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GED 2119 - Global Environmental Humanities

(to save the planet)

Living, as we do, at the cusp of apocalypse, it may well behoove you to join GED2119, where we ask:

how did we get into this mess?
where are we going?
what solutions do we have?

GED2119 promises to be a course unlike any you have ever taken at CUHK.

"You think ecologically tuned life means being all efficient and pure. Wrong. It means you can have a disco in every room of your house."
- Tim Morton

Let's dance.

Lecture: Wednesday, 10:30 am - Zhi Xin 109. (Yes I know that's early in the morning but I assure you the apocalypse is worth at least two strong cups of coffee.)

Sections every other week.

Heatwaves across the world wrap India, Europe, America, and Asia in a warm blanket of death. Unprecedented hurricanes, typhoons, and inexplicable weather phenomena make rebuilding after catastrophe uninsurable. Sea water temperatures top 100 degrees in the Atlantic for the first time ever. CO2 emissions exceed levels unmatched since homo habilis roamed the earth 3 million years ago. Wildfires blot out the sun in Australia, Canada, and California, suffocating wide swathes of land with noxious fumes. Meanwhile hyperwealthy technocrats concoct increasingly sophisticated escape strategies from Spaceship Earth.

What the hell are we doing?

The Environmental Humanities have long been tasked with the challenge of explaining the end of the world to a public that has been—for decades—unswayed by the depressing numbers and figures published by the Environmental Sciences. The most recent effort, “The Sixth Assessment Report,” published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (March 2023) yet again predicts a dismal apocalypse, barring profound global transformation. It has largely been ignored. In Asia, where Environmental Sciences programs proliferate in the name of EV technology, the Environmental Humanities are loudly absent. Neglecting the ethical dimension of Environmental Studies is bound to have dire consequences.

In this course, we will cover major topics in Environmental Studies, including, but not limited to: Anthropocene studies, de-extinction, nuclear waste, plastics, energy futures, euphemism and marketing in environmental discourse, concepts such as the "gigaton," alien perspectives, doomsday prepping, posthumanism, transhumanism, mutually assured destruction, human extinction, and many of the paradoxes that seem to have locked us, togetherly, unequally, but inevitably in this doomsday predicament.

The future will not be evenly distributed.

Spring 2024

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