Gateway Seminar: Extraction: Humans and the Underground Earth
Human societies depend on harnessing the resources of the underground earth. Subterranean aquifers shaped the world's food system. Gold deposits made currency and incited global wars. And fossil fuels now represent frontiers of planetary catastrophe, as buried carbon threatens life on earth. This course explores the often forgotten but indispensable role of the underground in making the modern world. Using the lens of 'extraction' – the taking of resources from beneath the earth – and drawing from historians, artists, environmentalists, geologists, journalists, and science fiction, we will develop global perspectives on the meaning and transformation of the underground from 1800 to today.