In 2008 the United Nations announced that for the first time in human history, more than half of the world's population lived in cities. In 2016, POLITICO published the headline "Revenge of the Rural Voter" in an attempt to explain the dramatic right turn in US electoral politics. In the wake of that election, rural America is in the spotlight as (largely) urban scholars and pundits attempt to explain the dynamics of rural places to a (largely) urban audience. So, what might they be missing? While urbanization shows no signs of slowing, it more important than ever to study and understand rural places. Although fewer and fewer of us claim rural places as our home, these communities play a crucial role in natural resource management, energy development, agriculture, cultural and historic preservation, global social movements, and domestic politics. This course will examine the political, economic, and social significance of rural communities in an increasingly metropolitan world. Students will be introduced to the discipline of rural social science, and will gain a complex and nuanced understanding of the dynamics of rural communities from a global perspective.
Prerequisites: One introductory social science course from ECON 101, ECON 102, IPE 101, PG 101, PG 102, PG 103, PG 104, SOAN 101, SOAN 102, or permission of instructor.