RCSSCI 350 - The Built Environment: Introduction to Landscape Change
Section: 001
Term: WN 2019
Subject: RC Social Sciences (RCSSCI)
Department: LSA Residential College
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course provides a forum for the critical examination of human-built spaces and their relationship to the natural environment.

It facilitates an inquiry around two basic sets of questions:

For any given site, what are its features, functions, and history; how does it act on its natural surroundings, and with what natural constraints?

At a broader level, how do we understand the boundary between the "built" and "natural"; in what ways does this line blur, and how have these meanings changed over time?

Over the course of the academic term, students will develop a conceptual vocabulary for tackling these questions — a language for examining and expressing with precision and subtlety what is happening in our built environment. Ultimately, students should gain a richer understanding of the term "environment" itself.

We will take a multi-faceted approach to this work.

Course Requirements:

The core work of the course is students' reading, reflecting, and sharing their insights in a variety of formats. Students are expected to:

  • engage in class discussion in an informed and thoughtful way;
  • write five brief essays (about 2 pages each) reflecting on a particular day's assigned reading;
  • edit, revise, and expand the short essays into a single 10- to 12-page final paper;
  • make a 10-minute oral presentation to the class on a site of the student's choosing (some students will substitute a paper for this assignment);
  • prepare an illustrated analysis of a built environment on campus, using photos and/or drawings and short passages of text.

Intended Audience:

Sophomores and Juniors in the Program in the Environment, or elsewhere in LSA. The course should appeal both to students interested in environmental literacy generally, and to those following specific environmental career tracks.

Class Format:

Class sessions will include lively discussion, small-group exercises, student presentations, and brief lectures.

RCSSCI 350 - The Built Environment: Introduction to Landscape Change
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
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