Cultural Geography [CRN 79635]

Discipline: Geography
Instructor: Smith
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 0800
End: 0920
Field Work: Day 1 | September 15, 2017 | Spain
Prerequisites: One (1) introductory geography course. Per Instructor: Prerequisite is waived. Download Syllabus

This course provides an introduction to theories, terms, and contemporary topics in human geography and, in particular, we will seek to understand the concept of “place”.  We will study the physical and human geography of the regions of the world, with an emphasis given to the areas and countries on our itinerary.  We will explore the complex relationships between people and the areas they inhabit by examining human migration patterns, population growth trends, economic development strategies, political conflicts, cultural landscapes, and interactions with the environment.  The question will be asked, “Why have people located where they have, why has economic and political development occurred as it has, and why is there a difference, or similarity, from region to region?”  The class field trip will allow us to view first hand some of the concepts discussed in the classroom.  The course objective is to familiarize students with the world’s rich and diverse cultural geography through classroom lectures, readings, field trips and student discussions.  Today’s world events hopefully will make a little more sense with the geography learned in this course.  Students will be asked to write on, and to present in class, “geographic moments” they experience while in the various ports.  Grades in this course will be derived from quizzes (including map quizzes), tests, essays, and class participation

Field Work

Country: Spain
Day: 1
Date: September 15, 2017

The field class for this course is to spend a day in Barcelona immersed in the Catalonian culture.  The proposed day will be spent learning about, and viewing, the wonderful cultural heritage of the Catalonian people:  its history, architecture, food, and political aspirations to become independent from Spain.  The day will consist of visiting the Catalonian Parliament building.  After receiving a tour of the building the class will meet with one or two members of Parliament to understand the key political aspirations of the Catalonian nation.  Following a walk through the historic part of the city students will receive a tour of the Santa Maria Cathedral. The day will conclude with a briefing at the Fossars de les Moreres, an important plaza in the Catalonian history.

Learning Objectives:
1. Students will learn about the historical evolution and current status of the European Union and of the sovereign state of Spain, and the devolutionary forces that are challenging both of these entities in the modern era.
2. Students will learn about Catalonian culture and history, and the current Catalan movement for independence from Spain.
3. Students will be able to critically analyze current events in Europe with a deeper understanding of the role of these important institutions and the local devolutionary forces challenging them.