Welcome to the Spring 2021 semester!! I will not give you false hope, but signs are indeed pointing to a return to near-normalcy— slowly, to be sure, but steadily as well. I’ll share with you my secret thought that this spring will be a *true* spring: a genuine rebirth of energy, optimism, and hope after the long dark winter that shrouded last spring, summer, and fall. Any definite promises I make here would surely jinx the hoped-for outcome, but rest assured that there is reason to set our sights on a return to all things we love as geographers — setting out together into the field, getting together in person to talk about ideas, and enjoying the everyday hubbub of a vibrant and fully populated Stewart Hall. We’re almost there.
With these shifting winds in mind, please do mark your calendars for a full slate of department events this spring. Zoom invites will be forthcoming for the events in February and March; we are hopeful (again, at the risk of jinxing it) that by April and May we are meeting in person—at least partly. Here, without further ado, is the MU Geography Spring 2021 Calendar:
Monday February 15 at 4PM: Heidelberg Research Council (on Zoom) – a fun “happy hour” of trivia, dishing, and surprise guests!
Monday March 8 at 4PM: Department of Geography Colloquium with Dr. Jen Jack Gieseking (on Zoom) – Hailing from the University of Kentucky Department of Geography, geographer Dr. Jen Jack Gieseking will speak about their work on queer geographies and crowdsourced mapping in New York City, which is featured in their recent book, A Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queers, 1983-2008. We will have a “happy hour” to follow from 5-6PM with breakout rooms to allow everyone to have some time with Dr. Gieseking in a small group setting.
The Week of March 22 (TENTATIVE): Dedication of the Kit Salter Studio (on Zoom) – Dr. Kit Salter is a professor emeritus of geography who came to Mizzou in 1988 and retired in 2003. Before Stewart Hall was renovated, the Salter Studio provided students with a place to congregate, share ideas, and fuel their enthusiasm for geography. Well, we are now reinstalling that space, right outside the kitchenette, with a great big map board that you can post images of your travels and journeys. Come one, come all to the dedication of the Salter Studio!
Mon April 19 at 4PM: Heidelberg Research Council (on Zoom) – a fun “happy hour” of trivia, dishing, and surprise guests!
Friday May 7 at 3:30PM: Department Spring Celebration – we hope to be able host this event in person. Come for the student awards and recognitions of graduating seniors and Masters students; stay for the Bar-B-Q!
My office hours this semester are Tuesdays 9-11am on Zoom, but I am always available to talk. Please email or stop by my office whenever you have something on your mind. Let’s raise an early-morning toast to the most awesome of semesters. On behalf of all the faculty and staff at MU Geography, I say:
Soren (a.k.a. Dr. Larsen)