Nature, Culture and Landscape
1024 Dana
MW 11:30-1:00pm
3 Credit Lecture

Landscape is not something outside of ourselves. It is a human conception, constructed of our goals and aspirations, built from necessity, avarice, invention and imagination. It is a mirror of who we are as a species, a society, a culture, a community, a barometer of health and disease, an evolving, disintegrating canvas for life. This course will examine human landscape interventions through Western history within a series of spatial archetypes. Each archetype describes another layer of the human/nature relationship - a part of ourselves or a component of the human habitat etched into the Earth. Embedded in the examination of history is its application to contemporary landscape perception - how these conceptualizations of "the outside" impact the ways we continue to shape the planet both intentionally and by default. Through lectures, readings, documentaries and discussions we will examine how human ritual, attitudes, values and behaviors shaped the framework for the world we live in today - what we have inherited and what we have lost - all pointing fingers toward the directions we have yet to go. This course is intended to open dialogue and personal reflection on the shape of the land and what it says about human beings - what it says about YOU. In it students will be asked to go beyond simply learning about historic landscape patterns and movements, to thinking critically about what can be brought (or left behind) from history when attempting to understand the complex environmental issues we face today.

Estimated cost of materials: $50 or more, but less than $100. D. 1,3,4