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Geography: Gender, Space & Environment

GEOG 178 OL1 (CRN: 61903)

3 Credit Hours

For crosslists see: GSWS 195 OL1 ENVS 195 OL1

About GEOG 178 OL1

Examination of the ways in which human relationships to both the built and the natural environment are mediated by gender. Prerequisite: Six hours in Geography or Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies. Cross-listed with: GSWS 170.



Dates: May 22 - June 30, 2023; Synchronous online; Pre req: 6 credits of either GEOG, or GSWS or ENVS; Cross listed with GSWS 195 OL1, ENVS 195 OL1; Total combined enrollment = 25

More Information

Section Description

Course Overview This intermediate course examines key feminist concepts and methods regarding gender, space and environment. This course highlights different feminist storytelling approaches and provides opportunities for practicing different writing, visualization and collaborative learning skills, including digital game and app analysis, feminist science practices and autoethnographic writing. Key course concepts include more-than-human politics and relations, embodiment, emotion and affect, environmental subjectivity, justice, and expertise. A key focus in this course will be the emerging field of Feminist Digital Natures (FDN). We will experiment with different methods of digital analysis. Students should be prepared for thoughtful and challenging discussion and writing in this course, as well as visiting and observing various sites on campus and in virtual spaces. This course is online synchronous and involves group work.

Section Expectation

1. Required Books: • Fernández-Vara C (2019) Introduction to Game Analysis. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-8153-5184-9. • Murphy M (2006) Sick Building Syndrome and the Problem of Uncertainty: Environmental Politics, Technoscience, and Women Workers. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. ISBN: 978-0-8223-3671-6. • Oberhauser A, Fluri JL, Whitson R and Mollett S (eds) (2018) Feminist Spaces: Gender and Geography in a Global Context. New York: Routledge. ISBN: 978-1-138-92453-6. • Sasser J (2018). On Infertile Ground: Population Control and Women’s Rights in the Era of Climate Change. New York: New York University Press. ISBN: 978-1-4798-9935-7. • Additional required readings and materials are available through our course Blackboard site ( and must be read or watched before class on the specified dates in the course schedule. 2. Required Digital Games**: • GRIS (2018). Nomada Studio (developer) and Devolver Digital (publisher). You can play the Windows or macOS version (access on Steam for $16.99), or the iPhone/Android version from the App Store or Google Play ($4.99). This game is also available for Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4. • Never Alone (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa) (2014). Upper One Games (developer) and E-Line Media (publisher). You can play the 2018 Windows or macOS version (note that the most recent MacOS is not compatible – double-check your OS and plan ahead as a group) (access on Steam for $14.99), or the “Ki Edition” for iPhone/Android from the App Store or Google Play ($4.99). This game is also available for Playstation 3 & 4, Linux, Xbox One and Wii U. Course Engagement and Fundamentals (30% of the final course grade): encourages different forms of peer participation, problem-solving, content clarification and other creative contributions. • Co-leading one 10-minute reading activity “report-back” in class (10% of the final course grade): This involves designing a short activity to experiment with different kinds of leadership, facilitation and engagement with the course readings. • In-class FDN Workshop Contribution roles (2): We will have two FDN workshopping units in the course. During the in-class workshopping sessions, students will choose a different role for each unit: i) co-presenting, and ii)visual/written note-taking or discussant/facilitation roles. Each of these different roles is worth 10% of the total course grade or 20% of the course grade across the two units. Foundational, Reflective and Integrative Assignments (70% of the final course grade): are designed to help students build writing and analytical skills linked to course materials and discussions. • Notecards: Students will write short notecards for each article/chapter read for class using a digital template (complete 45 out of the 48 notecards total for the entire course, worth 15% of the final course grade). Notecards are a tool for course content review, comparison and building a resource for writing later assignments. Draft notecards for each reading must be completed and uploaded to Blackboard by 9am on the day of class at the latest and brought in hard copy or on a laptop for use during the seminar discussion. Notecards prepared before class should reflect a student’s initial or draft reflections, questions about and summary of the reading. Students should edit and make notes on these cards during the discussion and save these changes shortly after class. Prof. Nelson will occasionally review, assess and check the timeliness of uploaded notecards. Students should bring their notecards with them during Prof. Nelson’s office hours. Those who do not keep up with these short notecards are likely to do poorly on their papers and major assignments, as they serve as a foundation for these assignments. • Individual Case Essay: This assignment is worth 15% of the course grade. All students will prepare a draft abstract and outline for both the Sasser and Murphy books for in-class peer review. It is the student’s choice as to which essay to fully write out and submit for a grade. Prof. Nelson can provide feedback during class and office hours, but will not be able to grade more than one assignment option per student due to other work obligations. Students are welcome to form peer writing groups to assist one another in making decisions about which assignment to submit. This essay is concise and precise (e.g. revise a six-page draft argument down to a maximum of three pages double-spaced). This is an opportunity to develop essential techniques for revising technical writing and a conceptual foundation for the course. • FDN Assignments: These are group assignments to build skills and analytical practice across two different FDN units: 1) gaming emotions and place-based relations, and 2) digital apps and embodiment. Each unit involves methods training and foundational concepts readings, applying these to real-world cases and practicing presenting preliminary results, providing feedback and revising the analysis into a quality paper or other ‘deliverable’ to be determined in consultation with Prof. Nelson. Students can contribute different skillsets to each project (not all students will do all tasks associated with each project). We will use several tools to encourage communication and accountability for these projects. Students will contribute to both FDN assignments (20% each towards the final course grade).


Course Assessments Course Engagement and Fundamentals (30%):  Co-lead one 10-minute reading activity “report-back” in class (10%)  Feminist Digital Natures in-class workshop contribution roles (10% each): · Co-Presenting (choose from FDN unit 1 or 2) · Note-taking or discussant role (choose from FDN unit 1 or 2) Foundational, Reflective and Integrative Assignments (7-%):  45 of the 48 reading notecards for all readings with an ‘N#_’ indication (15%)  Individual Case Essay (15%): everyone will write a draft essay abstract and outline for both book essays, choose one essay to fully write out and submit for a grade (note that if you attempt to submit both essays, only your Sasser essay will be graded).  Submit BOTH FDN Assignments (20% each): FDN Assignment 1: Gaming emotions and place-based relations FDN Assignment 2: Digital apps and embodiment




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