1. The Rise of the Anthropocene Debate

During the first week of the course, we will introduce the idea of the Anthropocene by reading and discussing some key texts and perspectives. The Anthropocene is a key term for understanding the world today. It’s controversial and heavily debated, and we will use this debate as a way of understanding public and scientific discourse over complex phenomena. We will discuss how new ideas come into being, how words and concepts like “the Anthropocene” and “sustainable development” function in science and politics, how interdisciplinary perspectives function in science, and how we will make it work for us in this course. We will map the outlines of the contemporary debate of whether the Anthropocene is “good” or “bad” and discuss what the stakes of this debate are. You will get to meet the teachers and the other students through videos and forum presentations. You will familiarize yourself with the course website and learn how to write posts, forum topics, and replies.