Environmental Media: E-Waste, Ecologies, and the Capitalocene

Environmental Media: E-Waste, Ecologies, and the Capitalocene



Jan 11 – no readings / introductions, presentation of syllabus, presentation sign-up

Jan 13 – *John Durham Peters (2015) *Chapter 1 Understanding Media In: Peters (2015-06-19). The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media University of Chicago Press.

Watch clip from “Manufacturing Landscapes” in class


Jan 18 – no class
Jan 20 – *Naomi Klein. One Way or Another Everything Changes

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2014/9/17/thursday_naomi_klein_on_her_new_book  AND *Margaret Atwood. It’s Not Climate Change-It’s Everything Change.” – Medium https://medium.com/matter/it-s-not-climate-change-it-s-everything-change-8fd9aa671804 AND Good Reasons to Cheer the Paris Climate Deal BY ELIZABETH KOLBERT


→ Essay 1: position paper on the Paris Climate Deal using 5 sources or more, properly referenced (see a librarian). Due next class.


Jan 25 – *Ozzie Zehner (2012) Introduction: Unraveling the Spectacle AND Solar Cells and Other Fairy Tales In: Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism

Jan 27 *Peter G. Brown (2015) “Chapter 2: Ethics for Economics in the Anthropocene” In: Ecological Economics for the Anthropocene

  • grad students read: Bruno Latour (2014) “Anthropology at the Time of the Anthropocene – a personal view of what is to be studied”


Feb 1 – *Bill Mckibben (1989, 2006) “PART I: THE PRESENT A NEW ATMOSPHERE.” The End of Nature. Random House Publishing Group.

Watch Grizzly Man clip in class

Feb 3 –  *William Cronon (1995) “The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature” In William Cronon, ed., Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1995, 69-90.


Feb 8 – *Robert Cox (2013) “Chapter 3: Social-Symbolic Constructions of Environment” In: Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere (third edition)

  • grad students read: *Chapter 1. Materiality: Grounds of Media and Culture Parikka, Jussi. A Geology of Media (Electronic Mediations) University of Minnesota Press. Kindle Edition.

Feb 10 – *Serenella Iovino and Serpil Oppermann (2014) “Introduction: Stories Come to Matter” Material Ecocriticism Indiana University Press.


Feb 15 – *Jennifer Gabrys (2011) “Chapter 5. Media in the Dump: salvage stories and spaces of remainder” In: Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/d/dcbooks/9380304.0001.001/1:7/–digital-rubbish-a-natural-history-of-electronics?g=dculture;rgn=div1;view=fulltext
Feb 17 – *Vicki Mayer and Clare Cannon (2015) “A Greener Screening Future: Manufacturing and Recycling as the Subjects of Television Studies” Handbook of Television Studies (2015), Buonano, Gray, and Miller, eds., Routledge, 2015.

Essay 2: techno trash assignment (with images) due next class


Feb 22 – *Sabine LeBel (2012) “Wasting the Future: The Technological Sublime, Communications Technologies, and E-waste” communication +1 Volume 1 Futures of Communication http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cpo/vol1/iss1/7

Feb 24 – *Joshua Lepawsky and Chris McNabb (2010) “Mapping International Flows of Electronic Waste.” The Canadian Geographer/ Le Géograph canadien 54, no. 2: 177-195.


Feb 29 – *Lawrence Buell (2005) “Chapter 5: Environmental Criticism’s Future” In: The Future of Environmental Criticism: Environmental Crisis and Literary Imagination.

Mar 2 – *Elizabeth Kolbert (2014) “Chapter I: The Sixth Extinction”

Essay 3: editorial essay on invasive species:



Mar 7 – *Jody Berland (2005) “Walkerton: The Memory of Matter.” TOPIA 14  pp.93-108

proposal for final essay presented next class

Mar 9 – *Stacy Alaimo (2010) “Chapter 3: Invisible Matters: The Sciences of

Environmental Justice” In: Bodily Natures. Indiana University Press.


Mar 14 – no class

Mar 16 – no class


Mar 21 – *Jennifer Holt and Patrick Vonderau (2015) ““Where the Internet Lives:” Data Centers as Cloud Infrastructure.” In: Signal Traffic. University of Illinois Press.

  • grad students read: Introduction: Easterling, Keller. Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space. Verso Books.

Mar 23 *Sean Cubitt, R. Hassan and I Volkmer (2011) “Does Cloud Computing have a silver lining?” Media Culture Society 2011: 33: 149

  • grad students read: *Nicole Starosielski (2015) “Fixed Flows: Undersea Cables as Media Infrastructure” in The Undersea Network” (Durham: Duke University Press).


Mar 28 – *Ursula K. Heise From the Blue Planet to Google Earth


Mar 30 → in class test 1 today


Apr 4 – Sarah T. Roberts. *Digital Refuse: Canadian Garbage, Commercial Content Moderation and the Global Circulation of Social Media’s Waste http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/commpub/14/

Apr 6 Zygmunt Bauman. Culture of waste In. Wasted Lives: Modernity and Its Outcasts (Kindle Location 13). Wiley.


Apr 11 – *Philip Andrews-Speed, Raimund Bleischwitz, Tim Boersma, Corey Johnson, Geoffrey Kemp and Stacy D. VanDeveer. 12 Facing up to the nexus challenge: avoiding waste, want and war p.187 In: WANT, WASTE OR WAR?

Apr 13 Susan Strasser. Toward a History of Trashmaking In: Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash Henry Holt and Co.

Watch Verunga clip in class


Apr 18 –  Rob Nixon DeLoughrey, Elizabeth; Handley, George B. Chapter 7. Stranger in the Eco-Village: Environmental Time, Race, and Ecologies of Looking. Postcolonial Ecologies: Literatures of the Environment (Kindle Locations 38-39). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

→ final papers due

→ final presentations

Apr 20 Nicole Seymour. 1. Introduction: Locating Queer Ecologies. In:,. Strange Natures: Futurity, Empathy, and the Queer Ecological Imagination (Kindle Locations 25-26). University of Illinois Press.

→ final presentations


Apr 25 *Thinking as the Stuff of the World. Stacy Alaimo In: O-Zone: A Journal of Object-Oriented Studies Issue 1 :: Object/Ecology :: 2014

→ final presentations

Apr 27

in class test 2 today