The Nature of Consumption: The Beginnings and Ends of “Stuff”

Simpson Colloquium SC 101 – T TH 11:20 AM – 12:50 PM

Sit in your bedroom for a minute and do a quick inventory of your belongings: How many pairs of shoes do you have? Do you own a cell phone, mp3 player, computer, or television? What about posters, office supplies, games, knick-knacks, and personal hygiene products? Americans have a lot of “stuff,” which requires a large percentage of the world’s resources to produce. But what are these resources? How is this “stuff” created, and what happens to it when we’re done with it? In this class we will investigate the origins of consumer items such as clothes, household goods, and electronics. We will also track the typical American’s acquisition, use, and disposal of these goods. Throughout the course we will study our use of resources and try to understand the equation of growth with prosperity and happiness, a paradigm that has led us to our current levels of consumption.

Meet Your Professor
CoryAnne Harrigan, Ph.D.CoryAnne Harrigan
Associate Professor of English

I’ve been teaching in the English department at Simpson since 2001, and my specialty is early modern British literature—works by writers like Chaucer and Shakespeare. Not everyone naturally gravitates toward poetry written by dead white men, but I think we learn about ourselves and our times when we look closely at works that seem so remote from our own experience. The distance gives us perspective. I  teach both writing and literature with an eye toward helping students become better writers and critical thinkers.

One of the most important goals of all my courses is to instill students with the confidence to express their reflections and opinions on any subject in a clear and convincing way.

When I’m not at work, I enjoy walking (I completed my first half-marathon last October), driving through the Iowa countryside, and cooking. My go-to cookbook for the last few years has been Crescent Dragonwagon’s Passionate Vegetarian.


Meet Your Simpson Colloquium LeaderDeven Moore
Deven Moore

Hello everyone! My name is Deven Moore. I was raised in the small town of Oakland in Western Iowa. My school was very small with my class graduating 100 percent of the 47 seniors. I have a mixed family which consists of 3 sisters, 4 brothers, and 2 beautiful beagles (Mario and Luigi). I will be a sophomore in the fall and Simpson could not have been a more perfect fit for me! I will continue to play football for Simpson and wouldn’t have it any other way! I am on track to graduate in May 2016 with a major in Mathematics and minors in Secondary Education and Coaching. I will be the SCL for Prof. Harrigan in “The Nature of Consumption.” Between practice, weights, class, homework, and my work study I love to sleep, but I also enjoy hanging out with friends, going on long runs, and playing intramurals.

I am a fun loving and outgoing person and love meeting new people. I want to make everyone comfortable and see how much Simpson has to offer each student. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail. Don’t hesitate to shoot me a message, add me, or follow me (this goes for both students and parents!) I can’t wait to get to know each and every one of you come this fall!

Meet Your Writing FellowJessica Routier
Jessica Routier

Hello! My name is Jessica Routier, and I will be the writing fellow for CoryAnne Harrigan’s class “The Nature of Consumption.”  I am going to be a junior at Simpson, being involved in intramurals, volunteering, and a Community Advisor in the second year area. Growing up in the little town of Brooklyn, Iowa, I was able to be involved in everything, including volleyball, basketball, softball, musicals, choir, NHS, Student Government, and a local newspaper writer, along with other community activities. The small town experience has led me to be an English major and a Secondary Education minor to hopefully teach middle or high school students, trying to make English fun again. In my free time I love getting to know new people, building stronger relationships with those I already know, spending time with my family, and enjoying all the great outdoors has to offer. I cannot wait to meet everyone and help with understanding about “stuff” and happiness. Never hesitate to ask me any questions and, remember, every moment provides a chance to learn more about yourself and the world around you.

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