This subject is conceived as an introduction to Cultural Geography. The aim of the course it to provide a wide overview of the history and recent transformations within the field as to further an examination of contemporary theories and practices in Cultural Geography. The course is aimed at gaining understanding and critiquing the social and political processes giving raise to cultural practices as the manifested themselves in space and spatial contexts.
The course is divided into four major sections. In the first one, the main objects and theoretical-methodological approaches of this sub-discipline will be analyzed, with special emphasis on comparing the classical outlook to the recent conceptual evolution and trends, as well as on the close link of this trends with Cultural Studies. The three remaining sections shall focus on some of the core topics and issues of Cultural Geography, namely the study of nature and landscape; the interactions between culture, territory and identity in the context of globalization; and the spatial production of differences along the lines of class, race and gender.
1. THE OBJECTS OF CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY.
-Cultural Geography as a sub-field of Human Geography.
-Main objects, topics and approaches in classical Cultural Geography.
-Postmodern transformations: the New Cultural Geography and its relationship with Cultural Studies.
-Contemporary concerns: the study of geographical imaginations; maps as cultural objects; the production of space and its semiotics.
2. NATURE, LANDSCAPE AND CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY
-Visions of nature, and nature-society relations in Western thought.
- Geographical approaches to the cultural study of the landscape.
-Cultural representations of landscape (from literature to cinema).
-Cultural landscapes (I): case studies.
3. CULTURE, TERRITORY AND IDENTITY IN A GLOBAL WORLD.
-Geographical experience: place, belonging and meaning.
-Territory and nation-state: cultural-cum-political identities and territorial ideologies.
-Globalization and deterritorialization: placelessness and non-places.
-Cultural landscapes (II): case studies.
4. SPACE, DIFFERENCE AND POWER. GEOGRAPHIES OF IN /EXCLUSION.
-The spatial construction of differences (sex, gender, race, etc.).
-A cultural politics of space: producing space, contesting power.
-The right to the city and spatial justice.
-Cultural landscapes (III): case studies.