Environmental Anthropology (L6101)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

In this module, you consider the cross-cultural study of relations between people and their environment.

Like the focus of many environmental movements, much recent work in ecological anthropology has been crisis-driven.

Whilst covering this literature, the focus of this module will be broader, taking a wider perspective, including the context in which the research itself is being done. Current work on the human dimensions of deforestation, or global climate change, for example, can be informed and strengthened by an understanding of the century-old intellectual lineage of the underlying issues.

Therefore, in this module you cover the evolution of environmental anthropology, using ethnographic exemplars that relate to contemporary environmental issues, whilst at the same time probing debates such as:

  • the Nature-Culture trap, and beyond
  • Ecology and Social Organisation
  • the Politics of Natural Resources and the Environment (including environmental anthropological contributions to mining, resource conflict etc.)
  • knowing (and the limits to knowing) and researching the environment.


33%: Lecture
67%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 300 hours of work. This breaks down into 30 hours of contact time and 270 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.