Anthropocene – How People Are Transforming the Planet

Universidad Pompeu Fabra

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Anthropocene – How People Are Transforming the Planet

  • Host University

    Universidad Pompeu Fabra

  • Location

    Barcelona, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Archaeology, Biology, History, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    Archeology has been expressing a growing interest in incorporating future-oriented perspectives and the use of the past in planning a better future. Concern for the issues associated with the Anthropocene debate is a clear example. Scientists have argued that the Anthropocene is a useful concept to denote the measurable impact of humanity on the planet. The study of the Anthropocene proposes a radical reassessment of the role of humanity in the world (past, present and future). How, then, does the Anthropocene concept change the archaeological understanding of human relations with the living environment, and with ecology in a broader sense?. The course involves working on the connections between nature and human beings (socio-ecological dynamics) and the concept of the "entanglement" of societies (as seen through archaeological material), global climate change and environmental change, and our ability to measure and understand these changes. This course will address the theoretical perspective of the Anthropocene and how archeology can significantly contribute to this discussion, not only in terms of ideas and arguments, but also in terms of a large body of material evidence, in the form of archaeological records, against which the specific arguments of the Anthropocene can be verified and evaluated. In addition, the course will address, across a broad disciplinary range, how archeology can contribute to finding solutions to some of today’s most pressing problems and to designing more sustainable and resilient livelihoods.



    The student will acquire a set of learning skills and he/she will be able to:

    • Identify and evaluate the great debates and theories within the fields of Social and Climate Change.
    • Understand the consequences of using various methodologies (from humanistic disciplines, social and natural sciences) when studying historical phenomena.
    • Explain the cultural and social dynamics from multidisciplinary studies focused on material culture, natural resources and landscape.
    • Identify the central social and ecological issues that underlie a particular local or regional historical problem.
    • Explain how the local or regional study can be a support in the analysis of macroregional and / or global problems.
    • Know how to integrate theoretical, quantitative and qualitative information when proposing interpretations of historical-archeological or socio-ecological problems both global and local.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.


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