New Books in Geography
New Books in Geography
Marshall Poe
Interviews with Geographers about their New Books Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography
Sara J. Grossman, "Immeasurable Weather: Meteorological Data and Settler Colonialism from 1820 to Hurricane Sandy" (Duke UP, 2023)
In Immeasurable Weather: Meteorological Data and Settler Colonialism from 1820 to Hurricane Sandy (Duke UP, 2023), Sara J. Grossman explores how environmental data collection has been central to the larger project of settler colonialism in the United States. She draws on an extensive archive of historical and meteorological data spanning two centuries to show how American scientific institutions used information about the weather to establish and reinforce the foundations of a white patriarchal settler society. Grossman outlines the relationship between climate data and state power in key moments in the history of American weather science, from the nineteenth-century public data-gathering practices of settler farmers and teachers and the automation of weather data during the Dust Bowl to the role of meteorological satellites in data science’s integration into the militarized state. Throughout, Grossman shows that weather science reproduced the natural world as something to be measured, owned, and exploited. This data gathering, she contends, gave coherence to a national weather project and to a notion of the nation itself, demonstrating that weather science’s impact cannot be reduced to a set of quantifiable phenomena. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography
Feb 28
41 min
Sarah Keyes, "American Burial Ground: A New History of the Overland Trail" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2023)
The Overland Trail into the American West is one of the most culturally recognizable symbols of the American past: white covered wagons traversing the plains, filled with heroic pioneers embodying the nation's manifest destiny. In American Burial Ground: A New History of the Overland Trail (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023), University of Nevada assistant professor of history Sarah Keyes rewrites that well-worn story. Keyes book focuses on a topic that was at the forefront of the minds of those who traveled the train - death. 6,000 (or perhaps more) people died traveling West during the middle decades of the nineteenth century, and in a nation where death rituals held strong symbolic meaning, the realities of dying on the trail were troubling to westward settlers. By looking at the trail through the lens of death, Keyes also includes other forms of, and institutions central to, western migration, namely Indian Removal and the US Army. American Burial Ground is a fresh look at a topic that many people think they know something about - historians will never look at westward migration the same way again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography
Feb 25
1 hr 10 min
Isabella Alexander, "Copyright and Cartography: History, Law, and the Circulation of Geographical Knowledge" (Bloomsbury, 2023)
Isabella Alexander's book Copyright and Cartography: History, Law, and the Circulation of Geographical Knowledge (Bloomsbury, 2023) explores the intertwined histories of mapmaking and copyright law in Britain from the early modern period up to World War 1, focusing chiefly on the 18th and 19th centuries. Taking a multidisciplinary approach and making extensive use of the archival record, this is the first detailed, historical account of the relationship between maps and copyright. As such, it examines how the emergence and development of copyright law affected mapmakers and the map trade and how the application of copyright law to the field of mapmaking affected the development of copyright doctrine. Its explorations cast new light on the circulation of geographical knowledge, different cultures of authorship and creativity, and connections between copyright law, print culture, technology, and society.  The book will be of interest to legal historians, intellectual property scholars, and historians of the map and print culture, as well as those interested in the history of knowledge and how legal control over data has been exerted over time. It takes the reader back to the earliest attempts to establish who can own and control geographical information and its graphic representation in the form of a map. In so doing, it establishes a long history of tension between the interests of private enterprise, government, and the public. The book's investigations end in the first decades of the 20th century, but the tensions it identifies persist in the 21st century, although today paper maps have been largely replaced by web-based mapping platforms and digital geospatial data. The eBook editions of this book are available open access under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence on bloomsburycollections.com. Open access was funded by the Australian Research Council. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography
Feb 22
43 min
Language Makes the Place
Ingrid Piller speaks with Adam Jaworski about his research in language and mobility. Adam is best known for his work on “linguascaping” – how languages, or bits of languages, are used to stylize a place. A welcome sign may index a tourist destination, artistic arrangements of word blocks like “love”, “peace”, or “joy” may index consumption and leisure spaces, multilingual signage may index a cosmopolitan space, and the absence of language may suggest the quiet luxury of the super-rich. As these examples suggest, Adam’s focus, often in collaboration with his colleague Crispin Thurlow, has been on privileged mobilities: European tourists in West Africa, business class travelers, and those frequenting the consumption temples of our time, upmarket shopping malls. Such research is vital to understanding the intersection between language and inequality, as Adam explains in our interview. Privilege is the other side of the inequality coin, and a side that sociolinguists have often neglected. First published on January 17, 2022.  “Chats in Linguistic Diversity” is a podcast about linguistic diversity in social life brought to you by the Language on the Move team. We explore multilingualism, language learning, and intercultural communication in the contexts of globalization and migration. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography
Feb 18
54 min
Hamza Hamouchene and Katie Sandwell, "Dismantling Green Colonialism: Energy and Climate Justice in the Arab Region" (Pluto Press, 2023)
Just in Time - the urgent need for a just transition in the Arab region. The newly published book Dismantling Green Colonialism: Energy and Climate justice in the Arab Region (Pluto Press, 2023) edited by Hamza Hamouchene and Katie Sandwell questions the development of sustainable energy production in the middle eastern and north African region. Positioning itself as part of a wider discussion of just transition, it provides wonderful insight into the colonial and capitalist narratives used to legitimise projects coming from the Global North. Furthermore, it highlights the fact that there is a need to deconstruct environmental orientalism to tackle questions of power at a local, regional, and international level. Hamza Hamouchene is a researcher, activist and the programme coordinator for Africa at the Transnational Institute, based in the UK. Originally from Algeria, he brings wide understanding of climate and social justice.  Sarah Vogelsanger is a master student at SOAS in "Environment, Politics, and Development" and passionate about feminist approaches to social justice and political ecology.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography
Feb 16
50 min
Jennifer Sdunzik, "The Geography of Hate: The Great Migration through Small-Town America" (U Illinois Press, 2023)
During the Great Migration, Black Americans sought new lives in midwestern small towns only to confront the pervasive efforts of white residents determined to maintain their area’s preferred cultural and racial identity. Jennifer Sdunzik explores this widespread phenomenon by examining how it played out in one midwestern community. Sdunzik merges state and communal histories, interviews and analyses of population data, and spatial and ethnographic materials to create a rich public history that reclaims Black contributions and history. She also explores the conscious and unconscious white actions that all but erased Black Americans--and the terror and exclusion used against them--from the history of many midwestern communities. An innovative challenge to myth and perceived wisdom, The Geography of Hate: The Great Migration through Small-Town America (U Illinois Press, 2023) reveals the socioeconomic, political, and cultural forces that prevailed in midwestern towns and helps explain the systemic racism and endemic nativism that remain entrenched in American life. Omari Averette-Phillips is a doctoral student in the Department of History at UC Davis. He can be reached at omariaverette@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
Feb 9
42 min
Jake Berman, "The Lost Subways of North America: A Cartographic Guide to the Past, Present, and What Might Have Been" (U Chicago Press, 2023)
Every driver in North America shares one miserable, soul-sucking universal experience—being stuck in traffic. But things weren’t always like this. Why is it that the mass transit systems of most cities in the United States and Canada are now utterly inadequate? The Lost Subways of North America: A Cartographic Guide to the Past, Present, and What Might Have Been (University of Chicago Press, 2023) by Jake Berman offers a new way to consider this eternal question, with a strikingly visual—and fun—journey through past, present, and unbuilt urban transit. Using meticulous archival research, cartographer and artist Jake Berman has successfully plotted maps of old train networks covering twenty-three North American metropolises, ranging from New York City’s Civil War–era plan for a steam-powered subway under Fifth Avenue to the ultramodern automated Vancouver SkyTrain and the thousand-mile electric railway system of pre–World War II Los Angeles. He takes us through colourful maps of old, often forgotten streetcar lines, lost ideas for never-built transit, and modern rail systems—drawing us into the captivating transit histories of US and Canadian cities. Berman combines vintage styling with modern printing technology to create a sweeping visual history of North American public transit and urban development. With more than one hundred original maps, accompanied by essays on each city’s urban development, this book presents a fascinating look at North American rapid transit systems. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses 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
Feb 7
32 min
Youjin B. Chung, "Sweet Deal, Bitter Landscape: Gender Politics and Liminality in Tanzania's New Enclosures" (Cornell UP, 2024)
During the “global land grab” of the early twenty-first century, legions of investors rushed to Africa to acquire land to produce and speculate on agricultural commodities. In Sweet Deal, Bitter Landscape: Gender Politics and Liminality in Tanzania's New Enclosures (Cornell UP, 2024), Youjin Chung examines the messy, indeterminate trajectory of a high-profile land deal signed by the Tanzanian government and a foreign investor: a 99-year lease to over 20,000 hectares of land in coastal Tanzania—land on which thousands of people live—to establish a sugarcane plantation. Despite receiving significant political support from government officials, international development agencies, and financial institutions, the land deal remained stalled for over a decade.  Drawing on long-term research combining ethnographic, archival, participatory, and visual methods, Chung argues that the dynamics of new and incomplete enclosures must be understood in relation to the legacies of colonial/postcolonial land enclosures, cultural and ecological histories of a place, and gendered structures of power. Foregrounding the lived experiences of diverse rural people, the book shows how the land deal’s uncertain future gave rise to new forms of social control and resistance, but in ways that reinforced intersecting inequalities of gender, race, class, age, and social status. By tracing the complicated ways the land deal was made, remade, and unmade, and by illuminating people’s struggles for survival in the face of seemingly endless liminality, the book raises critical questions about the directions and stakes of postcolonial development and nation-building in Tanzania, and the shifting meanings of identity, citizenship, and belonging for those living on the margins of capitalist agrarian transformation. Dhouha Djerbi is a PhD researcher at the Department of International Relations and Political Science at the Geneva Graduate Institute. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography
Feb 6
52 min
Damon Scott, "The City Aroused: Queer Places and Urban Redevelopment in Postwar San Francisco" (U Texas Press, 2024)
The City Aroused: Queer Places and Urban Redevelopment in Postwar San Francisco (University of Texas Press, 2024) by Dr. Damon Scott is a lively history of urban development and its influence on queer political identity in postwar San Francisco. By reconstructing the planning and queer history of waterfront drinking establishments, Dr. Scott shows that urban renewal was a catalyst for community organising among racially diverse operators and patrons with far-reaching implications for the national gay rights movement. Following the exclusion of suspected homosexuals from the maritime trades in West Coast ports in the early 1950s, seamen's hangouts in the city came to resemble gay bars. Local officials responded by containing the influx of gay men to a strip of bars on the central waterfront while also making plans to raze and rebuild the area. This practice ended when city redevelopment officials began acquiring land in the early 1960s. Aided by law enforcement, they put these queer social clubs out of business, replacing them with heteronormative, desexualized land uses that served larger postwar urban development goals. Dr. Scott argues that this shift from queer containment to displacement aroused a collective response among gay and transgender drinking publics who united in solidarity to secure a place in the rapidly changing urban landscape. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses 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
Jan 25
1 hr 9 min
Jared D. Margulies, "The Cactus Hunters: Desire and Extinction in the Illicit Succulent Trade" (U Minnesota Press, 2023)
Cacti and succulents are phenomenally popular worldwide among plant enthusiasts, despite being among the world's most threatened species. The fervor driving the illegal trade in succulents might also be driving some species to extinction. Delving into the strange world of succulent collecting, Jared D. Margulies' book The Cactus Hunters: Desire and Extinction in the Illicit Succulent Trade (U Minnesota Press, 2023) takes us to the heart of this conundrum: the mystery of how and why ardent lovers of these plants engage in their illicit trade. This is a world of alluring desires, where collectors and conservationists alike are animated by passions that at times exceed the limits of law. What inspires the desire for a plant? What kind of satisfaction does it promise?  The answer, Margulies suspects, might be traced through the roots and workings of the illegal succulent trade--an exploration that traverses the fields of botany and criminology, political ecology and human geography, and psychoanalysis. His globe-spanning inquiry leads Margulies from a spectacular series of succulent heists on a small island off the coast of Mexico to California law enforcement agents infiltrating a smuggling ring in South Korea, from scientists racing to discover new and rare species before poachers find them to a notorious Czech "cacto-explorer" who helped turn a landlocked European country into the epicenter of the illegal succulent trade. A heady blend of international intrigue, social theory, botanical lore, and ecological study, The Cactus Hunters offers complex insight into species extinction, conservation, and more-than-human care. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/geography
Jan 24
38 min
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