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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Postgraduate Course: Time and Environment (ARCH11286)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe Time and Environment course provides an introduction to the emerging field of critical time studies and its contributions to environmental humanities. Complementing work that highlights the politics of place and space, we focus on the complex role of time in how environmental issues occur, are understood and proposals to address them. In contrast to time as a neutral background we explore how time enters into and operates across contested environmental, social, cultural and political terrains. This course provides you with the tools to critically analyse the role of time in a context of climate breakdown, biodiversity loss, and resource depletion, while also developing ways of intervening into, and perhaps even changing, time.
Course description While time can often seem like an external dimension, or a simple container for social life, this course explores the way that time is contested and contestable. Weekly seminars provide students with a space to explore how understandings and enactments of temporal frames play out in environmental issues. We will uncover the multiple kinds of time that are used by powerful and less powerful social actors and the knock-on effects for our understandings of our place in the world. In particular we will tie time to a broad range of environmental issues and show how it shapes our understanding of how and why they occur, but also how they can be challenged.

Topics may include deep time, ecological time, slow movements, proposals for long-term thinking, as well as ideas of apocalypse and emergency, and these will be read through areas from critical time studies that examine speed theory and the slow movement, time and global mobilities, time pressure and labour time, time and colonialization, queer temporalities, critical approaches to clock-time and the anthropology of time.

There are three components of assessment for the course, and these will support creative personal exploration of your own experiences of time and the development of interventions into the time of socio-cultural environments. Alongside an independently developed essay topic, you will propose ways of shifting, first, experiences of everyday time and, second, the time of climate change, in conversation with the course materials. Learning will take place within weekly guided discussions in our seminars, where we will explore key readings, as well as self-directed study. At the conclusion of the course, you will have a greater understanding of the complexities and diversity of the current times and how they shape understandings of environment, place, community, politics and hopes for the future.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 170 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course is assessed by a portfolio that is submitted at the end of the course and consists of 3 components:

1. Time activism assignment (activity and 900-1100 words reflective report) (20%)
2. Public climate clock (1350-1650 words design proposal + illustrations) (30%)
3. Essay (2250-2750 words) (50%)

Each component will be marked equally against all three learning outcomes, with each component of the portfolio worth the percentages indicated above.
Feedback Formative Feedback
Detailed guidance on each component will be provided at intervals in the second half of the semester via course materials on Learn and in our seminars. Drafts or outlines of each of the components will then be submitted at staggered intervals on Learn for written individual feedback. Verbal feedback will also be given at the class level.

Summative Feedback
Written summative feedback will be offered on all portfolio components. All feedback to be provided within the timeframe set within University regulations.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically appraise the role that social theories of time play in environmental issues.
  2. Apply theories and methods of time studies from multiple disciplines to specific issues that form the focus of environmental humanities research.
  3. Formulate complex and effective responses to environmental issues that engage with time studies research.
Reading List
Adam, B. (1998). Timescapes of Modernity: The environment & invisible hazards. London and New York: Routledge.
Bjornerud, M. (2020). Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World. Princeton University Press.
Huebener, P. (2020). Nature's Broken Clocks: Reimagining Time in the Face of the Environmental Crisis. University of Regina Press.
Nixon, R. (2011). Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge, MA. : Harvard University Press.
Wiggin, B., Fornoff, C., & Kim, P. E. (Eds.). (2020). Timescales: Thinking across Ecological Temporalities. U of Minnesota Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills In this course, you will build your capacity to:
- deal with complex social and environmental issues and to make informed judgements in situations where it is not always possible to have complete or consistent information.
- apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to issues that are informed by developments at the forefront of environmental humanities and critical time studies.
- develop a range of routine and specialised skills to communicate with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists.
- exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in developing an approach to the materials via the assessment components.
- respond to complex ethical issues that may not be addressed by the current professional and/or ethical codes or practices in your main area of training, such as architecture or landscape architecture.
Keywordsenvironment,climate change,time studies,environmental humanities
Course organiserDr Michelle Bastian
Tel: (0131 6)51 5779
Course secretaryMr Brendan Sweeney
Tel: (0131 6)50 6329
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