HMKK03237U Modern Culture: Disasters and social change

Volume 2015/2016

Moderne Kultur og Kulturformidling


This course traces the complex relationship between disasters and politics both historically and in the contemporary. Since the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the first heavily mediatised disaster in human history, catastrophes have served as a primary focus for political action. Rousseau thus used the aftermath of the earthquake to argue against urbanisation and the modern city, while for Voltaire, the quake became proof for the absence of a benevolent god. Setting out from classical texts of political theory, the course follows the debris into the 20th century, in which risk calculation became one of the primary rationales of modern government. Moving into the contemporary, the course finally analyses today’s cuts to public services in the light of disaster. What is the relationship between disasters and power? What are the options for resisting a disastrous future? How has the task to insure against disasters been conceived historically, politically and in terms of gender? Key texts include works by Rousseau, Voltaire, Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Ulrich Beck, Jean-Luc Nancy and Nancy Fraser among others.


R. Dynes, ‘The Dialogue between Voltaire and Rousseau on the Lisbon Earthquake and the Emergence of a Social Science View’

K. Marx, ‘Capital Vol. I’

M. Foucault, ‘Society must be Defended’

U. Beck, ‘The Risk Society’

J-L Nancy, ‘The Equivalence of Catastrophes’

N. Fraser, ‘Fortunes of Feminism’

Dette kursus er en del af tapas-kurserne på Moderne kultur og Litteraturvidenskab.
For at aflægge Kulturhistorisk emne, skal du tilmelde dig et kursus i Forløb 1 (a, b, c, d eller e) OG et kursus i Kulturhistorisk emne Forløb 2 (a, b, c, d eller e). I undervisningstilmeldingsperioden tilmelder du dig begge forløb. Du skal vælge et kursus i både Forløb 1 og 2. Det er IKKE muligt at vælge at følge f.eks. 2 Forløb 1 eller 2 Forløb 2.

OBS: Forløb 1d, 1e samt Forløb 2d, 2e udbydes sammen med Litteraturvidenskab under modulet Aktuel kulturforskning, men kan vælges på lige fod med de andre forløb.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 84
  • Guidance
  • 3
  • Lectures
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 277
  • Total
  • 420
Type of assessment
Written assignment