Department of Geography Speaker Series

On the fourth Friday of each month from September to April, the Department of Geography hosts a series of guests, faculty members, and graduate students/post-docs who speak on current topics and issues in (or related to) human and physical geography.

Our next talk of the Fall 2019 semester will be:

The Geography of the Crown: Law and the Political Geography of Settler Colonialism
Patricia Burke Wood (Professor of Geography, York University)
Thu, Oct 17, 2019 | 3:00-4:00 PM | AH100

Co-sponsored by the Departments of Geography and Women and Gender Studies

The Crown, its honour and its duties, are all inventions of British and Canadian law. They are best understood in their specific historical-geographic context, particularly settler-colonialism. They emerged for strategic purposes and are not universal concepts, even among settler societies formerly part of the British Empire. Imperial actors employed legal discourse to secure geography, to render the Crown’s largely unpracticed and abstract claims more real. This assertion was, and continues to be, challenged by pre-existing Aboriginal political geographies. In its efforts to address these tensions in cases of Aboriginal title and rights claims, the Court makes use of the Crown, its honour and duties, but avoids fundamental questions of political geography, most notably in the recent decision of Mikisew Cree (2018). The unresolved point of tension in Mikisew Cree and other cases is the origin and legitimacy of the Crown’s assertion of territorial sovereignty. Through a geographic critique of the legal history of Aboriginal title, this presentation will argue that in the context of settler colonialism in Canada, “the Crown” is a land claim and should be treated as such.

Previous Fall 2019 topics:

  • Dr. Scott Heckbert (Chief Environmental Scientist, Alberta Energy Regulator): Data to Decision: Environmental modelling and community-based monitoring

Last years topics included:

  • Dr. Ivan Townshend (University of Lethbridge): Changing segregation dynamics of two vulnerable populations in the "Divided City"
  • Dr. Melanee Thomas (University of Calgary): Natural disasters and district power: How political scientists think about electoral effects of place
  • Dr. Scott Lamoureux (Queen's University): Hydrological and limnological impacts of changing permafrost in the High Arctic
  • Alberta Wilderness Association: Wilderness Roadshow - Alberta's Public Lands and Wild Spaces
  • Dr. Michael Byers (University of British Columbia): Elon Musk, President of Mars?
  • Department of Geography Graduate student presentation of thesis proposals
  • Dr. Katharina Koch (University of Calgary):  The Geopolitical Production of Trust Discourses at the Finnish-Russian Border

Alex Johnston Lecture Series

Also co-sponsored/organized by the Departments of History and Geography is the annual Alex Johnston Lecture Series, click the link for more information.