About the Class

We grew up believing that “geological time” and “human history” were quite distinct, with one extending across ages beyond imagination and the other occurring as a tiny blip. But in recent years, scientific findings about the lasting effects of climate change, deforestation, ocean acidification, and other human-caused natural changes have led us to a new realization: we now live in an era of the earth’s history that is defined by human influence. How has this changed the ways we look at the world around us? Does it require a new brand of ethics? Does it make us rethink our own history? Does it direct our imagination? In this course we will explore the environmental arts and humanities to confront the ways our culture responds to living in an age we did not intend, yet is of our own making.

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