Netherlands, Amsterdam

Acting in the Anthropocene: Rethinking a Planet in Crisis

when 19 July 2020 - 6 August 2020
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee EUR 1600

The Anthropocene is a proposed term for the current geological earth era, in which humans are having a defining and irreversible impact on the planet’s biosphere, atmosphere and natural resources. The term was coined in 2000 by nobel prize winning biochemist Paul Crutzen and has since then been embraced by scholars from many different fields to explore the tensions between humans and nature. Are we losing control of our impact on the planet, or were we never in control in the first place? What does rethinking our relation with nature mean for the way we protect ecosystems or the way we produce our food? What are possible and desirable scenarios and actions for the future?

Course leader

Joris Buijs & Elias den Otter

Target group

For current university students (Bachelors and Masters) in the humanities and social sciences with an interest in urban studies, ecology, sustainability, and design thinking.

Course aim

Besides reading fundamental texts of influential scholars, we will make multiple field trips to state-of-the-art initiatives to see how the Anthropocene is ‘lived’ in and around Amsterdam. Doing so, we will try to make this highly theoretical debate as tangible as possible, and stimulate you to take a stand in the complex debates. After the course, you not only have an overview of the different theoretical perspectives, but more importantly you will acquire hands-on knowledge about possible and desirable scenarios and actions for the future.

- You will develop a critical interdisciplinary perspective on the body of academic literature relating the Anthropocene
- You will learn to link theoretical perspectives to practical case studies
- You will be challenged to take position in the debate and visualize future scenarios for positive action

After the course you will understand why some ecological measures are highly contested by some, and loved by others. But more importantly, you will understand your own perspectives better. And, hopefully, you will feel inspired to keep working on desirable scenarios for our future way of caring for the earth and ourselves.

Fee info

EUR 1600: Tuition fee. Including all excursions, course materials, welcome and farewell events and a public transportation card.
EUR 550: Optional housing


Please check our website for several scholarship opportunities.