Course Details

Title Geographies of Sustainable Agriculture
Field of Study Social science
Professor Jason Reginald Rhodes (jrhode22@kennesaw.edu)
Type Academic course
Delivery Type Hybrid Track (2 weeks online + 2 weeks offline): Real-time
Credits 3
Contact hours 45
Schedule Evening
Course code ISS1156
Course number 18054

This course will provide students with an introduction to the workings of the global food system, with particular emphasis on issues of food security and environmental sustainability. The course will connect the food on our plates to the urgent global issues of climate change, hunger, and water scarcity, and place today’s global food system in the historical context of the colonial systems from which it emerged. It will then examine the potential of new approaches to soil-building agriculture to promote food security and resilience in a changing climate, and examine visions for an equitable, sustainable agriculture for the twenty-first century.


(1) Students will develop a framework for engaging in critical analysis of contemporary social issues from a geographical perspective.
(2) Students will become conversant with current debates surrounding the human and environmental impact of industrial agriculture, particularly with regard to issues of food security, water scarcity, and climate change. Students will be able to situate these debates within the context of broader discussions surrounding the nature and effects of “globalization.”
(3) By the end of the course, students will demonstrate their ability to “think geographically” by presenting the results of their own independent investigation into one of the issues examined over the course of the semester
(4) Students will develop their abilities to engage in critical thinking and effective communication.


No prior knowledge of the subject matter is required for taking this course.


Materials: All reading materials will be freely provided to students online in accordance with international copyright law.
Lesson Plan

20 %
Lesson Plan
Class 1: Competing Visions for Agriculture: Monsanto vs. Masanobu Fukuoka’s “One Straw Revolution” (Reading: “Good Old Dirt,” by David Montgomery; Quiz over reading)
Class 2: What Does My Lunch Have to Do with Global Warming?: The Environmental Impact of Industrial Agriculture
Class 3: Hunger in a World of Plenty: Examining the Roots of the World Hunger Crisis (Reading: “Nazis and Nitrogen,” by Josh Tickell; Quiz over reading)
Class 4: The Ecological Hoofprint: The Global Burden of Industrial Livestock (Reading: “Big Pig,” by Barry Estabrook; Quiz over reading)
Class 5: Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat Class 6
Class 6: The Big Chicken: Mother Hen Goes Global (Reading: “The Making & Unmaking of Deserts: The Grazing Paradox,” by Judith Schwartz)
Class 7: Can Cows Save the Planet?: Ranching for Soil Health and Climate Resilience (Assignment: Presentation topics due)
Class 8: Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (Reading: “The Geopolitics of a Hershey’s Kiss,” by Carol Off; Quiz over reading)
Class 9: Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Changed Our World
Class 10: Geopolitics and the Green Revolution: Wheat, Genes, and the Cold War (Reading: “Introduction” and “Consumption Colonized,” by Katarzyna Cwiertka; Quiz over reading)
Class 11: Cuisine, Colonialism and Cold War: Food in 20th Century Korea (Assignment: Drafts of presentation due)
Class 12: From Dirt to Soil: Farming for Climate Resilience (Reading: “Introduction” and “Regenerating the Ecosystem,” by Gabe Brown; Quiz over reading)
Class 13: Greening Africa: A Source of Inspiration for Agricultural Development
Class 14: India’s Organic Farming Revolution: What It Means for Our Global Food System (Documentary Film: Kiss the Ground; Quiz over film)
Class 15: Student Presentations
Last Updated April 15, 2021
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