Environmental Humanities Perspectives on Chilean and Swedish Ecocultures of Water, Land, and Air PhD course, 7,5 ECTS (Spring 2022)
Facultad de Letras, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, the Nordic Institute of Latin American Studies, Department of Romance Studies and Classics at Stockholm University, Sweden and Environmental Humanities Laboratory at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden offer the course “Critiques and Practices of Sustainability: Environmental Humanities Perspectives on Chilean and Swedish Ecocultures of Water, Land, and Air” as part of
the ACCESS agreement (co-financed by STINT)
in the spring semester 2022. This course is intended for PhD students and postdocs in any field in Sweden and Chile (within the Access agreement institutions).
Content and learning outcomes
Facing global contemporary environmental challenges and the need to imagine sustainable ways of relating to the environment (outlined by the SDGs), this course analyzes forms of connection with the environment elaborated in ecopoetry, ecofiction and ecocinema from Chile and Sweden. This course will address critiques and practices of sustainability from an environmental humanities perspective combining ecocriticism, cultural studies, sustainability studies, and decolonial theories and practices. Students and course conveners will address the following questions: (i) how to envision forms of connectivity between humans and the environment that propose epistemes and environmentalisms beyond prevailing Eurocentric worldviews? How can we develop new understandings that alter our perceptions about human/nonhuman relations in times of climate catastrophes? Can we engage and embody critical and creative sustainability practices that infuse prevailing epistemologies with new understandings of the environment? This course connects Chilean and Swedish human and nonhuman communities through engagements with sustainability thought and discourses as well as creative work that will be presented alongside their socio-cultural and ecological context. Focus will be given to particular histories, situated practices, and embodied experiences in relation to sustainability through a dialogic and transversal methodology between North and South cultures and epistemes.
identify, understand, and critically and creatively apply concepts such as sustainability, environmental justice, slow violence, sacrifice zones, ecocriticism, environmental humanities, deep time.
assess how cultural products and expressions (visual and literary) from Chile and Sweden relate to global environmental concerns, propose situated forms of connection to the biosphere, and how they intervene in environmental discourses.
The course entails 5 weeks of synchronous and asynchronous work through Zoom and Canvas. It comprises 5 units: a theoretical and methodological introduction; three thematic blocks dealing with life below water, life on land, and life on air, through the lens of sustainability in cultural productions from Chile and Sweden mainly from the twentieth century to contemporary works in 2021; and a concluding interdisciplinary colloquium with invited discussants:
Cecilia Åsberg, Professor and Chair of Gender, nature, culture – at Tema Genus, Linköping University, Sweden; Director and founder (since 2008) of the research group and multi-university platform The Posthumanities Hub Alejandro Urrutia, Chilean-Swedish poet, and scholar. Lecturer of Spanish Studies at the Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University; and Macarena Gómez-Barris, Professor and Chairperson of Social Science and Cultural Studies at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York; Gómez-Barris is also the Founding Director of the Global South Center (GSC).