Cultural Geographies of Development

Description

There was a time in development theory and practice when "culture" was seen as a collection of inconvenient local traditions that would be swept away by modernisation.

But culture has proved remarkably adaptable, so that globalisation has only increased cultural diversity and the awareness of difference.

This module explores what is meant by culture and its changing relationships with the spaces and places of development.

How is culture changing and adapting in relation to a range of development practices, and what are the challenges of living and working with cultural difference in an increasingly mediated and interconnected world?

What roles can cultural practices, skills and knowledges play in social, political and economic development?

And what are the implications for development of the increasingly diverse cultures of development practitioners, organisations and institutions?

Delivery

One lecture per week, with some in-class discussion, plus a more student-led seminar every other week.

A lengthy reading list will be given at the outset, with key readings for each lecture. Instructions and readings for seminars will be given one week prior to each seminar.

Assessment

1 x 3000 word essay (50%)

This assessment tests your ability to undertake independent work, and to apply critical theory to cultural representations.

It will involve you drawing on reading from the reading list and beyond to analyse and evaluate relevant cultural representations in relation to the cultural geographies of development.

1 x 1.5 hour exam (50%)

This assessment tests your understanding of the theories and critical issues raised in the lectures, and your own critical ability to compare, contrast and evaluate the lecture material, using relevant examples and concepts from your independent reading.

Key skills

  • Have a conceptual understanding of the ways in which geographers and others conceive of the world and be able to contest and challenge the provisional nature of that geographical knowledge and understanding
  • Analyse, evaluate and synthesise published geographical information
  • Communicate geographical concepts, ideas and results to a professional standard and through reasoned argument by written, oral and visual means
  • Work effectively and efficiently, both individually and as a member of a group
  • Plan, design and conduct a piece of independent geographical research and produce a final report by evaluating the issues involved in the design and execution of a field-based or other type of research activity (including its ethics and a risk assessment); and
    collecting, recording, processing and integrating data from a variety of sources using appropriate techniques
  • Presenting the findings of the research project to a professional standard