Global Studies (GLST) 650

Sustainability in an Age of Global Change (Revision 3)

GLST 650 Course Cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized-Study

Credits: 3

Prerequisite: Successful completion of MAIS 601 and MAIS 602, and permission of the Instructor.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Program: Master of Arts Interdisciplinary Studies

Note: This course is closed to online registrations, please contact the MAIS office for assistance.

Prior to registering in GLST 650, students must contact Dr. Mike Gismondi, Professor Emeritus, Sociology and Global Studies (2020) and long-time MAIS professor of interdisciplinary research to indicate their interest and experience in the field and key topics that they would like to research.


While the topic of sustainability has been around for some time, Dr. Gismondi is inviting students to partner with him and other students in advancing the development of the emergent edges of the field, and to do so in a multi-disciplinary and ‘integrated’ manner.

The course will introduce foundational approaches to the theory and practice of sustainability as well as new critical approaches to the question in the 21st Century. There is no one response to the challenging goal of transition to sustainability. Your own experience, reading, thinking, and writing will be crucial to advancing our collective grasp of sustainability as idea, transformative practice and way of life.

This is a guided reading course. We will read some key texts together and collaborate to develop novel pathways through the field and explore creative assignments that systems change.

Course Materials


Assadourian, Erik. (2017). EarthED: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet. The Worldwatch Institute.

Blewitt, John. (2017). Understanding Sustainable Development. 3rd Edition. Routledge.

Gough, Ian. (2017) Heat, Greed and Human Need. Climate Change, Capitalism and Sustainable Development. Edward Elgar.

Klein, Naomi. (2014). This Changes Everything. Capitalism vs the Climate. Knopf Canada.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. (2014). The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Ebooks available from AU Ebrary

Castree, N., Hulme, M., & Proctor, J. D. (Eds.). (2018). Companion to Environmental Studies.

You are expected to access the companion to explore keyword definitions and concepts, to supplement your weekly reading, or elaborate on assignments and paper topics. Treat it like an assigned textbook.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, April, 2020.

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