Module Catalogue 2019/20

GEO2100 : Migration, Belonging and Everyday Geopolitics: Contested Geographies of New York City

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Caleb Johnston
  • Lecturer: Dr Raksha Pande
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Code Title
GEO2043Key Methods for Human Geographers
Co Requisite Comment

In addition to GEO2043, all students must also be studying at least ONE of the following three modules:
GEO2047 Political Geography
GEO2103 Globalisation, Culture and Development
GEO2110 Social Geographies


To provide, by means of practical field work, an understanding of the inter-related social, cultural and political geographies of New York City.

The module commences with a series of introductory lectures in Semester Two after which students take a week-long residential field-course in New York City, undertaking ethnographic work, project work, study visits and presentations from researchers working in New York City.

Outline Of Syllabus

Outline of syllabus (to inform module choice of current students):

Introductory lecture (semester 2)

Field course (Fieldwork week (March/April) which includes:

Day 1 – Transecting social, cultural and political landscapes
Day 2 – Immigration, memorialisation and identities
Day 3 – Activism, archives and the city
Day 4 – Social and cultural geographies of NYC, and psychogeographies of Chinatown
Day 5 – Group project day
Day 6 – Group project day
Day 7 – Group presentations
Options for projects include: Culture of consumption; social polarization and the city; young people and New York City; Nature and the city;; mediascapes and the city; social justice, activism and the city; race, ethnicity and the city; gender, sexuality and the city; critical geopolitics and the city

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

•Explore New York city through a range of theoretical approaches and case studies of everyday life
•Critically evaluate the use of various methodologies for researching the city;
•Design and implement a research project that allows one facet of city life to be understood, critically analysed, and presented through a poster and essay;
•Consider New York City’s social, cultural and political geographies and the relationships between these

Intended Skill Outcomes

•The ability to effectively work as a team member in order to: explore important contemporary urban issues; solve and think through urban problems; collect, analyse and interpret data; and meet deadlines.
•The ability to synthesis and summarise data and present findings in written and oral presentation form within a given time period.
•The ability to: understand the constraints of working in overseas locations and show sensitivity to cultural difference.
•The ability to acknowledge the multi-faceted nature of the issues experienced by major urban centres.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading120:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork58:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1116:00116:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The preliminary lectures will serve as an introduction to both New York City and the methodological issues involved in researching city life. Fieldwork will be based on study visits, guest lectures and seminars and will provide students with opportunities to explore modes of learning beyond the university. Both before and after the fieldtrip, students will be encouraged to dedicate further time to reading and development of knowledge and understanding

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation152M25Poster presentation done during the fieldtrip. To be scheduled by School.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M251,000 word essay (before fieldtrip)
Essay2M50Individual write up of group project or reflexive essay about New York City (2,000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Before departing for New York City, all students will be required to complete an essay (1,000 words) (25%) which will include a review of relevant literature as well as a series of reading summaries of relevant articles specified by the module leader (and available electronically). This will ground students’ experiences in the relevant literature and the reading summaries will help familiarise students with issues specific to certain visit days and themes that emerge during the field work.
During the fieldtrip, students will be required to work in groups to design a poster of their experience of conducting transects of the city (25%). This will offer students the opportunity to develop skills in group work as well as in presenting material to the other students about issues specific to their own case studies
During the fieldtrip, students will be required to conduct a group project on a topic selected from a choice offered by the module staff. As well as presenting their findings to the class during the fieldtrip in poster format they will be required to submit a 2,000 word project report based on their group project (contextualised in relevant literature and reflecting upon their findings from the field) (50%). Although reflecting their experiences of working in the group setting, this project should be written up individually, allowing students the opportunity to reflect upon the theoretical and methodological issues involved in researching specific issues in New York City.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.