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Critical Geography

In Sociological Review: We Never Left Laramie: White LGBTQ Consciousness Post-Election 2016

Immediately after the election, my colleague/friend Emma Jackson at Goldsmiths asked to be part of The Sociological Review‘s rapid response collection to the US election. I said yes even though I was mostly in a fog about what to write beyond making it for, by, and about queers. No surprise there.

Shortly thereafter, Rhon Manigault-Bryant’s brilliant post “An Open Letter to White Liberal Feminists” on the African-American Intellectual History Society site launched. I was inspired by Manigault-Bryant’s words when she wrote that she was “delighted” that white women were forced to finally reckon with violence and injustice that women of color faced daily. In writing a contemporary historical geography of New York City, I often struggle with the inane notion that lgbtq lives have gotten “better” when there has never been evidence of decreasing rates of LGBTQ youth suicides, harassment of LGBTQ people of color, or violence against …

U.S. National Park Service Essays on LGBTQ History Released

WOOHOO! The LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History theme study has been released by the U.S. National Park Service of the Department of the Interior for National Coming Out Day! Happy coming out, National Parks!!!

Who made this happen? (Queen) Megan Springate is a kind, brilliant scholar who works on queer archaeology (that’s a thing! and it’s such a cool thing!) and she truly led the effort to bring this to life. There are dozens of authors involved. And what was my role? Besides serving as a peer reviewer for many, many essays, my own essay, “LGBTQ Spaces and Places,” is meant to be a really wide-ranging piece that allows those unfamiliar with LGBTQ geographies and pushing thinking beyond the notion that all “gay” people live and/or hang out in gay neighborhoods in cities, and just adoreeee bars. Amen. I account for the …

Publication OA: Geographical Imagination in Forthcoming _Intl Encyc of Geography_

I recently made my article, “Size Matters to Lesbians Too: Queer Feminist Interventions into the Scale of Big Data,” public via the open access (OA) services SocArxchiv and SSRN. While I am sharing a new publication through same means but on the geographical imagination–the topic of my first blog post and, still and weirdly, my most popular–I also want to write a little more about why I am keen to place my OA work in these archives. Specifically, my dear friend / feminist geographer Sara Koopman pointed out in a recent comment that I didn’t “explain why [I] like these two cites better than academia[.edu] or research gate – both of which have their issues but are WAY prettier and easier to use than these two [sites, i.e. SSRN and SocArxchiv].” Indeed! In brief: while I will surely load my work to academia.edu and ResearchGate as well, I …

Interviewed for “Home Games: The Strange Overlapping Borders of Sports Fandom”

Rick Paulas is a fantastic journalist who is as enthralled with environmental psychology as I am. We recently spoke about the way notions of geography and identity are co-produced by and evident in “Home Games: The Strange Overlapping Borders of Sports Fandom.” I rarely get a chance to discuss athletics so that — coming from a NESCAC school where *surely* we will *finally* beat Amherst for the football title this year, i.e. go, Trin! — it was a special pleasure to contribute to thinking on this topic.

 

Publication: Area article finally in print!

2015. Gieseking, J. Crossing Over into Territories of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders, and Lesbian-Queer Bodies in New York City. Area. doi: 10.1111/area.12147. 2016. Gieseking, J. Crossing Over into Territories of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders, and Lesbian-Queer Bodies in New York City. Area 48(3): 262-270. doi: 10.1111/area.12147.

48 (3): 262–70.

A year and two weeks ago, I posted the text of “Crossing Over into Territories of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders, and Lesbian-Queer Bodies in New York City” — which is now published in print! Here’s the citation and abstract:

Gieseking, Jen Jack. 2016. “Crossing Over into Neighbourhoods of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders and Lesbian-Queer Bodies in New York City.” Area 48 (3): 262–270. doi:10.1111/area.12147.

The geopolitical focus on territory as a fixed and cohesive nation-state simultaneously conceals the ways territories form and are operationalized at other scales. At the same time, the fleeting ability of minority bodies to make and retain cohesive, property-owned territories overlooks the limited agency that marginalized groups possess while they continually reproduce social territories as they …

Publication: Review of “Safe Space” for Gender, Place and Culture

My review of Christina Hanhardt‘s utterly delicious Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence is available online and below (OA) in Gender, Place and Culture. When I say “delicious,” this is a spot on description for an important, beautiful work of lgbtq geographical history. I include the first two paragraphs below–you can read the entire publication here. (I was going to put it up on SSRN, only to find out, depressingly and shockingly, that it has been sold to the evil and most profitable-upon-academic-unpaid labor company Elsevier.)

Christina B. Hanhardt writes in Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence that one cannot “fully understand changing spatial development patterns apart from LGBT politics” (9). Geographers everywhere should take heed and would do well to read this book. Drawing upon Hanhardt’s insightful text will prove an exciting way to incorporate geographies of sexuality …

Teaching Data Driven Cultures

In my recent blog post, Teaching Queer America, I reflected on my second senior seminar. In this post, I want to briefly touch on the pleasures of teaching my first intermediate-level course, Data Driven Cultures, at Trinity this spring. The course is fueled by a pair of basic yet profound question: how does the internet work, and how does it work upon us? Our daily existence is increasingly structured by code and data, from the algorithms that time our traffic lights to those that filter our search criteria and record our thoughts and ideas. In this course, we explored the possibilities, limitations, and implications of using digital methods and analytics to study issues that affect our everyday lives through a social scientific approach. We pay special attention to the ways we collect, trust, analyze, portray, and use data, most especially the tools and meanings involved in data visualization …

Teaching Queer America

Trinity College Queer America students visiting the Christopher Street Piers in New York City. CC BY-NC Jack Gieseking 2016.Trinity College Queer America students visiting the Christopher Street Piers in New York City.       CC BY-NC Jack Gieseking 2016.

This spring I taught two incredibly exciting courses. The senior seminar, Queer America, was comprised of a small group of students, primarily from our American Studies program. This is my second senior seminar at Trinity College and my first full-semester lgbtq studies course. Of course, the latter is the more shocking of these components: all of this queering I’ve been up to and I’m only just achieving this beautiful moment. I taught Queer(ing) New York with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies with their Seminar in the Series course in 2013.

The course was framed around the following questions: What is queer about America? What can be and has been queered about America? What, if anything, is not queer about America?

I was really energized and excited to see …

New Research Project: Trans Tumblr

For about two years, I’ve been collecting data on the use of the #ftm hashtag and, for a shorter time, #mtf hashtag on Tumblr. These oft used trans hashtags, standing for female-to-male and male-to-female respectively, drew my attention as I was coming into my own trans identity. I came upon the world of trans Tumblr, as I call it, in 2010 when I was choosing my own new name. I found a tightly-knit network of trans people who are otherwise unanchored through their geographic diaspora. They were mostly very young, publicly sharing and connecting about the everyday violence and life milestones, accomplishments and losses that fuel life in general and trans life specifically. I was particularly struck by the small number of voices that dominated the conversation, as well as the suicide notes that would float to the surface and the resounding and instant response of those around them …

‘To be associated in space,’ or: a delightful misreading

My dear friend and colleague, Maggie Galvan, put up a post some time ago with a pretty powerful quote from feminist, queer, critical race, and postcolonical theorist Gloria Anzaldúa:

According to Edward Hall, early in life we become oriented to space in a way that is tied to survival and sanity. When we become disoriented from that sense of space we fall in danger of becoming psychotic. I question this—to be disoriented in space is the ‘normal’ way of being for us mestizas living in the borderlands. It is the sane way of coping with the accelerated pace of this complex, interdependent, and multicultural planet. To be disoriented in space is to be en nepantla. To be disoriented in space is to experience bouts of dissociation of identity, identity breakdowns and buildups.
I misread the final line as: “To be associated in space is to experience bouts of …

Why are all the queers sitting together at the conference? Or, reflections on AAG 2016

The American Association of Geographers and Sexuality & Space Pre-Conference meetings took place in San Francisco last week. I’ve been back in Hartford a week and still feel like I’m getting my sea legs back after six days of conferencing. The Sexuality & Space Pre-Conference served as a great kick-off for the week and allowed to catch up with or connect to geographers of sexualities on their research-in-process. I reflect on the great papers and ideas I heard throughout the week and, most importantly, the segregation and diversity of the meeting, and how we must come together even further to create truly rigorous and diverse scholarship.

I took part in four exciting sessions during the week. In the first two, “Dilemmas III: Institutionality, Queers, and City Exclusions and Negotiations” and “Queering code/space: difference, disorientation, and the digital,” I acted as discussant for papers from scholars ranging from Sarah Schulman to …

Heading to ASA 2016

Excited to share the great news that our panel, “Geography, Maps, and Visions of Home in the Classroom,” organized by Eric Covey (U Miami) and including the likes of Elizabeth Belanger (Hobart & William Smith College), Anita Elizabeth Huizar Hernandez (U Arziona), and Patrick McGreevey (American University of Beirut). The abstract is below. It will be wonderful to think about the place of geography in the American Studies pedagogy and contribute to its teaching including and beyond the role of maps through conversations about the meaning and role of space, place, and environment. What is the geographical imagination of American Studies in the research we teach and discuss, and in the assignments we give students that allow them to shape their own understanding of the world and its practices and processes? What geographical imagination should we offer them in order to produce more justice worlds? The abstract for the session …

Didn’t I Just Get Here? Or: Reflections on My First Tenure-Track Semester

Whoa. It was August 1st and a chemist friend (god bless you, Ryan) and I are in a U-Haul on I-495 wrapping around Boston ever so slowly creeping to I-90 and then I-84 until we see Hartford on the horizon and I say, “That’s my new city, buddy!” Yes, Hartford has an actual skyline and I was ready to be romanced by this urban tract. As much as I learn and love about the city, I admit it’s tough at times as Hartford is dependent upon and revolves around car commuter culture attached to suburbs (which make up a large part of the State of Connecticut). Over the course of the semester, I’ll make some great connections and breakthroughs, and also connect to activists who want to change that dynamic. Looking for permanent housing–also: whoa and FINALLY–allows you to really get to know a place like you have not before…not …

Joining the Editorial Board of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers

I am honored to announce that I’ve accepted an invitation to join the editorial board of the leading US geography journal, Annals of the Association of American Geographers. A hub for truly important and ground-breaking research and blissfully not managed by Elsevier, I hope to contribute to policies of open access, grow our digital presence, peer review a lot of fantastic work, and help grow the beautiful field of geography within the public and academic eye alike.

In the fall of 2013, I published the first book review in the Annals on the topic of lgbtq geographies and geographies of sexualities. Mind blowing. And it’s only up from here, team!

 

 

Reflecting on the 1980s Course

Belinda Carlisle was right: heaven is indeed a place on earth. For me that would be the  experience of teaching my American Conflicts and Cultures in the 1980s course. I, of course, equally loved my Digital Image of the City course as I discussed earlier, but teaching the 1980s was just…fun? Perhaps it’s that as a child of the 1980s, I could step back in time and make recent policy, legal, and social shifts resonate in the bodies and minds of young people born in the late 1990s. Actually, it was attaining that learning objective with a group of really incredible, curious students that was all the fun.

In this post, I’ll share how the course unfolded and how I structured teaching a decade so that it mattered to my students. As a project of public humanities, students worked together to build a timeline of the key events of the …

Reflections on The Digital Image of the City: Hartford 2015

The Digital Image of the City, American Studies, Trinity College 2015. Standing, left to right: Andrew Fishman ’16, Madelaine Feakins ’16, Rick Naylor ’16, Dalton Judd ’16, Assistant Professor of American Studies Jack Gieseking, and Callie McLaughlin ’16. Seated, left to right: Molly Mann ’16 and Georgianna Wynn ’16. CC BY-SA-NC Trinity College 2015.The Digital Image of the City, American Studies, Trinity College 2015. Standing, left to right: Andrew Fishman ’16, Madelaine Feakins ’16, Rick Naylor ’16, Dalton Judd ’16, Assistant Professor of American Studies Jack Gieseking, and Callie McLaughlin ’16. Seated, left to right: Molly Mann ’16 and Georgianna Wynn ’16. CC BY-SA-NC Trinity College 2015.

As the new semester is upon us–how did that happen so quickly?–I wanted to reflect back on my courses from last semester. I had a beautiful first semester at Trinity College, thanks mostly to those incredible faculty, staff, and students with whom I spend my days.

My senior seminar, The Digital Image of the City, which was a huge success–or so said the students on the final day, all smiley as they were on the last day (and as you can see on the image in the left)! I share a short explanation about …

Gender & Geography Bibliography Hackathon a Success!

As I just wrote on the Gender & Geography Bibliography (GGB) website, during Geography Awareness Week in mid-November 2015, over 49 individuals and groups participated in the Gender & Geography Bibliography Hackathon! Over a 1,000 new entries–many of them sorely missing books, book chapters, and articles, a large number of which are blissfully not in English–now fill the GGB. Thank you to all who participated and cheered us on!

For those of you who still want to take part in the Hackathon, follow these instructions which explain in more detail how to head to our group at https://www.zotero.org/groups/gendergeog/ and request to join and Jack Gieseking (lead admin) will get a note to add you. From there, you and perhaps your friends–perhaps this is the new wild idea for wine night amongst the feminist dorks among us?? how fantastic–and follow the directions in previous posts. Email jack DOT gieseking …