The fourth edition of UvA's Create a Course Challenge took place on Thursday 28 November. The prize went to "Post-humans in the Anthropocene: a relational inquiry into Humanity Futures, other Species, and the Environment." The jury praised "the great social relevance and the creative work forms" of the winning group. The course will be offered in the first semester of 2020/21 as an interdisciplinary elective at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS). The winning group consists of three members. José Bernardo Pedroso Couto Soares is doing his Master’s in Sociology (Gender, Sexuality and Society track), Amalia Calderón is a student of the Research Master’s in Artistic Research and Clémentine Dècle is following her Bachelor in Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE).
The course "Post-humans in the Anthropocene: a relationship inquiry into Humanity Futures, other Species and the Environment" examines the vision and position of man in the context of the Anthropocene: the era in which nature is radically transformed by the dominant influence of today's human. The course challenges students to reposition the perspectives they have on their relationships with nature, animals, bodies and geography and to delve into the possibilities of alternative future scenarios.
This year's jury consisted of Karen Maex (Rector Magnificus UvA), Lucy Wenting (director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies) and Pjotr van der Jagt (chairman of the Central Student Council). They praised the "high level" and found the presentations of all finalists "very inspiring". We are facing an uncertain future with many changes and challenges that need to be considered and the course "Post-humans in the Anthropocene" allows for this reflection.
In the coming period, the education developers of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS) will sit down with the winners to work out the idea into an actual course, which will be offered as an interdisciplinary elective in the first semester of the upcoming academic year.
The IIS received a total of 51 ideas, of which 14 were developed into concrete formats. The best ten were selected. Students and staff of the UvA were then able to determine the top five finalists by voting online and this was done in total by 839 people.