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World Regional Geography

Vak 2014-2015



Admission requirements

  • Classes of 2013-2016: similarly-tagged 100/200-level courses or permission from the instructor.

Course description

First and foremost this course approaches the world as a collection of regions. Second, it focuses on major themes in human geography within those regions, including, but not limited to, cultural, urban, environmental, economic, agricultural, and political geography. As a way of dividing the world, regions are not always clear or easy to define which provides room to explore how and why geographers frequently apply a regional approach in their work. Six selected world regions will form the focus of the course during which we will discuss characteristics that define these places as well as connections between regions in the past and/or the present. Relevant themes in human geography will be used as focal points for each selected region (ie. the region of Middle and South America focus upon urbanization), but as with all things spatial, to understand the process of urbanization in one place you need the dynamic connections it has to economics, demographics, and politics in that region and likely beyond. The goal of this course is for each student to walk away with a better understanding of the world as a whole particularly with regard to geography and culture, and generally how different and distant places all fit together from the past into the present to inform a larger picture of our world.

Learning objectives

  • To understand the concept of regions, their complexity, and why geographers (along with other types of scholars) choose to organize space in this way.
  • Student will be able to apply spatial thinking in different contexts.
  • Students will improve their understanding of academic geography and its importance in understanding and addressing global challenges, such as developing sustainable solutions to current environmental challenges.
  • Students will explore the role of different global challenges (eg. human health, urbanization, environmental relationships) in multiple regions and their connections to colonial pasts and the modern processes of globalization.

Compulsory literature

Matthews, John A. and David T. Herbert. 2008. Geography: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.