Thursday, January 23, 2014

Course Description: Planetary Thinking and Environmental Justice

In 1972, an image of the whole earth as seen from space circulated across the whole earth. Has a planetary perspective different from the parochialisms, imperialisms, and globalizations that still beset our politics emerged as a possibility as that whole earth has become one of the mostly widely distributed images in history? Just how are the politics of catastrophic climate change and resource descent exacerbated by planetary networks, planetary migrations, planetary exploitation, and planetary governance? What are the differences within the planetary frame between environmentalisms as sites of identification, as subcultures, as movements, as political programs, as research programs, and as rhetorical perspectives? How has Green education, agitation, organization, and consciousness changed over time and in what ways does Greenness abide for earthlings like us? We will read a number of canonical and representative environmentalist discourses and vantages-from transcendentalism and deep ecology to eco-feminism, eco-socialism, and environmental justice critique; from permaculture and mindful eating to futurological geo-engineering and corporate-military greenwashing-seeking to understand better how to read and write and make the planet Greenly. Tracking through these texts each of us will struggle to weave together and testify to our own sense of the planetary as an interpretive register, as a critical perspective, as a writerly skill-set, as a site of imaginative investment, and as a provocation to collective action and personal transformation.

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