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Week of February 5th, 2018

Please send any news, announcements, and citations to by noon on Monday for publication in the same week’s issue.


Colloquium: An Applied People’s Geography: Power, Practice, and Property
Dr. Joshua Akers, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Friday, February 9th, 3:00 p.m.
Room 2049 NHB, Russell Seminar Room
Low income housing markets were fundamentally transformed by the last financial crisis. These changes include increased speculation, a rise in predatory practices, mounting evictions, and increasing displacement and dispossession reshaping inner city neighborhoods across the US. Rather than a remnant of the crisis these are the operating parameters in these markets. The persistent threat of displacement and dispossession has stretched advocacy organizations and given rise to new mutual aid societies fighting eviction and dispossession.

In this context, geovisualization tools aiding speculative activity and narrowly conceiving of property as real estate have proliferated. For advocates and activists committed to peoples’ right to remain, there is a need for data and tools that assist in direct action and building strategies.

This talk will focus on the role of academic researchers in building tools and disseminating information in ways that subvert power hierarchies by introducing new avenues to establish and maintain residents’ right to the city. It draws a direct line from the work of French Geographers, Kropotkin and Recluse through the Detroit Geographic Expedition and work on Internal Colonies by Bunge and Blaut, to contemporary projects such as Don Mitchell’s People’s Geography Project, the People’s Guide in LA and Detroit, the Anti-Eviction Mapping Campaign in San Francisco, and Property Praxis in Detroit to explore the potential and limits to institutional approaches to community-led research. Joshua Akers is an Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. His research and writing examines the intersection of markets and policy and their material impacts on urban neighborhoods and everyday life. He is the founder and director of the Urban Praxis Workshop, a community-led research initiative, which collaborates with organizations and activists in Detroit focused on housing and tenancy issues. Part of this work is found at

School of Earth, Society, and Environment (SESE) Research Review
Friday, March 2nd, 2:00 p.m.
Room 3083 NHB - SESE Core

Each year, the SESE Research Review brings together the departments of the School of Earth, Society & Environment to share exciting research and promote networking among attendees.

Graduate Student

PhD student Rea Zaimi has been selected as a 2018-19 Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) Fellow. The 2018-19 program theme is “Race Work” – faculty and student fellows will examine how race structures social, political, economic and cultural life. Rea is currently conducting her doctoral field research in Chicago, examining the mechanisms by which vacancy programs are enrolling residents' devalued, racialized, and precarious labor to revalorize disinvested spaces on Chicago's South Side, and how historical entanglements of waste, race, and space are being recast in and through this labor. Rea's dissertation highlights the devalued labor of revitalization as a crucial subsidy to the production of investable space, and situates this labor within the organizing logics of racial capitalism to examine the pivotal work of race in contemporary city-making processes.


Dukes, D., et. al. (2018). "Quantifying postfire aeolian sediment transport using rare earth element tracers." Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 123.

Gao, Y., Li, T., Wang, S., Jeong, M., and Soltani, K. (2018) “A Multidimensional Spatial Scan Statistics Approach to Movement Pattern Comparison”. International Journal of Geographical Information Science (IJGIS), DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2018.1426859

Gao, Y., Wang, S., Padmanabhan, A., Yin, J., and Cao, G. (2018) “Mapping Spatiotemporal Patterns of Events Using Social Media: A Case Study of Influenza Trends”. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 32(3): 425-449.