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Plenary Sessions and Special Events


Tuesday, April 9, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Room: San Francisco, Westin, Level 2

Welcoming remarks: Douglas Richardson, AAG Executive Director
Eric Sheppard, AAG President, University of California, Los Angeles

Presidential Plenary: Emerging Asias

Organizer: Eric Sheppard, AAG President, University of California, Los Angeles
Speakers: Ananya Roy, University of California, Berkeley
Fulong Wu, University College London
Anna L. Tsing, University of California, Santa Cruz
Jim Glassman, University of British Columbia

The 2013 Presidential Plenary seeks to draw members’ attention to the remarkable geopolitical and geoeconomic changes underway on that continent and their implications. With the AAG Annual Meeting now the global meeting place for geographers, this occasion of meeting in the US’ most Asian metropolis, on the Pacific Rim, is singularly appropriate for such a discussion.

Describing the thought behind his choice of a title, Sheppard indicates that he uses the term “emergence” in a more conceptual sense, as has been articulated in both complexity theory and philosophy: Emergence refers to how a phenomenon, as it changes, exhibits novel features that cannot be predicted from its previous state. Obviously, novel features need not be positive, and this is certainly the case for some Asias.

The plural in Emerging Asias is deliberate: ‘Asia’ is a vast land mass characterized by enormously diverse biophysical systems, landscapes, languages, cultures, identities, polities and economies. On the one hand are the Asias of spectacular dynamism, wealth creation and emergent political power; yet there also are the Asias inhabited and made by those whose labor makes such spectacles possible. They may cohabit the same place, but with very different connectivities and livelihood prospects. Different Asias are entwined with one another and with other regionalized dynamics. The various Asias stretch around, across and through one another, dialectically entangling the emergent places, networks and scales through which they are constituted. Yet they also long have been complexly co-implicated with variegated and emergent Europes, Americas, Africas and Oceanias that they co-evolved with.

For this plenary, Sheppard has chosen to concentrate on south, southeast and east Asia, and on political and economic changes. The plenary session speakers are prominent Asia specialists in their own right, but also have close personal connections with various subregions.



AAG Department Chairs’ Symposium
Promoting Diversity in Geography: Strategies to Improve Inclusion, Broaden Participation, and Assess Actions
Wednesday, April 10, 8:00 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.
Room: Avalon, Westin, Level 3

Organizers: Ken Foote, University of Colorado at Boulder
Patricia Solís, AAG Director of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives

Diversity will be considered broadly to include gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, (dis)abilities, and other dimensions of inclusion. Topics will include recruitment and retention of undergraduates, graduates, and faculty who are underrepresented in the discipline or in the institutions of the participants. Participants will share experiences in developing and implementing departmental diversity plans, integrating diversity goals within strategic plans, and incorporating diversity into program assessments.

Although the chairs’ symposia are offered as a means of providing time for department leaders to meet and share strategies during the annual meeting, the symposium is open to ALL geographers wishing to participate. The session is particularly well suited for individuals who may soon assume leadership positions and would like to network with other chairs and leaders.


AAG Department Chairs’ Luncheon
Wednesday, April 10, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Room: Avalon, Westin, Level 3

Chair: Julie Winkler, Michigan State University

The Department Chairs’ Luncheon Meeting immediately follows the Department Chairs’ Symposium. Chaired by AAG Vice President Julie Winkler, this meeting is open only to existing or incoming Department or Program Chairs. There is a $35 registration fee to cover a meal during the Chairs’ Luncheon Meeting. Please see the AAG Registration Desk, if you wish to sign-up to attend this event.


Jack Dangermond Lunchtime Plenary:
GIS as a Platform: Leveraging the Cloud/Device Pattern
Wednesday, April 10, 11:50 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Room: San Francisco, Westin, Level 2

Welcoming remarks: Eric Sheppard, AAG President, University of California, Los Angeles
Speakers: Jack Dangermond, Esri
Bernie Szukalski, Esri


AAG Specialty and Affinity Group Chairs’ Meeting
Wednesday, April 10, 11:50 a.m. - 12:40 p.m.
Room: Emerald Bay, Westin, Level 3
(light lunch will be provided)

A follow-on session will be held in the same room from 12:40 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.


Young Leaders Mapping Sustainable Development Challenges: My Community, Our Earth Beyond Rio+20 Poster Session & AAG Diversity Ambassadors Networking Reception
Wednesday, April 10, 2:40 p.m. - 6:20 p.m.
Room: San Diego Ballroom, Westin, Level 2

Celebrate youth leadership in geography showcasing work on sustainability themes done by or with students on every continent. Meet with international students abroad and make your mark with participatory community art. Stay for the networking reception and toast the AAG Diversity Ambassadors in recognition of their leadership and mentoring in the discipline (Sessions 2521 and 2621).


The 2013 Antipode Lecture: ‘Climate Violence Now’
Wednesday, April 10, 4:40 p.m.- 6:20 p.m.
Room: Emerald Bay, Westin, Level 3 (Paper Session)

Organizers: Sharad Chari; Nik Heynen, University of Georgia
Speaker: Christian Parenti, PhD*, School For International Training


Author Meets Critics: Robert J. Sampson’s Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect
Wednesday, April 10, 4:40 p.m.- 6:20 p.m.
Room: Hollywood Ballroom, Westin, Level 3

Welcoming remarks: Douglas Richardson, AAG Executive Director
Introduction: James Dunn, McMaster University
Speaker: Robert J. Sampson, Harvard University
Panelists: Luc Anselin, Arizona State University
Michael Dear, University of California, Berkeley
Mei-Po Kwan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Elvin Wyly, University of British Columbia

For over fifty years numerous public intellectuals and social theorists have insisted that community is dead. Some would have us believe that we act solely as individuals choosing our own fates regardless of our surroundings, while other theories place us at the mercy of global forces beyond our control. These two perspectives dominate contemporary views of society, but by rejecting the importance of place they are both deeply flawed. Based on one of the most ambitious studies in the history of social science, Great American City argues that communities still matter because life is decisively shaped by where you live.

To demonstrate the powerfully enduring impact of place, Robert J. Sampson presents here the fruits of over a decade’s research in Chicago combined with his own unique personal observations about life in the city, from Cabrini Green to Trump Tower and Millennium Park to the Robert Taylor Homes.

Following in the influential tradition of the Chicago School of urban studies but updated for the twenty-first century, Great American City is at once a landmark research project, a commanding argument for a new theory of social life, and the story of an iconic city.

This session will include a book signing with the author.


Jared Diamond and Charles Mann to Discuss Their New Books at AAG Annual Meeting
Wednesday, April 10, 6:45 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Room: San Francisco, Westin, Level 2

Welcoming remarks: Eric Sheppard, AAG President, University of California, Los Angeles
Moderator: Kent Mathewson, Louisiana State University

Jared Diamond and Charles Mann will speak on their most recent books in a special session at the AAG Annual Meeting in Los Angeles at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, 2013. This session is hosted by the AAG and its new publication, The AAG Review of Books.

In his latest book, The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies?, Jared Diamond examines how traditional societies have lived, and asks if their different approaches to living can inform the Western world today.

Charles Mann provided a new understanding of life in the Americas before Columbus arrived in his book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus. In his new book, 1492: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Mann follows up on the post-Colombian Americas and shows how European settlements there shaped the world through a network of ecological and economic exchange.

Over the past two decades, these two writers have reached out to put cultural and historical geography’s perennial questions and current salience before a mass readership and media public. In addition to discussing their most recent books, Diamond and Mann will also address the challenges and rewards of weaving multiple strands of disparate findings and data from geography’s historical and human-environmental sectors to produce “big picture” projections while at the same time presenting a fascinating array of specific cases.

Their interests intersect in multiple ways, but as their recent work demonstrates, they have been signally effective in focusing attention on the nature of indigenous and traditional societies and

their confrontations and accommodations with a modernizing world over the past five or so centuries.

Both authors will be available to answer audience questions and sign books following their presentations.


Wednesday, April 10, 7:45 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.
Room: San Jose, Westin, Level 2

This reception is an opportunity to see old friends and meet colleagues at the outset of the AAG Annual Meeting. Free drink ticket provided in your registration packet.



Michael T. Jones Lunchtime Plenary: The Universal Geography
Thursday, April 11, 11:50 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Room: San Francisco, Westin, Level 2

Welcoming remarks: Candida Mannozzi, AAG Senior Manager for Program Development
Speaker: Michael T. Jones, Google

The 138 years since Elisée Reclus published A Universal Geography have seen continuous expansion on the meaning of ‘universal’ in geographic knowledge. Michael T. Jones will use his experience in one major expansion--the spread of Google Earth imagery and Google Maps vectors to more than a billion monthly users--as the basis to anticipate the next major change, which is well underway yet subtle and perhaps as yet unrecognized.


Michael Dear Lunchtime Plenary and Book Signing: Why Walls Won’t Work: Repairing the US-Mexico Divide
Thursday, April 11, 11:50 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Room: Avalon, Westin, Level 3

Welcoming remarks: Douglas Richardson, AAG Executive Director
Speaker: Michael Dear, University of California, Berkeley

When thinking about the border separating the US from Mexico, what typically comes to mind is an unwelcoming zone with violent, poverty-ridden towns, and an increasingly militarized network of barriers and surveillance systems on the other. It was not always this way. In this sweeping account of life within the US-Mexican border zone, urbanist and geographer Michael Dear traces the border’s long history of cultural interactions. Dear warns that this vibrant zone is in danger of fading away because of restrictive policies on the American side and violence on the Mexican side of the border.

This plenary will include a Q&A period and a book signing with the author.


2013 IJURR Lecture: The Secret Discourse Between Sustainability and Slum Urbanism (Sponsored by Global Urbanization)
Thursday, April 11, 4:40 p.m. - 6:20 p.m.
Room: Grand Ballroom Salon 4, The LA Hotel, Level 2

Introduction: Julie-Anne Boudreau, INRS-Montreal
Panelist: Edgar Pieterse, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town


Dialectica Interrupta: The Idea of ‘Race’ in the Discipline of Geography
Thursday, April 11, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Room: Sacramento, Westin, Level 2

Opening remarks: Douglas Richardson, AAG Executive Director
Introduction: Eric Sheppard, AAG President, University of California, Los Angeles
Speaker: Audrey Kobayashi, AAG Past President, Queen’s University
AAG Presidential Achievement Awardee: Bobby Wilson, University of Alabama

Audrey Kobayashi’s past president’s address will focus on race and explore Ellsworth Huntington’s 1924 speculation on environmental determinism, as well as Harold Rose’s 1969 “Geographies of Despair.”

Kobayashi will begin by making a case for the study of the history of the geography as a basis for understanding the social project that is our discipline, including the content and perspectives of geographical knowledge, and the potential for change that is geography’s future. The concept of race has been one of the most significant drivers of the geographical imagination, starting with Immanuel Kant in the 1750s. Environmentalism, now largely discredited but a major perspective during the first half of the 20th century, arose in part from geography’s deeply racialized and colonial past.

Kobayashi will trace the concept of race through American geography, focusing on articles published in the Annals of the AAG, and particularly on the presidential addresses customarily published in the first issue of the journal each year following the term of office of an AAG president. Ellsworth Huntington’s “Geography and Natural Selection: A Preliminary Study of the Origin and Development of Racial Character,” is widely viewed as the most extreme statement of racial science; and Harold Rose’s “The Geography of Despair,” is viewed as the first overtly anti-racist statement made from the presidential podium. Both reflect currents of thought and controversy that guided the discipline at specific times, and both are part of the larger social and intellectual context. The fact that these two men, and all of the AAG Presidents before and since, made a choice of both topic and ideological perspective is an important part of our disciplinary legacy.

Just as significant are the intellectual silences and the axiomatic taken-for-granteds that mark the slow transformation of the race idea over the course of the 20th century. Defined as a force of nature, an independent variable, a derivative of class, a cultural figment, or, more recently, a social construction, the idea has both exemplified and shaped much of the ideological framework of our discipline,

sometimes explicitly but more often implicitly. The politics of racial geography nonetheless reflect a larger intellectual context in which the discipline has emerged. And what of the future of geography Has attention to the race concept over the past two decades resulted in forging new directions that will help to change, or at least to understand, the variable circumstances of human life, or will it be cast aside as new ideas enter our intellectual, and ideological horizons? Perhaps some speculation on such questions is in order.

The AAG Past President will also confer the AAG Presidential Achievement Award upon Bobby Wilson of the University of Alabama, for his career-long dedication to anti-racist scholarship in geography, as well as for his mentorship to many students and for the example he has set for colleagues throughout his career.



A New Map of Standardized Terrestrial Ecosystems of Africa, Roger Sayre, USGS
Friday, April 12, 11:50 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Room: San Francisco, Westin, Level 2

Welcoming remarks: Douglas Richardson, AAG Executive Director
Speaker: Roger Sayre, U.S. Geological Survey
Discussant: Isaac Luginaah, Western University

You are invited to learn more about this extraordinary set of new African maps, published by the AAG

as a full-color special supplement for the African Geographical Review. This booklet is the result of the efforts of a team of African and US scientists, who have created a completely updated New Map of Standardized Terrestrial Ecosystems of Africa. This special full-color booklet showcases their work in a series of beautiful new continental maps.


Geography for Life: National Geography Standards, Second Edition; A Panel Discussion with Gilbert M. Grosvenor
Friday, April 12, 4:40 p.m. - 6:20 p.m.
Room: San Bernardino, Westin, Lobby Level

Welcoming remarks: Douglas Richardson, AAG Executive Director
Introduction: Robert E. Dulli, National Geographic Society
Speakers: Gilbert M. Grosvenor, National Geographic Society
Susan Gallagher Heffron, Association of American Geographers
Robert Morrill, Virginia Geographic Alliance

A panel discussion of Geography for Life (the 2nd Edition of the National Geography Standards) will include remarks by Gilbert M. Grosvenor, former Chairman of the National Geographic Society (NGS). Geography for Life was released in 2012 and was developed by the Geography Education National Implementation Project on behalf of the AAG, AGS, NCGE, and NGS.

Mr. Gilbert M. Grosvenor of the National Geographic Society, Dr. Susan Heffron, Co-editor, and Dr. Robert Morrill, Reviewing Editor of the second edition of Geography for Life,will share insights on the role of national geography standards in US education. This panel will explore the role of the national geography standards in guiding the development of curriculum, instructional materials, assessments, and policy in K-12 education.



Tools for Spatial Learning
Saturday, April 13, 8:00 a.m. - 9:40 a.m.
Room: San Bernardino, Westin, Lobby Level

Organizer: David DiBiase, Esri
Speakers: Sean O’Connor, National Geographic Education
Jennifer N. Swift, University of Southern California
Patrick Kennelly, LIU Post
Kiichi Takeuchi, LIU
Vic DiVenere, LIU Post
Lillian Tanguay-Hess, LIU Post
David DiBiase, Esri


Saturday, April 13, 11:50 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Room: Crystal Ballroom, Biltmore, Lobby Level

Join colleagues and friends in honoring recipients of AAG Honors and other awards and prizes. The Awards Luncheon will be held on Saturday, April 13 in the Crystal Ballroom of The Biltmore Hotel from 11:50 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The following Honors will be presented:

AAG Lifetime Achievement Honors
Sallie Marston, University of Arizona

AAG Lifetime Achievement Honors
Edward Soja, University of California, Los Angeles

AAG Distinguished Scholarship Honors
Judy Carney, University of California, Los Angeles

AAG Distinguished Scholarship Honors
John O’Loughlin, University of Colorado at Boulder

AAG Gilbert Grosvernor Honors for Geographic Education
Gwenda Rice, Western Oregon University

AAG Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors
Ruth Shirey, Indiana University

AAG Distinguished Teaching Honors
Dawn Wright, Esri and Oregon State University

AAG Gilbert White Public Service Honors
Thelma Glass, Alabama State University (posthumous award)

AAG Media Achievement Award
William Moseley, Macalester College

In addition to AAG Honors, the Burrill Award, Nystrom Award, AAG Enhancing Diversity Award, Harold M. Rose Award for Anti-Racism in Research and Practice, AAG Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography, AAG Globe and Meridian Book Awards, Specialty Group Awards, and others will be presented.

The following individuals have held 50 years of continuous AAG membership, a measure of support for the Association that will be recognized at the AAG Awards Luncheon:

John S. Adams
Marvin Baker, Jr.
Paul R. Baumann
Ruth C. Bergman
Stephen S. Birdsall
Lawrence A. Brown
Catherine B. Carlston
Kevin R. Cox
John Dietz
Mark M. Domowne
Wakefield Dort, Jr.
Roy J. Fletcher
Susan Forbes
Peter Goheen
William E. Grugin
Truman A. Hartshorn
Donald Janelle
C. Gregory Knight
David R. Lee
Jonathan J. Lu
Peter O. Muller
James L. Newman
Richard L. Nostrand
Wallace E. Reed
Donald A. Schuder
Barry M. Steinberg
Bryan Thompson

The cost of the luncheon is $55, including service and tax. A complete table of ten is also available at $495. Tickets may be purchased at the AAG Registration Desk.


Saturday, April 13, 2:30 p.m. - 3:40 p.m.
Room: Corinthian, Biltmore, Mezzanine Level

The AAG’s annual Business Meeting will be held in the Corinthian Room of the Biltmore Hotel, on Saturday, April 13, from 2:30 p.m. - 3:40 p.m. AAG officers will present their annual reports. All are welcome to attend.