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Environmental Anthropology (383-0-20)


Melissa Rosenzweig
1812 Hinman #304
Office Hours: Mondays, 1:00 – 3:00 pm or by appointment. Room 304, 1812 Hinman
Melissa Rosenzweig is an anthropological archaeologist specializing in environmental archaeology of the ancient Near East. Her research incorporates regional specialization in northern Mesopotamia and the Levant, methodological expertise in archaeobotany, and theoretical specialization in human-environment interactions.

Meeting Info

ANTHRO Sem Rm 104 - 1810 Hinmn: Tues, Thurs 11:00AM - 12:20PM

Overview of class

Environmental anthropology is a more recent outgrowth of ecological anthropology, which emerged in the 1960s and 70s as an empirically-based focus on systemic human-environment relationships, especially as they pertain to patterns of social change and adaptation. Environmental anthropology became more prominent in the 1980s, and is typically characterized by research on communities' engagements with contemporary environmental issues. Environmental anthropology has greater commitments to advocacy, critique, and application than ecological anthropology, but as we'll see in this course, the proliferation of "new ecologies" (as opposed to "new environmentalisms") denotes the continued synergy between ecological and environmental anthropologies. This course is divided into two parts. Part I will provide an historical overview of the development of environmental anthropology. We will cover some of the most influential research trends in the field: environmental determinism, cultural ecology, systems ecology, ethnoecology, historical ecology, political ecology, and post-humanist ecology. Part II will then pivot to the application of environmental anthropology knowledge to some of the most pressing environmental issues facing the contemporary world: population pressure, capitalist consumption patterns, biodiversity conservation, sustainable agriculture, climate change, and environmental justice.

Evaluation Method

Reading Responses, Student Presentation, Midterm Take-Home Essay, Final Book Review

Class Materials (Required)

All of the readings for this course will come from articles and book chapters provided online through Canvas.