AP Human Geography Education
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The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place

The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
How alarmist, racist coverage of Ebola makes things worse. A dressing down of the latest #NewsweekFail.

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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2015 2:21 PM

Before I even read the article, my first thought went to the Linneaus classification.  That really damaged history with this one chart.  I think people still think of Africans and blacks(very dark blacks) as dirty or unintelligent.  Which is horrible and couldn't be further from the truth.  Misinforming the public is criminal.  News media and social media need to be careful and educate properly.  I've been asked from a customs offical, "Have you been to Africa in the past 6 months?"  Which is a very blanket question because Africa is a continent.  There were areas that were not hit with Ebola.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 4:37 PM

Those who deny the continued influence of racism in our society are blinding themselves to the truth. Contemporary influences of the racism that plagued the preceding centuries are still found in most major media depictions of Africa. The Ebola epidemic has served to highlight the bigotry that plagues Western media, as the assumption that all of Africa is diseased and dirty is continuously perpetuated (when, in reality, Ebola only affected a very small part of the continent). Africa is presented as "other," a backwards continent that is in desperate need of Western help and guidance- in what was is that different from the European colonizers who also viewed their actions as benevolent attempts to "civilize" the uncivilized? That mindset has not left Western circles, and yet we continue to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves for suddenly being so tolerant. The insensitivity of Western audiences to the concerns of black individuals both at home and in Africa related to the prevalence of racism highlights how determined mainstream media is to deny the existence of a problem. Until we recognize the Eurocentrism that continues to plague our media and make the necessary moves to correct the practice, harmful depictions of Africa will continue to loom large in Western media and in the opinions of many Europeans and Americans alike.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:12 AM

Africa has long been treated by the western media as a dark , brutish, uncivilized place. Africa is a place were people starve and murder each other in large numbers. There is so much more to Africa than the picture I just described. The problem is, many people just do not accept the existence of a culturally complex Africa. That narrative would destroy the traditional  darker narrative of the past 500 years. A narrative grounded in the beliefs that blacks are inherently inferior beings. During the Ebola crises, the calls to cut off travel to Africa were quick and demanding. Had the crises been in England, would those same calls have been so loud? I think we all can guess the answer  to that question. Much progress has been made, but we still need to change our cultural depiction of Africa.

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The Names Behind The States

The Names Behind The States | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

An infographic of the etymology and cultural origins of the names that made the United States of America.


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Seth Dixon's comment, May 6, 2013 3:21 PM
@Carly, Texas is also inaccurate...
Francisco Javier 's curator insight, May 12, 2013 8:52 PM

The Names Behind The States | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...

Aulde de Barbuat's comment, May 18, 2013 7:08 AM
quite interesting, thanks. Unhappily, the link seems broken..Do you happen to have another one?
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The British have invaded 9 out of 10 countries

The British have invaded 9 out of 10 countries | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
Britain has invaded all but 22 countries in the world in its long and colourful history, new research has found.

 

This is a great map to show the historical impact of colonialism on the world map.  The map is based on the work in the new book All the Countries We've Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To.   

 

Tags: book reviews, colonialism, war, historical, UK. 


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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 7:33 PM

The British have done this in reality, in the physical world, in space and time... but perhaps the Chinese have done this in our minds!  Everything our country trades for has parts made in China.  We simply can't live without these things that may be invented in the US, and designed in the US, but assembled in China.... China has a name for itself, and they're playing a game of Monopoly.  They have hotels on Board walk and Park place, and they're eating us alive... I've conferred with politicians, who say that they're on the verge of turning their hidden empire into a physical one, and going from simple monetary domination to war.  They outnumber the US, and have better technology, and evidently more skill and products.  Not much to say about that, but if they learn from the mistakes of the British, the Chinese could really create a truly elite empire that could outlast any other in human history...  But really, if they include American/Chinese cuisine in their menu, I'm sold at General Tao's chicken... Go China! 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 2014 8:36 PM

This map illustrates just how wide-reaching the British Empire was throughout its history. Though the map cheats a little by including the activities of sanctioned pirates and minor invasions, almost the whole world excepting several very small nations and some difficult to reach inland ones.

 

The most surprising was Sweden considering the proximity and the frequent viking invasions on the British isles which were apparently never reciprocated.

 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 9, 2015 10:26 AM

The British have had a powerful and colorful history. The British built an empire that has been unmatched in the history of human civilization. At its height, the sun never truly set on its empire. The impact the British Empire had on the globe is astounding. Almost every country in the world has some form of British heritage and influence. The influence has  had both positive and negative attributes. The British Empire spread both knowledge and Slavery to the rest of the globe. The world can never truly escape its British past.

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How did Pakistan get it's name?

How did Pakistan get it's name? | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym!  Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never."

 

In a country with such great ethnic divisions, a common religion is a powerful nationalizing force.  As the capital city of Islamabad's toponym powerfully states (the house or abode of Islam), religion remains an important element of national identity for Pakistanis.   


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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 28, 2015 3:15 PM

Pakistan is simply abbreviated from it's nations or nations that border Pakistan. P stands for Punjab, A stands for Afghania, K stands for Kashmir, I stands for Iran, S stands for Singh, T stands for Tukharistan, A stands for Afghanistan. However, there is no "N." Instead we classified the last letter as Balochistan but because "stan" is the Persian pronunciation for "country." Pakistan decided to abbreviate "N" as a silent so they can successfully abbreviate "Pakistan" instead of "Pakista."

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 9, 2015 3:03 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, primarily for how ridiculous it is. Most of us figured there was some decent reason (like the neighboring 'Stan's) for why  and how Pakistan got its name. Nope, there really wasn't any good reason to name it Pakistan, it is an acronym. One that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:47 PM
Until reading this, I thought this was another country that had a "stan" name just like the rest. I never knew that Pakistan received it's makeshift name my a bunch Cambridge University students. It is composed of lands taken from homelands: Punjab, Afghania,, Kashmir, Iran , Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and balochistaN.
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What's in a Name?

What's in a Name? | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it

The Pentagon has upset patriots by labeling the body of water between Korea and Japan in an exhibition depicting various battles fought during the 1950-53 Korean War as "Sea of Japan" rather than "East Sea."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 13, 2013 10:14 AM

Earlier this week I posted on whether a group of islands off the coast of Argentina should be called the Falkland Islands or Las Malvinas.  There is some geopolitical significance to which name you ascribe to particular places.  Does it matter if I call the sea to the east of the Korean Peninsula the "East Sea" and if someone else refers to this same body of water west of Japan the "Sea of Japan?"  For many years the Sea of Japan has been the defacto name internationally and South Korean officials have lobbied (quite successfully) to bolster the legitimacy of the name within the media, publishers and cartographers and other governments.  Last summer, a worker in the South Korean government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested that I share some resources that state South Korea's position(see also this 10 minute video), showing their commitment to this rebranding effort.  Also see this GeoCurrents article on the subject in 2012, after South Korea's failed attempt to get international recognition.


Questions to Ponder: What other places have multiple names?  What are the political overtones to the name distinctions? What are other tricky places on the map where distinct groups would label/draw things differently?  Is the map an 'unbiased' source of information? 


Tags: language, toponyms, South Korea, historical, colonialism, cartography.

Justin McCullough's curator insight, October 17, 2013 10:16 AM

I agree with Peter Kim and others that are fighting to have the name changed to the East Sea. The term "Sea of Japan" was used in colonial times of South Korea. Now that those times are long gone, it I can understand why South Korea would want to get rid of anything related to that time period. This actually reminds of something that I'm going over in my colonial history class; the Pueblo Revolt (1680). During this time Indians revolted against the Spanish colonizers oppressing them and taking away their traditions, forcibly converting them to Christianity. During their revolt the Indians destroyed many of the Spanish institutions, especially those related to religion. They destroyed churches and even defaced the statues of the saints, and returned to their traditional practices.

This article also reminded of Sri Lanka changing the its colonial name on Government institutions from Ceylon to Sri Lanka. This happened not to long ago. The Island's colonial name (Ceylon) was dropped when they became their own country in 1972. However, the name Ceylon remained on many of the Government institutions (e.g. Bank of Ceylon or Ceylon Fisheries Corporation). However, in 2010 the name was dropped for good.  

James Hobson's curator insight, November 21, 2014 9:55 PM

(East Asia topic 10 [an independent topic])

{And finally a topic outside of China...}

Just as mentioned in a Scoop from a previous topic section, names can be viewed as more than a word which identifies a place. The context of a name can run very deep and be highly contentious. In this case "Sea of Japan" and "East Sea" are contenders for the official name of the body of water between Japan, Korea, and Russia. Sea of Japan is an older term with more of a history, which especially invokes mentioning of the Korean War. East Sea is a post-war term hopes to remove national tension form its name.

   Should officials really 'rename the wheel', or can the original name be accepted just because of its location and historical use? Or perhaps neither of these options, or even a national-level split as is currently the case?

   Personally, I see it as the difference between Aquidneck Island and Rhode Island (the actual island, of course), or even relatable to French fries vs. freedom fries. Physical things don't change just because their names do. In my view, perhaps everybody should just choose whichever they are more familiar with and comfortable using, while taking into consideration and expressing that their reference of a location is not meant to imply any political views.

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The Separatist Map of Africa

The Separatist Map of Africa | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
When African states gained independence, the continent's new leaders agreed to respect the old colonial borders to avoid endless wars.

 

This interactive map shows the major conflicts on the African continent where the combatants have geopolitical aspirations to separate from the state and create a new, autonomous state.  Click on the red arrows and you can read about the warring factions and the current situation in that region.   

 

Tags: political, governance, Africa, unit 4 political, war, conflict, states, colonialism.


Via Seth Dixon
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Arya Okten's curator insight, March 27, 2014 11:48 PM

Unit IV - Non American

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 11:04 AM

is sad to see how people just refer to it as "Africa" when every part has its own name. Even myself don't know many of them since they are irrelevant for the western people.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 12:08 AM

This interactive map does a great job of not only showing the sate of political struggles and military conflict within the whole of Africa. This shows the new countries many dissidents  and rebels wish to establish in order to give their people a cultural and ethnic home land. This give a good picture of simply how chaotic some parts of Africa truly are and how destabilized many regions are. 

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A Fight to Save One of Latin America's Oldest Neighborhoods

A Fight to Save One of Latin America's Oldest Neighborhoods | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
In Panama City, a plan to build a marine viaduct around a colonial-era neighborhood has residents up in arms...

 

Urban preservation, the historical geography of communities and the cultural character of the urban environment are themes that are deeply embedded in this quick yet potent article by geographer, Thomas Sigler. 


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Paige Therien's curator insight, February 12, 2014 11:34 PM

This is an issue that citizens and governments struggle with all around the world.  Spots like this one, which is "the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas", are treasured by residents, citizens, and tourists alike.  But when does a historical area need to adapt to growing populations (and therefore increasingly congested streets)?  Or should they at all?  Projects like these take a lot of time, effort, and money to complete.  When visual reminders of local history are taken away, it risks the chance of the knowledge of  the history being lost as well.  The funny thing is, this development is felt to be necessary in order to better accommodate large influxes of tourists which are attracted to this historical site, which if the development takes place, may ruin the charm of the neighborhood; it is a viscous cycle.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 29, 2014 2:23 PM

The preservation of this neighborhood is important for one's sense of place.  The marine viaduct would take away for the history that is embedded in Panama City. While a viaduct would be incredibly useful and profitable, i understand why residents would be concerned.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 10:23 PM

Just from looking at this picture, this doesn't really look like a bad neighborhood to live in, despite it being one of the oldest in Latin America. They wish to turn the old neighborhood into a highway with six lands of traffic. The neighborhood was founded back in 1673 by the Spanish Crown. It is described as a charming colonial-era World Heritage Site and as previously stated, the oldest European settlement on the Pacific coast. The cobblestone streets, Spanish colonial architecture and majestic plazas have earned a considerable amount of international acclaim in the past 10 years, attracting tourists. Back and forth the debate goes about whether or not to demolish this neighborhood. A neighborhood resident and real estate agent has been fighting against the project. She got a group together and so far they have been successful at protesting and even meeting with the President to voice their opinion. At the moment, it is unclear at what the outcome will be.

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A History of Conflicts

A History of Conflicts | AP Human Geography Education | Scoop.it
Browse the timeline of war and conflict across the globe.

 

This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time.  You can drag and click the both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict.  This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting.  This site is brimming with potential.     


Via Seth Dixon, Matthew Wahl
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Sakis Koukouvis's comment, August 16, 2012 8:06 AM
Oh... You are lucky ;-)
Paul Rymsza's comment, August 22, 2012 2:15 PM
the potential of this site is amazing between the interactive learning system and the correlation between the timeline and location. If the human geography class is anything like this i can't wait for it!
Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 28, 2013 3:34 PM

 

This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time.  You can drag and click both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict.  This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting.  This site is brimming with potential.