Students in FYSM 1506R "Sociology of the Weird and Apocalyptic" have been assigned a final group project to develop a plan to respond to an apocalyptic event. There are several components to this plan:
- Describe a plausible apocalyptic scenario;
- Project the likely effects of this scenario in terms of immediate, mid-range and and long-range effects;
- How a plausible social order can be re-created (should such an outcome be desired) while taking into account these various effects.
Students have been asked to draw upon both apocalyptic fiction and social science in devising their scenario. Thus, inspiration will be found in novels such as Margaret Atwood's Oryx & Crake, the television series The Walking Dead, and sociology, political science, economics, anthropology, and psychology.
The final project is being done collaboratively. Students are responsible for devising a system for collective decision making and task allocation while also allowing individual students pursue their own projects within the scope of the overall plan. The instructor will be employed as an arbitrator of last resort (for instance, to cast the tie-breaking vote) and as editor-in-chief responsible for ensuring that the technical aspects are in good working order.
How did they survive? Did they manage to rebuild a functioning society, complete with an economy, communications system, transportation systems, laws, and schools ? How did they manage intra-group conflict?
But what happened in Europe?