Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

272.33 sec. 001 - Environmental Health Law Through Film (Fall 2023)

Instructor: Claudia Polsky  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only
Mode of Instruction: In-Person


M 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Law 170
On 2023-08-21

M 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Law 170
On 2023-08-28

M 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Law 170
On 2023-09-11

M 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Law 170
On 2023-09-18

M 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Law 170
On 2023-09-25

M 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Law 170
On 2023-10-02

M 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Law 170
On 2023-10-16

Course Start: August 21, 2023
Course End: October 09, 2023
Class Number: 32096

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 41
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 60
As of: 02/07 02:03 PM

Why do so many kids have asthma? Why is aggressive brain cancer becoming more common? Why do dangerous beauty products preferentially harm BIPOC women? Why is human fertility decreasing by 1% per year?

Through the lens of environmental feature films and documentaries, this course will discuss the legal structures that under-protect our environmental health and that magnify health inequity. Films are likely to include Erin Brockovich (toxic air emissions), Dark Waters (contaminated drinking water), Into the Weeds (pesticide exposure); Gather (Native American food systems), The People v. Agent Orange (weaponization of toxics), and the HBO Max docu-series Not So Pretty (hazardous cosmetics and personal care products).

The course will meet for a total of 7 classroom discussion sessions spaced throughout the semester. Outside of the seminar sessions, students will generally have the option to view films on their own through streaming services, or as a group in our regularly assigned classroom and time slot.

The course will include opportunities to interact with some combination of issue experts/film participants/a film editor to discuss the role of film in effecting social change. Completion of three short response papers are required to receive credit. The pedagogical goal is for you to learn a lot about substantive environmental health issues and environmental law while also having fun and eating popcorn.

Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

Requirements Satisfaction:

Units from this class count towards the J.D. Race and Law Requirement.

The Race and Law Requirement applies to the class of 2026 and beyond.

Exam Notes: (None) Class requires a series of papers, assignments, or presentations throughout the semester
Course Category: Environmental and Energy Law
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Race and Law
Social Justice and Public Interest

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