GEOG 210 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Cultural Landscape, Natural Environment, Luxurious

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7 Feb 2013
Lecture 8: The Making of Cultural Landscapes
2/5/13 8:41 AM
Quiz 2 has been extended by a day. It is now ending at 5pm on Saturday,
February 2.
Reading: Fellman et al, Chapter 5, Entire Chapter
The Concept of Nature//Progression in Views of Nature
What is a Resource? An Environment?
Visual resource in Quebec
o Tourism
o What was not a resource in the past, is a resource today and
Resources change constantly
Humans designate as ‘resources’
Only those things which they consider useful and have the
knowledge and technology to use it
o Window of Opportunity
o Provide desired goods and services
o Natural stuff failing to meet this requirement is called:
! “Neutral stuff”
! “Nuisance stuff”
Resources are time sensitive and person sensitive.
What is Nature: Cultural Variation in Views of Nature
What is and is not a resource is a matter of perception.
A perceived set of resources differs over time and space to reflect variations
Physical Presence
Social structures
Economic Conditions
Political Systems
Resources are not spread evenly. The location must line up with the window
of opportunity to exploit that resource. A lot of inputs have to line up to be
able to use a resource.
What is a Resource?
Resources are visible, but not always from the service.
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This difference in WHERE resources are WHEN, and for WHO is important in
the formation of cultural landscapes:
Particularly where the cultural significance of:
o Landscapes
o Flora
o Fauna
o Ecosystems
All these things vary between social groups.
If we use it, it is a resource.
Exam: What is a resource and give an example?
What is Nature?
Western views of the environment:
We start with Paradise
o All things good
o Luxurious garden
o Mild climate all year
o Ripe fruit on every tree
o No thorns, stinging insects
o No aggressive animals
o No want or danger
o And Ideal state
o Historically: In the Judeo-Christian Tradition, Paradise is good
and wilderness was then seen as a manifestation of evil.
! Then, wilderness embodies
" 1. Danger
" 2. Beyond Control
" 3. Terror of the wild, leading to a hostility toward
" 4. Evil, supernatural, monstrous
" 5. Mystery, fear
! Wilderness as ‘evil’
" For the greeks, there were many demons that
lived in the wild places.
" The lord of the woods for the Greeks was called
“Pan” and was part man part beast.
! Views of Nature
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" Safety and happiness depended on getting away
from nature and wilderness.
" But for much of history, reality was forced to live
on the land.
" They wanted to control the land.
! Nature is just their garden and cultivated field. The
good part of the natural world.
o Humans in this tradition wanted to control nature:
! Fire
! Domestication of animals
! Clearing land and raising crops
o The reduction in the amount of wilderness and the increase in
the amount of cleared agricultural land in an area. This
marked achievement and advancement toward civilization.
o The earlier people in this tradition lived too close to
wilderness and danger and hardship were everywhere.
o “Civilizing” areas meant bringing order to chaos and changing
evil into good.
Later, with the advance of this ‘civilizing’, nature became viewed as
something useful.
o Trees became lumber
o Prairies became farms
o Canyons became sites for dams
o Make the wilderness bloom
o Uncultivated land in this view was useless
o ‘Idealized Progress’
Nature becomes useful. It now relies on an innovator to see this
A shift Begins
o Appreciation of wilderness and the environment began in
cities of the more developed west.
o In the 18th and 19th centuries wild country lost much of its
repulsiveness in the West.
o In the 19th century it became possible to live and travel
widely without coming into contact with wild country.
o Qualities of solitude and mystery are now sought after.
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