The Geographies That Shape Us

What are the geographies that have entered your heart? As we embark on our exploration of how the physical world affects culture, consider the ways that the places you have lived have shaped you and your understanding of the world.

Nature writer, Barry Lopez, in his book, About This Life, says “Over the years, one comes to measure a place, too, not just for the beauty it may give, the balminess of its breezes, the insouciance and relaxation it encourages, the sublime pleasures it offers, but for what it teaches. The way in which it alters our perception of the human. It is not so much that you want to return to indifferent or difficult places, but that you want to not forget.”

How has the cultures and your interactions with the physical environments in the places you’ve lived influenced and shaped the way you think and the experiences you have had? How might your reflection on this question guide the kinds of things you want to learn and discover about the country you are researching about?  How might your experiences help you focus your research, write up your understandings, and talk with the class about topics you think are personally meaningful and important?

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