Science, Art, and Justice

Spring 2021
Kent Linthicum
ENGL 1102

Everything is political, from science to art. In an era of climate change, protests for racial justice, and rising inequality, it is more important than ever to understand the relationship between science and art in effecting public opinion. This course will explore, briefly, the relationship between science and art in a few moments of modern human history—slavery, colonialization, industrialization, the development of fossil fuels, the development of nuclear power, and climate change. The course aims to show that science and art can work together, but have been at odds in the past or even collectively wrong. The first half of the course will survey a few moments from the 19th century and conclude with historical research on the interplay of art and science. The second half of the course will focus on the 20th century and involve a team project where students will describe the relationship between art and science today. As a Serve-Learn-Sustain affiliated course, this class will identify relationships among ecological, social, and economic systems, with an especially focus on communities and environmental justice. Through all this the class will highlight the forms of WOVEN (written, oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal) communication as we consider how to connect science and art in the 21st century. In order to develop and deploy rhetorical knowledge students will compose and design research papers, oral presentations, and websites. Other graded elements will include project brainstorms, outlines, peer review, and shorter reflections. Ultimately, the course will provide students with opportunities to discuss, practice, and reflect on rhetoric alongside the tools to critique the relationships between science, art, and justice.

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