Literature, Culture, and the Environment:
Diversity in the Anthropocene
Introduces literary works and cultural artifacts from a variety of different traditions, cultures, and periods. Helps students to acquire basic tools for analyzing literature and culture.
This course offers an introduction to the environmental humanities. Literature, culture, and the environment are explored in their interlinkages along five examples: the study of food and consumption, species diversity, waste and pollution, climate change, and the concept of the Anthropocene, i.e., the Age of the Human recently announced by atmospheric scientists describing the scale of human impact on the Earth in geological terms. The idea is that human impact is growing in the area of land use for food production, the altercation of ecosystems, loss of biological, linguistic, and cultural diversity, climate change resulting in large scale environmental injustices and global inequalities, and accelerated unprecedented species extinction. In this class w will explore the cultural dimension of the concept of the Anthropocene and ask how the study of literature and culture can contribute to a fuller understanding of the historical, ethical, and aesthetic dimension of this new era of the human. Readings will be diverse including literary works, films, cultural materials, eco-documentaries, etc.
Keywords: food, waste, pollution, climate change, species diversity, environmental justice, Anthropocene.
This course is open to majors across the university.
English is the language of instruction and course readings.