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GEOG 330 Geographic Perspectives on Current Events

In this 4 credit Faculty Designed Independent Study, students will work together and with the faculty member to identify 4 - 5 current events to explore in depth using the tools of geographical inquiry. Topics could include: the war in Ukraine, the COVID 19 pandemic and various responses by governments and communities, climate change, urban housing politics, education policies and politics, contemporary and emergent social movements, migration in Europe, water policies in South Africa, etc. Students will have an opportunity to propose topics of interest as well, and the final list will be determined by student interest. The instructor will gather materials to support student-led inquiry into the subject and attend 4 - 5 sessions over the course of the summer to participate in student-led / student-facilitated discussion groups. Students will each take a turn leading a topic, which will include working with the instructor to identify materials for students to read, developing questions for discussion and facilitating discussion during the meeting, all with the support of the instructor. Though no previous experience with college-level Geography is necessary to participate, students who have completed ¿Our Globalizing World¿ will be familiar with the concepts of space, place, scale, uneven development, globalization, geopolitics, territoriality, etc. that will inform our deep dives into contemporary issues. Students who have yet to encounter those concepts will be supported in their efforts to gain familiarity with them.
4 Undergraduate credits

Effective May 6, 2022 to August 15, 2022

Learning outcomes


  • Students will gain a familiarity with core geographical concepts such as uneven development, space, power, scale, difference, territory, geopolitics, and/or extraction.
  • Students will be able to apply core geographical concepts to deepen their understanding of current events.
  • Students will demonstrate leadership and research skills by working independently to design and facilitate a group discussion among peers.