Climate, with an S. Because the word has multiple meanings that affect each of us
every day, down to the air we breathe.
We face the effects of climate change and try to remedy its causes with cutting-edge
The political climate divides or unites nations, while the social climate affects
the way we connect with each other.
And yet climate still retains its original meaning, referring to regions of the earth.
We invite you to study Climates with us from diverse perspectives throughout the College
of Arts and Sciences during the Fall 2021 semester.
More than 30 courses throughout the College of Arts and Sciences and South Carolina
Honors College will explore some aspect of Climates,ranging from ethics and the environment to race and gender.
Theme Semester includes three brand new courses:
ITAL 330 / 398 | By Pia Bertucci Climate change poses a potential threat to food systems globally, as droughts affect
food supplies. But food culture affects climate change, too, as food waste in landfills
increases the levels of methane gas.
This course will examine this relationship and explore how the basic tenets of Italian
Foodways — sustainability, eating seasonally and cucina povera — in tandem with progressive
Italian movements such as "Slow Food" and "Food for Soul" effectively navigate these
Through research projects and a final paper, students will incorporate the specific
lessons in the class with broader lessons from Theme Semester events to further their
understanding of the global relationship between climates and food systems.
ENGL 439 | By Greg Forter This course asks what literatures from across the globe can teach us about the causes,
effects and potential solutions to global climate change.
We'll discuss a series of novels in which the disasters of such change are explored
with great complexity and power. These works invite questions about the local experience
of global transformations, why are devastations unevenly distributed around the world?
What does the emphasis on dystopian futures reveal about the task of imagining alternatives
to our current order?
MSCI 599 | By Lori Ziolkowski Climate change is happening whether we accept it or not. Therefore, we need to understand
why it is happening, what the impacts of it will be, and how we can stop it? But for
some, a science class can be intimidating.
This course bridges the gap by using science fiction — or climate fiction — to discuss
the physical basis of climate change, the impacts on society and how we can cool a
future planet. Literary works from the late 19th century through today explore scenarios
of extreme global warming and cooling, widespread drought and flooding due to projected
sea level rise.
Three courses are being reimagined:
HIST 360 and GERM 295 / ENVR 295 | By Lara Ducate and Thomas Lekan Green Technology in Germany and Into the Wild: Conservation since 1800 will be taught
side-by-side in the Green Quad learning center to facilitate collaboration.
These courses historically focus on both the natural and cultural Climates that have
shaped sustainable practices inside and outside the US. Taken together, they offer
students a unique interdisciplinary opportunity to engage sustainability topics through
This Fall the courses will explore how global warming and climate justice are reshaping
the environmental movement to be more inclusive of local, indigenous and urban communities
and perspectives. Several field trips will be offered to allow students to see climate
action close to home.
MSCI 311 | Erin Meyer-Gutbrod This marine science course examines how aquatic organisms are involved in cycling
materials and energy through marine food webs. During Theme Semester, the course will
dive deep into exploring the impacts of warming, acidifcation, ice melt and sea level
rise on marine biological processes. A new lab component will introduce hands-on experience.
RUSS 319 | By Alex Ogden Russian authors discussed climate and the environment more than 100 years ago. During
Theme Semester, this course will introduce new units that explore passages of Russian
literature in which the country’s climate is mapped onto the mental, moral and emotional
life of its citizens.
The following affiliate courses will address various facets of Climates, from environmental
to social. Note to students and advisors: Pay attention to the faculty member listed for each
course in order to sign up for the section that will connect to the Climates theme.
AFAM 397 / SOCY 398 | Unpacking Whiteness | Deena Isom ANTH 381 | WGST 381 | Gender and Globalization | Drucilla Barker ARTH 321 | History of Northern REnaissance Art | Anna House BIOL 570 | Principles of Ecology | Joshua Stone BIOL 571 / ENVR 571 | Conservation Biology | Carol Boggs CHEM 542L | Physical Chemistry Laboratory | Andrew Greytak CHEM 623 | Introductory Environmental Chemistry | John Ferry CRJU 591 / AFAM 397 | Miscarriages of Justice | Deena Isom ENGL 102 | Anthropocene Composition: Climate Changes, Climate Crises | John Purfield ENGL 439 | World Literature and Global Climate Change | Greg Forter ENVR 501 / GEOG 510 | Special Topics: Socionatural Coastlines | Robert Dean Hardy FAMS 310 / GEOG 310 | Special Topics in Popular Media: Climates of Disasters | Mark Cooper GEOG 105 | The Digital Earth | Jory Fleming GEOG 202 | Weather and Climate | Greg Carbone GEOG 380 | Global Geography of Human Rights | Meredith DeBoom GEOG 573 | Climate Change and Variability | Greg Carbone GEOG 735 | Seminar in Political Geography | Meredith DeBoom GEOL 325 | Stratigraphy and Sedimentary Basins | Dave Barbeau GERM 295 / ENVR 295 | Green Technology in Germany | Laura Ducate HIST 360 | Into the Wild: Conservation Since 1800 | Thomas Lekan LING 305 | Ethics in the Language Classroom | Lesley Smith LING 305 / WGST 389 | Language, Gender, and Sexuality | Archie Crowley MSCI 750 / GEOL 750 | Advanced Analytical Methods: Chemical Climate of the Urban River | Howie Scher MSCI 752 | Marine Biochemistry | Xuefeng Peng PHIL 370 | The Ethics of Climate | Matt Kisner SCHC 311 | Tracking Climate Change: Discovering the Mathematics Behind Weather | Scott Dunn SPAN 575 / SPAN 783 | Ecological Cultural Studies in Latin America | Andrew Rajca
Richard Alley, a noted geologist and host of the PBS documentary Earth: The Operator’s
Manual, will present the keynote address for Theme Semester 2021. As a professor of geoscience at Penn State, Dr. Alley is widely credited with showing
that Earth has experienced abrupt climate change in the past—and likely will again,
based on his meticulous study of ice cores from Greenland and West Antarctica. In
recent years, he has served as one of the authors on the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change, whose members shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice
President Al Gore. He believes that climate change does not have to be a partisan
issue ― that we can deal with climate change without raising the temperature in the
political climate. Further details, including the date and time of his keynote address, will be announced
in the summer of 2021.
Theme Semester will include a number of events related to the “Climates” theme. Watch
for an announcement in May.
Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.