You are on page 1of 7


The Anthropology of Space, Place and Landscape (Fall 2014)

Dr. Andy Roddick, Mondays 10:30 AM-1:30 PM

A house at atalhyk and a lowland Bolivian landscape with prehistoric fish weirs.
(Reconstructions by Kathryn Killackey,

In this course we will cover a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches in
anthropology (with particular emphasis in archaeology) that relate to studies and
interpretations of space and place. An important goal is to encourage wide-ranging
curiosity about the social construction of spaces and places, from small-scale structures to
large-scale landscapes. Our themes include, among others, historical ecology,
phenomenology, theories of practice and sacred spaces. We will do close readings and
have critical discussions on selected socio-spatial theories and methods that
archaeologists have used to analyze the ways in which people use spaces (as rooms,
buildings, street grids, fields, or regions) to articulate social relations. We will include a
diversity of archaeological and ethnographic case studies from a variety of regions and
time periods. Finally, we will also explore some emerging methodologies for considering
space, place and landscape.
The aim of this course is to build a familiarity with the various theoretical and
methodological standpoints on space and place in archaeology (and anthropology, in
general), spatial analyses in archaeology, and cultural landscapes. The class will help you
to formulate your own critical thoughts regarding the role that space and place play in the
human experience. The course will also give you the opportunity to conduct original
research while employing some of the theoretical and methodological frameworks
discussed in the course.

The weekly readings are listed week by week below. All readings are from on-line journals
and chapters of volumes which are either available in my office, or in the library. Please
(!!) have the readings done by our class meeting.
Course Blog: 40%
A central component of this class is a series of 6 blog posts (each will be worth 5%
each=30%). You are writing these blogs to reflect on the readings, to critically reflect on
the week's themes, and to generate in class discussion (and to keep you writing!). You are
also expected to respond each week to other seminar participants' blogs (10%). A
handout will be passed out in our first or second meeting with issue relating to academic
blogging, and instructions in setting up a blog. I am asking you to set up a WordPress blog
either through the library 2.0 website, or independently through the
system beyond the University's walls. (There are big advantages for creating your own
professional presence on the web for your research.) You may use your real names or just
a pseudonym known only to those of us in the class. You may also keep your blog private,
as long as all of us in the class have access to it. We will have a sign-up sheet on the first
day of class, and I will present my expectations for each of these blogs within the first
couple of weeks of September.
Presentation: 20%
Each participant will give a presentation on your research paper topic. This 15 minute
long talk should be thought of as a conference-like presentation (and thus should include
visual material and not be read). Presentations will take place on the last day of class.
Research Paper: 40%
You will produce one final paper, which should act as an initial attempt for a thesis, a
dissertation chapter, a conference presentation or published article, or even a grant
application (~8000 words). This paper will develop one of the theoretical perspectives
discussed in the course (or one related, and approved by me). You must include analyzed
material data - whether landscapes, artifact patterns, architecture or other features.
Obviously, it is to your benefit to choose a topic relatively early in the semester so that
you can begin your research as soon as possible. I must approve of the paper topic by
mid-semester. Please use American Antiquity citation format, 1 margins, and 11-12
point fonts. Further details on the due date will be presented in class.

The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the
course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines
for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification
becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students
will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It
is the responsibility of the student to check his/her McMaster email and
course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.

Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception or by other fraudulent
means and can result in serious consequences, e.g., the grade of zero on an assignment,
loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: Grade of F assigned for
academic dishonesty), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For
information on the various kinds of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic
Integrity Policy, Appendix 3,
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
Plagiarism, e.g., the submission of work that is not ones own for which other
credit has been obtained. (Insert specific course information, e.g., style guide)
Improper collaboration in group work. (Insert specific course information)
Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
(If applicable) In this course we will be using a software package designed to reveal
plagiarism. Students will be required to submit their work electronically and in hard copy
so that it can be checked for academic dishonesty.


Effective September 1, 2010, it is the policy of the Faculty of Social Sciences that all e-mail
communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to
staff, must originate from the students own McMaster University e-mail account. This
policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. It is the students
responsibility to ensure that communication is sent to the university from a McMaster
account. If an instructor becomes aware that a communication has come from an
alternate address, the instructor may not reply at his or her discretion.
Email Forwarding in MUGSI:
*Forwarding will take effect 24-hours after students complete the process at the above
link (Approved at the Faculty of Social Sciences meeting on Tues. May 25, 2010

WEEK 1 - September 8
Introduction: Spatial Anthropologies & Archaeological Method & Theory
Ashmore, Wendy (2002). Decisions and Dispositions: Socializing Spatial Archaeology.
American Anthropologist 104(4):1172-1183.
Low Setha M. and Lawrence-Ziga, Denise (2003) Locating culture. In Low Setha M.
and Lawrence-Ziga, Denise (editor) The Anthropology of Space and Place: Locating
Culture. Pp. 1-47. Blackwell Publishing: Oxford,
WEEK 2 - September 15
Landscape: Historical Ecology and Environmental History
Balle, William (2006) The Research Program of Historical Ecology. Annual Review of
Anthropology 35: 75-98
Erickson, Clark L. (1999). Neo-environmental Determinism and Agrarian "Collapse,"
Antiquity 73:634-42
Heckenberger, M. J., J. C. Russell, J. R. Toney and M. J. Schmidt. (2007) The legacy of
cultural landscapes in the Brazilian Amazon: implications for biodiversity. Philosophical
Transactions of the Royal Society B. 362:197208.
Marquardt WH, Crumley CL. (1987) Theoretical issues in the analysis of spatial
patterning. In Regional Dynamics: Burgundian Landscapes in Historical Perspective, ed.
CL Crumley, WH Marquardt, pp. 118. San Diego: Academic

WEEK 3 - September 22
Space, Place and Scale
Cresswell, Tim (2004) Introduction: Defining Place. Chapter 1 in Place: A Short
Introduction. Blackwell, Oxford.
Joyce RA (2004) Unintended consequences? Monumentality as a novel experience in
formative Mesoamerica. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 11(1): 5-29.
Rodman, Margaret (1992) Empowering Place: Multilocality and Multivocality. American
Anthropologist 94(3): 640-656.
Smith, Adam T. (2003) Chapter 1 in The Political Landscape: Constellations of Authority
in Early Complex Polities. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles.

WEEK 4 - September 29
Basso, Keith H. (1996) "Wisdom Sits in Places: Notes on a Western Apache Landscape" in
Senses of Place, edited by S. Feld and K.H. Basso, pp. 53-90. School of American Research,
Santa Fe.
Brck, Joanna (2005) Experiencing the Past? The Development of a Phenomenological
Archaeology in British Prehistory. Archaeological Dialogues 12(1):45-72.
Tuan, Yi-Fu (1978) Space, Time, Place: A Humanistic Frame. In Making Sense of Time,
edited by T. Carlstein, D. Parkes and N. Thrift, pp. 7-16. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Van Dyke, Ruth M. (2008) Visual Perception in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico: Some
Phenomenological Observations. In Archaeology and the Politics of Vision in a PostModern Context, edited by Vtor Oliveira Jorge and Julian Thomas, pp. 278-291.
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Cambridge.
WEEK 5 October 6
Practice and Dwelling
de Certeau, Michel (1984) Spatial Stories. Introduction and Chapter 9 in The Practice
of Everyday Life, trans. by Steven Rendall. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Ingold, Tim (1993). The Temporality of the Landscape. World Archaeology 25(2):152174.
Pauketat Timothy R. and Alt Susan M. (2005) Agency in a postmold? Physicality and the
archaeology of culture-making. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 12(3): 213237.
Roddick (2013) Temporalities of the Formative Period Taraco Peninsula, Bolivia. Journal
of Social Archaeology 13(3): 287-309.
WEEK 6 October 13
Landscape Archaeology: Theory Meets Survey and GIS
Bevan, Andrew (2003) The Rural Landscape of Neopalatial Kythera: A GIS Perspective.
Journal of Mediterreanean Archaeology 15(2):217-256.
Kosiba, Steve and Andrew M Bauer (2012) Mapping the Political Landscape: Toward a
GIS Analysis of Environmental and Social Difference. Journal of Archaeological Method
and Theory
Williams, Patrick Ryan and Donna J. Nash (2006) Sighting the Apu: A GIS Analysis of

Wari Imperialism and the Worship of Mountain Peaks. World Archaeology 38(3):455468.
WEEK 7 October 20
Power, Political Landscapes, and Monumental Spaces
Bender, Barbara (1993) Stonehenge - Contested Landscapes (Medieval to Present-Day).
In Landscape: Politics and Perspectives, edited by B. Bender, pp. 245-279. Berg, Oxford.
Kuper, Hilda (2003) The Language of Sites in the Politics of Place. In The Anthropology
of Space and Place: Locating Culture, edited by S. Low and D. Lawrence-Zuga, pp. 247264. Blackwell, Malden.
Monroe, J. Cameron (2010) Architecture and Politics in Precolonial Dahomey. Journal of
Social Archaeology 10(3):367-397.
Wernke SA (2007) Negotiating community and landscape in the Peruvian Andes: A
trans-conquest view. American Anthropologist 109(1): 130-152.
WEEK 8: October 27
Ritual, Memory and Biographies of Place
Connerton, Paul (1991) Social Memory. Chapter 1 in How Societies Remember.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Joyce R and Pollard J (2010) Archaeological Assemblages and Practices of Deposition. In
Hicks and Beaudry (editor) The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies. Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 291-309.
Roddick, Andrew, Bruno, Maria and Christine Hastorf. (in press). Political Centers in
Context: Depositional Histories at Formative Period Kala Uyuni, Bolivia. Journal of
Anthropological Archaeology
Stahl AB (2008) Dogs, Pythons, Pots, and Beads: The Dynamics of Shrines and Sacrificial
Practices in Banda, Ghana, 14001900 CE. In Mills BJ and Walker WH (editor) Memory
Work: Archaeologies of Material Practices. Santa Fe: SAR Press, 159-186.
WEEK 9: November 3
Cosmologies and Sacred Spaces
Boivin, Nicole (2004). Landscape and Cosmology in the South Indian Neolithic: New
Perspectives on the Deccan Ashmounds. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 14(2): 235257.
Fowles, Severin (2009) The Enshrined Pueblo: Villagescape and Cosmos in the Northern

Rio Grande. American Antiquity 74(3):448-466.

McBryde, Isabel (1997) The Landscape Is a Series of Stories. Grindstones, Quarries and
Exchange in Aboriginal Australia: A Lake Eyre Case Study. Siliceous Rocks and Culture
WEEK 10: November 10
Landscapes of Movement: Roads & Pilgrimmage
Ardren, Traci and Justin Lowry (2011): The Travels of Maya Merchants in the Ninth And
Tenth Centuries AD: Investigations at Xuenkal and the Greater Cupul Province, Yucatan,
Mexico. World Archaeology 43(3):428-443.
Sorge, Antonio and Roddick, Andrew P. (2012) Mobile Humanity: The Delocalization of
Anthropological Research. Reviews in Anthropology 41(4): 273-301.
Ur, Jason A (2009) Emergent landscapes of movement in early Bronze Age northern
Mesopotamia. In Snead JE Erickson CL and Darling JA (editor) Landscapes of
Movement: Paths, Trails, and Roads in Anthropological Perspective, pp. 180203.University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.
WEEK 11: November 17
Natural Places and the Nature: Culture Divide
Bauer Andrew M (2014) Geoarchaeological Science and New Materialisms: Theorizing
Analyses of Soils, Stones, and Social Landscapes. Paper presented at conference Thinking
Archaeological Science
Bradley, Richard (2000). Chapters 1 & 4 in An Archaeology of Natural Places. Routledge,
Ingold, Tim (1996) Hunting and gathering as ways of perceiving the environment. In
Redefining Nature: Ecology, Culture and Domestication. Edited by Ellen, R and Fukui, K
Berg Oxford, UK, 117-155.
OR (depending on who our colloquium speaker is)
Kohn, Eduardo (2007) How dogs dream: Amazonian natures and the politics of
transspecies engagement. American ethnologist 34(1): 3-24.
WEEK 12: November 24 --- Class Presentations