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Unit information: Theorizing Society and Space in 2021/22

Unit name Theorizing Society and Space
Unit code GEOGM0001
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Joe Gerlach
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


Drawing on a range of scholarly and experimental resources from across continental philosophy, social theory and cultural geography, this course examines the ways in which we might approach ideas and politics concerning society and space in a conceptually informed and rigorous manner.

Each of the seminars is focused on the examination of a key concept or concern in contemporary social theory, for example, ‘body’, ‘space’, ‘experiment’, ‘experience’ and ‘materiality’. Each of these terms allow us to approach and explore pressing issues in society, ecology, politics, aesthetics and ethics. Seminars are graduate led, with prefatory lecture material provided by academic staff.

The unit provides a conceptual and philosophical grounding for understanding key theoretical issues in examining space, politics and subjectivity in geography, in the social sciences, and in the humanities. Moreover, it provides an engaging and supportive space for students to develop their skills in critique and in the composition of intellectually rigorous, and academically generous arguments.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the unit, students should:

  1. Be familiar and confident with contemporary issues in cultural geography and social theory.
  2. Be able to critique scholarly and experimental resources with a high level of conceptual acuity and confidence, both in verbal and written work.
  3. Be able to transfer high-level conceptual material and knowledge to the application of dissertation research.
  4. Be able to translate and transpose conceptual concerns to broader issues in space, society, ethics and politics.

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through ten graduate-led seminars, supplemented by essay supervision sessions and weekly student support hours with the academic staff.

Assessment Details

4500 word essay (100%)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. GEOGM0001).