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Courses : Syllabi : 701

Geography 701 Development of Geographic Thought


Dr. Fernando Bosco

Course Description

This graduate-level seminar examines the key concepts, theories, and larger philosophies that define what the discipline of geography is today. The seminar centers on discussion of readings that have been assigned to illustrate, explain and offer a critical perspective on the evolution of geographic thought over time. The seminar covers different overlapping and interconnected themes. In this seminar:


Graduate Standing


Weekly attendance and participation is required. Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss all assigned readings. Attendance to the Department of Geography Colloquia Series (Friday afternoons) is also required and it is also part of the assessment for this seminar.

Assignments are due at the beginning of the class on their due date. Late papers will be penalized (half a letter grade for each day the paper is late). Please talk to me if you are having difficulties completing an assignment, but do not wait until it is too late.

This seminar meets only once a week. There will be a 15-minute break each class period. Make every effort to be in the classroom at the scheduled beginning time and plan on staying until class ends. Late arrivals or early departure from the seminar will negatively affect your final grade.

Your grade in this course will be based on the following elements:

Books and Materials

Aitken, S. and Valentine, G., eds. (2006). Approaches to Human Geography. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Bauder, H. and Engel-Di Mauro, S. (2008) Critical Geographies: A Collection of Readings. Praxis (e)Press
Clifford, N., Holloway, S., Rice, S., and Valentine, G. (2009) Key Concepts in Geography. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (2nd edition)

There are additional journal articles and book chapters that are also required reading. These readings will be assigned throughout the semester and, when possible, will be made available in electronic format through the Blackboard class website.

Weekly Topics

Week Topic
Week One Introduction to the Development of Geographic Thought
Week Two Defining geography and histories of geography
Week Three Relevance: applied geography and critical geographies
Week Four Space and Scale
Week Five Key Concepts and Philosophies paper proposal due
Research resources presentation
Week Six Place and Landscape
Week Seven Positivistic geographies and spatial science
Week Eight The Marxist and Humanist Critique
Week Nine Critical reactions: Feminism, Identity and Difference
Week Ten Representing and Visualizing Geographic Phenomena
Week Eleven The “Post” and Relational Turns
Week Twelve Nature and Risk
Week Thirteen Key Concepts and Philosophies Paper Due
Week Fourteen Development and Globalization
Week Fifteen Final thoughts and reflections

The statements found on this page/site are for informational purposes only. While every effort is made to ensure that this information is up to date and accurate, official information can be found in the university publications.