Conference Grants: Alexis Wood at the AAG

13 Apr, 2023

Conference Grants: Alexis Wood at the AAG

We are pleased to support our students sharing their work at the premiere conferences in their field. Clancy Wilmott (Department of Geography & BCNM) and Alexis Wood (Department of Geography & BCNM DE) presented their upcoming paper, “All your base [maps] are belong to us,” at the 2023 American Associations of Geographers (AAG) meeting in Denver, Colorado on March 24th. AAG is the premier geography conference, which this year, welcomed 6,000 virtual and in-person participants.

Wilmott and Wood presented in a session titled “Experimental and Digital Mapping” sponsored by the Digital Geographies Speciality Group, co-organised by Eve McGlynn (Berkeley Geography) and BCNM/Berkeley Geography alum, Will Payne (Rutgers). Their paper presented is based on on-going community work with an unhoused community, the Wood St Commons in Oakland, California, and addresses the technical, and in this, epistemological and ontological issues, of the default base maps which are offered on most mapping platforms. More specifically, they argue for an analysis and reconsideration of the default base map on the basis that it reproduces the cadastral and dispossessive logics of settler-colonialism, rendering urban precariousness illegible. From this, the authors hope to start a broader conversation about how we might approach mapping from an anti-colonial, anti-capitalist starting point.

Alexis Wood also presented in the session titled, “Redistricting: What Happened and What Happens Next?” with a presentation titled “What Makes a Gerrymander?: An Inductive Approach To Understanding Judicial Action Using GIS-based Gerrymandering Indicators and Statistical Models”, alongside David Rechless (Texas A&M, Galveston) and Jim Thatcher (Oregon State). This presentation covered the background, methods, and results from an NSF REU (Award #1851696) which looked to calculate which of the many redistricting methods would most accurately determine which districts courts would adjudicate as gerrymandered and developed original methods which could do this job better.

BCNM was also represented at AAG by Emma Fraser (BCNM) who was re-elected as a committee member for the Digital Geographies Speciality Group; was an invited speaker on the Digital Geography keynote panel Digital geographies & oppositional work: A conversation across disciplines, and who gave a paper introducing the session Speculative Geographies: Science Fiction, Power, and Possibilities with panelists, Renee Sieber (McGill University), Jeremy Crampton (Newcastle University), Kafui Attoh (City University of New York) Craig Dalton, (Hofstra University), Clancy Wilmott (University of California, Berkeley).