The American Scene (3) Historical perspectives on the social and cultural forces associated with the production of distinctive American landscapes.
GEOG 122 The American Scene (3)
(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
The American Scene offers a broad introduction to the historical geography of the United States through analysis of distinctive elements of regional landscapes. Archival evidence and contemporary photography are utilized to assist in an understanding of "landscape," "place" and "region", each important frames for geographical inquiry. It offers a humanistic perspective on the transformation of the United States from a land first occupied by Indian groups, then colonists from specific European realms, some supported by indentured or enslaved labor, as well as later immigrants in the national period, that pursue agricultural economies in an array of rural and urban settlement systems. Landscapes of modernity, associated with manufacturing, urban growth and new transportation systems, are also considered, as well as landscapes now emerging in the post-industrial era. At the conclusion of the course, students should have a deeper understanding of some of the issues involved in the analysis of place at a variety of spatial scales, and a better sense of the historical layering in the landscapes that they encounter each day and on their travels. The course is organized regionally and temporally. Case studies are drawn from a dozen regions, each emphasizing a different historical moment in the transformation of landscape since the end of the last Ice Age. Some examples draw on material at the scale of a single house or farm and others at the level of a multi-state industrial corporation such as US Steel in the early twentieth century. Any student interested in how the distinctive landscapes of the United States evolved to this point should enroll in The American Scene. It draws on scholarship in historical and cultural geography, as well as architectural history and art history.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.