Experienced Curriculum REFLECTIONS GG270.docx

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Department
Geography
Course
GG270
Professor
Margaret Walton- Roberts
Semester
Winter

Description
Experienced Curriculum Reflections/ Course Connections/ Additional Material February 25 , 2013 Reflection The material possession of the territory was described as climbing to the top of a mountain and claiming everything that can be seen from this view point. This description reminded me of the Lion King when Mufassa tells Simba that everything the light touches in view from Pride Rock is their kingdom. I have provided a video link below which beautifully depicts this scene. (First 30 seconds of the video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW7PlTaawfQ Later in the lecture we discussed the rise of slavery and the use of maps to present data. When discussing the rise of European powers it is impossible to fully understand this rise without recognizing the use of slavery and the exploitation of African. This connects the sculptures of the headless Andrew’s from the first lecture. The artist depicts the Andrew’s without their heads in traditional African dress possibly as means of reintegrating slavery into the portrait. The original portrait depicts the land the Andrew’s own but fails to display the workers who would have also been on the land (likely African slaves), by bringing African culture into the art work a form of truth is reintroduced. This is much like the need to reintroduce slavery into colonial maps and discussions. th February 27 , 2013 Tutorial Response In this tutorial we discussed European fear of the unknown and how in their maps they go about “othering” different cultures. This connects to information from many of my other courses (Global Studies) which discuss Said’s argument of Orientalism and the process of othering different cultures. In the case of Europe they were making assumptions based on very little information to form “understandings” of the various cultures. Maps were created based on these assumption making them seem like true data although there was very little evidence to support any of the depictions displayed on these maps. Going along with the process of Orientalism there was a great deal of information flowing from Europe to the world about these cultures but little to no information about Europe flowing from these cultures back to various places in the world. From a very early time European explorers effectively were conducting Orientalistic research. Later in the tutorial we discussed the possibility of the Menzies to have discovered the Americas long before Columbus. I find this interesting that the European version of history is often the one that becomes most prevalent. If there had been a flow of information from Asian countries to Europe this discovery may have been documented and built upon by Western explorers potentially changing the course of history. I am also curious about the treatment of Native peoples by the Menzies in comparison to colonialists, would the interaction of people been more respectful? And if so would the land have been taken with the same assimilation intentions? Building on this point I find it interesting that Western societies can take it upon themselves to slightly alter history for their benefit. Another example is the changing of names to make them English can change how history is perceived. By changing Columbus from Christobol Colon to Christopher Columbus the understanding goes from an obviously Spanish explorer to one of misperceived English decent. th March 6 , 2013 Tutorial Response When discussing the landscape changes during colonialism one of the points mentioned making “the area seem slave friendly” this confused me and made me slightly upset. I understand that slavery was common in history but the coercion of people into slavery through tactics such as making it seem “friendly” seems unacceptable to me. Labourers thinking the conditions would be better in these areas than in other places made them prefer to work here. The actual conditions of these areas being better or worse is questionable though and I am intrigued to see if the conditions were actually better or if the areas just had better marketing. March 11 , 2013 Lecture Response In this lecture World Systems Theory or Dependency Theory was discussed. In Global Studies we focus extensively on this to describe the relationships between the periphery and core countries. For this course it seems that the dependency of the periphery on the core is used as a justification for Western superiority over other nations. The use of racial identity adds to this justification in this lecture. Colonialism formed hierarchies globally that have remained after countries have gained independence. Colonial powers have remained some of the most powerful countries in the world setting the colonized countries up for lower positions. Many of these countries remain in extreme debt because of the colonial/ dependent relationship that has been formed. I find Dependency Theory an interesting way to understand global relationships and why many countries are in the position they are currently in. I am glad this was brought up in relation to colonialization in this course. In this lecture we went further in dept connecting Said with Orientalism as th discussed in my previous response (see Feb 27 , 2013). Here we discussed knowledge as something that is constructed rather than reflective of the truth. The European maps display the constructed knowledge of other cultures rather than the humans that are actually found in these areas. This relates to Said’s argument because often the information flowing from the West to the rest of the world is based on constructed knowledge rather than facts. The colonial maps depict half human, often cannibalistic creatures are figments of confusion and unknown on the behalf of the West which is then distributed throughout the West and colonial areas as if it is truth. Another example of this is from a Global Studies course. We have discussed Orientalism and constructed knowledge through the short story Heart of Darkness. The blatant racism in this novel was based on constructed racial understanding but not on actual facts. Next we talked about the racialization of space. This again relates to Global Studies through Baudrillard’s theory of socialization of space through sex, race and class. In GS we focused on the gender division of spaces such as washrooms. We also discussed how breaking these norms can affect different societal outlooks. It was then discussed that even if a place is categorized by one of these -isms (racism, etc) if a person acts as though they belong in that space it is likely they won’t be questioned for being there. I found it interesting to broaden this scope beyond rooms or ideologies to geography. The separation of potential mortgages for example based on your current geographic residence was an interesting comparison. March 20 Tutorial Response A 15 year old girl was being raped by her father for years, he even killed the child that she bore. Yet she was sentenced to 100 lashed in public for having sex outside of marriage. The following line is a protest for the government to change the sentencing or lose precious tourism dollars. http://www.avaaz.org/en/maldives_global/?wDoMwbb In addition to the print screens of tweets blaming the victims of the high school rape cases in the USA I have also come across many print screens of people calling for harsher sentencing for the boys. The following links are a few examples from ingfave.com, each of them were favourited at least 300 times. This demonstrates that not everyone is blaming the victim. http://imgfave.com/view/3355609?u=212636 http://imgfave.com/view/3355375?u=212636 http://imgfave.com/view/3356007?u=212636 http://imgfave.com/view/3355431?u=212636 This is a photo of a men’s march for women’s right called Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. All the men wear heals and walk a mile to stop violence against women. http://imgfave.com/view/2902887?u=212636 I think a person’s outlook on rape culture depends upon the household they were raised in. If they see society deeming rape okay or blaming the victim while growing up it is important for a parent to tell a child that this is unacceptable so they don’t internalize these ideologies. I also found the quote from the President of Israel to be a very valid comment. Women shouldn’t be given a curfew to avoid being raped, rather the men doing so should be give a curfew to stop these incidences. In Chapter 6 of Bourgois’ book In Search of Respect discusses gang rapes as a part of street culture. In New York City the gang scene rapes are common occurrence. They mark domination and a violence of everyday life. An eleven year old boy was quoted saying he hopes his mother gives birth to a baby brother for him “because girls are too easy to rape.” Bourgois focuses on how women gaining rights in society and pushing for equality has changed the typical gender roles causing men to lash out at women. In no way does he excuse this behaviour or deem it acceptable but attempts to explain the feelings of losing control men are going through. “Such a blame-the-victim interpretation not only glorifies the stability of previous patriarchal status quo, but also overly individualizes the long-term macro-structural transformation in gender relations that is occurring across the globe, even if that progressive change is bounded by a liberal, middle-class, and largely Anglo0oriented hegemony.” Reading Reflections Fear and Money in Dubai Article Reflection In this article Davis notes that Hubbert’s Peak is in the foreseeable future and that oil prices will rise beyond what they have yet been seen as. I found this theory interesting and sad when connected to Dr. Shue’s lecture about oil prices and poverty. India’s use of oil money to develop their tourist economy has brought success, with success usually brings the unwillingness to change. With India’s growing economy
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