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RHET-3900 (3): Humanity, Technology, Nature

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00-11:15am, Winter 2023, 3M61

The Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications Presents:

Global climate change and the rise of technological automation, with the potential to displace human culture and civilization, are two of the gravest existential threats facing humanity, today. The growth of technology, which now encompasses the entire planet, from our digital devices, to biotechnologies, industrial farming, agricultural science, data centres for our cloud technologies, petrocultures and fossil fuel energy infrastructures, and the growth of new smart cttles shows that no part of the planet remains untouched by human technological development. Putting to question the now popular concept of the "Anthropocene," or the "human age," denoting an historical period in which human activity has led to the geological transfonmation of the planet due to anthropogenic climate change, this courses asks: if human civilization has grYen rise to our current crises, can it also be the solution? Is the current rhetoric of the Anthropocene persuasive enough to force needed infrastructural, cultural, social, economic, and political change? What other rhetoricel and discursive alternatives exist? Which terms, language, or concepts can we use to name and encourage action on these problems? Perhaps, not human civilization as such, but the systems by which we live, such as global capitalism, or the "Capitalocene," are to blame, instead. This course provides students with an opportunity to learn and write about this debate. It is ideal for students eager to propose progressive and persuasive solutions, hoping to make positive social and polltical change in our wortd today.

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RHET-3900 (3): Humanity, Technology, Nature