A Review of Rightlessness

I wrote a review of A. Naomi Paik’s fantastic book Rightlessness: Testimony and Redress in U.S. Prison Camps since World War II:

“The U.S. state often uses the declaration that “we are a nation of laws” as a pretext for the its increased reliance on rights suppression, expulsion, and carceral power (c.f. Trump, 2017). Whether in reference to the expansion of strategies for the apprehension and detention of migrants, the intensification of racialized urban policing tactics, or the torture of so-called unlawful enemy combatants, the specter of law paradoxically works to rationalize the removal of legal protections from targeted populations.”

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Manifesto for a Sustainable Future

At the end of our last classroom meeting, the students in Environmental Geography worked in small groups to imagine a future in which our lives are not beholden to the extraction and incineration of eons-old subterranean hydrocarbons.

Informed by a semester-long exploration into the histories of our shared present, and banged out in a day, this is our draft manifesto for a more sustainable future. I have to say, I’m pretty proud of these kids:

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Urban Geography

Geography 2600 - Fall 2018

Happy to be teaching urban geography again. I’ve revised the syllabus a great deal since the last time I taught it–this time with an increased focus gender, race, and geographic inclusivity.

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Environmental Geography

Geography 2700 - Fall 2017

Another new class is in the books. This was a fun one to teach and the students brought a lot of really interesting perspectives to the discussions. Hopefully I can run it again soon.

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History of Architecture

History / Geography 2552 - Spring 2019

I’m pretty excited to link my past life as an architect with my present life as a historical and political geographer this spring in teaching a global history of architecture and architectural theory. It’s going to be fun!

More to come…

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Against the Sublime

I really enjoyed the interview with Joe Masco from the most recent Cultures of Energy podcast. The pod is always good–funny and light but also rigorous and thought-provoking. I recommend. Anyway, towards the end of this episode, the conversation shifted to a discussion about the role that certain images played in producing the logics of national security in the Cold War, and the perils of repeating those practices as the security/insecurity narratives shift to address global climate change. The hosts Dominic Boyer and Cymene Howe toyed with the idea of t-shirts imploring the population to resist both the nuclear and the climate sublime.

After a long day teaching with a beast of a head cold, I didn’t want to grade. So, randomly, I made these. I don’t think they’re ominous enough, nor do they get at the intensity of these sublimes, but they still allowed me to feel productive while I watched a basketball game.



Foray into mapping

I’m lucky enough to know some really talented people, and even luckier to get the opportunity to work with some of them every once in a while. Here’s an excerpt from a map I am making for my brother-in-law that will hopefully be available in print soon. While I am not a cartographer–I only know rudimentary QGIS–I’m learning, and I really enjoy the design process and using the part of my brain that I used regularly during my previous career as an architect.


Working always together

I was reading up on Operations Research in the early 1950s, a time when human decision-making and automated/scientific decision-making were both seen as suspect in different ways. O.R. here was being positioned as an assemblage of the good parts of both, though I think that remains an open question…

The best or worst of times

From “Our Greatest Secret Weapon” a piece about O.R. by Lieut. Col. David Parker (Aug. 5, 1951) in This Week. I originally came across the citation in Rational Action: The Sciences of Policy in Britain and America 1940-1960 by William Thomas, summarized here