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CHID 270 E: Special Topics

Literature, Culture and the Environment: Diversity in the Anthropocene

Meeting Time: 
MWF 12:30pm - 1:20pm
DEN 303
Joint Sections: 
LIT 298 B, ENGL 365 A, ENVIR 495 A, GERMAN 298 A
Sabine Wilke

Syllabus Description:

Literature, Culture, and the Environment:

Diversity in the Anthropocene


Prof. Sabine Wilke                                                                                    Winter 2017

MWF 12:30 – 1:20

Denny 303

Office: Denny 333, MW 1:30 – 2:20 or by appt.                                   

TAs:             Nicholas McNutt (

            Vanessa Schmolke (


This course offers an introduction to the environmental humanities. Literature, culture, and the environment are explored in their interlinkages along five examples: the study of food and consumption, species diversity, waste and pollution, climate change, and the concept of the Anthropocene, i.e., the Age of the Human recently announced by atmospheric scientists. The Anthropocene is a concept that describes the scale of human impact on the Earth in geological terms. Human impact is growing in the area of land use for food production, the altercation of ecosystems, loss of biological, linguistic, and cultural diversity, climate change resulting in large scale environmental injustices, global inequalities, and accelerated unforeseen species extinction. We will explore the social and cultural dimension of the concept of the Anthropocene. Readings will be diverse including literary works, films, cultural materials, eco-documentaries, etc.


This class is taught in the team learning approach. Students will join groups of 5-7 members and work together as a cohesive learning team throughout the quarter. We will use a variety of interactive formats in class including lecture, class discussion, team debates, and presentation of team projects. Each team builds a portfolio with all their project assignments and will showcase their work at the end of each unit. At the end of the quarter, all teams show their portfolios during a student conference.


English is the language of instruction and course readings.


All materials will be available in English translation/subtitles.


There are no prerequisites for this course.


Catalog Description: 
Each special topics course examines a different subject or problem from a comparative framework.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
August 4, 2017 - 9:12pm