I’m thinking of making my Spring semester graduate class, “Environment, Science, and Society in the Anthropocene,” into a semi-public seminar series, with a blog where we will share links to readings and videos as well as discussions. (Actual meetings will not be online, but will be open to interested members of the UVM community.) Stay tuned for an announcement here.
Alongside a retracing of some of this past year’s Anthropocene Project, we’ll be focusing on a select handful of main texts, with Nigel Clark’s Inhuman Nature: Sociable Life on a Dynamic Planet being central among them. (Peter Sloterdijk’s In the World Interior of Capital: Towards a Philosophical Theory of Globalization and Rob Nixon’s Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, or parts thereof, will likely accompany it.)
The brief course description reads as follows.
E N V I R O N M E N T , S C I E N C E , & S O C I E T Y I N T H E A N T H R O P O C E N E : Scholarly & Public Interventions in Critical Times
In the face of the looming climate crisis—a crisis not only of climate systems and human adaptation, but of the public understanding of science—and of pronouncements about the Anthropocene, with its acknowledgment of the ineradicable human imprint on global systems, many thinkers are recognizing that the divide between the two academic cultures—the sciences and the humanities—is unsustainable. Transdisciplinary solutions have been proposed to bring together researchers across the academic disciplines, but few of these have successfully incorporated the strengths of the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the arts and humanities. Even fewer have reached out beyond academe to the public domain and the human communities that are most obviously affected by environmental shocks and strains.
This course will draw on recent cross-disciplinary perspectives to explore on what grounds such a transdisciplinary and societal conversation can best proceed. Readings and viewings will include works by Nigel Clark, Peter Sloterdijk, Rob Nixon, and Bruno Latour, as well as the work of participants in the “Anthropocene Project,” such as Will Steffen, Jan Zalasiewicz, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Claire Colebrook, Cary Wolfe, Ursula Heise, Elizabeth Povinelli, and Harun Farocki.
*[The Anthropocene Project was a Germany-based 2013 collaborative project co-organized by the Max Planck Institute, the Deutsches Museum, the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt.]