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Performing the Anthropocene

  • What is the Anthropocene? What does it have to do with climate change?
  • What are the human stories embedded within these chains of consumption?
  • What are real, actionable solutions towards a sustainable future?

The Anthropocene is the current geological age in which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.

Performing the Anthropocene is a collaborative course that merges the disciplines of theatre and sustainability to investigate possible climate futures. 
Humanity’s impact on the planet is well-recognized. Yet, how well do we understand that our individual actions have a rippling effect on the entire planet? In this Lab, students will investigate global issues tied to human consumption, develop weekly short performance investigations and will then have the opportunity to shape those investigations into a culminating performance impact piece.


We will work with a research librarian, sustainability scientists and scholars, dramaturgs and guest artists.  

Impact Outcomes

In Performing the Anthropocene, a diverse community of students and their faculty from the School of Sustainability and the School of Music, Dance and Theater researched human consumption as they co-created original performances exposing disturbing sustainability concerns including human disconnection and the global consequences of inaction. For example, one Lab outcome is a short film created by a local/ international student collaboration that blends original footage from the Grand Bazaar of Turkey, the peak of A-Mountain, other locales, and interspersed holographic acting scenes that together create a haunting and enlightening depiction of human disconnection.

View their final impact outcomes here

Anthropocene in the News

At the Humanities Lab, we strive to ensure our Labs are relevant and current. Here are some recent articles about the Anthropocene in today’s news!

Enrollment Information

Fall 2020

Course time/location: Wednesdays 9:00am-12:00pm via ASU Sync

Lab time/location: Mondays 10:45am-12:00pm in ED236*

  • Humanities Lab HUL 494 and HUL 598
  • Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts THP 494 and THP 598
  • School of Sustainability SOS 498 and SOS 594
*Lab time is for students to work on activities and assignments, especially skill-building and collaborative Lab projects. Contact faculty about required Lab times.   Sign up today!

Instructional Team

Faculty: Rachel Bowditch Film, Dance and Theatre Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts Performing the Anthropocene Fall 2020
Faculty: Scott Cloutier Sustainability/Life Sciences School of Sustainability Performing the Anthropocene Fall 2020
Librarian: Mimmo Bonanni Associate Liaison Librarian Social Science Division Preforming the Anthropocene Fall 2020