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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Frontiers in Human Geography: Capital, Land & Power (GEGR10121)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to grapple with many of the 'big' themes in political and economic geography- nationalism, globalisation, financialisation, neoliberalism, and so on- but rather than deal with these in the abstract sense, or based on case studies far away, we will consider how they are manifest in the spaces around us. Each lecture will be based on a specific landscape in Scotland, the making of which amounts to an epochal 'moment' in the formation of contemporary society and space. By attending to the power struggles evident at these moments- and how they spill into the present- the students will be encouraged to adopt a critical 'way of seeing', where we strive to explain and understand the environments in which we live.
The course will place particular emphasis on putting theoretical insight together with contextual detail, and the importance of using one to support the other. This will build on the philosophical questions of how knowledge is created, processed and politicised.
Course description The content of the course will range in focus from the 18th century right up to the present day. Whilst the course is specifically focussed on Scotland, the theoretical lens is far wider, and the course should appeal to those with an interest in political and economic geography more broadly
Week 1: Introduction- Looking at Landscape Politically
Week 2: The Isle of Barra- The Highland Clearances, 'So-Called Primitive Accumulation' and the shifting ecologies of absence
Week 3: Coatbridge: Industrialisation, Urbanisation and Class Struggle
Week 4: Glasgow- The Rise and Fall of Public Housing
Week 5: The Isle of Skye and the City of Edinburgh- Branding Place through the Tourist Gaze
Week 6: Field Trip to Granton- De-Industrialisation, Stigmatisation and the Growth Machine
Week 7: Grangemouth- Powering the Infrastructural State
Week 8: The Landownership Debate
Week 9: Forsinard Flows- The Contested Politics of Conservation and Wilderness
Week 10: Scotland- the resurgence of 'civic' nationalism
Week 11: Revision Session
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Bus Day Return Ticket for Fieldtrip
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 11/01/2016
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Fieldwork Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Research Essay (40%): 2,000 words. Students will be asked to pick a landscape of their choice and reflect on the processes that have 'produced' itębr /Ľ
Degree Examination (60%): Two hour exam where students are asked to answer two out of six questions
Feedback Students will be given feedback on their assessed work.

Summative feedback will be given for tutorial participation (in small groups, students will be assigned a week to introduce the key readings, with a summary of main points and discussions)
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Frontiers in Human Geography: Capital, Land & Power2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. gain an insight into key debates in the formation of contemporary Scottish politics and society, from landownership to place-marketing and identity building
  2. use critical theory at the macro level to explain contextual detail at the micro level, and vice versa
  3. understand why 'the production of space' matters
Reading List
Blaikie, A (2010), 'Retrieving "that invisible leeway": landscapes, cultures, belonging' in 'The Scots Imagination and Modern Memory', Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp 136-173
Craig, D (1197) 'On the Crofter's Trail: In Search of the Clearance Highlanders', Pimlico Press, London
Davidson, N (2001), 'Marx and Engels on the Scottish Highlands', 'Science and Society' 65 (3): 286-326
Gray, N and Mooney, G (2011), 'Glasgow's new urban frontier: "Civilising" the population of "Glasgow East"', 'City' 15 (1), 4-24
Harvey, D (2006), 'Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction', 'Geografiska, Annaler, Series B: Human Geography' 88 (2), 145-158
Hughes, G (1999), 'Urban revitalisation: the use of festive time strategies', 'Leisure Studies' 18 (2): 119-135
MacLeod, L (2008), 'Life among Leith plebs: of arseholes, wankers and tourists in Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting', 'Studies in the Literary Imagination' 41 (1), 89-106
Marx, K (1990), 'So-called Primitive Accumulation' in 'Capital-Volume 1', Penguin: London, pp 873-895
Massey, D (1994), 'Uneven Development: Social Change and Spatial Divisions of Labour' in 'Space, Place and gender', Cambridge: Polity Press, pp 86-114
Mitchell, D (2008), 'New Axioms for Reading the Landscape: Paying Attention to Political Economy and Social Justice' in Westcoast, J and Johnston, D (eds), 'Political Economies of Landscape Change', Dordecht: Springer, pp 29-50
Madgin R and Rodger, R (2013), 'Inspiring Capital? Deconstructing Myths and Reconstructing Urban Environments, Edinburgh, 1860-2010', 'Urban History' 40 (3): 507-529
Mooney, G and Poole, L (2005), 'Marginalised voices: resisting the privatisation of council housing in Glasgow', 'Local Economy' 20 (1): 27-39
Penrose, J and Cumming, C (2011), 'Money Talks: Banknote iconography and symbolic constructions of Scotland', 'Nations and Nationalism' 17 (4): 821-942
Rolnik, R (2013), 'Late Neoliberalism: the Financialisation of Homeownership and Housing Rights', 'International Journal of urban and Regional Research' 37 (3): 1058-1066
Rose, G (1997), 'Looking at Landscape: the Uneasy Pleasures of Power' in McDowell, L and Sharp, J. P. (eds), 'Space Gender, Knowledge: Feminist Readings', pp 193-200
Smith, N (2010), 'Uneven Development: Nature, Capital and the Production of Space', Verso, London
Wightman, A (2010), 'The Poor Had No Lawyers: Who Owns Scotland and How They Got It' Birlinn Ltd, Edinburgh
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsGeography,Politics,Production of Space,Landscape,Capitalism
Course organiserDr Hamish Kallin
Tel: (0131 6)50 2533
Course secretaryMrs Faten Adam
Tel: (0131 6)50 5850
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