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


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

Module description

In this module we explore 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
  • anthropology.

How do buildings and selves interact? In what ways do landscapes elicit or deny out identities? During this module 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.

By the end of the module, you will appreciate the variety of analytical equipment available for the task of understanding the complex role of space in society. You will gain a sophisticated insight into the multifaceted ways landscape and the built environment are experienced, created and contested, and hone your critical skills through a careful and rigorous analysis of key texts.

Indicative syllabus

  • 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