"Texts" for Geography 207


207 Syllabus: Textbook Policy

** = Book is "on Reserve" in OUGL
= Book is potentially important for all students in the class and may contain required readings
= Book is "Required"
  • All other books on this list have been used in this class in the past or are otherwise potentially useful as resources related to class or your interests. They represent examples for recent, relatively up-to-date Economic Geography literature. There are hundreds of other books and documents in the UW library system which contain important content for this class and for your discussion / portfolio related research.
  • Adopted Texts and Related Web Sites:

    UW Bookstore: Information for Geography 207

    Reserve Books, Undergraduate Library

    Texts in Economics: (Online)

    In this observer's opinion, the concept of a hard-cover, glossy-paper, expensive "text" has lost much of its attraction for Economic & Business Geography. Structural changes in the "real world" and the turnover of ideas in the theoretical discourse are outdating such books at an increasingly rapid rate. More importantly, technological changes and improved access to relevant information via electronic libraries and the Internet have reduced the need for textbook 'intermediation' and have made it almost mandatory for publishers to integrate and package the traditional text with supplementary, more current and 'hypertextually' organized digital materials. Unfortunately and at least in our field, not much has happened along these lines.

    At the same time, other facets of today's learning environments are changing. Faculty have become less willing to pontificate or let textbook authors decide what is relevant knowledge worthy of students' attention. Faculty and students alike are increasingly downplaying the need for "passive" texts in favor of "active" explorations and student-initiated and controlled information gathering. The fact that social science students tend to (have to) sell their excessively expensive texts after completion of the course only adds to the many text-related questions raised in economic geography programs. Nevertheless, textbooks are still being written by competent authors, for captive and lucrative markets. These books (are not only an important export commodity for the British economy but also) represent valuable cross-sectional glimpses of the discipline and useful resources for student readings and research. Thus, while we may not want to adopt them as "mono-opinion" texts, especially if the author(s) or publisher insists on ignoring the arrival of the Internet, we should not hesitate to use them for second and third opinions and as reference.

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