AMST 209
Ecologies of Place: Culture, Commodities and Everyday Life Fall 2014
Division II
Cross-listed AMST 209 / ANTH 209 / ENVI 209
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

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.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 1118
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: three 5- to 7-page essays and several shorter writing assignments
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: none; open to first-year students
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AMST 209 Division II ANTH 209 Division II ENVI 209 Division II
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

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