3rd-year module for Geography, Physical Geography and Human Geography.
Module leader: Peter
Additional Tutors: Miriam
Burke (visiting artist) plus guests including Daniel
Allen, Richard Waller...
Classes: Weekly 2-hour lecture-workshops
Credit Value: 15 Credits (single
Assessment: 100% coursework.
VLE resources - module
web page - Facebook
Module Handbook 2013-14
|Scroll down the
page for set reading, schedule of classes, assessments, etc.
|Introduction to the module
The idea of landscape is at the
heart of Geography. In this module we look at landscape both through
geographers’ eyes and also through the eyes of artists, poets, explorers,
novelists, composers… By looking at landscape from different points of view and
placing the Geographer's viewpoint into a broader context we hope that you see
landscape in new ways, and therefore start to see more. This module explores landscape from a variety of different
perspectives to see how the big ideas of Geography tie together in the
context of this broad context of landscape, art, science and culture. The module has been awarded a Keele
University Teaching Innovation Award and is unique in being taught jointly
by a Physical Geographer, Human Geographers, and a visiting artist. The
module is suitable for students from all parts of Geography including the
Physical Geography, Human Geography and Geography degree routes at Keele.
In weekly lecture-workshops we use short
case studies of a wide range of landscapes to identify and explore different
ways in which landscape can be inspirational in scientific, artistic and
other cultural contexts including film, literature and music. "Inspirational
Landscapes" is extreme geography: pushing out the limits of our
appreciation and understanding of geography as a discipline and of landscape to help students in the final
stages of their degree to explore the boundaries of the subject and to
develop new ideas about how people see, and are inspired by, the world
The assessment is mainly project-based, and students can submit work either as a conventional written
report or in a multimedia format including sound, video, sculpture... whatever
is most appropriate for their project. Students
are free to tie the project directly to their own interests in areas such
as music, film or literature or to adopt a more traditional geomorphological,
historical, cultural or applied approach to landscape.
|"When I first
started I was a bit unsure of the relevance, but it was the most enjoyable
class I had and it taught me a lot about thinking outside of the box, looking
at other people's perspectives and not just assuming that my own thoughts
student writing on the Facebook discussion board)
module to end on as it gives you the choice to produce work based on your
strengths and interests."
on VLE discussion board)
I found easy: wanting to come to the lectures!" (student
feedback , March 2009)
Aims of the module
To explore landscape from a variety of different
perspectives (physical and cultural) to see how the big ideas of Geography
tie together in the context of this overarching theme.
To explore relationships between the physical
environment and human creativity in both science and popular culture.
To examine the ways in which the physical
landscape has been an inspiration to both artists and scientists.
To examine contrasting representations of
landscape in science and in cultural media such as literature, film and
To provide a module in which students can
explore the boundaries of the discipline of Geography: both internal (for
example between physical and human geography) and external (for example
where geography meets the creative arts).
To provide a new type of module for Keele
Geography students, with the opportunity to combine lecture-based learning
with a piece of independent project work that can include multimedia components.
Intended Learning Outcomes for students
Systematic understanding, based on coherent
and detailed knowledge of case study examples, of ways in which the geographical
landscape is represented in science and in cultural media such as film,
literature and music.
Ability to recognize and critically evaluate
different representations of landscape in scientific and cultural media.
Ability to initiate and carry out a project
that explores in depth, and communicates in an appropriate geographical
style, the inspirational role of landscape and the ways in which landscape
is represented in one media type or genre.
was amazing... best class through the whole of Uni"
writing on VLE discussion board)
"I wouldn't recommend
it to those who are stuck in their ways about geography because unless
you're willing to open up to new ideas then you won't benefit."
writing on VLE discussion board)
In weekly lecture-workshops we will identify
ways in which landscape is central to the discipline of Geography and then
use short case studies of a wide range of landscapes to identify and explore
different ways in which landscape can be inspirational in scientific, artistic
and other cultural contexts. Specific content will to some extent be decided
by the students in discussions during the first few classes.
Assistance with projects will be provided
by the presentation of sample mini-projects as case studies during the
lectures, and there will be workshop sessions during which students will
receive peer review and support. Students can also approach staff individually
as required for one-to-one support. Individual feedback will be provided
on the assessed project proposal before students write up their projects.
This provisional list of sessions may evolve
as the course progresses, and is intended to serve only as a loose outline.
Students are welcome to sugest additional topics or activities. Further
information including lecture notes, links and readings will be placed
on the VLE. Discussions about the course are encouraged either on the VLE
or, better still, through the facebook group where former students can
Draft Schedule for
THIS MAY VARY SIGNIFICANTLY IN RESPONSE TO STUDENT
INPUT AS THE COURSE MOVES FORWARD...
it all about?
inspirational landscapes? What are our key themes and topics? Landscapes
in spaces and places and faces. T.S.Eliot - exploration. Rudyard Kipling. Marcel
Proust. Different views: D.W.Meinig - The Beholding Eye. What is
Landscape? John Constable. Jackson Pollock. Monument Valley. Ansel Adams.
Markus Hartel. Capability Brown. People. Buildings. Sky. The future. Written,
cinematic, created, natural, seen, heard, touched, felt? Is landscape seen
or seen from? Cultural image, mode of social engagement. W.G.Hoskins (landscape
= symphony), Mahler (symphony = everything). W.H.Auden, Face as landscape.
Landscape as face. Reading landscape. Natasha Bedingfield. John Wayne.
Sergio Leone. Torres del Paine. Uluru. Science and scientists inspired
by landscape. Edward Elgar. How do landscapes inspire? Thomas Hardy. Landscape
and Geography. “The skin of the Earth”. Activities: post your own “inspirational
landscape” item or link onto Facebook Page.
How the module works. Nuts
and bolts: reading, assessment etc. The projects.
begin by being lost.
that everybody knows the value of being lost. Solnit, R. (2006) “A
Field Guide to Getting Lost”. Walter Benjamin. Julie Mehretu. Advice about
the coursework project. Student ideas of Inspirational Landscapes.
Mapping Inspirational (and inspired) Landscapes. Being Lost. Maps. Our
course “map”. The importance of tying our own ideas back to literature
and theory (other people’s experiences) as well as to our own experience.
W.G.Hoskins and the meaning of “landscape”. Landscape as process, as tension,
as currency. Reading. The “core texts”, how and what to read.Your projects
(and project proposals): what we expect; your ideas; our advice; previous
students’ projects (examples). How to make progress on your project proposal.
Items from the Facebook discussions.
3. (PGK with Daniel Allen)
Created and Cultural Landscapes.
theories; spaces, places, scales, boundaries, movements; Animal Landscapes.
Animal Geographies. Carl Sauer.
Cultural landscapes. J.B.Jackson. Yi Fu Tuan. Embodied landscapes, power,
identity and gender in landscape. Literary and Cinematic Landscapes defining
spaces, places etc. eg Bronte Country etc. and other imaginary representations.
Landscape extracts from "Blade Runner" and "Once Upon a Time in the West".
Spaces, places, scales,
boundaries, movements. Yi Fu Tuan. Barry Lopez - “Arctic Dreams”.
Sergio Leone. Walt Disney. Cormac McCarthy.
Distinction between Home and not home. Homesick / farsick. Crowds vs emptiness.
Change over time. Evolution. Transition. Degradation. Conservation.
Space-shrinking technology. Landscapes represented in film and music.
Pierre Schaeffer - “Musique Concrète.
4. (PGK with Miriam Burke)
Place Art and Music.
The artist's viewpoint.
Introducing Miriam, and how her work and the work of other artists intersects
with our “landscape” theme encouraging you to have new ideas and explore them.
Artistic methodologies. Turner, Friedrich, Katie Patterson. Spencer Finch. Roni
Horn. Sophie Calle. Land Art. Richard Long. Robert Smithson. Sound
in the landscape. Aboriginal Songlines.
Soundtracks to landscapes. Antoine de St. Exupery. Landscapes represented in film and music. Marcel Proust “In Search of Lost
Time”. “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. Anthony and the Johnsons
- “Another World”. Peter Gabriel - “Solsbury Hill”. Theme tunes for “Earth”
and for “Home”?
5. (PGK with Dr Alex Nobajas)
Home, Sleep, Death
and the Cold North.
imaginary and terrestrial landscapes. Heaven and Hell. Cemetery landscapes.
The River Styx. Dante Alighieri - The Divine Comedy. Gustav Doré.
Hieronymus Bosch. Pieter Brueghel the elder. The Aboriginal Dreamtime.
Hamlet - “To be or not to be…”. Landscapes of sleep; Sleepy Geographies.
People in the landscape. Polar landscapes: cold, silence, sleep and death.
Scott’s polar expedition. Hypothermia. Captain Oates and The Blizzard.
Derek Mahon - “Antarctica”. W.H.Auden - “Journey to Iceland.” Responses
to Landscape: Science and Religion… and Art. Polar landscape art. Cape
6 (PGK and Miriam Burke)
comfort and the lure of the sublime.
Creative workshop. The
Sublime. Edmund Burke. Immanuel Kant. Arthur Schopenhauer. Castree (2004):
The Geographical Sublime. Total-perspective vortex. Mervyn Peake - “Suddenly,
walking along the open road”. The Romantic movement. Beethoven’s
Pastoral Symphony. Wagner’s Flying Dutchman overture. Civilisation. The
myth of the countryside. English country landscape. Mr and Mrs Andrews.
BBC “Mountain” video? Remnants of Everest / Storm over Everest video. Scott’s
expedition journal. The motivation to exploration. Adventure. Extreme Sports.
7. (PGK with Dr Daniel Allen)
Landscapes and Wilderness
in the Physical Environment. Coasts, boundaries, divisions, the surface
of a body. Fractal Geometry. How long is the coastline of Britain? The
wilderness (Yosemite). John Muir, Hetch Hetchy debate, William Cronon.
Terra Nullius. The American West(ern). John Ford. The Searchers.
Monument Valley. F.J.Turner’s “Frontier Thesis”. Frederick Remington.
Reading the (American) landscape. J.B. Jackson. Jeffersonian Agrarian Myth
. National Identity. Heimat. Wilderness, boundary and “otherness” in literary
landscapes. Representing landscapes in literature. Italo Calvino: "Invisible
Cities". Science fiction: the final frontier. “Things you people
wouldn’t believe” (Blade Runner). Cowboys and Aliens.
8. (PGK with Miriam Burke)
Rivers and watery
Imaginary-art exercise. Rivers
& watery landscapes. Rivers as routeways and barriers. River as boundary:
physical and psychological. Rivers as transport, and as agents of change:
Physical and Human geographies. Restore Hetch Hetchy campaign. W.H.Auden
“River Profile. W.M.Davis: river profile. Watery themes in literary Geography.
“A river runs through it”. “The Wind in the Willows”. Water-inspired architecture:
Le Corbusier. Video extract: Robert Perkins “Into the Great Solitude”.
Oceans. Water-inspired art. Art activity with Mim. Sophie Calle. The Space
Chair (Simon Faithfull).
9. (PGK with Richard Waller)
The sea and the sky
the world from different points of view: science, emotion, aesthetic. Reminder:
Proust, Kipling, Eliot. Pablo Neruda: “The skin of the Earth”. The relative
location of people and sky. Systems approach: energy, materials, forms.
Meteorology. Atmosphere. Clouds. Sky as landscape. Polluting the sky. Revisiting
D.W.Meinig. Cultural climatology. John Thornes. John Constable. Claude
Monet. Joseph Priestly and the invention of air. Networks and systems in
space. Inspirations to knowledge. Thomas Kuhn and scientific revolutions.
Academic and cultural “turns”: the oceanic “turn”. Antoine de St.Exupery
- early aviator. Exploration. Case study from RIW on seeing things differently
from a glider… and a kayak. Aerial photography: the view from above.
10. (PGK with Miriam Burke)
Geography: this is the end
Combining Art, Science and
Geography: Miriam's story. The "right order" art exercise. The
European landscape Convention. World Heritage Sites. UNESCO designated
heritage landscape. Official and rebel geographies. Total Geography. Lifelong
learning in Geography. Confidence and expertise. About the online test.
Students’ Inspirational Landscapes from the VLE. Project advice. Additional
content in this final session will depend on student input/queries during
|The module is assessed entirely by coursework:
there is no end-of-year exam.
20% - An on-line test requiring
short answers to questions related to core material from lectures and set
reading. Test to be completed at the end of the course. Deadline:
to be completed by 11.59pm Friday 2nd May.
20% - A project-proposal (maximum
length 1000-words plus full reference list) to be submitted in class,
week 5. (12 noon 28th Feb, 2014)
Further information and advice about all elements
of the coursework will be provided in class and/or on the VLE
60% - A project, which can be
written up as conventional text (expected length 2500-3500 words) or presented
partially in other media such as video, (project content equivalent to 2500-3500
words of text, including at least some textual write-up). To be submitted to Geography Office for anonymous assessment.
Deadline: 4pm Tuesday of the first week after the Easter Vacation (week
top-scoring project in this module so far was by Sean White, who scored
90% for a short film and accompanying workbook. Sean's aim was to "appreciate
the experiences from our personal history within landscapes which come
together and form a sense of place". His method was "to digest a range
of text, art and media that deals with the subject of landscape, record
them in the workbook, and use them to produce a short film documentary."
called it a "beautiful film and a fascinating workbook demonstrating both
original ideas and engagement with Geographical literature".
Previous student projects have included:
Impact of the Malvern Hills on Elgar's music
Video diary of a walk in Wordsworth's footsteps
Photomontage of the experience of Dovedale
Influences of Indian landscape on fashion
Johnny Depp: face, costume and landscape
Landscapes of Lord of The Rings
Landscape design for computer games
Disney morality enforced by Disney landscape
Use of landscape images in advertising
Thomas Hardy and the "Wessex" landscape
the course gives you to explore Geography is really beneficial to my degree...
forcing me to think outside the box" (student feedback, March '09)
There are many relevant books in the library
that students will find helpful for this module. Each student will find
specific reading relevant to their particular interests and their "take"
on the themes in the module, and will develop these individual interests
as they pursue their project.
You should take a look at as many as possible of the books listed below and
focus on those that provide you with the most relevant material for your
approach to the module.
The following texts provide a solid background
and a context of Geographical theory that students can use as a starting
point and as a source of reference. Multiple copies of these texts are
available in Keele Library.
There are many other books in Keele Library
directly relevant to this module. For example:
Botton, A (2003) The Art of Travel (Penguin)
Dear, M. (et
al.) (eds) (2011) GeoHumanities: Art, History, Text at the edge of Place.
Hawkins, H. (2014) For Creative Geographies. Geography,
Visual Arts and the Making of Worlds. (Routledge)
Daniels, S. (et
al.) (eds) (2011) Envisioning Landscapes, Making Worlds. Geography and the
T. (2004) For the Beauty of the Earth (Shoemaker and Hoard)
P. et al (eds) (2012) The Routledge companion to landscape studies (Routledge)
K.J. (2000) "The Changing Nature of Physical Geography"
Chapter 10: Cultural Physical Geography. pp254-271.
D. (et al.) (2006) Burning ice; art & climate change.
F. (et al.) (2008) Language of the Earth. also
as e-book here
G. (2013) Feral: searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding.
S. (2005) Art and Science also
as e-book here
B. (1999) Arctic Dreams. (Harvill)
J. (2011) How the English made the Alps. (Faber and Faber)
D.W. (ed) (1979) The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes: Geographical
Essays. (Oxford University Press).
D.E. (1998) Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape (University of Wisconsin
S. et al (2011) Envisioning Landscapes, Making Worlds (Routledge)
Try doing a "keyword" search
for "landscape" in Keele
Library online catalogue
Additional reading material will be suggested
in association with specific lecture topics, and students will be encouraged
to find additional sources relevant to their project work. The nature of
this module is such that there is no set textbook. This module is an opportunity
for you to expand the boundaries of your geographical knowledge in areas
that are of particular interest to you. The reading can be chosen and tailored
by the student in the context of their specific interests. Specific readings
and course content that will be assessed in the on-line test will be explained
Examples of the kinds of paper that may
be of interest, and are relevant to specific sections of the lecture course,
Allen, C.D. (2011) "On Actor-Network
Theory and Landscape". Area 43, 3, 274-280. Available in hard copy or e-journal
Thornes, J.E. (2008) "Cultural
climatology and the representation of sky, atmosphere, weather and climate
in selected art works of Constable, Monet and Eliasson." GeoForum 39 (2),
Housefield, J. (2007) "Sites
of time: organic and geologic time in the art of Robert Smithson and Roxy
Paine." Cultural Geographies 14, 537-561 http://cgj.sagepub.com/content/14/4/537
(This talks about Land Art, which is an important topic at the cross-over
between art and geography, which we will consider in lectures)
Buchmann, A. et al., (2010)
"Experiencing Film Tourism: authenticity and fellowship." Annals of Tourism
Research 37 (1), 229-248 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738309001170
(This talks about how the filming of " The Lord of the Rings" affected
New Zealand tourism)
Couper, P. and Yarwood, R.
(2012) "Confluences of human and physical geography research on the outdoors:
and introduction to the special section on "Exploring the outdoors". Area
44 (1), 2-6. (This introduces a special section of Area volume 44
that includes several relevant papers). Paper copy available in Keele Library:
Cartographic Journal 48(4)
2011 - Special Issue on Cartographies of Fictional Worlds
Flenley, J. (2007) For the Beauty of
the Earth. Stimulus: The New Zealand
Journal of Christian Thought & Practice. Vol. 15 Issue 4, p21-25. Keele
Additional learning resources
This module is supported by additional
resources on the Keele VLE, including selected lecture notes, links to
relevant websites, and a module discussion board. The online test that
makes up 20% of the module will be administered through the VLE
so it is essential that you all access these resources. There is also a
group that some students from previous years have joined. It would
be great if we could get some discussion going between present and former
students in that group, so please do join if you are on Facebook. If you
are on Twitter you may want to keep an eye on @PKGeog, as I occasionally
tweet useful links and tips there, too, although those are not official parts of
If you need help:
Staff will be available throughout the
course to provide help and support. There will be opportunities for
individual and group discussions within the timetabled classes and students
can contact staff for individual support outside classes whenever they
|NB: Not everybody
likes this module:
would prescribe this module as a new challenge, however, for the final
module of my third year I don't feel like I need to be enlightened or have
my mind opened to a new way of thinking about Geography." (student
on WebCT discussion board May '09)
If you feel that way, don't do this
Module Leader Contact:
Dr Peter Knight, William Smith Building
room WS1.40, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org