The Death of Nature: Critical Environmental Thought in the Anthropocene

University Curriculum: University Curriculum

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
The Death of Nature
Fall 2024
Taught By: Alice Crary
Section: L

CRN: 14188

Credits: 0

This university lecture focuses on the ongoing anthropogenic destruction of nature through climate change and other forms of environmental degradation. The catastrophe poses a problem for which traditional ethical theories leave us ill-prepared, and strategies that simply apply these theories (so-called “applied ethics”) have proved unhelpful. A productive engagement needs to start from a willingness to radically rethink the categories we use to describe this historical moment and the resources we have to respond to it meaningfully. We will talk about how the environmental crisis has challenged not only engrained understandings of the relation between nature and culture but also received understandings of moral notions such as justice, responsibility, and blame. We will also consider how it brings into question familiar conceptions of political institutions such as markets, property, and states. We will attempt this kind of transformative approach to environmental crisis by reading widely—and in a fully interdisciplinary manner—in literatures, both academic and popular, taken from the natural sciences, the humanities, and critical social theories, including importantly, critical social theories focused on climate, racial, and gender-based justice. Course topics will include the Anthropocene, ecocide, ecofeminism, ecological Marxism, racial capitalism, Indigenous knowledge and rights, animal justice, anthropocentric vs. biocentric environmental ethics, responsibility (i.e., who is responsible for change?), global justice, justice vis-a-vis future generations, questions of mitigation and adaptation, and questions about meaningful political action. Students must register for both the lecture and discussion section of this course. [This ULEC is in category 1, Tools for Social Change.]

College: University Curriculum (UL)

Department: University Curriculum (UNIV)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Lecture (L)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 125

Add/Drop Deadline: September 9, 2024 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 17, 2024 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few 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: 5:16pm EDT 7/12/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Tuesday
Times: 12:20pm - 1:35pm
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 106
Date Range: 8/27/2024 - 12/3/2024