The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


This course examines ways to think about landscapes in two distinct yet markedly similar regions of the world, Texas in the United States and New South Wales in Australia. Both regions have shared pasts of indigenous dispossession, resource extraction, and post-industrial reconfiguration. Students will engage in the hands on and comparative study of 4 different landscapes: urban landscapes, energy landscapes, port landscapes, agrarian landscapes. For each landscape, students will conduct a field visit, produce an ethnographic piece of writing exploring that landscape, and compare with colleagues working in similar spaces but on different continents. This course will provide students with an introduction to ethnographic writing and practice, and introduce them to ways to understand and think (differently) about the landscapes and environments around them. Students will share their research projects between cohorts in both universities, an innovation that will encourage comparison of both regions and the identification of shared and divergent elements.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Practice the ethnographic study of landscape using field visits, images, and written texts;

2. Outline the ways that diverse landscapes work together to produce the regions where we live and study;

3. Design independent research inquiry into landscapes;

4. Collaborate with diverse (and remote) groups in developing a comparative research agenda for the study of landscapes in distinct regions;

5. Identify the politics of place-making in two geographically distant regions with shared pasts of indigenous dispossession, resource extraction, and post-industrial reconfiguration.


  • Landscape, Ethnography, Power
  • Urban Landscapes
  • Energy Landscapes
  • Port Landscapes
  • Agrarian Landscapes

Assumed knowledge


Assessment items

Portfolio: Written/Visual Assignment (50%)

Project: Written/Visual Assignment (30%)

Participation: Participation in Field Activities (20%)

Contact hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 4 Weeks starting in week 3

Field study in weeks 3, 5, 7, 10


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 8 Weeks starting in week 1

Lectorials in weeks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12