... anthropology of
... landscape

... pastoralism








ANTH 691.03 (MO+WE 3-4:30 pm) :

Often, in a most literal sense, Landscapes just go without saying. They are repositories of individual memories and peoples histories, they trigger fears and hopes, and they are at the heart of people’s identities. What exactly is it that makes a landscape? Which parts of our environment do we refer to when we call a landscape beautiful? How have these perceptions changed over time, and how do people in other cultures see their environment? Looking at these questions will reveal that landscapes are not just given, but are always social constructs, specific expressions of their time and culture. Ideals of landscapes have significant impact on politics and social behavior. They can at the same time be used as arguments for as well as against cultural and environmental change.

In the course we will start by looking at fundamental aspects of our own spatial perception and behavior. We will explore how western ideals of landscapes have reflected the social, moral and political standards and how they changed over time. We’ll discuss how images of colonial landscapes drove the western conquest of the world and how environmental and development politics today are influenced by imaginative landscapes. The study of local, non western local landscapes will complete the picture and open a new arena for anthropological investigation: what are the perspectives for intercultural dialog over differential views of what goes without saying?


There will be 3 term exams, each accounting 20% of the final grade. You will also do two presentations, together with one other student. Each presentation+paper counts 20%. Papers that are to be presented should be 8-10 pages, double spaced, 1.5 inch margin on the left.