Aug 29: Welcome & Introduction

→ Introduction to the course

Aug 31: Narrating Nature

→ Readings:

1) Robert Cox, Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere, Introduction + Chapter 2 (Sakai) and
2) Jed Purdy, After Nature, Prologue (Sakai)

Blog, due Friday at midnight. Choose one or more of the discussion prompts from Cox and post a creative or critical reflection in response to that/those prompt(s).


Speculative Fiction and the Environment

Sept 5: Speculative Fiction and the Environment

→ Readings: Review Purdy & Cox. Come prepared to Create!

Sept 7: Visioning

→ Readings:

1) Read Ryan, C., Gaziulusoy, I., McCormick, K & Trudgeon, M.’s “Virtual City Experimentation: A Critical Role for Design Visioning.” Download here and
2) The Huffington Post‘s “We Asked Sci-Fi Writers About The Future Of Climate Change

Blog, due Friday at midnight. How can fiction positively or negatively shape our narratives of the design of nature’s future(s)? Be sure to give an example or two.


Sept 12: Pacific Edge

→ Readings: Read chapters 1-6 of Kim Stanley Robinson’s (KSR) Pacific Edge for today.

Sept 14: Pacific Edge Continued

→ Readings: Read chapters 7-11 of KSR’s Pacific Edge for today. Be sure to have the entire novel finished for today.

Blog, due Friday at midnight. Post a critical or creative response to KSR’s Pacific Edge.


Hope and the Environmental Humanities

Sept 19: Environmental Humanities

→ Readings: Read Serpil Oppermann & Serenella Iovino’s “Introduction: The Environmental Humanities and the Challenges of the Anthropocene.” (Sakai)

Sept 21: Hope (in the Dark)

→ Readings:

1) Read Rebecca Solnit’s “Grounds for Hope” (Sakai) and
2) China Miéville’s “The Limits of Utopia.”

Blog, due Friday at midnight. Prompt: Is there hope in the Anthropocene? Where do we find it? Can we make it? What can we do?



Sept 26: Ecotopia

→ Readings: Read from page iii-82 of Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia.

Sept 28: Ecotopia Continued

→ Readings: Read from page 82-181 (including the Afterward and Epistle) of Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia.

Blog, due Friday at midnight. In the spirit of our reporter Will Weston, for your blog this week, write a journal entry that reflects on how you might have felt as a visitor to this Ecotopia.


Native/Nature Stories || Climate of Care

Oct 3: Indigenous Stories

→ Readings:

1) Read Linda Hogan’s “Backbone: Holding Up our Future”
2) Deborah Bird Rose’s “Country and the Gift”
3) Ursula K. Le Guin, “Deep in Admiration” (All on Sakai)

Optional: Thom van Dooren and Deborah Bird Rose’s “Lively Ethography: Storying Animist Worlds” (Sakai)

Oct 5 Animal Stories

→ Readings:

1) Thom van Dooren’s “Making Worlds With Crows: Philosophy in the Field”
2) Piers Locke’s “Interspecies Care in a Hybrid Institution”
3) Donna Haraway’s “Companion Species Manifesto,” read up to page 39 (All on Sakai)

NO Blog, focus on Midterms instead! due Friday at midnight. Post a critical or creative response to this week’s readings and discussion. Focus on care and what nonhumans can teach us about ourselves, our planet, and our interconnections.

Midterm Projects due Oct 6 at Noon at the latest!


Green Earth

Oct 10: Fall Break, No Class

Oct 12: Permaculture

→ Readings: START READING GREEN EARTH, page numbers here

Blog, due Sunday at midnight (note extension): What role, if any, might permaculture play in designing nature’s futures?


Oct 17: Green Earth

→ Readings: Read first selection from KSR’s Green Earth, page numbers here

Oct 19: Green Earth Continued

→ Readings: Read final selection from KSR’s Green Earth, page numbers here

Blog, due Friday at midnight.


Oct 24: Duke Campus Farm

→ Readings: Look through the Duke Campus Farm website.

Oct 26: EcoMedia Challenge: Terraforming & Geoengineering

→ Readings:

1) Read KSR’s “Terraforming Earth
2) Read “Exclusive: Bjarke Ingels On Designing A Martian City

IN CLASS: EcoMedia Challenge

⇒ No Blog!


Oct 31: Farming new lands: Terraforming & Geoengineering

→ Readings:

1) Read KSR’s “Terraforming Earth
2) Read “Exclusive: Bjarke Ingels On Designing A Martian City

Nov 2: Guest Speaker Catherine Flowers!

→ Readings:

1) Read Q&A with Catherine Flowers: Center for Earth Ethics
2) Read “Sewage is a problem that few will touch

⇒ Blog, due Friday at midnight. Prompt: Write a critical reflection on our visit with Catherine Flowers. What did you learn about environmental/climate justice? How does what you’ve learned alter the way you might design nature’s future?


Art and Activism for Designing Nature’s Futures

Nov 7: Re-Designing Political Futures: How do we design the world to be more just?

→ Readings: No Readings

Nov 9:

→ Readings:

1) Read The Paris Agreement
2) Read “Why we can’t lose hope: Dr. David Suzuki speaks out

⇒ Blog, due SUNDAY at midnight. If you could design a policy initiative, what would it be? Why?


The World We Made/Are Making

Nov 14: Activist Climate Art

→ Readings:

1) Read “Artists as Activists: Pursuing Social Justice”
2) Read “The Fragile Framework” Nick Sousanis (Sakai)
3) Watch “One year of turning the world inside out” see JR’s previous Ted Talk “My wish: Use art to turn the world inside out” (second video here is optional but well worth watching)
4) Watch the second video here, James Nachtwey – My Photgraphs Bear Witness,” the other four videos are optional

Optional Readings:

“How Artists Change the World,” David Brooks
“Why art has the power to change the world,” Olafur Eliasson
“Can art change society?,” Tate Modern

Nov 16: The World We Made

→ Readings: Read The World We Made.

Blog, due Friday at midnight. Prompt: What is missing from The World We Made? If you were to add a chapter, what topic would it cover and and how? For example, how would you imagine gender or race the world of The World We Made?


Nov 21: Final Project Workshop

→ Readings: None. Come prepared to share an abstract of your final project.

Nov 23: Thanksgiving Break. No Class.

⇒ NO Blog, Please post your abstract to the blog.


Nov 28: Global Design Solutions

→ “How Much Do You Know About Solving Global Warming?

Nov 30: Love/Hate Reflections. Where Are We Now? Environmental Solutions Map

→ No Readings


Dec 5: Last Day of Class. Presentations

Dec 7: No Class


Dec 14: Final Projects Due