My Courses this Fall at UT Knoxville

With less than three weeks until classes begin, Fall 2017 course prep is in full swing right now. Now that I’m officially a full-time lecturer at the University of Tennessee for this year, I’ll post the four courses that I’ll be teaching with a little commentary on each. If you or an undergrad you know is interested in any of these classes, let me know!

From what I understand, none of these classes have any prerequisites or co-requisites. None are restricted to Geography students, either. Students in Anthropology, Sociology, History, Global Studies, Film or Media studies are all encouraged to enroll.


GEOG 101: World Regional Geography

MWF 10:05 – 11:00 AM / BEES 266

antipodalblogimage

(classicwines.com)

This will be my fourth time teaching the nuts-and-bolts Geography course (my third time at UTK). This has a bit of overlap with the Introduction to Physical Geography course (GEOG 131), but mainly focuses on a broad introduction to Human Geography, focusing on various world regions. It’s hard enough to exhaustively cover a single place in one semester much less the entire globe, but this class gives students a better understanding of what Geography actually is and equips them to move forward with the discipline and the countless others that it touches.


GEOG 320: Core Concepts in Cultural Geography

MWF 2:30 – 3:25 PM / HBB 136

FlyerFall2017 copy

We added this course to the catalog late, so we have plenty of spaces available. Please feel free to share this flyer with anyone who may be interested.

I had the rare privilege of teaching this course for the first time last Fall while I was still a PhD candidate. Fortunately, I had a great multidisciplinary group of students from departments as diverse as Anthropology, Chemistry, and Business. We took a field trip to the East Tennessee History Center to visit the ‘Come to Make Records’ exhibit about the St. James Hotel recording sessions and the early history of Country music in Knoxville. We compiled a pretty great list of things that make the South ‘the South,’ including a few that I’d never really considered. We also experimented with alternative formats for the final project, giving the students a chance to use more creativity than traditional research papers usually allow. I’m looking forward to teaching it for the second time.


GEOG 344: Population Geography

T/Th 9:40 – 10:55 AM / HSS 064

metro

(dcclubbing.com)

Earth’s population is at a point now where it’s (1) impossible to ignore the effects of the Anthropocene and (2) at a general tipping point in terms of humanity, resources, and our role as active agents in the Earth’s reproduction. Also, to phrase it less academically, 7 BILLION PEOPLE DEAR GOD HOW DID THIS HAPPEN!? This class effectively answers that question and discusses this crucial crossroads at which the human race has found itself. We will be discussing population science and why humans do the crazy things they do just to survive depending on their place in the world.


GEOG 371: Exploring Europe

T/Th 11:10 AM – 12:25 PM / BGB 101
CIMG9585

I’m going to write something soon as a more expansive preview of what’s to come in this class, but I couldn’t be more excited to have the chance to teach this. Europe has been, in one form or another, the engine of Globalism, the crossroads of “East” and “West” and worthy of outsider fascination for centuries, even millennia. For now, I’m excited to begin the class with this quote by one of the best English philosopher-historians, and go from there: “I’m from Europe; where the history comes from!” – Eddie Izzard.

My contact information will go on all of my syllabi, but just in case, people can reach me at tsonnich [at] utk [dot] edu and in my office in Burchfiel Geography Building 309, or on the phone at 865-974-6033.

GEO 320: Core Concepts in Cultural Geography (Fall 2016)

Geo320flyer1

I’m excited to announce here that I’ll be teaching Geography 320, our department’s core upper-level cultural geography course, this coming fall. This class has no prerequisite, though general proficiency in global geography (GEO 101, for example) is recommended. I’d be happy to have students from other disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, and ethnomusicology, especially those who haven’t been able to take a geography course yet while at UT-Knoxville.

Cultural Geography, like culture itself, is incredibly fluid. But with this course, I’m aiming to focus on how the relationship between people and place is interpreted through media, popular culture, religion, and public memory. By the end of this course, students should be able to understand and describe the effects of nature of culture, and vice versa.

photo

East TN music historian Shane Rhyne delivering a guest lecture in my GEO 101 class, October 23, 2014.

Similar to how I connected with the East Tennessee History Center’s “Made in Tennessee” exhibit in my GEO 101 curriculum last year, I’d like to continue that collaboration with their new “Come to Make Records” exhibit. This is one of a handful of interactive projects I’m looking forward to pursuing with this course, in addition to some great guest speakers and elements that students will be pleasantly surprised to find in a geography course. I’m grateful for the opportunity to teach it while working on my dissertation.

The syllabus will be a work in progress over the summer, but if you’d like a preview of a some material I look forward to incorporating, check out (1) Duncan Light’s entertaining and informative 2014 piece on place names and (2) this article about Steven Lee Beeber’s research on punk rock’s manifestation of Jewish New York. Hopefully you enjoy this tip of the iceberg; if not, there is plenty more well outside of both those subjects. If you’re a UTK undergraduate student and interested in attending the course, don’t hesitate to write me and ask any questions at SonicGeography[at]gmail[dot]com.

IMG_0876