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Louisiana: A Geographic Interpretation Martha L. Henderson, Ph.D. May 1, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Louisiana: A Geographic Interpretation Martha L. Henderson, Ph.D. May 1, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Louisiana: A Geographic Interpretation Martha L. Henderson, Ph.D. May 1, 2006

2 Louisiana – An Outsider’s Perspective ► Where is Louisiana on the American landscape? ► Geography at LSU ► Learning and living in a foreign place

3 American Landscapes ► Landscapes: Legacies of Past Ideas and Ideals Records of Culture RepresentativeSymbolic Inclusive of physical environment Social construction

4 Fields of Landscape Study ► Landscapes are bounded areas ► Multi-layered and temporally sensitive ► Located within a ‘grid’ of identifiers ► Comparable ► Varying value ► A set of relationships and processes ► Multi-cultural ► Interdisciplinary

5 Interdisciplinary Representation ► American Studies ► Landscape Architecture ► History ► Anthropology ► Geography

6 Geography ► Not the subject you learned in 6 th grad ► The study of the surface of Earth, both physical and cultural processess ► A social science ► The study of spatial relationships and place ► Place: cultural landscapes cultural or political ecology cultural or political ecology cultural geography cultural geography

7 Geographical Studies of Landscape ► Culture or political processes ► Cultural or political indicators ► Significant landscapes or places ► Formal or folk ► Where is it? Why is it? How did it become this? Who are the major agents? What is the structure

8 Department of Geography and Anthropology School of Geoscience Louisiana State University ► Physical Geography  Coastal Geomorphology  Climatology  Biogeography  Fluvial Geography GIS

9 Berkeley School of Geography “muddy boots geographers” ► Cultural Geography - Dr. Fred Kniffen, LSU The study of regional variation of material culture indicators: architecture, religion, language, agriculture, food, music, ect. Tracing origins, transformations, integration, adaptation, diffusion Asking major questions about human creativity, evolution, local vs global, sustainability, and resource management Ethnographic Methods/ Field Work/American South/ Central American regions and landscapes (non- quantitative)

10 Louisiana Landscapes at LSU ► Studied in conjunction with anthropologists including archaeologists ► Mapping diffusion of form and function ► Multi-cultural and historically rich region

11 Louisiana: Where is it? ► Not part of the ‘western migration’ story ► On the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean ► Mouth of the Mississippi River ► More in common with remote areas of North American than immediate surrounding area

12 Culturally Diverse ► Significantly diverse cultures in a small area  Native  African  European ► Spanish ► French ► British A landscape created by external forces

13 Multi-culturalism and Landscape ► Representative cultural indicators/group ► Acculturation processes ► Cultural transformation ► Ecological processes and disaster

14 Material Culture as Indicators ► House types ► Food ► Religious practices ► Language

15 Coping with Natural Disasters Over Time ► Extreme Events ► Major Events ► Minor Events Science? Technology? Metaphysical beliefs?

16 A Few Historical Events ► Interactions with native groups ► Classes of settlers:  Landowners  Labor pools – African/European immigrants  Cajuns

17 Evangeline St. Martinsville

18 20 th Century Population Changes Discovery of oil Transition from ag economy to timber/lumber production (ties to PNW) Creation of petroleum industry World War II impact on Cajun culture Katrina: out-migration from New Orleans and southern parishes nationalization with military of petroleum production region nationalization with military of petroleum production region

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