ARTH 201(F) American Landscape History (Same as Environmental Studies 201)

This is a survey course stressing the description and historical geography of regional, vernacular American settings, with the goal of discerning a national style of spatial or landscape organization. Among the human-altered environments to be studied are: forestlands, rangelands, croplands, outdoor recreational sites, mines and quarries; small towns, milltowns, central business districts, and suburbs; power and utilities; housing, industry, commerce, and institutional uses such as the American college campus; water, road, and rail corridors as examples of circulation nets. Primary evidence will be visual. One afternoon meeting each week provides discussion and field- or site-visit opportunities, and enables classmembers to obtain a first-hand familiarity with a rural-urban gradient of representative land uses and occupants of the Hoosic-Hudson watershed and Taconic upland region surrounding Williamstown, as well as experience with interviewing and field study methodologies. Requirements: several mini-tests, four term paper installments on the documentation of an evolving landscape site or behavior, short class presentation on research, as its "landscape" or type comes up for class or lecture consideration, and an obligatory all-day field trip. No prerequisites. Open to first-year students. This course is conceived as an introduction to ArtH/Environmental Studies 252, 305, 306, and 307.