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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Creativity and the Environment (PGGE11285)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course addresses the links between creative practice and the environment. It will ask: Why does creativity matter in the Anthropocene? How are creativity and critique related? It will explore the creative turn in geography and across disciplines, exploring how scholars have embraced creative methods in their research and how creative practitioners have engaged with the academic worlds of research and theory. The course will involve both engagement with creative works of others and the production of creative works.
Course description The course focuses on the link between creativity and the environment both conceptually, and through the deployment of creative methods. There is a growing body of work both in geography and beyond on the interactions between different forms of creative intervention, ways of knowing the environment and environmental justice. This course will explore some of these ways of addressing environmental concern through both critical examination of existing creative work and workshops which will enable students to develop their own creative skills. Following an introductory week addressing the ¿why¿ of the course, the course will be divided into five two-week blocks that will be taught by a rotating team of staff members (who will also rotate in and out of the existing course, Values and the Environment, which this course is designed to accompany). Each block will address a creative approach and every week will include both a critical element and a creative element. Indicative themes include, essays, memoir/autobiography, creative non-fiction, geopoetics, zines, graphic novels, video, photography. These themes will change depending on the staff involved. The final two-week block will be reserved for a mini-conference/exhibition where students will share and discuss their final work.
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 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 21, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 165 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment details and deadlines
A portfolio of three creative works: (essay, zine or comic, collection of poems/long poem).

Creative Essay (2000 words) Deadline, 12:00 noon, Wednesday 21st February
Zine (one sheet A3 folded into 8 page booklet) or, Comic (3 sheets of A3) Deadline, 12:00 noon, Thursday 21st March
Poetry (5 pages) Deadline, 12:00 noon, Monday 15th April
Feedback 1) Feedback will occur throughout the course through the weekly workshops where students will get feedback from both staff and peers.
2) Formative feedback will be given during the final conference/exhibition of student work.
3) Summative feedback will be provided for both creative and critical assignments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically assess creative writing/artwork in the context of contemporary environmental issues.
  2. Create a portfolio of works that address contemporary environmental issues.
  3. Explain the potential and limits of creativity as a means to addressing contemporary environmental issues.
Reading List
he Geographical Review (vol 103(2)) Special Issue on creativity and geography. Cresswell, T. 2013). Soil (London: Penned in the Margins). Cresswell, T. (2015). Fence (London: Penned in the Margins). Cresswell, T. (2019). Maxwell Street: Writing and Thinking Place (Chicago: University of Chicago Press). Cresswell, T. (2020). Plastiglomerate (London: Penned in the Margins). De Leeuw, S. (2012). Geographies of a Lover (Calgary: NeWest Press). De Leeuw, S. (2015). Skeena (Halfmoon Bay, BC: Caitlin Press. )De Leeuw, S (2017). Where it Hurts (Calgary, NeWest Press). Foster, K., and H. Lorimer. (2007). Some Reflections on Art-Geography as Collaboration. cultural geographies 14(3): 425-432. Hawkins, H. (2020). Geography, Art, Research (London: Routledge). Hawkins, H (2013). For Creative Geographies: Geography, Visual Arts and the Making of Worlds (London: Routledge). Hawkins, H and de Leeuw, S. (2017). Critical geographies and geography¿s creative re/turn: poetics and practices for new disciplinary spaces. Gender, Place and Culture, 24/3: 303-324. Last, A. (2012). Experimental geographies. Geography Compass 6(12): 706-724. Last, A. (2015). We are the world? Anthropocene Cultural Production Between Geopoetics and Geopolitics, Theory, Culture & Society, 34(2-3) GeoSocial Formations Special Issue: 147-168. Lorimer, H. (2003) The Geographical Field Course as Active Archive, cultural geographies, July 2003, 10/3 pp, 278- 308. Lorimer, H. (2019) Dear departed: writing the lifeworlds of place, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 44/2: 331-345. Magrane, E., Russo, L, de Leeuw, S and Santos Perez, C (eds) (2019) Geopoetics in Practice (London: Routledge). Magrane E. (2020) Climate geopoetics (the earth is a composted poem). Dialogues in Human Geography (online early) (see also commentaries by Nassar, Acker, Cresswell, and Engelmann). Magrane, E., Cokinos, C., Mirocha, P. (eds) (2016) The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide (Tucson: University of Arizona Press). Magrane E. (2015) Situating geopoetics. GeoHumanities Vol 1, No, 1: 86-102. Macdonald, F. (2019) Escape from Earth: A Secret History of the Space Rocket (London: Profile Books). Meinig, D. (1983) Geography as an Art. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 8(3): 314-328. Berlant, L and Stewert, K (2018) The Hundreds (Durham, NC.: Duke University Press). Tsing, A. (2017) The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalism¿s Ruins (Princeton, NJ.: Princeton University Press). Tsing, A., Bubant, L., Gan, E. and Swanson H. (eds) (2017) Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). Watts, L. (2019) Energy at the End of the World: An Orkney Islands Saga (Cambridge MA.: MIT Press). Other places to look are the ¿cultural geographies in practice¿ section of cultural geographies and the ¿practices and curations¿ section of GeoHumanities.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students are expected to develop skills in critical thinking (through the critical engagement with the work of others), creativity (through their own creative portfolio) and communication (through their exploration of creative practice and the final course conference/exhibition).
KeywordsEnvironment,Creativity,Writing,Creative Methods,Environmentalism
Course organiserDr Fraser MacDonald
Tel: (0131 6)57 3887
Course secretaryMrs Lynn Taylor
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