First half geo-knowledge


For this assignment, answer TWO of the following ten questions; one question from Set One and one question from Set Two.  For questions 1-6 and 8, your response should be approximately four-six paragraphs.   For questions 7, 9, and 10, see the question for details on how to answer the question.  Your response is due before the end of the day (11:59 pm CDT) on Friday 7 October 2022 Friday 14 October 2022..  You will upload your answers as a Word or PDF document.  NOTE: you should be able to upload multiple files, if needed.

Also, you must cite your sources!

Set One

  1. Given Africa’s current economic situation, what role should countries like the United States have in helping Africa? If you believe that the United States should do more, what can the U.S. do to help Africa?  If you think that Africa should take care of itself, then what should Africa do to better help the region improve economically?
  2. The United States has maintained a military, and therefore a political and economic, presence in the Middle East since 1990. If you were president of the United States, what would your foreign policy be in the Middle East?  Should the U.S. remain active in the region to protect its interests?  Or, should the United States withdraw from the region and allow its allies to stand up for itself?
  3. In the lecture videos for Africa, it is mentioned about African countries (and some cities) that changed their names.  Older generations of people in the U.S. will tell you how in the 1960s they had to learn the map of Africa all over again because several countries changed their names after independence.  Choose ONE of the following countries -- Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, DR Congo/Zaire, Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe -- and find out (1) what was it called under colonization, and (2) why it chose that new name for its newly-independent country.  Why do you think it was important for these countries to change their name?  Lastly, find ONE example in the U.S. (could be a street, a building, city, county, or state) that changed its name and why?  Are there any similarities between African name change and the U.S. name change?
  4. In South Asia, we discussed how India and Pakistan utilized sports as a means to ease tension; in this case, it was called “cricket diplomacy.” We also saw how table tennis help to thaw diplomatic relations between China and the United States; in this case it was called “ping pong diplomacy.”  Think about [or research] another example of how sports can be used as a geopolitical tool.  Write about that example and how it was used, as well as if it was successful.  In your opinion, do you believe that sports is a good (or appropriate) tool for diplomacy?
  5. The spread of COVID-19 has dominated the news not just in the U.S., but globally. Its initial impact was in Northeast Asia, countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.  Though it is obviously a health issue, the coronavirus also impacts societies in other ways.  Examine the ways in which the coronavirus has explicitly impacted ONE of the Northeast Asian countries.  What steps did that country take to limit the spread of the virus?  As of now, what is required for a US citizen to visit this country under COVID-19 protocols [this info can be found on US embassy websites for each country]?  Does such an outbreak change your thoughts about possibly traveling overseas?
  6. The South China Sea is one of the most important waterways in the world, with traffic moving from Europe and the Middle East to China and Japan.  It is also one of the most contentious, with seven different countries laying claim to parts of the sea and disagreement over the so-called "Nine Dash LineLinks to an external site.".  Additionally, countries like Australia, India, and the United States expressed security interests in the region namely in preserving freedom of navigation through the waterway. Briefly layout the overall source of disagreement over the South China Sea.  Explain two arguments for claims to the waterway -- one being the Chinese/Taiwanese claim; the other being one of the Southeast Asian claims [Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Viet Nam].  In your opinion, what is the optimal solution to this situation.  And, what role [if any] should the United States play in the South China Sea?

Set Two

  1. Consider some the physical geographic places that we covered in the First Half [and some that we did not] - {from Unit 1} Victoria Falls, Lake Victoria, the Ethiopian Highlands, Nile River, the Drakensberg [southern escarpments], Sahara, Euphrates River; {from Unit 2} Mt. Everest, Ganges, Indus River, Gobi Desert, Yangtze River, Jeju Island, Mt. Fuji, Taroko Gorge, Mekong River, Clearwater Cave System, Tonle SapChoose ONE of these physical geographic places and create a travel brochure [NOT a PPT file] that (1) attempts to sell the place as a vacation spot; (2) what to do there; (3) how to get there; and (4) why it is important to that country or region.  NOTEit should be image-centric with text to support your brochure; it should NOT be an essay
  2. Watch one of the following films originating or focusing from a region in Unit 1 – AFRICA: District 9The Gods Must Be CrazyMoolaadeThe First GraderThe Wedding PartyTimbuktuTsotsi; MIDDLE EAST: 5 Broken CamerasAbou LeilaAli the Goat and IbrahimMustangTheebThe Unknown Saint, Zero Motivation. Create a film review of the film.  In your review, consider how the film portrays Africa or the Middle East, what story it tells about the region, and, of course, what you thought about the film.  BONUS for creating a video review of the film.
  3. For this question, I want you to do a little bit of exploring in the world of music in Asia. Consider what kind of music that you enjoy.  Then, find an artist or group that performs that music in one of the countries covered in Unit 2.  An easy way to do this is search for country and music genre [e.g., “India hip hop”, or “Cambodia heavy metal”].  If you just want to find out some of the popular music in these countries, you can look up the country’s top music charts [e.g., search for “Japan Music Chart”].  Then, find at least THREE songs, listen to them, and give a review of those songs [you are encouraged to listen to a full album, but at least listen to three songs].  You can find a lot of this on YouTube, as well as streaming music services such as Spotify or Apple Music.  In the review, consider how it matches your own musical preferences [or how it does not]; does it incorporate local aspects from that country [is it in the country’s language?  Does it use local instruments]?; and, of course, did you like it?  BONUS for creating a video review of the music (with listenings).
  4. Choose one of the recipes chosen by the United Nations as dishes that represent the regions covered in the first half [click this link HERE to see the list of recipes]. Prepare the dish and prepare a write-up about the dish.  In the write-up, explain the process in preparing the dish.  Also explain why you chose that particular dish, what you thought about it, and would you recommend it to others.  Finally, consider how the dish may represent the region.  As part of the write-up, include pictures of the process AND of you trying the dish.

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