Recent IPCC predictions argue that the world has ten years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half. Ten years to take a range of overlapping and dependent cultural, economic, and technological systems and reduce their carbon footprint by half. And only about thirty years to make these systems carbon neutral. The world Tech students will enter after ‘getting out’ will be dramatically warmer and more unstable that the one their parents and grandparents entered.
The Poetics of Sustainability: Race and the Environment
Utilizing our WOVEN curriculum, this Serve-Learn-Sustain affiliated course will explore the intersections of race, immigration, and the environment as urgent social, political, and ecological issues through the lens of poetry.
The cumulative consequences of the Anthropocene—warming, carbon emission, species loss, deforestation, melting, ocean acidification, and the global waste crisis—make the future of life on earth difficult to imagine. Throughout most of human history, we have relied on models such as generational inheritance or market growth to figure what lies ahead, but if the last few years are any indication, the rhetoric we use to project the future is increasingly insufficient.
I am in conversation with CARE/Counseling Center to devise materials that could extend these tools beyond the classroom and into the broader Georgia Tech student community. In addition, I intend reach out to a new community partner to explore how we might address the inequalities of mental health and self-care for people of color. I would like to invite the Atlanta-based art-activist group “The Nap Ministry” to give a workshop to the class.
The Shape of the City: Gentrification and Culture in Atlanta and America
Gentrification—the economic and cultural “revitalization” of American cities--has been, for better or worse, the defining feature of urban life in the twentyfirst century. As late as the 1990s, the “inner city” was often portrayed in journalism and popular culture as a decaying, crime-ridden ghetto; now it is often seen as a booming, culturally vibrant, economically desirable playground for hipsters and creatives—at least those who can afford it. How did this happen? Is it good or bad? Can gentrification go on forever?
The wealth of the United States is premised upon many things: hard work, inventiveness, an entrepreneurial spirit, and so on, but its first premise is land. Land that had been tended and kept by Native Americans. Land that was taken, stolen, or bought over the course of American expansion west. These lands offered new sources of biomass, fossil fuels, and even uranium to exploit. The American energy system benefited from these abundant fuels (in addition to the labor of enslaved Blacks).
If you feel like you sometimes see the world differently than your friends, family, and classmates, you might just be a documentary filmmaker. This course gives you a framework for trying to put your vision on film. It won't be as hard as you think--it will actually be a lot of fun. The materials for your film are all around you--the people and place of Atlanta provide us with exciting stories, a passionate cast of characters, and beautiful scenes for our film.
In this first year writing and communication course you will consider how your work at Tech and after Tech may interact with and affect urban communities and the people who live in them. We will begin by examining our own backgrounds--whether you're a life long city dweller or whether you grew up in a rural or suburban area--and how they have shaped our attitudes toward Atlanta and toward cities generally. These backgrounds, we will see, may condition our attitudes toward the development of urban space.