Shadows and Light in the Anthropocene: Landscapes of the Contemporary and Future Planet

Schools of Public Engagement: Global Studies

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Landscapes in the Anthropocene

Spring 2020

Taught By:

Section: A

CRN: 6122

Credits: 4

Shadows and Light examines the infrastructures, ecologies, risks and possibilities of contemporary landscapes through the optic of landscape as a “view” or “scape,” and as a complex vision of human engagement with planetary ecosystems. This course investigates the entanglement of human infrastructures, industrial processes and visions of modernity with the health and well being of the planet, including human as well as other than human forms of life. We begin by investigating ideas of landscape in terrains as diverse as historic German forests, the weedy waterscapes of the Los Angeles River and the invention of African game-parks. Critical theory on landscape is linked to cases. Part II introduces varying understandings the era now called the Anthropocene Why are scientists asserting we inhabit a new period in planetary history? What are its diagnostic signs and symbols? Conceptions of “risk society,” “coupled systems,” “timescapes” and infrastructures are introduced. Part III is case-based. Several “dark” landscapes, all risk saturated and environmentally problematic, are investigated, including “radiological-scapes,” “chemo-scapes,” “agro-industrial food-scapes,” “flood plain freakologies” and “mutant ecologies.” In addition to scholarly analyses, first-person accounts of chemical and radiological invasions of the human body and local ecosystems are analyzed. Part IV moves into the “light,” examining visionary work of contemporary artists, landscape architects, anthropologists and writers of contemporary non-fiction narratives attempting to open new ways of seeing, thinking and feeling about living in the Anthropocene.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Global Studies (UGLB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 4

Enrollment Status: Open*

*Enrollment 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: 6:30pm 7/17/2019

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday, Thursday

Times: 10:00am - 11:40am

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 1/21/2020 - 5/7/2020