PGSG voting through 3/1

If you haven’t already, please remember to vote for the new PGSG faculty board reps (instructions in previous post) by March 1 at 11:59 ET. With a brand new system, we’ve had to work out some kinks, so please feel free to contact Natalie if you are having any issues:

PGSG faculty board voting – now open!

We are now opening voting for the two PGSG faculty board member positions. You may vote from now until 1 March at 11:59 ET at:

Since this is the first time we are voting electronically, a few words of explanation:

1. In order to access the vote, you will need to enter your AAG PIN. If you do not know your PIN, you may locate it here:

If you have not renewed your AAG membership, or your membership in the PGSG, your PIN will not show up on our list of valid IDs that grant access to the ballot.

If you cannot access your PIN for whatever reason, simply write Natalie and she will help you locate the number.

2. If your AAG PIN starts with any number of 0s, do not enter these to gain access – start only with the with first number higher than 0. E.g. if your PIN is 0001234, enter 1234.

3. You can only vote for two candidates or less. Submitting a vote for 3+ will result in an invalid entry.

4. Please know that your vote is confidential — the PIN is just a security step to make sure that only current PGSG members will be able to vote. As this is only a security step to grant access to the ballot page, votes will not be associated with PINs. A third party will count the votes and send the final tally to me. Results will be announced on 2 March.

5. If you are having any difficulties, or have any questions, please contact Natalie directly:

Preconference preliminary program

The preliminary program is now available for the

29th Annual PGSG PreconferenceSan Francisco 2016

 Download program here.

Abstracts are here.

Date & time: Monday, 28 March 2016 from 8 AM – 5:45 PM.

Location: Nikko Hotel, 222 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Lodging: This year’s venue is one of the AAG conference hotels, so you should plan to stay wherever you prefer for the main conference.

Registration: All are welcome. No charge for students. $20 registration fee for faculty only. Faculty, please bring cash on the day of the event.


CFP: Borderless worlds – for whom? (RELATE, Oulu, 7-8 Sept. 2016)

Borderless worlds – for whom? Ethics, moralities and (in)justice in migration and tourism
Conference organised by RELATE, the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence,
University of Oulu, 7-8 September 2016

The notion of a borderless world came to prominence especially after the collapse of socialist Eastern Europe. The conceptualisation of a borderless world sought to deal with the increasingly globalised networks of flows of capital and information. “Borderless world” is now a recurrent term in the titles of numerous academic and non-academic texts, though the optimism associated originally with this idea has vanished during the last 25 years or so when more nuanced views of borders have come to dominate both academic debates and social and political life. While economic flows and some factions (e.g. business people, academics and wealthy tourists) cross borders quite freely, not all travellers are welcome; a number of states around the world actively construct and strengthen borders and build even concrete walls to prevent and control certain forms of mobilities (terrorists, illicit smuggling, and undesirable migrants). The figure of the migrant or refugee increasingly dominates discussion on borders. Borders and bordering practices are inscribed onto the bodies of mobile people, allowing some to cross freely, while obstructing and/or preventing others. These contradictory tendencies have led to a situation where both researchers and activists have advocated for more open borders or even no borders.
This conference, organised by the RELATE Centre of Excellence/Academy of Finland & University of Oulu, will problematise these tendencies and claims. Through keynote talks and panels involving a non-conventional set of border experts – leading border and migration scholars, politicians, journalists, activists (no borders, free mobility, sans papier), activist researchers and migrants themselves – the aim is to expose the complexity of the terrain and to pay much-needed attention to the ethics, moralities and (in)justices in border struggles, migration and tourism mobilities. The power of territorial borders, bordering and identities have become increasingly complex, multi-scalar and relational. Conference speakers and attendees will work towards making sense of this complexity. Instead of taking territorial or relational views as normative givens, we hope to consider how the simultaneous ‘geographies’ of bounded and open, networked spaces are realised in the contemporary world.


See attached CFP for more details.

Student awards – 3/15 deadlines

PGSG members: be reminded that there are several student awards with March 15 deadlines. Please consider submitting an application, or encouraging your students to do so. Early submissions are welcome!

  1. Alexander B. Murphy Dissertation Enhancement Award
  2. MA & PhD Student Paper Awards



Description: The Alexander B. Murphy Dissertation Enhancement Award is granted annually to PGSG student members. Up to two awards of $1000 each may be awarded at the discretion of the Dissertation Enhancement Award Committee. Interested students should prepare a mini-dissertation proposal for submission to the Dissertation Awards Committee.


1. The competition is open to all Ph.D. students who are members of the PGSG.

2. The DEA proposal should be 8-10 pages in length total (single or double spaced) and include sections covering the research question(s), theoretical issues, conceptual framework, methodology, relevance to political geography, and a budget describing how the $1000 would be used.

3. A proposal submitted for the PGSG DEA award may NOT be submitted to any other AAG Specialty Group for a dissertation enhancement award.

4. If a student has already incurred expenses listed in the budget by the time of the award announcement, the student may use the DEA to cover those expenses.

5. The DEA proposal should be crafted from the student’s dissertation proposal which has been or will be submitted to the Ph.D. committee within the 2015-2016 academic year.

6.  To enable full consideration of all submissions, entrants should send electronic copies of their DEA proposals to the Dissertation Enhancement Award Committee Chair listed below by 15 March 2016.

7. The results of the DEA competition will be announced to the winner prior to the annual AAG meeting and the winner will be invited to attend the annual AAG Awards Luncheon at the expense of the PGSG. The award will be formally announced at the PGSG business meeting and payment will take place shortly thereafter. The winner’s name and dissertation title will be forwarded to the AAG for publication in the AAG Newsletter.

8. Questions concerning the competition may be directed to the members of the Dissertation Enhancement Awards Committee.

Dissertation Enhancement Award Committee:
Robert Watrel (Chair), South Dakota State University,
Shannon O’Lear, University of Kansas,
Fiona Davidson, University of Arkansas,



Description: The student paper competitions are open to all students who have written and presented a research paper on a topic in political geography.

Guidelines are as follows:

1. The competition is open to all students, however a student may not receive a Student Paper Competition award more than once during her/his tenure as a student.

2. The entries must be research papers and not complete theses or dissertations. Papers must not be longer than 15 pages double spaced 12 point font, plus bibliography.

3. Entries must be on a topic in political geography.

4. Paper entries must have been presented at a professional meeting during the period beginning with the first day of the previous AAG Annual Meeting and concluding with the last day of the next AAG Annual Meeting.

5. Digital copies of papers must be submitted electronically to the PGSG’s Student Paper Award Committee chair by 15 March 2016.

6. Submissions will be divided into Masters and Ph.D. student divisions.

7. Submissions will be judged on their written clarity, methodological and theoretical soundness, and their contributions to research in political geography.

8. All monetary prizes are awarded at the discretion of the Student Paper Award Committee. Awards will normally include: a) Master’s Student Award ($250); b) Doctoral Student Award ($250); c) up to three Honorable Mention awards ($150).

9. The results of the Student Paper Award competitions will be announced to the winners just prior to the annual AAG meeting. The awardees (including any Honorable Mention awardees) will be invited to attend the annual AAG Awards Luncheon at the expense of the PGSG.  The awards will be formally announced at the PGSG business meeting and payment will take place shortly thereafter. The awardees’ names and paper titles will be forwarded to the AAG for publication in the AAG Newsletter.

10. Any questions pertaining to eligibility will be resolved by the Student Paper Award Committee.

Graduate Student Paper Award Committee:
Karen Culcasi (Chair), West Virginia University,
Adam Moore, UCLA,
Steve Radil, University of Idaho,

Seeking nominations for PGSG board & committee members

PGSG members-

We are currently seeking nominations for several board and committee vacancies, with terms beginning after the 2016 AAG Annual Meeting. Please consider nominating yourself or a colleague for one of these positions:


1) PGSG Governing Board faculty representatives

Vacancies: 2

Term: April 2016-March 2018

Role description: The four faculty members of the PGSG board should be tenure-track faculty at a university or college. They are nominated and elected at the PGSG Business Meeting and serve a two-year term. The faculty board members’ duties are to: (a) consult with the President and Secretary/Treasurer on PGSG business; (b) nominate and select non-student awardees; (c) vote on the Non-Student Achievement Awards; (d) any other business as necessary.


2) PGSG Governing Board student representative

Vacancies: 1

Term: April 2016-March 2017

Role description: The student board member should be an MA, MS, or PhD student enrolled in a geography degree program. The student member serves a one-year term and is nominated and elected at the Business Meeting. Duties include: (a) consulting with the governing board on PGSG business; (b) updating and posting Announcements on the website, including CFPs for the Annual Meeting; (c) any other business as necessary.


3) PGSG Student Travel Award Committee

Vacancies: 2

Term: Not fixed

Role description: This committee reads, ranks, and votes on the applications for the PGSG Student Travel Award grants, which are due in mid-December and announced in mid-January every year. All non-student PGSG members are eligible to serve in this capacity.


Please send nominations directly to Natalie at: