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Professor Cindi Katz Is Honored for Her Distinguished Scholarship and ‘Immense Impact’ by the American Association of Geographers

Professor Cindi Katz (Photo courtesy of Katz)

Professor Cindi Katz (Earth and Environmental Sciences, Psychology) received 2021 Distinguished Scholarship Honors from the American Association of Geographers. 

In honoring her work, the AAG cited Katz’s “immense impact on contemporary human geography. Her theoretical and empirical contributions to geography and beyond are of the highest quality. Her enthusiasm for her field and relentless efforts to identify and transform exploitative power relations have had a profoundly positive influence on geographic theory, practice, and education. Katz’s scholarship is among the most significant in the discipline.”

Katz says that she is “thrilled to receive this recognition from my colleagues in geography, and delighted that they viewed certain aspects of my work as singular contributions to the field. It's really an honor.”

Katz, a cultural geographer, studies the cultural forms and practices of everyday life and, as she says, “the ricochet of the global and intimate in these relationships and the possibilities they create for making livable and just futures.”

Among Katz’s significant contributions to the field cited by the AAG are the articulation of “minor theory” and “countertopography.” The first “offers a way of working through the contradictions and limits of mainstream theory to develop more engaged and accurate accounts of the everyday world.” Countertopography was cited as “a means of recognizing the historical and geographical specificities of particular places while recognizing their analytic connections to specific material social practices.” 

Katz says that these ideas “have been taken up in really interesting ways by others in the field.”  She adds, “I've been amazed and so gratified to learn the ways this work has been inspiring and sustaining to younger generations of geographers.”

Katz previously won the AAG’s Meridian Award for outstanding scholarly work in geography for her book Growing Up Global: Economic Restructuring and Children’s Everyday Lives.

A widely published scholar, she is currently working on two books. One is a collection of her work on social reproduction, an area of study that she says is “at the heart of everyday life and the means through which our social relations — in all their unevenness and possibility — are produced and possibly changed.” She notes this study has become more urgent because of the concerns of COVID. 

The second book “concerns contemporary childhood and the ways insecurity and anxiety about the future — well placed anxiety, whether political economic, environmental, or geopolitical — is addressed through managing children's lives.” 

The AAG plans a future awards ceremony when restrictions on travel and in-person gatherings are lifted. 

Published by the Office of Communications and Marketing

Submitted on: MAR 1, 2021

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