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    Macalester College
  Feb 19, 2018
College Catalog 2014-2015 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

GEOG 248 - The Political Geography of Nations and Nationalism

This course investigates how nations and nationalism affect social identity and the organization of territory in our world. Political geography offers concepts and approaches to help us think through the complex intersections of people, place, and politics that constitute the struggle to create and maintain nation-states. Thus the first part of the course is devoted to enhancing your understanding of core concepts, such as nation, state, territory, sovereignty, scale, borders, and geographical imagination. The ultimate purpose of this first part of the course then is to assemble a framework for understanding why our contemporary organization of territory throughout the world looks the way it does. Equipped with these foundations, we explore topics in the second part of class that help you think critically about the stability of nations and the organization of territory into the nation-state system as well as challenges to these institutions. Toward this end, you will also conduct an independent research project on a single group’s attempt to create a nation-state. Throughout the course, we will bring our investigations to bear on everyday life, exploring how nations and nationalism shape our world in dramatic and mundane ways. Spring semester. (4 Credits)