Environmental Anthropology (L6066)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

On this module, you’ll consider the crosscultural study of relations between people and their environments. Much recent work in ecological anthropology has been crisis driven. We’ll consider this literature but take a wider perspective, including the context in which the research itself is being done.

Current work on, for example, the human dimensions of deforestation or global climate change can be informed and strengthened by an understanding of the century-old intellectual lineage of the underlying issues. This module covers the evolution of environmental anthropology, using ethnographic exemplars that relate to contemporary environmental issues. It also explores 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
  • anthropologies of climate and climate change.


33%: Lecture
67%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Dissertation)

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.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: