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Geography Events

We're passionate about geography, and know you are too. In addition to the learning we do in the classroom, we host events and speakers on campus to promote and explore the discipline of geography.

Spring 2019

It Came from Leveraged Earth

Public Presentation

Presenter: Rob G. Wallace, Advisor, University of Minnesota Institute for Global Studies

Climate dystopia in the here and now; neo-fascists on the march in Europe; deforestation through the last of the great forests in the Amazon and the Congo; a  newly-elected president promising political massacres in Brazil:  in this presentation, phylogeographer Rob Wallace asks in what ways the surges of the political right throughout the planet may be connected to the declines in resilience across the socioecological domain. On one hand, he suggests, Neoliberalism, applying strong State techno-management to liberalizing corporate-led economic growth, is in a spiral of popular de-legitimation. At the same time, neoliberal doctrine also works to undercut local landscapes and functional ecosystems, with decisive effect upon agriculture and disease control from global North to South. Faced with such challenges, how are everyday people reacting to the notion advanced by philanthrocapitalist science, that nature should be treated as a competitor whose largely free ecological services should be replaced by fictitious commodities available only on the market?

Time: 7:00 p.m.
Date: Monday, April 15
Location: Persson Auditorium

“Coffee and landscape change in Colombia”

Public Presentation

Presenter: Andrés Guhl, Associate Professor, Department of History, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia

Since the beginning of the 20th century, coffee production has been associated with Colombia. The establishment of this crop in the Colombian Andes transformed the biophysical and social fabric of the country. The purpose of this presentation is to describe and analyze the landscape transformations associated with coffee, and how this product contributed to the well being of the coffee producers. I will try to highlight how the linkages between global markets and local landscapes influence farmers’ land use decisions. Furthermore, I will provide evidence of how the Coffee Growers Association (Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia) played, and continues to play, a major role in shaping the landscape and the well being of its inhabitants. Finally, I will present some of the most recent challenges for coffee production in Colombia, including sustainability issues, specialty markets and socioeconomic characteristics such as an aging rural population and land fragmentation.

Time: 4:15 p.m.
Date: Monday, April 8
Location: 101 Ho Science Center

The 19th Annual Peter Gould Memorial Lecture in Geography

“Shared Responsibilities for International Migrants and Refugees: The Promise and Potential of the Population Sciences”

Division of Social Sciences Luncheon Seminar Series

Presenter: Ellen Kraly, Professor, Department of Geography, Colgate University

Time: 12:15-1:15 p.m.
Date: Thursday, April 4
Location: 111 Alumni Hall

“Uncommoning Nature: Stories from the Antropo-not-seen”

Public Presentation

Presenter: Marisol de la Cadena, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California Davis

Increasing consumption of minerals and energy has led to an unprecedented—and critical-- destruction of what we know as nature and natural resources usually located in territories inhabited by indigenous groups. The latter have responded politically to this destruction, frequently joining environmental political movements. Yet most intriguingly, these mobilizations have made public that nature and its resources are not only such: what is being destroyed is also other-than-human beings, crucial participants in worlds that do not abide by the ontological division between nature and humanity. I call this process “uncommoning nature” a notion that I use to analyze what I see as the potential emergence of a radically different form of politics.

Time: 4:30 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, March 19
Location: Persson Auditorium

Co-sponsor with SOAN

Fall 2018

“Cannabis as an Environmental 'Object of Concern'”

GTU Presentation

Presenter: Jake Brenner, O'Connor Visiting Associate Professor, Colgate University, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Latin American Studies, Ithaca College

There’s a new approach in environmental studies that de-emphasizes well-known problems and focuses instead on people’s interactions. As cannabis policy changes around the world, and this once clandestine drug becomes a mainstream crop, what can we learn from cannabis as an environmental “object of concern?”

Time: 4:30 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, October 10
Location: 101 Ho Science Center

“Foreshortened Futures: Temporalities and Militarization in Guatemalan Forest Conservation”

Public Presentation

Presenter: Micha Rahder, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University

This talk explores conflicting temporalities in forest conservation in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR), attending to questions of inequality, violence, and justice. The landscape is layered with long histories of violence, from ancient Maya warfare to recent civil war atrocities to current narcotrafficking land grabs. Forest conservationists are caught up in this violence, which reconfigures relations between past, present, and future. Institutions officially work on linear modernist time, in which a knowable past and fleeting present open into an infinite, plannable future. In this frame, NGOs propose projects to funders, management plans are written for national parks, and climate change impacts are projected. But extreme violence and inequality combine with a sense of impending environmental apocalypse to undermine planned futures and destabilize linear time. Contradicting their own official plans, conservationists’ practice is anticipatory and reactive: they watch for emerging threats to the forest, shifting and changing tactics and alliances in response to an ever-shifting landscape. Imagined futures are constrained to short-term statements and disavowals of predictability that go far beyond typical discussions of “uncertainty.” The tensions between un-reconciled pasts, multiple conflicting presents, and indeterminate futures contribute to conservationist practices that are contradictory and increasingly violent – particularly the increasing use of military park protection alongside participatory community engagements.

Time: 4:30 p.m.
Date: Monday, October 1
Location: Persson Auditorium

“Climate and Colgate'”

Social Science Luncheon Seminar Series

Presenter: Adam Burnett, Professor, Department of Geography, Colgate University

Time: 12:15-1:15 p.m.
Date: Thursday, September 27
Location: 111 Alumni Hall