Rethinking Nature: Environmentalism, Media, and Commodification in Latin America 

LAS 4935
Section CK00, Class #28899
LAS 6938
Section CK02, Class #26629

Days: Tuesdays
Times: 9:35am- 12:35pm
Location: Grinter 376

American iconography has conjured many images and narratives surrounding the natural world since colonial encounter. These have served various functions, producing the “pristine,” the “primitive,” a “state of nature,” a “scary wilderness” to be tamed or avoided, a vessel for indigenous knowledge, and an admired place of natural wonder. This course interrogates the question of nature, the politics of environmentalism, and the dissemination of images and ideas that we (people and scholars) face when discussing the natural. From resource exploitation to everyday sustenance, to global conservation movements, different strategies are formed that rely on particular understandings of what nature is, and more precisely, what it should be. 
This course situates itself within environmental and visual anthropology, political ecology, media studies, and socio-environmental thought. Students will review Latin American cases, both ethnographic and historical, to illuminate how nature has been imagined and the socio-political consequences of those various treatments of nature. Through image, film, and media analysis, review of social and environmental theory, and political and ecological history in Latin America, students will lead engaged discussions and analyze forms of socio-environmental interaction in order to rethink nature as a site of conflict, controversy, wonder; and, as inherently entangled within scholarly understandings of Latin American history.
This course counts towards the graduate certificates in Latin American Studies and Tropical Conservation and Development; is open to both graduate and undergraduate students; and counts as an optional course for the Master’s degree in Sustainable Development Practice (MDP). The course will also count towards relevant undergraduate certificates and all relevant specializations.

Clate Korsant

Clate Korsant
Assistant Director of Academic Affairs
Center for Latin American Studies
Department of Anthropology
319F Grinter Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-5530 

Research Interests
Environmental and Cultural Anthropology; Visual Anthropology; Documentary Film and Photography; Political Ecology; Conflict; History and Power; Social, Political, Economic Justice; Ethnographic Practice and Writing; Urban Anthropology and the United States; Eco-Pedagogy; the Politics of Environmentalism

Geographic Expertise
Central America; Costa Rica