Course Outline - Climate, History and Society Term 2 2020.pdf - SMU Classification Restricted Office of the Core Curriculum Academic Year 2019\/2020 Term

Course Outline - Climate, History and Society Term 2 2020.pdf

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1 SMU Classification: Restricted Office of the Core Curriculum Academic Year 2019/2020, Term 2 COURSE CODE: COR2205 COURSE TITLE: CLIMATE, HISTORY, SOCIETY Instructor: Dr Fiona WILLIAMSON Title: Assistant Professor in Science, Technology and Society Tel: 0418 Email: [email protected] Office: Room 16, Level 4, School of Law PRE-REQUISITE/ CO-REQUISITE/ MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE COURSE(S) This is a general elective. There are no prerequisites for this course. ELIGIBILITY 1. This course is open to all undergraduates from SMU. 2. This course is offered as a general education elective, in addition to the existing core and elective courses that SMU already has. COURSE DESCRIPTION This module aims to introduce students to topics within the emerging field of climate history. After an overview of the field, it focuses on two trajectories. First the complex relationship between society and climate. Whilst we are well aware today how humans have shaped our climate, the story of how climate has shaped us is less well understood. Climate has played a role in socio-political changes including the rise and fall of civilisations, to the shaping of socio- cultural traditions and customs. Second, it looks at the development of the science of climate and the meteorology. It explores climate science as a global phenomenon, influenced by scientific ideas and movements that circulated across borders and empires, but also as a response to local circumstances, especially extremes of weather. It also considers some of the broader challenges being faced because of climate change today and the role of the historian in current climate change debate. It has a particular focus on Asia and the exchange of knowledge about climate and weather between East and West. COURSE GOALS Through the in-class lectures and face-to-face discussions, this course invites students to: 1. Broaden their understanding of interactions between climate, society and culture historically;
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2 SMU Classification: Restricted 2. Critically analyse the our modern-day challenges in light of historical precedent; 3. Consider the long history of climate change ideas in scientific and popular thought; 4. Gain a greater appreciation of the interaction between history and the sciences. LEARNING OBJECTIVES At the end of the course, students should: 1. Have a firm grasp of the basic concepts and theories that inform the broad field of the history of the climate; 2. Be confident with using primary sources for the study of historical issues; 3. Be able to provide insights into climate related issues as they have developed over time, and the processes and politics that shaped the same; 4. Be more aware of the long history of environmental thought; 5. Be more aware of the role of climate in shaping human culture, in addition to the impact of man on the climate; 6. Have developed skills in critical objective analysis and interpretation.
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