How have contemporary media, such as comics, film, literature, video games, data visualization, and architecture, been used to shape popular conceptions of the environment, to challenge those conceptions and to propose radical alternatives? In this class, students will learn to analyze media representations of the earth, nature, sustainability, wildlife and wilderness in creative work across domains: a film by Hayao Miyazaki, a short story by Ursula K. La Guin, an interactive narrative by Jeremy Mendez and Leanne Allison, an installation by Natalie Jeremijenko, a landscape by James Corner. The class will focus on unraveling various configurations of nature and technology in environmentalist creations and exposing their broad social, cultural and political implications. Such configurations might take the form of subject and frame, field and object, original and copy, native and foreign, or non-human and human. Moreover, we will engage with emergent work that seeks to complicate such oppositions as well as speculative practices that move beyond the role of critique. The class will make use of theory from both Media Studies and the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) to motivate a series of short essays and media collecting projects throughout the term. This course is part of the iGniTe program Sustainable STEM, coordinated by the Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain.
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Core Curriculum Requirements: