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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jaime Ann Kelly
GEOG 301
Seattle Campus

Cultural Geography

Analysis of the role of culture in the formation of landscape patterns; components of culture that contribute not only to a "sense of place," but also to the mosaic of settlement patterns and occupancy that can be traced to culture.

Class description

Don Mitchell, the author of Cultural Geography: A Critical Introduction suggests that Cultural Geography explores the struggles over 'culture' - showing how these struggles work out in particular spaces, places and landscapes and how they are always a key determinant in the ways we live our lives (2000: xiii). Also of key importance are the ways these struggles over culture inform our ideas about ourselves and others. Although there are many different understandings of culture, in this class we will consider culture as a process, a site of contestation where meanings are attached, and indeed produce, subjects and spaces. Culture is always connected and related to social, economic and political forces and practices and in this class we will be focusing closely on these connections in lecture, class work, your midterm and in your final papers.

Cultural Geography is a large and complex field with far too many different approaches to cover in just one quarter. As such we will focus on the concepts of sameness and difference and the connected processes of inclusion and exclusion that fall along gendered, classed, raced lines of power or along lines of sexuality and citizenship status. These cultural processes create spaces, landscapes, people and places discursively -- through language and systems of meaning -- within a range of textual and visual materials. During the class we will consider how these cultural processes work out, change or are reproduced over time in a variety of contexts. Our aim is to recognize and connect the historical and contemporary exertion of power through cultural processes of exclusion and inclusion and through cultural productions of sameness and difference whether this is gendered, raced, classed or along lines of sexuality or citizenship status. This class also focuses on resistance and approaches to cultural change. It will address various approaches and beliefs in what kinds of change are needed for a more fair/just society and what such a society looks like.

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 Jaime Ann Kelly
Date: 09/30/2009