My undergraduate teaching duties at UCLA are split between the International Institute and Department of Geography. Below, with brief descriptions, are the two lecture courses I teach on a yearly basis.
Introduction to international and area studies (IASTD 1): This course is designed to introduce students to the subject matter of the international studies curriculum. The goal is to illuminate the profoundly international and regional character of the world we live in, and to introduce a number of contemporary issues and challenges with global implications. The class is divided into two parts. The first section covers political and economic issues central to international studies such as democratization and economic development. The second half of the course focuses on social and cultural issues with a global significance such as transnational migration and climate change.
Political Geography (GEOG 140): This course is designed to introduce you to the field of political geography. It is organized in three sections. The first is a survey of the development of political geographic thought from the late 19th century to present which outlines the distinctive ways in which political geographers approach issues of space and politics, in particular the geopolitical tradition and the emergence of the sub-field of critical geopolitics in recent years. Next we examine the sovereign territorial state, which is a key object of inquiry not just in political geography, but across the social sciences. The modern state is not a natural or unchanging form of political-territorial governance. This section contextualizes the territorial state system by tracing its development through time, how it is constituted in practice, and challenges to it in recent years. The final section of the class covers the political geographies of violent conflict, humanitarian intervention and peacebuilding, with a particular focus on the war and postwar period in Bosnia.
In addition to these courses I teach an annual capstone seminar for European Studies majors. Past capstone seminars have explored the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s; displacement in Europe after WWII; forced ethnic unmixing in 20th century Central and Southeast Europe; war and its aftermath in Bosnia; and nationalism, victimhood, and politics.
Letter of recommendation guidelines for undergraduate students: Students seeking a letter of recommendation should review these Letter of recommendation guidelines before emailing me.
Information on UCLA’s graduate program can be found here. I welcome inquiries from potential graduate students with interests in the dynamics and effects of war, ethnic conflict, peacebuilding, humanitarianism, Southeast European politics, logistics and infrastructure, militarization and military studies.
Current PhD Students
James Walker. Interests: Human rights and humanitarianism, militarism, remote sensing, drones
Nour Joudah. Interests: Settler colonialism, indigenous studies, critical cartography, refugees, humanitarianism
Irma Losada Olmos. Interests: Migration, refugees, human rights, border externalization, humanitarianism
Nerve Macaspac (PhD): Assistant Professor, CUNY Staten Island
Ali Hamdan (PhD): Postdoc, George Washington University
Robert Mobley (MA): Instructor, United States Air Force Academy