What happens when our imagination stretches from Madison to the farthest reaches of the galaxy? When our reasonable concern for the environment meets the research of exo-planets? When the environmental humanities meets planetary science? The Planetary Constellation explores planet Earth as both a global ecosystem in which nature and technologies are entangled and a cosmological entity belonging to a solar system and universe. This Constellation asks students to think about how the global is at the core of crucial phenomena like climate change, the financial crisis, and transnational migrations; and the cosmological aspect that has been at play since the Copernican revolution and its displacement of the Earth from the center of the cosmos.

Frédéric Neyrat is a Mellon-Morgridge Professor of Planetary Humanities and a French philosopher with expertise in the environmental humanities and contemporary theory. He is the author of several books, including The Unconstructable Earth: An Ecology of Separation, and Atopias: Manifesto for a Radical Existentialism. Dr. Neyrat recently launched Alienocene, an electronic journal that gathers texts, sounds, and images seeking to reshape the relationship between the human and the inhuman, the terrestrial and the extraterrestrial, the near and the distant, what is familiar to us and what persists in remaining – despite everything – alien.

The Constellation: Connected Classes

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 203: Calling Planet Earth: An Introduction to Environmental Humanities The Planetary Constellation is anchored in Frédéric Neyrat's environmental humanities class which explores planet Earth as both a global ecosystem and a cosmological entity. 

+ BIOLOGY/BOTANY/ZOOLOGY 152: Introductory Biology 152 This foundational biology course addresses evolution and diversity of organisms and is one of the most in-demand options for fulfilling introductory biology requirements. 

+ GEOGRAPHY 120: Introduction to the Earth System This class provides a critical foundation for understanding how the earth system works, how it affects our livelihoods, and how we are altering it.