GY466 Topics in Human Geography: Seminar in Human Geography F19

GY466 001 11539 WWW 3 semester hours

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Miriam Helen Hill
Office: 205 Martin Hall
Office hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, or Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business

E-mail addresses:
Telephone: (256) 782-8063 [please, use e-mail]

Course Description

Advanced geographic study of various facets of human culture. Topic selection varies. May be duplicated for credit for a total of 12 semester hours.


Texts: Moseley, William G., David A. Lanegran, and Kavita Pandit. The Introductory Reader in Human Geography: Contemporary Debates and Classic Writings. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2007. 978-1-4051-4922-8

Rubenstein, James M., Contemporary Human Geography 1st, NY: Prentice Hall, 2010, 978-0-32- 1590003-9

Required resources: MS Office 2007 or 2010 or newer is required. If you have not discovered the reference capabilities of this software, you need to do so. File exchanges will be in .pptx and .docx formats using Turabian format as defined by Microsoft. References must be clickable, headset (earphones and microphone)

Learning Outcomes

The student will be able to:

1. Define basic terminology in cultural geography.
2. Describe the patterns, processes, and forces acting on the human organization of space.
3. Discuss spatial patterns of population, agriculture, religion, language, ethnicity, folk culture, popular culture, behavior, development, economics, industry, urbanization, political systems, natural hazards, environment, world realms, and globalization.
4. Use maps and models to generalize spatial patterns.
5. Discuss how the cultural environment changes through time.
6. Report research results
7. Apply the concepts of cultural geography to their lives and livelihood


All materials presented in this class are done so with educational goals in mind and are not intended to cause distress of any nature. Please be aware that controversial materials, theories, exhibits, etc. will be presented in this class. If you are unwilling or unable to view these presentations in the educational light in which they are presented, then you need to reconsider your enrollment in this class.

Class homepage

The class homepage will be at depart/ge ography/mhill/cultgeog/indexf.html and linked to Dr. Hill's homepage at ography/mhill/index.html. This syllabus will also be linked to the class homepage.

Mandatory Assignment

Completion of a post-test is required. This will be limited to one attempt. Failure to complete it will reduce the final score by 100 points.


The discussion board posts will count for 650 points although available points are unlimited. A term paper will be worth 150 points. Toponym research report will count 100 points. The final exam will count for 200 points. Exceptional work and additional questions and activities will provide bonus point opportunities. Grading will be based on a total of 1100 points. A will be any total above 990 points, B = 990 to 880, C = 880 to 770, and F less than 770. All work is submitted through Canvas. Late assignments may be refused or may receive reduced credit. Failure to complete the mandatory assignment will reduce the points earned by 100 points.

Citation of Sources

All sources for all assignments and posts must be properly credited. Work containing copyright violation or plagiarism will be rejected. Use Turabian format AS DEFINED by Microsoft Word. Entering the requested information correctly into the software with the Turabian setting will automatically generate the correctly formated information. Emphasis will be on entering the required information as indicated by MS Word. Complete, thorough, and correct documentation is integral to the course content and scholarship and will be graded accordingly.

Discussion board posts

This class is a seminar, so weekly participation in the discussion boards is essential. One essay reply about a uniquely chosen question should be posted to the discussion board. A response to at least one essay each week is required. Discussion board posts have open ended point values, so bonus points are available for excellent work and multiple responses. Additional details are included within the course shell.

Term Paper

 A term paper will discuss the relationship of the topics of this course to your major specialty area. With a heading for each weekly theme, describe how the course content will be beneficial to your career. Cite at least fifteen pertinent examples of applications from the course reading assignments (articles) and at least five examples from the textbook. Use the extant literature to support your opinions and statements. Fully document all content. Failure to cite sources adequately will result in rejection or grade reduction. At least sixteen different citations must appear in the bibliography. A minimum page length of five single space pages using Times New Roman 12 point font is required. The cover page, appendices, and bibliography pages do not count. Illustrations should be placed in appendices with full citations.

Toponym Research Report

A research report will be written using the raw data provided. The data will be a list of Alabama toponyms. The student will develop and test a hypothesis using the raw data alone or with additional data. The emphasis is on the analysis of the toponym list provided, and the hypothesis must have received prior approval from the professor. No review of the literature will be required, and tests of statistical significance will be optional. All sources must be documented.

Miscellaneous Activities

Additional learning activities are posted to illustrate and expand the understanding of important and relevant concepts. These usually have the answers provided to facilitate the learning process.

Final Examination

The final examination is composed of multipart essay questions. Essays must be fully documented using Turabian format as defined by MS Word. This exam is open book. The questions are posted for viewing at the start of the term.

Class membership

Class members are expected to answer and ask questions, be involved in activities, and to facilitate an educational academic atmosphere. Proper attitude and behavior are expected. At all times presence should facilitate a smooth flow of intellectual ideas, knowledge, and intelligent discussion. Failure to contribute or promote this important goal will risk grade penalties.

Academic Honesty

Academic dishonesty is defined to include any form of cheating or plagiarism. A discussion of the topic is set forth in the student handbook. Working and studying with classmates are beneficial and to be encouraged. Copying work is not to be confused with comparing work and discussing similarities and differences. You are responsible for both understanding answers submitted and the completion of the materials. The material in this course is important not just for your grade but also for your future profession.

In a University community, true knowledge can be gained only through honest means. All academic dishonesty is expressly prohibited. This policy is applicable for campus and distance learning activities. Students who violate this Academic Honesty Policy will be subject to disciplinary actions which could range from a zero on an assignment to failure of the course; repeated offenses can result in dismissal from the university.

Students with Disabilities Statement

Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to speak with Disability Support Services DSS and the instructor, as early in the semester as possible. All discussions will remain confidential. Disability Support Services is located in 139 Daugette Hall or students can call or email at (256) 782.8380,


Military-Connected Student Statement

The Office of Veteran Services serves all active duty, guard, reserve, veteran, and dependent students at JSU. If you have any questions about Veteran Services please contact (256) 782-8838,, or at the physical location in the basement of Daugette Hall. If you are a student currently serving in the military (Active Duty, Guard, or Reserves) with the potential of being called to military service or training during the course of the semester, you are encouraged to contact your course instructor no later than the first week of class to discuss the class attendance policy. The instructor may make accommodations for this absence or suggest that you take the course at another time.

Title IX Statement

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in any educational institution that receives federal funding. Jacksonville State University does not tolerate sex discrimination of any kind including: sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, domestic violence, stalking or other conduct that is addressed in the university’s “Title IX Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy.” This type of conduct may interfere with or limit an individual’s ability to benefit from or participate in JSU’s educational programs or activities. Anyone with knowledge of this type of conduct are asked to immediately report such incidents to the University Police Department at (256) 782-5050 or the Title IX Coordinator at (256) 782-5769. These incidents may also be reported to an instructor, faculty or staff member, who are required to notify the Title IX Coordinator. If a student wishes to keep the information confidential, the student may speak with a counselor at the Counseling Services office at (256) 782-5475 or a medical provider at Student Health Services (256) 782-5310. For more information about Title IX, please visit the JSU Title IX webpage at



This syllabus is in no way binding. All information is subject to change. Any changes made by the instructor will be announced to the class through emails or posting to the Announcements area.

E-mail contacts: Canvas uses GEM (JSU e-mail system) for all contacts. If this is not your primary e-mail, place a forward on that account, and test it to be sure that it is functional.

Questions or problems

Please contact the professor. Asking questions is an extremely important part of the learning process. Expect that I will ask you questions to ascertain what you understand so I can begin the answer from that point.

Reading Assignments

Use the attached schedule to read the chapters in the text as background information for the assigned articles. Course readings and assignments are indicated in Canvas!

Class Schedule

Use the outline provided and the information in Canvas to complete the assigned readings and assignments BEFORE the designated dates.

Seminar in Cultural Geography Syllabus * F19

DATE WEEK TOPIC Rubenstein Moseley **
August 21-27
1 Introduction 1 I int., 1, 2, 3, 4
August 28-September 3
2 Maps and Models 5, 6
September 4-10
3 Population 2 and 3 II int., 7. 8. 9, 10
September 11-17
4 Environment, Agriculture, and Society 10 and 14 III int., 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
September 18-24
5 Culture 4 and 7 IV int., 17, 18, 20
September 25-October 1
6 Religion and Language 5 and 6 19
October 2-8
7 Behavioral Geography (midterm grades through here)
October 9-15
8 Urban Geography

13 V int., 21, 22, 23, 24
October 16-22
9 Economic Geography (Toponym RESEARCH REPORT DUE, October 16, 11:55 p.m.) 11 and 12 VI int., 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
October 23-29
10 Hazards
October 30-November 5


(TERM PAPER DUE, November 5, 11:55 p.m.)

9 VII int., 30, 31, 32, 33, 34
November 6-12 12 Political Geography  8 VIII int., 35, 36, 37
November 13-19
13 World Realms and Globalization 8 VIII int., 35, 36, 37
November 20-December 4
14 Final Examination FINAL
December 4, 2018 at 11:55 p.m.

*Any major changes to this schedule will be announced.
**Additional readings will be identified in Canvas.
All grades are final at 11:55 p.m. (time at JSU) on Thursday, December 5, 2019.