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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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colonialism

What Anthony Bourdain Understood About Cities

The work of the acclaimed chef and writer, who has died at 61, provides a model for a truly inclusive urbanism based on the creativity of all human beings.

Source: www.citylab.com

At the APHG reading last week, it felt as if everyone was in shock and mourning Anthony Bourdain’s passing.  I felt so amazingly thick, but I was dying to ask "who?"  Judging by everyone’s reaction, I think I’m the only geographer who has never watched any of his shows and was feeling the shame.  I quickly checked out Parts Unknown (on Netflix) and the appeal of his work was immediately evident; it is more about place than it is strictly about the food.  Food is simply his portal into understanding the people, culture, and politics of a given place.  Some say that his approach brings an anti-colonial flair to urbanism and travel, but as I’m a newbie to his work, I’m just going to start appreciating it now as we mourn his loss.

 

Tags: cultureworldwide, diffusion, urban, urbanism, place, food,

 colonialismvideo, media

 

 

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Are Americans trashing the English language?

“Are American’s trashing the English language? The Economists language expert, Lane Greene, knows a thing or two about English. Lane is a fan of words, lots of words, and Lane is an American living in London. He’s become accustomed to British English slang. But Lane often hears Britons complain that there are too many American words and expressions creeping into British English, these are called Americanisms. British writer Matthew Engel can’t stand Americanisms being used in Britain and even wrote a book about it. But are Americanisms trashing British English?”

Source: www.youtube.com

This video touches on important cultural and spatial dynamics of the linguistic change impacting the world’s current lingua franca…in other words, this is incredibly relevant to human geography. 

 

Tags: languagecultureworldwide, English, diffusion,

 colonialism.

Drought and Famine

In which John Green teaches you a little bit about drought, which is a natural weather phenomenon, and famine, which is almost always the result of human activity. Throughout human history, when food shortages strike humanity, there was food around. There was just a failure to connect those people with the food that would keep them alive. There are a lot of reasons that food distribution breaks down, and John is going to teach you about them in the context of the late-19th century famines that struck British India.

Source: www.youtube.com

Famine is exacerbated by natural factors such as drought, but those only stress the system, they rarely cause the actual starvation.  The real failure is that the political/economic systems created by governments and how they handle stains in the food production/distribution systems.  Widespread famines are very rare in democracies and are much more prevalent in authoritarian regimes.  Many of the recent examples have come from collectivation strategies that governments have implemented (currently Venezuela, but historically the Soviet Union and China).  The Choices program has some good resources about teaching current events with the famines today.

 

Tags: food, povertyhistoricalcolonialism, economic, political, governance, agriculture, crash course

 

Growth of Colonial Settlement

European settlement began in the region around Chesapeake Bay and in the Northeast, then spread south and west into the Appalachian Mountains.

 

Questions to Ponder: How did European immigrants settle along the East Coast? How did geography determine settlement patterns? 

 

Tagsmigrationmap, historicalcolonialism, USA, National Geographic.

Source: www.nationalgeographic.org

The languages the world is trying to learn, according to Duolingo

If you own a smartphone and are trying to learn a language, you probably have Duolingo. English is far and away the most dominant, with a caveat: For some learners, English is the only language Duolingo offers with translation into their native tongue. That doesn’t change the fact of universal interest in English, though, which Duolingo notes is studied by 53% of its users. Things get more interesting when you look at the second-most popular language by country. There French takes the lead, followed by Spanish, German, and Portuguese.

 

Tags: language, colonialismtechnology, diffusion, culture, English.

Source: qz.com

Questions to Ponder: What role do colonial history and modern economics play in shaping this linguistic data? How does migration influence patterns in bilingualism?  What is a lingua franca?

Bamenda protests: Mass arrests in Cameroon

Some 100 people are arrested after protests against using French in Cameroon’s English-speaking region.

 

Areas controlled by Britain and France joined to form Cameroon after the colonial powers withdrew in the 1960s. The country has 10 semi-autonomous administrative regions – eight are Francophone and use the French civil law. English-speakers have long complained that they face discrimination. They often complain that they are excluded from top civil service jobs and that government documents are often only published in French, even though English is also an official language. Bamenda is the founding place of Cameroon’s largest opposition political party, the Social Democratic Front.

 

Tags: language, colonialism, CameroonAfrica, culturepolitical, devolution.

Source: www.bbc.com

How to Say ‘Banana’ in Spanish

Source: i.imgur.com

I’ve lived in both the plátano and banano sub-regions of the Spanish-speaking realm and this discrepancy was one I always found curious (likewise, peanut butter is called crema de cacahuate in Mexico, but mantequilla de maní in Costa Rica). I’ve had many humorous encounters with friends from throughout the Spanish-speaking world when words that mean one thing in a particular country have VERY different connotations in another.

 

Questions to Ponder: Why do languages have different vocabularies in distinct places?  Why makes a language especially prone to a varied set of regionalized terms?

 

Tags: language, colonialismdiffusion, culture, mapping, regions.

When Mexico Was Flooded By Immigrants

In the early nineteenth-century, Mexico had a problem with American immigrants.

Source: daily.jstor.org

A century and a half ago, the immigration debate and geopolitical shifts in power on the United States-Mexico border reflected a profoundly different dynamic than it does today.  This history has enduring cultural impacts on southwestern states that had the international border jump them.

 

Tags: culture, demographicsmigration, North Americahistorical, colonialism, borders, political.

African borders

“About the history of the creation of Africa borders and debates about African borders.”

Source: mycontinent.co

Disregard the rough English grammar; this is a nice article to show some of the historical, ethnic, linguistic and political complexities behind African borders.  This would be a great supplemental article to help AP Human Geography students to prepare for Question 2 of the 2014 AP Human Geography Exam that focused on superimposed boundaries within an African context.  

TagsAPHG, language, Africa, colonialism, borders, political.

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