A space for interdisciplinarity

March 31, 2014

Recently, several geography programs I am familiar with – notably my own at Monash – have been in the throes of administrative reshuffling and identity crises.  In written submissions, hallway chats, and meeting room polemics we have all declared, at one point or another, that the strength of Geography is its interdisciplinarity, its crossing of bridges between the natural and the social, between science and arts.  We have also declared that the integrity of the discipline depends on it staying together as one, even though a climate modeller will have different needs than an analyst of urban indigenous social movements. Read the rest of this entry »


Disaster risk reduction: a decade of global effort comes home

May 10, 2013

As the international development community gears up to renew a global plan for improved ‘disaster risk reduction’ from 2015 (the ‘post-Hyogo’ framework), it is striking to reflect on how central the idea of disaster risk reduction has become in the development industry.  Boosted in no small measure by attention to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and in tandem with efforts at climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction has been a dominant theme over the past decade.  In my own world, it appears everywhere I look

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Field study trip to South Africa

March 23, 2011

For the fifth time since 2004, earlier this year I travelled to Mpumalanga province, South Africa, to co-lead a field study program with my colleague Priya Rangan of Monash University. Two dozen students from Australia, and each day a new fascinating topic and field site visits.

Some links:  My photos from 2011 [no longer available, sorry]    Field studies class website       Facebook group of field studies alumni