Critical Physical Geography Proposal Writing Workshop. Berkeley 2016.


This workshop took place at the Slow Science Institute in Berkeley, CA, March 26-28, organized by Rebecca Lave at Indiana University and Salvatore “Saed” Engel-DiMauro at SUNY New Paltz. We spent time on each students’ proposal, discussing how to substantively improve it. I submitted a research proposal titled “From Ocean Abyss to Outer Space: Archipelagic ontologies and threats to the vertical commons,” which is a project I have been developing with Drs. Alison Williams and Jonathan Pugh at Newcastle University. A huge thanks to my collaborators, workshop participants and organizers, and our lovely host at the Slow Science Institute!

Sammler, K. Political Geography of Sea, Air, & Space.  American Association Geographers, San Francisco, CA 29 Mar–02 Apr.
Sammler, KFrom Ocean Abyss to Vacuum of Space: Privatization in the Vertical CommonsAssociation of Pacific Coast Geographers, Palm Springs, CA 21-24 Oct.


Critical Physical Geography

Where critical theory and physical geography meet


“Critical physical geography is a new field that combines critical attention to relations of social power with deep knowledge of a particular field of biophysical science or technology in the service of social and environmental transformation. The central precept of critical physical geography is that we cannot rely on explanations grounded in physical or critical human geography alone because physical landscapes and social systems are as much the product of unequal power relations, histories of colonialism, and racial and gender disparities as they are of hydrology, ecology, and climate change. Critical physical geography is thus based in the careful integrative work necessary to render these deep interconnections between biophysical and social systems legible.

This growing body of research asks what are the opportunities for a more critical Physical Geography and a more physical Critical Geography? What new research, teaching, and political practices can we build on a foundation of subaltern studies, biogeography, political-economy, geomorphology, social studies of science, and climate science?

To read more about this approach, see:

  • Lave, Rebecca. In press. “Engaging Within the Academy: A Call for Critical Physical Geography.” Acme.
  • Lave, Rebecca, Matthew W. Wilson, Elizabeth Barron, Christine Biermann, Mark Carey, Martin Doyle, Chris Duvall, Leigh Johnson, Maria Lane, Jamie Lorimer, Nathan McClintock, Darla Munroe, Rachel Pain, James Proctor, Bruce Rhoads, Morgan M. Robertson, Jairus Rossi, Nathan F. Sayre, Gregory Simon, Marc Tadaki, and Christopher Van Dyke. 2014.”Critical physical geography.” The Canadian Geographer 58(1): 1-10.”