A commentary (2 pages A4) on each of 4 articles/books from the core course reading (the readings in the module handbook not the block specific readings).
You should include half a page per article/book. Your summaries should not repeat the article abstract or book summary – instead, it should be a critical review that demonstrates you have read and reflected on the work and can place it within a wider context of debates in social and cultural geography. By critical review, we mean that you should show evaluation and appraisal of the article/book, in light of what you have learnt about social and cultural geography from your wider reading.
- what is the argument of the article/book?
- what are the main contributions of the article/book and to what extent does it develop research agendas in its field?
- how rigorous is the work in its design and analysis?
- what do you consider to be some of the problems or limitations of the work?
To contextualise the articles/books you discuss, your summaries should make reference to linked work.
The purpose of the formative assessment is to ensure that
- a) you have suitable background knowledge of core debates and concerns in social and cultural geography to provide an adequate foundation for both the exam and the essay
- b) to give you practice in the key skills of being able to summarise complex material and critically review and assess that material.
Feedback will be written and individual.
GEOG 2561 Social and Cultural Geography: Summative Assessment
The module is assessed through two summative assessments, each worth 50% of the final mark: an essay on Term 1’s material and an examination on Term 2’s material
- Essay on Term 1 Material
50% of module mark
Using examples of both the geographies of ‘Bodies: shape and size’ and ‘Age’, discuss how social-cultural differences are produced and lived.
Length: 5 pages + references
A good essay will:
- Situate your discussion within current debates in Social and Cultural Geography, in particular those introduced in the opening lecture and discussed and explored in the core course readings in the module handbook. Your formative assessment is designed to help you in this task.
- Establish and develop a coherent and consistent theoretical approach to understanding the geographies of differences that draws on concepts in Social and Cultural Geography, in particular debates introduced in the opening lecture around different approaches to the social and cultural and discussions in the first two lecture blocks in Term 1 about how to theorise species and class.
- In light of points 1 and 2, give thought to the terms ‘produced’ and ‘lived’. The term ‘produced’ refers to the processes, contexts, and events that result in a particular pattern of differences e.g. relations between classes, or between humans and non-humans. The term ‘lived’ refers to how those patterns of differences are experienced and with what consequences. These are, though, only starting definitions that you should build on through your reading.
- Give approximately equal space in your essay to species and class, rather than focus more on one form of difference. There is no need to discuss the intersections between them, but you are welcome to if that fits with your argument.
- Develop your discussion by selecting, describing and analysing a number of examples of the geographies of species and class. Examples can come from lecture material (without simply repeating lectures), wider reading and material you have gathered yourself e.g. films, newspapers etc. You can use one longer example for each form of difference, or include multiple smaller examples – that decision is up to you and a matter of what fits best with your argument. Key to a good example is that you simultaneously a) use it to exemplify and illustrate a wider point you are making b) ensure that you have described and discussed the example in a suitably nuanced and careful way. Examples should be contextualised and discussed in relation to other empirical work in Social and Cultural Geography.
- Examination on Term 2 Material
End of module unseen examination
2-hour – answer 2 questions out of 6 choices
50% of module mark
The revision lecture at the end of the module will help to prepare you for the exam, including discussing answers to past papers. Please note that the exam will focus on Term 2 content and so will include questions from the lecture blocks on size and age, and general questions about social and cultural geography.