HUMAN GEOGRAPHY OF SMALL ISLAND SYSTEMS
ORAL EXAM. Students are asked to work on paper, case studies and other documents according to the guidelines provided.
Mainly referring to the general framework of the Island Studies, the course aims to provide a set of tools useful to the analysis of socio-spatial dynamics within island systems. Furthermore the course aims to provide tools and interpretative models useful to understand how, at local scale, human communities (privately, socially and politically) cope with socio-environmental changes, crises, conflicts and transitions by producing a set of resilient practices, knowledge and adjustments
Geography of Archipelagos and Island States; Human Geography of Islands; Human Ecology of Island Systems; Environmental challenges in Small Island States; Trans-scalar Spatial Analysis of Island Systems; Environmental Policies of Small Island States, Islands as Ecotones, Archipelago and Aquapelagos
The course will be structured in two parts:
I. The first part of the course will be dedicated to the study of the human geography of islands and archipelagic states. Students will apply, even by adopting a critical perspective, a set of patterns and paradigms (such as isolation, vulnerability, distribution, concentration, center-periphery relationship and spatial dispersion), in order to understand the role of spatial features in shaping socio-environmental processes Furthermore reading these socio-environmental processes by adopting a trans-scalar perspective helps students and researchers to stress the complexity of the human ecology of islands, coastal areas and archipelagic systems.
II. The second part of the course will be dedicated to the reading, at local scale, of the set of social, political and spatial measures and adjustments that human communities adopt to deal with the environmental challenges affecting island systems.
· Island Studies: an introduction
· Some interpretative categories
· Human ecology: an introduction
· The geography of islands and island states
· The human ecology of islands
· Small Island States: some environmental issues
· Small islands: geography
· Small islands: human geography
· Small islands: sustainability
· Small islands: resilience and social response to change
· Human Geography of the Maldives
· Environmental changes and challenges of the Maldivian Islands
Textbook and teaching resource
· A selection of essays from: Ratter B. (2018), Geography of Small Islands, Springer, London
Baldacchino, G. (2008). Studying Islands: On Whose Terms? Some Epistemological and Methodological Challenges to the Pursuit of Island Studies. Island Studies Journal, 3(1), 37-56.
Depraetere C., 2008, The Challenge of Nissiology (part 1), Island Studies Journal, Vol.3, No. 1, pp. 3-16
Depraetere C., 2008, The Challenge of Nissiology (part 2), Island Studies Journal, Vol.3, No. 1, pp. 17-36
Hay P., 2006, A Phenomenology of Islands, Island Studies Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2006, pp. 19-42
Jędrusik M., 2014, The elusive sustainable development of small tropical islands, Miscellanea Geographica. Regional Studies on Development, 18, 3, 26-30
Kelman, I. (2014). No change from climate change: vulnerability and small island developing states. The Geographical Journal, 180(2), 120-129.
Malatesta S., Schmidt di Friedberg M., (2017), Environmental policy and climate change vulnerability in the Maldives: From the ‘lexicon of risk’ to social response to change, Island Studies Journal, 12, 1, 2017, pp. 53-70
Malatesta S., (2018), International actors as policymakers? Discussing the influence of international actors on the environmental policies of small island states, Small States & Territories Journal, 1, 1, pp. 95-110.
Royle, 1989, A Human Geography of Islands, Geography, 74, 2, 106-116
Stratford et al., 2011, Envisioning the Archipelago, Island Studies Journal, Vol.6, No. 2, pp. 113-130
Additional essays and case studies could be provided during the lessons.
Classes will be provided by lessons, discussions of scientific papers, analysis of national and international reports, and reading of environmental assessments.
Students will be asked to work directly on a set of case studies, focusing on the geographical relevance of the environmental changes affecting small island systems in local, regional and supra-regional contexts.
The human geography of the Maldives will represent a reference for the understating of the interactions among human and environmental systems in small island states and archipelagos.