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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Geography Fieldwork: Foundations (Istanbul, Turkey) (GEGR09015)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryAs a field course with a visit to Istanbul, Turkey, the course will introduce students to key theoretical debates and perspectives for the study of the relationships between society and nature, primarily in urban spaces. The course will also explore some of the theoretical and methodological issues that come with doing field research in a nation-state located at the cusp of Europe and the Arab world. We draw on a range of theoretical perspectives from the non-European world in an attempt to conceptually think through what it means to be learning across space and cultural divides. Even as we use established qualitative and quantitative research methods, doing so in a non-European context will make us attentive to its limits as we work in hybrid spaces. This knowledge will assist us to interrogate human geography concepts as we revisit ideas and arguments about non-Western societies from a subaltern perspective. Drawing on historical sociology and contemporary geography, we explore particular case studies within Istanbul that fall within the genre of urban political ecology and gender politics.
Students will gain valuable skills in designing and executing a fieldwork based research project, as well as analyzing and presenting results from this exercise. Moreover, students will develop new insights on methodological issues of positionality and researchers relationship with the "field". Our hope is that by raising questions about the way in which intellectual labour is institutionalized and deployed, we can democratise social sciences and the ways in which we view our global world.
Course description Guiding Principles:
1. Qualitative research methods (archival work, discourse analysis, visual methods, organizational interviews, observation methods, semi-structured interviews)
2. Quantitative research methods (secondary data gathering and analysis)
3. Participatory Action Work
4. Urban Political Ecology (Social Justice and Conflicts over Urban Space)
5. Geographies of Food or Water Politics
6. Feminist Politics
7. Modernity and Nationalism
8. Subaltern Debates and Contributions
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs A contribution to cover travel and subsistence is required from students. Approximately 250.00.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Fieldwork Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 58 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Degree assessment: 100 % coursework.

1) A written essay of 2500 words related to one of the staff-led fieldwork days will needed to be handed in. {Students will need to choose from the three essay question topics offered, although each question will be answered by an equal number of students [i.e. no more than 12 students will get to answer each question which would be decided upon while on the field]}.

2) A field notebook non-assessed but required to be handed in with the written essay

3) Group presentation non-assessed but feedback provided immediately after presentations.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. An ability to make connections between theoretical concepts in geography and case-studies drawn from the field
  2. An understanding of the relationship between alternative/Southern theories and how it contests dominant thinking
  3. A grounding in a range of methodologies, and an ability to critically assess their weaknesses and strengths
  4. Practical experience of designing and completing a small research project
  5. Experience of teamwork and collaborative research, with attentiveness to ethics, safety, and respect for peers and your research constituents
Reading List
Bozdogan, Sibel and Resat Kaba (Eds.) (1997)Rethinking Modernity and National Identity in Turkey (relevant chapters)

Cloke, Paul, Philip Crang and Mark Goodwin (2014) Introducing Human Geographies (relevant concepts and sections)

Connell, Raewyn (RW) (2007) Southern Theory: Social Science and the Global Dynamics of Knowledge (relevant chapters)

Crang, Mike and Ian Cook (2007) Doing Ethnographies

Heynen, Nik, Maria Kaika and Eric Swyngedouw (Eds.) (2006) In the Nature of Cities: Urban Political Ecology and the Politics of Urban Metabolism (relevant chapters)

Pamuk, Orhan (2006) Istanbul: Memories and the City

Rose, Gillian (2011) Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Researching with Visual Materials
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. To develop skills in analysing case studies by data collection, analysis and interpretation.
2. To read a variety of sources and to do so critically and creatively
3. To develop communicative skills around communicating ideas to larger groups.
4. To develop interactive skills and collaborative spirit around teamwork.
KeywordsFieldwork,Qualitative Methods,Istanbul,Gender Politics,Urban Political Ecology
Course organiserDr Kanchana Ruwanpura
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Mcallister
Tel: (0131 6)50 4917
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