Wastes of War: A Century of Destruction

History 234

Anne Berg

Wednesday, 2 - 5PM

wastes of war

Course Description

This seminar examines the human and environmental consequences of violent conflict from the South African War at the beginning of the 20th century to the War on Terror. War violently transforms the social and physical environment. War reshuffles ideologies, reimagines futures and reshapes alliances, destroys bodies, spaces, societies, habitats, ecosystems and cultures. And of course, there’s no war that doesn’t produce a whole host of wastes, and as a result, inspires a multitude of strategies to combat and eradicate them. In this course, we approach war as an engine of destruction and transformation rather than as politics gone awry. The wastes of war will serve as our focal point as we study the new worlds (technological, social and environmental) that war not merely leaves in its wake but systematically generates. Critically examining two key categories – “waste” and “war” in tandem, we discover how together they fundamentally restructure our social, cultural and natural worlds in unexpected ways.

Spring 2020