Climate Change and Discursive Frames: From Scientific Discourse to the Public Sphere (Fall 2019)
Fall 2019, Tuesdays, 11:45am-1:45pm
Course Number: IDS 81630
This course examines how scientific literature on climate change is discursively framed, how it becomes reframed as it travels to the social spaces where public opinion is negotiated, and how those linguistic and textual strategies shape and are shaped by the political economy of climate debates, that is, by the specific geopolitical and social positions of the different stake-holders. The climate literature produced by the specialized sciences is vast and not easy to transfer, on one hand, to the academic realm of the humanities and, on the other, to the complex public sphere where issues of political importance are selected and debated. The purpose of this course is, first, to explore the possibilities of a new interface between sociolinguistics and environmental science to raise awareness of the challenges faced when we position ourselves outside of our communities of scholarly practice. Secondly, the course aims at providing students with tools to perform a mediating role between specialized knowledge production and the public. We will offer a discussion-style class of key emerging issues related to climate change and atmospheric teleconnections using a critical discourse approach.