Anthropology | Chernobyl
E600 | 15693 | Phillips

Undergraduates prerequisite – 200 level Anth class or permission of

In this course students will learn about the far-reaching and
intersecting environmental, political, social, and health effects of
the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.  Using the lenses of cultural and
medical anthropology, students will study the human face of the
disaster in a multidisciplinary context.  We will interweave
discussions of Chernobyl’s environmental, social, political, and
public health effects as we consider questions of ethics,
international law, social welfare, and the subjective experiences of
health and disease after Chernobyl.  Going beyond Chernobyl as an
environmental case study, we will examine the symbolic uses of the
accident, local interpretations of nuclear catastrophe, and Chernobyl
as an example of globalizing forces.  Students will gain access to
previously un-translated writings and films, and they will have the
chance to interact with experts on Chernobyl via internet and in
person.  Ultimately, the course will guide students through the
labyrinth of Chernobyl effects while highlighting the linkages between
ecological, medical, political, and social aftershocks of a
techno-environmental catastrophe.  Research and writing projects on
various aspects of Chernobyl and its effects will allow students to
pursue their concrete interests in their respective fields.