GEOG 2000 World Geography

Over the course of the semester, you have been introduced to a number of concepts that geographers and other social scientists use to describe and analyze both historical and contemporary phenomena. For the final assignment of the course, you will write a concise reflection that considers the relevance of one or more of these concepts in relation to a current event of your choosing.

Begin by identifying a topic that interests you in the news, drawing from reporting and journalism in outlets like the New York TimesFinancial TimesAl JazeeraBBCThe Guardian, or Le Monde. This topic should be 1) ongoing, and 2) distinct from what you wrote about in your midterm or presented on in the second half of class. Spend some time reading about the topic and consulting additional sources as necessary.

At the end of each week’s lectures, I have included a slide identifying most of the key terms introduced. Some of these are very concrete (such as “Marshall Plan,” “Structural Adjustment,” or “redlining”), while others are more analytical (such as “core/periphery,” “neocolonialism,” “transition zone,” or “neoliberalism”). Select one or more of these terms—or another concept of your choosing, from the course’s lectures or readings—and explain how it is relevant for understanding the current event you have chosen, as well as how it could be revised in light of this event (to the extent you think appropriate).

If you are choosing a more historical/concrete term or concept from the class, account for how and why it causes/explains the event you are examining. If you are choosing a more analytical concept, explain how it applies in relation to the event, and whether there are aspects of the event that require the concept to be revised or rethought.

The reflection should be no more than 1000 words total. There are no required number of citations, but anything you do cite should be consistent and in a proper format (e.g. MLA, APA, Chicago). As you write, use the following structure, divided into separate headings:

  1. Defining the concept(s) (300 words max): in your own words, explain the term or concept. What does it mean? What are its most salient features? In what context was it introduced and/or to what did it originally refer?
  2. Introducing the event (300 words max): what is the event or issue you are considering? Where is it occurring and who does it involve? What are its immediate causes and what effects has it had?
  3. Explaining the event (400 words max): how does the concept you have chosen explain or relate to the event in question? In what ways does the event represent an example or an outcome of the concept you have chosen, and in what ways does it break from, contradict, or require us to revise the concept?

GEOG 2000 World Geography

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