Undergraduate Course: Anthropology and Environment (SCAN10066)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Why do human cultures engage differently with their natural environments and how do they understand processes of environmental sustainability and climate change? This course examines anthropological approaches to diverse human understandings of and interactions with their changing environments, and it brings an anthropological approach to understanding the socio-cultural, socio-political, and socio-economic implications of environmental challenges and related development, conservation, and human rights issues.
This course examines anthropological approaches to diverse human understandings of and interactions with their changing environments and brings an anthropological approach to understanding the socio-cultural, socio-political, and socio-economic implications of environmental challenges and related development, conservation, and human rights issues.
The first session introduces to the history of anthropological entanglements with the environment from ecology and ethnobotany to climate change in the anthropocene. The second session critically examines anthropological models of human¿environment relations. The remainder of the course explores problem-centred and solution-driven approaches to pressing environmental problems with socio-cultural, socio-political, and socio-economic implications.
Indicative sessions include:
- Native/non-native species and anti-immigration politics;
- Migration and metaphors of rootedness and uprooting;
- Ethnobotany, medicinal plants, and intellectual property rights (IPR);
- Horticultural therapy in healing processes;
- Organic farming, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and pesticides;
- The politics of resource extraction;
- Cultures of (renewable) energy;
- The challenges of responding productively to climate change;
- The environmental impacts of military activities;
- People and parks: Protected Areas and Marine Protected Areas;
- The broken promises of ecotourism.
The course as a whole -including the reading list and key readings, ethnographic and documentary films, seminar/tutorial activities, and essay questions - has a wide geographical scope, drawing on diverse examples from around the world.
Assessments include case studies taking an anthropological approach to topical and/or local environmental challenges (e.g. community engagement in Scotland's Marine Protected Area network, the effectiveness of allotment projects in NHS mental healthcare, or debates about renewable energy versus fracking).
Innovative Learning Week activities could include a class day trip, for example to the Scottish Shale Museum (http://www.scottishshale.co.uk) at Almond Valley (http://www.almondvalley.co.uk) near Livingston, established to preserve and interpret the history and environment of West Lothian and make this heritage accessible, engaging and enjoyed by all.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students should have at least 3 Anthropology courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 10,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||30% mid-term short case study essay (1,000-1,500 words)
70% end-term long coursework essay (2,500-3,000 words)
||Feedback event after ILW for a) feedback on mid-term short case study essay, and b) opportunity to discuss plans for end-term long coursework essay with lecturer
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Students will engage with the long history of anthropological engagements with environment, from ecology and ethnobotany to climate change in the anthropocene
- Students will critically examine a range of anthropological approaches to diverse human understandings of and interactions with their changing environments
- Students will evaluate the contributions made by professional anthropologists as internal advisors, independent consultants, or academic critics of environmental conservation projects
- Students will learn to apply insights from environmental anthropology to related development, conservation, and human rights issues
- Students will bring anthropological perspectives to bear on their understandings of the socio-cultural, socio-political, and socio-economic implications of environmental challenges and debates
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||RESEARCH AND ENQUIRY
apply different theories to the interpretation and explanation of human conduct and patterns of behaviour;
recognise and account for the use of such theories by others;
judge the value and relevance of empirical evidence and theoretical argument and interpretation in social science;
identify and design ways of solving problems with a social and cultural dimension;
question cultural assumptions;
discuss ideas and interpretations with others in a clear and reasoned way;
apply anthropological knowledge to a variety of situations.
|Keywords||Anthropology; Ecology; Environmental Sustainability; Environmental Change; Climate Change; Anthropoc
|Course organiser||Dr Laura Jeffery
Tel: (0131 6)51 3865
|Course secretary||Mr Ewen Miller
Tel: (0131 6)50 3925
© Copyright 2015 The University of Edinburgh - 18 January 2016 4:49 am