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    Jul 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

ANTH 1600 - Anthropocene: Culture and Climate Change

Crosslisted: Also listed as ECST 1600

Modern humans appeared in the most recent moment of Earth’s long geologic history, and yet in a spectacularly short time we have dramatically impacted our planet. Human-induced changes to the landscape, chemical composition of the atmosphere, and the living biosphere have accelerated to the point that the Earth is no longer the planet on which our species evolved. It has been suggested that the planet has, in fact, already changed so much that it should be named as a new geologic era: The Anthropocene.

Goals: This course introduces the anthropological study of the Anthropocene—a holistic consideration of the world humans have made through our use of technology, our means of production, our systems of consumption, our waste, and the many other expressions of human culture that are changing the Earth.

Content: As an introductory course, it focuses on basic literacy with the foundational questions of human culture and the biosphere. It is framed by five questions that structure the content of the class: What should we call this period? What is happening? How did we get here? Does the Anthropocene have a culture? How do we learn to live in this world we have made? Some key topics of interest include deep time, material culture, media, evolution, nature, kinship, ruins, adaptation and solidarity. As these issues are a shared concern of humanity, this course spends considerable time investigating difference and collaborative means for a human response.

Credits: 4