UN3605: Against Dystopia | D. Perera

Undergraduate Seminar
Tu 4:10-6PM

Ideas of dystopian futures haunt present-day imaginings of the climate crisis. Such futures are typically characterized by worsening inequality, disastrous weather effects, and deeply disrupted social relations. Apocalyptic imaginaries also tend to invoke an individualist politics oriented around struggle over scarce resources. But what about those for whom the present is already post-apocalyptic? What about political configurations that insist on solidarity, mutuality, care, and justice to create liberatory futures? Just solutions to the climate crisis are only as capacious as the imagination of what the problems are, how the present came into being, who is most affected, and who gets to decide what futures are created. This interdisciplinary course engages ethnographic work alongside theorizations of contemporary life and other world building genres, including climate fiction, visual art, and poetry. In doing so, the course offers an argument against the fatalism of dystopia and seeks to imagine what reparative methods centering climate justice could look like.

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