Culture, Politics and Climate Change
ENVS 4800

Course Description

The objective of this course is to critically analyze how climate changing activities find meaning in our daily lives by way of politics and culture. By way of four main themes addressed in the sessions over the semester, we will explore how more formal climate science and policy permeate the spaces of our ‘everyday’, in terms of attitudes, perspectives, intentions, behavioral change and resistances therein. In a discussion-based seminar format, we will attempt to understand the intricate dynamics between multilevel institutional architectures and the landscape of actors, primarily those outside national governments which are able to influence outcomes. In the course, we will aim to challenge our thinking about climate change as a problem, develop new frameworks for analyzing climate challenges, and discuss practical and conceptual alternatives for mitigation and adaptation actions in our individual and collective lives. Critical engagement in session discussions with these topics and themes will help us to distinguish patterns, appraise and assess values, and gain insights from a variety of perspectives and viewpoints concerning climate change and other pressing environmental challenges.