Geography of East Asia

Number of credits: 6 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) Price: 840 €
Price for UAB students*: 200 €
*Max. 5 places
Teaching Language: English Place: UAB Campus Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès), Barcelona

Teaching Period: 13 TO 31 July 


Professor: David Sauri

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Enrolment guidelines


David Sauri (Barcelona, 1958) has a B.A and an M.A. in Geography (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and a Ph.D. in Geography (Clark University, USA, 1990). Currently he is a member of the Geography Department of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and, also a member of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) of the same university. From October 2000 to February 2003 he was the Director of the Centre for Environmental Studies of the same university. He teaches courses on a variety of environmental topics in the Geography degree and in the degree of East Asian Studies, as well as in the Masters Programs of Geography and of Environmental Sciences.


Contents overview

The course will cover the basics of the Geography of East Asia (China, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, as well as Hong Kong and Singapore), including geopolitical topics, the physical environment; population; agriculture and food systems, energy & manufacturing, urban issues and the state of the environment.

The course combine lectures on the topics previously mentioned plus practical work that will consist of written group essays, class discussion of documentaries and other visual material; simulation exercises, debates, and other type of practical work. Students must be ready to attend lectures and participate in the sessions of practical work.

Week programme
Week Contents Teaching / learning activities
1 1.1. Geopolitics
1.2. Physical Environment
1.3.1 Population
Lectures plus practical work
2 1.3.2. Population
2.1. Agriculture and food systems
2.2. Energy and manufacturing
Lectures plus practical work
3 3.1. Urban systems
3.2. The state of the environment in East Asia
Lectures plus practical work


Two tests: one towards the middle of the course and the other one at the end (80% of the final grade).
Submission of practical work requirements, (20% of the final grade but practical work is mandatory and students will not pass the course unless they submit all requirements).

Links and references
  • BALL, P. (2017). The Water Kingdom. Chicago: The University of ChicagoPress
  • DUNFORD, M. and WEIDONG,L. (eds) (2017). The Geographical Transformation of China. London: Routledge
  • KANASAKA,K, (2009). Discovering Japan. A New Regional Geography. London: JPT Europe
  • KAPLAN, R.D. (2015). Asia's Cauldron. The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific. New York: Penguin Random House
  • MARKS, R.B. 2012). China. Its Environment and History. Kanham UK: Rowan and Littlefield.
  • SAMUELS, R.J. (2013) . 3.11 Disaster and Change in Japan. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  • STUDWELL,J. (2014). How Asia Works. Success and Failure in the World's Most Dynamic Region.London: Profile Books.
  • TUAN, Yi -Fu (1969). A Historical Geography of China. Chicago: Aldine
  • VEEK, G., PANNELL, C.W., HUANG, Y and BAO; S (2016). China's Geography. Globalization and theDynamics of Political, Economic and Social Change. Lanham, MD: Rowman &Littlefield
  • WONG, D.W. S., WONG,K.K.K., CHUNG,H. and WANG,J.J. (2018). China. A GeographicalPerspective. New York: Guilford Press.