Seminar Series 2017-2018

GeoSpectives is the lecture series hosted by the Department of Geography. Talks are in Burnside Hall, Room 426, on Mondays, 10-11 a.m., unless otherwise stated.


Date: November 6, 10-11 a.m.
Climate Change and Global Mobility: Decoding Climate Refugees' Ineluctable Relations
J. Mauricio Gaona
O'Brien Fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights
McGill University

By the end of this century, it is expected that climate refugees will represent the world’s largest number of refugees leading to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. This year alone, we have seen a growing number of refugees fleeing severe drought in East and Central Africa along with massive internal displacements in the Pacific, the Caribbean, and the United States due to environmental events associated with climate change and related impacts. Yet, climate refugees are the most unprotected population in the world. They are caught between the lack of international legal recognition, the politicization of climate change, and the rise of populism in the Western Hemisphere depicting refugees as security, economic, and cultural-identity threats. The talk will address these critical relations while decoding the most pressing challenges forced climate migrants nowadays face.

Special GIS Day Lecture!
Date: Wednesday, November 15, 1-2 p.m. in Burnside 511
“But do you actually do GIS?”
Dr. Matthew W. Wilson
University of Kentucky and Harvard University
Co-Sponsored by the Geographic Information Centre

The increasing availability of and innovations in internet-based digital mapping tools have brought about rapid changes in mapping practices. Alongside this popularization of mapping has been a largely silent academy as to what these developments mean for cartography, GIScience, geography, and spatial thought more broadly. Meanwhile, the arts, humanities, design, and social sciences, including critical human geography, have marked their interest in the use of geospatial technologies, with the emergence of volunteered geographic information and neogeography, the digital and spatial humanities, as well as calls for new collaborations between the critical social sciences and the GISciences. In the presentation, I think about the question, “But do you actually do GIS?”, as it unearths a series of broader concerns around the project of higher education. To fashion a response to this question has meant reconsidering what it means to be “public” as well as a “science” in a democracy. In this project, I reevaluate our disciplinary stance, to challenge the definitional boundaries of geographic information systems and to reestablish the significance of studying versus doing.

Date: November 20, 10-11 a.m.
There’s Something in the Water: The Politics of Race, Place & Waste in Indigenous and African Nova Scotian Communities
Prof. Ingrid Waldron
Faculty of Health
Dalhousie University

In this presentation Dr. Ingrid Waldron examines the social justice dimensions of race, place, space, and the environment in Indigenous and African Nova Scotian communities by exploring how hierarchies and intersections of race, culture, gender, income, class, and other social identities are spatialized in rural and urban settings. She will unpack the larger socio-spatial processes that create disproportionate exposure and vulnerability to the harmful social, economic, and health impacts of environmental injustices and other place-based inequalities in Indigenous and Black communities.


The department has a limited schedule of GeoSpectives in winter due to the number of job talks we will host this semester.

Date: March 19, 2018, 10-11 a.m.
Title TBA
Prof. Kate D. Derickson
Department of Geography, Environment & Society
University of Minnesota

Date: March 20 or 21, 2018 (TBD)
Title TBA
Prof. Juanita Sundberg
Department of Geography
University of British Columbia
Cosponsored with the Sustainability Research Symposium

Date: April 2, 2018, 10-11 a.m.
Title TBA
Prof. Maria Strack
Department of Geography and Environmental Management
University of Waterloo

Date: April 23, 2018, 10-11 a.m.
Title TBA
Prof. Karl Zimmerer
Department of Geography
Penn State University