Spring 2021 - GEOG 325 D100

Geographies of Consumption (4)

Class Number: 2784

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 27, 2021
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    At least 45 units, including GEOG 100.



Spaces, places, landscapes, and scales of consumption emphasizing commodity cultures, marketing, retail, ideology, subjectivity, objects, technology, and tourism.


Consumption is creatively destructive, conspicuous yet vague, complex but mundane, and as difficult to explain as it is impossible to avoid. Consumption ranges from the repetitive act of eating poutine to the visual joys of watching movies on widescreen quantum dot LED televisions. Under the aegis of “consumption studies,” researchers have used numerous theoretical frameworks in order to conceptualize consumption in terms of the interactions between people, objects, and society. These studies have produced lively and enduring interdisciplinary debates that have sought to clarify the interrelations between, for example: taste, need, value, aesthetics, commodification, pleasure, exchange, capitalism, and spectacle. The purpose of this course is not only to explore the diverse geographical contexts in which various acts of consumption takes place, but also to understand the various theoretical approaches through which consumption can be understood. To consider the geographies of consumption we will explore the following related objects of analysis: commodity chains, the mall, food, pet-love, clothes, taste and class, art, and the paranormal.

Course Organization
Two hours of lecture (asynchronous via Canvas) and two hours of tutorial each week (synchronous via Zoom). Tutorial readings will be available via Canvas. The Instructor and TA will hold weekly synchronic office hours (via Zoom).

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


  • Tutorial Presentation 10%
  • Tutorial Participation 10%
  • Midterm Exam (synchronous) 20%
  • Final Exam (synchronous) 30%
  • Research Paper 30%



Technical Requirements:

It is highly recommended that students have a computer with a reliable internet connection for the synchronous tutorials, access to lecture and tutorial materials on Canvas, and the instructor and TA’s synchronous office hours. If you are concerned about your ability to access these resources, please contact the instructor as soon as possible so that you can be directed to the appropriate SFU resources.


Journal articles (available online via Canvas).

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).