April 5 | Post Conflict Battlefield Landscape Recovery – or Not?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
4:00-6:00 PMLIDAR Digital Elevation Model of Fort Douamont and Surrounding Landscape
Engineering 2, room 599

 

The multiple forms of disturbances rendered by conflict upon landscapes around the world demonstrate that this anthropogenic agent is an incredible force that is capable of exerting an influence on the environment in a wide variety of ways, yet the bridge between geomorphology and environmental histories of battlefields is rarely made. This research associated with this presentation examines two case study battlefields, and how post-conflict land-use patterns are tied into what we see on the contemporary landscape of today. Also emphasized in the presentation are how various geospatial data collection tools and methods can be utilized with geospatial software to model the changes rendered to landscapes due to conflict, and to link these disturbances with modern land-use patterns.

Joe Hupy (Associate Professor of Geography, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire)
Joseph Hupy earned his PhD in geography from Michigan State University using soils as a proxy indicator for landscape stability following disturbances rendered by explosive munitions in World War One. Out of that research he coined the term ‘bombturbation’, which describes how soils are disturbed from explosive munitions, one of many forms of anthropogeomorphology where humans shape the landscape. The research surrounding World War One bombturbation led towards examination of other battlefields around the world, including research forays on the Viet Nam battlefield of Khe Sanh in 2007 and 2009. Research on all these battlefields relied upon a myriad of geospatial equipment and Geographic Information System modeling techniques. Out of that research and most recently, Joe has begun to use Unmanned Aerial Systems as a tool to gather data, and hopes to revisit other world battlefields in collaboration with other researchers in different disciplines using this technology as a tool.

In discussion with Science & Justice Graduate Fellow Jeff Sherman (Politics).
Co-Sponsored by the Anthropology department and the Center for Creative Ecologies.

Jan 24 | TELLING THE TRUTH: OBJECTIVITY & JUSTICE

Illustration of the world meltingTuesday, January 24, 2017
4:00-6:00 PM
SJRC Common Room (Oakes 231)

 

The terms “post-fact”, “post-truth”, and “post-reality” are now being used to label the new era we have entered. We are already seeing the erasure of climate data from servers and websites [1], and purveyors of the truth, including climate scientists, journalists, and academics are being put on warning. (The Climate Scientists witch-hunt [2] and the Professor Watchlist are just two of many indicators). Data refuge efforts are underway [3] amid concerns that the incoming administration will wage a war on scientific expertise [4].

At the same time that it is of upmost importance that facts, truth, and reality be asserted to counter the normalization of lies and fake news used to obscure the truth and manipulate the public, there is a large body of scholarship showing the non-innocent and often times harmful use of these terms in ways that collude with the forces of power, including colonialism, racism, militarism, etc.

We are creating this cluster to help us think through these issues during these extraordinary times.

Convened by Karen Barad, our first meeting is Tuesday Jan 24 4-6pm. This first meeting will focus the question of what these terms (fact, truth, reality) signal to each of us in relationship to our own research. We anticipate that these terms will spark a variety of different associations depending on our fields of study. Please join us.

[1] “DNR purges climate change from web page,” by Lee Bergquist (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 28, 2016) http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2016/12/28/dnr-purges-climate-change-on-web-page/95929564/

[2] “Trump Transition Ask Energy Dept. Which Employees Work on Climate Change,” by Christopher Dean Hopkins (NPR, Dec 9, 2016)
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/09/505041927/trump-transition-asks-energy-dept-which-employees-work-on-climate-change?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=2038

[3] Q&A: Michelle Murphy, the U of T professor who’s racing to preserve climate-change data before Donald Trump takes office,” by Steve Kupferman (Toronto Life, Dec 16, 2016)
http://torontolife.com/city/toronto-politics/qa-michelle-murphy-u-t-professor-whos-racing-preserve-climate-change-data-donald-trump-takes-office/

“Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump,” by Brady Dennis (Washington Post, Dec 13, 2016)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/scientists-are-frantically-copying-u-s-climate-data-fearing-it-might-vanish-under-trump/?tid=sm_fb&utm_term=.401062d00845

“Scientists prepare to fight for their work during ‘the Trumpocene’” by Sarah Kaplan (Washington Post, Dec. 15, 2016)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/12/15/researchers-reckon-with-the-trumpocene-at-the-worlds-largest-earth-science-meeting/?utm_term=.1e2b399fde15

[4] “How Trump Could Wage a War on Scientific Expertise,” by Ed Yong (The Atlantic, Dec 2, 2016)
http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/12/how-trump-could-wage-a-war-on-scientific-expertise/509378/

 

Jan 24 Objectivity & Justice Notes

Ethnicity and Security: The Wen Ho Lee Case

Science & Justice Working Group Meeting with Jeffrey Bussolini (CUNY)

The treatment and legal case of Taiwanese-American physicist Wen Ho Lee is a remarkably instructive account of the troublesome intersecting dynamics of ethnicity and security in US national security institutions on the eve of the September 11th transformations. Perhaps most shocking is that some of the same techniques that became notorious after 9/11 (sensory deprivation, techniques of humiliation through shackling and temperature control) were previewed in Lee's treatment. In this respect, and in the mechanics of the case itself which are still poorly understood, the Lee case serves as an invaluable instance of what Foucault would call "the history of the present" in which the techniques of the post-9/11 security state were not simply created out of whole cloth, but were the amplifications of practices that had already been developed within US security and justice systems.

Continue Reading Ethnicity and Security: The Wen Ho Lee Case