Catastrophes and Hope

Subject code


Course Number



T. Harper

Course Long Title

Catastrophes and Hope


Throughout human history, environmental wastelands have occupied a peculiar spot in our cultural imagination, invoking the specter of absolute catastrophe, and yet equally suggesting the hopeful possibility of rebirth and renewal. This course examines narratives of ecological disaster drawn from various time periods and cultural traditions, and including religious texts, memoir, literature, and film. Particular attention is paid to how events including the cold war and the contemporary climate crisis have caused us to reimagine the figure of the “wasteland” in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Prerequisite(s): ENVR 205.

Modes of Inquiry

Analysis and Critique [AC]

Writing Credit

No writing credit

GEC This Course Belongs To


Class Restriction

Exclude First Years