I will be presenting a paper at the Popular Culture Association of the South / American Culture Association of the South conference this fall.
This year, the conference will be held in downtown Wilmington, NC on September 26-28, at the Hotel Ballast.
My abstract for the conference is below:
The Five Themes of Geography Meet the National Football League
Sports references are one way to teach basic geographic concepts to K-12 and general education college students. There is a great interest in professional football (The NFL) although there is less interest in esoteric geographic concepts such as spatial diffusion, cultural landscape, altitudinal zonation, etc. Most college students only take one “general education” elective in college, and many remain uninformed as to how geography relates to their interests. This project presents several discussion topics which could be used to teach the classic “Five Themes of Geography”. The five themes of geography are 1) Location 2) Region 3) Movement 4) Human-Environment Interaction and 5) Place.
Geography as a natural science is discussed in such issues as environmental influences on franchise location, and how the atmosphere influences game physics. Geography as a social science is discussed in issues such as the controversy over team names, marketing problems, and ethnic or cultural identity. Teaching modules were developed for general education courses in geography, which were particularly aimed at education majors. The expected outcome is for these future educators to utilize and embellish these concepts further when teaching the five themes.
Keywords: Five Themes of Geography, Professional Football, K-12 Education, Geography of Popular Culture
For more on the PCA South Conference, see the link here: