F2F: H2O

The 2009-2010 Feet to the Fire program explored the challenges we face as a result of global climate change with a focus on the increasing scarcity of water and its impact on cultures and ecosystems around the world. Feet to the Fire: H2O, Seeking Solutions was the theme of the '09-'10 First Year Matters program, Wesleyan’s answer to the “common reading” program instituted at many universities.

First year students were guided through a “common experience” program, designed to introduce students to the academic rigor and interdisciplinary thinking at Wesleyan while at the same time building a community of learners among the first year class. The program consisted of an anthology of multi-disciplinary readings sent to students prior to their arrival on campus, seminars and residence hall discussions during their orientation week, and the staging of a major participatory arts event called the Common Moment, that engaged students in understanding the issue from a world arts perspective.


Common Reading:

  • R.F. Service, “Delta Blues, California Style,” Science 317, (July 27, 2007), 442-445.    
  • A. Bach, “Is Water the Next Carbon?,” Urban Land (October 2007), 78-85.    
  • R.L. France, ed., Thoreau on Water, Reflecting Heaven (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001).    
  • J. Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (New York: Viking, 1939).    
  • “Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis,” United Nations Human Development Report (2006), 9-37.    
  • www.waterfootprint.org    
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Contact: Andrew Chatfield