2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
    Mar 30, 2023  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

GEOG 386 - Special Topics

Devoted to a specific topic unique for each semester and instructor. Designed for doctoral students.


SEC. 1 - MCCARTHY: POLITICAL ECOLOGIES OF ENERGY AND CLIMATE - This course will examine the interlinked issues of climate change and evolving geographies of energy, new and old, through the framework of political ecology. We will focus primarily on recent and current works.; SEC. 2 - BEST: GEOGRAPHIES OF RACE AND SPECULATION - Critical geographies call our attention to the ways in which practices of speculation have produced spaces of difference and domination. In this seminar, drawing from a range of critical geographical perspectives-anti- and post-colonial, feminist, black, and otherwise radical-we seek to explore two primary questions. The first, how does speculative action create architectures of difference (specifically “racial-sexual hierarchies”)? The second, how has speculative thought opened up ways of understanding human geographies that go beyond simply mapping intersections of race and place and instead seek to imagine more livable worlds?; SEC. 3 - ALVAREZ LEON: CRITICAL GIS - The objective of this course is for students to develop mapping and spatial analysis skills in conjunction with the theoretical tools necessary to use such skills in a rigorous, critical practice. In an environment characterized by the proliferation of digital datasets and new spatial media, there is pressing need for technically-informed critical inquiry -a foundation of responsible data production and consumption. This course provides a theoretical perspective that incorporates insights form fields such as Critical GIS, Information Studies and Science and Technology Studies.  The structure of the course is divided in two types of weekly sessions: (1) seminar sessions, where the class will discuss and workshop through key readings, concepts, and examples of the Critical GIS curriculum, and (2) laboratory sessions, where the class will focus on the learning and practice of spatial analysis and mapping tools. The technical component of the course centers on becoming familiar and comfortable with the use of the R software as a means for spatial analysis and mapping. Through weekly reading, discussion, and group exercises, the students will refine their critical grasp of the technical tools they acquire. In this process, they will develop a GIS practice that is both technically competent and sensitive to the broader social, political, and epistemological implications of geospatial tools and technologies. This course is aimed at upper level undergraduates, as well as graduate students. It meets twice weekly, and assumes no prior knowledge of R, spatial analysis, or critical GIS.; SEC. 4 - ROY CHOWDHURY: GLOBAL CHANGE, FOOD AND FARMING SYSTEMS - This course explores issues in global, regional and local systems of food production and consumption, emphasizing the linkages of those systems to global environmental and economic change. We will explore interactions between agriculture and human societies (past and present), and consider the role of adaptation in agricultural innovation, decision-making, diffusion and change. The origins of agriculture (overview, major food crops in use today) will preface our analysis of contemporary farming systems. Themes such as demographic change, political economy and environment-development policy will be explored in detail throughout the course. Particular attention will be directed to the implications of changing land use systems, climate regimes, and economic liberalization and globalization. We will study the implications of industrialization, urbanization, sociodemographic shifts, and institutional change for the diversity, supply, distribution and future of food, and for the broader sustainability of agro-ecosystems. Undergraduates by special permission only; SEC. 5 - SANGERMANO: HABITAT MODELING (MODULE B) - This course introduces niche-based habitat suitability modeling and evaluation through lectures and hand-on exercises. 


FALL 2017

SEC. 1 - ROY CHOWDHURY: LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE Permission required. SEC. 2 - EASTMAN: RASTER SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT I Permission required. Students registering for this course must have completed a summer internship at Clark Labs. During the internship, students learn the Delphi Windows system development platform, the architecture of the TerrSet software system, best practices for raster analysis and the basics of the Windows Graphical Device Interface. In this follow-on course, students carry out independent development projects that may ultimately be incorporated into the TerrSet system. SEC. 3 - SPHAR: ECONOMY, PLACE, AND POLITICS IN THE 21st CENTURY Permission is not required - In this course we will focus on the deeply intertwined nature of economies and politics through a geographical lens, emphasizing the rootedness of both economies and politics in particular places. Even though this rootedness often seems to have lost importance with the onset of economic globalization, throughout the semester we will explore how it is in fact as important as ever. By critically analyzing the changing nature of this three-way relationship between place, politics, and economy we will better understand how economic globalization shapes and remakes our economies, our politics, our lives, and our cities. We will also explore how citizen-led projects, such as participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre, Brazil, are fostering new visions for radical democracy by rethinking this three-way relationship. Through this course students will engage with pressing issues in economic and urban geography, and be able to apply this knowledge through case study analyses of key global cities. They will learn how current debates in economic globalization shape city, state, and national politics, and be able to explain how places, policies, and economies are co-constituted through these processes.

Anticipated Terms Offered: Every semester