Newsletter – January 2015


The Not-So-Silent Majority


By Mona Domosh

The numbers are staggering: the majority (according to the AAUP, 56 percent) of academics teaching in American universities and colleges are contingent faculty, defined as either full-time non-tenure-track (NTT) or part-time faculty; adding graduate student teachers into the mix increases the percentage to 76 percent. The impact on higher education and on peoples’ lives is also staggering. Most people employed in the academic labor force are living precarious lives, and the fate of higher education might very well dangle in the balance. Even the U.S. House of Representatives has weighed in, recently filing a committee report whose conclusion minces no words “In today’s lean era, schools have often chosen to balance their budgets on the backs of adjuncts.” Continue Reading

Recent columns from the President

2015 AAG Honors Announced

The AAG will confer AAG Honors, the Association’s highest honors, to eight individuals for their outstanding contributions to the advancement or welfare of geography. Each year, the AAG invites nominations from the membership, which are then presented to the AAG Honors Committee for consideration.

The AAG Honors will be presented at the upcoming AAG Annual Meeting in Chicago, Ill., during a special awards luncheon on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Read More


lead_large-300x188Found Film Offers Rare Look Around 1940s Chicago

Jeff Altman paid $40 for a canister of film simply labeled “Chicago” and “Print 1″ at an estate sale on the south side of Chicago last year. Altman, who works in film post-production, transformed it to digital video and shared it online for folks to enjoy and help discover its origins. The Atlantic picked up the story and wrote a brief article. The short film gives a thorough view of 1940s Chicago, when the Wrigley and Tribune Towers were still considered modern landmarks. Continue Reading


Wei_Caitlyn_Photo1-300x271Chicago’s Asian Cultures

By Jiahe “Caitlyn” Wei

The Association of American Geographers (AAG) will be holding its next annual meeting April 21-25, 2015, in the American business hub city of Chicago, which can be reached by a direct flight from Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and many other major Asian cities. It is little wonder that many Asian cultures feel at home here in America’s heartland global city. Read More

[Focus on Chicago is an on-going series curated by the Local Arrangements Committee to provide insight on and understanding of the geographies of Chicago]


Justice and Place

By Rob Sullivan

The dynamics between geography and justice is readily apparent in a wide array of situations, from the segregation policies of the old American South to the occupation policies of Israel vis-à-vis Palestine to the variance in death penalty laws among the various states in America. What is amazing, though, is how often issues of justice and place appear in the news as well as in cultural products and how just as often they are not recognized as such by the majority of people or, perhaps, even by the majority of geographers. Read More

University of California Press Selected for AAG Publication Award

The University of California Press is awarded the Association of American Geographers’ Publication Award in recognition of their long-term support of geographic scholarship and publishing and overall excellence in publishing. Read More

Donate to the AAG-GTU Student Travel Awards Fund

The AAG and Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) have partnered to raise funds to support student attendance at the AAG annual meeting. The AAG-GTU Student avel Awards provide avel subsidies of $200 to help undergraduate and graduate student members of GTU attend AAG meetings. Please support our geography students by making a donation to the AAG-GTU Student travel Awards Fund by using the online form.

GTU student members in need of AAG-GTU travel funds can  submit applications online at the GTU website. The deadline is February 1, 2015.


First Graduates in Spatially Integrated Social Science Program at University of Toledo Receive Doctorates

The Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toledo is pleased to announce that at the university fall 2014 commencement on December 20th, the first graduates of the PhD program in Spatially Integrated Social Science received their doctorate degrees: April Ames (advisor Dr Kevin Czajkowski), Eric Wang (advisor Dr Peter Lindquist) and Jeff Eloff (advisor Dr Oleg Smirnov, economics). Read More

Undergraduate Students Spotlight Geography with New Website

Syracuse University’s seniors in the department of geography designed a new website from the perspective of undergraduates. Under the direction of Anne Mosher and as part of their senior seminar, the students created a way to highlight what they saw as the most exciting aspects of geography as a major and career. The project was a way to get students interested in and thinking seriously about what it means to be a geographer and what a geographic perspective offers. It also received attention from administrators and other officials outside the university, who now better understand geography and why it’s important. Read More


Census Releases New ACS Data, Special Feature on Young Adults

The Census Bureau has released 2009-2013 five-year estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS). The release includes new tables on field of bachelor’s degree, health insurance status, poverty status, and year of naturalization. In addition, a new Census Explorer feature, Young Adults: Then and Now, allows users to compare young adults (18-34) across the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses and the 2009-2013 ACS five-year estimates and track changes in demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics. Read More

COSSA and Partners Urge Support for International and Foreign Language Education for FY 2015

In November, COSSA joined a Coalition for International Education letter to House and Senate appropriators in support of strong funding levels for the Department of Education’s international and foreign language education programs (Title VI and Fulbright-Hays) as Congress attempts to wrap up funding for fiscal year (FY) 2015. As the letter notes, “Title VI and Fulbright-Hays are the nation’s longest-serving, most comprehensive programs that develop and maintain a strong, world-class foundation for international education and foreign language studies.” Read More


Apply for 2015 ACLS Public Fellows Competition by Mar. 17

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) has opened the fifth annual Public Fellows competition. In 2015, the program will place 22 recent humanities PhDs in two-year positions at partnering nonprofits and government agencies, where the fellows will participate in the core work of these organizations while benefitting from professional mentoring and career development opportunities. Fellows receive a stipend of $65,000 per year, as well as individual health insurance and additional funds toward professional development. Learn More

Applications Now Being Accepted for 2015 National Geographic Award in Mapping

Undergraduate students and master’s-degree candidates are invited to apply for the National Geographic Award in Mapping. This award recognizes student achievement in the art, science, and technology of mapping and seeks to encourage student research. Learn More

Society of Woman Geographers Seeks Applicants for the Pruitt National Minority Fellowship

The Society of Woman Geographers (SWG) invites applications for the Pruitt National Minority Fellowship. Minority women who have been admitted to and plan to enroll or are enrolled in a Masters program in geography or a related field are eligible to apply. One or two awards of $3,000 to $6,000 will be made. Learn More


Latest issue of ‘The Professional Geographer’ is now available online

The Professional Geographer, Volume 67, Issue 1, February 2015 is now available at Taylor & Francis Online. AAG members receive free access. Read More

New Books Received — December 2014

The AAG Review of Books office has released the list of the books received during the month of December. Read More


Submit Department and Member News

The AAG Newsletter has added new sections to feature news from and about geography departments and association members. To share updates, submit announcements to newsletter [at] aag [dot] org.