GEOG 4100: Geography of South Asia
This three-credit class will introduce students to a wide array of topics in South Asia, and will draw on the instructor's experience in the region. The course has six components:
1. We begin the course with a study of the physical geography of South Asia, in which we examine the geological formation of the subcontinent, map human vulnerability to climate change, and study the relationship between the monsoon and economic development.
2. We then examine the historical development of the region and the geographic distribution of class, caste, religion and language.
3. In our section on geopolitics, we examine foreign policy objectives of key states in the region and how the region is integrated into global conflict and cooperation with regard to the procurement and transit of energy resources, such as oil, gas, and nuclear power.
4. In a section called "National Consolidation," we examine the successes and failures of state governments to consolidate their national territory. In this section we will examine ethnic conflict and movements of secession from multiple perspectives.
5. In a section on globalization and democracy, we build on our study of national consolidation to evaluate the prospects for democracy in the region. We take a political economy approach, and evaluate both the opportunities and constraints poor countries face in the global economy, and why poor states face higher levels of anti-incumbency at the polls, corruption, repression, ethnic outbidding, and military coup.
6. We finish the course with a study of community and place-based environmental movements including resistance to large dams, mining, and commercial logging.
* Throughout the course, we use case studies to integrate the various topics.