IMAGE OF THE WEEK
A mystery photo from Rob Brooks. Do you know what this is? If so, send your guess to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 p.m., February 20.
- William Easterling III, professor of geography and former dean of EMS, has been elected 2018 Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).
- Eden Kinkaid has had an article accepted for publication in GeoHumanities. The title of the article is “Envisioning otherwise: Queering visuality and space in Lefebvre’s Production of Space.”
- Eden Kinkaid and Lise Nelson have a book chapter forthcoming in The Routledge International Handbook of Gender and Feminist Geographies. The chapter is entitled “On the subject of performativity: Judith Butler’s influence in geography.”
- The GIS Coalition will meet—starting today— on the third Wednesday of each month, 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. in 229 Walker Building.
- SWIG is now accepting nominations for the Nancy Brown Geography Community Service Award. The award recognizes students who are involved in service in the department and the community, particularly in ways that go unrecognized while students complete their degrees. Email nominations by Friday, March 2 to LUF7@psu.edu.
Coffee Hour with Lorraine Dowler and Jenna Christian: Landscapes of Impunity and the Deaths of LaVena Johnson and Sandra Bland
On July 19, 2005, Army Private First Class Lavena Johnson died in Balad, Iraq, just eight days shy of her twentieth birthday. On July 13, 2015, almost twenty years later, twenty-eight-year-old Sandra Bland’s life came to an abrupt end in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas. Both women’s deaths were ruled suicides, and both women’s families and friends reject these judgments. Instead, the they insinuate foul play by the state, which directly governed the militarized spaces within which the women both died. At first glance, these women appear to have had very different life trajectories, one a United States soldier and the other a Black Lives Matter activist. However, in both of their cases, the ruling of the suspicious deaths as suicides illustrates the state’s attempt to render their deaths banal, and thereby diminish the state’s own culpability in producing both the shocking, immediate deadly outcomes, as well as the slower undergirding conditions of racial and gendered violence that made their deaths possible. In examining the relationship between the highly visible, rapidness of violent death and other overlooked, routine forms of state violence, this paper proposes new directions for political geography’s engagement with critical geographic insights of relationality and describes how, as feminist geographers, we can contribute to a more robust understanding of care’s political possibilities. Specifically, in understanding the unremitting acts of violence, on women’s bodies, especially women of color, this talk focuses on the interdependent nature of care and vulnerability.
- 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.: Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.; the lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.
- Coffee Hour To Go webcast
Graduate student leverages geography, coding skills to land Google internship
Like many geography students, Xi Liu has a strong interest in mapping and using geographical data to solve problems. So when he saw an opportunity to work for Google on a project that involved geographical data analysis, he wasted no time in applying.
Liu, a doctoral student in geography, was accepted into a highly competitive software engineering internship program in Google’s Seattle office during the summer of 2017, and the experience showed him just how integral geographic data are for the industry giant’s products and services.
Interdisciplinary projects awarded seed grants from IEE
Several geographers are recipients
The 2017–18 Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) seed grant recipients have recently been awarded to 16 groups of interdisciplinary researchers at Penn State.
IEE established the Seed Grant Program in 2013 to foster basic and applied research addressing four of IEE’s five research themes: Climate and Ecosystem Change, Future Energy Supply, Smart Energy Systems, and Water and Biogeochemical Cycles. The fifth, Human Health and the Environment, has a separate call for proposals and these grants will be awarded later in the year.
from Trajectory Magazine
Individual Core Geospatial Knowledge in the U.S.
The geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) discipline has arrived at an inflection point where its teaching methods must be changed. Adaptive learning can improve the learning of core geospatial knowledge which is essential for the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) with the work of humans. With increasing amounts of geospatial and imagery data, organizations may leverage AI in the image and data processing environment and then rely on the cognitive capabilities of GEOINT analysts to perform geospatial analysis and problem-solving. Compared to the United Kingdom, the United States GEOINT Community contains a pool of talent with widely varied education and backgrounds. UK education focuses more on essential core geospatial knowledge, thus new prospective students may see GEOINT as a career path earlier on. In the U.S., students may not be aware of GEOINT until discovered through military service or later in their career path.
PennDOT Begins Process to Update Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, Seeks Public Feedback
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, (PennDOT) today announced that it has begun the process of updating the Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and is inviting the public to weigh in through an online survey.
The plan, last updated in 2007, will outline a vision and framework for improving conditions for walking and bicycling across Pennsylvania, especially for those Pennsylvanians who walk and bicycle out of necessity rather than for leisure and recreation.
Over the next 18 months, PennDOT will use the project website to provide information on the department’s progress. The community survey also will be accessible on the site and will play a critical role in understanding the current issues and challenges facing people who walk and bike across Pennsylvania.
Against the Evils of Democracy: Fighting Forced Disappearance and Neoliberal Terror in Mexico
Melissa W. Wright
Annals of the American Association of Geographers Vol. 108, Iss. 2, 2018
Pages: 327-336 | DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2017.1365584
On 26 September 2014, Mexican police forces in Iguala, Guerrero, attacked and abducted four dozen students known as normalistas (student teachers); some were killed on the spot and the rest were never seen again. Within and beyond Mexico, rights activists immediately raised the alarm that the normalistas had joined the country’s growing population of “the disappeared,” now numbering more than 28,000 over the last decade. In this article, I draw from a growing scholarship within and beyond critical geography that explores forced disappearance as a set of governing practices that shed insight into contemporary democracies and into struggles for constructing more just worlds.
Praxis in the City: Care and (Re)Injury in Belfast and Orumiyeh
Lorraine Dowler & A. Marie Ranjbar
Annals of the American Association of Geographers Vol. 108, Iss. 2, 2018
Pages: 434-444 | DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2017.1392843
This article builds on the geographic literature of nonviolence with the feminist literature of care ethics and positive security to explore the potential for a praxis that promotes relational urban social justice. We examine two cities—Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Orumiyeh, Iran—that have historically endured political struggles that continue to undermine the quality of urban life. We analyze vulnerability to political, environmental, and infrastructural violence in these two urban landscapes with an eye toward “just praxis” and “positive security,” as we outline the ways in which Belfast and Orumiyeh are reinjured by institutional practices that purportedly seek urban social justice. First, we argue for the importance of care praxis in the light of the entanglement of a murder investigation with the Boston College oral history program “The Belfast Project,” which recorded testimony from former and current members of paramilitary groups. Second, we examine an environmental justice movement in Orumiyeh, where activists navigate a contested political terrain shaped by state violence toward ethnic minorities and punitive economic sanctions from the international community.