Collapsology

In this 8-week course, participants will explore the intricacies and prospects of social and environmental collapse. The book How Everything Can Collapse, by Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens, will guide our inquiry. Our orientation meeting will take place on Sunday, May 9, 2021, using Zoom conferencing software.Future meetings will take place on the weekends of May 22-23, June 5-6, and June 19-20. This event is offered by donation, and will be facilitated by Eric Garza. Read more details below.

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Description

Collapse.

What comes up for you when you read that word? Does it raise your spirits and brighten your day? Or do you feel an upwelling of fear, anger or denial?

The potential for social disruption, or even collapse, can bring up a lot of different emotions for people. Some of these emotions are unpleasant. Even so, as climate change, growing inequality, and a host of other issues make their presence felt, the prospects of social disruption loom ever larger. As unsettling as this might be, we must take this issue seriously and learn to talk about it if we are to discern a compassionate path forwards.

People deal with fears and anxieties in many ways. For me, Eric Garza, at least with respect to fears of social disruption and collapse, I find it best to interrogate them. This has taken many forms over my life, including immersing myself in the realm of dystopian fiction, bouncing ideas off people I trust, and academic studies. I developed this group as one to help others learn to engage with these issues, and to start the process of working through their fears.

Collapsology will introduce participants to the academic study of collapse in a supportive environment. We will use the book How Everything Can Collapse to guide our inquiry. This book was written by Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens, and was originally published in 2015 in French. Its English translation was published in 2020 by Polity Press. A copy of the book is not provided with your registration. You will need to acquire a copy of it on your own. We will use How Everything Can Collapse not as a scriptural work assumed to be true, but rather as a starting point for critical inquiry.

While the informational content of this course will be valuable, participants will hopefully find the relational component at least as useful. This relational component emerges from the ethic of care participants will be expected to abide by during our Zoom meetings, kinship groups, and in our discussion forums. Part of this ethic involves learning to track our nervous system activation patterns. This topic will be covered during our orientation meeting (see schedule below). The other part of this ethic takes the form of three commitments: 1) Approach the content of this course from a place of curiosity rather than a place of knowing or self-righteousness, 2) Cultivate a willingness to slow our inquiry down and take our time, and 3) Let collective interest guide our conversations rather than forcing them in directions others find triggering. Collapsology is as much an opportunity to learn how to talk productively and supportively about this subject as it is a chance to learn about the subject itself.

Collapsology begins with an orientation on Sunday, May 9, 2021, at 2:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time.Check your local time here. This meeting will be facilitated using Zoom conferencing software. You will need to download the Zoom app and create an account to participate. The meeting will be recorded and made available to course participants within a few days. In addition to meeting on Sundays at 2:00 pm EDT, one or more additional meetings will be scheduled using a Doodle poll for the weekends of May 22-23, June 5-6, and June 19-20. You will receive a link to the Doodle poll when you register.

A final note: This course does not promise closure. Collapsology is designed to open an inquiry and offer participants tools to engage with that inquiry, both within and outside of our virtual meetings.

Below you will find more information about this course’s schedule, format, pricing, refund policy, and other terms and conditions associated with signing up. If you have further questions, email info@quillwood.org.

Course Schedule

Orientation (Sunday, May 9, 2021 @ 11 am EDT): We will use this meeting to outline the structure and logistics of the course, review the polyvagal ladder so we can better track our nervous system activation, and use breakout groups to get to know one another.

Harbingers of Collapse (May 22-23, 2021): In this meeting we will discuss the Foreward, Introduction, and chapters 1-5 in How Everything Can Collapse. In these chapters we investigate the many lines of evidence that suggest near-term social instability.

So, When Is It Going To Happen? (June 5-6, 2021): In this meeting we will discuss chapters 6-8 in How Everything Can Collapse. Particular topics include looking critically at collapse narratives, futurisms, and models used to predict collapse.

Collapsology (June 19-20, 2021): In this meeting we will discuss chapters 9-10 in How Everything Can Collapse, the book’s Conclusion, and its section For the Children. Particular topics include the systemic context of collapse, and the risks and benefits of metaphor in collapse anticipation.

Course Format

Each meeting of Collapsology will begin with a short guided practice to ground participants. It will then transition into a discussion about assigned readings. Some of this discussion will happen in a large group, but much of it will happen in small breakout groups of 3-4 participants. We will use Zoom conference calling software for all meetings. Meeting login information will be sent to participants two days prior to the call, then again a few hours before the weekend’s first call to make it easy to find in your email inbox. All Zoom meetings will be recorded and made available to all participants.

We will also use private discussion forums on this website to facilitate interaction. Eric will post prompts to inspire critical thinking as we progress through the book. Participants can start their own threads too. You will gain access to the discussion forums once you register for the class.

Participants will have the option of joining kinship groups of 3-6 people that can meet in between our scheduled Zoom meetings. A survey will be sent to you after registration that will be used to form kinship groups among the registrants.

Pricing and Refund Policy

Collapsology is offered by donation, with a minimum price of zero dollars. To register you will need to type in the amount you want to pay before you can add the event to your cart and check out. As you consider how much to pay, consider your personal and family income, how much wealth you have access to, and how much value participating in this class might add to your life. You can use the following payment scale to guide you, if you would like:

Low income/wealth: $20 ($5 per meeting)

Middle income/wealth: $40 ($10 per meeting)

Upper-middle income/wealth: $100 ($25 per meeting)

High income/wealth: $300+ ($75+ per meeting)

Because cost of living varies geographically, I do not define income or wealth ranges associated with the above categories. The above scale is only offered as a suggestion. You can pay whatever you want.

Within 24 hours of registering you will receive an email with more information about the course. If you do not see this email, please check your spam or junk folders in case your email client diverted it there. If you still do not see it, email Quillwood Academy at info@quillwood.org.

Participants can receive a full refund of their tuition if they cancel their registration via email on or before Wednesday, May 12, 2021. After this date, no refunds will be given except for extraordinary circumstances.

Read through Quillwood Academy’s terms and conditions to get a sense for our expectations.

We hope to see you when Collapsology begins on May 9, 2021!