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Special Topics in the Humanities (370-6-30)


Culture in a Changing Climate.


Corey Byrnes
1880 Campus Drive, Kresge Hall, Office 4-548
Office Hours: Varies quarter to quarter, please check with instructor.

Meeting Info

University Hall 318: Tues, Thurs 11:00AM - 12:20PM

Overview of class

This course is designed around creative responses to climate change and other environmental crises in recent literary, cinematic, and artistic works from different sites around the world. We will pay close attention to how familiar aesthetic forms and the critical methods used to understand them are (or are not) changing in the face of overlapping existential environmental crises. Are there specific genres or media best suited to addressing climate change and helping to inspire political action? What are the effects of identifying or writing within a "new" literary genre such as "climate fiction"? Can we speak of similar modes in other media: is there such a thing as "climate cinema" or "climate art"? And if there is, how do these categories shape both the art that gets made and how we understand it?

Evaluation Method

Tentative Evaluation Method:

Participation and Preparation (15%)
Short Essays: 30%
Final Essay Proposal: 10%
Final Essay: 45%

Class Materials (Required)

Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower (ISBN: 1538732181)

Wu Ming-yi, The Man with the Compound Eyes (ISBN 0345802888)

Pam Zhang, Land of Milk and Honey (0593538242)

Class Attributes

Advanced Expression
Literature and Arts Foundational Discipline
Literature & Fine Arts Distro Area