Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hrs
Other 2-day residential 'Theory School' involving seminars and reading group discussions, attending by Human Geography RT students from Aberystwyth, Cardiff and Swansea.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Two essays (4000 words each) on different theoretical perspectives (40% each)  80%
Semester Assessment Reflexive journal of Theory School participation (2000 words)   20%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed assessments.  100%

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the concepts explored in the module, their interconnections, and how these concepts have been developed and used in human geography and related disciplines.
  2. Discuss and evaluate the deployment of these concepts in geographical and related literatures.
  3. Articulate and justify an individual critical perspective in relation to debates on key concepts and theoretical developments in human geography.
  4. Construct and communicate a scholarly argument in written form.

Brief description

The module will be delivered through a collaborative programme with the School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University, and the Department of Geography, Swansea University. It will take the form of: (1) a residential 'Theory School' for students from the three departments. The 'Theory School' will involve talks, seminars and workshops led by staff from the three departments, several of whom are internally-renowned in Human Geography for their social and spatial theory expertise, covering perspectives including relational geographies, affect and non-representational theory; post-structuralism and post-modernism; feminist theory; neo-Marxist and structuralist theory; critical realism, etc. It will also include: (2) a coordinated programme of seminars and reading groups in the individual departments, and (3) a web/e-mail discussion forum to facilitate the ongoing interaction of students in the three departments.


Section 1: Positioning Human Geography
1. Introduction: Imagining Human Geography
2: Histories of Geography
3: Theories of Space and Time

Section 2: Theorising Human Geography

Residential 'Theory School'

Section 3: Practising Human Geography

4: Cartographic Cultures
5: Numerical Geographies
6: Place and Performance
7: Scales of Belonging
8: Scale and Power
9. Ethical and Moral Geographies
10. The 'Doing' of Human Geography

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Some readings will discuss numerical analysis.
Communication Oral skills will be extensively developed through discussion in seminars. Written communication skills developed through essays.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be expected to undertake a significant amount of self-directed study, including extensive reading for the project essays. Students will be required to develop self and time-management skills and will receive guidance from the MA coordinator, the module coordinator and the coordinator of the session. Students will reflect on their own understanding and appreciation of various theoretical approaches through the 2,000 word Theory School and reflexive journal
Information Technology Students will develop their IT skills in researching and presenting their written work. In particular, they will be expected to make use of varied online resources (such as online library or archival databases) in conducting research for the extended essays.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will be expected to develop a series of transferable skills relating to oral, graphic and written reports, teamwork and time-management. In addition, students who wish to pursue academic careers within human geography will be encouraged to situate themselves and their own work in relation to concepts, theories and ideas that are presented in the module.
Problem solving Developed through the two 4,000-word extended essays, and the 2,000 word journal. These are independent pieces of work demonstrating an appreciation of connections between philosophical, epistemological, and theoretical debates in human geography.
Research skills Developed through the two 4,000-word project essays (see above).
Subject Specific Skills Understanding and appreciation of the development and application of various theories and concepts in Human Geography
Team work The module will involve group-based discussions and activities. Students will frequently be required to discuss concepts and ideas within pairs and within a group setting. The key skills developed here are listening, reflecting, negotiating and debating.

Reading List

Essential Reading
Anderson K et al (eds) (2003) Handbook of Cultural Geography Introduction Sage, London Primo search Bell, M., Butlin, R. and Heffernan, M. (1995) Geography and Imperialism, 1820-1940 Manchester University Press Primo search Butlin, R. A (1993) Historical Geography: Through the Gates of Space and Time Edward Arnold Primo search Cosgrove, D. (1999) Mappings Reaktion Books Primo search Crang, M. and Thrift, N (eds) (2000) Thinking Space Routledge Primo search Driver, F. (2001) Geography Militant Blackwell Primo search Edney, M. (1997) Mapping an Empire: The Geographical Construction of India, 1765-1843 Chicago University Press Primo search Gregory, D (1994) Geographical Imaginations Chapters 1 and 2 Blackwell, Cambridge Primo search Harley, J.B. (2001) The New Nature of Maps Baltimore Primo search Hostetler, L. (2001) Colonial Enterprise: Ethnography and Cartography in Early Modern China Chicago University Press Primo search Livingstone, D (1992) The Geographical Tradition Blackwell Primo search Massey, D (2004) For Space Sage Primo search May, J. and Thrift, N (2001) Timespace: Geographies of Temporality Routledge Primo search Morgan, K. et al (2008) Worlds of Food: Place, Power and Provenance in the Food Chain New York: Oxford University Press Primo search Tuan, Y-F. Geography and ethics: journeys in a moral terrain. Geography and Evil: A Sketch, in Proctor, J. and Smith, D.M. (eds.) Routledge Primo search Unwin T (1996) The Place of Geography Prentice Hall, London Primo search Wood, D. with Fels, J. (1992) The Power of Maps Guilford Primo search Atherton, S. (2009) Social and Cultural Geography Domesticating military masculinities: home, performance and the negotiation of identity 10.8: 821 - 836 Primo search Blunt, A. et al (2007) Cultural geographies My home: text, space and performance 14 (2) 309-318 Primo search Brennan, T. Cultural geographies Cultural geographies in practice: Mercator manoeuvre 12 (4) 514-520 Primo search Cloke, P. (2002) Progress in Human Geography Deliver us from evil? Prospects for living ethically and acting politically in human geography 26.5: 587-604 Primo search Cox, K. (1998) Political Geography Spaces of dependence, spaces of engagement and the politics of scale, ore looking for local politics 17.1: l-23 Primo search Crampton, J. (2001) Progress in Human Geography Maps as social constructions: power, communication and visualization 25 (2) 235-252 Primo search Crouch, D. (2006) Landscapes of a New Cultural Economy of Space Embodiment and performance in the making of contemporary cultural economies, in Terkenli and D?Hautesherre (eds.) 19-39 Springer Primo search Daniels, S. Cultural geographies Cultural geographies in practice: the garden in winter 12 (3) 366-370 Primo search Dewsbury, J. and Cloke, P. (2009) Social and Cultural Geography Spiritual landscapes: existence, performance and immanence 10.6: 695 ? 711 Primo search Doel, M (2001) Environment and Planning D: Society and Space Qualified quantitative geography 19(5) 555 ? 572 Primo search Dorling, D. and Gunnell, D (2003) Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers Suicide: the spatial and social components of despair in Britain 1980-2000 28, 442-460 Primo search Dorling, D. and Rees, P.H. (2003) Environment and Planning A A Nation Still Dividing: The British Census and Social Polarisation 1971-2001 35: 1287-1313 Primo search Driver, F. (1992) Environment and Planning D: Society and Space Geography?s empire: histories of geographical knowledge 10, 23-40 Primo search Duncan, S and Smith, D (2002) Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers Geographies of family formations: spatial differences and gender cultures in Britain 27: 471-93 Primo search Gorman-Murray, A. et al (2008) Australian Geographer A Queer Country? A case study of the politics of gay/lesbian belonging in an Australian country town 39.2: 171 ? 191 Primo search Harley, B. (1989) Cartographica Deconstructing the Map 26.2: 1-20 Primo search Harvey, D (1990) Annals of the Association of American Geographers Between space and time: reflections on the geographical imagination 80, 418-434 Primo search Herb, G. et al (2009) Political Geography Intervention: Mapping is critical! 28: 332?342 Primo search Hopkins, P. (2007) Environment and Planning A Global events, national politics, local lives: young Muslim men in Scotland 39: 1119-1133 Primo search Howitt, R. (2002) Geoforum Scale and the other: Levinas and geography 33: 299?313 Primo search Jones, K. (1998) Political Geography Scale as Epistemology 17.1: 25-28 Primo search Jones, R (2004) Progress in Human Geography What time human geography? 28.3: 287-304 Primo search Little, J. (2007) Environment and Planning D: Society and Space Constructing nature in the performance of rural heterosexualities 25: 851-866 Primo search Marston, S. (2000) Progress in Human Geography The Social Construction of Scale 24.2: 219?242 Primo search Mattingley, D. and K. Al-Hindi (1995) The Professional Geographer Should Women Count? A context for debate 47.4: 427 ? 435 Primo search Mitchell, K. (2007) Progress in Human Geography Geographies of identity: the intimate cosmopolitan 31.5: 706?720 Primo search Nightingale, A. (2003) ACME A feminist in the forest: Situated Knowledges and Mixing Methods in Natural Resource Management 77-90 Primo search Phillips, A. (2005) Cultural geographies Cultural geographies in practice: walking and looking 12 (4) 507-513 Primo search Popke, J. (2006) Progress in Human Geography Geography and ethics: everyday mediations through care and consumption 30.4: 504?512 Primo search Schein, R. (2009) Environment and Planning A Belonging through land/scape 41: 811-826 Primo search Smith, D. M. (1995) Journal of Geography in Higher Education Moral teaching in geography 19.3 271 ? 283 Primo search Valentine, G. (2005) Progress in Human Geography Geography and ethics: moral geographies? Ethical commitment in research and teaching 29. 4: 483-487 Primo search White, A. and Gilmartin, M. (2008) Women's Studies International Forum Critical geographies of citizenship and belonging in Ireland 390-399 Primo search Woodward, K. et al (2008) Urban Geography DOWNSIZING WAL-MART 29.1: 78-84 Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7