Names. In A Great Plains Reader, pp. 4-23.

Sharon Butala’s “The Subtley of the Land.” In A Great Plains Reader, pp. 14-36.

Williams Least Heat-Moon’s “Under Old Nell’s Skirt,” In A Great Plains Reader, pp. 100-104

Black Elk’s “The Great Vision.” in A Great Plains Reader, pp. 136-149

The Introduction and first chapter of Dan Flores book.

Week 1 Topic: What is environmental history? Discussion to happen in Science 401 tomorrow evening @ 6pm
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