STS.036 Industrial Landscapes, Fall 2004
Author(s)Fitzgerald, Deborah Kay
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Subject considers how the visual and material world of "nature" has been reshaped by industrial practices, beliefs, structures, and activities. Readings in historical geography, aesthetics, American history, environmental and ecological history, architecture, city planning, and landscape studies. Several field trips planned to visit local industrial landscapes. Assignments involve weekly short, written responses to the readings, and discussion-leading. Final project is a photo-essay on the student's choice of industrial site (photographic experience not necessary). Description from course home page: What makes a landscape industrial? What makes an industrial site a landscape? This class considers how the development of technology in America intersected with the natural world, in some cases reshaping its contours and meanings, and in other cases getting redefined by nature's largesse or diminished capacity. The dynamic relationship between these two forces offers many examples of "historical camouflage" in which places and things are not entirely what they seem to be. At this point in history, what things that we see are not industrial in some way? How can we learn the history of places, both obviously industrial like factories, and not so obviously, like supermarkets? Is there a pattern in urban and rural places regarding where things are located, such as railroad lines, houses, refineries? How do industrial patterns differ from non-industrial patterns? The goal of this class is to develop a richer appreciation for the ways in which nature has pushed back, resisted, and collaborated with technologies in America.
landscape, technology, nature, wilderness, industry, industrial, commons, america, history, agriculture, systems, conservation, preservation, development, environment