Spring 2021 - GEOG 321 D100

Geographies of Global Capitalism (4)

Class Number: 2782

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    At least 45 units, including GEOG 100.



Examines the historical development, spatial organization, and social impact of market function, firm structure and operation, economic policy, and regulation and deregulation at various scales from local to global, from a geographical perspective.


This course examines the geography of modern capitalism. It focuses the real-world impacts of economic ideas and policy, market dynamics, firm structure, regulation and deregulation and more. The course has two emphases: (1) an introduction to the dominant theories through which capitalism has been explained, defended, and criticized; and (2) the effects of capitalist historical development on the world in which we live. Capitalism is a distinct way of organizing the political economy of modern life; the principal objective of the class is to develop an understanding of how it works: the institutions that organize it and the ideas that underpin them. We will consider: (a) the spaces it structures (international trading networks, for example) and restructures (suburbanization of formerly agricultural land, for example); (b) the effect of dynamic flows of capital, goods and people on specific places like “world cities” and “dying small towns”; (c) the many scales capitalist dynamics help produce, and on which they depend, like the nation-state, the “global economy” and resource “peripheries”; and (d) the increasingly expansive geography of “crisis”.

Remote Learning Format
(a) A mix of synchronous lectures and asynchronous instructional content (lectures, podcasts, guest speakers, etc.). Synchronous lectures will be recorded and distributed afterwards for asynchronous viewing.
(b) Weekly synchronous tutorial discussions

Note: There will be no tutorials during the first week of class.


  • Short paper 25%
  • Poster assignment 30%
  • Tutorial 25%
  • Quizzes (2) 10%
  • In class writing 10%



Selected articles circulated by the instructor or available free through SFU Library


Geoff Mann, Disassembly Required: A Field Guide to Actually-Existing Capitalism, Baltimore: AK Press, 2013. ISBN 978-1849351263

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 spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).