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The Development of National Languages in the Germanic Zone of Northern Europe

By Martin W. Lewis | July 17, 2022 |

As is largely the case across the world, the development of national languages in the Germanic zone of northern Europe was more the product of state consolidation than the reflection of preexisting ethnolinguistic communities.

South Asia’s Human Development Progress

By Martin W. Lewis | July 15, 2022 |

One of my take-home messages for college geography students is that the world is probably both in worse shape and in better shape than they realize: in the geopolitical context of war and conflict, conditions are worse than might be expected from a casual reading of the news, whereas in regard to human development they are considerably better.

Are Small Towns Really Urban Places? Eastern Montana According to the U.S. Census Bureau

By Martin W. Lewis | July 14, 2022 |

In 1910, when the urbanization rate in the United States stood at only 45.6 percent (with Montana recording 35.5 percent), it made sense to classify small towns as urban places. It no longer does. Depicting Dawson County now as “mostly urban” is misleading, based on an antiquated classification system. 

Human Development Discrepancies in (Greater) Punjab

By Martin W. Lewis | July 13, 2022 |

As can be seen on the map posted here, the HDI ranking of Indian Punjab is now significantly ahead of that of Pakistani Punjab.

Areas of Relatively High Human Development in Greater South Asia

By Martin W. Lewis | July 11, 2022 |

Today’s post continues the GeoCurrents series on the Human Development Index (HDI), focusing initially on greater South Asia. Here we look at areas with relatively high HDI figures.
For decades, the region’s highest human development levels have been found in the far south and southwest, specifically in the Indian states of Kerala and Goa and in Sri Lanka. All invested heavily …

Language and Nationalism, Part 2: State and Language in Europe’s Romance Zone

By Martin W. Lewis | July 9, 2022 |

The relationships between language, politics, and geography are highly complicated across the Romance zone of Europe, challenging any facile stories of natural language-based ethnonational solidarity.

Language and National Identity, Part 1

By Martin W. Lewis | July 8, 2022 |

(Author’s Note: This is a preliminary draft of a chapter that might be included in a forthcoming book, tentatively entitled Seduced by the Map: How the Nation-State Model Prevents Us from Thinking Clearly About the World. It includes some bibliographical citations, but they are woefully incomplete.)  
There are good reasons why students of nationalism often emphasize language.[1] Building a community, …

Mapping the Human Development Index (HDI) in Greater South Asia

By Martin W. Lewis | July 7, 2022 |

Levels of social development as measured by the Human Development Index vary greatly across the various regions of South Asia. Particularly low HDI figures are found in India’s central Ganges Valley, in eastern and western Afghanistan, and in Pakistan’s province of Baluchistan.

The “Seduced by the Map” Project

By Martin W. Lewis | July 6, 2022 |

Ever since GeoCurrents was suspended in 2016 I have been working on a book project tentatively entitled Seduced by the Map: How the Nation State Model Prevents Us from Thinking Clearly About the World. This has been a valuable and enjoyable project, but the topic is so vast that the project has gotten out of hand, covering too much material …

GeoCurrents Summer Schedule

By Martin W. Lewis | July 5, 2022 |

GeoCurrents returns to publication this week. New posts are planned for each weekday going forward. Two themes will command our attention for the remainder of this summer. One is a GeoCurrents atlas of global human development, which will entail original maps based on the UN’s Human Development Index. Today’s post gives an indication of what this atlas will look like. …

GeoCurrents Resumption

By Martin W. Lewis | June 23, 2022 |

Dear Readers,
After a long hiatus, GeoCurrents will resume publication on July 1, 2022. I have officially retired from Stanford University, and I now have much more time on my hands for blogging about geography-related issues.
Martin Lewis

GeoCurrents Suspension

By Martin W. Lewis | June 17, 2016 | 21 Comments

Dear Readers,
I am sorry to say that I have decided to suspend the publication of new posts on GeoCurrents for at least one year.  I will reconsider this decision in June 2017, and I may begin posting again at that time.
I have very much enjoyed writing for this site, and I do hope to return to it at some time. …

Lecture Slides on Cannabis Legalization

By Martin W. Lewis | June 7, 2016 |

Dear Readers,
The slides from my final lecture of the academic year are available at the link below. The lecture examined the impending legalization of cannabis in California, as well as its status elsewhere in the world.
Cannabis Legalization
 

Lecture Slides for U.S. Primary Presidential Election, 2016

By Martin W. Lewis | May 31, 2016 |

Dear Readers,
The slides from my recent lecture on the U.S. primary presidential elections of 2016 are found at the link below:
2016 US Primary Election
 

Slides on “The Good News from Africa”

By Martin W. Lewis | May 20, 2016 |

Dear Readers,
My lecture this week for my class on the history and geography of current global events focused on the “good news” from Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly the southern half of the continent. The slides are available at the link here:  Good News From Africa