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56912-01 - Seminar: The Anthropocene — Perspectives from the Environmental Humanities 3 KP

Semester Frühjahrsemester 2021
Angebotsmuster unregelmässig
Dozierende Philippe Forêt (philippe.foret@unibas.ch, BeurteilerIn)

Philippe Forêt is professor of environmental humanities, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Brac University, and co-director of a research group on the environment and society at the University of Basel. The Rachel Carson Center in Munich, the Institute of Advanced Studies of Nantes, and the Swedish Collegium in Uppsala have elected him Fellow. His PhD is from the Division of the Social Sciences of the University of Chicago, and his Certificate of Advanced Studies in higher education from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne. For more information: https://philippeforet.academia.edu/


The Anthropocene defines a contested geologic time period (ca. 1600-today) during which human activities have altered the natural cycles of geologic, atmospheric, maritime, biospheric, and other earth systems. An introduction to Anthropocene studies and a better understanding of the contributions of the environmental humanities to the research conducted on the Anthropocene are our two main objectives. We will:
1. Survey the environmental transition from the Holocene to the Anthropocene. The Rachel Carson Center in Munich will provide case studies.
2. Study dramatic physical, political and cultural transformations in our environment, from pre-modern to postmodern cultures. Asia will provide case studies.
3. Review the entanglement of research reports, public discourses, scientific concepts, conferences, exhibitions, techniques, and perspectives that have depicted the Anthropocene. Covid-19 will provide our best case-study.
4. Discuss the emergence of the Swiss school of the environmental humanities and the work now done in Switzerland in collaboration with international organizations. UNESCO MOST will provide case studies.


Twelve Topics on the Anthropocene

Week 1
March 5
1. From Brown to Green to Brown to Green
- Welcome
- Introduction to the Anthropocene
- Introduction to the Environmental Humanities
- Self-introductions by instructor and students
- Seminar requirements

Week 2
March 12
2. The Production of the Anthropocene

Week 3
March 19
3. Saving Nature Beyond the Anthropocene

Week 4
March 26
4. Are We the Anthropocene?

Week 5
April 2
NO CLASS Easter Break

Week 6
April 9
5. The Outer Boundaries of the Anthropocene
Assignment I deadline

Week 7
April 16
6. The Inner Core of the Anthropocene

Week 8
April 23
7. Searching the Anthropocene

Week 9
April 30
8. Finding the Anthropocene

Week 10
May 7
9. Understanding the Anthropocene

Week 11
May 14
10. Regime Shift Within the Anthropocene

Week 12
May 21
11. Deep Adaptation to Leave the Anthropocene

Week 13
May 28
12. Scenarios for a Desirable Future Assignment II deadline

Week 14
June 4
13. Conclusion and feedback

1. This is a writing seminar. You will learn how to research, write, format, and submit an article to an academic journal.

2. You will be introduced to the methods specific to the environmental humanities, and you will participate in the current debate on the Anthropocene.

3. You will learn how the environmental humanities have questioned and contextualized primary sources of information on the Anthropocene.

4. You will also learn how to locate and exploit relevant information on topics such as the city, colonialism, development, discourse, gender, governance, ideology, landscape, methodology, migration, modernity, nature, public policy, representation, science, and violence.


Maps, comics, museum catalogues, art fairs, the social media, video clips, etc. will provide you with information on the approaches developed by the environmental humanities to the transformation, accidents, crises, collapse, extinction, recovery, resilience, unsustainability, and innovation that together have characterized the Anthropocene.

ER1: Entitle, European Union: http://www.politicalecology.eu/
ER2: ENS Lyon, France: https://ecoleanthropocene.universite-lyon.fr/
ER3: RCC, Germany: https://www.carsoncenter.uni-muenchen.de/
ER4: Anthropocene, International: http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/
ER5: BRIDGES, International:
ER6: EHL, Sweden: https://www.kth.se/en/abe/inst/philhist/historia/ehl
ER7: PAGES, Switzerland: http://pastglobalchanges.org/
ER8: SAGUF, Switzerland: https://naturalsciences.ch/organisations/saguf
ER9: IPCC, United Nations: https://www.ipcc.ch/
ER10: UNESCO MOST, United Nations:


L1. Gregg Mitman, Marco Armiero, and Robert S. Emmett.
Future Remains. A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene.
The University of Chicago Press, 2017:

L2. Naomi Oreskes.
Why Trust Science?
Princeton University Press, 2019:

L3. Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, and the Deutsches Museum,
Welcome to the Anthropocene: The Earth in Our Hands, 2014-16:

L4. Paul Warde, Robin Libby, and Sverker Sörlin.
The Environment: A History of the Idea.
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018:

L5. Sam White, Christian Pfister, and Franz Mauelshagen.
The Palgrave Handbook of Climate History.
Palgrave Macmillan, 2018 :
Bemerkungen Office hours: Immediately after class, or by appointment on Skype or Zoom

Class readings: Available on Adam

Prior preparation: Exploration of the electronic resources of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society: https://www.carsoncenter.uni-muenchen.de/index.html


Teilnahmebedingungen REQUIREMENTS

Your active participation is required since this is a research-intensive class with a strong writing component. The final assignment consists in an article ready to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. To encourage interactions with the instructor and facilitate personal supervision, the number of participants in this seminar must be kept below 14. Please contact your instructor before enrolling: philippe.foret@unibas.ch .

The admission requirements are the following:
1. Your ability to carry a heavy research, reading, and writing load.
2. Your ability to work in small teams that value autonomy, diversity, and inclusion.
3. A very good command of English in addition to a second international language.
4. Your interdisciplinary training, bridging the humanities and the natural sciences.
Anmeldung zur Lehrveranstaltung In diesem Seminar lernen die Studierenden, einen wissenschaftlichen Artikel zu schreiben, zu veröffentlichen und zu bewerten. Dies bedeutet intensive Arbeit und persönliche Aufsicht. Deshalb ist die Anzahl der TeilnehmerInnen auf 14 begrenzt.
Unterrichtssprache Englisch
Einsatz digitaler Medien kein spezifischer Einsatz


Intervall wöchentlich
Datum 05.03.2021 – 04.06.2021
Zeit Freitag, 13.15-15.00 Soziologie, Hörsaal 215
Datum Zeit Raum
Freitag 05.03.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr - Online Präsenz -, --
Freitag 12.03.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr - Online Präsenz -, --
Freitag 19.03.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr - Online Präsenz -, --
Freitag 26.03.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr - Online Präsenz -, --
Freitag 02.04.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr Ostern
Freitag 09.04.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr - Online Präsenz -, --
Freitag 16.04.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr - Online Präsenz -, --
Freitag 23.04.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr - Online Präsenz -, --
Freitag 30.04.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr Soziologie, Hörsaal 215
Freitag 07.05.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr Soziologie, Hörsaal 215
Freitag 14.05.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr Auffahrt
Freitag 21.05.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr Soziologie, Hörsaal 215
Freitag 28.05.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr Soziologie, Hörsaal 215
Freitag 04.06.2021 13.15-15.00 Uhr Soziologie, Hörsaal 215
Module Modul: Fachkompetenz Globaler Wandel (Master Studienfach Geographie)
Modul: Fields: Environment and Development (Master Studiengang African Studies)
Modul: Fields: Knowledge Production and Transfer (Master Studiengang African Studies)
Modul: Politik, Entwicklung und soziale Ungleichheit (Bachelor Studienfach Soziologie)
Modul: Projects and Processes of Urbanization (Master Studiengang Critical Urbanisms (Studienbeginn vor 01.08.2020))
Modul: Resources and Sustainability (Master Studiengang Changing Societies: Migration – Conflicts – Resources )
Modul: The Urban across Disciplines (Master Studiengang Critical Urbanisms)
Modul: Ungleichheit, Konflikt, Kultur (Master Studienfach Soziologie)
Vertiefungsmodul Global Europe: Umwelt und Nachhaltigkeit (Masterstudium: European Global Studies)
Leistungsüberprüfung Lehrveranst.-begleitend
Hinweise zur Leistungsüberprüfung ASSESSMENT

Assignment 1 (one third of the grade):
A book review in English. You assess a chapter of a volume published in the RCC Perspectives series of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Ludwig-Maximilians University:
To write your review, you must follow the instructions given by your instructor (see “UniBas Book Review Instructions” on Adam). You may download this chapter (also available on Adam under the title “History of the Plague”) from:

Assignment 2 (two thirds of the grade):
A submission in English to a peer-reviewed academic journal on a topic of your choice. You must connect this topic to our class lectures and readings. Please read carefully the instructions to authors given by the editors of Arcadia:
The second assignment is time-consuming and demands a lot of attention.

Please alert your instructor ahead of time if you cannot meet the two semester deadlines and complete Assignments 1 and/or 2. Thank you!
An-/Abmeldung zur Leistungsüberprüfung Anmelden: Belegen; Abmelden: nicht erforderlich
Wiederholungsprüfung keine Wiederholungsprüfung
Skala Pass / Fail
Wiederholtes Belegen beliebig wiederholbar
Zuständige Fakultät Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät, studadmin-philhist@unibas.ch
Anbietende Organisationseinheit Fachbereich Soziologie