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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jonathan E Murr
BISGST 397
Bothell Campus

Topics in Global Studies

Examines a topic, theme, problem, or area of the world in order to provide a deeper understanding of an aspect of Global Studies.

Class description

Spring 2012: Mapping & Globalization

This course asks students to explore the much-contested concept of “globalization” through the work of visual artists, activists, filmmakers and scholars, and then to produce research-based mapping projects. After reading a few key theoretical works on globalization and its spatial logics understood, variously, in terms of “neoliberalism,” “postcoloniality” and “neocolonialism,” we will focus on “mapping” four contemporary spaces or sites in which global processes and struggles occur: urban spaces and slums, prisons and carceral networks, borders/borderlands and universities. Rather than relying solely on the work of geographers and other social scientists, we will explore these spaces as they are represented and imagined in different artist and activist projects. These projects offer a range of ways of critically engaging questions of mobility and immobility, development and difference, inequality and violence in our “globalized” present. To do so will encourage us to interrogate categories such as citizenship, freedom, progress and (trans)national belonging.

In addition to frequent study assignments and quizzes and one short presentation, students will research, design and develop a mapping project on a topic relevant to the study of globalization. Projects can range from works of visual art to an interactive Google Map of the UW Bothell campus or other site to more complex GIS-based maps.

Students do not need a Geography, GIS or visual arts background or any advanced familiarity with theories of globalization in order to take the course. The once-a-week format for the course will allow us to use roughly half of class time as a workshop for the research and mapping projects, supplemented by workshops by Seattle-based visual artist Julia Freeman and by other faculty at UW.

Course materials will include An Atlas of Radical Cartography, available through the UW Bookstore, and readings and maps by Ashley Hunt, Avery Gordon, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Gloria Anzaldúa, Mike Davis, Trevor Paglen, Bureau d'études, David Harvey, The Counter-Cartographies Collective, Cai-Guo Quiang, David Theo Goldberg, Critical Resistance, Edward Soja, and others, available via e-reserve.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jonathan E Murr
Date: 01/27/2012