The Power of Place

Congratulations, you took first place! There’s no place like home. My place, or yours? I felt so out of place.

Simultaneously, people define and are defined by “place.” Throughout time and across cultures, the importance of place has been central to how people understand their world and interact with the environment.

This course will examine the idea of place from a variety of perspectives.  Some of the questions we will consider are: How do we define “place”?  Is it physical, cultural, spiritual, or virtual? Are virtual realms, like Facebook, places?  What constitutes a sacred place? What about our inner places?  What about cities versus natural landscapes? How does international geography define a person’s place in the world? Can all places be mapped? How do different definitions of place influence human impact on the environment?

Over the duration of the course, we will explore two particular “places” in more depth:  the St. Lawrence University campus (your home for the next four years), and Turtle Hill, a local neighborhood committed to sustainable living. Throughout, you will have the opportunity to reflect on how places have shaped you, and how you, in turn, shape them.