Syllabus

Honors Colloquium

Prof. Jacob Hamblin

 

 

Dawn of the Anthropocene

 

Fall 2018, Thursdays 2-3pm, Learning Innovation Center (LINC) 350

 

Description:  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.

 

Assignments & Grading: This is a Pass/No Pass course, based on two criteria:

 

1) Weekly Essays: Students should prepare a reflection of approximately 300-500 words each week to be posted on the colloquium blog (which I will maintain).  Please post them by the end of Tuesday during the week they are assigned, so that you can read others’ posts on Wednesday (and so the visiting professor can do so as well) in advance of our meeting on Thursday. These reflections should not merely summarize, but should tease out what the week’s reading was attempting to communicate. Remember that this will be readily available for anyone to see, worldwide, so you will need to conduct yourself professionally.  Feel free to have fun with it.  Tell us what the reading meant to you, and how it connects to other issues you have seen in your classes, in your life, or in the world around you. Try to avoid getting bogged down in “rating” your reading or criticizing its style. Instead, focus on the ideas.

 

2) Participation: There are 8-10 class meetings, depending on scheduling and holidays. Each is mandatory to receive a passing grade. Each meeting will reflect a theme, and will draw upon the expertise of OSU faculty or outside speakers. Students must attend these and actively participate. Often the class meeting will take the form of a debate, in which students are expected to participate, having already read the blog reflections.

 

Schedule and Readings (readings to be provided as links, or are available with online access to the library, or I will send you PDFs)

 

Sep 20. NO CLASS

 

Sep 27. The Environmental Encyclical. (w/ Hamblin)

 

Lynn White, Jr., “The Ecologic Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis,” Science 155:3767 (10 March 1967), 1203-1207.

 

Pope Francis, Laudato Si [chapter 2 addresses creation and dominion]

 

 

 

 NO CLASS

 

Sep 27. The Environmental Encyclical. (w/ Hamblin)

 

Lynn White, Jr., “The Ecologic Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis,” Science 155:3767 (10 March 1967), 1203-1207.

 

Pope Francis, Laudato Si [chapter 2 addresses creation and dominion]

 

Oct 4. Growth and De-Growth (w/ Barbara Muraca)

 

Kallis et al., “Degrowth”

 

Oct 11. Theses on Nature (w/ Evan Gottlieb)

 

Steven Shaviro, “Twenty-two Theses on Nature,” Afterword to Discognition (London: Repeater Books, 2016).

 

Oct 18. Ethics and Other Species (w/ Stephanie Jenkins)

 

Stephanie Jenkins and Richard Twine, “On the Limits of Food Autonomy: Rethinking Choice and Privacy

 

Oct 25. Expanding the Global Change Research Agenda (w/ Hannah Gosnell)

 

Reading: TBD

 

Nov 1. Eco-Imagination (w/ Ray Malewitz)

 

Paolo Bacigalupi, “The Tamarisk Hunter”

 

Nov 8. Environmental Justice (w/ Rob Figueroa) 

 

Robert Melchior Figueroa, “Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Losses,” in Dryzek et al., Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society 232-247.

 

Nov 15. Nature, Sound, and Music (w/ Dana Reason)

 

Reading: TBD

 

Nov 22. No meeting. Happy Thanksgiving

 

Nov 29. Engineering Our Way Out (w/ Ehren Pflugfelder)

 

Selection from Clive Hamilton, Earthmasters

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/07/re-engineering-the-earth/307552/

 

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