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Lecture 9

Lecture 9

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Department
Geography
Course
GEOG 210
Professor
Jon Unruh
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 9: Reading Cultural Landscapes 2/7/13 3:25 PM Midterm Review is this Thursday (Feb 7) th Video (examinable for Midterm 1) – Feb 12 Midterm Exam 1: Thursday, Feb 14 th Reading: Knox et al, Chapter 6, entire chapter To Review In addition to understanding how landscapes are shaped by people and how people are shaped by landscapes, geographers seek to identify how landscapes are perceived, understood and used by people. • Gathering fuelwood from a landscape fro your daily cooking, leads to a different perception than using the same landscape for conserving wildlife New: Reading Cultural Landscapes People filter information from their environments through mental processes • And everyone’s mental process is different • Differences also exist by language, ethnicity, religion, geography, etc… People draw on personality and culture to produce cognitive images or cognitive maps of their environment • Pictures or representations of the world that can be called to mind through the imagination • Ex. Giving a child a pen and having them draw a map of their world • Know this for midterm • Use these to interpret past experiences and understanding to understand the image • There is no correct map, scale is unimportant What matters in such a map or ‘view ‘ of the world? What does not matter? What peoples, and countries are lumped together? A cognitive image is more drawing like, it is not quantitative. Landscape as Archive Landscape serves as a kind of archive of society-landscape interaction. • It is a reflection of culture and experiences. Like a book, landscape is a text written by individuals and groups. It is a bit like poetry and a bit like archeology. There is a lot of interpretation going on based on what is there. Imagine a group that lives very close to nature, being able to read their landscape for their survival is critically important. Landscapes are constructed to reflect the everyday worlds of social groups and to represent power and the values of a particular society. Reading Cultural Landscapes The language in which a landscape is written is a kind of code. • The code or codes are signs that hold meaning about culture. To interpret our environment, we must learn how to read the codes that are written into the landscape. Semiotics: the written code of landscape, words or codes embedded in the landscape Codes signify important information about landscapes, such as whether they are • Sacred • Accessible • Off-limits • Oriented toward work • Oriented toward recreation All landscapes cane be understood in terms of their semiotics. Examples • Destruction
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