GEOG 372 - Topics in Human Geography
Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
Topic for 2017/18a: Lines, Fences, Walls: The Partitioning of the Global Landscape. This course examines the making of the spatial boundaries that divide and connect people and places across the Earth’s surface. In doing so, it considers the origns and evolution of various types of divides– from private property lines that have marked the demise of commons throughout the world, to the barbed wire fences used to contain people and animals, and the international boundary walls and barriers that increasingly scar the global landscape–and considers various effects of and responses to these phenomena. Joseph Nevins.
Topic for 2017/18b: Placing Collective Action: Geography & Social Movements. Why does collective action emerge in some contexts but not others? How do social movements mobilize support for their agendas? How are space and place integral to and reproduced through political struggle? This seminar explores these central questions through exploration of sociological approaches to the study of social movements developed both in the US and Western Europe. Geographical critiques of these theories are also explored, with an emphasis on the role of space and place in structuring collective action, as well as on the production of urban space through political struggle. We start with classical works on the production of space and place, including selections by Lefebvre, Harvey, Massey, Agnew, and Don Mitchell. This is followed by an overview of the major theoretical approaches to the study of social movements within sociology, drawing on work by McCarthy and Zald, McAdam, Tarrow, Benford and Snow, and Habermas, among others. We then turn to geographically-informed explanations of collective action and explore emerging trends in the study of collective action such as the role of new technologies in activists’ efforts to control urban space, the rise of zero tolerance approaches to policing urban protest, the increasingly transnational character of movements, and what this all means for emerging alternatives to territorially-bound citizenship. Susan Blickstein.
One 3-hour period.
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