Imagining the Anthropocene
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-FFIL216
Credits (ECTS)3
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; Institute for Science, Innovation and Society;
PreviousNext 1
L. Landeweerd
Other course modules lecturer
dr. P.C. Lemmens
Other course modules lecturer
dr. P.C. Lemmens
Other course modules lecturer
dr. P.C. Lemmens
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. P.C. Lemmens
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
KW4  (08/04/2019 to 01/09/2019)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
Important aspects concern:
  • The urgency of the pathology termed ‘Anthropocene’
  • Eco-modernism, new nature etc.
    • Shifting notions of the concept of nature
      • Nature as calculable (through modeling)
      • Nature  as laboratory
      • Nature as fusis (cannot be captured in models)
  • Geo-engineering and other anthropocenic technologies: sense or nonsense
  • Anthropocentrism/geo-centrism
  • Clashes between earth systems and technical systems (as well as their economic setting)
  • Technature: neo-life on mars and in the lab
  • Ethics: action perspectives in an impossible world
In this course we devote attention to the Anthropocene, the name for the new geological epoch in which human impacts dominate the Earth System. We will approach this concept as a symptom for  deeper lying problems of human habitation on the planet.  We will look at both aspects of the concept, the ‘anthropos’ and ‘kainos’; man and geological era. After explaining the concept and situating it within both the natural sciences and the humanities, we will zoom in on the historical, philosophical, politico-economic and ethical aspects of this new planetary condition. Next to conceptual analysis and reading of some key texts, this course will be clustered around dialogue over case studies. The Anthropocene will be studied from the perspective that it is a radically novel situation carrying along a wide array of socio-cultural, environmental and economic problems. Students will be expected to present a topic in groups. These presentations will take place during the curriculum. The meetings will consist of 1 hour of lecturing, 1 hour of discussion.

Grading: assignments (25%), paper presentations (25%), papers (50%). A syllabus will be provided. 
Required materials
Texts will be made available via Blackboard.

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Test weight1
OpportunitiesBlock KW4, Block KW4