ENVI 204
Colonialism, Capitalism and Climate Crisis Fall 2021
Division II
Cross-listed GBST 233 / AFR 233 / ENVI 204

Class Details

Evolutions are part of human existence. Our collective understandings of the world, the economic realm and our place in it also evolve. This course examines the transformations between human, nature and non-human species, specifically the relationship between the climate and the economy. Our starting point of the intellectual journey is the colonial imprint of human-ecological relations i.e. economic man, or Sylvia Wynter’s conception of “ethno-class” man. We will consider social difference as a central conjuncture of the changing relationship of capitalism and social organization to natural resource extraction, exploitation, technological knowledge, industrial development and resulting greenhouse gas accumulation and climate crises. We will also explore economic perspectives of climate change as a market failure, loss of economic value or a financial risk to stock portfolios that may be at odds with humane ways of organizing our collective worlds. By the end of the course, students will be able to describe various perspectives from structural economics and other traditions including dependency theory, uneven ecological exchange, ecowomanist and black ecological thought, and critical environmental justice to explain the social, ecological, historical and economic conjunctures underpinning climate crisis. Arranged to develop more in-depth analytical, communication and writing skills, the course exposes the hierarchies of social differences and inequalities (class, race, gender, species) under climate crisis. Finally, we will considering demands for climate debt / reparations from social and environmental movements and decolonial perspectives that advance climate justice. Students will also be able evaluate the political economic responses to the climate crisis.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 15
Expected: 10
Class#: 1359
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Blog post entries; research report on an emerging green technology (10 pages); recorded video / interview of an environmental justice movement/activist in the global South; reflections paper (8 pages); community case study on an environmental project tracing its histories (7 pages); participation (leading a discussion/presentation on a reading based on from contemporary/historical events)
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: If over enrolled preference goes to Africana Studies and then Environmental Studies students.
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GBST 233 Division II AFR 233 Division II ENVI 204 Division II
Attributes: AFR Core Electives

Class Grid

Updated 5:32 pm

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