Graham Sustainability Institute

Culture, Adaptation, and Environment


This course explores anthropological approaches to human relationships with their environments and resources. We will examine diverse conceptions of culture and nature, and time and space, and the interaction between contemporary global forces, indigenous societies, and their ecosystems. Particular interest for complementary materialist and culturalist analysis of human-environment relationships, through cultural anthropology case studies of hunting and gathering, pastoralism, farming, commerce, colonialism, modernization, and globalisation issues. We will read several short books about different people, places, and environmental problems (E.E. Evans-Pritchard's "The Nuer"; Colin Turnbull's "The Forest People"; Joe Kane's "Savages"...). These books will not only provide case studies, but will also show us the way cultural anthropology has changed over the years, expanding its range of theories, descriptive practices, and audience on matters of culture, adaptation, and environment. There will also be a selection of articles about the ideas and concepts that are relevant for analyzing changing human-environment relationships, emphasizing today's interactions between economic growth, environmental change, and human health.

Literature, Science, & Arts » Anthropology
Literature, Science, & Arts
Literature, Science, & Arts » Program in the Environment
Winter 2016