Spring 2023 - GEOG 465 D100

Geographies of Conquest and Liberation (4)

Class Number: 2528

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    HCC 1325, Vancouver

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 19, 2023
    5:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    At least 60 units, including GEOG 241.



An exploration of theories and geographies of conquest and liberation to analyze present-day struggles for abolition and decolonization. We will weave epistemologies from across the Americas to understand how different struggles for liberation are spatially connected amid colonialism, racial capitalism and empire.


In the past decade, global struggles for abolition, decolonization and liberation have gained significant momentum. In this course, we will turn to essential texts of conquest and liberation  to make sense of our global interrelations under empire and how these conditions shape the terrain for present liberatory struggles. This class explicitly thinks transnationally and hemispherically to understand how geographies from across the Americas exist in relation to one another.

While many of the thinkers we will be engaging are not traditionally considered to reside within the canon of Geography, following the theorizing of Katherine McKittrick we will consider how anti-colonial theorists articulate and theorize space and liberation amid the conditions of empire. We will delve into the genealogies of Black, Indigenous and Latin American theorists in particular, focusing on 1-2 anti-colonial thinkers from a particular geography each week, and reading their work thoroughly to unpack their theoretical contributions.

Threading these genealogies of decolonial and anti-colonial thought into relation with one another, we will consider how empire and conquest have fomented spatial relations across the globe and produced the conditions for mass economic and racialized dispossession. It is from within these theorizations of conquest that we will ultimately consider the moment of crisis we are collectively living, and the emergent possibilities of abolitionist and decolonial movements.


  • Reading Responses 30%
  • Discussion Questions 5%
  • Class Participation 15%
  • Reading Presentation 20%
  • Final Project 30%


Grading Scale

A+        [95% and above]                    

A          [90-94.99%]                 

A-         [85 - 89.99%]                

B+        [80-84.99%]    

B          [75 - 79.99%]                 

B-        [70 - 74.99%]

C+        [65 - 69.99%]                    

C        [60% - 64.99%]               

C-         [55 - 59.99%]                  

D          [50 – 54.99%]                    

F          [49.99% and below]




Brand, D. (2001) A map to the door of no return. Toronto: Doubleday Canada. ISBN: 9780385258920

All other texts will be available on Canvas via hyperlink or in PDF form.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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