Michelle Bastian deposited Topics in Environmental Humanities: Whose Apocalypse 2022-2023 in the group Environmental Humanities on Humanities Commons 1 year, 5 months ago
Course Description: In 2022 we will be looking at the theme of ‘Whose Apocalypse?’. We will develop an understanding of environmental issues such as climate change, resource depletion, long-term pollutants, extinctions, food and water security and more. Rather than assuming these issues affect all humans in similar ways, however, we will explore work which shows the differential effects on a variety of populations and cultures. In particular we will look at recent work that challenges the focus on apocalyptic climate change as something that will occur to ‘the human’ in the future and highlights more complex temporalities and experiences. . The ubiquity of plastics and other chemical pollutants, as well as species loss and environmental degradation, suggest that there can no longer be recourse to notions of a separate nature or ‘untouched wilderness’. But while there has been a wide variety of work rethinking the relationship between nature and culture, this has at times led to a homogenisation of the human as a destructive species that cannot help but destroy the world on which it depends. Exploring work from a wide range of authors we will ask how this approach curtails understandings of possible responses, and particularly how it can detract from important efforts towards environmental justice, supporting indigenous sovereignty and the interconnections between good livelihoods and sustainable ways of life. With the release of the most recent IPCC report on climate change, there have been renewed questions about what individuals can and should do. We will attempt to develop our own response to these questions, guided by current literatures in the Environmental Humanities.