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GEOP2020 – Geographies of Violence: Bodies, Spaces and Power

2020 – Session 1, Fully online/virtual

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor and Lecturer
Richard Carter-White
Contact via Contact via email
W3A, room 423
Wednesday 2-3pm
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
40cp at 1000 level or above
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

Geography and violence are fundamentally interconnected: the history of geography as an academic discipline is bound up with colonial and geopolitical violence, while the meaning and practice of violence is inseparable from such geographical concepts as place, landscape and territory. This unit introduces students to new ways of understanding violence by examining how it both influences and is shaped by geographical processes at a range of scales, from the global conflicts of nation-states to micro-geographies of interpersonal violence. It offers an interdisciplinary conceptual vocabulary and a series of historical and contemporary case studies designed to highlight the spatial dynamics of violence, while also encouraging students to explore opportunities for a more peaceful future based on the insights offered by geographical perspectives on violence.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between geography and violence at multiple scales
  • ULO2: Apply concepts from geography and across the social sciences and humanities to analyse case studies of violence
  • ULO3: Critically examine the geographical processes and forms of mobility that result in particular bodies being exposed to violence
  • ULO4: Engage with and evaluate theoretical concepts related to geopolitics and biopolitics
  • ULO5: Construct and express complex arguments and ideas in oral and written work

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Assessment Information

Late Submission Penalty

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline.

To successfully pass GEOP2020 students must complete all assessment tasks. Failure to complete any single assessment task may result in failure of the unit. The final grade is based on the total mark accumulated from all assessment tasks.

All students must keep a clean electronic copy of all assignments (preferably as a PDF) submitted for assessment.

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status


Lectures (each two hours) are held at Wednesday 4pm - 6pm. For information about viewing lectures online, please go to: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/tools-and-resourc es/ilearn/ilearn-quick-guides-for-students/lecture-recordings


GEOP2020 has a full schedule of tutorials that enhance your general and discipline-specific skills and knowledge. It is important that you complete all online tutorial activities for GEOP2020 if you are an online student. Tutorial activities are accessible via iLearn: https://ilearn.mq.edu.au/login/MQ/

Recommended Texts and/or Materials

There is no set textbook for this unit; however, independent reading and tutorial discussions are integral to GEOP2020 and a full reading list will be made available on iLearn, with readings accessible via Leganto. Students are expected to complete at least two of the weekly set readings before each tutorial.

Unit Schedule

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The unit schedule/topics and any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19. Please consult iLearn for latest details, and check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

The below schedule is subject to revision. Please follow the final schedule that will be posted on iLearn before the semester begins.

Part I: Introduction

Week 1. Geography and violence

Week 2. Colonialism, geopolitics and academic geography

Part II: Spatial theories of violence

Week 3. Territory: division, calculation and control 

Week 4. Community: belonging, exclusion and exception

Week 5. Population: health, biopolitics and genocide

Week 6. Landscape: symbolism, dissimulation and erasure

Week 7. Temporality: speed, (in)visibility and lethal environments

Part III: Violence as spatial theory

Week 8. Geographies of horror: the concentration camp

Week 9. (Im)Mobile bodies: global migration and spaces of displacement

Week 10. Intimate geopolitics: terrorism and domestic violence

Week 11. Shocking signatures: disaster and collective trauma

Week 12. Banal evil: the violence of everyday life

Part IV: Conclusion

Week 13. Engaging the geographies of violence

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.