[F&ES 878a/F&ES 422a/ANTH 409a/EVST 422a] / 2013-2014

Anthropology of Climate: Past to Present

Credits: 3
Fall 2013: Time and location TBA


This is an undergraduate, upper-division seminar on the history of anthropological approaches to the study of climate and climate change. It begins with an overview of classical works and early anthropology on the broad relationship between climate and culture, including insights from the arts and letters. The second section concerns the impact of climatic perturbation and change on society, focusing on issues of resilience vs. vulnerability, adaptation vs. collapse, and the politics of climate disasters. Section three deals with social systems of knowledge pertaining to climate, including ideologies of climate in particular societies, national politics and the circulation of climate knowledge, and the current politics of science of climate change involving the global North and South. The final section of the course focuses on questions of methodology, in particular perspectives from ethno-climate, comparative study, and the unique status of islands, and special questions raised about the role of the scholar in studying climate. The readings are largely case-study based and are drawn from the draft of a reader on this topic that the instructor is preparing for publication. No prerequisites. Two-hour lecture/seminar. Taught in alternate years

Enrollment limited to twenty.