SYLLABUS_GEOG_128_SPRING_08 - Geography 128 Geography of...

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Geography 128 Geography of International Affairs Spring 2008 Tuesdays and Thursdays 1 pm - 2:15 pm Classroom- Deike 022 Instructor: Prof. Ipsita Chatterjee Office: 213 Walker Building Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11 am – 12 pm Email: [email protected] Teaching Assistant: Matt Hartzell Office: 335 or 331 Walker Office hours: Wednesday 2 pm - 4 pm Email: [email protected] Preamble: The world is not our oyster -- it is big, complex, dynamic, yet it is possible to have a reasonable understanding of what is happening around us and why. Who is responsible for events like conflicts and war? Who decides what rules are to be followed in this ‘global casino’? How do the ideologies of powerful individual, groups, think tanks determine global geopolitical events? How do these individuals and institutions become powerful? To what extent are we responsible actors in local-global events? Answering these questions require a ‘bird eye view’, as well as ‘worm eye view’ of the world. This course will inform you, and conceptually equip you so that you can look beyond your ‘oyster’ and see the world through your ‘mind’s eye’ and not through the ‘Fox’ news lens. In the first half of the course you will be familiarized with theories on geopolitics, socio-historical context of their emergence, great ideas (Hegel, Adam Smith, Marx), which produced world orders, and defined the topography of power over centuries. Once you are equipped with the national and international geopolitical context of the past, this course will guide you into the present turmoil of Neoliberal globalization, ‘Clash of civilization’, ‘War on terror, ‘Iraq War’. With the ‘mind’s eye’, which you would have acquired by now through your familiarity with existing perspectives, you will now re-evaluate these events from a critical geopolitical perspective answering the Why? Who? How? questions raised above. The lectures will be interspersed with documentaries, discussions, activities, and assignments to help you better internalize the class materials. Purpose: To provide you with conceptual tools, which will enable you to not only understand, analyze, and explain international affairs/geopolitical phenomena for academic purposes, but also to enable you to use these concepts in ‘real’ life so that you develop critical skills to comprehend, and articulate your reality more comprehensively. To encourage you to think critically; think critically means to delve really deep beneath appearances, superficiality, and manifestations to understand the mechanisms, the nuts and bolts, systemic imperatives, and the hidden power structures guiding events and phenomena. To introduce you to the World of Geography, and demonstrate the use of spatial perspectives (like territory, resources, raw material, place-based specialized labor) in understanding and explaining global and local events. Required Text:
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course GEOG 128 taught by Professor Ipsitachatterjee during the Spring '08 term at Penn State.

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SYLLABUS_GEOG_128_SPRING_08 - Geography 128 Geography of...

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