Various Comics: John Muir, Against the Ecofascist Creep, Crossroads, Scooby Doo, and Spiderman

HUM 250 - Avenging the Universe:
An Introduction to Environmental Humanities & Comics

"Avenging the Universe: An Introduction to Environmental Humanities & Comics" explores the relationship between humanity, nature and visual storytelling. The course begins with an examination of Environmental Humanities -- a multidisciplinary field that engages history, literature, philosophy, religion, and anthropology to respond to environmental issues (such as climate change, pollution, deforestation, environmental disasters, biodiversity loss and food/water insecurity) and pose innovative solutions. Each week, we will combine foundational readings related to cultural, ethical, and philosophical knowledge systems and their representation in comics. The course centers the Bronze and Modern Age of Comics era(s), when various characters were reintroduced or their character arcs were revised to respond to developments within the Environmental Movement. These superheroes, villains, and anthropomorphic figures engage directly with notions of human progress, human-nature relationships, and environmental change. Engaging the full spectrum of visual medium, the course analyzes comics, graphic novels, cartoon strips, animation 3-D imaging and film. Utilizing different styles of written and visual communication, we will develop new ideas about environmental solutions and create stories that envision possible futures grounded in equity, justice and a duty to protect our dying world.

Course Materials



About the Course Designer


Kishauna Soljour is an Assistant Professor specializing in Public Humanities and African Diaspora Studies. She was an Andrew W. Mellon Public Humanities Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Sarah Lawrence College. Dr. Soljour received her Ph.D. in History from Syracuse University in 2019. Her dissertation, “Beyond the Banlieue: French Postcolonial Migration & the Politics of a Sub-Saharan Identity,” won Syracuse’s All University Prize and the Council of Graduate Schools & ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award in Humanities in 2019. Her research concentrates on the nexus of cultural, political, and social change for Diasporic communities in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Embracing the mission of public humanities, Dr. Soljour is the Associate Director of the Public & Oral History Center at SDSU. She has developed a number of initiatives to expand avenues of access to public and oral history including curated exhibitions, a digital oral history archive, and podcasts; as well as, partnered with Humanities New York, the United Nations Volunteer Program and the Yonkers Public Library.

Read Kishauna's blog post about the course.