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HISTORY 241F: The Science and Politics of Apocalypse (POLISCI 232, STS 158)

For millennia, an apocalypse has been just around the corner. This course examines how expectations surrounding the end of the world - and the role that human beings might play in bringing it about - have transformed over the last two centuries. After a brief look at traditional religious apocalypticism, we explore how apocalypse came to be reconsidered as an entirely this-worldly phenomenon that falls within human power to achieve and demands political attention. Along the way, the course addresses the discovery of entropy in the 19th century, development of the hydrogen bomb in the mid-20th, and the planetary science that has transformed the Apocalypse into a primarily ecological concern over the last half-century.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-4
Instructors: Zimmer, D. (PI)
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