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Building Inclusive Communities and Diverse Departments, Supporting Women in Geography 8th Annual Panel

Type: Panel
Theme: Expanding the Community of Geography
Sponsor Groups: Feminist Geographies Specialty Group, Ethnic Geography Specialty Group, Queer and Trans Geographies Specialty Group, Careers and Professional Development
Organizers: Jacklyn Weier, Bradley Hinger
Chairs: Jacklyn Weier


This panel intends to address the challenges of inclusivity and diversity in departments and non-academic institutions. Here we define diversity broadly, considering the cross-cutting aspects of race, gender, sexuality, Indigeneity, disability, and other overlapping subjectivities. We hope to bring together panelists and audience members interested in and committed to facilitating discussion around building inclusive communities and diverse departments in Geography.

Issues of diversity in Geography have received attention, including: the whiteness of the discipline (e.g, Pulido 2002), continued sexual harassment in departments (e.g, Mansfield et al. 2019), or the geographic barriers to creating diverse communities (Adams et al. 2013). Additionally, feminist scholars have called for other ways of diversifying, such as with citational practices (Ahmed 2017, Mott & Cockayne 2017). We draw inspiration from these works for this panel, and aim to expand on these ideas in the following ways:

Tactics and strategies for diversifying departments, including faculty and student recruitment and retention
How initiatives like the Harassment Free AAG facilitate discussion about underrepresented groups in Geography
Citational practices
How the university as a neoliberal and colonial institution acts as a hinderance to inclusivity
Making the discipline more receptive to new and diverse methods, theories, and pedagogies
Experiences in a non-inclusive discipline or department, and how these experiences can be productive towards diversifying strategies
Building instructive and supportive mentor/mentee relationships with underrepresented students and faculty
The panel is organized by Penn State's Supporting Women in Geography organization, a graduate student-run advocacy group which aims to support women and other underrepresented groups within the discipline of geography.


Type Details Minutes
Panelist Sarah Blue Texas State University - San Marcos 5
Panelist Karen Johnson-Webb Bowling Green State University 5
Panelist Ann Oberhauser Iowa State University 5
Panelist Carolyn Thompson Southern Connecticut State University 5
Panelist Shannon O'Lear University of Kansas 5

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