Cultural Landscapes & Landscape Preservation
Cultural Landscapes & Landscape Preservation introduced students to the history and understanding of common American landscapes and surveyed the field of cultural landscape studies. The cultural-landscape perspective is a unique lens for understanding the evolution of the built environment, the experience of landscapes, and the economic, political and social processes that shape the places where most Americans spend most of their time. The course focused on the forces and patterns (natural and cultural) behind the shaping of recognizably "American" landscapes, whether urban, suburban, or rural. Methods for documenting and preserving cultural landscapes were also implemented by the class, with weekly discussions, readings, and projects drawing on several disciplines—cultural geography, vernacular architecture, environmental history, historic preservation, ecology, art, and writing.
As part of the discourse in this class, students participated in “blog” entries on social media, documenting, critiquing, or celebrating cultural landscapes found in their day to day life, reflecting upon the complexities and ambition of the cultural landscape idea.