Media, Nature, and Apocalypse
View Additional Course Information:
Including faculty, schedule, credits, CRN and location.
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Course Number: NCOM 3023
Course Format: Lecture
Permission Required: No
- Media Studies
- Environmental Studies
What can we learn from comparing media coverage of environmental disasters with fictionalized representations of environmental apocalypse? In this class, we explore environmental debates and the media messages that spin them. We examine media responses both to natural disasters and to environmental catastrophes resulting from human actions: mainstream coverage of the Titanic sinking, the BP oil spill, and Hurricane Katrina; citizen-driven media advocacy around climate change; public relations campaigns calling for action to address recent disasters in Japan, Sri Lanka, and Haiti. We evaluate the impact of disaster journalism alongside that of growing community-based advocacy journalism. We also analyze and compare fictional treatments of environmental apocalypse in literature (Cormac McCarthy's The Road); films (Godzilla, Fernando Meirelles' Blindness, Tarkovsky's Stalker); TV series (Jericho, Survivors); and artistic experiments (Katie Paterson's melting ice records, Jacob Kirkegaard's 4 Rooms). Media practice assignments throughout the semester culminate in a final project involving journalistic reporting, development of a media advocacy campaign around a local or global environmental issue, or both.