Tamar Mayer

Robert R. Churchill Professor of Geosciences; Dir, Rohatyn Center

 Tuesdays/Thursday 11:00-12:00
 Robert A. Jones '59 House 113



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

GEOG 0207 - Resource Wars      

Resource Wars: A Geopolitical Perspective
The world of relatively accessible natural resources is now a thing of the past. As it becomes more difficult to find secure and clean energy sources and manage chronic food and water shortages, some countries that were once politically and economically marginal will become increasingly more important. And as another billion people will be added to the world's population, the fight for resources will become ever fiercer. These will result in further erosion of personal and states' securities. In this course we will analyze, from a geographic perspective, the political, economic, social, and environmental dynamics of conflicts over natural resources at the local, regional, international, and intra-national scales. We will pay special attention to the ways natural resources fuel conflict. 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc. AAL SOC

Fall 2011, Spring 2014

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GEOG 0210 - Geo Perspect on Internat'l Dev      

Geographic Perspectives on International Development
This class is an exploration of some of the key concepts, theories, ideologies, and practices of international development as they relate to issues of environmental and social change. We will approach these “ways of knowing” about development and the environment through three topics: (1) “natural” disasters; (2) oil; and (3) waste. For each of these topics we will draw on multiple case studies across the world including Haiti, New Orleans, Pakistan, India, Nigeria, and South Africa. These case studies will help us to more fully discuss and understand the dynamics of who does development, how, where, why, and with what results. With each of the themes we will examine different practices of international development, including post-disaster international aid, the shipping and dumping of waste, and environmental conflicts in the everyday lives of people in oil-rich areas of the world. This approach will allow us to break down mainstream discourses of development and “sustainability,” critically examine development practice, and imagine alternative approaches to development. 3 hrs. lect. AAL CMP SOC

Spring 2012, Fall 2014

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GEOG 0220 - Geopolitics of the Middle East      

Geopolitics of the Middle East
This course examines the Middle East from a geographical perspective with emphasis on the historical and political underpinnings of the region. The Middle East, the cradle of civilization, has been, due to its geography, one of the major arenas for political and ideological conflicts. It has been subject to an unequal power relationship with the West, which, together with Islam, has affected the level of its political, social, and economic development. This course will provide an analytical introduction to the historical, political, social, and economic geography of the region and will analyze the major transitions this region has undergone. 3 hrs.lect. AAL CMP SOC

Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2015

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GEOG 0415 - Seminar in Political Geography      

Seminar in Political Geography: Landscape and Memory-Geographies of National Identity
This course focuses on the intimate relationship between human-made landscapes and nationalism. It examines both the built landscape and nationalism as twin narratives. Landscapes tell the story of the nation: they reflect what the nation has chosen to remember of its unique past and they also affect the nationalism that develops in a specific territory. With examples from the Western China, Poland, Germany, Israel, and the US, we will illustrate how the human-made landscape serves as important physical and cultural crucible in which people construct ideas, memories, and icons that become an important part of a nation's memory and sense of identity. The relationship between peoples and their physical and social environments will be studied both within the context of time and space in order to help us understand the cultural processes that have been most responsible for the development of nations in the modern era. (Open to seniors only; others by waiver) 3 hrs. seminar

Fall 2011

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GEOG 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
A one-credit intensive research project developed under the direction of a faculty member. Junior majors only. (Approval Required)

Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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GEOG 0700 - Senior Research      

Senior Research
A one-credit intensive research project developed under the direction of a faculty member. Senior majors only. (Approval Required)

Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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GEOG 0701 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis
Students with a departmental GPA of 3.3 or higher are eligible to complete a two-credit senior thesis. In order to complete a senior thesis, students must have a proposal approved by a primary thesis advisor and a secondary departmental reader prior to registering for the first 0701 credit. Upon completion of the thesis, thesis students will present their work in a public seminar and defend the thesis in front of the departmental faculty. Thesis presentations and defenses will typically take place during the final week of classes or the examination period. Upon completion of the presentation and defense, the primary advisor and secondary departmental reader will be responsible for evaluating and grading the thesis. It is strongly encouraged that students considering a thesis discuss their ideas with an advisor during the semester prior to registering for formal thesis credits. (Approval only)

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

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IGST 0436 / INTL 0436 / GEOG 0436 - Terrorism      

Terrorism, the act of violent resistance against real or perceived oppression, has taken on new dimensions in an age dominated by mass media and technology. Can we make reliable distinctions between terrorism, anarchism, guerrilla warfare and random mass murder? What are the political, social, and cultural conditions that favor terrorism? What makes an individual a terrorist? How have governments coped with terrorist movements? What is "state terrorism"? Looking at terrorist movements across the globe, as well as the historical evolution of terrorism, this course will examine explanations for this disintegrative phenomenon given by social scientists, historians, writers, and filmmakers. Students interested in the possibility of receiving German credit for this course should contact Michael Geisler. This course is equivalent to GEOG 0436. 3 hrs. sem.

Fall 2012, Spring 2015

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IGST 0502 - MES Independent Project      

Middle East Studies Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Spring 2014

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INTL 0706 - MES Senior Thesis      

African Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Fall 2012

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Research Areas

Construction of National Identity
Uighur Identity
Jewish and Palestinian Nationalisms
Memory and Landscape
Gender and Nationalism

Regional Interests

The Middle East
Xinjiang, China
The Silk Road


B.A. University of Haifa, Israel

M.S., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison

Program in International and Global Studies

Robert A. Jones '59 House
148 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753