Art Work: "The Dawn of the Anthropocene" (Ligorano / Reese 2014)
Global Co-Existence: Human and Non Human Animals, Environmental Justice and Technology
This course aims to reflect on how to achieve global co-existence of human and non human animals, within the frame of ecological awareness and technological innovation. In order to do this, it first analyzes the history of discrimination from a political and social perspective, The first part of the course focus on Humans in relation to other Humans:
1. Humans in relation to other Humans In this section, we will investigate the formation of human identity and analyze different types of discriminations, such as: Classism, Racism, Sexism, Ethnocentrism, Islamophobia, Homophobia, Ageism, Ableism.
In order to reach global justice and co-existence, these categories of discrimination have to be fully taken into consideration, but there are other forms of discrimination that need to be investigated as well. In the second part of the course, we will analyze Humans in relations to Non-Human Animals, Earth and Space:
2. Humans in relation to Non-Human Animals, Earth and Space In this section, we will investigate notions such as: Speciesism, Anthropocentrism, Non-Human Personhood, the Anthropocene, Earth Democracy, the Tragedy of the Commons, Space Pollution.
This section will focus on discrimination based on anthropocentric views, from the treatment of non-human animals, to the Anthropocene and the environmental degradation on Earth and Space, leading the discussion to the third part of the course, focussed on humans in relation to technological innovation, robots and artificial intelligence:
3. Humans in relation to Technology, Robots and Artificial Intelligence In this section, we will reflect upon focal topics such as: Net-Neutrality, Technological Unemployment and Basic Income, Gendered and Sex Robots, Drones and Technological Warfare, Machine Intelligence and AI Takeover.
This section will reflect on how technology may help to shape a more just future, but also what are the risks related to the development of the robotic era, including the repetition of biases and discriminations such as sexism, racism and anthropocentrism. The idea of Earth Democracy (Shiva 2015), based on a set of principles based on inclusion, nonviolence and a respectful sharing of the commons, will be extended to the technological realm.
This course wishes to offer students deep critical tools to understand the present, and also inspiring theoretical and pragmatical perspectives to create the future in the spirit of global justice and co-existence.
Readings - Samples
Readings include both classic texts as well as recent research in these fields.
Said, Edward (1978) Orientalism
Butler, Judith (1990) Gender Trouble
Shiva, Vandana (2005) Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability and Peace
Crutzen, P. J. / Stoermer, E. F. (2000) The “Anthropocene”
Turing, Alan (1950) "Computer Machinery and Intelligence"
Campa, Riccardo (2014) "Technological Growth and Unemployment: A Global Scenario Analysis"
Documentary - Samples
"In the Shadow of the West" (Edward Said, 1985)
"An Inconvenient Truth" (Al Gore / Davis Guggenheim 2006)
"Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World" (Werner Herzog, 2016)
Movies - Samples
"Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance" (Godfrey Reggio 1982)
"Her" (Spike Jonze 2013)
"Ex Machina" (Alex Garland 2015)
Credits: Frame from the movie "Ex Machina" (Garland 2015)