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Playing God: Race, Colonialism, and Raising Dinosaurs from the Dead
RELI 322
Fall 2022
Section: 01  

This seminar draws on the fields of religious studies, ecocriticism, philosophy of science, decolonial thought, Black studies, political anthropology, and queer theory to examine our culture's fascination with dinosaurs. Questions discussed include: What are the ethical implications of "discovering" dinosaur fossils on stolen Indigenous land? How have "philanthro-capitalists" used dinosaurs to promote the ideology of American exceptionalism? How do fossil fuels and their extraction relate to searches for fossil animals? Why do creationists believe dinosaurs still live, and how is this a remnant of European imperialism? Is the dream of resurrecting extinct species scientific or religious? How do natural history museums benefit from and contribute towards colonialism? Is the past more like a natural resource or public utility? In the process of addressing these and many more questions, students will examine what dinosaurs can teach us about humans, non-humans, post-humans, extinction, and the end of the world.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS RELI
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (RELI-MN)(RELI)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on MAY-20-2024
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