A new class is being introduced to the Humanities Lab this spring that will focus on the social justice issues surrounding energy sources and the energy industry.
The lab will focus on the move to cleaner energy sources and the negative social aspects of that change, which one of the course teachers said is an important local issue to Arizonans.
The course, which is called Energy and Social Justice will be co-taught by two professors from two different colleges.
Associate professor Christopher Jones with the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies will teach the class with professor of practice at the School of Sustainability Gary Dirks, who is senior director at the Global Futures Laboratory and director of LightWorks at ASU.
Finding cleaner ways to produce energy is important, but so are the ways local communities are affected by those changes, Jones said. Often, the loss of industry and jobs in these communities is not considered, and the class will focus on that issue.
One example Jones gave is the Kayenta Mine in the Navajo Nation that recently closed and cost the community hundreds of jobs.
The course came together from the discussions between Dirks and Sally Kitch, the University and Regents professor of women and gender studies and founding director of the Humanities Lab at ASU.
The humanities lab is aimed at creating interdisciplinary teams of professors teaching students about the biggest social challenges, like sustainability, Kitch said. She added that teaching the issues from a humanities perspective is helpful in creating change
Wyatt Myskow is the project manager at The State Press, where he oversees enterprise stories for the publication. He also works at The Arizona Republic, where he covers the cities of Peoria and Surprise.