National Bodies & National Landscapes
General Catalog Course Title:
Special Topics
Terms Offered:
Fall 2013
Spring 2012

This course will engage in an extended critique of the connections between nature and nation, as expressed through colonial history. With a focus on the making of the United States settler colonial enterprises, we will critically investigate nations as cultural projects, and how they become naturalized (how they come to seem inevitable) through references to “nature,” “land,” or “Wilderness.” To this end, we will focus ways that connections are forged between the natural-cultural entities of *bodies* and *landscapes*. Specifically, we will explore the historical symbolic-material importance of natural and wilderness landscapes in the making of U.S. national identities, and how specifically gendered and racialized bodies are seen to belong (or not) in nationally coded places in specific historical moments. Our approach will be interdisciplinary: texts will be taken from history, sociology,
anthropology, journalism, film, feminist geography, and science studies. By the end of the course, I hope you will be able to: 1) think critically about the nation as a symbolically produced political formation; 2) understand the centrality of the cultural production of territories/bodies in this formation; 3) understand that specific framings of bodies/lanscapes/territories have material and historical effects; 4) understand and be able to analyze “nature,” “wilderness,” and human bodies as culturally produced, and reflective of prevailing power relations; 5) understand and be able to analyze landscapes as gendered, racialized, and nationalized; 6) develop or hone skills of analysis and verbal expression.

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.