GR6118: Anthropocenes and Other Natures | J. Wenzel
English and Comparative Literature
This advanced graduate seminar will examine the proliferating discourse on the Anthropocene as well as important critiques and alternative understandings of inhabiting the Earth, in relation to recent and remote pasts and possible futures. The course aims to understand the Anthropocene as an interdisciplinary paradigm, inseparable from the natural sciences but with profound implications for the social sciences, humanities, and creative arts, and about which these modes of knowledge and expression have important insights to offer. The course is framed from the perspective of literary studies and environmental humanities, with a view toward connections with other perspectives. The Anthropocene paradigm posits new understandings of human agency and human history; in turn, alternatives to the Anthropocene involve non-hegemonic understandings of nonhuman agency and the relation between humans and nonhuman nature. In historical terms, one question for the seminar will be whether and in what ways the Anthropocene, Anthropocene thinking or new materialisms are new, or legible in terms of longer histories and geneaologies.
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