Yi-Fu Tuan Lectures

Yi-Fu TuanThe Yi-Fu Lecture Series features a wide variety of U.S. and international guest lecturers from all geographic disciplines. Lecturers at these Friday seminars also often speak at brown-bag lunches, one-on-one student sessions, and breakfast meetings with student interest groups as part of their visit. Doctoral students are invited to present their final research. The lecture series was initiated by Dr. Tuan (pictured at right) and receives enthusiastic support as a department and campus tradition.

All lectures are presented on Friday at 3:30pm in Science Hall - Rm 180 unless otherwise noted. Alumni, friends and the public are always invited to attend.

Spring 2015 Lectures

Alice Goffman23 January – On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City

  • Alice Goffman
  • UW-Madison, Sociology Department
  • Presented in partnership with: Institute for Research on Poverty, Institute for Legal Studies, & Sociology

Alice Goffman will discuss her six years documenting police violence and over-incarceration in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Philadelphia, the subject of her book "On the Run," which has received widespread attention and acclaim. This talk will take place 3:30 - 5pm at the H.F. DeLuca Forum, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard Street. A reception will follow the talk.

Ian Baird6 February – Who is Indigenous? Politics, Activism, Geography, Indigeneity and Nature-Society Relations in Southeast Asia

  • Ian Baird
  • UW-Madison, Geography Department

Most people take for granted that it is relatively easy to determine who is indigenous and who is not. Indeed, in the Americas and Oceania, Indigenous peoples are generally considered to be the descendants of those who inhabited these spaces prior to white settler colonization. In Southeast Asia, however, there was plenty of European colonialism, but much less white settler colonization. This has made the question of “who is indigenous” much more difficult to answer, as both ethnic minority and majority populations are able to credibly claim that they are “indigenous” to where they live. Indicative of the contested nature of the issue, most of the governments in Southeast Asia stipulate that their populations are either virtually all Indigenous, or that there are no Indigenous peoples within their borders. Yet new globalized concepts of indigeneity are emerging and have begun to circulate, take hold, and hybridize within parts of Southeast Asia. Crucially, Indigenous peoples are now increasingly being conceptualized as “colonized peoples” rather than simply “first peoples”, thus partially uncoupling indigeneity from space. In this presentation, I consider the identity politics, activism and geographies of indigeneity in Southeast Asia, and their implications for nature-society relations and struggles over land and other natural resources.

Erik Steiner13 February – On the Intersection of Design and Research

  • Erik Steiner
  • Stanford, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA)

The sciences and humanities - the two great branches of human inquiry - are divided by deep differences in their goals and methods, despite often sharing an interest in human nature. The reductionism of science conflicts with the speculative nature of the humanities, and the emotive essence of the humanities is at odds with the neutral tenor of the sciences. Geography as a borderland field shares an affinity to both modes of thought, and its sub-discipline of cartography can - but often fails - to help unify them, resting somewhat comfortably as a decorative craft for the technically-minded. This talk will explore the role of cartography and design more broadly in research - in both the digital humanities and natural sciences - through several examples drawn from our work at CESTA in the fields of ecology, planning, history, geography and literature.

Sarah Hobbie20 February – TBA

  • Sarah Hobbie
  • University of Minnesota, Department of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior



Guido Cervone27 February – TBA

  • Guido Cervone
  • Penn State Unversity, Geography Department



James Sidaway6 March – TBA

  • James Sidaway
  • National University of Singapore, Department of Arts and Social Sciences



Marianne Schmink13 March – TBA

  • Marianne Schmink
  • University of Florida, Latin American and Conservation Studies



Mamata Akella20 March – TBA

  • Mamata Akella
  • U.S. National Park Service



Josh Lepawsky17 April – TBA

  • Josh Lepawsky
  • Memorial University, Geography Departement



Jason Dittmer1 May – TBA

  • Jason Dittmer
  • University College- London



Cheryl Morse8 May – TBA

  • Cheryl Morse
  • University of Vermont
  • Treacy Lecture

Yi Fu Tuan lecture archive

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