CPEC 258 - This is Human, That is Nature: How Radically Rethinking the Human-Nature Relationship Can Help US Solve the Climate Crisis (4 Cr.)
In 2008, two researchers set out to study Americans’ perception of their connectedness to the natural world. They asked respondents, “Do you consider yourself part of or separate from nature?” Overwhelmingly those surveyed responded, “Of course humans are part of nature.” A second question asked these same respondents how they defined nature. Again, an overwhelming majority responded with phrase likes “uninhabited” and “undisturbed by humans.” What does it mean-and what are the implications for the environment-that many of us see ourselves as part of a nature that we define by our absence? This CPE will explore the cultural assumptions and attitudes that lead to or interfere with our collective and personal behaviors that are environmentally sustainable. As part of this we will examine written and visual interventions that have significantly altered or shifted (for better or worse) our cultural assumptions about the natural world. This course gives students the opportunity to think more rigorously and imaginatively about environmental issues by integrating insights from the Humanities
“My interest is that there is a disconnect between the science and the size of the threat that people mention about nature, the planet and the climate, and the emotion that this triggers. We are supposed to be extremely frightened people, but despite that we appear to sleep pretty well. –Bruno Latour
Our goal in this course is to explore effective ways to disturb our sleep.
Restricted to first year through junior students, and others with instructor approval.
Add to Portfolio (opens a new window)