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IR4590   Critical Perspectives on the Climate Crisis

Academic year(s): 2024-2025

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 2

Planned timetable: Tuesday 11am - 1pm and 1pm - 3pm

Climate disaster is here – what is to be done? This module engages with critical theories to shed light on the climate crisis from multiple intersecting perspectives. Key questions that guide the seminar discussions are: How can we make sense of the climate crisis intersectionally? Where should we start in addressing the climate crisis? How might a climate just world look like? How might we bring about the change we want to see in the world? The critical lenses the module examines include feminist, decolonial, Indigenous and Marxist approaches to the climate crisis, which are woven throughout the readings and discussions. Collectively, the insights arising from this module highlight that critical thought is not merely developed in opposition—nor is it just an alternative—to what is considered the mainstream in the study of just climate futures. The module introduces a wide variety of visions towards addressing the climate crisis.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2h seminar per week (x11 weeks), one 2h writing workshop (x1week)

Scheduled learning hours: 24

Guided independent study hours: 264

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework - 100%

Re-assessment: Written examination - 100%


Module coordinator: Dr K C M Hunfeld
Module teaching staff: Katharina Hunfeld

Intended learning outcomes

  • Become familiar with the conceptual debates around the climate crisis
  • Develop fluency in feminist, decolonial and Marxist approaches to the climate crisis
  • Reflect on ethical and methodological dilemmas in researching the climate crisis
  • Critique ideas and texts with curiosity about power while retaining generosity
  • Articulate what critical approaches to the climate crisis propose, not only oppose, with regard to the making of a more climate just world