Geography 102

GEOG 102

Catalog Entry

GEOG 102 Africa and Asia (World Geography).(SS)
Three hours lecture (3).

Recommended for students preparing to teach. Comprehensive review of physical features and cultural history of Africa, Southwest, Southeast, South and East Asia.  General Education credit-Social and Behavioral Sciences or International and Intercultural Studies.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

The major topics of this course, regional physical elements, cultural variation, and historical, colonial, and neocolonial experiences--are presented in order that students may formulate an understanding of the processes of underdevelopment. The problems associated with underdevelopment are explored through a comparison of world economic regions, rural vs. urban population distribution, agriculture vs. capital formation, and peace vs. war. The concept of cultural hearths and diffusion is introduced to illustrate the process of changing global importance. The biotic and abiotic elements of the regions are presented in an ecosystemic concept whose elements interact in a dynamic manner within a particular geophysical environment. Historical events and traditional values are stressed in order to form an informed understanding of the impact of regional past experiences. Population geography is used as a tool to analyze population with regard to age structure and birth and death rates and compare demographic regimes to those in more developed countries.


Detailed Description of Conduct of the Course

Although the course is categorized as a lecture course, much of the class time is spent in discussion and debate. Discussion and debate are structured on media presentations, assigned readings in texts, and reading on reserve in the library. The student is encouraged to formulate an understanding of global interaction. The exams and papers required in this class reflect the fact that there are no clear cut, black-and-white answers to many of the issues which are discussed. To do well in the class a student must demonstrate that he/she can think for him/herself, develop opinions and interpretations, and support them.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will leave the course with an in-depth knowledge of Africa and Asia, an understanding of how geographers perceive the world and organize data, and an understanding of how and why international forces affect regions and individuals within regions. Students will

(1) know the variability in physical and cultural regions
(2) have an understanding of global interaction
(3) have an understanding of the evolving patterns of population and land use.

Goals of General Education Program

  • Students will develop the ability to think critically and creatively about spatial relationships in the modern world and understand how these relationships have developed through time.
  • Students will be introduced to a variety of tools, methods and data used in geographic analysis.
  • Students will use Internet and other computer technologies to retrieve geographic data.
  • Students will acquire a geographic perspective, permitting them to identify cultural values and historic precedents that shape regional and international relationships both here and abroad.

Goals for Area 5. International and Intercultural Studies.

  • Students will develop not only an awareness of but also a basic knowledge of cultures in a non-US region of the world by studying these cultures in their unique geographic contexts.
  • Students will identify and discuss in geographical or spatial terms important global issues and the interactions of peoples and places across time.
  • Students will come to appreciate diversity and be able to analyze similarities and differences among cultures and places that impact both their own and other people's perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors.
  • Students will come to understand how people in a different part of the world see themselves and others.

Goals for Area 8. Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Students will understand how geographers approach the study of a place and its peoples.
  • Students will know how to collect geographic data, analyze and present spatial information, and solve geographic problems related to people and their use of the lands they inhabit.
  • Students will acquire basic geographic knowledge and skills that they can apply in evaluating and interpreting their own culture region as well as those elsewhere in the world.
  • Students will understand cultural factors that through time have shaped spatial interactions.
  • Students will understand the diverse ways in which human relations have been structured across space, time and cultures.


Assessment Measures

A final exam, two (or three) in-class exams, in-class exercises and/or a short research paper constitute the workload in this class. The exams assess student command of the maps, ideas, and readings presented in the course. The in-class exercises and/or short research paper ask students to demonstrate their comprehension of specific complex problems unique to the emerging nations of Asia and Africa.

To assess the attainment of the broad general education goals, essay-type questions on exams and term papers/projects require synthesis of a variety of information related to both the natural and social sciences and presentation of that data in well-conceived narratives and graphics.

To assess the attainment of specific Area 5 goals, students will be asked in homework assignments, examinations, and projects to express a regional culture's characteristics in terms of the spatial patterns and interactions that form(ed) their area's unique environmental and historical milieu.

To assess the attainment of specific Area 8 goals, students will be challenged in assignments, exams and projects to demonstrate their skills in working with geographic data to interpret the ways human relations are structured across space, time and cultures.


Other Course Information




Date Action and Action Approved By:
September 2005 Bernd H. Kuennecke, Chair