University of Washington
Geography 498:  Undergraduate Seminar in Economic Geography and Regional Science
Spring 2008:  Defining and maintaining regional economies in a globalized world

One meeting weekly:  2:30 – 5:20 p.m. Wednesdays, Smith 407.

Professor James W.;  416C Smith Hall;  206-616-3821;  available for the hour before and the hour after class, and by appointment.

1.    Geography 207 (Economic Geography) or Geography 208 (Geography of the World Economy)
2.    Geography 315 (Explanation and Understanding in Geography) or an analogous course in the discipline of a student majoring in something other than Geography

1.    Geography 326 (Quantitative Methods in Geography) and
2.    Geography 425 (Qualitative Methodology in Geography) or
3.    analogous courses in other departments

1.    Become conversant with major themes and frameworks of economic geography and regional science.
2.    Recognize differing routes through which academic insights can be applied empirically and practically.
3.    Apply a major question of economic geography or regional science to an empirical research issue of immediate or long-term utility.
4.    Identify and begin to overcome the challenges of designing and implementing empirical research.

For six weeks, we'll read overviews of particular themes in economic geography or regional science, will write brief papers on these themes, and will discuss these in small groups in class.

For five weeks, students will individually prepare research questions, proposals, findings, and assessments, gaining insights from the instructor, a reference librarian, (optionally a professional connection in economic, urban, or regional planning), and each other.

•    Quality of weekly papers (5 @ 5 points each: provide the major points of, and at least one question you have about, each reading) and small-group discussion (6 @ 2 points each):  ability to interpret, synthesize, and compare authors’ approaches, intentions, and contributions.  (The comparison will be a key purpose of the in-class discussions).
•    Ability to draw key themes from the assigned reading, by writing essays in class (20 points)
•    Ability to conceive a research question (10 points), devise an adequate research design (detailed plan for operationalizing the question, obtaining sufficient data,  and making use of the data) (15 points),  and write a cohesive proposal (10 points).
•    Student’s individual assessment of how (s)he would like to make use of economic geographic or regional science insights, questions, or tools in the future (5 points).
•    Student’s ability to assess own learning (3 points).

RGE below refers to Remaking the Global Economy: Economic-Geographical Perspectives, edited by Jamie Peck and Henry Yeung (London: Sage Publications, 2003).  Copies of this book and the Garmise and Clarke & Gaile books are available at the University Bookstore.   The Garmise and Clarke & Gaile books are also on reserve at Odegaard Library.  All journal articles are available as e-journals through the UW Libraries.


Week One: read in class

Read for Week Two

Read for Week Four
Read for Week Five
Read for Week Six

Read for Week Seven (alternate students read alternate books)

Assignments for Week Eight

Week Nine
Research question revised
First draft of research design

Week Ten
Second draft of research design

Exam week
In-class essays:  12:30 - 3:00 p.m. Wednesday 11 June, Smith 409
Research proposal due by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday 11 June

During the middle third of the quarter, students will refer to relevant methodological guides from Geography 315, 326, and/or 425.

copyright James W. Harrington, Jr.
revised 30 April 2008