University of Washington
Prof. Karen Litfin
Documentary Video / Films,Group projects
What We Will Study: Global problems like climate change, the mass extinction of species, ozone depletion, etc. cry out for unprecedented levels of international innovation and cooperation yet traditional political institutions seem inadequate to the task at hand. In this course, we will study a range of intergovernmental, nongovernmental and business responses to the challenges posed by global ecological interdependence, with a strong emphasis on North/South relations. We will also "bring the material home" by exploring how these global problems challenge our sense of human identity, ethical responsibility, and personal efficacy. The dawning of the Anthropocene, the new geological era in which humanity is operating as a planetary force, compels us to ask not only, "What on Earth are we doing?" but even more fundamentally, "What on Earth are we?" The course integrates objective learning, subjective experience and a group action project.