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Studiegids

nl en

Economy and Ecology

Vak
2020-2021

Admission Requirements

Only the following categories of students may register for this course:

Students of the second year of the bachelor’s programme CADS (the 10 ECTS variant)

Archaeology students from the bachelor’s programme Heritage and Society (5 ECTS variant).

Language of Instruction

Lectures are given in English.
Exams are in English.

Course Description, Part One (for 5 ECTS variant + 10 ECTS variant)

Economy and Ecology introduces students to anthropological perspectives on the relationship between political economy and the environment. Ethnographers have long argued that ‘nature’ and ‘culture’—including the cultural products and systems we label ‘economic’—are not discrete spheres but tightly interwoven; many peoples do not, in fact, distinguish the two at all. Accordingly, this course explores dynamic interactions between political-economic systems, environments, and human bodies in order to question dualistic thinking about nature and culture. Topics include critiques of ‘natural’ disasters; the uneven distribution of environmental benefits and burdens along lines of gender, class, race and other categories; how political economies shape our relations with non-human life; and anthropological ways of understanding climate change. In thinking about these topics, we will explore how in many cases efforts to distinguish the natural and the cultural, particularly in advanced industrial economies, work to legitimate social and environmental inequalities.

Learning Objectives

  • To acquire knowledge about environmental anthropology and its claims about the relationship between political economy and ecology

  • To gain insight, through topical lectures, into how the above can illuminate current social and environmental problems by bringing them into dialogue with ethnographic case studies

Mode of Instruction

Total 5 ECTS = 140 study hours (sbu):

Lectures: 6 x 2 hours = 12h * 1,5 = 18 sbu
Written assignment (1,800 words) = 24 sbu
Literature (ca. 685 pages = 98 sbu)

Assessment Method

Final (take-home) examination (100% of final mark).

Students must achieve exam grades of at least 6,0 to complete the course; unsatisfactory exams may be re-taken no more than once.

Written assignment: marked as ‘pass’ or ‘not pass’; a ‘pass’ gives access to the exam. If not passed may be re-taken no more than once.

Course Description, Part Two (for 10 ECTS variant only)

Part Two will then shift attention to a single topic: water. Evolving systems of water management have played key roles in the development of contemporary societies; today, growing scarcity of water and the threat of water-related disasters have created considerable debate about how to channel and sometimes prevent water flow. The second half of the course therefore examines the complex relationships between efforts to manage water and govern society. Themes we will cover include relationships between water, culture, and livelihoods; water infrastructures, identity formation, and class struggle; and water and security, including mitigation of individual disasters and climate change generally. By putting these issues into dialogue with the critiques of nature-culture dualism explored in the first half of the course, we will consider how to recognize, understand, and improve the social, economic and political channels water both flows through and shapes.

Learning Objectives

  • To acquire knowledge about environmental anthropology and its claims about the relationship between political economy and ecology

  • To gain insight into how the above can illuminate current social and environmental problems through topical lectures bringing them into dialogue with ethnographic case studies

  • To apply anthropological perspectives on nature-culture, infrastructure, and economies to contemporary water problems

Mode of Instruction

Total 10 ECTS = 280 study hours (sbu):

Lectures: 12 x 2 = 24 hours * 1,5 = 36 sbu
Written assignments (total of 3,600 words): = 48 sbu
Literature ca. 1,350 pages = 196 sbu

Assessment Method

Mid-term (take-home) examination (50% of final mark)
Final (take-home) examination (50% of final mark).

Result of both exams must be graded as at least 6 to complete the course; if unsatisfactory each can be re-taken no more than once.
Written assignments: marked as ‘pass’ or ‘not pass’; a ‘pass’ gives access to the exams. If not passed each may be re-taken no more than once.

Registration

Registration for the lectures in uSis is mandatory for all students. Please consult the course registration website for information on registration periods and further instructions.

You are required to register in uSis for every exam (Part One, Part Two). This can be done up to 11 calendar days prior to the examination. Read more

Brightspace

Brightspace is the digital learning environment of Leiden University. Brightspace gives access to course announcements and electronic study material. Assignments will also be submitted in Brightspace. Announcements about and changes to courses are given via Brightspace. Students are advised to check Brightspace daily to keep informed about rooms, schedules, deadlines, and all details of assignments. Lecturers assume that all students read information posted on Brightspace.

  • How to login

The homepage for Brightspace is: Brightspace

Please log in with your ULCN-account and personal password. On the left you will see an overview of My Courses.

For access to courses in Brightspace students must be registered for those courses in uSis.

Course Literature

Monographs and articles from electronic journals and encyclopaedias are available through the digital university library (to be announced).

Contact

Dr. Andrew Littlejohn