Sad Planets

New School for Social Research: Liberal Studies

Liberal Arts

Graduate Course

Degree Students

Sad Planets

Spring 2022

Taught By: Dominic Pettman and Eugene Thacker

Section: A

CRN: 9703

Credits: 3

In this course, we will explore the relationship between environment, estrangement, and pathos in philosophical, cultural, and aesthetic terms. Starting with questions of cosmic scale – what Friedrich Nietzsche once termed “humanity’s place in the universe” – we will turn to novels, poems, and films that respond to existential alienation, entropic decline, imminent catastrophe, and the sense of a general melancholia pervading the natural world. We will touch upon a wide range of traditions, from the wilderness poetry of ancient China to contemporary “cli-fi,” from the desert hermits of ancient Egypt to fin-de-siècle decadence, from Romanticism’s poetics of nature to modern “weird fiction.” Along the way we will address topics such as the threat of extinction, “ecological grief,” “collapsology,” and other affects associated with the Anthropocene. Readings will likely include fiction by Kōbō Abe, J.G. Ballard, Aase Berg, Algernon Blackwood, Rachel Carson, Liu Cixin, Camille Flammerion, Anna Kavan, Izumi Kyōka, Stanislaw Lem, Ursula Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Kim Stanley Robinson, Vladimir Sorokin, and others.

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Liberal Studies (GLIB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: February 6, 2022 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 17, 2022 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 10:52pm 5/17/2022 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Wednesday

Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm

Building: 68 5th Ave

Room: 104

Date Range: 1/26/2022 - 5/11/2022