13710 - Geography (1)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Sustainable cities Climate Action Life on land Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

1) Theories and methods of Geography; Geography and other sciences; evolution of Human Geography. Geography and territorial development: nature and human society; the men's spread over the Earth; migrations; demographic trends in the world. The settlement: rural settlement and agricolture; urban settlement; towns and regions; industrial location; environmental policies. 2) Cartography: evolution from the Ancient Age to the present days; foundations of map-making; topographic cartography; thematic cartography. 3) Geography of landscape: environment and landscape in geographic tradition; meanings of "environment" and "landscape"; natural and human environment; sustaineble development; parks and environmental protection; landscape representation and analysis; landscape planning in Italy and in Europe after the European Landscape Convention.

Course contents

The course will introduce the key concepts and approaches in Human Geography, also analyzing a series of geographical topics which have a significant impact on contemporary society.

The course comprises five parts:

The first will introduce to general geographical theories and their historical evolution, to history of cartography and critical cartography

The second part will introduce some key concepts in contemporary geography, such as scale, space and place, landscape. 

The third is dedicated to urban geography, starting from an introduction to forma urbis historical evolution, then discussing the socio-spatial dimension of contemporary urban transformations.

The fourth will introduce the concepts of political geography, with special reference to the origin and evolution of modern territorial state and the critical analysis of geopolitical theories.

Starting with a critical analysis of the history of exploration and colonization, the last part will analyze the construction of the other and the contemporary geographies of mobilities and tourism.



For attending students there will be texts and other shorter readings that will be indicated in class and partially available on could sharing platform Virtuale. Further information will be indicated at the beginning of the course.


To prepare for their exam, students who did not attend the lectures are required to study the following three readings:

1) C. Minca (cura di), Appunti di geografia, Padova, Cedam, 2022

2) F. Farinelli, L’invenzione della Terra, Palermo, Sellerio, 2007

3) Choose one between:

  • K. Schlögel, Leggere il tempo nello spazio. Saggi di storia e geopolitica, Milano, Bruno Mondadori, 2009
  • F. Choay, Le città: utopia e realtà, Torino, Einaudi, 2000
  • G.M. Salerno, Per una critica dell’economia turistica. Venezia tra museificazione e turistificazione, Macerata, Quodlibet, 2020.

Teaching methods

The course is largely based on frontal teaching/lectures. During the first class the lecturer will provide detailed instructions on how the course is organised, the content, the readings and the exam.

Students who intend to take the exam as 'attending students' are expected to attend no less than 80% of the lectures.

Because of the distinction between attending and non-attending students, registration of the lectures is not provided

Assessment methods

The assessment consists of a written exam with open questions.

There are different sets of question for attending and non attending students.

Attending students will be asked questions focussed on the materials discussed in class and on the relevant list of readings.

Non-attending students will be asked questions focussed on topics and subjects treated in the textbook and the other readings.

The assessment will consider:

1) the level of knowledge and critical understanding of the content addressed in the questions;

2) the strength of the argument and the capacity to identify links between the main topics discussed in the responses;

3) the use of the appropriate terminology.

I will assess with excellence grades the evidence of your acquisition of an exhaustive view of all the themes addressed and the capacity of dealing critically with them, in addition to the mobilization of a good written expression and correct use of specific terminology.

A mnemonic knowledge of the themes, accompanied by the capacity of analysis and synthesis expressed in appropriate language, will lead to average/good grades.

Lacunas in the key contents, and/or inappropriate language, in the context of a basic knowledge of the course's themes, will lead to grades that will not exceed the pass-mark (18 or so).

Lacunas, inappropriate language, lack of understanding of the course's materials will be assessed negatively. In case of fail grade, you will need to repeat the exam.

For attending students, active participation in class with questions and critical remarks will be appreciated.

The results will be notified by email


Teaching tools

Power point presentations


Cloud sharing platform

Office hours

See the website of Matteo Proto