Immoral Energy: Slavery and Fossil Fuels in the Anthropocene
Energy systems are permeated with political and ethical questions, and no historical system demonstrates that as well as transatlantic slavery. Before fossil fuels, the bodies and labor of enslaved peoples powered trade. While at first slavery helped support the expansion of fossil fuels, eventually fossil fuels replaced slavery. This course will explore the ethical/moral valences of energy systems through a juxtaposition of transatlantic slavery and modern fossil fuels. The first half of the class will focus on the abolition debate.
The study of sociology is the study of society, and this introductory course teaches students to see that human communities are more than a collection of individuals, self-determined and self-directing. The course examines structural inequalities, cultural conditions, and social institutions that pattern and shape human behavior. First, students learn that the world around them is not "natural" but rather conditional, and human behavior is not "innate," but mutable through socialization.
This course surveys the complex ecological, economic, cultural, social, and political outcomes that have resulted from human interactions with the natural world, in the geographical region encompassing the United States.
Japan Today is a Japanese language course held in Beppu Japan during the summer abroad program that is organized around the theme of environmental sustainability. We discuss topics including solar energy, thermal energy, biomass, garbage disposal, local produce, and the Japanese concept of "mottainai" (trying to avoid wasting things). We also take students on a farmstay, to a geothermal plant, and to an elementary school. This is a community-driven course focused on teaching students how to think about issues of sustainability in Japan.
Information and Communication Technologies and Development
This course focuses on information and communication technology (ICT) design, adoption, and use as seen through the lens of global development. We will begin with studying the history of technological advancement, the global development discourse (from the 1940s to the present era), poverty as experienced, before we engage with the design thinking process. We will then shift our gaze to particular domains of global development, discuss important questions and concerns in these areas of work in the present day, before asking what all this means for us as local and global citizens.
The course will include several projects focused on the study of sustainable communities in the city of Metz, France. Students will visit various associations and community organizations about once every 2 weeks for 2 to 3 hours. Visits and service learning may replace classes on campus.
Sustainability initiatives, from green development to alternative energy projects, aim to fulfill the needs of the present without sacrificing the well-being of the future. In collaboration with Serve-Learn-Sustain, this class investigates the history and meaning of the of the future through popular media, early modern literature, and sustainable development inititives in Atlanta in order to better understand what lies ahead.