Communication and Culture | Communicating Sustainability
C212 | 29190 | Pezzullo, P.

TuTh, 2:30 PM-3:45 PM, WH 003
Required film screenings (09/14, 10/19, and 11/30 only): Tu, 7:15 PM-
10:15 PM, Location TBA

Fulfills College S&H Requirement

Instructor: Phaedra Pezzullo
Office: C2 223
Phone: 855-2106
Instructor’s Website:

“Communications will make sustainable development a reality.”
--Lucy Shea & Solitaire Townsend, United Nations Environmental
Program, Communicating Sustainability: How to produce effective
public campaigns. (Futerra and UNEP, 2005).

From U.S. President Barack Obama to Italian Slow Food Advocate Carlo
Petrini, from Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio to media mogul Oprah
Winfrey, and from global retailers like Wal-Mart to the local
Bloomington farmers’ market, it seems as if everyone is talking
about “sustainability” today. Answers to the global crisis of
climate change vary from lobbying federal governments to pass
international treaties to legally limit carbon emissions to flash
media films on-line encouraging individuals to walk, ride bikes, or
take public transportation. Amid this buzz, it can be challenging to
discern what exactly anyone means when she/he uses the
word “sustainability.” What is clear is that what we say about
sustainability and how we represent the environmental challenges we
face shape what we’re going to do (or not) as individuals and
collectives. Broadly, “sustainability” is the capacity to negotiate
environmental, social, and economic needs and desires for current
and future generations. Mostly focused on the U.S., this course
provides an introductory survey of the study of sustainability
primarily from a communication studies perspective, though the
subject matter requires engaging transdisciplinary conversations and
concepts. No prerequisite is required.

Course Objectives.
This course will provide students introductory opportunities to:
•	learn historical, global discourses of sustainability
through pivotal events and figures;
•	define key terms and frames of sustainability from a variety
of political and disciplinary perspectives;
•	engage related concepts of democracy, citizenship, and
•	analyze cultural representations of unsustainable and
sustainable practices and messages;
•	become more reflexive about how individual and collective
choices shape the ability of diverse human communities to flourish
within ecological limits in ways that are environmentally just and
economically viable; and
•	develop critical thinking, research, and communication

Course Assignments.
Attendance is required.

Film Screening Position Papers (2 of 3, 4-5 pages): 15% + 15% =  30%
Midterm Exam: 30%
Final Exam: 30%
Sustainability Calculator Reflection (2-3 pages): 10%