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FIF 232 Mutual Transformations: Human and Environment Interactions

Course Description

One of the most primordial relationships is that of humans and their environment. Through time, human cultures have learned, adapted, and transformed the world into humanized landscapes. Whether an urban city, agricultural field, or sacred place, the landscape fuses cultural meaning and the external environment. These landscapes, however, are not stable entities. Through the passage of time, contact with other populations and new ideas, as well as environmental shifts and disasters, landscapes and cultures are subject to dynamic change. We will examine the reciprocal relationship that humans have with their environment. Topics covered include the origins of cities, conquests and migrations of populations, the development of agriculture, water management, resource extraction, and climate change. Most examples will be drawn from New World and colonial sources, ranging in time from millennia before the Conquest in Mexico through to the present day in our province of Alberta.

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