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Martin Lewis: Understanding Current Events Through Geography & Maps

Posted on Nov 25, 2015 by in Podcast |

Dr. Martin Lewis discusses the importance of using geography and maps in studying history and analyzing world events. Without geography there can be no history (or geopolitics). Dr. Lewis also comments on the digital revolution in education (e.g. free online courses) and whether they really spell doom for the traditional classroom. His advice is for students and learners to build a mental map or framework that will retain information easier and better allow people to analyze international affairs.


About Martin W. Lewis

Martin W. Lewis is a senior lecturer in the Department of History at Stanford University, where he teaches world history and global geography. His early work focused on the intersection of environmental problems, economic development, and religious practices in the Philippines, but he later turned to the global scale, writing on the geographical foundations of world history, global divisions and world regionalization, and the development and spread of language families. He has also written extensively on environmental philosophy and politics, advocating an eco-modernist approach and criticizing green romanticism.

Martin Lewis received a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1979, and a Ph.D in geography from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987. He is the author of Wagering the Land: Ritual, Capital, and Environmental Degradation in the Cordillera of Northern Luzon, 1900-1986 (University of California Press) and of Green Delusions: An Environmentalist Critique of Radical Environmentalism (Duke University Press), and the co-author of The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography (University of California Press) and Diversity Amid Globalization: World Regions, Environment, Development (Prentice Hall). Martin Lewis is also the co-author (with Asya Pereltsvaig) of a forthcoming book on historical linguistic entitled The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistic (Cambridge University Press). He also blogs about geographical and historical topics, particularly those that are in the news, at

*Podcast intro music is from the song “The Queens Jig” by “Musicke & Mirth” from their album “Music for Two Lyra Viols”: (available on iTunes or Amazon)