Science alone is not sufficient to face climate change. Experts from various disciplines recognize that in order to curb the pollutants – such as plastic and carbon – that are destroying our planet, it is crucial to address the underlying collective behaviors that drive their consumption up in the first place. In this course, we will explore how literature and the arts foster (or not) new understandings and varied experiences of climate change.

Through an analysis of novels, board games, underwater sculptures, film and virtual reality narrative, we will ask: What are the different media and perspectives through which climate change may be narrated today? What are the ethical and moral concerns to be kept in mind while grappling with these questions? Throughout the course, we will be sensitive to questions of capitalism, race, gender, and indigenous perspectives. We will also pay keen attention to how different parts of the world (e.g. the Global South) narrate and foresee their experiences of climate change differently. Niched at the intersection of the environmental humanities and media studies and literature, this course aims to hone participants’ abilities to engage with climate change narratives outside the classroom, and develop humanistic approaches to scientific issues. At the same time, since each class will foreground a particular artistic or literary medium, it will encourage a reflection upon these forms themselves.

No Harvard affiliation or prerequisite background required.

All welcome! Please learn more about the course here, and fill out this form if you are interested in taking the course.

Jan 14, 15, 22, 23: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Jan 16, 21: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Location: TBD

Course Lead: Nikhita Obeegadoo