I am a cultural geographer who explores the geopolitics of knowledge production. That I often pursue this historically may relate to my BA in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. My fascination with the cultural geographies of technoscience surely stems from earning an MA in the history of science from the University of Oklahoma. And the fact that my PhD in geography is from the University of Kentucky helps explain why I undertake my scholarship with feminist and other critical methodologies.

My research has examined the organizational geographies and cultural politics of development and conservation in Indigenous regions of Mexico. With archival investigation, visual interpretation, and ethnographic inquiry, I tend to ask how the access and use of communication technologies amplifies Indigenous participation in the authorship of authoritative geographic knowledge. Because I think video is a particularly effective platform for co-constituting environmental knowledge, my fieldwork has focused on how and why cultural activists work with academic advocates to create and circulate videos made by, with, and for Indigenous communities. I am especially interested in the gendered nature of these collaborations, as well as the visualizations of Indigeneity they enable.

More recently I have sought to bring some of what I learned in southern Mexico to the southern plains where I now live and work. I waded into the waters of climate science in the hopes of using video to mediate pluricultural conversations about climate change impacts in Tribal communities in the central USA. Most recently, I’ve worked with Native student filmmakers to produce video portraits of Tribal Environmental Professionals who live and work in Oklahoma. Currently, I’m working toward the means to pursue subsequent video production for an online open-access examination of the emergence and flourishing of Tribal environmental programs in the state that features both video and textual storywork.

My research interests inform my teaching. For example, my obsession with the cultural politics of geographic knowledge production/co-production/co-constitution shapes the classes I offer graduate and undergraduate students. Likewise, my love of visual storytelling means that films/videos commonly comprise key texts in most of my courses.

Are you interested in similar matters of scholarship and engagement? Kindly let me know – laurel@ou.edu – maybe we might work together.