Saturday, April 26, 2014

Week 14 Last blog

The blog assignments and lectures were intended to take you beyond the rather dry text to encourage you to learn in greater detail about interesting aspects of each region. I've asked you to consider ways of thinking about or conceptualizing the world. While some of the material has been disturbing, I have tried to show you that there are also efforts ongoing to make the world a better place. I've also tried to show you what sort of subjects human geography considers in the context of the world's regions.

In this blog I'd like you to comment on:

What are ways of understanding the world you've learned in this class? In other words, what tools do you now have that help you to see issues in the world's regions in a different light? What is something from class that might stick with you? In other words, what got your attention, made sense or stood out? Did you come into this class with a perspective that's been altered somewhat as a result of class material? Please be specific in your answers.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Week 12-13 Australia and New Zealand: indigenous issues

The focus of lectures this week is on indigenous Australia and New Zealand. First listen to the powerpoint. Then, watch Rabbit Proof Fence and do the associated questions.  

Representation has been one of the concepts we've covered through the class. Representations can depict whole continents as backward and hopeless (Africa), people in the Middle East as exotic or violent and indigenous people as "closer to nature".  Indigenous people are represented as being noble, exotic, or silly (mascots). Representations, as you'll recall, "intervene" in the world -- they shape reality. 

The questions I've asked you to answer this time focus more on practices -- what people do. There are discursive practices--the laws, policy statements and terminology used--to, in this case, justify trying to make aboriginals white.  You saw this discursive practice in the efforts of the town of Hugo to designate itself as a rural place where slaughter did not take place. And there are physical or material practices -- stealing children from their mothers, forcing them to speak English, making them pray to a Christian god.  Both types of practices are evident in Rabbit Proof Fence.  The questions you will upload to the dropbox ask you to demonstrate an understanding of this concept of practice.

For the blog, choose one group in one of the places listed below. Using the linked websites, 1) discuss what indigenous groups in settler societies and colonized places are working on today.  2) What discursive and material practices are these groups using? 3) What similarities and/or differences do you see between indigenous practices in these places and in Australia or New Zealand (drawing on lecture material).

US and Canada
Idle No More
Indian Country Today (newspaper)
American Indian Movement

Intercontinental Cry
Cultural Survival

Pacific, Australia, NZ
Indigenous Portal Pacific
Treaty RepublicANTaR
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga

Resource Center for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Other: do your own research  -- search for a group working on indigenous issue somewhere in the world. Latin America has many.  

Optional: Other films that deal with indigenous issues in settler societies --  Once Were Warriors (NZ, photo above from that film), Smoke Signals (US), Power (Canada) and Whale Rider (NZ).