GEOG 1131

Human Geography 1: Population, Migration & Settlement

Welcome to this level 1 introductory course in Human Geography-- Population, Migration, and Human Settlement. The course navigates fundamental concepts and approaches in human geography through the topics of population and migration. The course is designed to engage you in a variety of ways and encourages you to draw on your strengths, experiences, and interests to participate in and out of class. Migration is arguably one of the most important topics in contemporary global society: the world is on the move, and human geography reveals a few of the myriad causes and consequences of human mobility, which include shifts in population and settlement challenges.

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GEOG 2007

Urban Geography

Urban Geography is the study of cities as systems which are spatially distributed and linked to one another. As systems, cities have internal structures that reflect their unique social, cultural, political, and economic histories. Cities also exist in relation to other places, with linkages to other cities in a global system. The patterns, distributions, and relationships between places influence urban dynamics, just as what goes on in cities influences their relationships within the global system. Urban Geography will cover a range of topics, such as the historical evolution of cities, contemporary globalization, land use and urban governance, housing, immigration, and sustainability issues. The course will emphasize cities as complex and dynamic forms, and urban places as living environments where structures, patterns, and processes have consequences for people’s health and well-being.

Introduction to Urban Geography provides students with: the foundation of concepts, terms, and themes essential to the study of advanced Urban Geography; opportunities to recognize and investigate the complexity of city forms and city life; and the space to reflect critically on the seeming neutrality of the built urban form and processes.You will develop both a theoretical understanding of how urban processes shape your everyday social worlds as well as practical knowledge of what you can do to shape your urban environment. Although this course mainly uses North American and British-derived frameworks and case-studies, students are encouraged to apply a Caribbean lens to frameworks and theories, to consider the limitations of contemporary urban theory from a predominantly "global north" perspective, and to re-imagine and re-theorize from local and regional perspectives and contexts. There will be opportunities throughout the course for you to interrogate "the urban", explore issues and examine solutions, and to consider critically the applicability of theories and concepts to the "global south" generally, and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago particularly.

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GEOG 2014

Geographies of Food

An understanding of the political economic, socio-cultural and environmental factors that influence the pathways of food is essential for geographers, perhaps especially for those interested in the Caribbean and other plantation-based societies. The course aims to provide a framework for the analysis of geographic factors which influence the location and distribution of agricultural activity and food marketing and consumption, with specific reference to the tropics. A key issue will be the role of historical, political economic and socio-cultural factors as geographic variables in agricultural production, marketing and consumption in the Caribbean region. The course will provide a holistic view of agricultural and rural history and development, which will complement other geography courses which offer a Caribbean focus.

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GEOG 3000

Research Project

Independent research on a Caribbean territory or phenomena with a human or physical focus. Students will be judged on their interpretative, analytical and objective geographical capabilities, coupled with research techniques acquired. This research will be conducted over two semesters and will be presented at the end of the academic year. Note, the Geography Project is a year-long course. However you will not be allowed to register for it unless you have completed the preparatory work in Year 2, and have a project approved by a supervisory team.

Course Coverage

Overview of migration through history; types of migration; international bodies and systems regulating migration; changing global demographics; immigration policies of states and regions; international migration patterns; irregular migration; the open borders debate; settlement policies and outcomes.

Significance / Rationale

This elective course provides an in-depth examination of the key concepts in migration and settlement. The course is based on the intersection of academic theory, empirical research, policy documents, and students' own experiences of migration to offer a rich, holistic, and engaging learning experience. This course is reading and writing intensive. Students must be prepared to read up to 12,000 words per week consisting of academic articles, gray literature, websites, and testimonials. Students must also be prepared to voice their thoughts and analyses in lectures and via e-learning, as well as prepare organized and coherent essays, briefings, and presentations on readings and news reports. The course contributes to the preparation of UWI geography graduates for the 21st century by exposure to critical thinking, effective communications and self-motivated learning. It provides students with wide-ranging knowledge of international migration systems and debates in the global north and south. The course also links to GEOG 3104 Natural Hazards.

Course Description

This course builds on Human Geography I (GEOG 1131), Population Geography. It takes an in-depth look at migration flows, conditions and debates in source and destination countries, migration as a human right, and migration control and management as expressions of state sovereignty and national identity. The course requires students to read and respond to academic articles, gray literature and policy documents, and news media. The course also gives students an opportunity to view testimonials and films on forms of migration, and offer critical reviews based on the literature and perspectives of different stakeholders. The first part of the course is an overview of trends, patterns, and theories of migration, while the second part of the course is dedicated to analyses and interpretations of migration processes and experiences.

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Urban Geography

This course will develop understanding of the geographic nature of urban systems and the internal spatial patterns and activities in cities. Emphasis is placed on the North American experience with some examples from other regions of the world. The course will explore the major issues and problems facing contemporary urban society.

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GEOG 357

Introduction to Social and Behavioural Geography

This Introduction to Social and Behavioural Geography will examine the social production of space and the spatial production of social identities, to show that space and identity are inextricably linked through power, agency, and human relations. This course will give students the opportunity to examine how meanings are negotiated at different scales and through different identities. Important themes include social inclusion, social exclusion, and marginalities; the duality of structure and agency; embodied geographies; and the spatial ramifications of the production of difference. The focus of this course are the relationships amongst individuals, groups, and society, and the spaces and places in which these occur.

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GEOG 439

Research in Social and Cultural Geography

Research in Social and Cultural Geography provides senior undergraduate students with the opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty member in Social and Cultural Geography in an area of interest to the student. Students are expected to conceive and undertake an independent research project in consultation with the instructor, Dr. Priya Kissoon, including: an extensive literature review; the University's ethical review process if the research involves human subjects; and submission of a major paper written to the technical standards of a geographical journal. Students will work with Dr. Kissoon to create a plan of study with deadlines, adherence to which will comprise part of the evaluation process. Evaluation of the research process is also based on a reflexive research journal, participation in WebCT and class discussion, an oral presentation, and submission of a final paper.

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GEOG 447

Directed Studies: Off Campus Research

Geog 447 offers students the opportunity to engage with literature, collaborate with a community organization, and conduct original research in one of two fields: 1) immigration and settlement; or 2) homelessness. The former is located in concepts of international mobility while the latter relates to residential mobility. Students will select one of these areas to conceive and undertake empirical research in consultation with the instructor and mentoring organization.

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