What do we know about Vladimir V. Putin, the ruler who holds the reins of power to one of the most complex and secretive countries in the world? What are the politics of his authoritarian rule within Russia? What are his foreign policy and economic interests beyond Russia’s borders? Within a globally connected world and with the rise of the fake news phenomenon, how do we know what to think about power, politics, or Putin? This course will use political economic and political ecological frameworks to examine the power and politics that define Putin’s relationships with people and issues internally within Russia and with the rest of the world. This course, topically about Russia in the world today and using geographical frameworks to examine these topics, provides students with a methodological toolkit to examine the cultural, political, and economic roots of important current events in today’s world. Students who successfully complete this seminar will earn course credit for a 100-level GEOG course and satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.
Jessica Graybill teaches in the Department of Geography and in the Russian and Eurasian Studies Program. She conducts research on human-environment relationships in the Russian Arctic and the Far East.