About the Committee on Geographical Studies
The principal objectives of the Committee are the investigation of the organization of area, exploration of the earth environment and of its interactions with human life, and inquiry into the geographical dimensions of cultures and societies. This involves fundamental questions concerning location and space, the character of place and place-making, and the attributes and dynamics of regions and the developmental forces behind their signifying lansdscapes.
The Committee on Geographical Studies offers instruction and advising within both the College curriculum and the graduate divisions. For undergraduates, the Committee offers a Major in Geography; for graduate students in all divisions with an interest in geographical issues it offers courses, seminars, thesis advice, and faculty participation on doctoral committees in other fields. The Committee offers direction in geographical research at the graduate level through the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences. Geographical work at the University is carried on in modern quarters housed in Albert Pick Hall for International Studies, which includes faculty and Committee offices, lecture and seminar rooms, cartographic and computer facilities, and common rooms. Area research centers at the University devoted to the Middle East, East Asia, South Asia, Slavic Regions, and Latin America provide further specialist interdisciplinary research opportunities.
The Joseph Regenstein Library contains nearly five million volumes, most of them in the social sciences and humanities, and houses the main map collection of over 430,000 sheet maps covering all regions of the globe, as well as digital map data. In addition, it has holdings of more than 110,000 serial titles, including over 1,000 titles in geography from all over the world. It is likely that no university library in the world has stronger holdings in human geography. While the bulk of the holdings in the distinguished John Crerar Library concern the natural sciences, this collection also contains significant materials on the environment in general, agriculture, land use, housing, social welfare, and urban growth in Europe and the United States. Significant library resources and research opportunities such as the Center for Research Libraries, the Newberry Library, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Chicago Historical Society exist nearby.
The Committee on Geographical Studies is the lineal descendant of the oldest graduate program in geography in the United States. Established in 1903, the graduate program in geography at the University of Chicago has awarded hundreds of doctorates and masters degrees, developing a singular intellectual influence and employment record internationally within the academic discipline.
The University of Chicago Geography Research Papers, published and distributed by The University of Chicago Press, includes doctoral dissertations, symposium collections, and mature monographs by alumni, faculty, and other scholars in the field. Since the series was initiated in 1948, 246 volumes have been published, making this, after the Ergänzungshefte of Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen, (1860-) the most extensive monograph series in geography in the world. Recent titles in the series include: No. 244. Charles M. Good, The Steamer Parish: The Rise and Fall of Missionary Medicine on an African Frontier; No. 245. Christian A. Kull, Isle of Fire: The Political Ecology of Landscape Burning in Madagascar; and No. 246. Philip W. Porter, Challenging Nature: Local Knowledge, Agroscience, and Food Security in Tanga Region, Tanzania.