ENVIRON 464 - Topics in Culture and Environment
Section: 001 Poetics of the Anthropocene
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Program in the Environment (ENVIRON)
Department: LSA Environment
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
At least one environmentally related course prior to this class.
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:

The Anthropocene, also known as the era of man-made climate change, has been defined as the era in which human activity begins to make—and more importantly, leave—a geological mark. In this interdisciplinary seminar, we explore not only how man's geological mark developed, but also how it may already be theorized under different names, such as "New World slavery," "colonialism," "globalization," "world war," "industrial capital," "agriculture," and "the police." As this multiplicity of names suggests, the Anthropocene itself does not conform to traditional modes of representation. Thus we will ask: What difficulties are posed to politics and aesthetics by a geologically hyper-accelerated phenomenon fact that makes itself legible to us very slowly? How can we conceive of ecological catastrophe as something man-made but not intended or intentional? How do we confront the planetary scale of climate change without erasing or diminishing the differential contributions different populations have made to the problem? These questions, among others, allow us to explore the intersections between human history and the nonhuman realm in which, and of which, we are.

Course Requirements:

Participation 30%

Discussion Posts and Reading Responses 30%

Essays - 40%

Intended Audience:

Upper division students interested in how environmental studies intersect - and potentially transform - problems in the social sciences and humanities.

Class Format:

Discussion-based with occasional mini-lectures

ENVIRON 464 - Topics in Culture and Environment
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM
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