IDEAS IN GEOGRAPHY
Convenor: Dr Claire Dwyer
Term Two; 05 unit
Ideas in Geography is an introduction to the history and philosophy of the discipline. Why does this matter? Because ideas develop in particular times and places; because they change, are forgotten and sometimes rediscovered; and because ideas have consequences – not just for academics but for the rest of the world as well.
The module aims to do five things:
• to introduce you to some of the key themes, debates and developments which have shaped the modern discipline of geography;
• to better understand the relationship between geography and other disciplines;
• to explore some of the main tensions in the discipline between, for example, physical and human geography and between traditional approaches and more recent developments;
• to show how changes in the discipline of geography are related to wider social, cultural, economic, scientific and historical developments;
• to enable you to develop your own ideas about geography as a discipline and to understand the diversity of different approaches used in geographical research.
This module will help you with all of your other modules in geography, throughout your degree. Along with methodologies modules it represents a key part of your training as a geographer. You will also be presented with ideas, examples and debates – and staff! – from many different areas of the discipline.
There is no single text; however the following books should prove useful throughout the course:
Castree, N. Rogers, A., and Sherman, D. (eds) (2005) Questioning Geography: Fundamental Debates.
Cloke, P., Crang, P., Goodwin, M. Painter, J. and Philo, C. (2004) Practising Human Geography
Gregory, K. J., (2000) The Changing Nature of Physical Geography
Haines-Young, R.H. and Petch, J. R. (1986) Physical Geography: Its Nature and Methods
Hubbard, P; Kitchin, R; Barley, B & Fuller, D (2002) Thinking Geographically: space, theory and contemporary human geography
Johnston, R.J . (ed) (2000) The Dictionary of Human Geography (4th edition)
Rogers, A. and Viles, H. (eds), (2003) The Student’s Companion to Geography
The course is assessed on the basis of an assessed essay (30%) and an unseen written examination (70%). The examination will be two hours long and students will be expected to answer two questions from a choice of six. Past copies of examination papers are available in the Reading Room or online through the Library though the format of the paper changed in 2009-10.
Office hours provide an opportunity for you to talk to the lecturer about the course and to obtain advice about readings or essays. Please check online for the office hours of individual teachers on the course.
Only affiliate students with a background in geography or cognate discipines may take this course. If you are interested it is it is essential that you see or email the course convenor as soon as possible so that he can assess your suitability. If you do take the course and are staying for the full year you will be assessed in the same way as the other students. If this is not the case you should contact the course convenor to arrange alternative assessment. Jason Dittmer (Affiliate Tutor) will advise you about tutorial support for the course.