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Unit information: Advanced Topics in Critical Political Economy in 2016/17

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Unit name Advanced Topics in Critical Political Economy
Unit code GEOG30009
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Fannin
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

1) GEOG25110 Philosophy, Social Theory and Geography

AND

2) GEOG20110 Political Economy 2

Co-requisites

Available to year-three Geography and year- four Geography with Study Aboard/Continental Europe students only.

School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description

This final-year unit will focus on advanced topics in human geography. The unit will introduce and review key theoretical and empirical research in political, economic, and cultural geography. The unit will develop students’ ability to draw on relevant conceptual vocabularies in feminist, Marxist, post-structural, and post-colonial thinking in both geography and other social science disciplines, including: gender, race, labour, capital, accumulation, production, reproduction, dispossession, colonialism, neo-colonialism, political ecology, nature, and value. Lecture topics will focus in depth on concepts central to theorising contemporary political and economic formations, such as ‘hybridity,’ ‘primitive accumulation,’ ‘biocapital’, with an emphasis on geographies of transnational or global capital, colonial accumulation, privatisation, technologies of dispossession, enclosure, resistance, representation, and cultural economies of contemporary embodiment.

The unit aims to introduce students to contemporary theoretical and empirical debates in political economic geography and postcolonial geography. The unit also aims to help students develop the ability to pose purposeful questions within these debates and to cultivate intellectual curiosity about their socio-political, economic, and technological contexts. It provides an extension to the human geography perspectives outlined in the Year 2 units Political Economy 2: State, Economy and Society and More-than-Human Geographies through research-orientated case studies that critically detail the social processes, structures, and causes underlying capitalist development and nature/society relations.

Intended learning outcomes

Learning objectives

  • To (further) develop an awareness of the benefits of different theoretical approaches to the study of political-economic processes
  • To (further) develop an awareness of relevant conceptual and empirical research in cognate disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology, political theory, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, and science and technology studies.
  • To comprehend key concepts in the historical and geographical study of political-economic processes such as value, labour, capital, accumulation, enclosure, corporeality, hybridity, materiality, colonialism, subaltern, imperialism.
  • To describe different ways of thinking about analytical categories in geographical research

Links between learning outcomes and methods of assessment

  • The assessments will test your awareness of academic scholarship on the critical geographies of political economy and will require you to be conversant with key themes, concepts and case studies covered in lectures, readings and discussions.
  • The assessments will require you to use your written communication, critical reasoning, and organisational skills to demonstrate the relationship between concepts/theories and empirical material, and to make effective use of wider literatures to support your arguments.

Unseen examination questions will test conceptual comprehension and integration..

Teaching details

Teaching will consist primarily of a 1-hour lecture, followed by a 1-hour seminar.

Assessment Details

50% course work assessment + 50% final examination

One coursework paper of 2500 words on a choice of two set questions. 50% of unit assessment total. Due week 12.

One 2 part final examination set in JE period. 2 hour exam. The exam will comprise 2 parts with 3 questions in each part, 6 questions total. Students will be asked to answer 1 question out of each part. Weighting: 50% for each part. Total 100%.

Reading and References

1. Rose, G. (1993) Feminism and Geography. Cambridge: Polity Press. 2. Waldby, C. and Mitchell, R. (2006) Tissue Economies: Blood, organs, and cell lines in late capitalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 3. Gibson-Graham, J-K. (2006) The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy. University of Minnesota Press. 4.Perelman, M. (2000) The Invention of Capitalism: Classical Political Economy and the Secret History of Primitive Accumulation Duke University Press. 5. Sharp, J. (2009) Geographies of Postcolonialism. Sage. 6. Bhabha, H. (1994) The Location of Culture. Routledge..

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