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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Travis J Sands
B CUSP 115
Bothell Campus

Discovery Core II: Individuals and Society

Addresses an important social issue through an interdisciplinary perspective, continues to build creative and critical skills, and focuses on the relationship between the individual and society. Offered: W.

Class description

Unnatural Disasters: Representing Crisis and Catastrophe in the Americas

Philosopher Walter Benjamin writes, "the tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the 'state of emergency' in which we live is not the exception but the rule." By this he means that crises are not aberrations that governments must develop special practices to address, but rather central components of strategies of control. Working from Benjamin's frame, this course will address three recent crises: the events of September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina of 2005, and the Haitian earthquake of 2010. We will think about how both governments and survivors have represented the causes and effects of these disasters, paying careful attention to how these representations mark transformations in understandings of race, class, citizenship, and governance.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Travis J Sands
Date: 11/18/2013