During the first meeting of our class, we will be introducing some of the ideas in Richard Grusin’s book, Culture, Technology, and the Creation of America’s National Parks. Our reading is the book’s introduction, which you can download here.
It’s okay if you don’t get a chance to look at this introduction before the start of class this evening (since many of you probably will not have seen the course blog before then).We’ll have a chance when we come back in two weeks to synthesize Grusin’s ideas. Between now and then, we’d like for everyone to try and write at least one post on the blog in which you weigh in on what Grusin says. Here are some questions to think about.
What does Grusin mean when he says that the national parks are “technologies of representation not unlike painting, photography, cartography, or landscape architecture” (10). What exactly is being represented in national parks?
In what ways are national parks “uniquely American”? Many people make this claim, so what would Grusin say about it?
After reading Grusin’s chapter, what are some questions or ideas that you have that you hope to develop as this course moves along?