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What is Human Geography?

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Christopher Nelson

on 10 January 2014

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Transcript of What is Human Geography?

If you/your parents have a question, have
them contact @ 488-9631 or
Hope to see you next year!

West African immigrants being removed from an apartment building in suburban Paris where they are accused of being squatters.
Central Plaza of
Mexico City
Chapter 13: Urbanization and Cities

Topics include:
-Urban Slums (Favelas)
-Modern cities/Types of cities
-Trend towards urbanization
-Environmental and pollution issues caused by cities
-Ethnic neighborhoods
-Urban decay and gentrification
-Suburbs and Suburbanization
Qashqai people use modern roads to practice pastoral nomadism in the dry lands near Shiraz, Iran.
Exposure to modern technology does not necessarily destroy traditional culture. Women in predominantly Muslim countries have been urged to wear the chador, a combination head covering and veil, as a sign of adherence to traditional Islamic religious principles.
Topics include:
Gender and development
Changing role of women globally
Developed vs. Developing Countries
Chapter 9: Development
Chapter 5- A mix of French and English adorns this public bus in Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti. French and Haitian Creole, a dialect of French, are both official languages in Haiti, although English is the lingua franca in Haiti, because of the country's proximity to the United States
A ‘Mental map’ of hip hop.The map attempts to place prominent hip hop performers in proximity to similar performers as well as in the region of the country (Northeast, South, Midwest, West) where they performed or drew inspiration.
Pakistani truck drivers chant a prayer before breaking their fast on the third day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Lahore, Pakistan on July 23, 2012.
Maharashtra, India. A sign reads “free family planning sterlization operation” closed in 1996.
Examples Of What We Study…
We study real world, modern social, cultural, political, and gendered issues in regions of the world where a majority of our very diverse population comes from – these include:

South Asia:
India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan
The Caribbean:
Guyana, Trinidad, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and others.
Latin America:
All of it – From Mexico to Peru!

You won’t learn about language diversity in India, the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka, or role of the Afro-Caribbean tradition in forming island identities in any other A.P. class!
Anyone in grades 9-12
While having taken an A.P. course certainly helps, y
ou don’t have to be in advanced classes to take this course and pass the A.P. exam
– many of my passing scores came from students who took APHG as their first A.P. class!
If you are not in A.P. courses: an average of 85+ and/or a teacher recommendation will help – speak to me, or have your social studies teacher speak to me.
If you are in A.P. courses, Human Geo offers a way to both get college credit and take a unique, interesting class at the same time. It will also help strengthen your understanding of other Social Studies A.P. subjects - Global, Government, etc.
APHG uses a
geographic perspective
(why things are where they are, and how things in different places relate to one another) to analyze
human activities
from several social-science perspectives including:
cultural anthropology
political science
gender studies
urban planning
environmental research
migration studies
, and many others. Chances are you will encounter the topics in Human Geography in many different classes in college!

Human Geography is NOT:
A History Class – no kings, queens, treaties, or constitutions!
Physical Geography – no tectonics, no wind formations, no geology or Earth science!
Racial & ethnic change in Chicago: 1980-2000. Dots represent where race and ethnicity increased. White population increased in the inner city and North Side, while African American and Hispanic population increased in the outer city and inner suburbs.
Racial Change in Chicago
1980 - 2000
One billion people worldwide live in slums, a number that will likely double by 2030. They are generally inhabited by the very poor or socially disadvantaged. Slum buildings can be simple shacks or permanent and well-maintained structures but lack clean water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services. India has about 93 million slum dwellers and as much as 50% of New Delhi's population is thought to live in slums, 60% of Mumbai
Protests against genetically modified foods at WTO Meetings
A family in Ecuador; Ermelinda and her husband Orlando cultivate a potato field, a ten minute walk from home-note Ermelinda has her baby strapped to her back. Before working the field, they said a prayer to “Pacha Mamma” (Mother Earth).
The Grameen Bank provides loans for women in Bangladesh. In the village of Sharifun Begeum, women are paying back their loans.
“From the start, I didn't want it just to be about 'needy children' in the developing world, but rather something more inclusive, about children from all types of situations. It seemed to make sense to photograph the children themselves, too, but separately from their bedrooms, using a neutral background. My thinking was that the bedroom pictures would be inscribed with the children's material and cultural circumstances ' the details that inevitably mark people apart from each other” ---James Mollison
Topics include:
Definitions of and geography of terrorism
Territorial Conflicts and Boundaries (focus on Arab-Israeli conflict)
Nationalism and country formation
Supranational organizations (UN, EU, NAFTA, etc.)
Chapter 8: Political Geography
Below are the top 10 most segregated cities for Black Americans: 

10. Los Angeles
9. Philadelphia
8. Cincinnati
7. St. Louis
6. Buffalo, N.Y.
5. Cleveland
4. Detroit
3. Chicago
2. New York
1. Milwaukee
Race & Ethnicity: Indigenous peoples of the Americas (below – Mayan women, 2012, Guatemala)
Give us da food we need fo today an every day. Hemmo our shame, an let us go Fo all da kine bad stuff we do to you, Jalike us guys let da odda guys go awready, And we no stay huhu wit dem Fo all da kine bad stuff dey do to us. No let us get chance fo do bad kine stuff, But take us outa dea, so da Bad Guy no can hurt us. Cuz you our King. You get da real power, An you stay awesome foeva. Dass it!”
Matthew 6:9-13 “The Lord’s Prayer”

- Taken from Da Jesus Book, a twelve year effort by 6 linguists to translate the New Testament into Hawaiian Pidgin, published 2001
Chapter 6- The Old City of Jerusalem contains holy places for three religions. The flattened hill on the eastern side of the Old City is the site of two structures holy to Muslims, the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, both of which were built on the site of ancient Jewish temples. The west side of the Old City contains the most important Christian shrines, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus is thought to have been buried.
Topics include:
Roots of human culture
Folk versus Popular Culture (geographic distribution of culture)
Cultural Patterns, Traditions, Customs, and Taboos
Diffusion (spread) of popular culture
Cultural Clashes (ethnic, linguistic, and religious conflicts)
Race & Ethnic distributions
Origins and distribution of world religions/Languages
Chapters 4-7: Cultural Geography
A massive dump site in Arizona’s Upper Altar Valley. After walking 40 miles through the desert, illegal immigrants are met here by coyotes. They are told to dump their old clothes & packs and put on more “American” looking clothes the coyotes have brought. They then begin the trip to an urban stash house.
Palestinian girl in a protest on Nakba Day 2010 in Hebron, West Bank. Her sign says "Surely we will return, Palestine." Most of the Palestinian refugees in the West Bank are descendants of people whose families hail from areas that were incorporated into Israel in 1948
Topics include:
Why people move
Forced Migration (slavery, war, genocide, environmental disasters)
Voluntary Migration (job opportunities, educational opportunities, family connections)
Attitudes towards immigration/Challenges faced by immigrants worldwide (bias, discrimination, language barriers, global quota laws)
Chapter 3: Migration
Attendants or “pushers” on the Japan Train system. Despite having a declining population, Japan has a very high population density.
Who are the “Little Emperors” of China? A generation of obese boys raised under the One Child Policy - a policy which reinforces ancient preferences for male children, who are often indulged with food by their families because they are male.
“We may be seven billion specks on the surface of Earth, but when you're in Bangladesh, it sometimes feels as if half the human race were crammed into a space the size of Louisiana…Bangladesh is, after all, one of the most densely populated nations on Earth… So imagine Bangladesh in the year 2050, when its population will likely have zoomed to 220 million, and a good chunk of its current landmass could be permanently underwater.” – “The Coming Storm”, National Geographic, by Don Belt
The world’s most typical man is a 28 year old Han Chinese man – it is estimated by demographers than in 50-75 years he will be replaced by an Indian woman, as India overtakes China as the world’s most populous country.
Population 7 Billion:
Promoting family planning in Peru among the Quechua - an indigenous population
Topics include:
Distribution of people on Earth
Overpopulation issues
Population Policies in India & China
Role of Women in more vs. less developed countries
Global disease patterns
Chapter 2: Population
A series of 5 articles/book excerpts, totaling about 50 pages of reading. No book outlines!

This, like any A.P. course, is meant to be a college-level course. That said, the course is slightly ‘easier’ (or different) in a few important ways:
1 -
We go slower than most other courses (only 13 chapters)
2- Writing:
We have “free responses”, not “constructed responses”, which are generally easier and less formal.
3- Review:
Our exam is LAST (usually May 17th or 18th), so we have a full month of in-class review!
4- Media:
Because of the slower pace, we watch many documentaries, films, and online clips throughout the year
This aerial file photo shows a portion of Levittown, New York, in 1948 shortly after the mass-produced suburb was completed on Long Island farmland in New York. This prototypical suburban community was the first of many mass-produced housing developments that went up for soldiers coming home from World War II. It also became a symbol of postwar suburbia in the U.S.
Milk Men in India
Topics include:
Regional agriculture
Genetically modified Foods & Agribusiness
Drug Crops (Coca, Heroin, etc.)
Organic and Sustainable agriculture
A woman in Haiti carries bananas to the market
Chapter 10: Agriculture
Below: Construction of the 400-mile Wall: a system of fences, barricades and checkpoints designed to reduce terrorism attacks on Israeli soil began in earnest in 2003. It has done more than keep out suicide bombers; it has created a separation of the mind, such that an entire generation of Palestinians is coming of age without even knowing what Israelis look like, much less the land both sides claim as their own. Photo taken December 2010
The scene after the Taliban attack near the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan. The militants struck with suicide bombs, grenades and gunfire. (Anjum Naveed / Associated Press)
Attack by CIA-funded Mujahideen in Afghanistan in 1985. Ronald Reagan praised Afghan Mujahideen as "freedom fighters".
Garafina People: descendants of Carb, Arawak and West African people. The British colonial administration used the term Black Carib and Garifuna to distinguish them from Yellow and Red Carib, the Amerindian population that did not intermarry with Africans
Mexican immigrants captured near Laredo, Texas
Barbed wire fence separates the U.S. & Mexico east of Douglas, Arizona
Right - A crowd of Muslims at the Old Fort (Purana Qila) in Delhi, which had been converted into a vast camp for Muslim refugees waiting to be transported to Pakistan. Manchester Guardian, 27 September 1947.
An old Sikh man carrying his wife. Over 10 million people were uprooted from their homeland and traveled on foot, bullock carts and trains to their promised new home.
Here’s what my students have done so far:
86% passing rate in 2012
93% in 2013
*2nd highest in the district after NHP

Carnival, 2012, Rio
1.) What is Human Geography?
2.) Who can take Human Geography?
3.) Will I Pass the A.P. Exam?
4.) Is it Difficult?
5.) What’s the summer assignment?
6.) How else is Human Geography different from other A.P. classes?
7.) What are my A.P. teaching goals?
Frequently Asked Questions…
Right-festival in Tarabuco, Bolivia. The revelers wear wool hats that mimic the steel helmets that were worn by the Spanish conquistadors of the 16th century
Left-an Apache girl nears the end of her Sunrise Ceremony which is a coming of age ceremony for young girls reaching puberty. The sacred pollen on her face invests her with healing powers. A good example of a cultural trait.
Ella-Li Spik of Jokkmokk, Sweden, is one of only a small percentage of Sami who grow up herding reindeer. She is part of a new generation with plans to attend college. "I want to explore the world," she says, "but I always want reindeer to be part of my life."
Sara Gaup, 14, is dressed for her confirmation. The garb that she and her father, Nils Peder Gaup, wear identifies their hometown as Kautokeino, Norway. The upturned tips of their reindeer-hide boots were designed to hook into skis
The Sami “Reindeer People” of Scandanavia
In what ways is classifying someone as a terrorist a matter of perspective?
Folk Culture
Popular Culture
What is Geo-Literacy?
7 Billion - National Geographic
At a Bedouin wedding in Al Maslakh, a village south of Gaza City, 12-year-old flower girl Hassna Abu Wakid enters the procession to the groom’s house. Weddings are still festive public occasions that can last three days.

Two Afghan refugee girls and a boy make their way through a muddy alley, following a rainy night, in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Jan. 16, 2012. The Pakistani government and the United Nations refugee agency reached an agreement in March 2009, to allow some 1.7 million registered Afghan refugees living in Pakistan to continue sheltering there until at least 2012, thousands of them still live without electricity, running water and other basic services. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)
Mr. Nelson's A.P. Human Geography
2014-2015 school year

Video, "China's Lost Girls"
Video, "Are You Typical?" - National Geographic
What Are My A.P. Teaching Goals (How do I teach the class?)
Very simple..
1 - To offer you an enjoyable, fun, interesting, and positive classroom experience
2 - To prepare you for college-level classes so you feel more ready when you get there eventually
3 - To get EVERYONE to pass the A.P. Exam and earn college credit (worth thousands of dollars)
4 - To teach you things that you would not learn in any other class, in order to make you a more aware, intelligent person
5 - To have you enjoy the process, not just the end results...
Some Conversations With Last Year's Seniors (and this year's Valedictorian)...
“What you taught us is relevant in college, and i don't like it.” – Kevin“…human geography I feel like I use what I learned in that course in every class…” – Elissa“Hey Nelson, just letting you know that the stuff we learned last year has come up in 2 of my college classes so don't let anyone tell you your class isn't relevant!” - Shana“Hi Mr. Nelson, just letting you know that I'm writing a research paper on overpopulation….I'm glad we learned about Tom [Malthus].”“Here I am, studying for a world politics midterm, only to find "nations" pop up on my flash card. I guess it’s a good thing you spent two whole days explaining it.”Douglas Spring…is a member of the National Honor Society and is an AP Scholar with Honors…During his years at Sewanhaka, Douglas’ favorite class was AP Human Geography… ---“A Diligent Scholar”, The Chieftain Volume 24 Issue 2, 2012, p.6
"What you taught us is relevant in college and I don't like it :)"
"Human Geography...I feel like I use what I learned in that course in every class..."
"Hey Nelson, just letting you know that the stuff we learned last year has come up in 3 of my college classes..."
"Douglas Spring...member of the National Honor Society and is an AP Scholar with Honors...During his years at Sewanhaka, Douglas' favorite class was AP Human Geography" - The Chieftain, Volume 24, Issue 2, "A Diligent Scholar"
Video - "Where the Hell is Matt?"
Full transcript