MLA Proseminar: Connecting the Arts to Climate Action

Course Number
GRMN 5420 640
Course Code
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Primary Program
Course Description
It could be a headline from The Onion: Desperate Scientists Seek Help from Artists to Communicate Urgent Climate Message. Except it’s true. The gap between what we know about climate change and the massive failure of policy makers, industry, and financial institutions to respond adequately presents a unique opportunity for science and the arts to collaborate. In this proseminar, we’ll explore how the arts, broadly understood (literature, film, theater, animation, dance, etc.), are able to bring climate change home to people in ways that raise awareness and inspire action. Some of the questions we’ll ask are: How can the arts counter denialism, doomism, and misinformation? How do the arts connect climate science with emotional response? How can the interactive arts help to strengthen community resilience and increase agency? How can performance be leveraged to disrupt routine patterns of carbon intensive existence without alienating people? In every case, we’ll analyze examples of effective artistic collaborations and interventions.
Subject Area Vocab