I’d like to share three resources I’ve used in FYS 100 class (Cultural Landscapes)
1. This 6-minute video that I’ve share earlier shows how landscapes change over time. In this example, a rural West Virginia county is hit with stark economic and demographic decline after the resource extraction-based economy gave out. The societal factors that created these hills and towns no longer are present and change doesn’t always feel like progress. How do these landscape changes impact a place like McDowell County, WV?
2. There are some truly odd things in the cultural landscape; some on the surface are complete head-scratchers. This article from the Smithsonian Magazine highlights the bizarre history that led to an Alabama monument to the Deep South’s most destructive 20th century pest: the boll weevil. The article is more historical than landscape, but it helps to answer why some unexpected items might be memorialized. What is the strangest thing you’ve seen in the landscape?
3. There are relics of the past that bring up difficult historical conversations with competing perspectives. In this UK article, a classics professor argues for the preservation of monuments with the idea that they were products of their time that are insights into past societies, not just things to be celebrated today. Do you agree with this perspective? Why or why not?