Global Perspective on Environment, Society and Culture

As a course of study, Global Perspectives on Environment, Society and Culture focuses on a wide range of local and global issues concerning the environment – human and non-human – and seeks to raise awareness of potential contributions to cultural heritage and environmental issues. Our aim is to understand the perspectives that social and cultural analysis provides for the study of biocultural diversity, protected natural areas, climate change, sustainability, environmental justice, and environmental conflict and policy. The focus area supports the role of social science and policy in relation to the environment wherever it may be appropriate -– both within academic institutions and beyond in the wider community. Courses are offered by Anthropology, Economics, Historical Studies, Human Rights, Sociology, and Political Studies.
GPESC Focus Area

GPESC Focus Area

The goal of Global Perspectives on Environment, Society and Culture is to expand students’ knowledge of human cultures and diverse ecosystems by analyzing environmental conflicts and global threats to cultural heritage and the environment. Students develop their skills of inquiry and analysis by learning to think through anthropological, historical, social and political theoretical lenses and learning the methodological tools of social and spatial analysis. Collaboration and practicum experience – both within academic institutions and beyond in the wider community – will advance student curiosity and understanding while fostering critical independence with a concern for understanding practical applications and engagement.

Potential Careers: Landscape Architect, Urban Planner, Environmental Historian, Public Historian, Non-Profit Executive, Environmental Artist, Environmental Writer, International Correspondent, Environmental Journalist, Nature Writer, Science Writer, Educator, Environmental Sociologist, Environmental Anthropologist.

Popular and Scholarly Examples of Authors/Thinkers in/adjacent to the Field: Jessica Barnes, Peter Brosius, Susan Crate, William Cronon, Michael Dove, Arturo Escobar, Erik Hirsch, Tim Ingold, Eban Kirksey, Eduardo Kohn, Myanna Lahsen, Ben Orlove, Hugh Raffles, Anna Tsing, Paige West, Richard White.

Required Courses

EUS 101
EUS 102

Empirical and/or Spatial Analysis courses (need one appropriate for the senior project)

EUS Practicum, topically linked to GPESC

EUS/SOC 319 Hudson Valley Cities and Environmental (In)justice

Colloquium (topical)

Internship (related topically)
200-level Environmental Science Course
200-level Social Analysis Course (in history, anthropology, sociology or political studies)
200-level Economics Course
Focus Area Courses (at least two courses should be in the same disciplinary area)
200-level course
300-level course
300-level course

100- and 200-level Courses

100-level courses 
  • ANTH 101: Intro to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 148: African Encounters
  • ECON 100: Principles of Economics
  • ECON 115: Economic Dimensions of World Issues
  • HIST 139: City Cultures
  • HIST 150: American West in Film, Fact, & Fiction
  • HIST 161: History of Technology & Economics
  • HIST 169: The City in the Modern Age
  • PS 109: Political Economy
  • SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 132: “Does It Take a Village?” Community and the American Imagination
  • SOC 138: Introduction to Urban Sociology
  • ARTH 125: Modern Architecture: Revolution to WWII
  • ARTH 126: Architecture since 1945
200-level courses 
  • ANTH 212: Historical Archaeology: Bard Lands
  • ANTH 215: Bardaeology—the Campus as Material Culture
  • ANTH 223: Conservation Anthropology
  • ANTH 236: Science, Empire and Ecology-Botanical Voyaging
  • ANTH 249: Travel, Tourism, & Anthropology
  • ANTH 265: Race and Nature in Africa
  • ARTH 238: Mapping the 19th Century City
  • ARTH 259: Sustainable Urbanism
  • ECON 203: Game Theory
  • ECON 206: Economics from the Ground Up
  • ECON 216: European Economic History
  • ECON 237: Economics of the Public Sector
  • ECON 242: Ecological Economics
  • ECON 263: Population Economics and Demography
  • ECON 265: Community Based Development
  • HIST 2014: History of New York City
  • HIST 2125: Cultural Capital, Paris 1715-1873
  • HIST 2142: Harlem, Bronzeville, South Central HIST 2253
  • HIST 2302: Shanghai & Hong Kong
  • HIST 2308: China’s Environment in Historical Perspective
  • PHIL 256: Environmental Ethics
  • PS 208: Political Economy
  • PS 239: United Nations and Model UN
  • PS 288: Water, Power, & Politics
  • SOC 264: Theories of the City
  • SOC 265: Urban Sociology & Geography
  • SOC 268: New Look at Gentrification

300-level and Empirical Courses

300-level courses 
  • ANTH 325: Environment, Development, and Power
  • ANTH 331: Anthro of/in the Nuclear Age
  • ANTH 337: Cultural Politics of Animals
  • ANTH 349: Political Ecology
  • ECON 321: Microeconomics of Development
  • ECON 331: International Migration
  • ECON 342: Economics of Food and Fuel
  • ECON 353: Public Choice
  • HIST MC301: Environmental Diplomacy
  • HIST 302: WW II and the Cold War: Research
  • HIST 3112: PLAGUE!
  • HIST 3132: History of Urban Schooling in the US
  • HIST 3141: Central European Cities: Berlin, Prague…
  • HIST 3146: Environmental History in the Middle East and Africa
  • HIST 3227: A Sense of Place: A Public History Practicum
  • HIST 3237: Making Space in the Colonial and Post-Colonial World
  • HIST 367: The Sixties
  • PS 370: The Politics of Population Control
  • PS 373: Human Rights and the Environment
  • SOC 322: A Sociological Classic: Middletown + America
  • ARTH 332Villas Culture: Origins and Adaptations
  • ARTH 342: Rome, Paris, and London
  • ARTH 378: Contemporary Issues in Architecture and Urban Theory
Empirical Analysis courses 
  • ANTH 111: Field Methods in Environmental Archaeology
  • ANTH 220: Doing Ethnography
  • EUS 203: Geographic Information Systems
  • EUS 226: Environmental Modeling
  • ECON 229: Introduction to Econometrics
  • ECON 230: Research Methods in Economics
  • SOC 205: Intro to Research Methods