Global Studies / Geography 100W

Space and Place: Exploring How Intersections Affect Interaction through Writing

Because this is a co-listed course for global studies and geography majors, we will take advantage of each discipline’s perspective by looking at fiction and nonfiction that deals with both understanding our world through a cultural and physical lens. These texts will primarily deal with “intersections,” whether they are between human understanding or the borders between countries. We will also be “reading” a variety of alternative texts, such as maps, architecture, and other concrete representations of our world. The key word here is “representation”; no object or text can fully represent the complexity of our world, and our job in this class is to use writing as a tool through which to better understand the representations and the gaps between them and reality. Mapping, in its many forms, will be the focus of the class, but we may also touch on imperialism, labor, gender issues, human rights, food, capitalism, conflict, disease, poverty, and more. Because GLST and GEOG are by natural interdisciplinary in themselves, students may also pull from a variety of related fields, such as anthropology, natural/physical sciences, and sociology. All of these fields provide a legitimate lens through which to view our course texts and topics.

Students will be exploring questions such as, “In what ways can I critique my own understanding of the world around me?”, “How does space affect the ways we live and interact?”, “How do arbitrary borders create very real issues of space and interaction?” and “Who has the power in determining how our world is represented?”

This course will encourage you to think and write critically. Take nothing at face value and question everything to reach your own logical conclusions—that is what critical thinking is. Nothing is ever as simple as it is presented to us; critical thinking and writing requires us to dig deeper and take nothing for granted.