Hi there – Here is the syllabus for Geog 900 (Cities & Development), Fall 2015.




IMG_2965Hi everyone,

Thanks for your interest in Geog 900 (Seminar in Geography).  The Fall 2015 term is defacto titled Cities and Development given the focus this term.

Here are the course details:

Title: Geography 900: Seminar in Geography (Cities and Development)

Instructor: Olds, Kristopher

Schedule: Sem 1: F 9:00-11:30, 280C Science Hall

Credits: 3 
Prereq.: Graduate student standing. Advanced undergraduate admitted with instructor permission


This course examines the relationship between cities and the ‘development’ process (broadly defined). Global scale assessments of urbanization processes lay the context for detailed analyses of issues such as the role of the state in the development process, the relationship between cities and citizenship, postcolonial urbanism, transnational urbanism, city futures, and urban development for the ‘knowledge-based’ economy. While these are long-standing issues of debate in various disciplines, and in interdisciplinary networks, our interest will be in recent work (primarily single-authored books) that addresses new theoretical, methodological and empirical questions, or else select “classics” that have had lasting impacts. We will also examine the institutional contexts in which our assigned authors have been embedded so as to better understand the uneven and sometime serendipitous production of knowledge about cities.

I am currently working on the final line-up of books that will be assigned for the Fall 2015 term.  However, please see here course here for the 2012 version of the syllabus (in PDF format), and here for the 2010 version of the syllabus (which was offered at the 500 level). Please note, though, that I’ll be significantly changing the line-up of books we will be reading this coming term. Indeed, if you have any recommendations of books that should be considered, feel free to add them here:


Please note that, in the Fall 2015 version of Geog 900, grades will be based upon realistic journal-style book reviews to be completed and circulated to all fellow students before we meet on Friday mornings, effective participation in classroom discussions, and the development of a 20 minute conference-style presentation on the topic of your choice (in lieu of a research paper). More details to follow in the syllabus and when we meet in Week 1.

Feel free to email me if you have any queries. I look forward to the term, and hope you do to!


Kris Olds <kolds @ wisc.edu>