Adams, King Named Editors for Annals of the American Association of Geographers

Paul Adams is the new editor for Human Geography, and Brian King is the new Nature & Society editor at the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, effective January 2024. They will replace Kendra Strauss and Katie Meehan, respectively.

Paul AdamsAdams is the longtime director of the Urban Studies Program at the University of Texas, first in the UT Department of Geography and the Environment now in the Department of American Studies. His service to AAG includes founding the Media Geography Specialty Group (now Media and Communication). From 2015 to 2020, he served as associate professor II at the University of Bergen, funded by the Research Council of Norway. In 2001, he was a Fulbright fellow at McGill University and University of Montreal, Quebec. His current research focuses on sociospatial and political aspects of digital media, digital humanities, and culturally specific understandings of environmental risk and climate change.

Adams is the author of three monographs: The Boundless Self: Communication in Physical and Virtual Spaces (Syracuse University Press, 2005); Atlantic Reverberations: French Representations of an American Election (Ashgate Press, 2007); and Geographies of Media and Communication: A Critical Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), which received the 2009 James W. Carey Media Research Award from the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research, and has been translated into Chinese. He has also served as co-editor of four volumes: Textures of Place with Steven Hoelscher and Karen E. Till (University of Minnesota Press, 2001); the Ashgate Research Companion to Media Geography with Jim Craine and Jason Dittmer (Routledge, 2014); Disentangling: The Geographies of Digital Disconnection with André Jansson (Oxford University Press, 2021); and the Routledge Handbook on Media Geographies with Barney Warf (2021).

Adams will devote his editorship in Human Geography to illuminating “the synthetic potentials” of cross- and interdisciplinary explorations in geography: “Emerging geographical approaches, including feminist geography, decolonial geography, studies of affect and emotion, embodied theory, political ecology, and others are not so much ‘specializations’ as new encounters with central questions of the discipline, and as such they offer new ways to synthesize diverse perspectives on the world.” As AAG’s flagship journal, the Annals’s unique task of representing the full breadth of geography can be applied to embracing, rather than entrenching, the disciplinary and methodological differences in the field: “Geography is growing but not necessarily growing apart,” says Adams. “The Annals is key to promoting this process.”

Brian KingKing is professor and head of the Department of Geography at the Pennsylvania State University. His affiliations range across the university, as a faculty research associate with the Population Research Institute, research affiliate with the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, and faculty affiliate with the School of International Affairs and Consortium on Substance Use and Addiction. King is an honorary research associate with the African Climate and Development Initiative at the University of Cape Town and was selected as a National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow in 2017. He previously served from 2021 to 2023 as co-editor of Human Geography and Nature & Society for the Annals. King’s research, teaching, and outreach focuses on livelihoods, conservation and development, environmental change, and human health, centering in Southern Africa. King’s laboratory group (HELIX: Health and Environment Landscapes for Interdisciplinary eXchange) is examining how COVID-19 is transforming the US opioid epidemic. His book, States of Disease: Political Environments and Human Health University of California Press, 2017), received the Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award.

King’s goals as editor include making sure the review process is timely and efficient, acting from his knowledge of the process as a reviewer and as an editorial board member of African Geographical Review, Geoforum and Health & Place. He also seeks to expand the range of the publication to include even more work in emerging directions, and to address underrepresented content areas that can advance the future of nature and society geography.

Related to this commitment is King’s interest in broadening the scope of contributors’ disciplinary backgrounds. “One of the unexpected outcomes of my research in health and environment are the ways that I am increasingly engaging with other disciplines, particularly anthropology, sociology, rural sociology, and biobehavioral health,” he says. King plans to leverage his many commitments and professional contacts outside of geography to widely promote the Annals to potential contributors.

The AAG thanks outgoing editors Kendra Strauss, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology and associate member of the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University, as well as director of the Labour Studies Program and the SFU Morgan Centre for Labour Research; and Katie Meehan, Reader in Environment and Society in the Department of Geography at King’s College London and Co-Director of King’s Water Center, for their dedicated editorship.

kendra straussStrauss brought to the role of editor their significant publications in economic and labor geographies, feminist theory, migration studies, legal geographies, environmental change, urban political ecology, and critical urban theory. With extensive publications in geography, social science, and law journals, Strauss has also served on six editorial boards and been a reviewer for many papers in and beyond geography. Strauss’s tenure with the Annals was characterized by encouragement of paper submissions from outside of North America and in diverse topics areas “that still evidence a commitment to engagement with geography and geographical debate.”

Katie MeehanMeehan is a broadly trained human-environment geographer with expertise in urban political ecology, environmental justice, water policy, mixed methods, and science and technology studies. She is co-author of Water: A Critical Introduction (Wiley, 2023), with Naho Mirumachi, Alex Loftus, and Majed Akhter. She is co-editor with Kendra Strauss of Precarious Worlds: Contested Geographies of Social Reproduction (University of Georgia Press, 2015). In 2023 she won the European Research Council’s Consolidator Grant award to support her research on household water insecurity and water shutoffs in high-income countries. During her time at the Annals, Meehan sought to democratize knowledge and expand the audiences for the journal, beyond the geography discipline and beyond academia. She encouraged the use of Annals as a platform for key debates in the discipline and worked with the other editors to bring human-environment topics into the foreground, especially work that focused on racialized natures and environmental justice. “I have been thrilled to work with the editorial board, my co-editors, AAG staff, and the AAG Council to shepherd the very best geographic scholarship to the pages of the Annals,” Meehan says.

Find out more about the Annals of the American Association of Geographers and other AAG journals.