Results for: Media, Environment, and Risk

KNOW 36059: Media, Environment, and Risk

  • Course Level: Graduate; undergraduate with permission
  • Department:
  • Year: 2020-21
  • Term: Winter

Thomas Pringle

This seminar reads the debates on risk in environmental studies alongside the emergence of risk criticism in media theory to interrogate the probabilistic thinking inherent to the mass communication of ecological hazard. A common characteristic of recent environmental catastrophes ranging from Bhopal, Fukushima Daiichi, Deepwater Horizon, Exxon Valdez, Hurricane Katrina, and the varied crises of global climate change, is that knowledge about unfolding ecological disaster involves the communication of environmental risk—whether imperceptible or probable—by media. This seminar offers graduate students methodological training to discern how risk is geographically and historically organized in parallel with the knowledge politics of distributing risk information through journalism, documentary, and digital media. Illustrated by readings and nonfiction media objects that record historical case studies of ecological crises, this seminar analyzes key epistemological concepts drawn from environmental studies and media theory, including uncertainty, ignorance, resilience, environmental racism, prediction, and prevention. This course is interdisciplinary and welcomes students with interests in environmental studies, film and media studies, environmental history, environmental sociology and SSK, STS, and the environmental humanities.