ANTH 1155 Exploring Global Cultural Diversity

Instructor Contact:

Emily Hite, GPTI


About the Course:

The Anthropology of the Apocalypse will be an action-packed course that combines anthropological theory with climate fiction (cli-fi) literature and the latest research in climate science. In this class, we seek to understand diverse conceptions of the apocalypse and post-apocalyptic outcomes from cultures around the world. How we as humans envision the world, our place in it, and what we desire for our futures are key components of how we react now to various social, political, and environmental changes. Incorporating diverse cultures, knowledges, and ways of imagining the future will allow for the creation of more effective, equitable, and sustainable solutions to the climate crisis.

Fulfills requirements for Arts & Sciences General Education: Diversity-Global Perspective and Distribution-Social Sciences


  1. Define key anthropological concepts: cultural relativism, cultural universals, political ecology, human-environmental relationships, and the Anthropocene.
  2. Gain an anthropological perspective of climate change, Indigenous and Western knowledges, and human-environmental relations, as they shape climate policy and future imaginaries.
  3. Develop a multicultural and holistic understanding of the diversity of conceptualizations of the future, as well as the cultures and peoples who envision them.
  4. Foster an awareness of the relations between climate science, climate fiction, and future imaginaries through an evaluation of cultural universals.
  5. Critically analyze the relationships between cultures and political, economic, and historical forces in shaping concepts of the future.

Required Texts:

All reading materials will be provided in canvas.


  1. Discussion boards and short activities on assigned readings and videos = 30%
  2. Exploratory mini-research projects: (20% each) = 40%
    1. Assess your own future imaginary. Include a critical examination of the underlying structures (cultures, politics, environmental conditions, etc.) that have shaped it.
    2. Select a specific place-based culture in the world. Discuss potential utopic and dystopic outcomes given its current social-ecological situation. In what ways will peoples be effected? Provide solutions that will lead to a sustainable future.
  3. Exams: midterm and final (15% each) = 30%

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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado