& the Environment: Anxiety

  • Motion Media Arts Center 2200 Tillery St. Austin, TX 78723

Last week, we discussed what we mean when we talk about environmental loss. What is the "environment," anyway, and how does that question change when we change the position from which we ask it? Among other things, we talked a lot about scale--both in terms of time (environmental change looks very different across millennia than across human lifespans), and in terms of location (by the environment, do we mean the entire planet? My backyard? Both, or neither?). Carefully considering the usefulness of the stories we tell about nature, we argued, is an important element of environmental advocacy. And no matter how you tell that story, it feels like climates and ecologies are changing dramatically. And that doesn't feel good. 

This week, then, we're going to consider anxiety & the environment. Along with our recommended reading, we'll try to put words to the anxiety that so many of us are feeling. The hope is that maybe having better language to describe this affective moment might give us more tools to soldier on. So please join us, and let us know: how are you feeling about the environment? 

Texts (optional, but encouraged):
"Viscosity" from Hyperobjects (Timothy Morton) 
Big Man (Lauren Berlant) 
One Person At A Time: Notes on Climate Anxiety Counseling (Kate Schapira)

Extra Credit:
On Being with Krista Tippett (podcast): Joanna Macy (51 minutes)
Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich (Evan Osnos, The New Yorker

REMINDER: This class is being offered twice, on Monday 2/27 at 7:00pm and Wednesday 3/1 at 10:00am.