Xavier Haro-Carrión, Berg Postdoctoral Fellow of Geography

In Spring 2020, students in Xavier Haro-Carrión’s class, GEOG/LATI 249: Environment and Society in Latin America, created podcasts. Below, Xavier provides his assignment prompt and student podcasts.

Assignment Prompt

You will be making a podcast in this class. The topic for your podcast will be loosely based on the general themes of the class: Physical, Cultural, and Economic Geography. The podcast will present a topic about Latin America to a non-Latin American audience. You will have to work to make your podcast engaging but simple enough for someone who is hearing about this topic for the first time. Examples from the area of physical geography could include deforestation in the tropics, climate change in the Andes, etc. Examples more in the realm of cultural geography could include a biography, relationships of ethnicity, etc. Examples relevant to economic geography could include agriculture, agrarian deform, the relationship between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Latin America, etc. We will work during the course of the semester to define your topic and work on this assignment.  

Class Visits:
Tamatha Perlman, Academic Information Associate for Languages and Fine Arts, and Aisling Quigley, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Digital Liberal Arts, visited the class once to talk about microphones and recording strategies.

Audacity (for editing)


Something I did once we switched to remote teaching and learning is tell the students that I would evaluate only the content and not aesthetics because they didn’t have access to many resources or Macalester. I think the talks Tam and Aisling gave at the beginning of the semester were critical for the success of the project. Also, having the flexibility of letting students work on a topic of their own choice within the general topics of the class was key. Another thing, I did not require any specific length. I stressed that the important part was to clearly explain their topic and that the length could vary substantially depending on style (an interview vs. a narration of an event).

Example Podcasts from Students

The following podcasts are shared with permission from the students.

Chaco War, by Amanda Jackson ’23

Impacts of Structure Adjustments Programs, Phuong Nguyen ’20

Language and Power, student wishing to remain anonymous

Marimba, Jose Perez Siguenza ’22

Murder in Brazil, Grace Nelson ’23

Water Access and Wealth Disparity in Panama, Marisa Williamson ’22