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Latest episodes from New Books in Geography

Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra, "The Quantified Scholar: How Research Evaluations Transformed the British Social Sciences" (Columbia UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2022 43:20


How do metrics and quantification shape social science? In The Quantified Scholar: How Research Evaluations Transformed the British Social Sciences (Columbia UP, 2022), Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra, an Associate Professor in sociology at the University of California, San Diego, explores this question using a case study of British academia. The book combines a rich array of quantitative and qualitative analysis, demonstrating the transformation of working conditions, institutional contexts, and research areas since the introduction of a metrics and quantification regime during the 1980s. Highlighting the complexity and ambivalences of metrics and quantification, as well as the uneven distribution of positive and negative impacts, the book offers essential reading for every academic, irrespective of the nation or institution in which they work. It also will be important for those seeing to better understand the role of metrics and markets in contemporary life. Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

David Max Moerman, "The Japanese Buddhist World Map: Religious Vision and the Cartographic Imagination" (U Hawaii Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 23, 2022 83:09


From the fourteenth through the nineteenth centuries Japanese monks created hundreds of maps to construct and locate their place in a Buddhist world. Expansively illustrated with multiple maps and illustrations, The Japanese Buddhist World Map: Religious Vision and the Cartographic Imagination (University of Hawai'i Press, 2021) by D. Max Moerman is the first monograph of its kind to explore the largely unknown archive of Japanese Buddhist world maps and analyze their production, reproduction, and reception. In examining these fascinating sources of visual and material culture, Moerman argues for an alternative history of Japanese Buddhism—one that compels us to recognize the role of the Buddhist geographic imaginary in a culture that encompassed multiple cartographic and cosmological world views. The contents and contexts of Japanese Buddhist world maps reveal the ambivalent and shifting position of Japan in the Buddhist world, its encounter and negotiation with foreign ideas and technologies, and the possibilities for a global history of Buddhism and science. Moerman's visual and intellectual history traces the multiple trajectories of Japanese Buddhist world maps, beginning with the earliest extant Japanese map of the world: a painting by a fourteenth-century Japanese monk charting the cosmology and geography of India and Central Asia based on an account written by a seventh-century Chinese pilgrim-monk. He goes on to discuss the cartographic inclusion and marginal position of Japan, the culture of the copy and the power of replication in Japanese Buddhism, and the transcultural processes of engagement and response to new visions of the world produced by Iberian Christians, Chinese Buddhists, and the Japanese maritime trade. Later chapters explore the transformations in the media and messages of Buddhist cartography in the age of print culture and in intellectual debates during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries over cosmology and epistemology and the polemics of Buddhist science. The Japanese Buddhist World Map offers a wholly innovative picture of Japanese Buddhism that acknowledges the possibility of multiple and heterogeneous modernities and alternative visions of Japan and the world. D. Max Moerman is a Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College of Columbia University. His research interests lie in the visual and material culture of Japanese religions. Shatrunjay Mall is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He works on transnational Asian history, and his dissertation explores intellectual, political, and cultural intersections and affinities that emerged between Indian anti-colonialism and imperial Japan in the twentieth century. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Andrew Grant, "The Concrete Plateau: Urban Tibetans and the Chinese Civilizing Machine" (Cornell UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2022 46:59


In The Concrete Plateau: Urban Tibetans and the Chinese Civilizing Machine (Cornell UP, 2022), Grant examines how China's urban development policies of frontier cities like Xining (Tib. zi ling) accompanied civilizational projects that deployed various discursive and non-discursive practices aimed at creating ideologically homogeneous and modern places. Xining or Ziling is the capital of Qinghai (Tib. mtsho sngon) province and it is the largest city on the Tibetan Plateau and home to over 200, 000 Tibetans. Dr. Grant shows how specific processes complicate the rural/urban divide and allow for the emergence of a “regional modernity” where Tibetan urbanites develop tools for the “remediation of the Chinese Dream,” and subtly challenge and subvert the social and ethnic hierarchies promoted through urban development policies. Despite the idea of the city or Trungcher (grong 'khyer) as a place of moral decay and social disintegration, instead of rejecting and retreating from it, Tibetans view the city as a site of social and political possibility; where they can assert their social existence and cultural identity through creative forms of cultural expression and entrepreneurial endeavor.  Palden Gyal is a Ph.D. candidate in Modern Tibetan and Late Imperial Chinese history at Columbia University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Mrill Ingram, "Loving Orphaned Space: The Art and Science of Belonging to Earth" (Temple UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2022 46:18


How we relate to orphaned space matters. Voids, marginalia, empty spaces—from abandoned gas stations to polluted waterways—are created and maintained by politics, and often go unquestioned. In Loving Orphaned Space: The Art and Science of Belonging to Earth (Temple UP, 2022), Mrill Ingram provides a call to action to claim and to cherish these neglected spaces and make them a source of inspiration through art and/or remuneration. Ingram advocates not only for “urban greening” and “green planning,” but also for “radical caring.” These efforts create awareness and understanding of ecological connectivity and environmental justice issues—from the expropriation of land from tribal nations, to how race and class issues contribute to creating orphaned space. Case studies feature artists, scientists, and community collaborations in Chicago, New York, and Fargo, ND, where grounded and practical work of a fundamentally feminist nature challenges us to build networks of connection and care. The work of environmental artists who venture into and transform these disconnected sites of infrastructure allow us to rethink how to manage the enormous amount of existing overlooked and abused space. Loving Orphaned Space provides new ways humans can negotiate being better citizens of Earth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

On Maciej Miechowita's "Treatise on the Two Sarmatias"

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 9, 2022 32:32


In Treatise on the Two Sarmatias, Polish scholar Maciej Miechowita argued that two mountain ranges that were described on maps dating back to antiquity did not, in fact, exist. This was the 1500s, and Europeans' understanding of the world was changing. When they looked at the old maps, things didn't always line up. New mapmakers were pushing back against ancient maps that showed a world they didn't see or didn't believe in. Michael Tworek is an associate professor in the History Department at Harvard University. His research and teaching focuses on early modern Europe, particularly central and eastern Europe. Some of his current book projects explore Europe's role in early modern globalization. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Justin Grimmer et al., "Text as Data: A New Framework for Machine Learning and the Social Sciences" (Princeton UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2022 56:38


From social media posts and text messages to digital government documents and archives, researchers are bombarded with a deluge of text reflecting the social world. This textual data gives unprecedented insights into fundamental questions in the social sciences, humanities, and industry. Meanwhile new machine learning tools are rapidly transforming the way science and business are conducted. Text as Data shows how to combine new sources of data, machine learning tools, and social science research design to develop and evaluate new insights. Text as Data: A New Framework for Machine Learning and the Social Sciences (Princeton UP, 2022) is organized around the core tasks in research projects using text--representation, discovery, measurement, prediction, and causal inference. The authors offer a sequential, iterative, and inductive approach to research design. Each research task is presented complete with real-world applications, example methods, and a distinct style of task-focused research. Bridging many divides--computer science and social science, the qualitative and the quantitative, and industry and academia--Text as Data is an ideal resource for anyone wanting to analyze large collections of text in an era when data is abundant and computation is cheap, but the enduring challenges of social science remain. Overview of how to use text as data Research design for a world of data deluge Examples from across the social sciences and industry Peter Lorentzen is economics professor at the University of San Francisco. He heads USF's Applied Economics Master's program, which focuses on the digital economy. His research is mainly on China's political economy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Phil Hubbard, "Borderland: Identity and Belonging at the Edge of England" (Manchester UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 2, 2022 49:17


Over recent years, the issues of Brexit, COVID and the 'migrant crisis' put Kent in the headlines like never before. Images of asylum seekers on Kent beaches, lorries queued on motorways and the crumbling white cliffs of Dover all spoke to national anxieties, and were used to support ideas that severing ties with the EU was the best - or worst - thing the UK has ever done. In Borderland: Identity and Belonging at the Edge of England (Manchester UP, 2022), Phil Hubbard - an exiled man of Kent - considers the past, present and future of this corner of England, alighting on a number of key sites which symbolise the changing relationship between the UK and its continental neighbours. Moving from the geopolitics of the Channel Tunnel to the cultivation of oysters at Whitstable, from Derek Jarman's feted cottage at Dungeness to the art-fuelled gentrification of Margate, Borderland bridges geography, history, and archaeology, to pose important questions about the way that national identities emerge from contested local landscapes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Leslie Kern, "Gentrification is Inevitable and Other Lies" (Verso, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 51:29


What does gentrification look like? Can we even agree that it is a process that replaces one community with another? It is a question of class? Or of economic opportunity? Who does it affect the most? Is there any way to combat it? In Gentrification is Inevitable and Other Lies (Verso, 2022), Leslie Kern travels from Toronto, New York, London, Paris, and San Francisco and scrutinises the myth and lies that surround this most urgent urban crisis of our times. First observed in 1950s London, and theorised by leading thinkers such as Ruth Glass, Jane Jacobs and Sharon Zukin, this devastating process of displacement now can be found in every city and most neighbourhoods. Beyond the Yoga studio, farmer's market and tattoo parlour, gentrification is more than a metaphor, but impacts the most vulnerable communities. Kern proposes an intersectional way of looking at the crisis that seek to reveal the violence based on class, race, gender, and sexuality. She argues that gentrification is not natural. That it cannot be understood in economic terms, or by class. That it is not a question of taste. That it can only be measured only by the physical displacement of certain people. Rather, she argues, it is a continuation of the settler colonial project that removed natives from their land. And it can be seen today is rising rents and evictions, transformed retail areas, increased policing, and broken communities. But if gentrification is not inevitable, what can we do to stop the tide? In response, Kern proposes a genuinely decolonial, feminist, queer, anti-gentrification. One that demands the right to the city for everyone and the return of land and reparations for those who have been displaced. Louisa Hann recently attained a PhD in English and American studies from the University of Manchester, specialising in the political economy of HIV/AIDS theatres. She has published work on the memorialisation of HIV/AIDS on the contemporary stage and the use of documentary theatre as a neoliberal harm reduction tool. She is currently working on a monograph based on her doctoral thesis. You can get in touch with her at louisahann92@gmail.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Frederico Freitas, "Nationalizing Nature: Iguazu Falls and National Parks at the Brazil-Argentina Border" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2022 70:49


In Nationalizing Nature: Iguazu Falls and National Parks at the Brazil-Argentina Border (Cambridge UP, 2021), Frederico Freitas uncovers the crucial role played by conservation in the region's territorial development by exploring how Brazil and Argentina used national parks to nationalize borderlands. In the 1930s, Brazil and Argentina created some of their first national parks around the massive Iguazu Falls, shared by the two countries. The parks were designed as tools to attract migrants from their densely populated Atlantic seaboards to a sparsely inhabited borderland. In the 1970s, a change in paradigm led the military regimes in Brazil and Argentina to violently evict settlers from their national parks, highlighting the complicated relationship between authoritarianism and conservation in the Southern Cone. By tracking almost one hundred years of national park history in Latin America's largest countries, Nationalizing Nature shows how conservation policy promoted national programs of frontier development and border control. The book received an honorable mention in the Bryce Wood Book Award (Latin American Studies Association) as an outstanding book on Latin America in the social sciences and humanities published in English, and an honorable mention in the Sérgio Buarque de Holanda Prize (Latin American Studies Association's Brazil Section) for the best book in the social sciences on Brazil. Elena McGrath is an Assistant Professor of History at Union College. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Kareem Rabie, "Palestine Is Throwing a Party and the Whole World Is Invited: Capital and State Building in the West Bank" (Duke UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2022 62:32


In 2008, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad invited international investors to the first-ever Palestine Investment Conference, which was designed to jump-start the process of integrating Palestine into the global economy. As Fayyad described the conference, Palestine is “throwing a party, and the whole world is invited.” In Palestine Is Throwing a Party and the Whole World Is Invited: Capital and State Building in the West Bank (Duke UP, 2021), Kareem Rabie examines how the conference and Fayyad's rhetoric represented a wider shift in economic and political practice in ways that oriented state-scale Palestinian politics toward neoliberal globalization rather than a diplomatic two-state solution. Rabie demonstrates that private firms, international aid organizations, and the Palestinian government in the West Bank focused on large-scale private housing development in an effort toward state-scale economic stability and market building. This approach reflected the belief that a thriving private economy would lead to a free and functioning Palestinian state. Yet, as Rabie contends, these investment-based policies have maintained the status quo of occupation and Palestine's subordinate and suspended political and economic relationship with Israel. Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi'i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”. For more about his work, see www.adambobeck.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Lindsay Starkey, "Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond" (Amsterdam UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2022 54:14


What is holding the oceans back from entirely flooding the earth? While a twenty-first century thinker may approach the answer to this question within a framework of gravity and geologic deep-time, Lindsay Starkey demonstrates in her monograph, Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond: Redefining the Universe Through Natural Philosophy, Religious Reformations, and Sea Voyaging (Amsterdam University Press, 2020) how thinkers from antiquity to the sixteen-century held their own beliefs explaining the complex relation between dry land and water. After providing a detailed intellectual genealogy connecting the Early Modern Period with antiquity based on the transmission of knowledge through bookish methods, Starkey provides an extensively researched analysis explaining how and why perspectives and concerns about water began shifting in the sixteenth century due to sea voyages that revised medieval speculation about geographic composition of land-mass and oceans in the southern hemisphere. As we join the bookish lineage with Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond please enjoy the episode not just for the incredible insight into the past, but to use as an opportunity to reconsider our current water crisis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Tema Milstein and José Castro-Sotomayor, "Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity" (Routledge, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 50:12


The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity (Routledge, 2020) brings the ecological turn to sociocultural understandings of self. Tema Milstein and José Castro-Sotomayor introduce a broad, insightful assembly of original theory and research on planetary positionalities in flux in the Anthropocene – or what in this Handbook cultural ecologist David Abram presciently renames the Humilocene, a new “epoch of humility.” Forty international authors craft a kaleidoscopic lens, focusing on the following key interdisciplinary inquiries: Part I illuminates identity as always ecocultural, expanding dominant understandings of who we are and how our ways of identifying engender earthly outcomes. Part II examines ways ecocultural identities are fostered and how difference and spaces of interaction can be sources of environmental conviviality. Part III illustrates consequential ways the media sphere informs, challenges, and amplifies particular ecocultural identities. Part IV delves into the constitutive power of ecocultural identities and illuminates ways ecological forces shape the political sphere. Part V demonstrates multiple and unspooling ways in which ecocultural identities can evolve and transform to recall ways forward to reciprocal surviving and thriving. The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity provides an essential resource for scholars, teachers, students, protectors, and practitioners interested in ecological and sociocultural regeneration. The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity has been awarded the 2020 Book Award from the National Communication Association's (USA) Environmental Communication Division. Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi'i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”. For more about his work, see www.adambobeck.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Erica Gies, "Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2022 57:31


Trouble with water – increasingly frequent, extreme floods and droughts – is one of the first obvious signs of climate change. Meanwhile, urban sprawl, industrial agriculture and engineered water infrastructure are making things worse. As our control attempts fail, we are forced to recognize an eternal truth: sooner or later, water always wins. In Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge (U Chicago Press, 2022), award-winning science journalist Erica Gies follows water 'detectives' as they search for clues to water's past and present. Their tools: cutting-edge science and research into historical ecology, animal life, and earlier human practices. Their discoveries: a deeper understanding of what water wants and how accommodating nature can protect us and other species. Modern civilizations tend to speed water away. We have forgotten that it must flex with the rhythms of the earth, and that only collaboration with nature will allow us to forge a more resilient future. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Lachlan Fleetwood, "Science on the Roof of the World: Empire and the Remaking of the Himalaya" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 45:51


Today, the idea that the Himalayas have the world's tallest peaks—by a large margin—is entirely uncontroversial. Just about anyone can name Mount Everest and K2 as the world's tallest and second-tallest mountains respectively. But the idea that this mountain range had the highest summits used to be quite controversial. Mountaineers claimed that the Himalayas could not be taller than peaks in Europe or South America, like Ecuador's Chimborazo. Even when it was proven that the Himalayas were taller, mountaineers would praised the aesthetic quality of European and South American peaks—essentially giving the nineteenth-century equivalent of “height isn't everything” That's merely one of the historical details from Lachlan Fleetwood's Science on the Roof of the World: Empire and the Remaking of the Himalaya (Cambridge University Press, 2022), which studies the first attempts to survey this mountain range. Fleetwood's book examines not just the expeditions themselves, but also how surveyors procured their equipment, how they handled altitude sickness, and the fossils they found (among other details), in order to analyze the connection between knowledge, the frontier, and empire. Lachlan Fleetwood is a historian of science, empire, geography and environment. He holds a PhD in history from Cambridge University, and is currently a research fellow at University College Dublin. He is currently developing a new project that examines climatic sciences and environmental determinism in imperial surveys of Central Asia and Mesopotamia in the long nineteenth century. In this interview, Lachlan and I talk about the Himalayas, how the first surveyors studied them, and why these early efforts to understand this mountain range are important to how we understand the history of science. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Science on the Roof of the World. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Olena Palko and Constantin Ardeleanu, "Making Ukraine: Negotiating, Contesting, and Drawing the Borders in the Twentieth Century" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2022 59:20


Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine have brought scholarly and public attention to Ukraine's borders. Making Ukraine aims to investigate the various processes of negotiation, delineation, and contestation that have shaped the country's borders throughout the past century. Essays by contributors from various historical fields consider how, when, and under what conditions the borders that historically define the country were agreed upon. A diverse set of national and transnational contexts are explored, with a primary focus on the critical period between 1917 and 1954. Chapters are organized around three main themes: the interstate treaties that brought about the new international order in Eastern Europe in the aftermath of the world wars, the formation of the internal boundaries between Ukraine and other Soviet republics, and the delineation of Ukraine's borders with its western neighbours. Investigating the process of bordering Ukraine in the post-Soviet era, contributors also pay close attention to the competing visions of future relations between Ukraine and Russia. Through its broad geographic and thematic coverage, Olena Palko and Constantin Ardeleanu's Making Ukraine: Negotiating, Contesting, and Drawing the Borders in the Twentieth Century (McGill-Queen's UP, 2022) illustrates that the dynamics of contemporary border formation cannot be fully understood through the lens of a sole state, frontier, or ideology and sheds light on the shared history of territory and state formation in Europe and the wider modern world. Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, Indiana University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Rosetta S. Elkin, "Plant Life: The Entangled Politics of Afforestation" (U Minnesota Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2022 41:05


In Plant Life: The Entangled Politics of Afforestation (U Minnesota Press, 2022), Rosetta S. Elkin explores the procedures of afforestation, the large-scale planting of trees in otherwise treeless environments, including grasslands, prairies, and drylands. Elkin reveals that planting a tree can either be one of the ultimate offerings to thriving on this planet, or one of the most extreme perversions of human agency over it. Using three supracontinental case studies--scientific forestry in the American prairies, colonial control in Africa's Sahelian grasslands, and Chinese efforts to control and administer territory--Elkin explores the political implications of plant life as a tool of environmentalism. By exposing the human tendency to fix or solve environmental matters by exploiting other organisms, this work exposes the relationship between human and plant life, revealing that afforestation is not an ecological act: rather, it is deliberately political and distressingly social. Plant Life ultimately reveals that afforestation cannot offset deforestation, an important distinction that sheds light on current environmental trends that suggest we can plant our way out of climate change. By radicalizing what conservation protects and by framing plants in their total aliveness, Elkin shows that there are many kinds of life--not just our own--to consider when advancing environmental policy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Laura A. Ogden, "Loss and Wonder at the World's End" (Duke UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2022 63:55


In this podcast Laura A. Ogden, cultural anthropologist at Dartmouth College, introduces her beautifully crafted book Loss and Wonder at the World's End (Duke University Press, 2021). In Loss and Wonder at the World's End, Ogden brings together animals, people, and things—from beavers, stolen photographs, lichen, American explorers, and birdsong—to catalog the ways environmental change and colonial history are entangled in the Fuegian Archipelago of southernmost Chile and Argentina. Repeated algal blooms have closed fisheries in the archipelago. Glaciers are in retreat. Extractive industries such as commercial forestry, natural gas production, and salmon farming along with the introduction of nonnative species are rapidly transforming assemblages of life. Ogden archives forms of loss—including territory, language, sovereignty, and life itself—as well as forms of wonder, or moments when life continues to flourish even in the ruins of these devastations. Her account draws on long-term ethnographic research with settler and Indigenous communities; archival photographs; explorer journals; and experiments in natural history and performance studies. Loss and Wonder at the World's End frames environmental change as imperialism's shadow, a darkness cast over the earth in the wake of other losses. Elize Mazadiego is an art historian in Modern and Contemporary art (PhD, University of California San Diego), with a specialism in Latin American art. She is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow at the University of Amsterdam and author of the book Dematerialization and the Social Materiality of Art: Experimental Forms in Argentina, 1955-1968 (Brill, 2021). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Lorna Down and Therese Ferguson, "Education for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean: Pedagogy, Processes and Practices" (U West Indies Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2022 55:27


Education for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean: Pedagogy, Processes and Practices (University of the West Indies Press, 2022) offers a unique perspective on educational approaches to creating a sustainable world. Lorna Down and Therese Ferguson complement their theoretical discussions with practical, “real world” engagements. Case studies and current research ground teaching and learning for sustainability and enable diverse communities of learners, inside and outside of classrooms, to transform their societies. With its emphasis on the crucial role of education for the transformation to a peaceful, just, inclusive and environmentally sustainable world, this book is a valuable resource for students, lecturers and researchers working in education for sustainable development across disciplines. It also is a significant text for those working in community-based, non-governmental and intergovernmental fields. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Vivian Jing Zhan, "China's Contained Resource Curse: How Minerals Shape State Capital Labor Relations" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2022 47:19


Contrary to intuition, many countries have found that having abundant natural resources such as petroleum or diamonds may be a curse as much as a blessing. Broad-based economic development may be stunted as resource extraction dominates the economy, and politics may be corrupted as different interest groups focus on controlling and redistributing resource rents instead of on governing well. In the worst cases, the fight for control over this wealth breaks into armed conflict. China is not usually considered in this light, since at the national level it has become a manufacturing powerhouse with natural resources only playing a minor economics role. However, the picture is different at the local level.  China's Contained Resource Curse: How Minerals Shape State Capital Labor Relations (Cambridge UP, 2022), by Jing Vivian Zhan, explores how mineral booms have affected business, the state, and ordinary people in China's mineral-rich regions. Her book combines econometric analysis with an in-depth understanding developed over ten years of fieldwork and interviewing with key players. Zhan finds that many of the classic resource-curse pathologies occur at the local level in China. Businesspeople collude with or pressure the government to gain mining rights and avoid close inspection of labor standards. Local people see little benefit from the economic development as few jobs are created and other forms of development are largely crowded out. If they benefit from any revenue windfalls it is in the form of short-term government handouts aimed to keep the peace, rather than long-term investments in healthcare, education, and other social services. Meanwhile, the central government in Beijing is only slowly putting together a national regulatory framework that might enable a more sustainable and equitable development path, and has limited capacity to ensure that its policies are carried out at the local level. Vivian Zhan is an Associate Professor of the Department of Government and Public Administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received her BA in English and International Studies from Foreign Affairs College of China, and her PhD in political science from University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests span comparative political economy, contemporary Chinese politics, and research methodology, with a focus on post-Mao reforms, intergovernmental relations and local governance. She is also interested in informal institutions and their impact on political and economic behaviours. Host Peter Lorentzen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of San Francisco, where he leads a new Master's program in Applied Economics focused on the digital economy. His own research focus is the political economy of governance in China. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Adrienne Buller, "The Value of a Whale: On the Illusions of Green Capitalism" (Manchester UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2022 48:46


In this searing and insightful critique, Adrienne Buller examines the fatal biases that have shaped the response of our governing institutions to climate and environmental breakdown, and asks: are the 'solutions' being proposed really solutions? Tracing the intricate connections between financial power, economic injustice and ecological crisis, she exposes the myopic economism and market-centric thinking presently undermining a future where all life can flourish.  The Value of a Whale: On the Illusions of Green Capitalism (Manchester UP, 2022) examines what is wrong with mainstream climate and environmental governance, from carbon pricing and offset markets to 'green growth', the commodification of nature and the growing influence of the finance industry on environmental policy. In doing so, it exposes the self-defeating logic of a response to these challenges based on creating new opportunities for profit, and a refusal to grapple with the inequalities and injustices that have created them. Both honest and optimistic, The Value of a Whale asks us - in the face of crisis - what we really value. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Sushmita Pati, "Properties of Rent: Community, Capital and Politics in Globalising Delhi" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 4, 2022 65:47


We live in cities whose borders have always been subject to expansion. What does such transformation of rural spaces mean for cities and vice-versa? Properties of Rent: Community, Capital and Politics in Globalising Delhi (Cambridge UP, 2022) looks at the spatial transformation of villages brought into Delhi's urban fray in the 1950s. As these villages transform physically; their residents, an agrarian-pastoralist community - the Jats - also transform into dabblers in real estate. A study of two villages - Munirka and Shahpur Jat - both in the heart of bustling urban economies of Delhi, reveal that it is 'rent' that could define this suburbanisation. 'Bhaichara', once a form of land ownership in colonial times, transforms into an affective claim of belonging, and managing urban property in the face of a steady onslaught from the 'city'. Properties of Rent is a study of how a vernacular form of capitalism and its various affects shape up in opposition to both state, finance capital and the city in contemporary urban Delhi. Sushmita Pati is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. She studied Political Science at Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. She is interested in studying the intersections of Urban Politics and Political Economy. Her recent book, Properties of Rent: Community, Capital and Politics in Globalising Delhi is now out from Cambridge University Press. Saronik Bosu (@SaronikB on Twitter) is a doctoral candidate in English at New York University. He is writing his dissertation on literary rhetoric and economic thought. He co-hosts the podcast High Theory and is a co-founder of the Postcolonial Anthropocene Research Network. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Stefanie K. Dunning, "Black to Nature: Pastoral Return and African American Culture" (UP of Mississippi, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2022 43:11


In Black to Nature: Pastoral Return and African American Culture (University Press of Mississippi, 2021), author Stefanie K. Dunning considers both popular and literary texts that range from Beyoncé's Lemonade to Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones. These key works restage Black women in relation to nature. Dunning argues that depictions of protagonists who return to pastoral settings contest the violent and racist history that incentivized Black disavowal of the natural world. Dunning offers an original theoretical paradigm for thinking through race and nature by showing that diverse constructions of nature in these texts are deployed as a means of rescrambling the teleology of the Western progress narrative. In a series of fascinating close readings of contemporary Black texts, she reveals how a range of artists evoke nature to suggest that interbeing with nature signals a call for what Jared Sexton calls “the dream of Black Studies”—abolition. Black to Nature thus offers nuanced readings that advance an emerging body of critical and creative work at the nexus of Blackness, gender, and nature. Written in a clear, approachable, and multilayered style that aims to be as poignant as nature itself, the volume offers a unique combination of theoretical breadth, narrative beauty, and broader perspective that suggests it will be a foundational text in a new critical turn towards framing nature within a cultural studies context. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti, "Atlas of the Invisible: Maps and Graphics That Will Change How You See the World" (W. W. Norton, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2022 68:10


Award-winning geographer-designer team James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti transform enormous datasets into rich maps and cutting-edge visualizations. In this triumph of visual storytelling, they uncover truths about our past, reveal who we are today, and highlight what we face in the years ahead. In Atlas of the Invisible: Maps and Graphics That Will Change How You See the World (W. W. Norton, 2021), Cheshire and Uberti explore happiness levels around the globe, trace the undersea cables and cell towers that connect us, examine hidden scars of geopolitics, and illustrate how a warming planet affects everything from hurricanes to the hajj. Years in the making, Atlas of the Invisible invites readers to marvel at the promise and peril of data, and to revel in the secrets and contours of a newly visible world. Winner of the 2021 British Cartographic Society Awards including the Stanfords Award for Printed Mapping and the John C. Bartholomew Award for Thematic Mapping. Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Max Liboiron and Josh Lepawsky, "Discard Studies: Wasting, Systems, and Power" (MIT Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2022 50:38


An argument that social, political, and economic systems maintain power by discarding certain people, places, and things. Discard studies is an emerging field that looks at waste and wasting broadly construed. Rather than focusing on waste and trash as the primary objects of study, discard studies looks at wider systems of waste and wasting to explore how some materials, practices, regions, and people are valued or devalued, becoming dominant or disposable.  In Discard Studies: Wasting, Systems, and Power (MIT Press, 2022), Max Liboiron and Josh Lepawsky argue that social, political, and economic systems maintain power by discarding certain people, places, and things. They show how the theories and methods of discard studies can be applied in a variety of cases, many of which do not involve waste, trash, or pollution. Liboiron and Lepawsky consider the partiality of knowledge and offer a theory of scale, exploring the myth that most waste is municipal solid waste produced by consumers; discuss peripheries, centers, and power, using content moderation as an example of how dominant systems find ways to discard; and use theories of difference to show that universalism, stereotypes, and inclusion all have politics of discard and even purification—as exemplified in “inclusive” efforts to broaden the Black Lives Matter movement. Finally, they develop a theory of change by considering “wasting well,” outlining techniques, methods, and propositions for a justice-oriented discard studies that keeps power in view. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Mahshid Mayar, "Citizens and Rulers of the World: The American Child and the Cartographic Pedagogies of Empire" (UNC Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 39:05


In this episode of New Books in Literary Studies, John Yargo spoke with Mahshid Mayar about how children's puzzles and schoolbooks at the turn of the 20th century helped shape U.S. political relations with the world. Professor Mayar is an assistant professor of American Studies at Bielefeld University and research associate at the English Department, Amherst College. Mahshid has just published Citizens and Rulers of the World: The American Child and the Cartographic Pedagogies of Empire, with the University of North Carolina Press. Citizens and Rulers of the World recovers how American children at the turn of the 20th century navigated knowledge about world geography in the shadow of the rapidly expanding American empire. John Yargo recently received his PhD in English literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in the environmental humanities and early modern culture. His articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal for Early Modern Culture Studies, Studies in Philology, and Shakespeare Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Ruth Wilson Gilmore, "Abolition Geography: Essays Towards Liberation" (Verso, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 57:23


Gathering together Ruth Wilson Gilmore's work from over three decades, Abolition Geography: Essays Towards Liberation (Verso, 2022) presents her singular contribution to the politics of abolition as theorist, researcher, and organizer, offering scholars and activists ways of seeing and doing to help navigate our turbulent present. Edited and introduced by Brenna Bhandar and Alberto Toscano, Abolition Geography moves us away from explanations of mass incarceration and racist violence focused on uninterrupted histories of prejudice or the dull compulsion of neoliberal economics. Instead, Gilmore offers a geographical grasp of how contemporary racial capitalism operates through an “anti-state state” that answers crises with the organized abandonment of people and environments deemed surplus to requirement. Gilmore escapes one-dimensional conceptions of what liberation demands, who demands liberation, or what indeed is to be abolished. Drawing on the lessons of grassroots organizing and internationalist imaginaries, Abolition Geography undoes the identification of abolition with mere decarceration, and reminds us that freedom is not a mere principle but a place. In this interview, we spent time unpacking how the book came to be, its focus, and its central concept: abolition geography. Among other things, we discussed the meaning and merits of taking a specifically geographical approach to abolition, Ruthie's activist and intellectual influences, and the role of scholars in bringing about a more just world. Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she is also Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics. She is also the author of Golden Gulag and Opposition in Globalizing California. Catriona Gold is a PhD candidate in Geography at University College London. She is currently researching the US Passport Office's role in governing Cold War travel, and broadly interested in questions of security, surveillance and mobility. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Douglas Booth, "Bondi Beach: Representations of an Iconic Australian" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2022 68:39


Today we are joined by Douglas Booth, Dean of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, Canada and Professor Emeritus at the University of Otago. He is also the author of Bondi Beach: Representations of an Iconic Australian (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022). In our conversation, we discussed the geological and climatological origins of Bondi Beach; the contested histories of iconic Australian archetypes such as surf bathers, surf life savers, and surf boarders; and what it might mean to write an autobiography of Bondi Beach. In Bondi Beach, Booth works across the boundaries of the social and physical sciences, encompassing anthropology, geography, geology, history, and hydrology. In the first two chapters of the book, he critically assesses the role of sand and storms as actors in shaping the beach, which only arose in its current instantiation 6,500 years ago. Current debates over the shape of the beach can take the “natural” as desirable, but as Booth shows in his chapters “Nature and Culture” and “Pavilion,” powerful civic forces can also help to remake the environment to suit human needs. When it comes to the beach, Booth seems to argue that the only constant is change. His chapters on the Eora (Indigenous Australians) and Berewalgal (European settler-colonists) trace the changes in beach use. Contrary to later colonial officials' assertions, the Eora did not leave Bondi barren, nor was their use of the land static, but instead Indigenous Australians use of the land altered in response to the environment and the development of new fishing and manufacturing techniques. Eora and Berewalgal people possessed different ontological understandings of their relationship to the country. Indigenous Australians saw themselves as part of the land and as a consequence worked within its homeostatic limits. Settler-colonial people saw their role as one of management and consequently they sought policies to make the land more useful from an economic point of view, causing significant changes to the geographic and social landscape of the Bondi-Rose Bay Valley. Booth's work challenges assumptions that underpin the historical discipline: how do we recapture the past, what facts do we include and what do we leave out, and how do organize our histories into narratives. His chapters on avatars of Australian beach culture: surf bathers, surf life savers, and surf boarders simultaneously highlight the impossibility of writing origins stories while they also highlight the various narrative possibilities of different mythological types. There is no single authoritative history of surfing in Bondi – but it is open to numerous story arcs: surfers as heroes or victims, surfers as environmental crusaders or landscape devastators, and surfers as counter-cultural icons or social problems. In his last chapter, “Autobiography” Booth writes a biography from the perspective of Bondi Beach. This “autobiography” is of Booth's imagination, but it's daring narrative form offers new possibilities for thinking through what the natural environment might think of man's stewardship of space. Booth's work has broad appeal – clearly of interest to people who are focused on sports studies, but also broadly to scholars from a range of fields, both physical and social sciences, who want to re-think the assumptions of our disciplines. Keith Rathbone is a Senior Lecturer at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He researches twentieth-century French social and cultural history. His book, entitled Sport and physical culture in Occupied France: Authoritarianism, agency, and everyday life, (Manchester University Press, 2022) examines physical education and sports in order to better understand civic life under the dual authoritarian systems of the German Occupation and the Vichy Regime. If you have a title to suggest for this podcast, please contact him at keith.rathbone@mq.edu.au and follow him at @keithrathbone on twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Catherine Gibson, "Geographies of Nationhood: Cartography, Science, and Society in the Russian Imperial Baltic" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 62:09


Geographies of Nationhood: Cartography, Science, and Society in the Russian Imperial Baltic (Oxford UP, 2022) examines the meteoric rise of ethnographic mapmaking in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as a form of visual and material culture that gave expression to territorialised visions of nationhood. In the Russian Empire's Baltic provinces, the development of ethnographic cartography, as part of the broader field of statistical data visualisation, progressively became a tool that lent legitimacy and an experiential dimension to nationalist arguments, as well as a wide range of alternative spatial configurations that rendered the inhabitants of the Baltic as part of local, imperial, and global geographies.  Catherine Gibson argues that map production and the spread of cartographic literacy as a mass phenomenon in Baltic society transformed how people made sense of linguistic, ethnic, and religious similarities and differences by imbuing them with an alleged scientific objectivity that was later used to determine the political structuring of the Baltic region and beyond. Geographies of Nationhood treads new ground by expanding the focus beyond elites to include a diverse range of mapmakers, such as local bureaucrats, commercial enterprises, clergymen, family members, teachers, and landowners. It shifts the focus from imperial learned and military institutions to examine the proliferation of mapmaking across diverse sites in the Empire, including the provincial administration, local learned societies, private homes, and schools. Understanding ethnographic maps in the social context of their production, circulation, consumption, and reception is crucial for assessing their impact as powerful shapers of popular geographical conceptions of nationhood, state-building, and border-drawing. Catherine Gibson is a historian of modern eastern Europe, currently a research fellow at the University of Tartu in Estonia. Steven Seegel is Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Matthew T. Huber, "Climate Change as Class War: Building Socialism on a Warming Planet" (Verso, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 45:58


The climate crisis is not primarily a problem of ‘believing science' or individual ‘carbon footprints' – it is a class problem rooted in who owns, controls and profits from material production. As such, it will take a class struggle to solve. In Climate Change as Class War: Building Socialism on a Warming Planet (Verso, 2022), Matthew T. Huber argues that the carbon-intensive capitalist class must be confronted for producing climate change. Yet, the narrow and unpopular roots of climate politics in the professional class is not capable of building a movement up to this challenge. For an alternative strategy, he proposes climate politics that appeals to the vast majority of society: the working class. Huber evaluates the Green New Deal as a first attempt to channel working class material and ecological interests and advocates building union power in the very energy system we need to dramatically transform. In the end, as in classical socialist movements of the early 20th Century, winning the climate struggle will need to be internationalist based on a form of planetary working class solidarity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Judah Schept, "Coal, Cages, Crisis: The Rise of the Prison Economy in Central Appalachia" (NYU Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 60:14


As the United States began the project of mass incarceration, rural communities turned to building prisons as a strategy for economic development. More than 350 prisons have been built in the U.S. since 1980, with certain regions of the country accounting for large shares of this dramatic growth. Central Appalachia is one such region there are eight prisons alone in Eastern Kentucky. If Kentucky were its own country, it would have the seventh highest incarceration rate in the world. In Coal, Cages, Crisis: The Rise of the Prison Economy in Central Appalachia (NYU Press, 2022), Judah Schept takes a closer look at this stunning phenomenon, providing insight into prison growth, jail expansion and rising incarceration rates in America's hinterlands. Judah Schept is Professor of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Dorina Pojani, "Trophy Cities: A Feminist Perspective on New Capitals" (Edward Elgar, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2022 45:54


Offering a fresh perspective, this timely book analyzes the socio-cultural and physical production of planned capital cities through the theoretical lens of feminism.  In Trophy Cities: A Feminist Perspective on New Capitals (Edward Elgar, 2021), Dorina Pojani evaluates the historical, spatial and symbolic manifestations of new capital cities, as well as the everyday experiences of those living there, to shed light on planning processes, outcomes and contemporary planning issues. Chapters explore seven geographically, culturally and temporally diverse capital cities across Australia, India, Brazil, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Myanmar and South Korea. Pojani argues that new capital cities have embodied patriarchal systems to govern their respective polities which has magnified problems in these cities. The book highlights how in new capitals, notions such as the state, the nation, urbanism, religion, the economy and even nature have been conceived of or treated in patriarchal terms, to the detriment of women and other disadvantaged groups. This book will be an invigorating read for urban studies and planning scholars. The information about the processes of new city formation will also be of great use to urban planner Access more of Dorina's publications via her researcher profile. Ingrid Bailey is a PhD candidate in geography at the University of Queensland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Martin Williams, "When the Sahara Was Green: How Our Greatest Desert Came to Be" (Princeton UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2022 55:15


The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world, equal in size to China or the United States. Yet, this arid expanse was once a verdant, pleasant land, fed by rivers and lakes. The Sahara sustained abundant plant and animal life, such as Nile perch, turtles, crocodiles, and hippos, and attracted prehistoric hunters and herders. What transformed this land of lakes into a sea of sands? When the Sahara Was Green describes the remarkable history of Earth's greatest desert--including why its climate changed, the impact this had on human populations, and how scientists uncovered the evidence for these extraordinary events. From the Sahara's origins as savanna woodland and grassland to its current arid incarnation, Martin Williams takes us on a vivid journey through time. He describes how the desert's ancient rocks were first fashioned, how dinosaurs roamed freely across the land, and how it was later covered in tall trees. Along the way, Williams addresses many questions: Why was the Sahara previously much wetter, and will it be so again? Did humans contribute to its desertification? What was the impact of extreme climatic episodes--such as prolonged droughts--upon the Sahara's geology, ecology, and inhabitants? Williams also shows how plants, animals, and humans have adapted to the Sahara and what lessons we might learn for living in harmony with the harshest, driest conditions in an ever-changing global environment. A valuable look at how an iconic region has changed over millions of years, When the When the Sahara Was Green: How Our Greatest Desert Came to Be (Princeton UP, 2021) reveals the desert's surprising past to reflect on its present, as well as its possible future. Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Peer Schouten, "Roadblock Politics: The Origins of Violence in Central Africa" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 54:33


Peer Schouten, of the Danish Institute for International Studies, has written a breathtaking book. Roadblock Politics: The Origins of Violence in Central Africa (Cambridge, 2022). Schouten mapped more than 1000 roadblocks in both the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In so doing, he illuminates the relationship between road blocks and what he calls “frictions of terrain” (p 262). These frictions demonstrate how rebels, locals and state security forces interact in the making, or unmaking, of state authority and legitimacy. Looking at roadblocks as a kind of infrastructural empire that existed before the Europeans first arrived in Africa, Schouten develops a new framework to understand the ways in which supply chain capitalism thrives in places of non-conventional logistical capacity, to reframe how state theory fails to capture the nature of statehood and local authority in Central Africa. Schouten calls out governments, the UN and other international actors, to highlight how control of roadblocks translates into control over mineral, territory or people. No analysis of the drivers of conflict anywhere in the world is complete without consideration of Peer Schouten's groundbreaking book, Roadblock Politics. At the end of the interview, Schouten recommends two books: Mintz's (1986) Sweetness of Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History and Labatut's (2021) When We Cease to Understand the World. Thomson recommends the CBC podcast Nothing is Foreign. Susan Thomson is an Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Colgate University. I like to interview pretenure scholars about their research. I am particularly keen on their method and methodology, as well as the process of producing academic knowledge about African places and people. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Milton Santos, "For a New Geography" (U Minnesota Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 55:22


Originally published in 1978 in Portuguese, For a New Geography is a milestone in the history of critical geography and it marked the emergence of its author, Milton Santos (1926–2001), as a major interpreter of geographical thought, a prominent Afro-Brazilian public intellectual, and one of the foremost global theorists of space. Published in the midst of a crisis in geographical thought, For a New Geography functioned as a bridge between geography's past and its future. In advancing his vision of a geography of action and liberation, Santos begins by turning to the roots of modern geography and its colonial legacies. Moving from a critique of the shortcomings of geography from the field's foundations as a modern science to the outline of a new field of critical geography, he sets forth both an ontology of space and a methodology for geography. In so doing, he introduces novel theoretical categories to the analysis of space. It is, in short, both a critique of the Northern, Anglo-centric discipline from within and a systematic critique of its flaws and assumptions from outside. Critical geography has developed in the past four decades into a heterogeneous and creative field of inquiry. Though accruing a set of theoretical touchstones in the process, it has become detached from a longer and broader history of geographical thought. For a New Geography reconciles these divergent histories. Arriving in English at a time of renewed interest in alternative geographical traditions and the history of radical geography, it takes its place in the canonical works of critical geography. Dr Archie Davies is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Andrea C. Mosterman, "Spaces of Enslavement: A History of Slavery and Resistance in Dutch New York" (Cornell UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2022 54:15


In Spaces of Enslavement: A History of Slavery and Resistance in Dutch New York (Cornell UP, 2021), Andrea C. Mosterman addresses the persistent myth that the colonial Dutch system of slavery was more humane. Investigating practices of enslavement in New Netherland and then in New York, Mosterman shows that these ways of racialized spatial control held much in common with the southern plantation societies. In the 1620s, Dutch colonial settlers brought slavery to the banks of the Hudson River and founded communities from New Amsterdam in the south to Beverwijck near the terminus of the navigable river. When Dutch power in North America collapsed and the colony came under English control in 1664, Dutch descendants continued to rely on enslaved labor. Until 1827, when slavery was abolished in New York State, slavery expanded in the region, with all free New Yorkers benefitting from that servitude. Mosterman describes how the movements of enslaved persons were controlled in homes and in public spaces such as workshops, courts, and churches. She addresses how enslaved people responded to regimes of control by escaping from or modifying these spaces so as to expand their activities within them. Through a close analysis of homes, churches, and public spaces, Mosterman shows that, over the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the region's Dutch communities were engaged in a daily struggle with Black New Yorkers who found ways to claim freedom and resist oppression. Spaces of Enslavement writes a critical and overdue chapter on the place of slavery and resistance in the colony and young state of New York. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Chris Gratien, "The Unsettled Plain: An Environmental History of the Late Ottoman Frontier" (Stanford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2022 67:32


In this episode, I talk to Chris Gratien, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Virginia, about his new book, The Unsettled Plain: An Environmental History of the Late Ottoman Frontier (Stanford University Press, 2022).  The Unsettled Plain studies agrarian life in the Ottoman Empire to understand the making of the modern world. Over the course of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the environmental transformation of the Ottoman countryside became intertwined with migration and displacement. Muslim refugees, mountain nomads, families deported in the Armenian Genocide, and seasonal workers from all over the empire endured hardship, exile, and dispossession. Their settlement and survival defined new societies forged in the provincial spaces of the late Ottoman frontier. Through these movements, Chris Gratien reconstructs the remaking of Çukurova, a region at the historical juncture of Anatolia and Syria, and illuminates radical changes brought by the modern state, capitalism, war, and technology. Drawing on both Ottoman Turkish and Armenian sources, Gratien brings rural populations into the momentous events of the period: Ottoman reform, Mediterranean capitalism, the First World War, and Turkish nation-building. Through the ecological perspectives of everyday people in Çukurova, he charts how familiar facets of quotidian life like malaria, cotton cultivation, labor, and leisure attained modern manifestations. As the history of this pivotal region hidden on the geopolitical map reveals, the remarkable ecological transformation of late Ottoman society configured the trajectory of the contemporary societies of the Middle East. The music for this episode is Jazz Mice by Stefan Kartenberg. Deren Ertas is a PhD student in the joint program in History and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. You can reach her on Twitter @drnrts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

James S. Bielo, "Materializing the Bible: Scripture, Sensation, Place" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 69:20


What happens when the written words of biblical scripture are transformed into experiential, choreographed environments? To answer this question, anthropologist James Bielo explores a diverse range of practices and places that “materialize the Bible,” including gardens, theme parks, shrines, museums, memorials, exhibitions, theatrical productions, and other forms of replication. Integrating ethnographic, archival, and mass media data, case studies focus primarily on U.S. Christianity from the late 19th-century to the present. In Materializing the Bible: Scripture, Sensation, Place (Bloomsbury, 2021), Bielo argues that materializing the Bible works as an authorizing practice to intensify intimacies with scripture and circulate potent ideologies. Performed through the sensory experience of bodies, physical technologies, and infrastructures of place, Bielo illustrates how this phenomenon is always, ultimately, about expressions of power. Tiatemsu Longkumer is a Ph.D. scholar working on ‘Anthropology of Religion' at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong: India. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Sarah Mittlefehldt, "Tangled Roots: The Appalachian Trail and American Environmental Politics" (U Washington Press, 2013)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 53:58


The Appalachian Trail, a thin ribbon of wilderness running through the densely populated eastern United States, offers a refuge from modern society and a place apart from human ideas and institutions. But as environmental historian—and thru-hiker—Sarah Mittlefehldt argues, the trail is also a conduit for community engagement and a model for public-private cooperation and environmental stewardship. In Tangled Roots: The Appalachian Trail and American Environmental Politics (U Washington Press, 2013), Mittlefehldt tells the story of the trail's creation. The project was one of the first in which the National Park Service attempted to create public wilderness space within heavily populated, privately owned lands. Originally a regional grassroots endeavor, under federal leadership the trail project retained unprecedented levels of community involvement. As citizen volunteers came together and entered into conversation with the National Parks Service, boundaries between “local” and “nonlocal,” “public” and “private,” “amateur” and “expert” frequently broke down. Today, as Mittlefehldt tells us, the Appalachian Trail remains an unusual hybrid of public and private efforts and an inspiring success story of environmental protection. Sarah Mittlefehldt is an environmental historian and Professor of Earth, Environmental & Geographical Sciences at Northern Michigan University.  Brady McCartney is an interdisciplinary environmental studies scholar at the University of Florida. Email: Brady.McCartney@UFL.edu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Paul Huebener, "Nature's Broken Clocks: Reimagining Time in the Face of the Environmental Crisis" (U Regina Press, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2022 34:28


In Nature's Broken Clocks: Reimagining Time in the Face of the Environmental Crisis (University of Regina Press, 2020), Paul Huebener argues that "the environmental crisis is, in many ways, a crisis of time." From the distress cries of birds that no longer know when to migrate, to the rapid dying of coral reefs, to the quickening pace of extreme weather events, the patterns and timekeeping of the natural world are falling apart. We have broken nature's clocks.  Lying hidden at the root of this problem are the cultural narratives that shape our actions and horizons of thought, but as Paul Huebener shows, we can bring about change by developing a critical literacy of time. Moving from circadian rhythms and the revival of ancient frozen bacteria to camping advertisements and the politics of oil pipelines, Nature's Broken Clocks turns to works of fiction and poetry, examining how cultural narratives of time are connected to the problems of ecological collapse and what we might do to fix them. Nicholas Pritchard is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge interested in time and the sea. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Christopher Harker, "Spacing Debt: Obligations, Violence, and Endurance in Ramallah, Palestine" (Duke UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2022 66:14


In Spacing Debt: Obligations, Violence, and Endurance in Ramallah, Palestine (Duke UP, 2020), Christopher Harker demonstrates that financial debt is as much a spatial phenomenon as it is a temporal and social one. Harker traces the emergence of debt in Ramallah after 2008 as part of the financialization of the Palestinian economy under Israeli settler colonialism. Debt contributes to processes through which Palestinians are kept economically unstable and subordinate. Harker draws extensively on residents' accounts of living with the explosion of personal debt to highlight the entanglement of consumer credit with other obligatory relations among family, friends, and institutions. He offers a new geographical theorization of debt, showing how debt affects urban space, including the movement of bodies through the city, localized economies, and the political violence associated with occupation. Bringing cultural and urban imaginaries into conversation with monetized debt, Harker shows how debt itself becomes a slow violence embedded into the everyday lives of citizens. However, debt is also a means through which Palestinians practice endurance, creatively adapting to life under occupation. Mehdi Sanglaji is supposed to be writing a PhD thesis on political violence, religion, and all that jazz. Find me @mehdisanglaji on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Heather Davis, "Plastic Matter" (Duke UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2022 62:04


Plastic is ubiquitous. It is in the Arctic, in the depths of the Mariana Trench, and in the high mountaintops of the Pyrenees. It is in the air we breathe and the water we drink. Nanoplastics penetrate our cell walls. Plastic is not just any material—it is emblematic of life in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In Plastic Matter (Duke UP, 2022), Heather Davis traces plastic's relations to geology, media, biology, and race to show how matter itself has come to be understood as pliable, disposable, and consumable. The invention and widespread use of plastic, Davis contends, reveals the dominance of the Western orientation to matter and its assumption that matter exists to be endlessly manipulated and controlled by humans. Plastic's materiality and pliability reinforces these expectations of what matter should be and do. Davis charts these relations to matter by mapping the queer multispecies relationships between humans and plastic-eating bacteria and analyzing photography that documents the racialized environmental violence of plastic production. In so doing, Davis provokes readers to reexamine their relationships to matter and life in light of plastic's saturation. Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi'i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”. For more about his work, see www.adambobeck.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

Jack Ashby, "Platypus Matters: The Extraordinary Story of Australian Mammals" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2022 50:43


Think of a platypus: they lay eggs (that hatch into so-called platypups), they produce milk without nipples and venom without fangs and they can detect electricity. Or a wombat: their teeth never stop growing, they poo cubes and they defend themselves with reinforced rears. Platypuses, possums, wombats, echidnas, devils, kangaroos, quolls, dibblers, dunnarts, kowaris: Australia has some truly astonishing mammals with incredible, unfamiliar features. But how does the world regard these creatures? And what does that mean for their conservation? In Platypus Matters: The Extraordinary Story of Australian Mammals (U Chicago Press, 2022), naturalist Jack Ashby shares his love for these often-misunderstood animals. Informed by his own experiences meeting living marsupials and egg-laying mammals on fieldwork in Tasmania and mainland Australia, as well as his work with thousands of zoological specimens collected for museums over the last 200-plus years, Ashby's tale not only explains the extraordinary lives of these animals, but the historical mysteries surrounding them and the myths that persist (especially about the platypus). He also reveals the toll these myths can take. Ashby makes it clear that calling these animals ‘weird' or ‘primitive' – or incorrectly implying that Australia is an ‘evolutionary backwater' – a perception that can be traced back to the country's colonial history – has undermined conservation: Australia now has the worst mammal extinction rate of anywhere on Earth. Important, timely and written with humour and wisdom by a scientist and self-described platypus nerd, this celebration of Australian wildlife will open eyes and change minds about how we contemplate and interact with the natural world – everywhere. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography

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