Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Students Represent Department at American Meteorological Society Meeting

Students Jennifer Alexander, Xuebin Yang, and Molly Polk represented the Department of Geography and the Environment at the Weatherfest event of the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). On participating in the event, which took place from January 6 - 10 in Austin, doctoral student Molly Polk said, "we were happy to spread the good word about our department and about the beauty and importance of our fine discipline." The AMS meeting was co-chaired by meteorologist and faculty member Troy Kimmel.

Jen, Xuebin, Troy, and Molly at the UT Geography and the Environment booth

Friday, January 18, 2013

Students Present at American Geophysical Union Meeting

Graduate students from UT's Department of Geography and the Environment recently presented posters at the American Geophysical Union's Annual Fall Meeting, held from December 3rd-7th in San Francisco, CA. Christine Bonthius, Richard Knox, Katherine Lininger, and Edward Park presented in a session titled,"River Morphodynamics and Channel Patterns: How Do River Patterns Come to be Different?" Poster topics included: flooding patterns of the middle Araguaia River of Brazil (Lininger); morphodynamics of the Madeira River of Brazil (Bonthius); bedload transport and effective discharge of a segment of the Mississippi River (Knox); and, using remote sensing techniques to model suspended sediment concentrations in the Amazon (Park).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Joomi Lee Wins Award from the American Institute for Maghrib Studies

UT Geography doctoral candidate Joomi Lee has been awarded  the Mark Tessler Graduate Student Prize from the American Institute for Maghrib Studies for her paper, The End of Local Craftsmanship: A Case Study of Sale's Disappearing Artisans. The award includes a cash prize, and the paper will be submitted for publication in The Journal of North African Studies. Congratulations to Joomi! Abstract below.

Invocation of tradition' is a popular discourse and practice in the on-going urban renewal of Islamic cities of the Arab world. Much effort is being put into the rehabilitation of the visual and tangible forms of cultural heritage over the course of the renewal. The rehabilitated architectural forms have become an important ingredient in the urban 'mis-en-scene', befitting the image of a modern Islamic city. With a case study of the Bouregreg project in Morocco, this paper criticizes this contemporary Arab urban renewal's obsession with creating an urban spectacle underlying the role of tangible forms of tradition. We argues that certain categories of tradition are actually privileged in the Project's stated strategic agenda of "revival of the glorious past" of the Bouregreg River, consequently resulting in structural negligence of others, particularly intangible ones such as local artisanship. In this inquiry, we are particularly attentive to the historical dynamics of the neighboring cities of Rabat and Salé in the River Valley. Salé, once described as 'a city of high Islamic civilization' comparable to Fez during the medieval age, has since French colonial rule descended to the status of a mere 'cite-dortoir' for Rabat. We argue that though the narrative of 'revitalization of Salé' is inscribed in the Project's agenda of cultural revival, Salé's artisans - both individuals and communities - are still caught up in a multifaceted trap of structural negligence, leaving many the city's traditional craftsmanship out of the proposed urban renewal which is now on the verge of extinction.