58329 Culture, Science and Nature

The subject introduces students to the relationships between cultures and environments including theory and debates about the relationship between culture, science and nature. Drawing on cultural expressions from graphic art and imagery, film and music through to oral and literary forms, students consider how understandings of nature have been shaped by a range of cultures, including Australian Indigenous place making and perceptions of nature in religious or philosophical traditions. Students investigate changing understandings of 'nature', 'the environment' and related terms, from the early modern emergence of sciences challenging theological ideas of nature, to present articulations of a crisis of 'the biosphere' by environmentalists, challenging neoliberal economics. These changing conceptions of nature are considered in the light of cross-cultural comparison across Indigenous and non-Indigenous contemporary societies, inflected by class and gender, in order to analyse the ecological consequences of dominant ideas about nature.

Teaching Material for this course