• COMS 362 - Ecology and Economy in Social Theory (Syllabus: Winter 2020 - Summer 2019)

    • Course description: Textbooks tell us that economics is “the study of the use of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited human wants”. While this understanding is influential in the social sciences, it is also a far cry from how social theory has historically interpreted the terms ecology and economy. How we understand these terms has important consequences. Both economy and ecology are often treated as the most “material” and “urgent” aspects of our lives. Yet common-sense conceptualizations of these terms are filled with abstractions that evade close scrutiny. This course builds on the foundations of social and critical thought to engage students in an intensive study of different “economies,” especially as they imagine and conjure their surrounding “ecology”. The course draws on key texts in social theory, as well as introducing the students to newer material in geography, media, cultural studies and political theory. By the end of the course students will develop a critical understanding of the concepts “economy” and “ecology” from the standpoint of the humanities.

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