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Geography of World Cultures

By Stanford Continuing Studies Program

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Despite the supposedly homogenizing effects of globalization, people continue to be joined together and divided asunder by the languages they speak, the religions they follow, and the ethnic identities to which they belong. Such cultural features all have specific geographies, tied to particular places. But while cultural-geographical terms such as “the Arabic world” and “the Islamic world” are used ubiquitously, many people remain uncertain where such “worlds” are and how they differ from each other. The purpose of this map-intensive course is to explore the locational dynamics of the world’s languages, religions, and ethnic groupings. We will examine every world region, seeking to understand how places vary from each other with regard to the cultural attributes of their inhabitants. The course will explore the historical forces that have generated cultural diversity, and will carefully examine the processes of contemporary transformation. This course is presented in enhanced podcast format: the presentation images are synched with the audio track and will display in the album artwork section of your iTunes application. If the album artwork field is not already visible, go to the "View" menu and select "Show Artwork." Presented by the Stanford Continuing Studies Program.

Customer Reviews

Geography of world cultures

Really want to enjoy this but the maps won't show! The speaker keeps moving away from the mike making the volume change.

Geography of language and religion should be fascinating, but …..

Was very excited to see this subject matter addressed in iTunesU, however, this course has 2 major problems that make listening to it almost impossible. The first is that the speaker is not speaking directly into the microphone, and with his rapid rate of speech, it is difficult to understand what he has to say. The second problem is that the maps being referred to are unavailable for viewing and even if the listener has an excellent grasp of world physical geography, it is difficult to comprehend specifics -- esp when added to the speaker's rapid rate of speech.

Would be better as video

Great subject matter and the lecturer is incredibly smart- not only in geography, but in the nuances of religion and culture as well. The class also asks great, thoughtful questions which he happily answers.

The main problem, as said before, is he does not speak directly into the mic! It is very hard to hear (mitigated somewhat by headphone use).

Also- maps ARE available, they just show in the "album artwork" section. They coincide with the lecture so if you leave that open while listening, you should see the maps. Only problem is if you're looking at this on a small screen, you won't be able to see much detail.

That being said, I wish these were video rather than audio presentations, but still get 4 stars for the overall subject matter and the professor's great grasp of the subject.