AAG 2015 in Chicago!

I’m extremely excited to announce here that I’ll be attending and presenting at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Chicago this week. After a brief visit to see some friends and some colleagues in Wisconsin (Madison and Milwaukee are so much fun), we’ll be heading down to the Windy City this afternoon.

The Blackhawks hadn't just scored. This picture was taken during warm-ups when they announced that the AAG was coming to town.

The Blackhawks hadn’t just scored. This picture was taken during warm-ups when they announced that the AAG was coming to town.

Here are the conference activities in which I’ll be participating, in sequential order:


I’ll be presenting my paper “The Flâneur and Flânerie in Geographic Thought” in a special ‘Space and Place’ session with my friend RJ Rowley at the helm. Pasting my abstract below, from the AAG website. 

Tuesday, April 21st, 8am
Burnham, Hyatt, West Tower, Silver Level

“…the ambivalence of the stranger thus represented the ambivalence of the modern world…” (Jacques Derrida, quoted by David B. Clarke in The Cinematic City).
The flâneur, a common literary and theoretical term for the apocryphal urban wanderer, has long been a commonly held analogue in sociological thought. Normally (un)settled in Paris and influenced heavily by the work of Charles Baudelaire as well as post-modernist thinkers like Jacques Derrida as ‘the hero of modernism,’ the flâneur has appeared relatively infrequently in the geographic literature. This seems to be contradictory, as the character is well suited to frame the dialogue over the interaction between individuals and the urban landscape.  In light of the emphasis on interaction and detachment with the city in the concourse of twentieth century thought, this paper examines and rethinks the flâneur and flânerie through contrasting lenses of humanism, modernism, and feminism/postmodernism. While the flâneur may be essentially a “literary gloss” (according to Rob Shields, 1994), the idea of the character and conversations around him illustrate various (sometimes contradictory) perspectives on the changing role and position of the Western urban citizen over the past two centuries.


I will also be participating in the first-ever GEOSLAM (which is exactly what you think it is). I’ll be doing a reading talking about my obsession with punk rock and Gainesville, Florida. This will be
Tuesday, April 21st from 12:40 PM
2:20 PM at
Skyway 260, Hyatt, East Tower, Blue Level.

A word from the organizers: “Drawing on Ruth Behar’s The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology that Breaks Your Heart, this year’s theme is “vulnerable geographies.” Through these pieces, we want to explore the ways in which we are emotionally drawn to the places and people of our research.”

No more spoilers on this one. And last, but not least…


It’s AAG 2015, meaning it’s time for some discussion on everyone favorite time-travel film franchise, “Back to the Future!” I’m very excited to finally have all of the contributors to Save the Clocktower (RJ Rowley, Chris Dando, Richard Waugh, Greg Pagett, Lydia Hou, Julian Barr, Ashley Allen, Stacie Townsend, and more) in one room to introduce their chapters and discuss the overall contributions that Marty McFly, Doc Brown, and their fictional town of Hill Valley still have to contribute to geography. This will help formulate an introduction to the book in honor of the film’s 30th anniversary as well as Doc, Marty, and Jennifers’ impending arrival this October. Our panel will be closing out the conference on…

Saturday, 4/25/2015, from 4:00 PM – 5:40 PM in
Skyway 282, Hyatt, East Tower, Blue Level

If you aren’t following the Clocktower 2015 project on Facebook or Twitter, here are your links. If you’re in town on Saturday, don’t miss it.
Looking forward to a great week! See you shortly, Chicago.

The Association of American Geographers (AAG) Meeting in LA This Week

In a time-honored tradition of having entirely too little time to honor given preparations for AAG, I haven’t had the opportunity to write about AAG, so here we go.

For those of you attending the Association of American Geographers meeting in Downtown Los Angeles this week, I’ll be presenting my research on the transformation of Highland Park into a vinyl lover’s mecca tomorrow at what’s shaping up to be an amazing cultural geography paper session. Here are the details, and the session page on the conference site.

Wombleton Records, Highland Park, Los Angeles. (Photo from marpop.com)

Paper Session:
2259 ‘This Must Be the Place’: The Evolving Economic Geography of Music II 
Wednesday, 4/10/2013, from 10:00 AM – 11:40 AM
Olvera Room, The LA Hotel, Level 2

The LA Hotel is located right at the corner of W. 3rd and S. Figueroa.

Click the prior link for more details, but other papers in my session include foci on electronic music in Berlin, the contemporary Lubbock music scene (I wonder if Buddy Holly would even still hate it there?), the shifting imagery in Country lyrics, and something about booking hardcore shows for a tiny Swedish community. In other words, several reasons why I absolutely love working in Cultural Geography. Special respect to Brian Hracs for putting this together and chairing it. (On a side note: why does my research involve so many transplanted Canadians?)

I will do my best to keep this updated this week, but that’s presupposing I’ll have some breathing room. If you’re going to be around and can help it, don’t miss a few of my brilliant colleagues at their respective sessions:

  • Teresa Anderson-Sharma presenting on community gardens as a usage of vacant space on Wednesday at 8 AM in La Cienega, Westin, Lobby Level.
  • David Schwartz presenting on his research about Search-and-Rescue deficiencies in the Arctic for Canada and the US on Friday at 8 AM Laguna Parlor 3028, Westin, 30th Floor (Fancy!)
  • Abel Santana co-presenting some research with Dr. Christy Jocoy on field data and GIS analytics Wednesday at 4:40 PM in Santa Monica A, Westin Hotel, Level 3
  • Dr. Deborah Thien (My Adviser) will be presenting her research on the socio-spatial ramifications of post-traumatic stress disorder on Friday at 8 AM in Palos Verdes, Westin, Lobby Level, along with Dr. Alison Mountz (my former professor from Syracuse who recommended CSULB to me. Wild.)
  • Many others I unfortunately don’t have time to list right now. So here’s the next best thing.

Thanks for reading, and best of luck to all my friends/colleagues this week. Time to ship up to Los Angeles. If only someone with a solid connection to Black Flag had advice on the best way to get there…