Project summary:

One of the greatest challenges facing human survival, generally, is the capacity for humans to adequately communicate issues of vital importance with one another. The importance of communicating the dangers resulting from impending climate collapse is perhaps the most vital issue to be communicated. Ever. To respond to this task, there are calls for better storytelling, for better science education, for radical forms of political becoming. We suggest a more minor but even more pervasive tack: Our project seeks to explore, through one of the most banal, unlikely, and ubiquitous cultural forms novel ways of fostering political and civil speech. Just as scientists labor to develop better data and urgent solutions, just as activists work to raise awareness, we seek to develop tools to put in the hands of everybody to better cultivate the communication of climate change, including those who are just coming on board to recognizing the urgency of our predicament. To accomplish this grand task through minor means, we propose a series of critical and creative workshops that adopt mundane greetings genres like greeting cards, postcards and calling cards and adapt those forms to political intervention. We are not looking to raise awareness but are aiming instead—by leveraging the three disciplines of Anthropology, Rhetorical Studies, and Design—to cultivate forms of communication for sharing awareness.

Project team:

Craig Campbell (project lead – Anthropology), Casey Boyle (Rhetoric & Writing), and Kate Canales (Department of Design)