Module also offered within study programmes:
General information:
Name:
Nature and Culture: the Significance of Culture for Environmental Action
Course of study:
2018/2019
Code:
HUX-1-221-s
Faculty of:
Humanities
Study level:
First-cycle studies
Specialty:
-
Field of study:
Social Informatics
Semester:
2
Profile of education:
Academic and practical
Lecture language:
English
Form and type of study:
Full-time studies
Course homepage:
 
Responsible teacher:
prof. Bruckmeier Karl (kbrukm@hse.ru)
Academic teachers:
prof. Bruckmeier Karl (kbrukm@hse.ru)
Module summary

This introductory course about the significance and influence of cultural factors, values and beliefs, on environmental action and perception of nature has a focus on present environmental problems.

Description of learning outcomes for module
MLO code Student after module completion has the knowledge/ knows how to/is able to Connections with FLO Method of learning outcomes verification (form of completion)
Social competence
M_K001 student understands the influence of cultural factors on environmental action and policies UX1P_K07 Participation in a discussion,
Presentation,
Oral answer,
Essay,
Activity during classes
M_K002 student is able to argue individually and critically about environmental problems and their potential solutions through cultural and political action. UX1P_K03, UX1P_K07
Skills
M_U001 student understands the difficulties with the use and application of the terms nature and culture in the environmental discourse UX1P_U04, UX1P_U09 Participation in a discussion,
Presentation,
Oral answer,
Essay,
Activity during classes
M_U002 student understands the nature of environmental movements as cultural and political actors UX1P_U06, UX1P_U04 Participation in a discussion,
Scientific paper,
Oral answer,
Test,
Activity during classes
Knowledge
M_W001 student understands the difficulties with the multi-semantic terms of nature and culture in environmental science and policy UX1P_W04, UX1P_W05 Participation in a discussion,
Presentation,
Essay,
Activity during classes
M_W002 student understands the significance of cultural, including religious and ethical, motives for environmental action UX1P_W04, UX1P_W06, UX1P_W05 Participation in a discussion,
Presentation,
Oral answer,
Essay,
Activity during classes
M_W003 student knows the possibilities and limits of cultural beliefs in regulation and transformation towards a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable society UX1P_W02, UX1P_W05 Participation in a discussion,
Presentation,
Oral answer,
Essay,
Activity during classes
FLO matrix in relation to forms of classes
MLO code Student after module completion has the knowledge/ knows how to/is able to Form of classes
Lecture
Audit. classes
Lab. classes
Project classes
Conv. seminar
Seminar classes
Pract. classes
Zaj. terenowe
Zaj. warsztatowe
Others
E-learning
Social competence
M_K001 student understands the influence of cultural factors on environmental action and policies + - - - - - - - - - -
M_K002 student is able to argue individually and critically about environmental problems and their potential solutions through cultural and political action. + - - - - - - - - - -
Skills
M_U001 student understands the difficulties with the use and application of the terms nature and culture in the environmental discourse + - - - - - - - - - -
M_U002 student understands the nature of environmental movements as cultural and political actors + - - - - - - - - - -
Knowledge
M_W001 student understands the difficulties with the multi-semantic terms of nature and culture in environmental science and policy + - - - - - - - - - -
M_W002 student understands the significance of cultural, including religious and ethical, motives for environmental action + - - - - - - - - - -
M_W003 student knows the possibilities and limits of cultural beliefs in regulation and transformation towards a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable society + - - - - - - - - - -
Module content
Lectures:

Theme 1. (06/05/2019)
Environmental problems and environmental change
Local, national, global environmental problems and their origin; exhaustion of natural resources and its consequences
Production – industrialisation as a cause of environmental disruption
Consumption – consumer behaviour and its influence on environmental pollution
Global environmental change and its interaction with global social change
Political regulation of environmental pollution – examples from historical and modern societies
Cultural regulation of environmental pollution – examples from historical and modern societies

Theme 2. (07/05/2019)
The concepts of nature and culture in the environmental discourse
Multiple meanings of nature and culture; nature and human nature
Nature and culture in philosophy: enlightenment and modern philosophy
Nature and culture in cultural anthropology: Steward, Sahlins, Wolf, Levi-Strauss
The historical changes of nature and culture in the course of modernisation
The dualism of nature and culture and its critique; universalism and particularism
Worldviews, views of humans and nature as cultural constructs

Theme 3. (08/05/2019)
Western, eastern and southern cultures and civilisations – the significance of cultural differences for environmental action
Basic concepts: culture, civilisation, religion, society
Western/occidental culture and the environment – Weber et al
Eastern/oriental cultures and the environment – the example of Buddhism and its environmental philosophy
Cultures in the global south – colonialism and post-colonial orders
Cultural and political regulation of environmental action/resource use
Cultural conflicts, resource wars and climate wars

Theme 4. (09/05/2019)
Cultures of nature – nature and the environment in the arts
Nature and the environment in the arts – historical examples:
- nature in poetry and literature/theatre: ancient, medieval and early modern literature
- nature in painting – the invention of the cultural landscape (landscape painting in European countries)
- nature in music – songs, folk songs, opera
Nature and the environment in modern arts:
- changing roles of the arts and the artists in late-modern society; the aura and the modern work of art (Benjamin)
- poetry and literature/theatre; existentialism – Sartre and Camus; doomsday prophecies, eco-thrillers, eco-poetry – the sacred and the wild
- painting: the decline of landscape painting and later developments: landscape photography, films
- mass media, audio-visual media and popular culture: radio, TV, videos, internet – the blending of literature, music and visual arts
- ecocriticism as literary movement

Theme 5. (13/05/2019)
Cultural and normative influences on environmental politics/governance
Basic terms – governance, power, influence, (vested) interests
Power relations – political power (regimes and regulations), cultural power (religions and cultural movements), economic power (valorisation and appropriation of natural resources), scientific power (knowledge as power)
Environmental ethics – interaction of philosophy and politics; environmental justice discourse
Changing political cultures in environmental governance – hierarchies and networks
Cultural and other ecosystem services
Intellectual property rights and the environment (TRIPS – Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights)
Different reasons for success and failure of environmental policy/governance: market failure, policy failure, community failure

Theme 6. (14/05/2019)
Interaction of culture and politics – the significance of scientific and other knowledge
Knowledge forms – the epistemological discourse
Culture: knowledge components in environmental policy/governance (Ostrom et al)
Western culture: environmental history of modern society: colonialism, dependence, wars and violence
Knowledge cultures in science – the two cultures of natural and social sciences; interdisciplinary environmental science – human, social and political ecology: different perspectives and approaches
The example of global climate policy – influence of knowledge

Theme 7. (20/05/2019)
Interaction of culture and politics – the significance of values, norms, attitudes and beliefs
Value changes in different societies: the debate about post-material values (Inglehart)
Environmental agency in a culturally divided world:
- the interaction of knowledge and values/norms
- the significance of ethics for environmental action; different forms of environmental ethics
- environmental movements as cultural and political actors
- the development of environmental regimes at national and international levels
Cultural conflicts and “clashes of civilisations” (Huntington); multiculturalism, cultural integration, cosmopolitanism; benefit sharing in environmental governance
The example of global climate policy – influence of values

Theme 8. (21/05/2019)
The sustainability discourse as inter-civilizational discourse
Sustainable development: the Brundtland report and the following discourse of sustainability; inter-generational solidarity and socio-metabolic transition to sustainability
The global arena – agency and transformative capacity: objects of regulation – nature, society, culture, systems and actors
The plurality of cultures and civilisations: integrating the social, cultural, economic and ecological contexts of global environmental governance – transformative science and action
Political and economic power structures and vested interests
- Successes and failures of environmental/sustainability policies
- The fragmented architecture of global environmental policy/governance: integration through power, knowledge, culture?

Theme 9. (22/05/2019)
Outlook – environmental change, cultural change and environmental action/governance in the 21st century
Limits of cultural and political environmental regulation/governance
New normative orders – a new world order: cultural or political?
The near and the distant future:
- Resilient or sustainable global futures
- Economic collapse or regime shifts
- Cultural and political conflicts, resource wars and climate wars
- The long-term perspective: inter-generational transformation to sustainability

Seminar 1 – 10/05/2019
(Without working group presentation)
Text 2, chapter 13 (Billon) and text 2 chapter 26 (Fletcher et al) and discussion of the texts with the class

Seminar 2 – 15/05/2019
(Without presentation of working groups)
Text 7 (Rolston) and 16 (Kahn et al) and discussion of the texts with the class

Seminar 3 – 16/05/2019
First working group presentation, text 5 (Ortner) or text 2 chapter 15 (Agarwal) and discussion of the text with the class

Second working group presentation, text 12 (Newton & Sullivan) or text 10 (Elvin) and discussion of the text with the class

Seminar 4 – 17/05/2019
Third working group presentation, text 1 chapter 5 (Baccini & Oswald) or text 2 chapter 29 (Neo & Pow) and discussion of the text with the class

Fourth working group presentation, text 13 (Giblett) or text 18 (Schnegg et al) and discussion of the text with the class

Seminar 5 – 23/05/2019
Fifth working group presentation, text 17 (Schultz) or text 1 chapter 18 (Luginbühl) and discussion of the text with the class

(Without working group presentation), text 8 (Corinto) and text 15 (Sahlins) and discussion of the texts with the class

Seminar 6 – 24/05/2019
(Without working group presentation), text 4 (Goldenweiser) and discussion of the text with the class

Course evaluation: discussion in class

Student workload (ECTS credits balance)
Student activity form Student workload
Summary student workload 120 h
Module ECTS credits 4 ECTS
Realization of independently performed tasks 30 h
Completion of a project 30 h
Preparation for classes 28 h
Contact hours 2 h
Participation in lectures 30 h
Additional information
Method of calculating the final grade:

The examination includes (a) participation in the sessions, (b) a presentation with a working group (in a seminar), and © an individual essay (delivered 2 weeks after the end of the course). For the grading the participation in the sessions and in the working group counts 50%, the essay counts 50%. More detailed information about the working group presentation and the essay writing is given during the course.

Prerequisites and additional requirements:

The course is given in 3 weeks (15 sessions of 90 minutes)
Every week begins with “lecture + discussion” sessions (60 minutes lecture + 30 minutes discussion of 1 text from the course literature in the class); seminar sessions are in the second half of the week (in each seminar 2 texts from the course literature are discussed in the class); some seminars are guided by working groups of students who prepare summaries of the texts and guide the discussion with the class, some seminars are without working group presentations.

The following forms of work are used in the course:
(1) lecture sessions (introductory lectures with power-point slides/short videos and subsequent discussion of texts in the class);
(2) seminar sessions (short presentations of texts from the course literature by working groups of students and discussion of the texts in the class);
(3) individual reading of the course literature by the students and their participation in all sessions and in the discussions;
(4) individual writing of a short examination essay in two weeks (after the end of the course sessions).

Recommended literature and teaching resources:

Books (selected chapters to read):

1. Hirsch Hadorn, Gertrude, et al, eds. 2008. Handbook of Transdisciplinary Research. Heidelberg and New York: Springer.

2. Bryant, Raymond L., ed., 2015. The International Handbook of Political Ecology. Cheltenham UK and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.

3. Komárek, Stanislav. 2009. Nature and Culture. The World of Phenomena and the World of Interpretation. Charles University, Prague.

Articles:

4. Goldenweiser, A. A. 1916. Culture and Environment. American Journal of Sociology, 21, 5: 628-633.

5. Ortner, Sherry B. 1974. Is female to male as nature is to culture? In M. Z. Rosaldo and L. Lamphere (eds), Woman, culture, and society. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, pp. 68-87.

6. Buss, David M., 1997. Human Nature and Culture: An Evolutionary Psychological Perspective. Journal of Personality, 69, 6: 955-978.

7. Rolston, Holmes. 1999. Nature and Culture in Environmental Ethics. In: Klaus Brinkmann, ed. Ethics: The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, vol. 1 (Bowling Green, Ohio: Philosophy Documentation Center), pp. 151-158.

8. Corinto, G. L. 2014. A “global garden” is possible: urban and rural life, and forestry. Global Bioethics, 25, 1: 71-80.

9. Runciman, W. G. 2001. From Nature to Culture, from Culture to Society. Proceedings of the British Academy, 110: 235-254.

10. Elvin, Mark, 2010. Concepts of Nature: China and Europe in Comparative Perspective. New Left Review, 64: 65-82.

11. Spencer-Oatey, Helen. 2012. What is Culture? A Compilation of Quotations. GlobalPAD Open House: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/globalpadintercultural.

12. Newton, Juliane Lutz; Sullivan, William. 2005. Nature, Culture, and Civil Society. Journal of Civil Society, 1, 3: 195-209.

13. Giblett, Rod. 2012. The Seasons: Homage to Henry David Thoreau. Transformations – Journal of Media and Culture, 21: 1-13.

14. Descola, Philipp. 2013. Beyond Nature and Culture (chapter 1). Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

15. Sahlins, Marshal. 2014. On the Ontological Scheme of Beyond Nature and Culture. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 4, 1: 281-290.

16. Kahn, Peter H., et al. The Human Relation with Nature and Technological Nature. Current Directions in Psychological science, 18,1: 37-42.

17. Schultz, P. W. 2002. Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors Across Cultures. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 8, 1. https://doi.org/10.9707/2307-0919.1070.

18. Schnegg, Michael, et al. 2014. Culture, Nature and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services in Namibia. Ecology and Society, 19, 4: 26. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-06896-190426.

19. Uggla, Ylva, 2010. What is this thing called `natural´? The nature-culture divide in climate change and biodiversity policy. Journal of Political Ecology, 17: 79-91.

20. Cornell, Sarah, et al, 2013. Opening up knowledge systems for better responses to global environmental change. Environmental Science & Policy, 28: 60-70.

21. Ministry of Education and Culture and Ministry of the Environment, Finland, 2014. Cultural Environment Strategy 2014-2020 – Government Resolution 20 March 2014. Helsinki. www.ym.fi/publications.

22. Gerst, M.D.; Raskin, P.D.; Rockström, J., 2014. Contours of a Resilient Global Future, Sustainability, 6 (1), pp. 123-135.

Scientific publications of module course instructors related to the topic of the module:

Selected from last 10 years
Books
Individual author
1. Bruckmeier, Karl: Social-Ecological Transformation: Reconnecting Society and Nature, 2016 (Palgrave MacMillan, UK).
2. Bruckmeier, Karl: Natural Resource Use and Global Change: New Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Social Ecology, 2013 (Palgrave MacMillan, Houndmills, UK).

Co-author, chapters in books
1. Bruckmeier, Karl: Environmental conflicts – towards theoretical analyses of social-ecological systems (in: Gunilla Almered Olsson, Kenneth Hermele, eds, Natural Resources, Conflicts and Sustainable Development. Routledge. Publication in preparation)
2. Bruckmeier, Karl, Pires, Iva: Innovation as Transformation: Integrating the Socio-Ecological Perspectives of Resilience and Sustainability (in: Hugo Pinto, Teresa de Noronha, eds, Resilience and Regional Dynamics: An International Approach to a New Research Agenda, pp. 193-216. University of Algarve. Publication in preparation)
3. Bruckmeier, Karl; Westerberg, Håkan; Varjopuro, Riku : Baltic Sea Reconciliation in Practice: The Seal Conflict and its Mitigation in Sweden and Finland (in: R.A. Klenke, et al., Human-Wildlife Conflicts in Europe, pp.15-48. Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 2013).
4. Bruckmeier, Karl and Knutsson, Per: Swedish case study “Mobility” (in: Allan Williams, ed, Human Mobility in Coastal Regions: The Impact of Migration and Temporary Mobilities on Urbanization. Sapienza Università Editrice, Vol. II, September 2012).
5. Bruckmeier Karl: Human Ecology in the Knowledge Society (in: I.M. Pires, M. Gibert, L. Hens, eds., Studies in Human Ecology. Hanoi: Publishing House for Science and Technology, 2010).
6. Bruckmeier, Karl; Tovey, Hilary, eds: Rural Sustainable Development in the Knowledge Society (Ashgate: Aldershot, UK, 2008).

Articles in scientifc journals (peer reviewed)
7. Bruckmeier, Karl; Linke, Sebastian: Fisheries co-management – review of European experiences. Ocean and Coastal Management, 2015, 104: 170-181.
8. Stepanova, Olga; Bruckmeier, Karl: Resource use conflicts and urban-rural resource use dynamics in Swedish coastal landscapes: comparison and synthesis. Journal of Environmental
Policy and Planning, 2013 (DOI:10.1080/1523908X.2013.778173).
9. Bruckmeier, Karl: Problems of cross-scale coastal management in Scandinavia. Regional Environmental Change, 2014, 14, 6: 2151-2160.
10. Stepanova, Olga; Bruckmeier, Karl: The relevance of environmental conflict research for coastal management: a review of concepts, approaches and methods with a focus on Europe. Ocean and Coastal Management, 2013, 75: 20-32.
11. Bruckmeier, Karl: Towards Interdisciplinary rural research – theorizing nature-society relations. Natures, Sciences, Sociétés, 2011.
12. Bruckmeier, Karl: Sustainability between Necessity, Contingency and Impossibility. Sustainability, 2009, 1: 1388-1411 (www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability).
13. Bruckmeier, Karl; Engwall, Ylva; Knickel, Karl-Heinz; Kröger, Melanie: Evaluation of policies with respect to the multifunctionality of agriculture. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, 2009: 347-367 (Special issue „Multifunctional Agriculture“).
14. Bruckmeier, Karl; Tovey, Hilary: Knowledge in Sustainable Rural Development: From Knowledge Forms to Knowledge Processes. Sociologia Ruralis, 2008, 48, 3: 313-329.

Additional information:

The course is evaluated in the last session, in oral from (discussion in the class).