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Gross inequality in a rapidly urbanizing world is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. Most future population growth will occur in cities, and much of the new urban poor already lacks access to basic services, like sewage and electricity.
! ! & Location Geography 103
! ! !
Dr. Nathaniel Gabriel
Course Description and Objectives This course will introduce
you to the field of human geography, a discipline that examines the relationships among people, places, environments, and cultures.
Over the course of the semester we will cover a range of basic concepts and terms that will enable you to engage critically with key
geographic approaches to contemporary life. Among these are connectivity and global networks, human migration, citizenship, cultural identity, urbanization, and politics. The class will focus attention on the unequal distribution of power, resources and opportunity in order to highlight the challenges and
struggles that these inequalities create.
What’s In This Syllabus Beyond the Lecture
How to Take This Course
Human Geography: People Place and Culture (10th Ed), Fouberg, Murphy, and de Blij Nathaniel (Nate) Gabriel (Instructor)
There are two primary lectures each week. The first of these (Monday) will be an exploration and discussion of material covered in the textbook, with additional discussion and clarification when necessary. The second weekly lecture (Thursday) will consist of a deeper exploration of the themes covered on Monday, usually through a case study.
You are highly encouraged to drop in during scheduled office hours for any reason.
Every week there will be an optional review session in which you will have the opportunity to ask clarifying questions, go over material you didn't understand, and to explore material that interests you in greater depth. Review sessions are optional; anyone wishing to attend MUST add their name to one of the sign-up sheets, which will be available in class.
Cultural Landscapes reflect not only the cultural values of a civilization, but also the economic and political forces that shape it.
Grading Scale 100-90
The only things you have to do in this class are to take three exams. You don’t even have to come to class if you don’t want to.
However, to do well on these assignments, you will need to stay current with assigned readings from the textbook, attend lectures, take notes, and (probably) ask lots of questions (to yourself, your peers, and me, the instructor). Because exams are designed to challenge your analytical abilities, rather than your ability to recite material, you should focus on understanding concepts and trends, rather than memorizing facts.
Much of the exam material will be covered only in class. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to get the notes from a classmate. Class attendance is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended.
Please do not come to class late. If you will be more than 15 minutes late, please do not come at all.
What Kind of Student Will You Be?!
In this class, almost everything is optional. You can come to class or not. You can attend review sessions or not. You will only be penalized for missing exams. However, how you make use of the resources available to you will likely have a strong impact on your final grade. To do well in the course, you should arrive to lectures on time and prepared to engage with the material. This includes completing the reading in advance of class meetings. There are three main strategies for taking this class and engaging with the material.
Waders want to dip their toes into the material, to get a sense of how humans interact with the environment, and see if it interests them.!
! Exam Policy!
There will be three exams in this course. These are worth 25%, 35%, and 45% of your final grade. The weight of the exams increases to reflect your growing familiarity with my exam-writing style.!
There is nothing wrong with this approach. This may be the only geography course you take, or it all may be new to you.!
Waders are not likely to get very deep into the material, and may not see the contradictions between different ways of understanding the patterns of human/ environment interactions. For a wader, the task is to learn the “facts”; their questions are WHAT, WHEN, and WHERE.
Students who take this approach already have a basic understanding of how human societies interact with the environment, and they want to look deeper. They already know that there is a conversation going on about how to think about these questions, and they are starting to figure out where they stand.!
Snorkelers have begun to identify issues that are being debated, and often wish to engage in those debates themselves. They are interested in understanding HOW and WHY.
Divers are already deeply engaged with the questions addressed in this course. They have a strong sense about what it means to think critically about the environment, and have well-developed views. At the same time, they take seriously the views of others. They probably read a great deal about the subject independently, and actively seek out sources they don’t agree with.!
Divers won’t take any of the course material at face value, and recognize (and fill) the gaps in the course. They are curious, passionate, and concerned about WHY HUMANENVIRONMENT GEOGRAPHY MATTERS.!
Exams will consist of a variety of components derived from the lecture and the text. Because exams are designed to challenge your analytical abilities, rather than your ability to recite material, you should focus on understanding concepts and trends, rather than memorizing facts.!
Makeup exams will only be given if written documentation of an excused absence is provided to the instructor or arrangements are made at least one week prior to the exam for emergency circumstances only. Studies showing up more than 15 minutes late for an exam will not be permitted to take it and no makeup opportunity will be provided.
Course Objectives and Core Curriculum Learning Goals:
This course fulfills 3 credits towards a major or minor in geography. Therefore, by the end of this course, we expect you to have a basic understanding of:
• The fundamental issues and debates in geography
• The spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth's surface.
• Key characteristics, distributions, and special features of human populations, cultural mosaics, economic systems, human settlement, and political units.
• How humans affect and are affected by modifications of the physical environment.
• How to use a geographic framework to view the past and analyze the present.
Further, the course also satisfies three credits towards the Social (SCL) or Historical (HST) Analysis requirement in the new SAS Core Curriculum. Upon completion of the course, students will therefore be able to meet at least one of the three following goals:
• Understand the bases and development of human and societal endeavors across time and place.
• Explain and be able to assess the relationship among assumptions, method, evidence, arguments, and theory in social and historical analysis.
• Identify and critically assess ethical issues in social science and history.
In pursuance of credits in Historical Analysis (HST), students will be able to explain the development of some aspect of a society or culture over time, including the history of ideas or history of science. For credits in Social Analysis (SCL), successful completion of this course will enable you to apply concepts about human and social behavior to particular questions or situations.
Cheating is grounds for failure. To that end, please become familiar with the University procedure for dealing with academic dishonesty through the Rutgers Academic Integrity Policy:
Any student in violation of the policy will be subject to disciplinary action and automatic failure in the course.
Rutgers University does not discriminate in any of its programs on the basis of disability. In order to facilitate the documentation and accommodation processes, students are encouraged to voluntarily and confidentially disclose any disability requiring accommodations. Rutgers Disability Services provides student-centered and student-inclusive programming in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Students with disabilities needing academic accommodations should:
Register with and provide documentation to the Office of Disability Services for Students at Rutgers (https:// ods.rutgers.edu/)
Bring a letter to the instructor from the Office of Disability Services for Students indicating your need for academic accommodations. This should be done during the first week of class. Accommodation cannot be offered without this letter.
For more information, contact the Office of Disability Services for Students at 848-445-6800 or [email protected]
Course Outline Monday
Week 1! 9/4 Week 2! 9/8, 9/11
Read Chapter 2
Population Health in Geography
(Guest lecture: Helen Olsen)
Week 3! 9/15, 9/18
Read Chapter 4
Week 4! 9/22, 9/25
Read Chapter 7
Identity: Race, Ethnicity, Gender
Read Chapter 5
Week 5! 9/29, 10/2
(Guest Lecture: Sarah Stinard-Kiel)
Read Chapter 6
Week 6! 10/6, 10/9
Review for Exam
Week 7! 10/13, 10/16
Read Chapter 3
Spatial and Political Implications of Bodies in Motion
Week 8! 10/20, 10/23
Read Chapter 8
Special Topic in Political Geography
(Guest Lecture: Helen Olsen)
Week 9! 10/27, 10/30
Read Chapter 11
Alternative Food Networks
(Guest Lecture: Eric Sarmiento)
Week 10! 11/3, 11/6
Read Chapter 9
Week 11! 11/10, 11/13
Review for Exam
Development (Guest Lecture: Helen Olsen)
Read Chapter 10
Week 12! 11/19, 11/20
Malnutrition, Development, and the Sweet Potato
Read Chapter 12
Week 13! 11/24, 11/25
Read Chapter 13
Urban Environments and Urban Commons (Date change: 11-25)
Week 14! 12/1, 12/4
Read Chapter 14
Globalization, Shipping Containers, Palettes, and the New Economy