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dissertations!

Dawn Hoogeveen and Claudia Sepúlveda recently completed their dissertations in geography at UBC.  It was my pleasure to support their important work. Congratulations to both for reaching the end of one road and best of luck in forging new paths.

Dr.Sepúlveda’s dissertation is entitled Swans, ecological struggles and ontological fractures: a posthumanist account of the Río Cruces disaster in Valdivia, Chile.

Dr. Hoogeveen’s thesis is Geographies of settler colonial dispossession: rejecting gold and prosperity on Tsilhqot’in territory.

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On September 2, I organized and moderated a panel discussion at the University of Arizona about the US government trend of waiving laws in the name of border security. The most recent effort is Senator McCain’s Senate bill 750 to waive all laws on all federal public & tribal lands within 100 miles of the border in southern Arizona & southeast California. McCain recently filed 750 as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

The panel consisted of community experts who have worked tirelessly to stop this and other similar bills. Over sixty people attended from the university as well as the broader community.

Sundberg edited flyer

Updates

In March, I had the great honor of giving the 2015 Annual Lecture on New Geographic Thought in the Department of Geography at Rutgers University. I had a fantastic visit and am grateful for the opportunity to engage with colleagues.

In February, I was the only geographer to participate in Anthropology at the Edge: The U.S. Mexico Border/lands Symposium at the University of Texas, Austin. I presented in a session called Political Ecologies of the US/Mexico Border organized and chaired by John Hartigan, a Professor of Anthropology at UT Austin. It was great to be with colleagues at my Alma Mater.

I am deeply honored to have been selected as a Visiting Fellow with The Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona. My project, “Democracy on the Line: The Political Ecology of Legal Suspension in U.S. Southern Boundary Enforcement” examines the legal framework allowing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to waive any and all laws in order to build border walls, roads, and other infrastructure. The DHS Secretary has invoked the waiver five times, waiving thirty-six laws in 2008 to build border infrastructure in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. US lawmakers continue to push to make these waivers permanent, including a recent effort by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.).

Happily, I am in Tucson, Arizona for the summer to pursue the research and work with community activists and scholars concerned with border militarization.

A thoughtful and insistent piece about the necessity of thinking and pursuing decolonial practices.

Urbane Adventurer: Amiskwacî

Personal paradigm shifts have a way of sneaking up on you. It started, innocently enough, with a trip to Edinburgh to see the great Latour discuss his latest work in February 2013. I was giddy with excitement: a talk by the Great Latour. Live and in colour! In his talk, on that February night, he discussed the climate as sentient the climate as a ‘common cosmopolitical concern’ [thank you to commenter Philip for pointing out my error in my recollection of the nature of Latour’s assertion about the climate — discussion of this in the comments below]. Funny, I thought, this sounds an awful lot like the little bit of Inuit cosmological thought I have been taught by Inuit friends (friends who have taught me that the climate is an incredibly important organizing concept for many actors). I waited, through the whole talk, to hear the Great Latour credit Indigenous thinkers for…

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Dr. Sundberg recently published a new blog in the series titled “Political Ecology of Bordered Spaces” featured on the

Public Political Ecology Lab (PPEL) website

 

Student evaluations have ranked Juanita Sundberg in the top 5% of instructors in the Faculty of Arts in 2013. As Dean Gage Averill writes in his congratulatory letter to Dr. Sundberg, “UBC aspires to be great in its three major areas of strength: research, teaching and impact (community engagement, translation and mobilization of research, policy, etc.). Our greatest impact, however, will always be the education of generations of students who will contribute immeasurably to the betterment of the world”.