Critical Geography Keynote with Minelle Mahtani: Toxic geographies: absences in critical race thought and practice in social and cultural geography

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Time: 
Friday, October 27, 2017 - 3:00pm
Place: 
Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m. The lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m

book cover

About the talk


In this talk, I suggest that social and cultural geography as a discipline and pedagogical stream needs to pay more detailed attention to the ongoing production of what I call toxic geographies, or emotionally toxic material spaces, for geographers of colour. I use the term "toxic" deliberately. I recognize that the word is a loaded one. Toxicity is often referred to as the degree to which a substance can destroy an organism. In geography, toxicity has sustaining, long-term implications not only for the lives of scholars of colour, but it also impacts the scholarship on race and difference. It literally poisons our field. I am tired of the often heard refrain, "It is much better now for scholars of colour in geography, more so than ever before." I am afraid that is not the case despite what we would like to naively believe.

This talk is part of the Envisioning the future of critical geographies conference, being held in Walker Building, on the Penn State University Park campus October 27–28, 2017.

About the speaker


Minelle MahtaniMinelle Mahtani is a Muslim mixed race scholar of Indian-Iranian descent. She is currently on leave from her job as an associate professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough, where she holds a joint appointment in geography and journalism, to host a current-affairs anti-racist radio show called "Sense of Place." Mahtani has published two academic books - Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality, and she is one of the editors of Global Mixed Race. Her work has appeared in absinthe, Social Identities, Gender, Place and Culture, Academic Matters, and Society and Space. Mahtani is the former President of the Association for Canadian Studies and recently won the Community Builder award at Hapa-Palooza. Mahtani was the AAG Glenda Laws Award winner in 2012.

Suggested reading


Toxic geographies: absences in critical race thought and practice in social and cultural geography

Contact us

Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Angela Rogers in advance of your participation or visit.

Angela Rogers  office: 814-865-2493 email: geography@psu.edu