Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Course Description

Historical Geography of Capitalism

Instructor: Bob Argenbright

In this seminar we will study the emergence and evolution of capitalism from the standpoint of historical geography. Historical geography, like all branches of human geography, is concerned with three interrelated themes: the relationship between humanity and the natural environment; patterns and processes of interaction in space; and the meaning and significance of place. These themes will guide our reading and discussion of a variety of studies of key phases in the history of capitalism. We will be concerned especially with the geographical expansion of capitalism and its ongoing "colonization" of daily life. Seminar participants will also conduct their own research into a phase of capitalist development in a specific country or region.

Required books: (Check with the instructor to insure these books are for the current class offering.)

Carlo M. Cipolla, Before the Industrial Revolution: European Society and Economy, 1000-1700 , New York , Norton, 1994.
Sidney W. Mintz, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History , Viking, 1995.
William G. Roy, Socializing Capital: The Rise of the Large Industrial Corporation in America , Princeton , Princeton University Press, 1999.
Peter Saunders, Capitalism , Minneapolis , University of Minnesota Press, 1995.
Peter N. Stearns, The Industrial Revolution in World History , Second Edition, Boulder , Westview, 1998.
Susan Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market , Washington , D.C. , Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995.

Other readings will be distributed in the seminar.

Last Update:February 6, 2008