It's the End of the World As We Know It (And, I Feel Fine)
The class will consider origins, endings and futures: we start at the beginning, discussing the origins of life, the universe, and everything from a scientific viewpoint and a wide range of other perspectives. Next, is to look at existential threats to life as we know it, or “endings.” And because it would be much too depressing to stop there, a variety of utopian futures will be discussed to finish the course!
At the same time, students be working on the skill of “storytelling”: how to construct a narrative that effectively communicates to an audience? A wide variety of narratives will be examined as source materials. An example this massive narrative arc leading from the beginning of time and narratives of the origin of humanity to the possible extinction of all life on Earth – and beyond, to more hopeful alternative endings will be used as a starting point for study and discussion!
Throughout, the objective will be to actively seek connections between these “big ideas” and from students’ experiences and expertise to the subject matter. Students will work on a series of personal narratives, inviting them to consider their own origins and explore their own ideas of utopia.