Seminar Series 2018-2019

GeoSpectives is the lecture series hosted by the Department of Geography. Talks are in Burnside Hall, Room 426, normally on Fridays, 12 noon to 1 p.m. unless stated otherwise.

Fall 2018

Date: September 14, 2018, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Commons, Co-ops and Corporations: Indonesia's 21st Century Land Reform
Prof. Tania Li
Department of Anthropology
University of Toronto

In Indonesia, as elsewhere in the global south, twentieth century land reform hinged on the figures of the landlord and the peasant, whose interests were understood to be opposed. Twenty-first century land reform is assembled from different elements, notably commons, co-ops, and corporations, and diverse actors with interests that conveniently seem to align. For different reasons, commons and co-ops are favoured by indigenous land rights activists, World Bank land experts, climate scientists, and advocates of the "peasant way" seeking non-capitalist alternatives. Corporations are eager to be re-positioned as benevolent partners and champions of the poor.  Yet the promise of egalitarian, co-operative communities, nurtured by corporations and a reform-producing state is disrupted by class differentiation among the people, and the crony-corporate cabals that reach into every layer of Indonesian society. In Indonesia and elsewhere, attempts to render land reform technical and non-political run into serious limits, and underlying injustice remains unresolved. 

Date: October 12, 2018, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Title: TBA
Prof. Georg Glasze
Institute of Geography
Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg

Date: October 26, 2018, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Reclaiming the Oil Sands: Can We Put the Peatlands Back?
Prof. Maria Strack
Department of Geography and Environmental Management
University of Waterloo

Oil sands deposits in Alberta cover over 142,000 km2 of boreal forest and represent one of the largest oil reserves in the world. Many of these oil sands deposits are located in areas rich in peatland cover, often account for over 50% of the landscape. Open pit mining completely removed all surface materials (up to 75 m) such that reclamation requires reconstruction of entire landscapes, but covers only 3% of oil sand surface area. Deeper deposits can be recovered using in site methods that involve the construction of a network of roads, pipelines and well-pads. In either case, large areas of peatland are disturbed and several projects are now investigating construction and restoration methods to return functioning peatland ecosystems to the post-extraction landscape. Using case studies from around the province of Alberta, reclamation methods will be discussed. Overall, wetland and peatland plants can be established on reclaimed peatland ecosystems and sites quickly act as growing season C sinks; however, shifts in peat chemistry related to oil sands specific disturbance result in novel biogeochemical conditions on site.

Date: November 2, 2018, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Title: TBA
Prof. Yvonne Te Ruki-Rangi-O-Tangaroa Underhill-Sem
Development Studies and New Zealand Institute for Pacific Research
University of Auckland

Date: November 23, 2018, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Title: TBA
Dr. Neil Lee
Department of Geography and Environment
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)


Winter 2019

Date: March 29, 2019
Title: TBA
Prof. Pamela McElwee
Department of Human Ecology
Rutgers University

Date: April 12, 2019
Title: TBA
Prof. Anthony Bebbington
Graduate School of Geography 
Clark University

Date: TBA
Title: TBA
Prof. Brian Branfireun
Departments of Biology, Earth Sciences, and Geography
Western University

Date: TBA
Title: TBA
Prof. Nathan McClintock
Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning
Portland State University