Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
european_studies masthead
Douglas Biow, Director MEZ 3.126, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-3470

Spring 2009

EUS 346 • Climate Chng/Public Discourse

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35583 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Krauss, K

Course Description

In this course, we will discuss the global discourse on climate change and locate it in time and space. Starting with the recent Nobel Prize winners Al Gore and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we will analyze the scientific production of knowledge on climate change and how it is distributed in public, with a special focus on the role of (concerned) scientists. We will also analyze the differences and similarities in the public discourse in Europe and the United States. Catastrophes play an important role in this global discourse. Recent events such as hurricanes, droughts or flooding are interpreted as effects of climate change. We will discuss case studies from Europe and the U.S., and we will analyze critically different interpretations of these events. In doing so, this course will introduce students into the concept of vulnerability and the debate about the often mutually exclusive used terms of adaptation and mitigation. Finally, we will focus on the emergence of alternative energies as an answer to the challenge of climate change. Overall, this course is located at the intersection of natural sciences and the humanities, and it will enable students from both fields to sharpen their understanding of the global politics on climate change. The course will introduce students into critical thinking and hopefully prepare them for the future role as responsible citizens and leaders who will have to deal with the consequences of climate change. This course will contain a substantial writing component

Grading Policy

Participation 20 % Presentation / 4p paper 20% 4 x 2p paper 20 % Minutes 1p paper 10 % Final essay 30 %


Gore, Al (2006) An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do about It: Rodale Books Hoffman, Susanna M. and Anthony Oliver-Smith (eds) (2004) Catastrophe & Culture. The Anthropology of Disaster. School of American Research Press Pielke, Robert Jr. (2007) The Honest Broker. Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics Storch, Hans von and Werner Krauss (2006) Culture Contributes to Perceptions of Climate Change. Nieman Reports, Vol. 59, No.4, pp 30-35 Strauss, Sarah and Benjamin S. Orlove (eds) (2003) Weather, Climate, Culture. Oxford, Berg and many more&


bottom border