Anthropology of space, place and the cultural landscape

Course Dates: 19/04/21 - 28/06/21
Time: 10:15 - 12:15
Location: Online
Yasmin Hales

This is an introductory and interdisciplinary course which ranges beyond social anthropology to explore aspects of cultural geography, philosophy, psychology, art and architectural history, enriching your theoretical and ethnographic understanding of the cross cultural meaning of space within the built environment.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.


What is the course about?

During this course we critically analyse a number of debates associated with the Anthropology of Space from different theoretical and philosophical perspectives. Initially we define Western concepts of space and place and the use of spatial metaphors which aim to challenge preconceived notions of the way we view our spatial world. Students will explore the meaning of home as a space of memory and lived experience, to a comparative understanding of colonial spaces of otherness and indigenous concepts of place and the landscape. Within our built environment how do houses communicate through ritual decoration, what do they say and to whom? Ever questioned who sits where and why? In the practise of everyday life, how do we define our personal space and boundaries? Within our expanding globalised world we shall additionally explore the increasing concept of marginalised non spaces to spaces and places of migration and cultural identity. Ethnographic case studies range from Europe to India, West Africa, South East Asia and Australia. The course will additionally include a group visit to a current museum or exhibition related to the various themes and concepts of Anthropology of Space.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

• Anthropology of Home - Poetics of Domestic Space
• 19th Colonial Space and Power
• Indigenous Spaces and the landscape
• Ritual decoration, meaning and symbolism of architecture
• Spatial Proxemics
• Gendered Spaces
• From Place to Placelessness.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Gain a critical understanding of key interdisciplinary theories and debates associated with the
• Anthropology of Space, Architecture and the Cultural Landscape.
• Explore socio-cultural approaches to the concepts of space, architecture and the landscape by introducing wide
ranging themes from a historical and contemporary cross cultural perspective
• Encourage the development of student analysis, criticism and study skills of the Anthropology Space and Place
• during the course for academic, personal and professional use
• Provide a visual understanding of key themes through architectural visits, museum and exhibitions.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Due to the wide ranging anthropological theories, students should have ideally completed an introductory or beginners Anthropology course prior to registering on the Anthropology of Space, Place and the Cultural landscape module. Your enjoyment will be enhanced if you approach this course with an open and critical mind and a curiosity for learning. To maximise your experience students should read the assigned key readings on a weekly basis as this will fully enable you to participate in various class discussions with your peers. As anthropologists seek to raise awareness of the cross-cultural difference of human behaviour, overall you should be willing to re-evaluate your own understanding, perceptions and assumptions of art from cultures different to your own.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The Anthropology of Space, Place and Cultural landscape course will comprise of lectures, individual and group work, observing ethnographic films, seminar discussions and optional student presentations. There will also be a class visit to a museum or exhibition that complements the course content.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

No compulsory costs. Please bring writing tools for class work, a pen and paper or electronic equivalent.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Details of anthropology courses in 2019-20 can be found on the City Lit website.


Customer Reviews 1 item(s)

Write a review

Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Having attended a course in Anthropology of Art earlier in the year, I wanted to learn more about this fascinating discipline, and I have found the sessions on Anthropology of Space and Place equally stimulating and enjoyable. We’ve had in-depth sessions on spatial definitions, and on the cross cultural domestic space, including home as a place of memory and lived experience where I explored the concepts of Japanese Hygee and Ma. Spatial ideas drawn from Foucault on space and power relationships in contrast to the meaning of walls and street art was fascinating . I found the session on Colonial and Indigenous landscapes which included some amazing film footage from ‘Embrace of the Serpent’, particularly riveting. We also looked at sacred and liminal spaces and at Tim Ingold’s theories about ‘lines, threads and traces’ which I had never considered, but had some great debates about.
I feel the Anthropology of Space course has given me some really important unique concepts for beginning to analyse my world about space, and the built environment, with some reconsidered assumptions. The tutor is very approachable and hard-working with a very broad and deep knowledge of this subject. which ranges from primitive architecture to mapping, gender, proxemics and the body and psychology. The tutor always provides us with great visual aids and handouts, suggestions for further reading this exciting topic, includes a museum visit and above all, her own enthusiasm.
Attending this fascinating course on Anthropology of Space and Place has contributed to my growth as a person, and I now enrolled on an MA in Sept 2018. Thank you.
Janice Emmott
City Lit Social Anthropology Student
June 2018

Course Rating
Review by Janice Emmott, June 2018. / (Posted on 18/06/2018)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: HA007

Mon, day, 19 Apr - 28 Jun '21

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £189.00
Senior fee: £151.00
Concession: £83.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.