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Mapping and the Environmental Imaginary: History, Literature and Politics (HUC2014)

15 credits

This module brings together methodologies from landscape and environmental history, literature and literary eco-criticism, engaged fieldwork, cultural studies and urban geography, in order to explore practices of living in times of environmental and planetary uncertainty.

Students will gain experience of interpreting historical and literary map evidence as representations of real and imagined worlds since the medieval period. You will trace the interactions of cartography, political discourse and colonialism across time and space, while also examining the complex entanglements of local and global practices. You will study how relational inequalities have been created and sustained, focusing on how environments and resources have been mapped, read, represented and exploited over time. You will consider maps in their relation to environmental change through human and other-than-human interactions of earth, water, time, animate life, and more. We will explore together the possibility of creating alternative maps that engage with, and give historical context to, the urgent environmental issues of our time.