February 03, 2011


By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Four Bucknell University alumni who are noted scholars and researchers in geography will participate in the conference, "Thinking Geographically: Politics, Ecology and Resistance," on Thursday, Feb. 17.

The conference, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell.

"The speakers are all Bucknell alumni from the same era — the mid-late '90s — who have gone on to academic careers and do research in similar areas," said Karen Morin, professor of geography at Bucknell.

"All are accomplished scholars and researchers in their fields of climate change, Amazonian politics and geographies, and political ecologies of HIV/AIDS," she said. "This conference offers an opportunity to find out what 'thinking geographically' means in helping solve some of the most intractable social and environmental problems of today."

Conference schedule
The four research papers will be given in 30-minute presentations beginning at 4 p.m., including:

  • "'No One Dies of AIDS': Political Ecologies of Health" with Brian King, Penn State, who graduated in 1995. King's talk will explore emerging research within health geography and political ecology to examine the relationships between human health and environmental change, drawing upon his long-term fieldwork in southern Africa to discuss how human health is situated at the nexus between socio-political and biophysical processes.
  • "The NGO, the Forest, and the 'Hyperreal Indian': Notes on Transnational Amazonian Politics" with 1999 graduate Sonja Pieck, Bates College, whose talk explores the intersections between the Amazonian indigenous movement and U.S. environmental organizations through a discussion of the birth and evolution of a transnational activist network called the "Amazon Alliance."
  • "Tapping into 'Florestania': New Amazonian Geographies, Changing Land-Use and Emerging Identities in Acre, Brazil" with 1997 graduate Jacqueline Vadjunec, Oklahoma State University. Her presentation uses a cultural and political ecology framework to explore the new Amazonian geographies, changing land-use and emerging identities and representations of the rubber tappers' movement in Acre, Brazil.
  • "Climate Leviathan" with 1995 graduate Joel Wainwright, Ohio State, explores a collaborative project to theorize the possible social forms and political futures that may emerge as humanity responds to climate change.

The conference will include the panel discussion, "Geographers' Views: Local Environmental Struggles, Global Context," which begins at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Morin at 570-577-1793 or e-mail her at karen.morin@bucknell.edu.

Contact: Division of Communications

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