Loving a Class
For those of you who do not know me, I am a music major with the intention of composing music for film and media or teaching. That means I take music classes almost all the time so that I can better prepare myself for creating interesting, polished music. However, Dartmouth is a liberal arts college which has distributive requirements to help create a general knowledge for its students to improve their intellectual capabilities. So, this term I decided to take another distributive class to help me fulfill my graduation requirements.
Currently, I am taking Comparative Literature 18.04: Climate Change, Fiction, and the Apocalyptic Imaginary—a comparative literature class on the essence of our existence with regards to climate change and our futures. The course is taught by Professor Lucas Hollister of the French and Italian Languages and Literatures Department whose areas of specialization focus on 20th/21st-century French literature, ecocriticism, and theories of popular culture. To keep in mind, it is only week four in the Summer term right now, so I definitely love this class to write specifically about it. The course description and syllabus show that the class will focus on apocalyptic imagery of environmental degradation in the contemporary genre of fiction. With this, it seems we are going to become increasingly interested with how the arts generate and imagine future possibilities of our existence.
In our first two weeks, I have mostly read academic, theoretical articles for the class focusing on what it means to have climate anxiety and having a reaction towards death. As of now, the class has started to read fictional short stories based on disasters and reactions towards the implication of death. Although it is a literature class, we are watching several movies to help us understand and compare themes related to the course. I am most excited about the film we are watching this week: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) directed by Hiyao Miyazaki. It is an animated film about a pacifist who attempts to prevent war from destroying their planet.
With my two weeks of knowledge in this course, I have already started to associate a lot of the art I studied in high school with the ideas of the noir and imaginative futures that this class has taught me. I'm glad that I decided to take my literature distributive class this term, as this class has made me incredibly excited about finding a new academic excitement of mine.