F&ES 631 / 2017-2018

Black Atlantic Environments

Credits: 3


In recent years, informed by such high profile events as Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Haitian Earthquake, there has been a resurgence of interest by scholars to consider the role of the environment in the black diaspora.  The course will consider the ways in which natural resources alongside issues of space and the production of knowledge have shaped a region provisionally called the “Black Atlantic.”  What is the Black Atlantic?  In what way the Black Atlantic been historically framed by environmental events and processes?  How have scholars conceptualized the Black Atlantic as a geographic, political, and environmental space?       
A special emphasis will be placed on Caribbean environments and their historical position as arguably the first sites for thinking and inhabiting the Black Atlantic. Our readings will also include case studies about the US, West Africa, and Latin America to consider what contemporary climate-related crises and natural resource use have to do with the future of Black Atlantic experiences.

This course is explicitly inter-disciplinary and will offer students a broad tool kit to think, research, and write about environmental studies.  Core readings will be drawn primarily from anthropology, geography, ecocritism, and science and technology studies.  
Limited to 12