GEOG41050 Globalization, Empire and Race: Economic Geography

Academic Year 2023/2024

Economic geography studies how 1) factors of production like land, labor and capital; 2) activities like investment, production, trade and consumption; and 3) institutions like states, markets and corporations articulate through space and accumulate to transform the places where we live, love and work. In the process of studying these issues, this graduate module will apply the heuristic of "racial capitalism" to foreground anti-racist and anti-colonial critiques of mainstream political economy, and consider how factors like race, gender, geographic location and citizenship status impact peoples' differential insertion into global cycles of labor and accumulation. Finally, applying these ideas, the module aims to critically examine historical and contemporary intersections between empire, neoliberalism, globalization, and the carbon economy, and to consider how grassroots actors and social movements are tackling these intersections to imagine alternative economic futures.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this module students should have:
1. Developed an understanding of the political economy approach within economic geography
2. Connected the historical development of the capitalist economy to contemporary shifts in the spatial organization of investment, production, trade and consumption
3. Critically analyzed how issues like race, gender, citizenship status and location shape peoples' relationships to historical and contemporary patterns of labor and accumulation
4. Considered anti-racist, anti-colonial and feminist critiques of capitalism, Empire and globalization
5. Examined how the global organization of production and trade intersects with extractivism and the carbon economy
6. Explored alternative grassroots proposals for responding to our contemporary global conjuncture

Indicative Module Content:

This graduate module examines how race, gender, and other axes of difference shape contemporary geographies of capital investment and accumulation across the global economy. Indicative topics will include:

Key questions, literatures and concepts in economic geographic thought
Anti-racist and anti-colonial critiques of mainstream economic geography
Heterodox Marxisms
Genealogies of struggle and resistance to empire and neoliberalism
Critical geographies of economic globalization
Climate change, anti-racism and the degrowth movement
Feminist political economy

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Small Group


Seminar (or Webinar)


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module will be structured as a seminar, with weekly readings coupled with in-person class discussion to collectively unpack and critically apply theory, concepts and ideas encountered in assigned texts. Student will obtain practice facilitating small-group discussion, and will also obtain feedback from one another and from the instructor through the completion of weekly reading reflections, as well as a final essay assignment. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Attendance: This module is structured as a reading-intensive seminar. This requires routine preparation of assigned readings and participation in discussion with your peers and with the instructor. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded Yes


Continuous Assessment: You will be asked to produce weekly reading responses in advance of participating in class discussion. This assignment will afford you an opportunity to critically reflect on assigned readings. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded Yes


Group Project: This assignment will require you to workshop your capstone essay with your peers, and to provide peer review of others' essays in small groups. Week 9 n/a Graded No


Essay: Your final essay will consist of an original review of a book of your choosing to be submitted to an academic journal or online forum. End of trimester MCQ n/a Graded Yes



Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Weekly response papers will afford students an opportunity to prepare critical reflections on assigned readings and interact with one another prior to in-person seminar attendance and participation. Final essays will consist of an original review of a recently-published book of a student's choosing to be submitted to an academic journal or online forum. In small groups, students will read and offer peer feedback to of one another's final essays/reviews during week 9.

Name Role
Professor Kath Browne Lecturer / Co-Lecturer