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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Writing Landscape (GEGR10118)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is about how we can develop the art of geographical writing to improve the readability, insight and clarity of our research. It draws on great writing within and beyond the discipline of geography to inspire and inform our own practice. The course teaches the craft and creativity of writing as a kind of geographical method.
Course description The specific aim is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to apply the craft of writing to place-specific contexts. Introducing concepts such as genre, narrative and authorial voice, the course will help students to use these more carefully in their own work. Writing Landscape considers takes a critical look at the promises and pitfalls of both academic and creative writing. The intellectual anchors of the course will be found in approaches to landscape from cultural geography, psychogeography and creative non-fiction. Teaching consists of lectures, discussions, film, writing and editing workshops, as well as several instances of fieldwork. A consistent emphasis will be placed on the practice of writing, including its practice in the classroom. The assessment will give the students the opportunity to apply the lessons of the course to developing a geographical portrait of one particular Scottish site or landscape.

THIS COURSE IS OPEN TO 3RD AND 4TH YEAR STUDENTS. Priority will be given to students on the Geography Degree Programmes and Sustainable Development (Geography Pathway) for enrolment on this course. However, this course is open to students from other degree programmes, including masters students. Please contact to check availability.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements THIS COURSE IS OPEN TO 3RD AND 4TH YEAR STUDENTS.

Priority will be given to students on the Geography Degree Programmes and Sustainable Development (Geography Pathway) for enrolment on this course. However, this course is open to students from other degree programmes, including masters students. Please contact to check availability.
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 9, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 10, Fieldwork Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework:
1,000 word Fieldwork Essay (20%) based on the Edinburgh fieldtrip
3,000 word Narrative Essay (80%)

Assessment Deadlines:
Fieldwork Essay (20%): Week 6
Narrative Essay (80%): Mid April

Feedback Feedback will take the form of class discussions, small group discussions, dialogue during fieldwork, as well as both substantive conceptual feedback on final essay and detailed editing of initial fieldtrip essay.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A grounding in landscape as an object of cultural geographic enquiry.
  2. To understand different conceptions and models of landscape across cultural geography, psychogeography and creative non-fiction.
  3. Be able to recognise and apply concepts of genre, narrative and authorial voice in their own writing
  4. Develop the skills to identify, research and write a place-specific narrative that can combine academic analysis with an attentiveness to the reader.
  5. Have an understanding of contemporary debates in human geography about the purpose and limits of academic writing, and be able to develop and pitch ideas for publication, within and beyond academia.
Reading List
*Cameron E 2012 New geographies of story and storytelling, Progress in Human Geography 36 573592
*Daniels S and Nash C 2004 Lifepaths: geography and biography Journal of Historical Geography 30 3 449-458
*Daniels S and Lorimer H 2012 Until the end of days: narrating landscape and environment Cultural Geographies 19 1: 3-9
*DeSilvey C 2006 Observed Decay: telling stories with mutable things Journal of Material Culture 113 318-338
DeSilvey C 2012 Making sense of transience: an anticipatory history Cultural Geographies 19 1 3154
Farley P and Roberts M S 2011 Edgelands: journeys into England's true wilderness Jonathan Cape, London
Jamie K 2012 Sightlines, London: Sort of Books
*Lorimer H 2006 Herding memories of humans and animals Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 244 497-518
*Lorimer H 2009 Caught in the nick of time: archives and fieldwork In: DeLyser D Aitken S Crang MA Herbert S and McDowell L eds The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research in Human Geography SAGE Publications London UK pp 248-273
Lorimer H and Wylie J 2010 LOOP: a geography Performance Research 15.4 6-13
MacDonald F 2006 Geopolitics and the vision thing: regarding Britain and America's first nuclear missile. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 31: 5371.
MacDonald F 2011 Doomsday fieldwork, or how to rescue Gaelic culture? The salvage paradigm in geography, archaeology, and folklore, 1955 62 Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 29 2 309 335
*MacDonald, F 2013 The Ruins of Erskine Beveridge, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, online early December 2013.
Macfarlane R 2007 The Wild Places. London and New York: Granta Books and Penguin Books.
Macfarlane R 2012 The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot. New York: Viking.
Mitchell W J T 2002 Landscape and Power Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Pearson M 2006 In Comes I: Performance, memory and landscape Exeter: University of Exeter Press
Sword H 2012 Stylish Academic Writing New York: Harvard University Press
Till K 2001 Fragments, Ruins, Artefacts, Torsos Historical Geography 29 70-73
Willis A 2009 Restorying the self, restoring place: healing through grief in everyday places Emotion, Society and Space 2 86-91
Wylie J 2007 Landscape London: Routledge.
*Self W 2013 The Wreford Watson Lecture 2012: Decontaminating the Union: Post-industrial Landscapes and the British Psyche, Scottish Geographical Journal, 129:2, 59-66
*indicates primary readings.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Writing, academic and non-academic; reading; analysis; landscape interpretation; storytelling
KeywordsWriting,landscape,cultural geography,narrative,non-fiction,psychogeography,genre
Course organiserDr Fraser MacDonald
Tel: (0131 6)57 3887
Course secretaryMiss Leigh Corstorphine
Tel: (01316) 502572
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