Humans and Climate Change


This course, one of three required for a proposed minor in Climate Change, explores the human dimension of climate change. Of course, changes in the climate are natural, but it is almost universally acknowledged that humans have contributed to an unprecedented speeding up of the processes with potentially cataclysmic effects. Drawing on disciplines including cultural studies, history, economics, climate science, philosophy, anthropology, political/labor theory, and sociology the first half of the course asks the question “What did humans do to cause climate change?” and the second half of the course asks “what can humans do to mitigate and adapt to climate change?” A course packet of readings will include works on climate and industrial history, policy-making, biodiversity, ethics, technology, agriculture, design and environmental justice. Students will also be required to watch several films (There Will be Blood, Anderson 2007; The Day After Tomorrow, Emmerich 2004) and read short pieces of fiction or poetry. In addition to short-essay response prelims, students will work together in small groups to produce an interdisciplinary project on a future city or social space. This course will count toward the major in Comparative Literature.

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