Module: Environmental Crisis
Curricular materials created for the 2014 SAIL seminar:
RHE 405 – Course Goals & Learning Outcomes
This course explores the role of communication in identifying “public problems.” Students interrogate the strategies through which social ills are marked, framed, and brought to the public’s attention. After an introduction to the theoretical framework guiding the course, the course features a diverse array of case studies (e.g., terrorism, genocide, global warming, poverty & economic recession) designed to illuminate the processes by which these phenomena are imbued with meaning and significance. By the end of the course, I expect that students will be capable of (1) critiquing the ideologies that inform and structure our understandings of what “counts” as local, national, and international “crises,” and (2) authoring cogent written and oral critiques of public discourse.
Environmental Crisis – Module Goals & Learning Outcomes
This three-week course module on environmental “public problems” is designed to centralize the rhetorical, political, and scientific obstacles that complicate the recognition of global warming as a crisis. In other words, I situate this unit so that it showcases the difficulty of capturing (and holding) public attention to mobilize collective action. By the end of this unit, I expect that students will be able to (1) explain why scientific data alone is insufficient as persuasive proof within global warming discourses, (2) discuss the implications of various representational choices made within global warming rhetorics, and (3) compare and contrast the ways communication scholars, scientists, and political scientists approach the problem of global warming.