28 March. The Future of ATL.


  • 1. Because I asked you to upload the pic of your object to Canvas yesterday, you may have accidentally deleted you paper. Will you check Canvas now to be sure you have submitted both the paper and the image?
  • 2. We drafted reflections on the Video Essay back on Feb 12. If you want to draft that response, here’s a link to the Feb 12 class plan.

Podcast Working Groups

Please get into the groups listed below and complete the following:

  • 1. Introduce yourselves (if necessary) and exchange contact information/establish best way to communicate
  • 2. Review the Podcast Assignment Requirements and start to plan/schedule
  • 3. Make a list of your favorite podcasts and then explain to one another what it is that you like about your favorite podcasts/what makes them successful or your favorite. If you and your group do not have a favorite, check out the top 2 or 3 ranked podcasts on iTunes or Spotify and then assess what makes them successful
  • 4. Check out our community partners’ websites and talk about which of the partners you most want on Quest Community Development, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, and the ATL Beltline. Please note: if there are other community or campus partners you would rather work with, please let me know.

1102.F3 1102.HP3 1102.D3
Group 1: Sidd, Ashley, Le, Anna, and Matthew S. Group 7: Michael W., Craig, Mael-Sahn, Alhana Group 12: Dylan
Group 2: Matthew Audrey, Roni, Tori, and Jackson Group 8: Asha, Nicholas, and Mohan Group 13: Parth, Justin, Anu, Achal
Group 3: Anish, Thiago, George, Omar, Jeanette Group 9: Azhar, Nikolay, and Jeffrey Group 14: Uti, Lama, Ali
Group 4: Nicolas, Gabriel, Thomas, Luke, and Darren Group 10: Josh, Matt M., Hasha, and Andrew T. Group 15: Jami, Morgan, Kelsey, Kyle, and Lilly
Group 5: Valerie and Dalila Group 11: Danielle, Ricky, Andrew B., Felipe Group 16: Jessica, Jennifer, Sachi, Kia, and Brian
Group 6: Isabelle, Catherine, and Morgan Group 17 (purple): Marc, Nikhil, Andrew, and Cory
Group 18: Michael, Sidd, and Damian

Discussion: The Future of Urban Nature

  • 1. Class Leads ask a few questions about the reading
  • 2. Given what we have learned about concepts of future or futurity so far this semester, what sorts of ideas about the future structure city planning?
  • 3. How does Dan Immergluck’s column respond to the projects outlined in the Slate article? What’s your assessment of Immergluck’s response?

Story Telling Exercise

Complete the following in small groups and be prepared to share your findings with the class:
  • 1. Choose one of the five urban redevelopment projects described in the Slate article (LA River, CA Bullet Train, Manhattan Bike Share, Chicago Millennium Reserve Initiative, or the ATL Beltline)
  • 2. convert a written story into a visual one; recast the issue as a dialogue; tell the story from your first-person point of view; or rewrite the story as an allegory.


Nixon, “Scenes from the Seabed” (263-72)


Keep the following questions in mind as you read Rob Nixon’s “Scenes from the Seabed: The Future of Dissent,” 263-280. The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.

1.What does the epigraph mean? What’s the relationship between the epithet and the rest of the essay?

2. Why does Nixon invoke Atlantas in the first sentence, “The island of Atlantis, according to Plato, vanished into the ocean ‘in a single night and day of misfortune’” (263)? Is his opening effective, why or why not?

3. What does Nixon mean by “slow violence”? Why is the process of “slow violence” so difficult for writers to communicate?

4. Spend a minute looking at the photo of the underwater cabinet meeting, how does Nixon “read the scene” (264)? How does the president of the Maldives, Mohamad Nasheen, communicate the slow changes from climate change that his country faces? What does he want to accomplish through his “underwater cabinet meeting”? Is President Nasheen successful, why/why not?

5. What does the planting of a flag traditionally symbolize? How do the planted flags that Nixon discusses challenge older notions of the symbolic gesture (266-7)?

6. What some of intersections between human rights and environmental rights that Nixon highlights through his reading of the two “seabed scenes” in the first section of the chapter?

7. BP brands itself as “Beyond Petroleum” (268). What does BP intend for that slogan to mean? What does Nixon suggest it means?

8. What does Nixon mean by the phrase “technological sublime” (268)? What sorts of imaginative tools do people have to counter the “technological sublime”?

9. Why is it useful or important to frame the conversation about climate change as a contest over the symbols we use to represent what is happening to the world?

10.Nixon concludes the section of the reading for last week by claiming, that developed nations “sewsaw” between two risky options: domestic drilling and dependance on foreign oil. What “third option” does he suggest? Do you agree?

12. Who’s responsible for environmental devastation? How can those responsible be held accountable? Who has the moral authority to hold responsible parties accountable? Why is it so hard for transnational corporations to be called to account for their misdeeds?

13. What’s the danger of bracketing foreign disasters as “foreign”? How is the concept of “foreign” faulty as it pertains to environmental issues?

14. If we remembered spills like the 1979 Ixtoc oil explosion, would the Even Horizon spill have been avoided? According to Nixon what keeps us from holding these disasters in our memories? What can we do to remember?

15. Nixon’s book came out in 2011, which means he probably finished writing it in 2010. How does the Gross Negligence ruling and subsequent claims settlement fit into with Nixon’s assessment of power of legislation?

16. What’s lost in these disasters? What’s gained from not taking preventative measures until after the disaster have occurred? The terror of unlearned lessons…

17. What’s “Corexit” (272) and why is it so scary?

18. If, in the first half of his Epilogue, Nixon focuses on the difficulty of rendering “slow violence,” why does he turn to the impossibility of rendering “unseen violence” (273) or the terrible effects of ecological disaster that culpable parties attempt erase?

19. What accounts for the discrepancy in responses between the Event Horizon spill and the “546 million gallons of oil spilled in the Niger Delta” (274)?

20. Consider this question that Nixon asks toward the end of his book, “How will writers, photographers, video artists, podcasters, and blogger navigate the possibilities–and possible perils–opened up by a new media culture characterized both by intensive, instant connectivity and by impatient, distractive staccato rhythms?” (276).