Michelle Bastian deposited Topics in Environmental Humanities: Exploring Climate Solutions (2023-2024) on Humanities Commons 5 months ago
In 2023 we will be looking at the theme of ‘Exploring Climate Solutions’. We will develop an understanding of environmental issues such as green energy, food systems, reforestation and soil regeneration. To date, this course has been focused on work that diagnoses environmental problems, such as the extinction crises, long-term pollutants and apocalyptic thinking. This year we will be exploring what humanities and related research can bring to thinking about climate change solutions. Our guide will be the Drawdown Project, a public research and awareness raising project which focuses attention on currently existing solutions to the climate crisis. Its ‘solutions library’ ranks the potential GHG emissions savings from a variety of technologies and activities and proposes ways forward for making change right now with the systems and skills currently available.
Our key question will be what can environmental humanities research add to solutions-focused thinking? What critical or overlooked questions can the field pose? But importantly, can it do more than only offer critiques? Exploring current work in areas such as energy humanities, feminist environmental philosophy, multispecies ethnography, and discard studies, we will add nuance and perspective to solutions such as reducing food waste or the use of refrigerants. Throughout we will ask questions about who solutions best serve, and how to act in a world where there are no pure or unproblematic pathways.