A Global Humanities Approach to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals Understanding Planet, People, and Prosperity
This edited textbook explores the 17 UN SDGs through 12 works from the humanities, including films, novels, and photographic collections. It provides students with the knowledge and understanding of how the humanities engage in broader social, political, economic, and environmental dialogue, offering a global perspective that crosses national and continental borders.
The book takes students through the UN SDGs from a theoretical perspective through to practical applications, first through specific global humanities examples and then through students’ own final projects and reflections. Centered around three major themes of planet, people, and prosperity, the textbook encourages students to explore and apply the Goals using a place-based, culturally rooted approach while simultaneously acknowledging and understanding their global importance. The text’s examples range from documentary and feature film to photography and literature, including Wang Jiuliang’s Plastic China, Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn’s Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, Barbara Dombrowski’s Tropic Ice: Dialog Between Places Affected by Climate Change, and Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger, among others. Providing diverse geographic and cultural perspectives, the works take readers to Argentina, Australia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Greenland, Haiti, India, Japan, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, and the United States.
This broad textbook can be used by students and instructors at undergraduate and postgraduate levels from any subject background, particularly, but not exclusively, those in the humanities. With added discussion questions, research assignments, writing prompts, and creative project ideas, students will gain a nuanced understanding of the interconnectivity between social, cultural, ethical, political, economic, and environmental factors.
The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license.
Introduction: A Global Humanities Approach to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
Part 1: Planet: Relating Global Humanities Texts to UN SDGs 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, and 15
Chapter 1: Aya Hanabusa’s Holy Island: Nuclear Power and Political Resistance in Iwaishima, Japan
Chapter 2: Barbara Dombrowski’s Tropic Ice: Dialog Between Places Affected by Climate Change – Photographs and Art Installations of People and Landscapes
Chapter 3: Fabrice Monteiro’s The Prophecy: Trash Art Photography Protests Trashing the Planet
Chapter 4: Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn’s Cowspiracy: Animal Agriculture and the “Sustainability Secret”
Part 2: People: Relating Global Humanities Texts to UN SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
Chapter 5: Fernando Contreras Castro’s Única Looking at the Sea: Marginalization, Community, and Politics from a Garbage Dump
Miguel Rosas Buendía
Chapter 6: Agnès Varda’s The Gleaners and I: From Waste to Wonder—A Cinematic Odyssey on Food Loss and Gleaning
Chapter 7: Agustina Bazterrica’s Tender is the Flesh: Devouring Each Other in Consumerist Society
Chapter 8: Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos’s Bending the Arc: Public Health Pioneers Fight for Universal Health Equity and Global Justice
Part 3: Prosperity: Relating Global Humanities Texts to UN SDGs 8, 9, 10, 11, and 16
Chapter 9: Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger: Stagnation or Social Mobility in Modern India
Chapter 10: Ivan Sanjinés, Nicolás Ipamo and Alejandro Noza’s Cry of the Forest: Sustainable Development and the Indigenous Communities of Bolivia
Chapter 11: Hao Jingfang’s “Folding Beijing”: Unequal Time and Space in a Dystopian City
Chapter 12: Wang Jiuliang’s Plastic China: Unveiling the Façade of Prosperity
Conclusion: Think Global, Act Local: Partnerships and Projects (SDG 17)
Kelly Comfort and Jennifer Hirsch
"This engaging collection reveals the vital links between the humanities and the SDG framework. An integrative humanities perspective calls attention to the work of global artists, writers, and texts underrepresented in studies of environment, climate, and sustainability. Foregrounding the 2030 Agenda, the book centers on the themes of Planet, People, and Prosperity. Through an exploration of science fiction, photography, documentary film, and other genres, this highly accessible collection brings the global humanities into generative dialogue with education for sustainable development."
John C. Ryan, Adjunct Associate Professor at Southern Cross University, Australia, and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the Nulungu Institute, Notre Dame University, Australia