IAQ (Infrequently Asked Questions)
What is The Casual Geographer?
The Casual Geographer was a podcast and radio show (that still exists on Facebook and Twitter). Well, it still technically is a podcast. We never firmly ended it or sent it off; I just unofficially ended the show when I left California. We produced the first episode in late 2011 and produced the final episode in April 2013, ending the run at 31 episodes in total.
Who was The Casual Geographer?
Tyler, Bret, and Abel… refined. 2011. (Photo and Photoshopping by Dennis Hernandez)
The Casual Geographer began as a trio of myself, Bret Hartt, and Abel Santana. We met while students in the Geography department at Cal State Long Beach. They also ran the Geography Student Association in 2011-2012 (before I got suckered into taking over the presidency the following year), and I ran the idea for a podcast by them while we were chatting after a meeting. That’s the origin story, at least. It’s written in slightly better detail on the Archive page, linked from the top taskbar and here. I’ve also posted links to all the individual episode pages at the bottom of this entry.
No, I mean, who is the person in that title image?
I took that from a portrait I found online of Peter Anich, who was an Austrian cartographer in the 18th century. It’s a somewhat stylized portrait of him; there are certainly better ones available and more abundant. I just liked how this particular portrait lent itself well to the aesthetic we were going for: a double-helix of academic sophistication and thoughtful irreverence. I don’t know much about Anich himself, so our use of his likeness isn’t necessarily for or against him. Also, I have no idea where I originally found the picture.
Why the archive page?
I had two key reasons for re-posting all of these episodes. First and foremost: people were asking me about them. When I blew up my old personal website, I had nowhere to host the audio files, so most of them disappeared from the internet altogether and resided as zeros and ones in my portable hard drive (where they were useless to everyone but me). I stopped by to post an occasional episode for throwback purposes over the past couple years, but I kept on procrastinating actually getting them all back online and listenable.
Second, as I work on finishing my PhD and entering the job market, I wanted to get these out there to show how much I care about spreading the word about how important geography is, and how it continues to grow in importance. I always thought that TCG was a fun way to bring Geography to a general audience and help show how all-encompassing it is. We approached every episode with that mindset and usually succeeded in making something entertaining and educational that let our personalities come through, too.
What is next for The Casual Geographer?
In the short term, I hope to get the podcast series back on iTunes, mainly because that reaches a greater audience and network of enthusiasts for this kind of content. In the longer term, I would like to hold onto the name, at least, in case I do bring the project back to life. I would love to be able to collaborate with Bret and/or Abel again, but since we’re all at different places in our lives (figuratively and literally; I live three time zones away, Bret is working crazy hours for a quality beer distribution company, and Abel is working full-time and raising a bunch of kids). We’re all still good friends, and I’ve kept in touch with most of the guests we had on the show over our 31-episode run as well.
I think the most appropriate answer for the question, though, would be “I don’t know.” What would you like to see and hear?
- The Obligatory Scattershot Pilot (10.26.11)
- Diving with Dennis with geographer Dennis Hernandez (11.7.11)
- Intersection Songs! (11.21.11)
- Motorcycle Ride with anthropologist Ryan Moritz (12.6.11)
- Catalina Island with geographers Rob Cisneros and Julia Urcis (12.24.11)
- Beer! with geographer David Schwartz and brewer Steph Schwartz-Smith (2.6.12)
- Peru with geographers Kat Rojas and Gina Sattui (2.28.12)
- Geographer (the band) and the Bay Area with Geographer (3.6.12)
- Travel Tips (4.3.12)
- Easter Island with geographer Molan Choi (4.10.12)
- Hawai’i with geographer Mystyn Mills (4.24.12)
- Live from CGS aka ‘Davis Rock City’ with various guests at the California Geographic Society Meeting in Davis, CA (5.3.12)
- Bikes, Bikes, Bikes! (5.7.12)
- C-Bus a Bus! (Columbus, OH) with comedians Justin Golak, Sumukh Torgalkar, and Travis Irvine (7.25.12)
- What We Did on Our Summer Vacation (9.6.12)
- Viva Mexico (Central) with geographer Jessica Reyes and Bret’s friend Michelle (9.13.12)
- Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (9.20.12)
- Chicago! with geographer David Schwartz (9.27.12)
- SKA with historian Jacob “The Ska Kid” Ingram (10.11.12)
- Human Trafficking with Crystal Sprague and Dennis Hernandez of My Refuge House (10.18.12)
- Death! with mortician Laura Hardin (10.25.12)
- St. Petersburg aka Санкт-Петербург with geographer Emily Feliciano and urban planner Ted Van Houten via phone (11.1.12)
- Florida! (11.8.12)
- Winter Sports (11.15.12)
- Seattle with geographer Teresa Anderson-Sharma (12.4.12)
- Bret’s Journey to Japan and Korea (2.11.13)
- LA’s Ethnic Enclaves (2.18.13)
- Hip-Hop, Ya Don’t StopHip-Hop, Ya Don’t Stop with geographer Fernando Bogarin (2.25.13)
- The American Civil War with geographer Andy Bradford (3.4.13)
- Cal State Puvungna (Native America) with various guests at the annual Puvungna Pow-Wow (3.11.13)
- Hill Valley, CA (Imagined Geographies of Back to the Future) with Teresa Anderson-Sharma (3.25.13)