Environmental Studies & English 4120 -- Spring 2024
Cultural Studies and Climate Change
2023 was not simply the hottest year in recorded history but likely the hottest year of the last 125,000 years. 2024 is likely to be hotter still. Far earlier than predicted we are passing the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement target of 1.5 C. What's coming at us?
Now is a time of dire emergency for the Earth, a time when drastic and dramatic measures must be taken so that our planet remains liveable.
This course brings together science, social science, and the power of the imagination to understand the global impact, history, politics, and ethics of the climate crisis. The approach emphasizes the relatedness of all human and natural communities and a commmitment to doing everything we can to preserve a habitable earth.
As a senior-level course crosslisted in both English and Environmental Studies, this class involves extensive reading. Students are expected to purchase paper copies of the books, always carefully do the reading, bring books to class, and come prepared to contribute.
Since the class is discussion-based, attendance and preparation are essential to your own learning and to the learning of your classmates. Your class participation grade is based on how well you have done the reading and prepared for class; I will ensure that your voice is heard and everyone participates!
Missing any classes will affect your learning. Missing 3 classes or more will lower your grade and missing 5 classes may lead to failing. Study my philosophy regarding discussion, preparation, participation, attendance, grading, and learning!
Students in this course are expected to keep up with current events regarding the course theme. The best newspaper for climate news is the The Guardian, available for free on line. Also take advantage of the WMU library making the NY Times available to students for free.
Students in this course are expected to participate in the diverse activities of the WMU Climate Emergency: Spring Into Action 2024; as described below regularly attending events will be part of the course grade.
The course is intended to develop a your thinking about the climate crisis, share ideas, and start making a difference. Thus writing for this course will be in a public voice and published online or shared beyond the class. This semester we will experiment with ChatGPT and other AI programs as a regular part of course assignnments.
Your final course grade will be an average of grades for the major assignments, listed and weighted below.
WMU Climate Change Syllabus Statement:
Furthermove, WMU has many additional resources to foster student health and well being.
My office is 723 Sprau Tower, 387-2605. Office hours are before and after class and by appointment. You can always reach me via email.
Mon Jan 8: Introductions
Wed Jan 10: Our Climate Present
Mon Jan 15: MLK Day
Wed Jan 17: Our Climate Future?
Mon Jan 22: Our Climate Future?
Wed Jan 24: Our Climate Future?
Mon Jan 29: Cli-Fi Short Stories
Wed Jan 31: Creating AI Cli-Fi Short Stories
Mon Feb 5:Build and Present AICli-Fi.com Website
Wed Feb 7: YA Cli-Fi Literature Circles
Mon Feb 12: YA Cli-Fi Literature Circles
Wed Feb 14: Teaching YA Cli-Fi Novels
Mon Feb 19: Climate Migration
Wed Feb 21: Climate Migration
Mon Feb 26: Climate Migration
Wed Feb 28: Present Climate Migration Documents
Mar 4-8: Spring Break
Mon Mar 11: Scientific & Political Impediments
Wed Mar 13: Money, Power & Politics
Mon Mar 18: Facing the Future
Wed Mar 20: Saving the Future
Mon Mar 25: Saving the Future
Wed Mar 27: Saving the Future
Mon Apr 1: Taking Action
Wed Apr 3:Joining the Climate Movement
Mon Apr 8: Climate Activism & Climate Justice
Wed Apr 10: Climate Activism & Climate Justice
Mon Apr 15: Climate Justice
Wed Apr 17: Connecting with Climate Activists
Fri Apr 19: Earth Week and Climate March and Rally
Apr. 22-26 Finals Week
Wed Apr 22 12:30-2:30: Final Exam