Fall 2021 - GEOG 381 D200

Territory, Power, State (4)

Class Number: 8008

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    BLU 10921, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Nicholas Blomley
    1 778 782-3713
    Office: RCB 7131
    Office Hours: TBA
  • Prerequisites:

    At least 45 units, including GEOG 100.



Surveys the manner in which power relations are expressed territorially. Attention given to such topics as state sovereignty, colonialism, rights, and law. Students with credit for GEOG 381W may not take this course for further credit.


Course Details: Our focus is on territory and its political effects, at multiple scales. We begin be explaining the important work that territory does, before then unpacking the important territorial dimensions of public space, rights, state formation, and state sovereignty.  Most attention will be given to political processes at the state and sub-state level.

On successful completion of the class, students should have both an understanding of the specific details of the individual themes as well as an appreciation of the broader relation between territory, the state and power.  We will also focus on the use of writing, particularly in relation to social science research, through a series of overlapping assignments, including a research proposal and final research paper. 


  • Participation (i.e. attendance, preparation for seminar assignments, involvement with class discussions) 15%
  • Mini-paper 1: territoriality and power: 20%
  • Mini-paper 2: territoriality and power in the real world: 25%
  • Final paper 3: summative paper: 40%



Required and recommended readings will be made available through the library. Instructor resources will also be made available to students.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.