AMST 209 Ecologies of Place: Culture, Commodities and Everyday Life

Last offered Fall 2014

Cross Listed as ENVI209, ANTH209
This course will explore the environmental implications of everyday life in modern America. It will ask how cultural, political, economic, and ecological systems interact to produce ordinary places and vernacular landscapes, from campuses to cul-de-sacs, farms to forests, nation-states to national parks. Combining approaches from cultural geography, environmental history, and political ecology, it will focus on the hidden lives of "things"--the commodities and technologies that form the basic building blocks of place: food, oil, water, wood, machines. With strong emphasis on local-global relations, it will look beneath the surface of the ordinary to reveal the complex networks of power, meaning, and matter that connect "here" to "there," "now" to "then," and "us" to "them." In so doing, it will pursue parallel goals: to understand the socio-spatial processes shaping today's global environment; and to explore the cultural systems through which those processes are understood and contested. Topics will include the bottled water controversy, factory farming and local agriculture, the political economy of lawns, and the cultural politics of invasive species.
Class Format: lecture/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: three 5- to 7-page essays and several shorter writing assignments
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Prerequisites: none; open to first-year students
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives,AMST Space and Place Electives, ENVI Humanities, Arts + Social Science Electives,ENVP PE-B Group Electives,ENVP PTL-A Group Electives,ENVP SC Theory/Method Courses,ENVP SC-B Group Electives,EVST Culture/Humanities
Enrollment Limit: 20
Expected Enrollment: 20
Class Number: 1118
AMST 209 LEC Ecologies of Place Division 2: Social Studies Nicolas C. Howe
ANTH 209 LEC Ecologies of Place Division 2: Social Studies Nicolas C. Howe
ENVI 209 LEC Ecologies of Place Division 2: Social Studies Nicolas C. Howe
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