MUSE E-166. The Role of the Arts and Humanities in Documenting and Dealing with Climate Change


  • Professor: Sarah Sutton
  • Term: Spring
  • Days: W
  • Time: 7:20-9:20
  • School: Harvard Extension School
  • Course ID: 25772

Scientists are not the only ones who uncover, document, and explain the environmental impacts of climate change. Paintings and photographs, archaeological and architectural records, oral histories and indigenous ways of knowing show and tell us how the environment and climate have changed, how humans have caused and responded to that change, and how we can respond today. This course challenges students to use arts and humanities resources to examine the anthropocene. The readings include essays about archaeology and architecture in Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, the United States, Vietnam, and the Negev Desert; the arts in the United States, England and Scotland; and the historical record in Hawai'i, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. The assignments build students' ability to recognize and use arts and humanities resources in the climate discussion, and to implement a program, research project, or exhibit using the arts and humanities. There is no prior environmental or museum knowledge required; interest in both, however, is critical.