Faculty of Environmental Studies - Winter 1997 Course Syllabus

ENVS 6149.03


Course director: Adrian Ivakhiv. Email: ai@yorku.ca.
Office: Room 226-B Lumbers Building. Course consultation hours: T.B.A.



This course offers an advanced, critical introduction into current issues and debates in environmental cultural studies -- i.e., the growing field of interdisciplinary research and practice located at the intersection of environmental studies/environmental thought and critical cultural theory/cultural studies. We will study culture and cultural practices as both the medium through which and the terrain within which different ideas about people and nature, and different social and ecological relations, are articulated and contested. We will survey the various 'intersections' of environmental thought and cultural studies around a series of themes including 'social space' and 'sense of place', race, gender, class, nature, media, globalization, cultural displacement and deterritorialization, the social production of 'Canada', and the technologization of the lifeworld.



The field of environmental studies has developed as a response to the growing recognition of a deeply rooted, global ecological crisis -- a crisis marked by such well-known problems as the destruction and transformation of ecosystems, rapid species loss, intensifying levels of pollution and bioaccumulation of toxins, climate change, human population growth and overconsumption, and so on. Many environmental activists and theorists believe that these conditions cannot be effectively addressed through strictly technical measures, because they are intertwined within a crisis of politics, of values, and of worldview. In other words, the ecological crisis is not merely a scientific fact to be addressed through 'technological fixes,' but it is more importantly a cultural fact: it is conceived, imagined, discussed, and acted upon through the diverse cultural activities of humanity. It is 'made sense of' culturally, and our responses to the crisis are enabled as well as constrained by our imagination and interpretation of the crisis.

The development of critical social and cultural theory, especially within the field of cultural studies, in the last few decades has provided an array of theoretical and analytical tools useful in understanding the ways cultural practices are implicated within the perpetuation and contestation of relations of power. Focusing primarily on the terrain of 'popular' and 'alternative' cultures and subcultures, dominant or hegemonic cultural formations, and the mass media, cultural studies has been especially concerned with understanding the workings of culture in relation to social and political struggles, and with enhancing the possibilities for social and cultural change. Meanwhile, the fields of cultural geography, cultural anthropology and sociology, have featured a deepened concern with cultural practices, issues of representation, identity and difference, and more recently with questions of 'social space' and the environment.

The emancipatory focus in cultural studies and critical theory regarding questions of class, race, gender/sexuality, and identity/difference, offers a series of 'lenses' or 'optics' through which environmental issues and struggles can be viewed, engaged, and understood. At the same time, environmentalists' focus on relations between humans and the nonhuman world presents cultural studies (and the social sciences in general) with a serious and radical ecological challenge. Environmental cultural studies (or 'cultural environmental studies') represents the point at which these traditions meet and overlap; as such, it can be seen as a response to a crisis that is simultaneously social/cultural and ecological.

Our engagement with this emerging field of research and critical practice will involve: (a) a simultaneous critical focus on relations between humans and their nonhuman environments, on intra-human social and political relations (i.e. relations formed around economic class, race, gender, and other cultural identities/differences), and on the inevitable interaction between these (two) categories; and (b) an emphasis on the cultural dimensions of these relations. We will identify and study the relationship between different dimensions of what Arjun Appadurai calls 'global cultural flows' -- 'imagined worlds' (including 'ethnoscapes,' 'technoscapes,' 'mediascapes,' et al.) constituted by the historical and geographical imaginations of persons and groups spread around the globe. A central focus of this course will be the question of ecocultural identity/difference -- that is, different modes of human interaction and 'immersion' with(in) nonhuman environments (via productive labour, leisure, scientific research, religion and myth, etc.) and the politics within which these are imposed, resisted, legitimized and/or marginalized.



Following a brief introduction to different notions of 'culture' and 'environment', we will begin by looking at the problematic relationship between environmental thought/radical environmentalism and cultural studies/critical social theory, especially centered around the 'social construction of nature' debate (weeks 1 and 2). Having mapped out the problematic of the course, we will begin to address a series of potential 'intersections' between cultural and environmental concerns, including place/space, agency and ecocultural identity/difference. We will begin, in week 3, with humanistic and phenomenological approaches to the perception of landscapes, places and spaces, and will gradually deepen and critique these, over the course of the next several weeks, by engaging them within a series of themes and problematics including 'gender,' 'race,' 'class,' media, 'nature,' and 'community.'



As a 6000-level seminar course, this course will require an extensive level of engagement with the course material. The course will assume a basic familiarity with the core themes and concerns of environmental thought, and, to a lesser extent, of critical social theory (but not necessarily cultural studies in any great depth). The reading load for this course is substantial, and student participation in class discussions will be considered an essential component of its (potential) success. Student involvement in the course will be expected to include the following activities and assignments:


Reading and class participation

1. Reading and preparation of critical responses to the required readings.

2. Regular participation in class discussions.

3. Preparing a short in-class presentation. This will normally involve a 'close reading' of an article or articles, and discussion of their background, contexts and reception, and relevance to other class topics. (Depending on the size of the class, students may be expected to present on more than one occasion.)


Written work

1. Two brief (2-3 page) reaction papers to specific readings. (A format for these will be provided in class.) These will be used as 'discussion papers' around which in-class discussion of a given topic or set of readings will be organized.

2. A critical, annotated bibliography of readings in a topic area of your choice. This would normally be related to your plan of study, and should include reference to readings on the course list as well as others you have found useful and relevant to the topic.

3. A research paper, which will normally be an in-depth critical analysis -- an 'environmental cultural study' -- of a specific cultural product or phenomenon. This will involve analyzing the selected 'item' in terms of its production context, its 'content' and/or 'discourse', and its reception or 'consumption' and cultural 'resonance.' (Length should be 10-12 pages, typed, double-spaced. Formats other than the conventional scholarly paper may be acceptable, but will need to be discussed in advance with the course director. Detailed suggestions and expectations will be provided in class.)


Additional course-related activities

In connection with the course, a series of Monday lunch-time (12 to 2 p.m.) film/video screenings will take place through the term. Attendance will not be obligatory, but it is hoped that students will be able to attend at least some of these screenings, followed by discussions, as they will be programmed so as to supplement the class topics. Occasional other activities may be recommended to students as these occur throughout the term.



Required readings for the course will be made available in one of two forms:

(KIT) = a KIT of course readings, to be available in the York University Bookstore; and

(RESERVE) = readings set aside on reserve in the F.E.S. Resource Room.

In addition, students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with books from the following list of recommended and representative texts. All of the following titles have been ordered for the course book section of the York University Bookstore (with the exception of Ebr, available on the World Wide Web). Required Readings from any of these texts will be made available either on reserve in the F.E.S. Resource Room (first two categories below) or in the course reading kit.


Recommended 'Core' Background Reading:

1. William Cronon (ed.), Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature (N.Y.: Norton & Co., 1995).

2. Alex Wilson, The Culture of Nature: North American Landscape from Disney to the Exxon Valdez (Toronto: Between the Lines, 1991).

3. Peter Jackson, Maps of Meaning: An Introduction to Cultural Geography (N.Y.: Routledge, 1989).


Recommended Texts (containing Required Readings not included in Course Kit):

1. L. Grossberg, C. Nelson, and P. Treichler, eds. Cultural Studies (New York: Routledge, 1992).

2. Gillian Rose, Feminism and Geography: The Limits of Geographical Knowledge (Polity Press, 1993).

3. Doreen Massey, Space, Place, and Gender (London: Polity Press, 1994).

4. Jody Berland and Jennifer Daryl Slack (eds.), special issue of Cultural Studies 8:2 (1994).

5. G. Robertson, M. Mash, et al. (eds.), FutureNatural: Nature, Science, Culture (N.Y.: Routledge, 1996).

6. David Harvey, Justice, Nature, & the Geography of Difference (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996).


Other recommended texts:

John Storey, An Introductory Guide to Cultural Theory and Popular Culture (New York: Harvester/Wheatsheaf, 1993).

Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space (Oxford: Blackwell, 1974/1991).

Ross, Andrew, The Chicago Gangster Theory of Life: Nature's Debt to Society (New York: Verso, 1994).

Michael Keith and Steve Pile (eds.), Place and the Politics of Identity (New York: Routledge, 1993).

Tom Jagtenberg and David McKie, Eco-Impacts and the Greening of Postmodernity: New Maps for Communications Studies, Cultural Studies, and Sociology (London: SAGE, 1997).

Cheryl Glotfelty and Harold Fromm, eds., The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology (U. of Georgia Press, 1996).

Kay Anderson and Fay Gale (eds.), Inventing Places: Studies in Cultural Geography (Melbourne: Longman Cheshire, 1992).

James Duncan and David Ley, eds., Place/Culture/Representation (Routledge, 1993).

John Rennie Short, Imagined Country: Environment, Culture, and Society (N. Y.: Routledge, 1991).

Timothy Luke, Ecocritique: Contesting the Politics of Nature, Economy, and Culture (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1997).

Kay Milton, Environmentalism and Cultural Theory (London: Routledge, 1996).

Ebr (electronic book review) special issue (vol. 4, Winter 1996/97) on 'Critical Ecologies'



January 12 (Week 1)



January 19 (Week 2)




*1. C. Nelson, P. Treichler, and L. Grossberg, "Cultural Studies: An Introduction," in Grossberg, et al., Cultural Studies, pp. 1-16. (RESERVE)

*2. Stuart Hall, "Cultural Studies and its Theoretical Legacies," in Grossberg, et al., Cultural Studies, pp. 277-86. (RESERVE)

*3. William Cronon, "Introduction: In Search of Nature," Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature, pp. 23-56. (RESERVE)

4. Mary Douglas, "Environments at risk." (RESERVE)



Simon During, "Introduction" to A Cultural Studies Reader, pp. 1-23. (RESERVE)

Stuart Hall, "Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms." (RESERVE)

Kate Soper, "Nature/'Nature'," in FutureNatural, pp. 22-34. (RESERVE)

*Laurie Anne Whitt and Jennifer Daryl Slack, "Communities, Environments, and Cultural Studies," in Berland and Slack, eds., Cultural Studies 8:1, pp. 5-29. (RESERVE)

A. Ivakhiv, "The 'Nature' Wars: Seeking Common Grounds for Uncommon Agents." (RESERVE)

*Jennifer Daryl Slack and Laurie Anne Whitt, "Ethics and Cultural Studies," in Grossberg, et al., Cultural Studies, pp. 571-90.



On nature and its 'social construction':

*William Cronon (ed.), Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature

*Alex Wilson, The Culture of Nature: North American Landscape from Disney to the Exxon Valdez.

*G. Robertson, M. Mash, et al. (eds.), FutureNatural: Nature, Science, Culture.

Elizabeth Bird, "The Social Construction of Nature: Theoretical Approaches to the History of Environmental Problems," Environmental Review, Winter 1987, pp. 255-64.

Neil Evernden, The Social Creation of Nature (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992).

Michael Soule and Gary Lease (eds.), Reinventing Nature? Responses to Postmodern Deconstruction (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1995).

Kate Soper, What is Nature? (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995).

Cultural studies (general):

*P. Jackson, "Culture and Ideology," ch. 3 in Maps of Meaning.

*Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson, and Paula Treichler, eds. Cultural Studies (New York: Routledge, 1992).

*John Storey, An Introductory Guide to Cultural Theory and Popular Culture (New York: Harvester/Wheatsheaf, 1993).

Ian Angus and Sut Jhally, Cultural Politics in Contemporary America .

Domenic Strinati, An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture (New York: Routledge, 1995).

Simon During (ed.), The Cultural Studies Reader (New York: Routledge, 1993).

Jessica Munns and Gita Rajan (eds.), A Cultural Studies Reader: History, Theory, Practice (London & N.Y.: Longman, 1995).

Ann Gray and Jim McGuigan (eds.), Studying Culture: An Introductory Reader (London: Edward Arnold, 1993).

John Storey (ed.), Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader. (Edinbugh University Press, 1996).

Douglas Kellner, Media Culture: Cultural Studies, Identity and Politics Between the Modern and the Postmodern (New York: Routledge, 1995).

Environmental thought / critical environmentalism (general):

Michael Zimmerman, Contesting the Earth's Future: Radical Ecology and Postmodernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994).

Carolyn Merchant, Ecology (Key Concepts in Critical Theory), (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1994).

Neil Evernden, The Natural Alien: Humankind and Environment (University of Toronto Press, 1985).


January 26 (Week 3)




1. Yi-Fu Tuan, ch. 3, "Common psychological structures and responses," and ch. 6, "Culture, experience, and environmental attitudes", in Topophilia: A Study of Environmental Perception, Attitudes, and Values, pp. 13-29, 59-74. (KIT)

2. Yi-Fu Tuan, "Space and place: Humanistic perspectives," pp. 445-55. (KIT)

3. Edward Relph, "Placelessness," ch. 6 in Place and Placelessness, pp. 79-121. (KIT)

4. Robert Mugerauer, "Language and the Emergence of Environment," in Seamon and Mugerauer (eds.), Dwelling, Place and Environment: Towards a Phenomenology of Person and World, pp. 51-68. (KIT)



Christopher Tilley, A Phenomenology of Landscape: Places, Paths, Monuments (Oxford: Berg, 1994) pp. 14-34. (RESERVE)

Tim Ingold, "Culture and the Perception of the Environment," in E. Croll and D. Parkin, Bush Base: Forest Farm. Culture, Environment and Development, pp. 39-54. (RESERVE)



David Seamon and Robert Mugerauer, eds. Dwelling, Place and Environment: Towards a Phenomenology of Person and World (Martinus Nijhoff, 1985).

Tuan, Topophilia: A Study of Environmental Perception, Attitudes, and Values (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1974).

Edward Relph, Place and Placelessness (London: Pion, 1976).

Edward Casey, Getting Back into Place: Toward a Renewed Understanding of the Place-World (Indiana University Press, 1993).

Neil Evernden, "The Ambiguous Landscape," The Geographical Review 71:2 (April 1981), pp. 147-57.

Kent C. Ryden, Mapping the Invisible Landscape: Folklore, Writing, and the Sense of Place (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1993).


February 2 (Week 4)




*1. K. Anderson and F. Gale, "Introduction," ch. 1 in K. Anderson and F. Gale (eds.), Inventing Places: Studies in Cultural Geography, pp. 1-11. (KIT)

*2. Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, sections XII, XIV-IXX in ch. 1, pp. 26-7, 30-59. (KIT)

*3. David Harvey, "From space to place and back again," in Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference, pp. 291-326. (KIT)



*M. Keith and S. Pile, "Introduction part 1: The politics of place" and "Introduction part 2: The place of politics," in Keith and Pile (eds.), Place and the Politics of Identity, pp. 1-38. (RESERVE)



*Lefebvre, The Production of Space.

*Duncan and Ley (eds.), Place/Culture/Representation

Ed Soja, Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996).

Neil Smith, Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the Production of Space (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990).


February 9 (Week 5)




*1. Gillian Rose, Feminism and Geography: The Limits of Geographical Knowledge, selections from ch. 3 (pp. 41-61), ch. 4 (pp. 78-85), ch. 6 (pp. 101-112) and ch. 7. (RESERVE)

2. Rosalyn Deutsche, pp. 13-29 in "Boys town," Society and Space 9 (1991). (RESERVE)

*3. Hilary Winchester, "The construction and deconstruction of women's roles in the urban landscape," in K. Anderson and F. Gale (eds.), Inventing Places: Studies in Cultural Geography, pp. 139-50. (KIT)



Donna Haraway, "Situated knowledges." (RESERVE)

*Janice Monk, "Gender in the landscape," in Anderson and Gale, Inventing Places. (RESERVE)

Meaghan Morris, "Things to do with shopping malls." (RESERVE)

*Doreen Massey, "Flexible sexism," in Space, Place, and Gender.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, "Introduction: Axiomatic" and "Epistemology of the closet," in Epistemology of the Closet (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press), pp. 1-90. (RESERVE)



*Doreen Massey, Space, Place, and Gender.

Kate Soper, "Feminism and Ecology: Realism and Rhetoric in the Discourses of Nature," in Science, Technology, & Human Values 20:3 (Summer 1995): 311-331.

Annette Kolodny, The Lay of the Land (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1975).

*Peter Jackson, "Gender and Sexuality" in Maps of Meaning.

Caren Kaplan, Questions of Travel: Postmodern Discourses of Displacement (Duke University Press, 1996), pp. 143-87.

Verena A. Conley, "Back to Writing: The Fate of Post-1968 Feminine Writing," in Ecopolitics: The Environment in Poststructuralist Thought (London: Routledge, 1997).

Joni Seager, Earth Follies: Coming to Feminist Terms with the Global Environmental Crisis (New York: Routledge, 1993).


February 16:




February 23 (Week 6)




1. Edward Said, from Orientalism, pp. 1-11, 329. (KIT)

2. Arjun Appadurai, "Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy". (KIT)

3. Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson, "Beyond 'Culture': Space, Identity, and the Politics of Difference," Cultural Anthropology 9:1, pp. 6-20. (KIT)

4. Eve K. Sedgwick, "Nationalisms and Sexualities in the Age of Wilde," in Parker, Russo, et al. (eds.), Nationalisms and Sexualities (N.Y.: Routledge, 1992), pp. 235-44. (KIT)



Peter Jackson and Jan Penrose, "Introduction," Constructions of Race, Place and Nation (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1994), pp. 1-20. (RESERVE)

Etienne Balibar, "Racism and Nationalism" and Immanuel Wallerstein, "The Construction of Peoplehood: Racism, Nationalism, Ethnicity," in Balibar and Wallerstein, Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities (London: Verso, 1991). (RESERVE)

Simon Dalby, "The environment as geopolitical threat: Reading Robert Kaplan's 'Coming Anarchy'," Ecumene 1996: 3 (4): 472-91. (RESERVE)



Edward Said, Orientalism (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978).

Francis Barker, et al. (eds.), Europe and Its Others (Colchester: Univ, of Essex Press, 1985).

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, 2nd ed. (London: Verso, 1992).

Homi Bhabha (ed.), Nation and Narration (New York: Routledge, 1990).

Smadar Lavie and Ted Swedenburg, Introduction to Displacement, Diaspora, and Geographies of Identity (London: Duke U. Press, 1996), pp. 1-23.

Simon Schama, Landscape and Memory (N.Y.: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995).

Paul Carter, The Road to Botany Bay: An Exploration of Landscape and History (New York: Knopf, 1988).

Timothy Mitchell, "The World as Exhibition," Comp. Studies in Society and History 31: 217-36 (1989).

*David Sibley, "Outsiders in Society and Space," ch. 7 in Anderson and Gale (eds.), Inventing Places: Studies in Cultural Geography.


March 2 (Week 7)




1. Joshua Meyrowitz, "Where Have We Been, Where Are We Going?", ch. 15 in No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behaviour (New York: Oxford Univ.Press, 1985). (KIT)

*2. Doreen Massey, "A place called home" and "A global sense of place" in Space, Place, and Gender, pp. 157-72, 146-56. (RESERVE)

*3. Jody Berland, "Angels Dancing: Cultural Technologies and the Production of Space," in Grossberg, et al., Cultural Studies, pp. 38-50. (RESERVE)



Mike Featherstone, "Global and Local cultures" and "Localism, Globalism, and Cultural Identity," in Undoing culture: Globalization, Postmodernism and Identity (London: SAGE, 1995), pp. 86-125. (RESERVE)



Anthony D. King (ed.), Culture, Globalization and the World-System: Contemporary Conditions for the Representation of Identity (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1997).

David Harvey, Part III, "Space, Time, and Place," in Justice, Nature & the Geography of Difference (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996).

Arjun Appadurai, "The production of locality."

Ulf Hannerz, "Cosmopolitans and Locals in World Culture," Theory, Culture & Society 7 (1990), pp. 237-251.

R. Robertson, "Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity," in M. Featherstone, S. Lash, and R. Robertson, Global Modernities (London: SAGE, 1995), pp. 24-44.

Stanley Brunn and Thomas Leinbach (eds.), Collapsing Space and Time: Geographic Aspects of Communication and Infromation (London: Harper Collins Academic, 1991).

Arran Gare, "What is Postmodernity?" ch. 1 in Postmodernism and the Environmental Crisis (N.Y.: Routledge, 1995).

Veit Erlmann, "The Aesthetics of the Global Imagination: Reflections on World Music in the 1990s," Public Culture 8:3 (Spring 1996).

Willard Uncapher, "Between Local and Global: Placing the Mediascape in the Transnational Cultural Flow"

Mackenzie Wark, Virtual Geography: Living With Global Media Events (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994).


March 9 (Week 8)




1. Margaret Atwood, "Death By Landscape," Wilderness Tips, pp. 109-29. (KIT)

2. Rob Shields, from "The True North Strong and Free," in Places on the Margin: Alternative Geographies of Modernity (New York: Routledge, 1991), pp. 82-99. (KIT)

3. Scott Watson, "Race, Wilderness, Territory, and the Origins of the Modern Canadian Landscape Painting," in J. Zinovich (ed.), Semiotext(e): Canadas, pp. 93-104. (KIT)

4. Thomas Haig, "Not just some sexless queen: A note on 'Kids in the Hall' and the queerness of Canada," J. Zinovich (ed.), Semiotext(e): Canadas, pp. 227-9. (KIT)

5. Rinaldo Walcott, "Voyage through the Multiverse: Contested Canadian Identities," Border/Lines 36, pp. 49-52. (RESERVE)



Kieran Keohone, "Symptoms of Canada: National Identity and the Theft of National Enjoyment," CineAction 28 (1992), pp. 20-33. (RESERVE)

Lorna Roth, "(De)Romancing the North," Border/Lines 36 (1995), pp. 36-43. (RESERVE)

Gaile McGregor, "Re constructing environment: a cross-cultural perspective," Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 31 (3). (RESERVE)



Ian Angus, A Border Within: National Identity, Cultural Plurality, and Wilderness (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1997).

Jordan Zinovich (ed.), Semiotext(e): Canadas (New York: Semiotext(e)/Marginal, 1994)

John C. Lehr, "As Canadian as Possible... Under the Circumstances: Regional Myths, Images of Place and National Identity in Canadian Country Music," Border/Lines 2 (Spring 1985), 16-19.

Margaret Atwood, Strange Things: The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature (Oxford Clarendon Press, 1995).

Gaile McGregor, The Wacousta Syndrome: Explorations in the Canadian Langscape (Univ. of Toronto Press, 1985).


March 16 (Week 9)




1. Neil Smith, "Homeless/Global: Seeing Places," in Bird, Curtis, et al. (eds.), Mapping the Futures: Local Cultures, Global Change (Routledge, 1993), pp. 87-115. (KIT)

2. Sharon Zukin, "Postmodern Urban Landscapes," in Lash and Friedman (eds.), Modernity and Identity (Blackwell, 1992), pp. 221-43. (KIT)

3. Mike Davis, "Beyond Blade Runner: Urban Control -- The Ecology of Fear", Open Magazine Pamphlet Series. (RESERVE)

4. Roger Keil, "Greasy Jungle Metropolis Noir," in Local Places in the Age of the Global City, pp. 1-8. (KIT)



Rosalyn Deutsch, "Uneven development: the spaces of public art in New York City," in Ferguson, Geher, et al. (eds.), Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures (Cambridge, MA & London: MIT Press, 1992).

*David Harvey, "Class Relations, Social Justice, and the Politics of Difference," ch. 3 in Keith and Pile, Place and the Politics of Identity . OR

David Harvey, ch. 12 ("Class Relations, Social Justice, and the Political Geography of Difference") and ch. 13 ("The Environment of Justice") in Justice, Nature & the Geography of Difference.

Edward Soja, "Inside Exopolis: Everyday Life in the Postmodern World," in Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996), pp. 237-79. (RESERVE)



Mike Davis, City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (N.Y.: Verso, 1990).

Manuel Castells, The Informational City (Blackwell, 1989).

Roger Keil, "The Urban Future Revisited: Politics and Restructuring in L.A. After Fordism," Strategies: A Journal of Theory, Culture and Politics 3 (1990), pp. 105-29.

Susan Ruddick, "Heterotopias of the Homeless: Strategies and Tactics of Placemaking in Los Angeles," Strategies: A Journal of Theory, Culture and Politics 3 (1990), pp. 184-201.

*Peter Jackson, "Popular Culture and the Politics of Class," ch. 4 in Maps of Meaning.

Peter Jackson, "Policing difference: 'race' and crime in metropolitan Toronto," in Jackson and Penrose, Constructions of Race, Place and Nation (London: UCL Press, 1993).

Paul Gilroy, "Urban Social Movements, 'Race' and Community," in 'There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack' (London: Hutchinson, 1987).

Dean MacCannell, "Postmodern Community Planning: Notes on the Homeless and Other Nomads," in Empty Meeting Grounds: The Tourist Papers (London: Routledge, 1992).


March 23 (Week 10)




1. bell hooks, "Marginality as site of resistance," pp. 341-3. (KIT)

2. Smadar Lavie and Ted Swedenburg, Introduction to Displacement, Diaspora, and Geographies of Identity (London: Duke U. Press, 1996), pp. 1-23. (RESERVE)

3. Edward Soja, "Utopias and Heterotopias" and "The Principles of Heterotopology," Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places, pp. 155-62. (KIT)

*4. Barri Cohen, "Technological Colonialism and the Politics of Water," Cultural Studies 8 (2). (RESERVE)

5. George McKay, "Direct Action of the New Protest: Eco-Rads on the Road," in Senseless Acts of Beauty: Cultures of Resistance Since the Sixties (London: Verso, 1996), pp. 127-58. (KIT)



Jane Jacobs, "'Shake 'im this country': the mapping of the Aboriginal sacred in Australia -- the case of Coronation Hill", in Jackson and Penrose, Constructions of Race, Place and Nation, pp. 100-16. (RESERVE)

W. Chaloupka and R. McGregor Cawley, "The Great Wild Hope: Nature, Environmentalism, and the Open Secret," in J. Bennett and W. Chaloupka, eds., In the Nature of Things: Language, Politics, and the Environment (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), pp. 3-23. (RESERVE)

*Giovanna di Chiro, "Nature as community: the convergence of environment and social justice," in W. Cronon (ed.), Uncommon Ground. (RESERVE)



*Trinh Min-ha, "Nature's r," in FutureNatural.

Jane M. Jacobs, Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism and the City (N.Y.: Routledge, 1996).

Ferguson, Geher, et al. (eds.), Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures (Cambridge, MA & London: MIT Press, 1992).

George Chauncey, Gay New York (New York: Basic Books, 1994).

Helene Clark, "Sites of resistance: place, 'race' and gender as sources of empowerment", in Jackson and Penrose, Constructions of Race, Place and Nation.

bell hooks, "Postmodern blackness" and "Choosing the margin as a space of radical openness," in Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics (Boston: South End Press, 1990).

*Peter Jackson, "Languages of Racism," ch. 6 in Maps of Meaning.

Steven E. Silvern, "Nature, Territory and Identity in the Wisconsin Treaty Rights Controversy," Ecumene 2 (3), 1995, pp. 267-90.


March 30 (Week 11)




1. Cindy Katz and Andrew Kirby, "In the nature of things: the environment and everyday life, Trans. Inst. Br. Geog. 16 (1991), pp. 259-71. (KIT)

2. Jody Berland, "Fire and flame, lightning and landscape: tourism and nature in Banff, Alberta", in D. Augaitis and S. Gilbert, Between Views and Points of View (Banff: Walter Phillips Gallery, 1992), pp. 12-17. (RESERVE)

3. Rob Shields, "Imaginary Sites," in Augaitis and Gilbert. Between Views and Points of View, pp. 22-26. (RESERVE)

4. A. Ivakhiv, "Red Rocks, 'Vortexes,' and the Politics of Landscape," Social Compass vol. 44, no. 3 (1997), pp. 367-84. (KIT)

5. Jennifer Price, "Looking for nature at the mall," in W. Cronon, ed., Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature, pp. 186-202. (RESERVE)



*Neil Smith, "The production of nature," in FutureNatural. (RESERVE)

*Alex Wilson, chapters 1 ("The view from the road: recreation and tourism"), 4 ("Looking at the non-human: nature movies and TV"), and 6 ("City and country"), in The Culture of Nature.

*W. Cronon (ed.), Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature: chapters by Cronon ("The trouble with wilderness"), Spirn ("Constructing nature: the legacy of F. L. Olmstead"), Slater ("Amazonia as Edenic Narrative"), White ("Are you an environmentalist or do you work for a living?"), and Proctor ("Whose nature? The contested moral terrain of ancient forests"), and Susan G. Davis, "Touch the magic."

*Ross, Andrew, "The Ecology of Images," in The Chicago Gangster Theory of Life: Nature's Debt to Society (New York: Verso, 1994). (RESERVE)



John Urry, Consuming Places (London: Routledge, 1995) and The Tourist Gaze: Leisure and Travel in Contemporary Societies (London: SAGE, 1990).

Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle (Detroit: Black and Red, 1983).

Sharon Zukin, "Disney World: The Power of Facade and the Facade of Power," ch. 8 in Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World.

Steven Best and Douglas Kellner, "Modernity, Commodification, and the Spectacle From Marx through Debord into the Postmodern," in The Postmodern Adventure.

*J. R. Short, Imagined Country: Environment, Culture, and Society.

Larsen, Svend Erik. 1994. "Nature on the move: meanings of nature in contemporary culture." Ecumene 1 (3): 283-300.

Joe Bandy, "Managing the Other of Nature: Sustainability, Spectacle, amd Global Regimes of Capital in Ecotourism," Public Culture 8:3 (Spring 1996).


April 6 (Week 12)




*1. Donna Haraway, "The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate/d Others," ch. 18 in Grossberg, et al., Cultural Studies. (RESERVE)

2. Jody Berland, "Mapping Space: Imaging Technologies and the Planetary Body," in Aronowitz, ed., Technoscience and Cyberculture (New York: Routledge, 1996). (KIT)

*3. Mackenzie Wark, "Third Nature," Cultural Studies 8:1 (1994). (RESERVE)

4. Nigel Clark, "Panic Ecology: Nature in the Age of Superconductivity," TCS 14(1): 77-96, 1997. (KIT)



Jennifer S. Light, "The Changing Nature of Nature," Ecumene 4: 2 (1997), pp. 181-95. (RESERVE)

D. Haraway, "The Cyborg Manifesto," Simians, Cyborgs, and Women (New York: Routledge, 1991). (RESERVE)

*Tiziana Terranova, "Posthuman unbounded: artificial evolution and high-tech subcultures," in G. Robertson, M. Mash, et al., FutureNatural: Nature, Science, Culture (New York: Routledge, 1996), pp. 165-180. (RESERVE)

*J. Berland, "On Reading 'the Weather'," Cultural Studies. (RESERVE)

Arthur Kroker, "Virtual Capitalism" in Aronowitz, ed., Technoscience and Cyberculture (New York: Routledge, 1996). (RESERVE)



"Nature, politics, and possibilities: a debate and discussion with David Harvey and Donna Haraway," Social Space 1995

Felix Guattari, "The Three Ecologies," New Formations 8 (1989): 131-47.

Stephen Cosgrove, "Contested Global Visions: One-World, Whole-Earth, and the Apollo Space Photographs," Annals of the Assn. of Amer. Geographers 84 (2), 1994, pp. 270-94

*Alex Wilson, "Technological Utopias: World's Fairs and Theme Parks" and "On the Frontiers of Capital: Nuclear Plants and Other Environmental Architectures" in The Culture of Nature.

Arthur Kroker and Michael Weinstein, "The political economy of virtual reality: Pan-capitalism."

*Timothy Luke, "Environmental Emulations: Terraforming Technologies and the Tourist Trade at Biosphere 2" (ch. 5) and "Worldwatching at the Limits of Growth" (ch. 4) in Ecocritique.

Timothy Luke, "On Environmentality: Geo-Power and Eco-Knowledge in the Discourses of Contemporary Environmentalism," Cultural Critique, Fall 1995, pp. 57-81.

Timothy Luke, "Liberal society and cyborg subjectivity: The politics of environments, odies, and nature," Alternatives 21 (1996): 1-30.

*Jagtenburg and McKie, "Decentering Cartography," ch. 9 in Eco-Impacts and the Greening of Postmodernity.

*Mark Poster, "Postmodern virtualities," in FutureNatural.

Vivian Sobchack, "New Age mutant Ninja hackers: reading Mondo 2000," in Mark Dery, ed., Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture (London, Duke University Press, 1994), pp. 11-28.

Jane Bennett, "Primate visions and alter-tales," in J. Bennett and W. Chaloupka (eds.), In the Nature of Things: Language, Politics, and the Environment (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), pp. 250-65.

William Gibson, Neuromancer

Larry McCaffery (ed.), Storming the Reality Studio (London: Duke University Press, 1991).

Andrew Ross, Strange Weather: Culture, Science and Technology in the Age of Limits (London: Verso, 1991).

*Andrew Ross, The Chicago Gangster Theory of Life: Nature's Debt to Society.


April 13 (Week 13; optional class)





A course in 'Culture and Environment' could take a number of different forms, and this one has taken its shape around a particular focus -- that of current issues and debates in cultural theory, intersected with (and against) an interest in place, space, environment and 'nature.' Needless to say, the 'field' covered by this is still quite large, and any single weekly topic could potentially be expanded into a whole course on its own. Certain topics deserving of their 'own' separate week (such as race, sexuality, queer theory, nationalism, religion, ethnicity, animals, wilderness, weather, natural disasters and technological risks, television and other forms of cultural production, et al.) have been collapsed or merged into others. And among the forms that this course has not taken, but which it may well have, is one focused on environmental literature and the growing field of environmental literary criticism or 'ecocriticsm'; and the very active area of environmental discourse analysis (the analysis of media and public discourses and rhetorics of nature, the environment, and environmental issues, politics and action). Depending on student interest, an attempt could be made to accommodate these or other relevant areas within the course -- by way of student presentations, for instance, or through an 'extra,' thirteenth week. A few suggestions along with bibliographies for such an additional week follow.


John Berger, "Why Look at Animals?" in About Looking (New York: Pantheon, 1980).

*Alex Wilson, "Looking at the nonhuman," in The Culture of Nature.

Jody Emel, "Are you man enough, big and bad enough? Ecofeminism and wolf eradication in the USA," Society and Space 13 (1995), pp. 707-34.

Chris Philo, "Animals, geography, and the city: notes on inclusions and exclusions," Society and Space 13 (1995), pp. 655-81.

J. R. Wolch, K. West, and T. E. Gaines, "Transspecies urban theory," Society and Space 13 (1995), pp. 735-60.

Haraway, Donna, Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science. (New York: Routledge, 1989).

Barry Lopez, Of Wolves and Men (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978).

M. Cartmill, A View to a Death in the Morning: Hunting and Nature Through History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993).

Jennifer Wolch,"Zoopolis," Capitalism Nature Socialism v. 7, n. 2 (1996), pp. 21-47.

Morris Berman, "The wild and the tame: humans and animals from Lascaux to Walt Disney," in Coming to Our Senses: Body and Spirit in the Hidden History of the West (New York: Bantam, 1990), pp. 63-102.


Lawrence Buell, The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture (Cambridge, London: Belknap/Harvard University Press, 1995).

Michael McDowell, "The Bakhtinian Road to Ecological Insight," in C. Glotfelty and H. Fromm (eds.), The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology (Athens: Univ. of Georgia Press, 1996).

John Berger and Jean Mohr, excerpt from Another Way of Telling.

Barry Lopez, "Landscape and narrative," in Crossing Open Ground (N.Y.: Random House/Vintage, 1989), pp. 61-71.

Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape (New York: Bantam, 1987).

William Least Heat Moon, PrairyErth: (a deep map) (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991).

Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (New York: Viking, 1977).

*Cheryl Glotfelty and Harold Fromm (eds.), The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology (Athens: Univ. of Georgia Press, 1996).

Karl Kroeber, Ecological Literary Criticism: Romantic Imagining and the Biology of Mind (N.Y.: Columbia Univ. Press, 1994).

Patrick Murphy, Literature, Nature, and Other: Ecofeminist Critiques (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995).


*Timothy Luke, Ecocritique: Contesting the Politics of Nature, Economy, and Culture (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1997).

Carl G. Herndl and Stuart C. Brown, eds. Green Culture: Environmental Rhetoric in Contemporary America (Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1996).

James G. Cantrill and Christine L. Oravec (eds.), The Symbolic Earth: Discourse and Our Creation of the Environment (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996).

Jane Bennett and William Chaloupka (eds.), In the Nature of Things: Language, Politics, and the Environment (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993).

M. Jimmie Killingsworth and Jacqueline S. Palmer, Ecospeak: Rhetoric and Environmental Politics in America (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992).

Star A. Muir and Thomas L. Veenendall (eds.), Earthtalk: Communicative Empowerment for Environmental Action (Westport, CN & London: Praeger, 1996).

*Michael X. Delli Carpini and Bruce A. Williams, "'Fictional' and 'non-fictional' television celebrates Earth Day: or, politics is comedy plus pretense," in Cultural Studies 8:1 (1994), pp. 74-96.

Andrew Ross, Strange Weather: Science, Culture & Technology in an Age of Limits (Verso, 1991) and The Chicago Gangster Theory of Life (Verso, 1994).

Michael Redclift and Ted Benton (eds.), Social Theory and the Global Environment (London: Routledge, 1994).

Jacquelin Burgess and J. R. Gold (eds.), Geography, the Media and Popular Culture (London: Croom-Helm, 1985).

Anders Hansen, ed., The Mass Media and Environmental Issues. Leicester: Leicester University Press.


Mike Davis, "Let Malibu burn: A political history of the fire coast."

Mike Davis, The Ecology of Fear (to be published in spring 1997).

Don Delillo, "The Airborne Toxic Event," from White Noise (New York: Penguin, 1986), pp. 109-63.

Lawrence Buell, "Environmental Apocalypticism," in The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995), pp. 280-308.

M. Jimmie Killingsworth and Jacqueline S. Palmer, "Millennial ecology: the apocalyptic narrative from Silent Spring to Global Warming," in C. G. Herndl and S. C. Brown, Green Culture: Environmental Rhetoric in Contemporary America (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1996), pp. 21-43.


Some useful journals

In cultural studies and related areas (sociology of culture, communications, cultural geography, social space, etc):

Antipode, Border/Lines , Canadian Journal of Communication , Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory, Configurations, Critical Quarterly , Critical Studies in Mass Communications, CTheory (electronic journal), Cultural Critique, Cultural Studies , Environment and Planning D: Society and Space , Ecumene , Feminist Review, Gender, Place and Culture, Journal of Popular Culture , Media, Culture and Society, New Formations, Postmodern Culture (electronic journal) , Public Culture , Representations, Science as Culture , Screen, Social Text , Space and Culture , Strategies, Textual Practice , Theory, Culture & Society , Topia , 21.C

In environmental thought and culture:

Capitalism Nature Socialism , Environmental Ethics , Environmental History , Environmental Review , ISLE , The Trumpeter , Terra Nova (Nature and Culture)

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