Spring 2018

Unsafe Operating Space: Living on a Volatile Earth - LCST 2503 A

Professor(s):   Stephanie Wakefield 
Day(s):  MW
Time(s):  11:55 am - 1:35 pm 
CRN:  7041
Credits:  4

Course Description
[Track C] Ice ages, volcanoes, floods, and earthquakes: humans have always lived on a volatile and dangerous planet. While Earth's powerful natural forces exceed our control and disrupt our lives, they are also the very source of life and the ground of human existence. In the unsafe operating space of the Anthropocene, these grounds are transforming, and our new geological epoch looks to be marked by an increasing unpredictability and peril. How will we live in these new environments?áFortunately, from post-disaster to environmental change, humans have much experience living with instability.áThis course will study life on, with, or against Earth's dynamic forces for tools, stories, and inspiration for life in the Anthropocene's rapidly shifting operating space.áFood, shelter, warmth, medicine: how have humans survived the earth's diverse environments? But also, more importantly, how has living with volatile forces given birth to new kinds of art, music, philosophy, or pleasure?ááSet against recent writing by Nigel Clark and Kathryn Yusoff, we will study historical instances of societal collapse, cultural responses to the colonial disaster as well as natural disasters, and human life amidst abrupt climate change. [Track C]

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