Urban ecologies: cities and the production of nature and humanity in the Anthropocene John Janusek
We commonly think of cities as dynamic phenomena detached from nature, as human-built spaces of intense human action firmly situated on one side of strictly defined urban-rural and human-nature divides. This project will develop an immersive course centered in the Department of Anthropology that will craft connections across campus and throughout its encompassing Nashville communities. Situating this study in an understanding of the intensification of urbanization since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the course will also: a) use a long-term, global perspective on the origin of cities, b) investigate how producing cities entails transformations of local, regional, and distant environments, c) examine how cities construct subjects, and d) explore how cities contribute to uneven distributions of power and resources. The goal of this course is to create a critical awareness of our own urban environment and the efficacy that our routine actions play in them, and to promote trans-disciplinary efforts to engage these concerns at Vanderbilt.