Since the dawn of human history, people have sought to make organic sense of the world’s diversity – by dividing its surface into “natural” regions; by forging nations and borders; by classifying and analyzing cultures. All the place-names and borders on the world map were created by human beings, and can be changed by them. In this course, we will attempt to absorb some of the world’s human and natural diversity. But by approaching the world’s peoples and nations in terms of processes rather than lines on a map, we will focus less on how the globe looks than on how it got that way – and on what’s at stake in how we understand its varied inhabitants and lands. So doing, we will approach and explore a range of questions at the core of human geography as scholarly practice: the relationship between physical environment and human society; the causes and implication of once-distinct continental cultures coming into contact; capitalism as a geographical and historical phenomenon; the significance of “place” and why it matters to human beings.