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Anthropology of Space, Architecture and the Landscape (Level 6)


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Assessment: a 2500-word annotated bibliography (40%) and 3500-word essay (60%)

Module description

This module explores the social and cultural dynamics of places through theoretical analyses and ethnographic texts. Landscape and the built environment are key features of human material worlds and have been analysed in terms of perception, action, language and cognition. The study of social and cultural space is interdisciplinary with contributions from social and cultural geography, urban planning, vernacular architecture, archaeology, refugee studies in addition to anthropology.

How do buildings and selves interact? In what ways do landscapes elicit or deny out identities? During this course we will examine spatial practices across cultures and across scales (objects, bodies, buildings, landscapes) in order to elucidate their relevance to the study of power, identity and history.

The course aims to provide you with an appreciation of the variety of analytical equipment available for the task of understanding the complex role of space in society. It will give you a sophisticated insight into the multifaceted ways landscape and the built environment are experienced, created, and contested. It will hone your critical skills through a careful and rigorous analysis of key texts.

Indicative module content

  • Space and place
  • The built environment
  • Colonial and indigenous perspectives of landscape
  • The power, politics and social organisation of space
  • Spatial practices of everyday life
  • The anthropology of space and gender