This project is an intervention in the political geography module for third year undergraduates in the department of Politics and International Studies. The project wishes students to directly engage with the themes and topics of the module. Geography cannot, in other words, exclusively be taught inside the classroom. It is crucial for students to realise and experience that politics and geography interact outside on the street.
The objective of this pedagogic project is to encourage students to venture outside the conventional classroom setting for their research. I wish students to conduct a small video project in the city of Coventry and its surroundings. Students will be asked to make short, 5 to 10 minutes videos on themes related to their Political Geography module. Students will be encouraged to look at themes such as 'uneven development', 'spatial-political securitisation', 'the politics of memory', 'architecture', 'ethnic communities' among other relevant topics.
The choice for Coventry is admittedly a deliberate one. Coventry has a unique history and socialeconomic make up. It is therefore perhaps unfortunate that the city has thus far remained largely unexplored as a site for research and teaching. I argue that the city is a fertile breeding ground for political geographers, and thus worth considering as an exciting and creative site to study. I wish to tap into the university's close proximity to utilise the city's fertile environment.
The Pedagogic Interventions Grant will help provide students the opportunity to use the acquired knowledge of their readings and lectures in a practical and creative fashion. The project will aid the students in acquiring a 'spatial sensitivity', which they then can utilise and develop further in other everyday settings outside (and inside) the university environment. The project will also encourage students to look beyond the invisible boundaries of campus life and help them to appreciate the otherwise anonymous and undervalued status of the city.
The student will be given autonomy and freedom over how they fulfil their video assignment. Students will work in pairs of two to further encourage independence, leadership and creativity. The videos will be presented in a seminar setting and narrated and discussed by the participants.