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Congratulations to Dr. Jovan Scott Lewis from the Black Geographies Specialty Group Executive Board!

The Black Geographies Specialty Group Executive Board would like to congratulate former BGSG Vice-Chair Dr. Jovan Scott Lewis for being one of three recipients of the 2021 American Association of Geographers’ Diversity and Inclusion Awards! 

From the press release:

“Dr. Jovan Lewis is assistant professor of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, where he co-leads the Economic Disparities research cluster in Berkeley’s Othering and Belonging Institute. Lewis’s efforts in research, teaching, mentorship, and service are bringing Black geographies (and Black geographers) to the forefront of the discipline, changing UC Berkeley Geography’s intellectual culture in emphasizing Black studies and Black geographies. He has worked across departments and programs on his campus and beyond, to engage public groups. Lewis integrates this work into his teaching and mentoring, through symposiums on campus and active recruitment of Black students to his program. Co-editor, with Dr. Camilla Hawthorne, of an influential volume, The Black Geographic, Lewis is also the author of Scammer’s Yard: The Crime of Black Repair in Jamaica. His forthcoming second book, Violent Utopia, examines the experience and articulation of Black sovereignty and freedom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from the settlement of the Indian Territory through the centenary of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre.

Within the AAG, Lewis is a key leader leveraging and amplifying Black Geographies, helping to lead the Black Geographies Specialty Group, and successfully advocating for the inclusion of Black Geographies as a theme of the 2018 AAG Annual Meeting. Notably, Dr. Lewis is still only in the first decade of his career as a professor. His dedication to his students and to the larger community indicate a promising future of further leadership.

‘I am honored to be a recipient of the 2021 AAG Diversity and Inclusion award and I thank my friends and colleagues for nominating me and the award committee for selecting me. The AAG has long counted among its members individuals and groups devoted to equity and justice as both political and intellectual concerns. I have sought to continue in that tradition and to advance it alongside my brilliant colleagues in the Black Geographies Specialty Group and through Berkeley Black Geographies.’”

2020 Clyde Woods Black Geographies Specialty Group Graduate Student Paper Award Winner

April 22, 2020

On behalf of the 2020 Clyde Woods Black Geographies Specialty Group Graduate Student Paper Award Committee, the Board is pleased to announce that this year’s winner is Kaily Heitz, with a paper titled “Unfolding the Frame: The Geographic Matter of Black Life, Image and Form.” Kaily is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley and a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow. In this promising work, the author argues that the imaginaries of Oakland as a Black space in the midst of advancing gentrification and displacement must be explored simultaneously as the commoditized form that facilitates development, and as a formulation of Black struggle and refusal. This essay looks specifically at the photographic image as a Black space through which Oakland is (re)produced in order to understand how circulated media images navigate contradicting claims to space, and the ambiguity between the identity and lived experience of a place.

Congratulations to Kaily Heitz from the Black Geographies Specialty Group Executive Board!

The goal of the BGSG Graduate Student Paper Award is to honor the legacy of late scholar Dr. Clyde Woods by supporting graduate students whose work focuses on Black geographies. Woods invested his time in the intellectual life of Black studies and with Black scholars, particularly students. Woods was known for providing intellectual validity to students who were unable to divorce embodied and alternative knowledge systems from their scholarship. Instead, Woods mentored students towards scholarly interventions that deciphered new practices and social visions. In the wake of Woods’ passing, his legacy has permeated a new generation of Black Geographies scholars. As with the students Woods mentored directly, this generation is working towards the transformation of scientific inquiry, resisting the exclusion of indigenous intellectual traditions of Black landscapes and geographic thought found in their projects. The award winner will work with Antipode’s Editorial Collective to prepare their paper for peer review and, if successful, publication as an open-access article in the journal Antipode  (see our 2018 paper award winner’s article, “For ‘Peace, Quiet, and Respect’: Race, Policing and Land Grabbing on Chicago’s South Side.” by Teona Williams). Throughout this process, the author will receive mentorship from a senior scholar on the Antipode team. Antipode will also host a forum about the paper on the platform, inviting two scholars to write responses

Black Geographies: RECORDED

On this page, the Black Geographies Specialty Group of the AAG will post audio and video recordings of importance to the Black Geographies community. We intend for this archive to eventually contain interviews and oral histories from Black geographers, clips from particularly relevant AAG or other conference papers and panels, and commentary on issues related to Black Geographies.

Recording of Dr. Clyde Woods speaking during a panel on “Neil Smith’s Uneven Development 25 Years Later”. This session took place at the 2009 annual meeting of the AAG in Las Vegas. Thanks to Dr. Nik Heynen for providing the audio.

Click to listen to the recorded discussion.

Access the most recent BGSG newsletter here:

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