Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Anthropocene: Ecology, Crisis, Future

online course
when 18 January 2021 - 29 January 2021
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 4 EC
fee EUR 750

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?

This two-week online winter course will delve into the Anthropocene from a variety of perspectives, including theoretical foundations, important texts/thinkers, and creative responses to living in what many have called "the end of history" or the final stage of human development.

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 750: Tuition fee. Including all course materials, access to the Digital Library and other online facilities offered by the University.

Register for this course
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