Reading the American Landscape


Fall 2009


5th Floor Classroom


David Jaffee

This seminar will provide an overview of past and present approaches to the study of the American landscape and examine the ways in which key landscape genres have evolved and been interpreted over the course of the American experience. Topics will include the American home, imagining the Western landscape, city and suburb, landscape as inflected by class and race, the landscape of commerce, heritage landscapes, and the landscape of cyberspace. In addition to reading classic landscape scholars such as J. B. Jackson, D. W. Meinig, Yi Fu Tuan, and Kevin Lynch, the class will discuss the work of contemporary landscape theorists and historians, including Dolores Hayden, Rebecca Solnit, and Dell Upton. Students will also consider 19th-century interpreters of the American landscape of nature, such as Henry David Thoreau and the photographer William Henry Jackson. 3 credits.