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University of Toronto Mississauga • Department of Geography • Spring 2017

GGR 329H5F: Environment and the Roots of Globalization

 

 Instructor: Pierre Desrochers

 

 Lectures: Thursday 9-11 AM

 

 Phone: (905) 828-5206

 Office: Davis Building, room 3273

 

 Lecture room: IB 235

 

 E-mail: pierre.desrochers@utoronto.ca

 

DIRECT LINKS


>
Course Description
> Course Format
>
Course Objectives
>
Assignments
>
Required Texts
> Tests
> Contacting the Instructor
> Term Paper
> Department of Geography Late Assignment/Missed Test Policy
> Equity Statement and Academic Rights
>
Expectations/Classroom Behaviour/Behaviour in the Academic Setting
> Academic Integrity/Honesty or Academic Offenses
> Accessibility
> Accommodations for Religious Observances
>
Diamond's Other Books, Critics and Topical Suggestions
> Lecture Schedule


> Lecture 1 (January 5): Is Geography (and Climate) Destiny? Part I
> Lecture 2 (January 12): Out of Africa
> Lecture 3 (January 19): Collision at Cajamarca
> Lecture 4 (January 26): Farmer Power, Part I
> Lecture 5 (February 2): Farmer Power, Part II
> Lecture 6 (February 9): Term Test
> Lecture 7 (February 16) No class
> February 23 - Reading Week
> Lecture 8 (March 2): Germs and "Virgin Soils", Part I
> Lecture 9 (March 9): Germs and "Virgin Soils", Part II
> Lecture 10 (March 16): Writing, Technology and Government
> Lecture 11 (March 23): Around the World, Part I
> Lecture 12 (March 30): Around the World, Part II; Is Geography (and Climate) Destiny? Part II

> Suggested Readings

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Geographical or environmental factors, such as landscape, flora and fauna, are obviously of some importance in explaining why history unfolded differently on different continents. The idea that some form of environmental (or geographical) determinism has affected the fate of human societies is therefore as old as it is controversial. While this perspective was in retreat for most of the twentieth century, it has made an impressive comeback in recent years with the publication of influential books and academic articles. The purpose of this course is to discuss critically some of this recent literature and to examine how "geography" and "the environment" might have impacted the development of agriculture, complex technologies, writing, centralized government and how, in the process, it has shaped the current world economic map. While the subjects discussed are often technical, the assigned readings are accessible to students with no previous backgrounds in scientific disciplines or geographical research.
 

Course format

The course format will alternate between formal classes and open discussions. Students are expected to have read the assigned texts in advance.
 

COURSE OBJECTIVES

The course has five (5) main objectives:


1) To provide a broad survey of how geographical and environmental factors have impacted the development of human civilization;
2) To provide some historical perspective on the current processes of globalization;
3) To advance students' skills in critical analysis and writing;
4) To memorize and use, without aids, the basic terminology with which professionals in relevant disciplines communicate their work and their research findings;
5) To apply a wide range of academic skills in active listening, note-taking, studying, reading, and test-taking to upper-level university courses.
 

 ASSIGNMENTS

% OF GRADE

DATE DUE

 1) Proposal for Term Paper
 2) Term Test
 3) Term Paper
 4) Final Exam
 

5%
20%
40%
35%
 

January 26
February 9
March 30, 5PM
Wed. Apr. 19th 5-7 pm IB 120
Final Exam Schedule
 

As per the University Grading Practices Policy, please note that "after the methods of evaluation have been made known, the instructor may not change them or their relative weight without the consent of at least a simple majority of the students enrolled in the course. Any changes shall be reported to the division or the department."

How to Query or Challenge a Mark

Please note that you have two weeks from the date an item is returned in class to ask for the item to be remarked. Contact the Course Instructor for all queries about course marks, or if you wish to challenge a mark. Absolutely no item will be remarked after the two-week period has passed. Material submitted for remarking must be accompanied by a brief written explanation detailing your reasons for dissatisfaction with the original mark (such as an addition error or something you think the marker may have missed). A request for a remark without a written explanation will not be acted upon.

Please note that you are allowed two questions where you and the instructor can agree to disagree (meaning you believe that you are entitled to a higher mark, but your instructor disagrees) without penalty. Beginning with the third question where you and your instructor disagree, one point will be taken off your final mark by question for which a revised mark was requested by you and denied by the instructor.
 

Required Texts

The main text for the course is Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel. The Fates of Human Societies (W.W. Norton & Company, 1999, ISBN 978-0-393-31755-8). Summaries of Diamond's thesis can be found here, here, here, here, here and here. We will also watch the PBS - National Geographic 3 part series based on Diamond's book. Keep in mind, however, that the summaries and the TV special are not substitutes for the book.

Additional readings, both mandatory and suggested, are listed below. Most of the readings are freely accessible from anywhere. Some of them, however, may require you to use a UofT terminal or user code.
 

TESTS

A set of questions will be given in advance. Students will be asked to answer a number of these during the test. Note that PowerPoint slides presented during the lectures WILL NOT be posted online. No documentation is allowed during the tests. UTM Exam Schedule

  Questions
 

CONTACTING THE INSTRUCTOR

Office hours are Thursday 11-12:30, Davis 3273. You can contact me at pierre.desrochers@utoronto.ca.

Please read the course syllabus before e-mailing a question or expect a one line answer telling you to look it up if the answer is already there.

Always use your University of Toronto e-mail address (@utoronto.ca) for all course-related communications. E-mails from other domains (e.g., hotmail, Rogers, gmail, yahoo, etc.) may be filtered as spam and will at any rate be ignored. Always include the course code (e.g., GGR329) as part of your subject line, along with your full name and student number in the body of the e-mail. E-mails will be answered during office hours as promptly as possible. Please note that I do not open attachments and will not answer during week-ends.

The first person that you should e-mail concerning department- or program-related queries or to submit documentation regarding a missed assignment, quiz, or test is the Academic Counsellor for Geography/Environment, Sabrina Ferrari (sabrina.ferrari@utoronto.ca).

E-mail should NOT be viewed as an alternative to meeting with the TA or professor during office hours. Nor should e-mail be used as a mechanism to receive private tutorials (especially prior to tests) or to explain material that was covered in missed lectures. Not receiving replies to e-mails from the TA or professor, or not receiving them in time, will not be an acceptable excuse for pleas for extensions to assignment or exam deadlines.

Students are advised to consult http://www.enough.utoronto.ca/ for information on university policy concerning the appropriate use of information and communication technology.

© PhD Comics
 

TERM PAPER

Students are given the choice between: 1) a 15 page essay on a topic of their choice; 2) a 15 page review essay of a book (or two) dealing with topics covered in class. Team work is allowed, but my expectations are greater (20 pages for a team of two; 25 pages for a team of three). The choice of topic or book(s) must be approved by the instructor. These assignments will be discussed in class.

Books and Topical Suggestions.

Papers should follow one of the Standard Documentation Formats. Here are the detailed instructions to write your proposal and essay.

The papers are due by March 30, 5PM. There will be a drop-off box in front of Room Davis 3284.

On the Art of Writing a Term Paper
Writing http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/ and Advice on Academic Writing http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice at the University of Toronto.

Some additional advice from Professor Daniel Drezner (On writing a paper / On researching a paper) and Professor Steven Horwitz (Guide to Writing Formal Academic Papers).

Other useful links: UTM Library / Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre.
 

Your choice of topic or book must be approved by the instructor before turning in your proposal. Those of you who would like to submit a book suggestion are asked to provide a link to the publisher's webpage devoted to the book or, if no such thing exists, to the Amazon or another large bookseller webpage devoted to the book.

Please note that you do not need to submit your proposal or the appendixes of your term paper through turnitin.com.


Note Concerning Turnitin

Normally, students will be required to submit written assignments to Turnitin.com for a review of textual similarity and detection of possible plagiarism. In doing so, students will allow their assignments to be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database, where they will be used solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. The terms that apply to the University's use of the Turnitin.com service are described on the Turnitin.com web site (www.Turnitin.com). If you have an objection to the use of Turnitin for the submission of your work, please make an appointment to speak personally with the Course Instructor to discuss alternative arrangements. A guide for students is available from the University of Toronto's Office of Teaching Advancement, at: www.utoronto.ca/ota/turnitin/TurnitinGuideForStudents.pdf. This information will also be made available on the course Blackboard site.

Please note that submitting your paper through Turnitin.com or making alternative arrangements before the deadline with your professor is not optional. Failure to do so will result in a grade of 0 for your term paper. Failure to submit your paper on turnitin.com before the deadline will result in the same late penalty as if you had not submitted your hard copy.

You are required to submit a hard copy of the assignment as instructed in the syllabus for the TAs to grade and annotate Electronic copies will be submitted by students through Turnitin.

> Basic steps for setting up your Turnitin account and submitting papers

Turnitin.com course ID: 13427453 (The password will be given in class and via e-mail.)
 

Department of Geography Late assignment/Missed Test Policy

This is the departmental policy for late assignments and missed tests. Please note that the penalty related to your proposal is different. In this particular case, I apply my own policy as specified on the syllabus.

I
n-class or Online QUIZ/TESTS: Students CANNOT petition to re-write a quiz/test once the test has begun. If you are feeling ill, please do not start the online or in-class test and seek medical attention immediately. You must have a physician fill out a U of T Student Medical Certificate and submit a request via the online Special Consideration Request form @ https://utmapp.utm.utoronto.ca/SpecialRequest within 24 hours.

Online Submissions for Term Work: It is every student’s responsibility to ensure that their online submission is submitted successfully by the due date. Accommodations will not be made for unsuccessful submissions due to, but not limited to, i) the system timing out ii) submitting the incorrect document(s) iii) poor internet connection / no internet connection etc.

Missed Term Work (Assignment/Lab - as per Department of Geography policy):
Late assignments will be subject to a late penalty of 10% per day (including weekends) of the total marks for the assignment. Assignments submitted five calendar days beyond the due date will be assigned a grade of zero.

Academic accommodation can be made when an assignment is late. For accommodations on late/missed assignments please see section on "Extension of Time".

Missed Term Work (Quiz/Test - as per Department of Geography policy):
In courses with final exams, there will be no re-writes or make-ups for term tests/quizzes missed for University-accepted, verifiable reasons. Instead, the final exam will be re-weighted by the value of the term test/quiz.

Requesting Academic Accommodation using the Online Special Consideration Request Application: In Geography and Environment courses, professors cannot grant extensions on term work or allow makeups for missed items. If you ask for and receive an extension or a makeup date directly from a professor, without following the appropriate steps as outlined in this document, it will be invalid and may be revoked at any time by the departmental petitions committee.

Informing Your Professor and Submitting Appropriate Documentation:
The following steps must be completed in order to be considered for academic accommodation for any course work such as missed tests or late assignments:

1. Students must inform their professor in writing (e-mail is acceptable) within 24 hours of a test date/assignment due date of any circumstances that prevent them from writing a test or submitting an assignment on time.
2. Students must complete an online Special Consideration Request @ https://utmapp.utm.utoronto.ca/SpecialRequest. Students who miss a test due to circumstances beyond their control (e.g. illness or an accident) can request that the Department grant them special consideration. You must inform your instructor within 24 hours and you have up to one (1) week from the date of the missed test to submit your online request (late requests will NOT be considered without a "letter of explanation" as to why the request is late). You must present your case to the Department (not the Instructor). Note: The system only supports Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox for the time being.
3. Original supporting documentation (e.g. Verification of Student Illness or Injury form, accident report, etc) MUST BE SUBMITTED to the DROP BOX (labeled "Environment and Geography Petition Documentation") located outside Room 3282, Davis Building. Supporting documentation is required within 48 hours of submitting your online request.
Please Note: If you missed your test for a reason connected to your registered disability, please be advised that the department will accept documentation supplied by the UTM AccessAbility Resource Centre.
Note: (i) ROSI declarations are not accepted as supporting documentation.
(ii) If your reason for absence is due to a last minute flight due to a family emergency (illness/death etc.) you must provide your flight itinerary INCLUDING the date the flight was purchased as well as boarding passes in addition to proof of death/illness/accident.
4. Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms MUST include the statement "This Student was unable to write the test on date(s) for medical reasons". Documentation MUST show that the physician was consulted within ONE day of the test date. A statement merely confirming a report of illness made by the student is NOT acceptable (such as, "This patient tells me that he was feeling ill on that day."). Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms can be found on the Office of the Registrar's webpage (http://www.illnessverification.utoronto.ca/getattachment/index/Verification-of-Illness-or-Injury-form-Jan-22-2013.pdf.aspx).

Please complete the following:
- Special request link: https://utmapp.utm.utoronto.ca/SpecialRequest
- Verification of Illness form: http://www.illnessverification.utoronto.ca/

Please note that the written explanation and documentation that you submit represents an appeal from you, requesting the opportunity to account for that portion of your grade in some other manner. If an appeal is not received, or if the appeal is deemed unacceptable, you will receive a grade of zero for the item you missed. If the appeal is granted - that is, your reason for missing the item is considered acceptable by the committee - then a mechanism for accounting for the grade value of the missed item will be discussed.

A Departmental committee evaluates each request. Decisions will be communicated by email within two weeks of receipt of all completed documents. Note: It is your responsibility to ensure your email account is working and able to receive emails. Claims that a Departmental decision was not received will NOT be considered as a reason for further consideration. Contact Sabrina Ferrari (sabrina.ferrari@utoronto.ca) Academic Counselor, should you NOT receive notification of your decision within 2 weeks of submission.

Note that holidays and pre-purchased plane tickets, family plans, your friend's wedding, lack of preparation, or too many other tests are not acceptable excuses for missing a quiz, a test, or an item of term work.

Extension of Time
Students are expected to back up their work at all times. As such, extension requests due to computer issues (stolen, crashed, damaged etc.) will not be considered. The following steps must be completed in order to be considered for academic accommodation for any assignment extensions. Assignments handed in AFTER the work has been returned to the class cannot be marked for credit.

1. Students must inform their professor in writing (e-mail is acceptable) IN ADVANCE of an assignment due date of any circumstances that prevent them from submitting their assignment on time.
2. Students must complete an online Special Consideration Request @ https://utmapp.utm.utoronto.ca/SpecialRequest IN ADVANCE of the assignment due date. Note: The system only supports Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox for the time being.
3. Original supporting documentation (e.g. Verification of Student Illness or Injury form, accident report, etc) MUST BE SUBMITTED to the DROP BOX (labeled "Environment and Geography Petition Documentation") located outside Room 3282, Davis Building. Supporting documentation is required within one (1) week of submitting your online request.
4. Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms: Documentation MUST show that the physician was consulted within ONE day of the assignment due date. A statement merely confirming a report of illness made by the student is NOT acceptable (such as, "This patient tells me that he was feeling ill on that day."). Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms can be found on the Office of the Registrar's webpage (http://www.illnessverification.utoronto.ca/getattachment/index/Verification-of-Illness-or-Injury-form-Jan-22-2013.pdf.aspx).

Original supporting documentation (e.g. Verification of Student Illness or Injury form, accident report, etc) MUST BE SUBMITTED to the DROP BOX (labeled "Environment and Geography Petition Documentation") located outside Room 3282, Davis Building. Note: ROSI declarations are not accepted as supporting documentation. You are expected to submit your request to the Department before the due date of the assignment, unless demonstrably serious reasons prevent you from doing so. In the event of an illness, if you are seeking a one-day extension, Verification of Student Illness or Injury forms must confirm that you were ill on the due date of the assignment; if you are requesting a longer extension, your documentation must specify exactly the length of the period during which you were unable to carry out your academic work. For extensions of time beyond the examination period you must submit a petition through the Office of the Registrar. http://www.erin.utoronto.ca/index.php?id=6988

A Departmental committee evaluates each request for an extension of time. Decisions will be communicated by email within two weeks of receipt of all completed documents. Please note that students are required to submit their assignment/lab as soon as they are able and they should NOT wait for the decision of the committee. Note: It is your responsibility to ensure your email account is working and able to receive emails. Claims that a Departmental decision was not received will NOT be considered as a reason for further consideration. Contact Sabrina Ferrari (sabrina.ferrari@utoronto.ca) Academic Counsellor, should you NOT receive notification of your decision within 2 weeks of submission.

It is your responsibility to follow the appropriate procedures and submit requests for special consideration on time. Failure to do so may result in the committee denying your request.
Should you require further information regarding Special Considerations, please contact the Academic Counselor, Sabrina Ferrari
Undergraduate Academic Counselor
Room 3282, Davis Building, Telephone: 905-828-5465
email: sabrina.ferrari@utoronto.ca

Equity Statement and Academic Rights

The University of Toronto is committed to equity and respect for diversity. All members of the learning environment in this course should strive to create an atmosphere of mutual respect. As a course instructor, I will neither condone nor tolerate behaviour that undermines the dignity or self-esteem of any individual in this course and wish to be alerted to any attempt to create an intimidating or hostile environment. It is our collective responsibility to create a space that is inclusive and welcomes discussion. Discrimination, harassment and hate speech will not be tolerated. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns you may contact the UTM Equity and Diversity officer at edo.utm@utoronto.ca or the University of Toronto Mississauga Students' Union Vice President Equity at vpequity@utmsu.ca.

Academic Rights

You, as a student at UTM, have the right to:
- Receive a syllabus by the first day of class.
- Rely upon a syllabus once a course is started. An instructor may only change marks' assignments by following the University Assessment
  and Grading Practices Policy provision 1.3.
- Refuse to use turnitin.com (you must be offered an alternative form of submission).
- Have access to your instructor for consultation during a course or follow up with the department chair if the instructor is unavailable.
- Ask the person who marked your term work for a re-evaluation if you feel it was not fairly graded. You have up to one month from the date of
  return of the item to inquire about the mark. If you are not satisfied with a re-evaluation, you may appeal to the instructor in charge of the
  course if the instructor did not mark the work. If your work is remarked, you must accept the resulting mark. You may only appeal a mark
  beyond the instructor if the term work was worth at least 20% of the course mark.
- Receive at least one significant mark (15% for H courses, 25% for Y courses) before the last day you can drop a course for H courses, and
  the last day of classes in the first week of January for Y courses taught in the Fall/Winter terms.
- Submit handwritten essays so long as they are neatly written.
- Have no assignment worth 100% of your final grade.
- Not have a term test worth 25% or more in the last two weeks of class.
- Retain intellectual property rights to your research.
- Receive all your assignments once graded.
- View your final exams. To see a final exam, you must submit an online Exam Reproduction Request within 6 months of the exam. There is a
  small non-refundable fee.
- Privacy of your final grades.
- Arrange for representation from Downtown Legal Services (DLS), a representative from the UTM Students' Union (UTMSU), and/or other
  forms of support if you are charged with an academic offence.

Expectations/Classroom Behaviour/Behaviour in the Academic Setting

Our expectation of you is that you will show respect to the Course Instructor, TAs, other faculty, staff, and fellow students. This includes arriving on time and staying for the entire class (so you don't disturb others by your late entry or early departure); listening quietly (so you don't disturb others by your chatting or online activities); approaching your course work with an open, honest spirit and enthusiasm; and otherwise adhering to the Code.

In turn, you can expect the Course Instructor, staff, and TAs to show respect to you and your fellow students; to deliver the best course that they possibly can; to communicate their enthusiasm for the material; to maintain fairness in all aspects of course delivery and assessment; and otherwise to adhere to the University's Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.

Academic Integrity/Honesty or Academic Offenses

It is your responsibility as a student at the University of Toronto to familiarize yourself with, and adhere to, both the Code of Student Conduct and the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.

This means, first and foremost, that you should read them carefully.

  • The Code of Student Conduct is available from the U of T Mississauga website (Registrar > Academic Calendar > Codes and Policies) or in your print version of the Academic Calendar.

  • The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters is available from the U of T Mississauga website (Registrar > Academic Calendar > Codes and Policies) or in your print version of the Academic Calendar.

Another helpful document that you should read is How Not to Plagiarize, by M. Procter.

Further Thoughts on Academic Honesty:
The Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters states that:

"The University and its members have a responsibility to ensure that a climate that might encourage, or conditions that might enable, cheating, misrepresentation or unfairness not be tolerated. To this end all must acknowledge that seeking credit or other advantages by fraud or misrepresentation, or seeking to disadvantage others by disruptive behaviour is unacceptable, as is any dishonesty or unfairness in dealing with the work or record of a student." ―University of Toronto Mississauga Academic Calendar

This summarizes what we are all trying to achieve through the implementation of this Code―both students and faculty. We are trying―together―to create an atmosphere of fairness and honesty, in which people can learn and receive appropriate credit for work that they have done. Note that the Code refers specifically to expectations for faculty members, not just for students. It is my responsibility, as a member of the faculty of the University of Toronto, to be familiar with these expectations and adhere to them. There are many additional academic requirements that we are expected to meet with regard to the integrity of course materials, returning of marked work to students, maintenance of student privacy, fairness, grading practices, and others. My TAs and I will make every possible effort to meet these expectations.
 

Accessibility

U of T Mississauga and the AccessAbility Resource Centre are committed to the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of campus life. The AccessAbility Resource Centre provides academic accommodations and services to students who have a physical, sensory, or learning disability, mental health condition, acquired brain injury, or chronic health condition, be it visible or hidden. Students who have temporary disabilities (e.g., broken dominant arm) are also eligible to receive services. All interested students must have an intake interview with an advisor to discuss their individual needs.

Students who require accommodation are advised to visit the AccessAbility Resource Centre as early as possible to have their needs assessed, as it may take some time to process the application.

For more information please contact the centre at:
Room 2047, South Bldg.
Tel/TTY: 905-569-4699
E-mail: access.utm@utoronto.ca
Web: www.utm.utoronto.ca/accessability/

For students who would like to help

Please note that the AccessAbility Resource Centre is looking for a volunteer note-taker to take notes on behalf of students with a disability registered in this class. Volunteer note-takers are responsible for submitting their notes to AccessAbility every week. The notes can be submitted online or scanned at the Centre. (The form can be downloaded at www.utm.utoronto.ca/accessability/potential-notetakers.)

Volunteer note-takers will receive a certificate of recognition and reference letter at the end of the year. If you are interested in this opportunity, please take a volunteer form and follow the instructions provided. If you have any questions, please call 905-828-5422, email accessvolunteers.utm@utoronto.ca, or drop by the Centre (room 2047, Davis Building).

Accomodations for Religious Observances

As noted in the the Policy on Scheduling of Classes and Examinations and Other Accommodations for Religious Observances, the following provisions are included:

"It is the policy of the University of Toronto to arrange reasonable accommodation of the needs of students who observe religious holy days other than those already accommodated by ordinary scheduling and statutory holidays.
Students have a responsibility to alert members of the teaching staff in a timely fashion to upcoming religious observances and anticipated absences. Instructors will make every reasonable effort to avoid scheduling tests, examinations or other compulsory activities at these times. If compulsory activities are unavoidable, every reasonable opportunity should be given to these students to make up work that they miss, particularly in courses involving laboratory work. When the scheduling of tests or examinations cannot be avoided, students should be informed of the procedure to be followed to arrange to write at an alternate time.

It is most important that no student be seriously disadvantaged because of her or his religious observances. However, in the scheduling of academic and other activities, it is also important to ensure that the accommodation of one group does not seriously disadvantage other groups within the University community."

With respect to minimum advance notice, the Policy provides that "Students have a responsibility to alert members of the teaching staff in a timely fashion to upcoming religious observances and anticipated absences." Since students would normally be aware of upcoming religious observances as well as examination schedules in advance, a minimum of three weeks advance notice will be considered sufficient.

More information and some dates of potential relevance for the U of T community are available at www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/publicationsandpolicies/guidelines/religiousobservances.htm.

As with any academic accommodation request, students must submit an on-line Special Consideration Request @ https://utmapp.utm.utoronto.ca/SpecialRequest.

Diamond's Other Books, Critics and Topical Suggestions

On Jared Diamond's Collapse (2005)

This seminar will not discuss Jared Diamond's later books, including Collapse (2005). I believe this book is much more problematic than Guns, Germs and Steel. Diamond presented his main arguments in the following lectures: "How Societies Fail, And Sometimes Succeed" and "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed." Among the most perceptive critics of this book are:
 

Book
McAnany, Patricia and Norman Yoffee. 2010. Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability, and the Aftermath of Empire. Cambridge University Press

Special journal issue

Energy and Environment (July 2005 - Several lengthy articles)

Longer essays
Butzer, Karl W. 2012. "Collapse, Environment, and Society." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109 (10):3632-3639.

Dasgupta, Partha. 2005. "Bottlenecks." London Review of Books, May 19.

McNeill, J. R. 2005. "Diamond in the Rough: Is There a Genuine Environmental Threat to Security?" International Security 30 (1): 178-195.

Tainter, Joseph A. 2008. "Collapse, Sustainability, and the Environment: How Authors Choose to Fail or Succeed." Reviews in Anthropology 37 (4): 342-371

Tainter, Joseph A. 2006. "Archaeology of Overshoot and Collapse." Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 35: 59-74.

Shorter reviews
Hanson, Victor Davis . 2005. "Decline and Fall." National Review (March 28).

Smil, Vaclav. 2005. "Review of Collapse by Jared Diamond." International Journal 60 (3): 886-889.

On Diamond's take on Easter Island (Rapa Nui)
Mann, Charles C. 2011. "Don't Blame the Natives." The Wall Street Journal, July 30.

Hunt, Terry L. 2006. "Rethinking the Fall of Easter Island - New Evidence Points to an Alternative Explanation For a Civilization's Collapse." American Scientist (September-October).
 

On Jared Diamond's The World Until Yesterday (2012)

Golub, Alex. 2013. "Anthropology, Footnoted: Jared Diamond's The World Until Yesterday." The Appendix 1 (2).

Acemoglu, Daron and James Robinson. 2013. "Past Perfect?" Democracy 28 (Spring).

Other interesting takes on geographical and environmental determinism


The BBC TV series "How Earth Made Us" hosted by Professor Iain Stewart. The series was "How the Earth changed history" in North America. TVO has made it available for Ontario viewers: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5

I also recommend Nature as "Historical Protagonist," The Tawney Memorial Lecture 2008 (Economic History Association) by Professor Bruce M.S. Campbell (Queen's University of Belfast) (video)

Other influential recent statements of societal collapse

Ehrlich, Paul R. and Anne H. Ehrlich. 2013. "Can a Collapse of Global Civilization be Avoided?" Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 280 (1754): 20122845.

Reuveny, Rafel. 2012. "Taking Stock of Malthus: Modeling the Collapse of Historical Civilizations." Annual Review of Resource Economics 4: 303-329.

Books and Topical Suggestions.
 

LECTURE SCHEDULE

Lecture 1 (January 5): Is Geography (and Climate) Destiny? Part I
Lecture 2 (January 12): Out of Africa
Lecture 3 (January 19): Collision at Cajamarca
Lecture 4 (January 26): Farmer Power, Part I
Lecture 5 (February 2): Farmer Power, Part II
Lecture 6 (February 9): Term Test  Questions
Lecture 7 (February 16) No class
February 23 - Reading Week
Lecture 8 (March 2): Germs and "Virgin Soils", Part I
Lecture 9 (March 9): Germs and "Virgin Soils", Part II
Lecture 10 (March 16): Writing, Technology and Government
Lecture 11 (March 23): Around the World, Part I
Lecture 12 (March 30): Around the World, Part II; Is Geography (and Climate) Destiny? Part II
March 30, 5PM: Deadline for term paper
Final Exam - Wed. Apr. 19th 5-7 pm IB 120
 

LECTURE 1 (January 5): Is Geography (and Climate) Destiny? Part I

Mandatory VIDEO

Marginal Revolution University. 2016. "Geography and Growth." 
 

Mandatory readings
 

 

- Environmental determinism, historically considered
Rodrigue, Christine M. 2002, "Four traditions of geography."

"Environmental Determinism," Wikipedia Encyclopedia.

Mises, Ludwig von. 1957. Theory and History, Chapter 15 ("Environmentalism"), pp. 324-326.

DeGregori, Thomas R. 1998. "An Updated Adam Smith / David S. Landes studies economic inequity among nations (Review of The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor, by David S. Landes. Norton, 1998)," Houston Chronicle, June 21.

Goldberg, Jacob. 2015. "The Economic Struggles of Landlocked Countries. Why Are Only a few Landlocked Countries Successful?" About.education

- Environmental determinism, recent debates and controversies
Gopnik, Adam. 2012, "Faces, Places, Spaces. The Renaissance of Geographic History." The New Yorker, October 29.

Hausmann, Ricardo. 2001, "Prisoners of Geography," Foreign Policy 122 (January): 45 - 53.

Pinkovskiy, Maxim, and Xavier Sala-i-Martin. 2010. "African Poverty is Falling... Much Faster than You Think." Vox (December 6).

Sachs, Jeffrey, Andrew D. Mellinger and John L. Gallup. 2001. "The Geography of Poverty and Wealth." Scientific American (March): 71- 75. 

- Climate and Civilizations
Brooke, John. 2012. "Climate, Human Population and Human Survival: What the Deep Past Tells Us about the Future." Origins 5 (8).

Dunston, Sara. 2016. "Revealed: Cambodia's Vast Medieval Cities Hidden Beneath the Jungle." The Guardian (June 11).

- Eugenics
Tucker, Jeffrey. 2016. " Policy Science Kills. " Fee.org (February 8).
 
Tucker, Jeffrey. 2016. "The Link between Extreme Environmentalism and Hard-Core Racism." Fee.org (July 6).

- Other topics
"China's Age of Invention." PBS Nova (February29, 2000).

Gearin, Conor. 2016. "Mongol Hordes Gave up on Conquering Europe due to Wet Weather." New Scientist (May 26).

Holloway, April. 2014. "The White Slaves of Barbary." Ancient Origins (October 6).

Plus detailed discussion of the syllabus and course requirements.
 

Suggested readings
 

LECTURE 2 (January 12): Out of Africa

Mandatory readings
 

Guest lecture / January 10: UTM Geography, GIS and Data librarian Andrew Nicholson

Mass Extinction
American Museum of Natural History. "Mass Extinction."

Recent news and debates
Zimmer, Carl. 2013. "Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue to Human Origins." The New York Times (December 4).

Zimmer, Carl. 2013. "Toe Fossil Provides Complete Neanderthal Genome." The New York Times (December 18).

Romero, Simon. 2014. "Discoveries Challenge Beliefs on Humans' Arrival in the Americas." The New York Times (March 27).

Hawks, John. 2016. "Human Evolution is more a Muddy Delta than a Branching Tree." Aeon (February 8). 

Eamer, Claire. 2017. "Archaeological Find Puts Humans in North America 10,000 Years Earlier Than Thought." Hakai Magazine (January 13).

Guarino, Ben. 2017. "Oldest Homo sapiens Fossils Discovered in Morocco." Washington Post (June 7).

Warmflash, David. 2017. "Moroccan Fossils: New thinking on human evolution shaped by technological advancements." Genetic Literacy Project (June 15). 

Mega-Fauna Extinction
Kuhl, Jackson. 2005. "Megafauna Murder Mystery." Tech Central Station, August 3.

Amos Esty, 2005, "Investigating a Mega-Mystery." American Scientist Online, September-October.

Human Origins and Ancient Migrations (interactive websites)

"Human Origins Project." National Geographic.

Human Migration and Mammalian Extinction
, 1998, American Museum of Natural History.

Kuzoian, Alex. 2015. "This Animated Map Shows how Humans Migrated across the Globe." Business Insider (May 19)
 
Guns, Germs, and Steel

Diamond, Prologue - (to, including Ch. 1) Ch. 2.

Other mandatory readings
McNeill, John Robert 2012. "Chapter 1: Global Environmental History: The First 150,000 Years." In J. R. McNeill and Erin Stewart Mauldin (eds). A Companion to Global Environmental History. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 3-17. 
 

Suggested readings & links
 

LECTURE 3 (January 19): Collision at Cajamarca

Mandatory readings
 

We will watch episode 2 of the PBS-National Geographic Series on Guns, Germs and Steel : - video | - summary | - full transcript

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapter 3

Critique of Diamond's account of military history
Raudzens, George. 1999, "Military Revolution or Maritime Evolution? Military Superiorities or Transportation Advantages as Main Causes of European Colonial Conquests to 1788," The Journal of Military History 63 (3): 631-641.

Others
Shoalts, Adam. 2011. "Reverse Colonialism - How the Inuits Conquered the Vikings." Canadian Geographic (March 8).

Strauss, Mark. 2016. "Discovery Could Rewrite History of Vikings in New World." National Geographic (March 31). 
 

Suggested readings & links
 

Lectures 4-5 (January 26 - February 2):   Farmer Power, Part I & II

Mandatory VIDEOS

BBC Scotland. 2012. How to Grow a Planet - Episode 3: The Challenger (Göbekli Tepe and the domestication of wheat).

WPSU. 2009. Apple Grafting.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. 2011. Pawpaw Trees and their Tasty Fruit: A Moment of Science
 

Mandatory readings
 

Deadline for Term Paper proposal

Note: Students who fail to turn in their proposal at the beginning of the lecture will be penalized.

Lecture 4

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapter 4-6.

Agricultural History
"The story of wheat - Ears of plenty." The Economist,  December 20, 2005.

Bradt, Steve. 2005. "Ancient Humans brought Bottle Gourds to the Americas from Asia. Plants Widely Used as Containers Arrived, Already Domesticated, Some 10,000 Years Ago." Harvard University Gazette (December 15).

Diamond, Jared. 1987. "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race." Discover Magazine, May, pp. 64-66.

Lecture 5

Jarvis, Anne. 2012. "Planting my pawpaw." Windsor Star (April 18).

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapters 7-10
 

Suggested readings & links
 

LECTURE 6 (February 9): Term Test

  Questions
 

LECTURE 7 (February 16) No class

Watch episode 1 of the PBS-National Geographic series on Guns, Germs and Steel : - video | - summary | - full transcript 
 

LECTURES 8-9 (March 2 & 9): Germs and "Virgin Soils," Part I & II

Mandatory readings
 

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapter 11

Diseases and Civilization
- Americas
Jones, David S. 2003. "Virgin Soils Revisited." William and Mary Quarterly 60 (4): 703-742.

Pringle, Heather. 1998, "The Sickness of the Mummies," Discover (December) (Due to new copyright rules, please access the article through the UofT library website).

Mann, Charles C. 2002, "1491," The Atlantic 289 (3): 41-53. (see also Gene Expression. 2011. "10 Questions Charles C. Mann." Discover Magazine, September 3.)

Stutz, Bruce. 2006. "Megadeath in Mexico." Discover, Vol. 27 No. 02 (February).

Simmons, Randy T. 2005. "Nature Undisturbed - The Myth Behind the Endangered Species Act," Perc Report, 23 (1).

Lewy, Guenter. 2004. "Were American Indians the Victims of Genocide?" History News Network (September) (Originally published in Commentary). 

Hopper, Tristin. 2017. "Everyone was Dead: When Europeans First Came to B.C., They Stepped into the Aftermath of a Holocaust." National Post (February 21).

Anderson, Terry. 1996. Conservation Native American Style. PERC (July 1). 

- Africa
Nelson, Robert H. 2003, "Environmental Colonialism: 'Saving' Africa from Africans," The Independent Review 8(1): 65-86.

- Eurasia
Schulz Richard, Katherine. (Date unknown) "The Global Impacts of the Black Death." About.com.

Modern Advances
Keim, Brandon 2008. "Remembering Thomas Weller, Unappreciated Vaccine Hero." Wired, August 27.

Newman, Laura. 2005. "Maurice Hilleman." British Medical Journal 330(7498): 1028.

Essert, Matt. 2014. "How Americans Died in 1900 vs. Today, in One Chart." News.Mic (June 8).

Rothstein, Aaron. 2015. "Vaccines and their Critics, Then and Now." The New Atlantis (Winter). 
 
Winter, Lisa. 2014. "One Map Sums Up The Damage Caused By The Anti-Vaccination Movement." IFL Science (January 24). 

Willingham, Emily and Laura Helft. 2014. "What is Herd Immunity?" Nova (September 5).

"How Herd Immunity Works." Imgur

Plus review of the term test.
 

Suggested readings & links
 

LECTURE 10 (March 16): Writing, Technology and Government

Mandatory VIDEOS and interactive maps

Woollaston, Victoria. 2015. "Plotting the Spread of Language on our Planet: Interactive Map Reveals how Words have evolved across the World's Continents." Daily Mail (January 30). 

Stef Conner "The Flood" (Background: Main, Douglas. 2014. "What Did Ancient Babylonian Songs Sound Like? Something Like This." Newsweek, December 14).

Johnson, Steven. 2010. "Where Good Ideas Come From." RiverHead Books.

Tech Insider. 2016. "Zipper Truck Builds Tunnel." (March 3). 
 

Mandatory readings
 

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapters 12-14.

Wade, Nicholas. 2011. "Phonetic Clues Hint Language Is Africa-Born." The New York Times, April 14.

Matthes, Dylan. 2015. "23 Maps and Charts on Language." Vox (April 15).

Lucas López, Alberto. 2015. "A World of Languages - and How Many Speak Them." South China Morning Post (May 27).

Keating, Fiona. 2014. "Ancient Greece: 4,000 Year-Old 'CD-ROM' Code Cracked. Scientists unravelling mystery of the mysterious Minoan stone disk." International Business Times (October 25). 

Smil, Vaclav. 2011. "The Myth of the Innovator Hero." The Atlantic, November 15.

Sowell, Thomas. 2013. "The Tragedy of Isolation." Townhall.com (July 30).

West, Patrick. 2015. "The Secret to Star Wars' Success? Unoriginality." Spiked (December 18).
 

Suggested readings & links
 

Lecture 11 (March 23): Around the World, Parts I

Mandatory readings
 

We will watch episode 3 of the PBS-National Geographic series on Guns, Germs and Steel : - video | - summary | - full transcript

1000 Years of European Border Changes

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Chapters 15-16 (November 19)
Chapters 17-19. (November 26). For those of you who have a 2003 (or later) edition of the book, read the "2003 Afterword: Guns, Germs and Steel Today." For those of you who have an earlier edition, read "How To Get Rich," A Talk by Jared Diamond, June 7, 1999.

Hunt, Tom. 2010. "Pacific colonisation one big 'pulse'." Stuff.co.nz (December 29).

Wade, Lizzie. 2013. "Clues to Prehistoric Human Exploration Found in Sweet Potato Genome." ScienceNOW (January 21).

Newitz, Annalee. 2016. "First Discovery of 50,000-year-old Human Settlements in Australian Interior." Ars Technica (November 2). 
 

Suggested readings & links
 

LECTURE 12 (March 30): Around the World, Part II; Is Geography (and Climate) Destiny? Part II

Mandatory VIDEOs

McCloskey, Deirdre. 2014. "Why Does 1% of History Have 99% of the Wealth?" Learn Liberty.

"Human Population Through Time." 2016. American Museum of Natural History (October).

Marginal Revolution University. 2016. "The Importance of Institutions." 
 

Mandatory readings
 

Jared Diamond on geography and political institutions
Diamond, Epilogue.

Diamond, Jared. 2012. "What Makes Countries Rich or Poor?" (Review of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson), The New York Review of Books, June 7.

Burkeman, Oliver. 2014. "Jared Diamond: 'Humans, 150,000 years ago, wouldn't figure on a list of the five most interesting species on Earth." The Guardian (October 24).

Supporters of Diamond
Laitin, David D. Joachim Moortgat and Amanda Lea Robinson. 2012. "Geographic Axes and the Persistence of Cultural Diversity." PNAS 109(26): 10263-10268.

Critics of Diamond
Blaut, James. 1999, "Environmentalism and Eurocentrencism," The Geographical Review 89 (3): 391-408.

McNeill, J.R. 2001, "The World According to Jared Diamond," The History Teacher 34 (2).

Callahan, Gene. 2005, "The Diamond Fallacy," Mises Institute Website, March 28.

Barker, Jean E. 2005. "The Christian roots of capitalism." San Francisco Chronicle, December 25.

Hanson, Victor Davis. 2005. "Decline and Fall." National Review (March 28).

Acemoglu, Daron, and James Robinson. 2012. "What Does Geography Explain." Why Nations Fail Blog, May 7.

Acemoglu, Daron, and James Robinson. 2012. "What Really Happened during the Neolithic Revolution?" Why Nations Fail Blog, May 9.

Deirdre McCloskey

McCloskey, Deirdre. 2006. "Bourgeois Virtues?" Cato Policy Report (May/June).

McCloskey, Deirdre N. 2016. "The Formula for a Richer World? Equality, Liberty, Justice." New York Times (September 2).

McMahon, Darrin. 2016. "The Morality of Prosperity." Wall Street Journal (June 12). 

Cox, Wendell. 2016. "Deirdre McCloskey's Tricke-Out Economics." New Geography (October 15). 

Joel Mokyr
Swanson, Ann. 2016. "Why the Industrial Revolution didn't happen in China." Washington Post (October 2).
 
Mokyr, Joel. 2016. "Progress Isn't Natural. Humans Invented It-and not that long ago." The Atlantic (November 17).

Mokyr, Joel. 2012. "How Europe Became so Rich." Aeon (February 15). 

Others
Boudreaux, Don. 2005. "Capitalism and Slavery." Pittsburgh Tribune (February 17).

Raico, Ralph. 1994. "The Theory of Economic Development and the European Miracle." in Peter Boettke (ed.) The Collapse of Development Planning, New York University Press.

Tupy, Marian. 2016. "Africa is Growing Thanks to Capitalism." Cap X (July 22).
 
Ridley, Matt. 2016. "Free Movement of Genius was Crucial to Europe's Prosperity." The Rational Optimist (December 17). 

Tupy, Marian L. 2017. "How Africa Got Left Behind." CapX (April 17).

Phelps, Edmund S. 2017. "The Dynamism of Nations: Toward a Theory of Indigenous Innovation." Capitalism and Society, Vol. 12 [2017], Iss. 1, Art. 3. (See also Carl Christian von Weizsäcker, "Comment on 'The Dynamism of Nations: Elements of a Theory of Indigenous Innovation' (by Edmund Phelps)." Capitalism and Society: Vol. 12: Iss. 1, Article 8.)

-Environment and Diseases

- Malaria
- Facts and History
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
- About Malaria
- The History of Malaria, An Ancient Disease
- Eradication of Malaria in the United States (1947-51)

WHO. Malaria Fact sheet N°94. April 2012.

Sandle, Tim. 2014. "Why do Some Mosquitoes Carry Malaria?" Digital Journal (December 3).

- Eradication Strategies
Driessen, Paul. 2010. "Three Billion and Counting." Townhall (September 11).

Roberts, Donald. 2010. "A Feverish Malthusian Defends Malaria as a Non-Problem." 21st Century Science and Technology (Winter): 42-46.

Administrator. 2014. "A Knockout Punch against Malaria? Maybe." ACSH Dispatch.
 
Vezina, Kenrick. 2015. "Malaria Vaccine? Genetic Engineering turns Parasite into Vaccine Candidate." Genetic Literacy Project (January 4). 

- Climate Change and Malaria

Reiter, Paul. 2008. "Global warming and malaria: knowing the horse before hitching the cart," Malaria Journal, Volume 7 (Suppl 1):S3, Dec. 11.

"Trying to Hit a Mosquito with a Sledgehammer." World Climate Report, June 8, 2010.

- Other diseases
Goldstein,Richard. 2010. "René Le Berre, Entomologist Who Fought River Blindness, Is Dead at 78." The New York Times, December 17.

Sridhar, Arvind. 2015. "How Does Geography Impact the Ebola Virus?" About.com (September 20).
 

Suggested readings & links
 

Final Exam - Wed. Apr. 19th 5-7 pm IB 120

 

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