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Surviving the Apocalypse

Romain Chenet
Romain Chenet

Module Leader

Option - Second and Final Years
Term 2
10 x 2 hour workshops

Not available to students outside GSD

This information relates to the 2021-22 academic year

This module addresses the manifold crises human societies face, and have faced. It contends that we must pay attention to past experiences, and the experiences of those already on the margins, in order to try and properly understand and respond to the root causes of crises.

Principal Aims

The aims of the module are to facilitate a co-produced approach to exploring the challenges of contemporary social, economic, political disorder, and ecosystems breakdown. Students will not be taught by a subject specialist, but rather invited to think through contemporary crises in terms of the possibilities and limitations of different collective responses. The module aims to facilitate a collaborative, student-centred learning environment, in which students contribute substantively to the module’s focus. As such, the module is very self-directed on the part of the student.

The rationale behind the course is that part of the reason human societies are unable to respond to the crises they face, is due to the methods of thinking that dominate, including in university contexts. The module also aims, as part of a process-orientated approach, to collaboratively explore the role of university education in developing interventions in response to crises.

Principal Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should:

  • be able to critically reflect on understandings of the crises faced by human societies;
  • be able to design an intervention into the processes which are precipitating, or emerging from, contemporary crises;
  • be able to critically reflect on the potential obstacles to the success of different interventions.

Indicative Syllabus

Weeks 1 - 3: Context

  • On the natures of crisis and the crises of nature
  • A crisis of understanding
  • Frameworks for understanding

Weeks 4 - 5: Form

  • Designing a response
  • Learning together: collective responses

Weeks 6 - 8: Content

  • Project design - the possible and its obstacles
  • Project development and development of Independent Learning Contract
  • Project implementation

Weeks 9 - 10: Outcomes

  • Assessment: Reflecting on 'success', 'failure' and 'survival'