Brown Day Lecture!

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Brown Day Lecture
Friday May 2, 2014
3:30-5:15 (coffee and cookies at 3:00pm)
Honeywell Auditorium, L-110 Carlson School of Management.
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Mona Domosh
Professor of Geography
The Joan P. and Edward J. Foley Jr. 1933 Professor
Vice President, Association of American Geographers
Dartmouth College

Title: "From the U.S. South to the Global South: Practicing Development at Home"

Abstract: Drawing on a range of works that extend from gendered historical analyses of colonialism to critical histories of development, and based on archival research in Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi, I argue in this talk that what we now call international development - a form of hegemony different from but related to colonialism - needs to be understood not only as a geopolitical tool of the cold war, but also as a technique of governance that took shape within the realm of the domestic and through a racialized gaze. I do so by tracing some of the key elements of the United States' international development practices in the postwar era to a different time and place: the American South, a region considered 'undeveloped' in the first decades of the 20th century, and the agricultural extension practices that targeted the rural farm home and farm women, particularly African-American women. Thus I am able to interrogate two relatively unexamined elements that are key to understanding the making of American international development: that much of its early focus was on governing through biopolitical practices of the domestic (food preparation, health, and sanitation), and that those practices were based on the agricultural extension work of the United States Department of Agriculture in the American South.

Emeritus Professor Joe Schwartzberg in the News!

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Emeritus Professor Joe Schwartzberg is featured in a MinnPost article by Eric Black titled "U.N. doesn't work, and a U of M professor has a plan to fix it." The article discusses structural problems at the U.N. and some of the solutions Professor Schwartzberg offers in his new book Transforming the United Nations System.

from the article "... Schwartzberg has outlined a set of changes in {U.N.} power arrangements that, he writes, "if adopted, would help remedy, those deficiencies" in the U.N. structure that undermine the credibility and therefore the power of the world body."

Read the entire MinnPost article here.


Congratulations Dinesh!


Dr. Dinesh Paudel (PhD '12), presently Post-Doctoral Fellow at Dartmouth College, has accepted a tenure-track position at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He will be joining them as Assistant Professor in the Department of Sustainable Development.

Congratulations Omar!
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Dr. Omar Tesdell (PhD '13), until recently Arab Council of Social Sciences Post-Doctoral Fellow at Birzeit University, has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor in Geography at Birzeit.

Song of Our Warming Planet

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Dan Crawford, an undergraduate who has worked with Geography Professor Scott St. George and School of Music staff member Michael Duffy, has created a musical score based on a set of data showing the rise in the planet's temperature over time. Since its release in July 2013, the video highlighting Dan's composition ( has been viewed more than 130,000 times in 140+ countries. His performance has also been the focus of stories featured by a long list of media outlets, including Popular Science, Minnesota Public Radio, the Weather Channel, Slate (twice) and the New York Times (three times).

On Wednesday, November 20, 2013, Dan and Scott St. George will be giving a public lecture to discuss his composition (and the reaction it has received) at UMN's Institute on the Environment.

'Resonate! How 90 Seconds of Cello Music Is Helping People Connect With Climate Science'
November 20 at noon
IonE Seminar Room R380,
Learning & Environmental Sciences Bldg., St. Paul

New Faculty in GES!

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The Department of Geography, Environment and Society welcomes its newest faculty member, Assistant Professor Kate Derickson. Kate joined the faculty in late August and is currently teaching a Freshman Seminar titled Social Justice and the City.

Kate earned a dual PhD in Geography and Women's Studies from Penn State in 2011 (dissertation title: The cultural politics of neoliberal regulation in post-Katrina Mississippi). She was awarded the Urban Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship in Urban Political Economy at the University of Glasgow from 2010 - 2011, and an assistant professor in Geosciences at Georgia State University from 2011 - 2013. Kate's research explores the intersections of politics, difference, political economy, and the ethical practice of academic research. She has worked with communities in coastal Mississippi, West Atlanta, and the Govan neighborhood of Glasgow, Scotland.

Kate's office is 435 Social Science Building. Stop by and say hi!

Fall 2013 Coffee Hour Speakers

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Welcome to Our New Geography Graduate Students!

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William J. Cronon Brown Day Speaker

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"The Portage: Reflections on Nature, History, and Storytelling in the Making of an American Place"

In a lecture based on the opening chapter of the book he is writing on the history of Portage, Wisconsin, environmental historian William Cronon meditates on the role of memory and storytelling in the complicated ways human beings construct their individual and collective sense of place. A natural ecosystem or an abstract geographical space becomes a human place, he argues, through the endless accretion of narratives that render that place meaningful for those who visit or live in it. Portage is an especially interesting community in which to explore this idea, since it was the home town of Frederick Jackson Turner, the American historian who authored the famous "frontier thesis." It was also the town into whose hinterland John Muir migrated as an eleven-year-old boy from Scotland, and the town where Aldo Leopold's "Shack," famed subject of the book A Sand County Almanac, is located. Although virtually unknown to most Americans, few places have played so central a role in shaping our national ideas of nature.

William J. Cronon is the Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He will be delivering a lecture based on his book project about the environmental history and historical geography of Portage, Wisconsin. He is a Past President of the American Historical Association and author of Changes in the Land and Nature's Metropolis. The lecture will last for about 90 minutes and will take place in Honeywell Auditorium (L-110) in the Carlson School starting at 3:30 on Friday, May 3.

Complimentary refreshments and coffee will be served at 3:10 PM. In addition, there will be a reception for alumni and their guests in the Carlson Private Dining Room immediately following the lecture.

William J. Cronon's visit and talk co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Institute for Advanced Study, UMN.

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Fraser Hart featured on KARE 11

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Professor Fraser Hart was featured in a story on KARE 11. Click here for a great story on his ongoing career!