I am a historical geographer who studies environmental knowledge claims. I am particularly interested in maps, science, stories, and the roles they play in creating, challenging, or legitimizing different human-environment understandings. My projects generally focus on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with regional emphases on the American West, the Spanish & British Caribbean, the arid landscapes of Mars, and places with colonial histories (almost everywhere, then!).
I am deeply interested in my own and other North America scholars’ obligations to wrestle — intellectually, personally, and politically — with our identity as white settlers. What does it mean to be part of a scholarly lineage that is rooted in a political project of indigenous displacement? What are our responsibilities as settler scholars to interrogate our own motivations and techniques of knowledge production? How can we begin to grapple with our positions and power in the fields of historical geography and environmental history? How can we overcome these problematic roots and find ways to address or remedy the persistent inequalities of settler colonialism? And what kind of learning/listening should we be teaching our settler students?
I am currently on sabbatical during 2019-2020 (click here for more info about my plans), but I welcome inquiries from potential students who are interested in working on these or related projects. I also encourage you to check out the research pages of other GES faculty at the University of New Mexico.
I currently serve as a member of the prize committee for the AAG’s John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize, as an editor for the Journal of Historical Geography, as the past editor of Historical Geography, past chair of the AAG Nominating Committee, and past Department Chair for Geography & Environmental Studies at UNM.
TO CONTACT ME:
Maria Lane, Professor
Department of Geography & Environmental Studies
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131
Office: Bandelier West 224