EGMT 1530: You Are Here

Where am I? This is a question we often pose only when we’re lost or need directions. The answer we are looking for is usually quite straightforward, and thanks to our smartphones, easy to come by. Yet there are other ways to pose this question that lead to more complex answers, ones that hit much closer to home. How has this place – my home, my city, my country – shaped the person I have become, and how does it continue to define my possibilities? Where do the lives of others play out, and what does that mean for the way we treat each other? It turns out that life has an irreducibly spatial dimension and that dimension is deeply intertwined with our identities. Although we live on the same planet, we inhabit different worlds, and those worlds have a powerful influence on who we are and who we might be. In this course we will learn to think about the relationship between identity and place, paying special attention to gendered homes, racialized communities, and ethnic nation-states, paying special attention to the local context of U.Va. and Charlottesville.