Environmental Anthropology (L6066)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

This module considers the cross-cultural study of relations between people and their environments. Like the focus of many environmental movements, much recent work in ecological anthropology has been crisis-driven, but whilst covering this literature the focus 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. The module will therefore 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; humanity and animality; the nature (ontology) of nature, including anthropologies of air, earths, fire and water; historical and anthropological challenges to equilibrial ecological reasoning; and anthropologies of climate and climate change.

This module will be assessed by a 7,000-word dissertation.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 36 hours of contact time and about 264 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: