Course Syllabus Essay

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GEOG 2600A Summer, 2012

GEOGRAPHY BEHIND THE HEADLINES: Geographical Foundations to Current Issues

Instructor: Dr. Victor Konrad, Loeb B343; 613 520 2600 extension 2563 (office hours only);

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 16:30-17:30 or by appointment

Lecture Class: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 18:05-20:55/ 6:05-8:55 pm in 409 SA

Prerequisite: Second year standing or permission

Course Description:

Geography matters in the events, issues and concerns expressed in the headlines we see in the media every day. This course is an exploration of the geography inherent in the prominent headlines of our time. We will examine the geographical backgrounds to selected issues of current interest through geography’s perspective of integrating human and physical environments. The issues selected will be global in their significance, yet in most instances we will seek the national, regional and local implications and interdependencies of the media concerns. We will evaluate how the scales are linked by major themes in geography, and how these themes, migration for example, help us to understand the headlines and the world around us, from a global perspective all the way to consequences for our National Capital Area.

Course Format:

This course is a lecture class. In order to advance in this course you must attend the lectures, read the textbook and complete the essay assignment. The interim and final examinations will test your knowledge of the concepts and the content of the lectures and the text.

Course Objectives:

The following objectives underlie this course:

• To become familiar with the geography behind major headline issues around the globe • To develop a critical understanding of the geographical concepts and approaches that enable us to understand the geography behind the headlines • To conduct focused research on an aspect of geography behind the headlines and to improve analytical and writing skills in pursuit of the geography of the story


July 3 Introduction: Distribution and discussion of Course Outline; Reading Geography in the Headlines; The significance and importance of understanding the Geography behind the media in a global yet local world; film Kandahar

July 5 Canada in Afghanistan and Afghanistan’s Impact on Canadians: Geographical Elements of Place, Space and Perception in Canada’s Mission Overseas

July 10 Global Terrorism: Geographical Implications for North America, Canada and Ottawa; Iran, Iraq and Pakistan: The Geopolitics of Insurgency

July 12 Re-Shaping North Africa and the Middle East: Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen; Israel and the Palestinians: Power and geography

July 17 Reinventing the Canada-US Borderlands: Geopolitics Comes Home

July 19 New Lines/News Lines in the Arctic and Antarctic: Sovereignty, Indigenous Homelands, Resources and Environment

July 24 Climate Change: Global and geographical dimensions: Fact? Fiction? Media Creation? Interim Examination One Hour

July 26 Disasters in the News: Katrina to Fukushima: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Tidal Waves and Earthquakes; Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Chile and Haiti

July 31 A New Russia: Putin, Medvedev and Russians Everywhere

August 2 European Union to European Superpower? Europe in the Vanguard, or a Continent in Crisis?

August 7 China and India: Population, Economic Expansion and Challenges in Globalization

August 9 Hope for Africa? The Geography of Survival

August 14 Canadian Geography Behind the Headlines: the stories of 2012; Conclusions and Review

Examination Period, August 18-23; Final Examination Two Hours

Course Evaluation:

A one hour interim examination in class on July 24, 2012. (20% of final grade)

One essay,