Climate Change and Narrative

Professor Malcolm Sen (Assistant Professor, English, UMass Amherst), has received a Five College Blended Learning Initiative grant for 2016-17. These awards are supported by the Five College Deans and a multi-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The goal of the grant is to engage faculty members in the exploration and evaluation of blended learning’s potential to enrich teaching and learning in liberal arts settings. Professor Sen will be working with UMass Amherst IT to create some of the resources for this course. A summary of his project is below.

Students will be introduced to methodologies of literary and linguistic analysis in this 300 level course taught at UMass Amherst which will allow them to form opinions about policy documentation and international reports on climate change. The project will utilise digital tools to analyse such documentation. In conjunction with this real-world, grounding approach students will read literary texts which centre on specific geopolitical locations to critique the particular environmental issues and challenges faced by those regions. Podcast lectures will also be a core aspect of this course which will introduce students to leading critical voices in the growing field of ‘Environmental Humanities’. Finally, students will produce, collate and edit their research for the course website that will help them (and future students) visualise the multiplicity of concerns and the entangled relations between human and non-human nature across a variety of geopolitical locations. It is expected that this course will provide the foundation for a digital resource on Climate Change (as understood from a humanities perspective) for future students who will contribute further to it.