About GEOG 1770 A

Examination of the ways in which spatial and locational processes shape and are shaped by ethnic and racial identities, struggles, and relationships. Cross-listed with: CRES 1861.


First years and sophomores only during week of registration; Juniors and seniors register in second week of registration; Junior and senior GEOG majors contact instructor; Open to degree and PACE students

Section Description

Survey of the ways in which spatial processes and patterns reflect and shape racialized and ethnic identities in the U.S. Special attention will be paid to schemes of spatial restriction and to the roles of both mobility and place in racial and ethnic minorities' struggles for the power to define geographies of everyday life. Course will include text, readings, and films. This course fulfills a D1 general education diversity requirement for UVM and is designed to promote an understanding of: • Race and racism in the US • The meaning of power and privilege • The importance and impact of diversity and multiculturalism in US society

Section Expectation

Understanding the geography of race and ethnicity in the US is more than simply knowing why we can visit a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco, a Polish deli in Chicago, or an Italian café in New York City. While it is important to understand the locations of different social groups, it is about more than simply making a list of people and places. The geography of race and ethnicity in the US means engaging with important questions about the links between space, place and power. Examining such questions helps us to understand the shape of the world we live in today, both by looking at the past and at the present. How do we conceive of Los Angeles, San Antonio, or San Francisco as American cities without first understanding the historical conflicts between the US and Mexico? Can we understand why most Italian-Americans left Mulberry Street, NYC for the majority-white suburbs without understanding the development of highways and postwar housing? How have the legacies of colonialism, slavery, and segregation left their imprints on the urban and rural landscapes that surround us today? In this course, we will focus on the social construction of race and ethnicity and on the ways in which such ideologies have shaped spatial patterns in both the past and present. We will pay particular attention to issues including mobility, migration, urban form, spatial demographics, and borders. We will draw on various case studies and historical accounts to understand these identities, struggles and constructions. At the conclusion of this course, you should be able to better understand: • The nature, historical patterns, and demographics of American society in terms of race, ethnicity and spatial processes • Knowledge of the origins and systemic nature of prejudice, discrimination and oppression that has been directed toward people of diverse backgrounds and cultures, and how this has played out in geographical terms • An understanding of the current experiences and issues in the United States of different racial groups (including discrimination in all forms, life experiences of racial groups and white privilege), as they relate to space and place


Reading Quizzes (25, 1% each/day) 25% Reading Journals (x 4, see schedule) 20% Short Paper (TBA) 15% Mid-Term Exam (TBA) 15% Final Exam (TBA) 25%

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

Note: These dates may not be accurate for select courses during the Summer Session.

Last Day to Add
Last Day to Drop
Last Day to Withdraw with 50% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw


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