Past President's Address by Derek Alderman, "Keeping it REAL in a Post-Truth World: Geography as Reparative Storytelling"

Type: Plenary
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 11:45 AM / 1:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Marriott Ballroom Salon 2, Marriott, Lobby Level
Organizers: The American Association of Geographers


AAG Past President Derek Alderman will speak on enhancing the place of storytelling within geography as part of his initiative, Geography is REAL (Responsive, Engaged, Advocating, and Life-Improving). He will ask attendees to view storytelling as more than entertainment, to consider its value as a tool of education, disciplinary promotion, public outreach, community-building, and scholar-activism. Alderman will highlight the strides in storytelling already being made in geography as he discusses opportunities, strategies, and challenges for further communicating beyond the reach, pace, and style of traditional academic discourse and dissemination. Importantly, he calls for the stories written, told, performed, and visualized by geographers to be reparative in nature. They should challenge and redress the fallacies and inequalities that have come to characterize our “post-truth” world of climate change denial and attacks on human and civil rights. Reparative storytelling, according to Alderman, is about geographers translating their science, theory, methods, and technologies into clear, compelling accounts that make an intervention in how public groups and decision-makers think about, care for, and act on today’s pressing issues. Concerned with more than telling evocative and consequential stories within press, policy, and professional circles, reparative storytelling is also an ethical commitment to create spaces for elevating and listening and responding to the voices of marginalized groups within our discipline and society. Challenging the popular adage that “talk is cheap,” Alderman encourages geographers to realize the work that reparative storytelling can do in helping build reparative geographies.

Past President Alderman will also present the 2019 Presidential Achievement Award to Rickie Sanders (Temple University) and David Padgett (Tennessee State University) for their distinguished work in enhancing diversity and inclusion in the discipline of geography.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach University of Texas-Austin 10 11:45 AM
Speaker Derek Alderman University of Tennessee 45 11:55 AM
Presidential Achievement Award Recipient David Padgett 10 12:40 PM
Presidential Achievement Award Recipient Rickie Sanders Temple University 10 12:50 PM

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