Introduction to Cultural Geography National Taiwan University
Spatial thinking has become increasingly significant in the field of cultural geography because it allows us to pay attention to trans-regional cultural flows and their effects on a range of different scales, as well as how similar cultural phenomena bear different cultural implications in diverse local contexts. More importantly, various forms of cultural logic underlying the power mechanism of space have bearing on the subject formations of different identities; for example, we might consider the power effects of familial space on queer subjects, or the implications of urban gentrification on homeless people. To understand how the power mechanism works, it is important to attend to the complexity of the ways in which politics, economics, culture and society are interwoven in the production of space.
Based on the conceptual framework, this course covers four main themes: a theoretical introduction, landscape and representation, identity politics and trans-border cultural flows/geopolitics. The first two sections will give students an understanding of the epistemology and methodology of space, with an emphasis on ways of mapping meanings in landscapes and rethinking the nature/culture divide, in order to reveal the importance of space and geography. The section covering identity politics will then introduce important issues concerning the questions of identity organized around gender/sexuality, race, and class to emphasize how identity politics are always situated in different local social contexts. The last section of this course focuses on trans-border cultural flows and geopolitics to help students comprehend the links between geography, state territoriality, world power politics and popular culture. Some readings in the class are quite complex; however, for those who are interested in learning spatial thinking and cultural politics, these readings will help them cultivate cultural sensitivity in analyzing the issues of identity and space in everyday life.
1. Class Participation (10%): Students are expected to read the designated readings before class and participate in class discussions. 2. Group Presentations (20%): Each team has a minimum of 15 minutes for each presentation. 3. Final Report (70%): A reflection on the theoretical concepts that we have discussed in class or a case study taken from everyday life (the report can be written in English or Chinese) should be submitted by the end of the semester.
Online Course Requirement
HUANG TSUNG YI
The upper limit of the number of non-majors: 25.