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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture - History

Postgraduate Course: Landscapes of Empire (PG Version) (ARHI11017)

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
SummaryThis course explores conversations around empire, conflict, slavery and white supremacy through its architectures and landscapes. Within this, it will discuss how the design and development of landscape is linked with notions of land ownership and control, and consider these through political, cultural and environmental dialogues. Through explorations of archival material and historic texts, it will explore political geographies, and link these with communities, the climate emergency and racial inequality, and will use these to better understand the ongoing legacies of historic imperialism found throughout the globe in the present day.
Course description Landscapes of Empire begins by outlining the premise of our understanding of landscapes and their role in aesthetic, political and cultural discourse from the 1700s onwards. In particular it will explore how conversations around the development and ownership of land were set up to support particular objectives and processes for the furtherance of imperial gain. Through thematic, geographic and chronological case studies, this course will then highlight how the built and natural environment - in both the U.K. and abroad - have developed and/or evolved as a result of financial gain from the transatlantic slave economy, and the exploitation of resources of colonised nations throughout the British Empire. These case studies will be assessed alongside archival analysis and seminal texts that decolonise conversations around race, Empire and the built environment, in order to consider the lasting legacy of the impact of imperial operations of Britain throughout the last c. 300 years. The course will finish by addressing the legacies of imperial practices in the present day. This will address the impact of Empire on the resources, economies and environments of postcolonial nations, to the recognition of current societal conversations around anti-racist practices, and how this relates to discourses on climate change and a post-Covid society in the future management and development of our built and natural environments.
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
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge that covers and integrates most, if not all, of the the principal theories and concepts of how the history of architecture and landscape links to the history of empire, colonialism and white supremacy and how these intersect with the challenges of climate change in postcolonial landscapes in the present day, using appropriate terminologies and discourses.
  2. Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in using a significant range of the principal professional skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with the history of colonialism, and addressing how this manifests in the built environment.
  3. Apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to forefront issues, or issues that are informed by forefront developments on the legacies of imperial landscapes to informed audiences.
  4. Communicate with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists.
  5. Ability to plan and execute a significant project of research, investigation or development on the themes covered within the course, notably working with a partner organisation or archival collection.
Reading List
Beckert, S., 2014., Empire of Cotton: A New History of Global Capitalism
Dresser, M. and Hahn, A., 2013. Slavery and the British Country House (English Heritage Report)
Gopal, P., 2020. Insurgent Empire: Anticolonialism and the making of British Dissent
Nelson, Louis P., 2016. Architecture and Empire in Jamaica
Wilson, Mabel O. et al, 2020. Race and Modern Architecture
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. A critical understanding and reflective skill related to landscape and the legacies of empire.
2. A creative engagement with a wide range of research methods.
3. Ability to contribute effectively in peer discussion.
4. Ability to communicate skilfully with informed audiences.
Course organiserDr Kirsten Carter McKee
Course secretaryMr Daniel Jackson
Tel: (0131 6)50 2309
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