Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. This 360° cluster will integrate philosophical, scientific, mathematical, and policy perspectives to highlight both the complexity of the issue and the many innovative ideas that are being developed to address it worldwide . We will explore how scientific and technological development have combined with societal notions of the good life and public policy initiatives to promote the energy-intensive, growth-oriented consumer society. We will work actively with mathematical models of energy systems to evaluate the impact of various technologies and possible courses of action and intervention. We will look at how the advent of human-induced climate change has prompted new ways of thinking about quality of life, new technological approaches to energy supply and sustainable development, and new political solutions to problems of resource exploitation and environmental justice. We will explore community-level climate sustainability initiatives through fieldwork in the "green city" of Freiburg, Germany and in Philadelphia.
Coastlines, by definition transitional environments, are naturally dynamic and resilient. But climate change, sea level rise and shifting species distributions are now causing rapid physical and ecological changes to the world’s coasts. Anticipating and addressing these changes requires understanding the physical, chemical and biological processes that interact at the land-sea boundary. Two trips over the course of the semester will investigate the temperate and tropical coastal environments, including barrier islands, saltmarshes, coral reefs, and mangroves.
This 360° will use the lenses of cultural studies, history, and sociology to critically and comparatively examine migration in different national contexts and historical moments. We will focus in particular on the complex factors shaping migrations between Latin America and the U.S. and between South Asia, the Caribbean, and North America, as well as how migration is represented in literature and culture historically and contemporaneously. We will probe questions of imperialism, economic and political policies, borders and exclusion, xenophobic discourse, transnational belonging, cultural citizenship, and how individuals and families are transformed through the process of migration. Our field sites (in Philadelphia and/or the U.S.-Mexico border) will allow students to critically examine first-hand the interplay between U.S. migration policy, globalization, social justice movements, and individual agency. Our multiple field sites will give all students the option to participate in this critical study, regardless of travel status.