1 Geography 372, Political Geography Fall 2013 Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-1:50 Hall of Languages 102 There is a will to essentiality which one should mistrust -Michel Foucault, Questions on Geography Professor: Natalie Koch (pronounced cook ) Office: Eggers Hall 144B Contact: Office Hours: Tuesday, 2:00-4:00 Course Description Political geography is the study of geopolitical imaginations and practices, i.e. people s attempt to make sense of the world by associating political and moral values with various parts of the world (Dittmer and Dodds 2008), and acting on that map. This course is an intensive survey of political geography, covering the major topics and debates in the discipline. Important themes include nationalism, territory, borders and mobility, conflict and militarism, geopolitics, and gender. Contemporary developments in the world s regions will be selectively drawn upon to illustrate concepts from the course texts and lectures. Reading a substantive newspaper or magazine, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, the Economist or the BBC News webpage (news.bbc.co.uk) would help to acquire (or develop) knowledge of global locations and current events, which will be discussed in the course. Depending on your regional interests, you might also monitor Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and/or receive their region-specific digest s: Objectives and Outcomes Students in this course will: Gain familiarity with the major themes and debates within political geography; Write about and participate in discussions about concepts in political geography; Learn to work easily with academic journal articles and other analytical texts; Be able to conduct and present their own research in political geography. Texts. There is one required text for this course: Painter, Joe, and Alex Jeffrey Political Geography: An Introduction to Space and Power, 2 nd Edition. Los Angeles: SAGE. If you choose to purchase this online, be sure to get the second edition. A reserve copy will also be made available at Bird Library. All other readings are available electronically as PDFs, to be accessed through Blackboard: This is a highly reading intensive course, and students are expected to keep up with the required readings. The course is designed for students with a base proficiency in reading academic journal articles, as these will constitute a large portion of the texts. Evaluation Course grades will be broken down as follows: 40 % 1-pagers 25 % Midterm exam 35 % Final paper
2 Grades. A (93-100), A- (92-90), B+ (87-89), B (83-86), B- (80-82), C+ (77-79), C (73-76), C- (70-72), D+ (67-69), D (63-66), D- (60-62), F (59-below). Attendance. You will not be graded for attendance, but to quote a famous political geographer, John O Loughlin, Success is this course is a function of the well-proven formula: class attendance, staying current with the readings, and asking for help when needed. Lecture slides will be made available for pre-lecture printing to help alleviate frantic note-taking, but they are not an adequate substitute for attending class. One-pagers. Every Wednesday, students will be expected to turn in a 1-page commentary in response to a specific prompt listed on the reading schedule. Exceptions are: 29 August, 17 October, 24 October, 21 November, 5 December. This will be 9 papers total, of which you may drop your lowest grade. These assignments constitute a large portion of the final course grade and should be approached accordingly. You may find it useful to work with classmates to discuss the readings, but keep in mind that the final product is to be entirely your own. When you cite a class reading in your response, there is no need to provide a bibliography simply do an in-text citation of the author name and year (and page number, where applicable). The paper is to be single-spaced, Times New Roman, size 12, 1 margins, and deviations from this standard will result in a 10 percent deduction of the grade. The commentaries may be slightly shorter than 1 page, but anything exceeding 1 page will not be read and will not be graded. There are two primary objectives of this exercise: 1) to help you think through and engage with the class readings; and 2) to hone your ability to write clearly and succinctly. One-pagers will be graded either check, check-minus, or check-plus. To earn a check, you must address all the readings for that week, reflect critical thinking about the readings, and observe the rules of grammar. On rare occasions, especially thoughtful sets of answers may receive a check plus. To receive an A for this part of the course, your reviews must average at least a check (i.e., one check-plus will offset a check-minus); your final mark will fall by a half grade for each check-minus that is not offset by a check-plus (e.g., one check-minus results in an A-, etc.). These papers are meant to encourage you to think about the readings before you come to class, and turning in the paper late (within 24 hours of the time they are due) will result in a check minus. Papers received after this time will count as a zero. Midterm exam. Students will receive the essay questions for the midterm exam (3 options, choose one) on Monday, 15 October. You will have one week to complete the response, which is due on 22 October at the beginning of class. Details and sample questions will be given closer to the deadline, but the essay will be 5-7 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman, size 12, 1 margins. Final paper. In lieu of a final exam, each student will write an independent research paper on a topic of their choice. This will be a page paper, double-spaced, Times New Roman, size 12, 1 margins. A 1-2 paragraph proposal is due on 3 November, but you may turn it in earlier. The final paper is due 5 December. Be sure to attend the lecture in the middle of the semester on Library research, electronic resources, and bibliographic management because this will provide you with important information about how to conduct independent academic research, in addition to important issues of academic honesty in your writing. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of SU s Writing Center ( ) as you begin to plan, write, and revise your paper. Note: All assignments will only be accepted as a hard copy and cannot be ed. If you cannot attend class on the day that an assignment is due, turn it into my mailbox in the Geography
3 Department or make arrangements to have a friend turn it in for you. Assignments are considered late if they are not turned in upon their collection at the beginning of class. For this reason, it is imperative that you come to class on time. All late assignments will be marked down 5 percentage points per day late. Academic Integrity All students of Syracuse University are responsible for knowing and adhering to the Academic Integrity Policy. It is important to note that under this policy, Students are accountable for academic negligence even if they lack an intent to deceive. Violations of this policy may include: cheating, plagiarism, fabrication or misrepresentation of data, copying another student s work, unauthorized cooperation in completing assignments or examinations, submission of the same written work in more than one course, dishonesty in requests for make-up exams or extensions, etc. ( All incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the Academic Integrity Office ). Students who are found to be in violation of the Academic Integrity Policy will be subject to the appropriate academic and non-academic sanctions (including but not limited to probation, suspension, or expulsion), to be determined by a University hearing panel. Turnitin.com. A key element of this code is that SU students will not plagiarize (using the words and thoughts of others as your own). As part of the effort to control plagiarism and to ensure that submitted works from students are fully their own, it is the instructor s intent to submit the student papers to TurnItIn.com and to recommend a grade of F in the course to any student in violation of the SU Academic Integrity Policy. Note that you cannot submit the same paper or part of a paper for two different classes (current or earlier) without the express permission of both instructors. If you have any questions about this procedure or about any matter regarding proper citation and the Academic Integrity Policy, you should speak with the instructor. Classroom Behavior Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Students who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline, including exclusion from the class. Faculty have the professional responsibility to treat all students with understanding, dignity and respect, to guide classroom discussion and to set reasonable limits on the manner in which they and their students express opinions. Professional courtesy is especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with the politically-sensitive subject matter of this class. Diversity of opinion is welcomed. CELL PHONES AND LAPTOPS ARE STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If you need an exception to this policy, see me immediately. Drinks are welcome in class, but please refrain from eating. Communication I will endeavor to answer your questions and concerns via in a timely fashion, but please do not expect a response after 5 PM, or on the weekends. Please utilize your classmates as a resource if you have questions about logistics or have missed a lecture, and please keep in mind that I have weekly office hours immediately following class on Tuesdays. Disability Accommodations If you believe that you need accommodations for a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS), located in Room 309 of 804 University Avenue, or call (315) for an appointment to discuss your needs and the process for requesting accommodations. ODS is responsible for coordinating disability-related accommodations and will issue students with
4 documented Disabilities Accommodation Authorization Letters, as appropriate. Since accommodations may require early planning and generally are not provided retroactively, please contact ODS as soon as possible. For more information, see Extracurricular Activity Accommodations If you are an athlete or are involved in other extracurricular activities that involve extensive travel, please discuss this with me early in the semester so that we may make any necessary accommodations. Religious Accommodations Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make appropriate accommodations for students observance needs by providing an opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirement that is missed because of an absence due to a religious observance, provided the instructor has been notified no later than the end of the second week of classes ( If you believe that you might have such a conflict, please notify me as soon as possible. Use of Student Work This course may use course participation and documents created by students for educational purposes. In compliance with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, works in all media produced by students as part of their course participation at Syracuse University may be used for educational purposes. It is understood that registration for and continued enrollment in a course where such use of student works is announced constitutes permission by the student. After the course has been completed, any further use of student works will meet one of the following conditions: (1) the work will be rendered anonymous through the removal of all personal identification of the work s creator/originator(s); or (2) the creator/originator(s) written permission will be secured. COURSE SCHEDULE Week 1 27 August 2013, Introduction: What is political geography? 29 August 2013, Politics and discourse Painter & Jeffrey, Chapter 1, Politics, Geography and Political Geography Week 2 3 September 2013, Power and place Allen, J Power. In A companion to political geography, eds. J. A. Agnew, K. Mitchell & G. Ó Tuathail, Malden: Blackwell Pub. Staeheli, L Place. In A companion to political geography, eds. J. A. Agnew, K. Mitchell & G. Ó Tuathail, Malden: Blackwell Pub. 5 September 2013, The state Painter & Jeffrey, Chapter 2, State formation Optional: Painter & Jeffrey, Chapter 3, From welfare state to workfare state
5 One-pager prompt: Discuss how can we conceptualize the state and power as processes, and why it is problematic to see them as things. Week 3 10 September 2013, The territorial trap Agnew, J Chapter 4, A world of territorial states. Geopolitics: Re-Visioning World Politics. London: Routledge, p Martin, B Statist language. ETC: A Review of General Semantics 66(4): September 2013, Nationalism Painter & Jeffrey, Chapter 7, Nationalism and regionalism One-pager prompt: What is the relationship between territory and national identity? Week 4 17 September 2013, American civil religion Bellah, R. N Civil Religion in America. Daedalus 96(1): September 2013, Banal nationalism Billig, M Chapter 5, Flagging the homeland daily. Banal nationalism. Thousand Oaks, Sage, p One-pager prompt: If nationalism is so banal, why is it such a strong political force? Week 5 24 September 2013, Nationalism and sport Cardoza, A Making Italians? Cycling and national identity in Italy: Journal of Modern Italian Studies 15(3): September 2013, Nationalism, ritual, and spectacle Kong, L. and B. Yeoh The construction of national identity through the production of ritual and spectacle: An analysis of National Day parades in Singapore. Political Geography 16 (3): One-pager prompt: What role do emotions and ritual play in imagining the nation? Week 6 1 October 2013, Nationalism, territory, and conflict Mayer, T Embodied nationalisms. Mapping women, making politics: Feminist perspectives on political geography. L. A. Staeheli, E. Kofman and L. Peake. New York, Routledge: Watch the first 32 minutes of this documentary:
6 3 October 2013, Bordering and border conflicts Bond, A. and N. Koch Interethnic Tensions in Kyrgyzstan: A political geographic perspective. Eurasian Geography & Economics 51(4): One-pager prompt: What is the role of territory in conflict? And how are certain social divisions mapped onto territorial conflicts? Week 7 8 October 2013, Conflict, memory, and the nation Till, K Places of memory. A companion to political geography. J. Agnew, K. Mitchell, and G. Ó Tuathail. Malden: Blackwell: October 2013, Imperialism and postcolonialism Receive midterm exam questions in class Painter & Jeffrey, Chapter 8, Imperialism and postcolonialism No one-pager due. Week 8 15 October 2013, Library research, electronic resources, and bibliographic management Library Guest Speaker 17 October 2013, Introduction to geopolitics Midterm exam due in class. No one-pager due. Week 9 22 October 2013, Critical geopolitics Ó Tuathail, G Thinking critically about geopolitics. The geopolitics reader. G. Ó Tuathail, S. Dalby and P. Routledge. New York, Routledge, p October 2013, Classical geopolitics (1/2) Painter & Jeffrey, Chapter 9, Geopolitics and anti-geopolitics One-pager prompt: What makes grand geopolitical narratives so appealing? And so powerful? Week October 2013, Classical geopolitics (2/2) Mackinder, H. J. 1904. The geographical pivot of history. Geographical Journal 170(4): Ó Tuathail, G Chapter 1, Geopolitics. Critical Geopolitics: The Politics of Writing Global Space. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, p only.
7 31 October 2013, Cold War geopolitics Dodds, K Cold war geopolitics. In Agnew, J. A., K. Mitchell, G. Ó Tuathail, eds., A companion to political geography. Malden, Blackwell Publishers, p Kennan, G The long telegram. Telegram form The US Charge in the Soviet Union to the US Secretary of State. p One-pager prompt: What is the role of the territorial state in geopolitical strategy narratives? Week 11 5 November 2013, Post-Cold War geopolitics FINAL PAPER PROPOSAL DUE Huntington, S. P The clash of civilizations? Foreign Affairs 72(3): Bassin, M Civilisations and their discontents: political geography and geopolitics in the Huntington thesis. Geopolitics 12: November 2013, Environmental security Kaplan, R The coming anarchy. The Atlantic Monthly 273(2), p Dalby, S., Chapter 2, The environment as geopolitical threat. Environmental security. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, p One-pager prompt: Why does it matter who defines security threats? Week November 2013, Arctic geopolitics Dittmer, J., et al Have you heard the one about the disappearing ice? Recasting Arctic geopolitics. Political Geography, 30(4), November 2013, 9 /11 and the War on Terror Dodds, K Chapter 9, Globalization of terror. In Global geopolitics: A critical introduction. New York: Pearson Prentice Hall. p One-pager prompt: Did the end of the Cold War mark the end of binary visions of global space? Week November 2013, Militarism, popular culture, and the garrison state Bernazzoli, R. M. and C. Flint Embodying the garrison state? Everyday geographies of militarization in American society. Political Geography 29(3): Dittmer, J Captain America s Empire: Reflections on identity, popular culture, and post-9/11 geopolitics. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 95(3): November 2013, Oil, empire, and the continued relevance of critical geopolitics Dalby, S Imperialism, domination, culture: the continued relevance of critical geopolitics. Geopolitics 13 (3): Rice, S. and J. Tyner Pushing on: Petrolism and the statecraft of oil. The Geographical
8 Journal 177 (3): One-pager prompt: 9/11 is usually associated with increased militarism abroad, but what have been the implications at home? 24 November December NO CLASS - THANKSGIVING BREAK Week 14 3 December 2013 NO CLASS: WORK ON FINAL PAPERS 5 December 2013, Informal discussion of research papers LAST DAY OF CLASS: FINAL RESEARCH PAPER DUE No one-pager due. ENJOY THE BREAK!