Anthropology and the Environment

Offered at UC Riverside, Fall 2009

Humans have transformed their environments for millennia, but in the last fifty years we have altered the global environment in ways that have no precedent in human history or in geological time. With the contemporary environmental crisis as its backdrop, this course examines some classic and contemporary anthropological approaches to the environment and environmentalism: cultural ecology, political ecology, environmental history, science studies, poststructuralist cultural studies, and environmental justice. As we review these approaches and their implications for our understanding of human relations to the environment, we will see how anthropologists and people they study alike are engaging with contemporary environmental issues including biodiversity conservation, deforestation, community-based natural resource management, ecotourism, and climate change.


With some serious misgivings, I have decided to host materials for this course on iLearn (UCR's Blackboard installation) rather than on a public site. Feel free to contact me with questions.