Jakob Hanschu

University of Nottingham Postgraduate Award, University of Nottingham - Critical Theory and Politics

I am originally from Hillsboro, Kansas and graduated from Kansas State University in May 2019 with Bachelor of Science degrees in Anthropology and Geography. This past summer I conducted cross-disciplinary environmental research as part of a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates programme focused on Interdisciplinary Geospatial Approaches to Watershed Science. I discussed agricultural drainage’s role in transforming Iowa’s wet prairies into productive corn fields, the environmental impacts of this change, and ways to mitigate those impacts. This project led me to consider the role that different types of landscapes play in creating environmental problems and how and why certain landscapes exist. At the University of Nottingham, I will explore how multiple assemblages of humans, nonhumans, policies, markets, histories, ideologies, and materialities entangle themselves with one another at different scales to (re)produce specific landscapes. I intend to critically examine how a given landscape’s positive and negative impacts are unequally distributed across different historical, geographic, and social contexts. This project is theoretically concerned with how scholars can study landscapes as both products and producers of certain forms of human-environment interactions and environmental governance. The long history of landscape (trans)formation in the U.K. makes it an excellent place to pursue these studies.