CP0221 - Culture, Space and Place

SchoolCardiff School of Planning and Geography
Department CodeCPLAN0
Module CodeCP0221
External Subject CodeK400
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Laura Boyer
SemesterAutumn Semester
Academic Year2014/5

Outline Description of Module

Recent years have witnessed a so-called ‘cultural turn’ within geography as the inter-relations between culture, space and place have been awarded an increased significance.  Moving away from traditional concerns with narrow and descriptive understandings of culture, a ‘new’ cultural geography has emerged which has attempted to understand the multiple and contested cultural meanings attached to space, place and landscape. 

This module provides a critical review of these developments. It begins by tracing the historical development of cultural geography and then moves on to provide an overview of the key components of the contemporary subject.  In particular, the module considers the cultural construction of space and place, geographies of identity and difference, spaces of power and resistance, and culture of nature.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

  1. Appreciate key theoretical developments in cultural geography;
  2. Understand the complex connections between culture, space and place;
  3. Understand the ways in which issues of identity, difference, power and resistance are bound up with spatial processes.

How the module will be delivered

The module will be delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars. There will be two sessions per week. Each will be based around a formal lecture complemented by video presentations and group discussions. Lectures will be supplemented with hand-outs and Learning Central (e-learning) support. Video presentations and group discussions are based around key readings. Students are expected to engage in compulsory guided reading associated with each topic to supplement and deepen the taught component.

Skills that will be practised and developed

1.    Critically review theoretical literatures related to cultural geography;

2.    Connect theoretical materials with particular themes and case-studies.

3.    Communicate ideas critically and effectively through presentations and assessments. 

How the module will be assessed

Students are expected to demonstrate an appreciation and understanding of the need to appreciate the multiple and contested meanings attached to culture and the ways in which these meanings connect with and are played out in space. They will be given the opportunity to apply abstract and general ideas to specific case study areas and key subject areas in order to show how ideas can be applied in practice. Central to this module is the development of students’ ability to engage critically with the complex theoretical and empirical connections between culture, space and place. This is assessed through essays or film which all students must undertake. 

Type of assessment



(if applicable)

Approx. date of Assessment

Individual Essay


Critical engagement with theoretical aspects of cultural geography

2000 words


Film or Individual Essay


Critical engagement with one or more of ‘subject’ areas of cultural geography

2000 words


The potential for reassessment in this module

Students are permitted to be reassessed in a module which they have failed, in line with the course regulations. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer. 

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Qualifying Mark Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 50 N/A
Culture, Space And Place - Individual Essay
N/A 1 N/A
Written Assessment 50 N/A
Culture, Space And Place - Film Essay
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

The module will provide students with the following:

·         Historical Development of Cultural Geography

·         Cultural constructions of place

·         Geographies of Power and Exclusion

·         Capitalism Culture and Space

·         Youth Cultures, Public Spaces

·         Natures and Cultures

·         Culture and the Body

·         Ethnicity, Race, and Place

·         Scale and Belonging

·         Review

Essential Reading and Resource List

Key Text:

Anderson, J. 2010 Understanding Cultural Geography: Places & Traces. Routledge: London & New York.


Anderson, K et al eds. 2003 Handbook of Cultural Geography. Sage: London.

Blunt, A. Wills, J. eds 2003 Cultural geography in practice. Arnold: London.

Cook, I., Crouch, D., Naylor, S., and Ryan, J. (2000), Cultural turns / geographical turns, Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Crang, M. 1998 Cultural geography. London : Routledge.

Jackson, P. (1994), Maps of Meaning, London: Routledge.

Mitchell, D. 2000 Cultural Geography: A Critical Introduction. Blackwell: Oxford.

Shurmer-Smith, P. ed. 2002 Doing Cultural Geography. Sage: London.

Background Reading and Resource List

Cresswell, T. 2004. Place. A Short Introduction. Blackwell:Oxford.

Massey, D. (2005) For Space. Sage: London.

Sharp, J. et al (eds) (2000) Entanglements of Power: geographies of domination/resistance. Routledge. London & New York.

Shields, R. 1991 Places on the Margin. Routledge: London.

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