“It’s the end of the world as we know it”.
The catchy words of indie rock band R.E.M. from the late 80s have turned out to be a prophetic description of a widespread feeling in our contemporary crisis-prone culture. However, if the “end of the world” in the 80s referred to the nuclear threat or perhaps AIDS as a global epidemic, contemporary dystopic thinking lean on the unanimous description from natural scientists that have declared that a planetary ecological disaster is imminent unless dramatic changes will be made in the human-nature relation on a global level. If not, with the dramatic title of a recent essay by Roy Scranton, we must now learn how “to die in the Anthropocene”.
In this course the dramatic ecological crisis, including the present and future effects of global warming, will be understood from a humanities perspective, but with a background in the natural scientific findings. The course offers a historical perspective on the idea of ecology and ecological crisis, and we will initially read a standard natural scientific article describing some of the facts behind what has been called the current Anthropocene epoch. Students will explore the relation between natural science and the humanities through a thorough analysis of aesthetic representations of scientific facts and arguments. The main objective of this course is to provide an extensive understanding of the ecological crisis as it is being represented in a number of aesthetic forms, including graphic novels, documentaries, feature films, poetry and science fiction and fantasy novels. Theoretically, the course combines two theories from the humanities: ecocriticism on the one hand and intermedial studies on the other. Ecocriticism investigates humankind’s interaction with nature as this is represented in literature (and, more recently, in other arts and media). Intermedial studies are interested in how different art forms and media combine with each other, and how content can be transferred from one media type to another (for instance in a film adaptation). Unique for this course is the ambitious attempt to combine two fields that are normally not combined, and to approach perhaps the most pressing issue of today’s world: how can we think and live in a world which is being made uninhabitable by ourselves?
Distance – study where you are
Perhaps you would like to study in the Swedish mountains, in a big city, or at home close to family? Many of our programmes and courses are offered in distance format.
Studying at a distance can be done in different ways, either entirely without physical gatherings or with only a few gatherings on campus or at one of our learning centres. The common denominator is that a large part of your studies takes place online. You communicate with the teacher and other students with the help of a learning platform with discussion forums, group work, recorded lectures and online meetings.
The benefit of distance studies is the flexibility, something that is valuable if you want to be free to decide when and where you want to study. Some compulsory elements on you course or programme may take place during office hours, even though they are online.
Build your own degree
Did you know that you can combine single-subject courses to build your own degree? In this way, you can design your own degree based on your interests and the career you are aiming for. This does not apply to all courses so make sure to check with a study counsellor at the faculty. Learn more about how you can build your own degree and become unique on the labour market.