GEOG 3205 – Internal Structure of the City
Throughout history, cities have been an object of scholarly research. This research is increasingly relevant as more than 3.5 billion people across the world now live in urban areas (a number that is expected to nearly double in the next 30 years). Scholars consider both internal and external structures of cities in order to answer questions such as: What is a city? How do cities form? What contributes to urbanization? Is there something unique about the urban? Does the physical environment have independent causal powers (i.e., does the environment determine society)? Or do social relations exist independently of the physical environment? External approaches focus on linkages between cities and within global urban systems, while internal approaches focus on patterns and processes inside cities (although internal and external structures are interrelated). This course examines the internal structure of cities by considering theoretical frameworks geographers have used to understand old and new urban challenges, alongside empirical engagements with themes of particular interest to urban geographers such as sustainability, transportation, housing, retail and manufacturing, and gentrification, among others. Usually offered each fall semester.
GEOG 4000/5000 – Food, Migration, and Place
As people move in the world, food plays a central role in shaping identity, reproducing myth and ritual, and connecting diasporic communities. This mobility establishes dynamic foodways and gives rise to new food landscapes through which we can understand temporally connected sites of intense interaction. This writing intensive course will unpack these processes through investigating the dynamics of food production and consumption in a transnational world. Recognizing the centrality of culinary culture in migrant identities, this course will focus on the role of food habits, rituals, and practices in producing and sustaining shared identities and places. Students will gain an understanding of these relations through engagement with case studies and literature addressing the complex spaces we inhabit in a transnational world. Usually offered each spring semester.
GEOG 6115/8115 – Qualitative Methods in Geography
This course offers an overview of a set of qualitative research methods commonly used in the geosciences. In addition to reviewing the evolution and theoretical underpinnings of qualitative approaches in the field generally, the course will explore the application and evaluation of various methodologies such as, but not limited to, interviews, focus groups, discourse analysis and participatory research. Issues of research design, rigor, ethics and communication of qualitative methods will also be addressed. Usually offered once every three semesters.
GEOG 6210/8210 – The Restructuring City
Cities worldwide have, over the last 30-40 years, undergone radical transformation. Grounded in both global and local changes of economy, society and state, contemporary urban restructuring challenges the way we understand cities and gives rise to new and complex processes, structures and urban relationships. This course places at center stage the causes and consequences of contemporary urban restructuring and evaluates the theoretical, planning and policy challenges it inevitably presents. Usually offered once every three semesters.
GEOG 6215/8215 – Urban Identities: Explorations of power, inequality, and identity in contemporary cities
Contemporary cities are idealized as cosmopolitan places inhabited by residents of different genders, ethnicities, sexualities, classes, and other identities. Yet each of these intersecting identities can produce varied experiences, struggles, and uses of urban space. Gendered and classed ideas and assumptions produce certain home and workplace designs, physical features of public space, and utilization of different modes of transportation. Power relations shape who is allowed to use urban spaces in which ways; who determines the building, development, and destruction of neighborhoods; and who benefits from investments in urban life. This course examines the production and maintenance of relations of power, inequality, and identity in contemporary cities. Foundational frameworks in feminist, critical race, sexuality, post-colonial, and intersectional theory are employed to understand the social and spatial organization of contemporary cities. We address questions of how social relations shape urban spaces, including: How do multiple and contradictory identities of race, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship, ability, and other axes of difference shape everyday experiences of the city? How are contemporary debates about the city imbued with racialized, gendered, and classed meanings? What would alternative geographies grounded in intersecting identities look like? Usually offered once every three semesters.