Black Blizzards: The Dust Bowl of the 1930s

Course Instructor: Leslie Dunn

During the 1930s, while the world was in the midst of the Great Depression, the Great Plains region was experiencing an environmental disaster of immense proportion. Massive dust storms were making the region uninhabitable. Some were so severe that soil from the Great Plains landed in places like Chicago and New York City. Many residents fell ill with what became known as "dust pneumonia". This course will investigate the environmental and economic causes of the Dust Bowl and the impact on those who remained. The conditions of the Dust Bowl can be seen in the works of photographers, authors and musicians of the time. We will use literature, film, photographs and the music of Woody Guthrie to gain an understanding of the circumstances the Dust Bowl created.