We know that we are in the midst of a planetary ecological crisis, but what is the planetary? What roles has culture played in the history of Earth and planetary science? How have different media contributed to seeing worlds, both new ones and our own? This class will track how planets have been shared between science, society, and the arts in the 20th century, exploring topics from global climate modeling to science fiction about imaginary worlds, and from the Gaia hypothesis to ecological simulation games. We will use a century of planetary discourse as a case study in how to use media analysis and historical research to document cultures of science. We will ask what it means to live on a planet in the middle of an ecological crisis. The course will address how ideas of the planetary contend with (or fail to address) lived realities of race, gender, and class, and how the arts and sciences could better inform one another in building real and imaginary worlds.
All course materials will be available as pdf files through Canvas or can be streamed online.
Online registration deadline: Thursday, June 16, 5 pm CT.