AMS 280/ENV 280
American Landscape
Professor David Schuyler
Stager 310
Hours: Tuesday, 3:00-4:30
Thursday, 3:30-4:30
and by appointment

Landscape is a simple word with complex meanings. Most of us use landscape to describe places, especially the natural features of a scene. But that is not its only meaning. J. B. Jackson, one of the pioneers of landscape study in the United States, offers a different perspective: he describes landscape as a "synthetic space, a man-made system of spaces superimposed on the face of the land, functioning and evolving not according to natural laws but to serve a community." This course, an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the American landscape as it has evolved over centuries of human habitation, pays particular attention to three themes: the domesticated and designed landscape of the mid-nineteenth century; the crusade to preserve landscape and the establishment of national and state parks at the turn of the twentieth century; and the sprawling, seemingly formless automobile-dominated landscape of the twentieth century.

The instructor expects that students will attend all classes and will have completed the assignments for each class. Class participation is essential and thus will be a significant component of the final grade. Students will also take an hour examination on Oct. 17, 2017 (20 percent) and submit two papers: a short (4 page) paper on a personal landscape (10 percent of final grade, due October 24, 2017) and a longer (8-10 page with research notes) paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor that is due in stages: a prospectus and bibliography is due on Oct. 31, 2017; a comprehensive outline and introductory paragraph is due on  Nov. 16, 2017; and the final paper is due on Dec. 4, 2017 (40 percent of final grade) Papers are due at the beginning of the class period. A comprehensive final examination, at a time scheduled by the registrar, will constitute 30 percent of the final grade.

The instructor expects that all students will adhere to the college's policies on academic honesty.

A note on reading: as you read each assignment, think about the author.  Who is the author?  What perspective does the author take?  Why? How does each author's approach and use of sources differ from other writings we have encountered? Be curious. Active reading will enable you to participate much more effectively in our discussions.

Readings in boldface are accessible from your compter via the electronic version os this syllanus, which is available is:  Bookmark the syllabus—you'll refer to it often. Others are available on CANVAS.

Books Available for Purchase

Andres Duany et al., Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the End of the American Dream (New York: North Point Press, 2000).
Chester Liebs, Main Street to Miracle Mile: American Roadside Architecture (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995).
Stephen J. Pyne, How the Canyon Became Grand: A Short History (New York: Penguin Books, 1998).
John F. Sears, Sacred Places: American Tourist Attractions in the Nineteenth Century (1989; Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999).

Note: (rec) identifies recommended readings.  You should especially read these if a topic we are discussing is appealing to you as a potential subject for your research paper.

Schedule of Meetings and Assignments

Searching for Meanings in Landscape

Aug. 31 Introductory Meeting: Course Requirements and Expectations.
J. B. Jackson, Discovering the Vernacular Landscape, pp. 3-8, 147-57. CANVAS

Sept. 5 Reading the Elements of Landscape: Maps
Paul Groth, "Frameworks for Cultural Landscape Study," in Paul Groth and Todd W. Bressi, eds., Understanding Ordinary Landscapes (New Haven, 1997), pp. 1-21. CANVAS

Sept. 7 Finding Meaning in the Familiar: Campus as Place
David Schuyler and Lydia Wood, Thy Campus Stretching Long: The Franklin & Marshall College Landscape 1853-2000 (Lancaster, PA, 2007).

Sept. 12  Finding Meaning in the Unfamiliar: The Lessons of Sunnyside
David Schuyler, "Myth, Memory, and the Meaning of Community: Sunnyside (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) and the Limits of Planning," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 142 (Dec. 1998): 614-38.
(rec) Keith H. Basso, Wisdom Sites in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache (Albuquerque, 1996).

Domesticating the American Landscape

Sept. 14 Discovering American Places
Sears, Sacred Places, pp. 3-71.
Emanuel Leutze, description of Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way, c. 1862.
(rec) Kenneth John Myers, "On the Cultural Construction of Landscape Experience: Contact to 1830," in American Iconology, ed. David C. Miller (New Haven, 1993), pp. 58-79.
(rec) Theodore Corbett, The Making of American Resorts: Saratoga Springs, Ballston Spa, Lake George (New Brunswick, 2001).

Sept. 19 Historicizing the American Landscape: The Hudson River Valley
David Schuyler, "The Mid-Hudson Valley as Iconic Landscape: Tourism, Economic Development, and the Beginnings of a Preservationist Impulse," in Within the Landscape: Essays on Nineteenth-Century American Art and Culture, ed. Phillip Earenfight and Nancy Siegel (Carlisle, Penna., 2005), pp. 11-41. CANVAS
Diedrich Knickerbocker [Washington Irving], A History of New York, From the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty . . . (1819; New York, 1871), book VI, chapter 4. CANVAS
(rec) J. Fenimore Cooper, "European and American Scenery Compared," in A Landscape Book, by American Artists and American Authors (New York: G. P. Putnam & Son, 1868), pp. 1-21.
(rec) Walter L. Creese, The Crowning of the American Landscape: Eight Great Spaces and their Buildings (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), pp. 43-98.

Sept. 21 Thomas Cole and the American Landscape
Thomas Cole, "Essay on American Scenery," The American Monthly Magazine, n.s. 1 (Jan. 1836): 1-12. also in CANVAS
Timothy Dwight, Travels in New England and New York, 4 vols (1822; Cambridge, Mass., 1969), 3: 301-13. CANVAS
(rec) Alan Wallach, "Thomas Cole's River in the Catskills as Antipastoral," Art Bulletin 84 (June 2002): 334-50.
(rec) Rebecca Bedell, Anatomy of Nature: Geology & American Landscape Painting, 1825-1875 (Princeton, 2001).
(rec) William Truettner and Alan Wallach, Thomas Cole: Landscape Into History (New Haven, 1994).
(rec) Angela Miller, The Empire of the Eye: Landcape Representation and American Cultural Politics, 1825-1875 (Ithaca, 1993).
(rec) Alan Wallach, "Making a Picture of the View from Mount Holyoke," in American Iconology, pp. 80-91.
(rec) Barbara Novak, Nature and Culture: American Landscape Painting, 1825-1875 (New York, 1980).

Sept. 26 Domesticating the Landscape: A. J. Downing
Timothy Dwight, Travels in New England and New York, 2: 344-51. CANVAS
[A. J. Downing], "The Dans Kamer. A Revery in the Highlands," New-York Mirror 13 (Oct. 10, 1835): 117-18.
Andrew Jackson Downing, The Architecture of Country Houses (New York, 1850), preface.
[A. J. Downing], "American Highland Scenery. Beacon Hill," New-York Mirror 12 (Mar. 14, 1835): 293-94.
[Clarence C. Cook], "A Visit to the House and Garden of the Late A. J. Downing," Horticulturist, n.s. 3 (Jan. 1853): 20-27.
Images of Downing's Aesthetic
(rec) David Schuyler, Apostle of Taste: Andrew Jackson Downing, 1815-1852 (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).

Sept. 28   Landscapes of Memory: Rural Cemeteries
Thomas B. Barker, "History of The Lancaster Cemetery," manuscript address, Aug. 31, 1873.
Sears, Sacred Places, 87-121.
(rec) David Schuyler, "'Indications . . . of Progress in Taste and Refinement': The Lancaster and Woodward Hill Cemeteries," Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society 93 (Trinity 1991): 66-83.
(rec) David Schuyler, "Green-Wood Cemetery as Image and Cultural Artifact," Imprint 14 (Spring 1989): 2-11.
(rec) David Charles Sloane, The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History (Baltimore, 1991).

Oct. 3 The Urban Public Park
Frederick Law Olmsted, "Public Parks and the Enlargement of Towns," Journal of Social Science 3 (1871): 1-36.
Map of Central Park, 1863
Images of Central Park, 1983
(rec) David Schuyler, "Central Park at 150: Celebrating Olmsted & Vaux's Greensward Design," Hudson River Valley Review 24 (Spring 2008): 1-21. EDISK
(rec) Charles E. Beveridge and David Schuyler, eds., The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted, vol. III: Creating Central Park, 1857-1861 (Baltimore, 1983).
(rec) David Schuyler and Jane Turner Censer, eds., The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted, vol. VI: The Years of Olmsted, Vaux & Company, 1865-1874 (Baltimore, 1992).

Wilderness and the American Imagination

Oct. 5 Wilderness as Archtypal American Landscape
Henry David Thoreau, "Walking," Atlantic Monthly 9 (June 1862): 657-74.
Pyne, How the Canyon Became Grand, pp. 1-36.
Wildernet: American Environment and American Culture, 1995 Yale American Studies Seminar directed by Thomas Thurston (contains valuable texts, student projects, and links to other sites).

Fall Break

Oct. 12 No class meeting

Oct. 17 Hour Examination

Oct. 19 The Preservationist Impulse
James Fenimore Cooper, The Pioneers; Or, The Sources of the Susquehanna (1823; New York: New American Library, 1964), chapters XXII-XXIV (pp. 231-62 in my edition). CANVAS
George Catlin, Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of the North American Indians (1860), 1: 260-64. also in CANVAS
Sears, Sacred Places, pp. 122-55.

Oct. 24 Yosemite

Frederick Law Olmsted, "Preliminary Report upon the Yosemite and Big Tree Grove," [Aug. 1865], in The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted, vol. V: The California Frontier, 1863-1865 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 488-516. CANVAS
(rec) Alfred Runte, National Parks: The American Experience, 3rd ed. (Lincoln, 1987).

Oct. 26 The Wonders of Yellowstone and Niagara
Sears, Sacred Places, pp. 156-81.
Pyne, How the Canyon Became Grand, pp. 37-68.
(rec) Francis R. Kowsky and Charles E. Beveridge, "The Distinctive Charms of Niagara Scenery": Frederick Law Olmsted and the Niagara Reservation (Niagara, NY: Buscaglia-Castellani Art Gallery of Niagara University,1985), pp. 7-39.

Oct. 31 Imagining the Grand Canyon
Pyne, How the Canyon Became Grand, pp. 68-114.

Nov. 2 Rediscovering American Places
Liebs, Main Street to Miracle Mile, pp. 3-74.
(rec) David J. Russo, The American Town: An Interpretative History (Chicago, 2001).
(rec) Dona Brown, Inventing New England: Regional Tourism in the Nineteenth Century (Washington, 1995).
(rec) David Schuyler, "Old Dwellings, Traditional Landscapes: Impressionist Artists and the Rediscovery of American Places," in Visions of Home: American Impressionist Images of Suburban Leisure and Country Comfort, ed. Lisa N. Peters (Hanover, N.H., 1997), pp. 35-51.
(rec) William Truettner and Roger B. Stein, Picturing Old New England: Image and Memory (New Haven, 1999).

Landscape and Culture

Nov. 7 American Roads
Liebs, Main Street to Miracle Mile, pp. 75-152.
(rec) Timothy Davis, "Looking Down the Road: J. B. Jackson and the American Highway Landscape," in Everyday America: Cultural Landscape Studies after J.B. Jackson, ed. Chris Wilson and Paul Groth (Berkeley, 2003), pp. 63-80.
(rec) Tom Lewis, Divided Highways (New York, 1997).

Nov. 9  Frank Lloyd Wright and the American Landscape
Screening of video on Fallingwater.
Frank Lloyd Wright, "Broadacre City," Architectural Record 77 (Apr. 1935): 243-54. CANVAS
(rec) Robert Fishman, Urban Utopias of the Twentieth Century: Ebenezer Howard, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier (Cambridge, Mass., 1977), pp. 91-160.

Nov. 14  Levittown and the American Suburban Landscape
Andres Duany et al., Suburban Nation, pp. ix-xvi, 3-37.
(rec) Harry Henderson, "The Mass-Produced Suburbs," Harper's 107 (Nov. 1953): 25-32 and idem., "Rugged American Collectivism," ibid. 107 (Dec. 1953): 80-86.
(rec) Curt Miner, Curator, Levittown, Pa.--Building the Suburban Dream

Nov. 16  Shopping Mall as Iconic Landscape
Liebs, Main Street to Miracle Mile, pp. 153-227.
Duany, Suburban Nation, pp. 39-83.
(rec) Richard W. Longstreth, Center City to Regional Mall: Architecture, the Automobile, and Retailing in Los Angeles, 1920-1950 (Cambridge, Mass., 1997).
(rec) Margaret Crawford, "The World in a Shopping Mall," in Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space, ed. Michael Sorkin (New York: Noonday Press, 1992), pp. 3-30.

Nov. 21  Walt Disney's America
Duany, Suburban Nation, pp. 85-133.
(rec) Karal Ann Marling, "Disneyland, 1955: Just Take the Santa Ana Freeway to the American Dream," American Art 5 (Winter-Spring 1991): 169-207.
(rec) Russ Rymer, "Back to the Future: Disney reinvents the company town," Harper's 293 (Oct. 1996): 65-78.
(rec) Steven Watts, The Magic Kingdon: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life (Columbia, MO, 2001).
(rec) Richard Fogelsong, Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando (New Haven, 2001).

Thanksgiving Break

Nov. 28  The New Urbanism
Duany, Suburban Nation, pp. 135-82.
(rec) David Schuyler, "The New Urbanism and the Modern Metropolis," Urban History 24 (Dec. 1997): 344-58.

Nov. 30 The Enduring Search for Community in a Postsuburban World
Duany, Suburban Nation, pp. 183-265.
(rec) Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (New York, 2001).
(rec) Philip Langdon, A Better Place to Live: Reshaping the American Suburb (Amherst, Mass., 1994).

Dec. 5  Landscape and Gender
Gail Lee Dubrow, "Women and Community," in Reclaiming the Past: Landmarks of Women's History, ed. Page Putnam Miller (Bloomington, 1991), pp. 83-118. CANVAS
(rec) Sarah Deutsch, Women and the City: Gender, Space, and Power in Boston, 1870-1940 (New York, 2000).
(rec) Daphne Spain, How Women Saved the City (Minneapolis, 2001).

Dec. 7  Meanings for Landscape in a Changing World
John A. Hostetler, "Toward Responsible Growth and Stewardship of Lancaster County's Landscape," Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage 12 (July 1989): 2-10. CANVAS
Jackson, Discovering the Vernacular Landscape, pp. 141-44. CANVAS