GEOGY500-23A (NET)

People, Place, Power

30 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences


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What this paper is about

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Tēnā koe. Thank you for enrolling in this paper. I am delighted to be able to assist with your learning. The paper is designed to
strengthen your conceptual understanding of people, places, and power. We will do this by focusing on embodied geographies and
theoretical ideas from, for example, feminism, poststructuralism, 'more-than-human', decolonial, Māori and queer studies. These ideas
help inform a wide range of research topics that will assist your future studies, as well as preparing you for work place dynamics,
sustainable and liveable lives. There are opportunities to build up a knowledge base that is aligned to your own area of interest. Focusing on the
body helps us to make sense of a variety of places and power relations. We will interpret, delve deeper, and seek different possibilities.

The subject of embodiment has been part of gender and feminist geographers' research agendas for more than three decades. The
paper begins with an introduction to various theories (such as phenomenology, poststructuralism, feminism, intersectionality, and
psychoanalysis) on the body. The objective is to examine how and why geographers and other social scientists have become interested
in the body. We address such questions as: what is the specificity of geographers’ perspective on the body? In what ways do bodies
construct places and vice versa?

Following this we analyse a number of specific aspects of embodiment including sexed and gendered bodies, body size and shape,
home bodies, bodies at work, young bodies, ‘racialised’ bodies, sporting bodies, (dis)abled bodies, animal bodies
and the end of the body – dying and death. During each of the sessions we will focus attention on the ways in which ‘place matters’ (whether it be
online places or material places) to bodies, that is, the mutually constituted relationship between bodies and places.

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How this paper will be taught

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This paper is taught primarily online. In Moodle, each topic represents one week's work. You can move around the resources which includes video recordings for you to watch and articles, but think about each topic as one that invites you to develop knowledge and understanding about that specific TOPIC not just about the resources available within the topic. Also remember some of the references will provide a coherence across all the topics.

We can organise regular zoom drop ins where we meet as a group. It will be extremely helpful for you to also participate in some mini coffee / tea groups among yourselves, even if you do it virtually. Conversations are a very important way for you to grapple with ideas and readings and help you test your own ideas out loud. These conversations need to be safe to express views and perspectives and work best when everyone participates and supports each other to learn. It is important to come with an open mind as the position you think you have may change as you learn and converse with others. Our ideas are strengthened by being exposed to other ideas.

The online material provides you with a 'starter kit' of readings and videos but as you settle on your own topic area then you will develop your own individualised reading list. Please don't hesitate to see me or have a chat by phone or zoom or text or messenger. The quickest way to contact me for either a face to face meeting or a zoom meeting is by email

I live in Tauranga and I'm available for meetings on our Tauranga campus. I will be on the Hamilton campus on Fridays and my room is I.2.07. I am open to drop in visits if you see my office door open.

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Required Readings

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Weekly readings are available online through Moodle / Talis Aspire at:­lists
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Be able to form independent opinions as well as the capacity to know when these opinions are worth defending and when they might better be revised
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  • Develop skills in critical reading and thinking
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  • Enable students to contribute to debates around poststructuralism, postcolonialism, identity, feminism, queer theory, decoloniality, politics and representation currently occurring within the discipline
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  • Explore some of the recent ‘embodied geographies of difference’ and to look at how this difference both shapes, and is shaped by, space
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  • Illustrate the study of ‘the body’ within the discipline of geography
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  • Think critically in order to re-conceptualise both ‘the body’, and the discipline of geography in ways that address power
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How you will be assessed

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Participation: weekly summaries and questions
  • Online: Moodle Forum Discussion
2. Body theorists: Essay
21 Apr 2023
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Video recorded presentation
  • Online: Upload to Moodle Forum
4. Research project
9 Jun 2023
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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