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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Gregory W. Knapp

Associate Professor Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison

Associate Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment
Gregory W. Knapp

Contact

Interests

cultural and political ecology; food and farming; landscapes; post development

LAS 319 • Geography Of Latin America

40810 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 0.128
(also listed as GRG 319 )
show description

This course is a general introduction to the environmental, cultural, economic and political geography of Latin America and the Caribbean. There are no prerequisites, and an effort is made to make the material accessible to the broadest possible range of students, as citizens and future leaders. At the same time, more advanced students can also benefit from the exploration of such topics as environmental hazards, indigenous lifeways and resource management, globalization and modernization, population and migration, cities, sustainable development, geopolitics, frontiers, conservation, and cultural survival.  

The course examines major environmental zones as defined by geomorphology, climate, and biogeography, in terms of risks and hazards, resources, and human impacts. Students also study social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods, social structures, and cultures, including early migrants to the Americas, the rise of chiefdoms and indigenous civilizations including Aztec and Inca, the European conquest and spread of Iberian colonial culture and economic relationships, and the inception and spread of modernization as related to neoliberal and alternative forms of development including discourses of sustainability in contemporary Latin America. Relationships between regional, national, and global communities are studied by means of a commodity chain project resulting in a written paper.  A range of environmental and social science theories and methods are discussed, including plate tectonics, basic climate models, hazards research, circumscription theory, and theories of modernization, dependency, and development. Communication skills are developed through graphical and essay questions on quizzes and exams, the written course project, and discussion in lectures and optional discussion sections.

The class serves as a preparation for travel, business, government service, journalism or volunteer work in Latin America, as well as for teaching. This course can be used toward a major or minor in either Geography or Latin American Studies, and for a Latin American concentration in International Relations and Global Studies. In the Geography major, the course meets the human geography core requirement, and is also appropriate for students taking the Cultural Geography, Environmental Resource Management (Sustainability), and General Geography tracks. The course can be used to meet the University's Core Requirement in Social and Behavioral Sciences. The course has a Global Cultures flag. This is also a Bridging Disciplines course (for the Global Studies, Environment, and/or the Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits BDPs). 

 

LAS 388 • Lat Amer Culs, Envir, & Dev

41010 • Fall 2013
Meets M 700pm-1000pm CLA 2.606
(also listed as GRG 395D )
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This seminar is designed to help Latin Americanist students perform academic research on human-environment relationships, as well as to work for and to critique development agencies, businesses and non-governmental organizations. The class explores the ideas and methods of a number of disciplines and interdisciplinary fields including cultural and political ecology, ecological anthropology, environmental history, development studies, and cultural geography. The course will address a range of issues of sustainable development, cultural and political ecology, cultural identity and territory, gender, the smallholder/ householder focus of production, adaptive tactics and strategies, food and farming, environmental impacts of traditional land use, conservation strategies, and the changing impacts of markets and the state on local economies and land use. Topics and readings are developed in part on the basis of input from students.

Prerequisites:

Graduate standing and some knowledge of rural Latin America or the Caribbean. Knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese is desirable but not necessary. THIS COURSE IS RESTRICTED; YOU MUST OBTAIN INSTRUCTOR'S PERMISSION TO REGISTER. To obtain permission, email the instructor with a brief description of your research area and Latin American academic and field experience.

LAS 319 • Geography Of Latin America

40320 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CLA 0.128
(also listed as GRG 319 )
show description

This course is a general introduction to Latin American environments and peoples from a geographical perspective. There are no prerequisites, and an effort is made to make the material accessible to the broadest possible range of students, as citizens and future leaders. At the same time, more advanced students can benefit from the exploration of such topics as landforms, climate, plants and animals, environmental hazards, indigenous lifeways and resource management, globalization, population and migration, cities, sustainable development, geopolitics, frontiers, conservation, and cultural survival. The class serves as a basic preparation for travel, business, government service, journalism or volunteer work in Latin America, as well as for teaching. This course can be used toward a major or minor in either Geography or Latin American Studies, and for a Latin American concentration in International Relations and Global Studies. In the Geography major, the course meets the human geography core requirement, and is also appropriate for students taking the Cultural Geography, Environmental Resource Management (Sustainability), and General Geography tracks. The course can be used to meet the University's Core Requirement in Social and Behavioral Sciences. The course has a Global Cultures flag. This is also a Bridging Disciplines course (for the Global Studies, Environment, and/or the Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits BDPs).

LAS 388 • Lat Amer Culs, Envir, & Dev

40475 • Fall 2012
Meets M 700pm-1000pm GRG 408
(also listed as GRG 395D )
show description

This seminar is designed to help Latin Americanist students perform academic research on human-environment relationships, as well as to work for and to critique development agencies, businesses and non-governmental organizations. The class explores the ideas and methods of a number of disciplines and interdisciplinary fields including cultural and political ecology, ecological anthropology, environmental history, development studies, and cultural geography. The course will address issues of sustainable development, cultural and political ecology, cultural identity and territory, gender, the smallholder/ householder focus of production, adaptive tactics and strategies, food and farming, environmental impacts of traditional land use, conservation strategies, and the changing impacts of markets and the state on local economies and land use. These topics will be developed using examples from Latin America. 

Prerequisites:  Graduate standing and some knowledge of rural Latin America or the Caribbean. Knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese is desirable but not necessary. THIS COURSE IS RESTRICTED; YOU MUST OBTAIN INSTRUCTOR'S PERMISSION TO REGISTER.

LAS F330 • Geography Of So America-Arg

86020 • Summer 2012
Meets
(also listed as GRG F323K )
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This course examines issues of culture, environment, and sustainable development in South America. An understanding of the dynamics of changing indigenous, colonial, and modern landscapes provides context for debating appropriate development and conservation pathways.  For summer 2012, the course takes full advantage of its location in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as part of the University of Texas's Buenos Aires Study Abroad Program.  Buenos Aires is South America's second largest city, with about 13 million people in the metropolitan area; it is located at the edge of the subtropical, agricultural Pampa.  Buenos Aires has attracted a large number of immigrants from all over the country and a substantial number from the rest of South America, Europe, and Asia. Students will examine selected issues through readings, discussions, and field trips.

Admission to this course is restricted to students admitted to the Buenos Aires Study Abroad Program. (Applications are no longer being accepted).

LAS 319 • Geography Of Latin America

40170 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm GRG 102
(also listed as GRG 319 )
show description

This course is a general introduction to Latin American environments and peoples from a geographical perspective. There are no prerequisites, and an effort is made to make the material accessible to the broadest possible range of students, as citizens and future leaders. At the same time, more advanced students can benefit from the exploration of such topics as landforms, climate, plants and animals, environmental hazards, Native American lifeways and resource management, globalization, population and migration, cities, sustainable development, geopolitics, frontiers, conservation, and cultural survival.  The class serves as a basic preparation for travel, business, government service, journalism or volunteer work in Latin America, as well as for elementary or secondary school teaching. 

This course can be used toward a major or minor in either Geography or Latin American Studies, and for a Latin American concentration in International Relations and Global Studies. In the Geography major, the course meets the human geography core requirement, and is also appropriate for students taking the Cultural Geography, Environmental Resource Management, and General Geography tracks. The course can be used to meet the University's Core Requirement in Social and Behavioral Sciences. This course may not be used towards the Science & Technology requirement (some other courses in geography do meet this requirement). The course has a Global Cultures flag. This is also a Bridging Disciplines course (for either the International Studies or Environment BDP). 

Prerequisites:  This course should not be taken by anyone who has completed UGS 303: Latin America Environmental History and Sustainability. Otherwise the course is open to all students.

LAS 388 • Lat Amer Culs, Envir, & Dev

40410 • Fall 2011
Meets M 700pm-1000pm GRG 408
(also listed as GRG 395D )
show description

This seminar is designed to help Latin Americanist students perform academic research on human-environment relationships, as well as to work for and to critique development agencies, businesses and non-governmental organizations. The class explores the ideas and methods of a number of disciplines and interdisciplinary fields including cultural and political ecology, ecological anthropology, environmental history, development studies, and cultural geography. The course will address issues of sustainable development, cultural identity and territory, gender, the smallholder/ householder focus of production, adaptive tactics and strategies, food and farming, environmental impacts of traditional land use, traditional conservation strategies, cultural survival, population growth, environmental change, and the changing impacts of markets and the state on local economies and land use. These topics will be developed using examples from Latin America. 

LAS S319 • Geography Of Latin America

86120 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm GRG 102
(also listed as GRG S319 )
show description

This course is a general introduction to Latin American environments and peoples from a geographical perspective. An effort is made to make the material accessible to the broadest possible range of students, as citizens and future leaders. At the same time, more advanced students can benefit from the exploration of such topics as landforms, climate, plants and animals, environmental hazards, Native American lifeways and resource management, globalization, population and migration, cities, sustainable development, geopolitics, frontiers, conservation, and cultural survival.  The class serves as a basic preparation for travel, business, government service, journalism or volunteer work in Latin America, as well as for elementary or secondary school teaching. 

This course can be used toward a major or minor in either Geography or Latin American Studies, and for a Latin American concentration in International Relations and Global Studies. In the Geography major, the course meets the human geography core requirement, and is also appropriate for students taking the Cultural Geography, Environmental Resource Management, and General Geography tracks. The course can be used to meet the University's Core Requirement in Social and Behavioral Sciences.  It may be used to meet the Foreign Language / Culture requirement for a Bachelor of Science degree (for example, in the College of Natural Sciences). This course may not be used towards the Science & Technology requirement (some other courses in geography do meet this requirement). The course has a Global Cultures flag. This is also a Bridging Disciplines course (for either the International Studies or Environment BDP). 

Prerequisites:  This course should not be taken by anyone who has completed UGS 303: Latin America Environmental History and Sustainability. Otherwise the course is open to all students.

LAS 319 • Geography Of Latin America

40495 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm GRG 102
(also listed as GRG 319 )
show description

Adaptations to population growth and spatial integration in cultural landscapes of great natural and ethnic diversity; problems of frontiers and cities.

This course is a general introduction to Latin American environments and peoples from a geographical perspective. There are no prerequisites, and an effort is made to make the material accessible to the broadest possible range of students, as citizens and future leaders. At the same time, more advanced students can benefit from the exploration of such topics as landforms, climate, plants and animals, environmental hazards, Native American lifeways and resource management, globalization, population and migration, cities, sustainable development, geopolitics, frontiers, conservation, and cultural survival.  The class serves as a basic preparation for travel, business, government service, journalism or volunteer work in Latin America, as well as for elementary or secondary school teaching; it also can serve as a resource for a more advanced career in research.

LAS 319 • Geography Of Latin America

85420 • Summer 2010
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm BUR 220
(also listed as GRG 319 )
show description

This course is a general introduction to Latin American environments and peoples from a geographical perspective. There are no prerequisites, and an effort is made to make the material accessible to the broadest possible range of students, as citizens and future leaders. At the same time, more advanced students can benefit from the exploration of such topics as landforms, climate, plants and animals, environmental hazards, Native American lifeways and resource management, globalization, population and migration, cities, sustainable development, geopolitics, frontiers, conservation, and cultural survival.  The class serves as a basic preparation for travel, business, government service, journalism or volunteer work in Latin America, as well as for elementary or secondary school teaching; it also can serve as a resource for a more advanced career in research.

This course can be used toward a major or minor in either Geography or Latin American Studies. The course can be used to meet the Area B requirement for the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences. This course may not be used towards the Area C requirement (some other courses in geography do meet this requirement). This is also a Connexus course (Environmental BDP, and others). 

Textbooks:

•Robert B. Kent, Latin America: Regions and Peoples (Guilford 2006)

•Gregory Knapp, ed.  Latin America in the Twenty First Century: Challenges and Solutions (UT Press, 2002). 

 Recommended (not required): Charles C. Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

Website:

You can access Blackboard for this course on the following site:  https://courses.utexas.edu/

In addition, other web sites and materials will be assigned during class.  The Blackboard web syllabus and schedule is the official syllabus for this course.  Course lecture Power Points will usually be placed on line within 24 hours after each lecture, but these are no substitute for lecture notes.

Summary of Grading:

Exams and quizzes test knowledge of locations (with map questions), concepts, explanations, and solutions. The tests contain objective, map, and essay type questions. The student is responsible for all the material in the readings, assigned web pages, and lectures, including maps and other graphics, but the lectures are most important.  

* Quizzes and attendance (15%).  

* Two Midterms (40%), June 16 and June 28.

* Project (15%).  Details will be on Blackboard.  Due July 5.

* Final Exam (30%).  July 10 (2-5 pm).   

Grading is based on total points (90-100 A, 80-89.5 B, etc) and is not "curved."  Grades in this course are not on the plus or minus system.

Although the course is designed to be accessible to everyone, this is not an easy course, and some students do earn F's and D's every semester.  If you are on probation, or are trying to use this course to raise your GPA to graduate, qualify for a study abroad program, or for other reasons, this course might not meet your needs.

Classroom Policy on Electronic Devices and Behavior

Laptops are NOT allowed. Laptops, cell phones, MP3 players, and other such devices must be turned off and stowed during classes and exams.  Lectures may not be recorded in any way without prior permission.  Online materials may not be copied or distributed without prior permission. In exceptional cases, with prior permission, students will be allowed to take lecture notes on their laptops; in these cases, laptop lecture notes need to provided to the professor for each class, and students need to pledge not to use computers for any other purpose during class. The professor will not provide feedback on lecture notes.

Students will arrive on time, minimize unscheduled personal breaks, and stay until the class ends.  They will respect the views and opinions of their colleagues. Disagreement and debate are encouraged. Intolerance for the views of others is unacceptable.

Accommodations for Special Needs

The University makes reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.  Any student who requires special accommodations must obtain a letter that documents the disability from the Services for Students with Disabilities area of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (471-6259 voice or 471-4641 TTY for users who are deaf or hard of hearing). Present the letter to the professor at the beginning of the semester so that needed accommodations can be discussed. The student should remind the professor of any testing accommodations no later than five business days before an exam. For more information, visit http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd/. 


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