Musings about Nature
After a time away, I have returned to my longstanding interest in the politics of conservation. Together with Rosemary Collard and Jessica Dempsey, we contemplate the future of conservation in A Manifesto for Abundant Futures published in 2015 in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 105(2): 322-330.
Recent trends in posthumanist geographies inspired me to think about steps for decolonizing this work.
Decolonizing posthumanist geographies. cultural geographies, 21(1) 33–47
Militarization and Everyday Life in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands
This project in collaboration with Drs. Melissa Wright and Hector Padilla undertakes a bi-national study analyzing how militarized approaches to border governance and territorial control reconfigure everyday life for residents of the United States and Mexico borderlands. We pursue this research by investigating how militarization materializes in and reconfigures three social arenas: rights, mobility, and landscape. With generous funding from SSHRC and NSF, we conducted qualitative research in two bi-national sites: El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua; and southern Arizona/Nogales, Sonora.
Sundberg, J. 2015. The State of Exception & the Imperial Way of Life in the United States-Mexico Borderlands, Environment and Planning D: Society & Space, 33: 209-228.
on-going research: The nature of geopolitics in the United States-Mexico borderlands
This project examines the environmental dimensions of Unites States’ border security policies in the US-Mexico borderlands, with a specific focus on protected areas like national wildlife refuges. Read more about this area of research.
Sundberg, J. 2011. Diabolic Caminos in the Desert & Cat Fights on the Río: A post-humanist political ecology of boundary enforcement in the United States-Mexico borderlands, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 101(2): 318-336.
Sundberg, J. 2008. ‘Trash-Talk’ & the Production of Quotidian Geopolitical Boundaries in the United States-Mexico borderlands. Social and Cultural Geography 9(8): 871-890.
Sundberg, J. & Bonnie Kaserman. 2007. Cactus Carvings and Desert Defecations: Embodying Representations of Border Crossings in Protected Areas on the Mexico-US Border, Environment and Planning D: Society & Space 25: 727-744.
Seeking Socio-Cultural Justice in the Management of Protected Areas (with Terre Satterfield)
For this project, funded by a UBC Hampton grant, I put theories of environmental racism into conversation with critical race theory and histories of racialization in Latin America to think through the environmental justice as a research approach in Latin America. My goal is to provoke new questions about the ways in which racial discourses and practices work in and through the environment.
Sundberg, J. 2008. Placing Race in Environmental Justice Research in Latin America, Society & Natural Resources, 21(7): 569-582.
Sundberg, J. 2008. “Tracing Race, Mapping Environmental Formations in D. Carruthers (ed), Environmental Justice Research in Latin America,” in Environmental Justice in Latin America, pp. 25-47. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Critical Reflections on North-South Solidarity
In 2003, I began a collaborative, qualitative research with the Vancouver chapter of a group called H.I.J.@.S.–Sons and Daughters for Identity and Justice, against Silence and Oblivion – a transnational social movement composed of the children of Latin American political activists who have been tortured, detained, disappeared, or exiled. The research examines: 1) the specific experiences of political repression for children of political activists; 2) the political strategies deployed by H.I.J.@.S. groups to convey their experiences of loss and exile; and 3) how H.I.J.@.S. contribute to new cultures of politics and new understandings of citizenship in Latin American and transnational arenas. This project was generously funded by a UBC HSS grant.
Sundberg, J. in collaboration with H.I.J.@.S.-Vancouver. 2007. Reconfiguring North-South Solidarity: critical reflections on experiences of transnational resistance,Antipode 39(1): 144–166.
The Politics of Fieldwork in Latin Americanist Geography
My interest in feminist and post-colonial critiques of knowledge production led me to call for increased critical reflection on the politics and ethics of fieldwork in Latin America.
Sundberg, J., 2005. Looking for the critical geographer, or why bodies and geographies matter to the emergence of critical geographies of Latin America, GeoForum, 36(1): 17-28.
Sundberg, J., 2003. Masculinist Epistemologies and the Politics of Fieldwork in Latin Americanist Geography, The Professional Geographer 55(2): 181-191.
Conservation & Democratization in Latin America
Funding from a UBC Hampton grant allowed me to explore questions on how processes of democratization intersect with environmental protection in Latin America, with a specific focus on Guatemala.
Sundberg, J., 2006. “Conservation, Globalization, and Democratization: Exploring the contradictions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala,” in Globalization and the New Geographies of Conservation, Karl Zimmerer ed., pp. 259-276. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Sundberg, J., 2003. Conservation and Democratization: Constituting Citizenship in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala, Political Geography, 22: 715-740.
My dissertation research, funded by a Fulbright Fellowship, explored fundamental questions about transnational conservation encounters: how do unequal power relations influence the production of knowledge about Latin American people and environments? How are subject identities reconfigured through such encounters.
Sundberg, J., 1998. NGO Landscapes: Conservation and Communities in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Petén, Guatemala, The Geographical Review, 88(3): 388-412.
Sundberg, J., 1998. Strategies for Authenticity, Space, and Place in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Petén, Guatemala, Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers Yearbook 1998, 24: 85-96.