English 198F - Spring, 2018

Student Led Course

    Topic: Discourses of Climate Change & Sustainability within the Humanities.

Class Information

Instructor: Ronda, Margaret
CRN: 82629
Time: TR 9:00-10:20
Location: 229 Wellman


    Philosopher Jurgen Habermas first identified 'public discourse' as 'a domain of our social life in which such a thing as public opinion can be formed.' This student-led course revolves around the current discourses of climate change and sustainability in the environmental humanities, exploring the opportunity those discourses have to imbue public opinion. In this course, our imperative is to inform and extend our understanding of climate science, climate change mitigation, conservation and sustainability through new interpretations of novels, poetry, films, art and music. Through the intersection of politics and art, science and film, environmental activism and personal narrative, we'll contextualize the environmental social movements of our current moment. By thinking uniquely and imaginatively about society's accelerating environmental problems, we'll explore the ways the sciences and humanities offer solutions and develop alternative social frameworks. To do this, we'll examine climatic themes of survival, mortality and rebirth, as well as technology's role in practices of sustainability. Finally, we'll illuminate the 'genre of contribution' and its implications in designing a new climatically-aware, sustainable planetary future for humanity.


    The Wind-Up Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi
    The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell