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Event Details
Event The 2005 Meeting of The AAG
Date(s) Tuesday 5th April 2005
Wednesday 6th April 2005
Thursday 7th April 2005
Friday 8th April 2005
Saturday 9th April 2005
Organiser Association of American Geographers
Call for Papers for 2005 AAG Annual Meeting

Islands: Isolated Outliers or Critical Nodes of Contact?

Organizers: Phil Steinberg, Florida State University; Eric Clark, Lund University

Traditionally, cultural ecologists and biogeographers (as well as anthropologists and biologists) have viewed islands as isolated entities.  At worst, they were curious outliers to the mainland space where "regular" social and biological interactions transpired. At best, they were conveniently protected laboratories for studying "pure" communities (of humans or other species) without outside contamination.

More critical scholarship on islands has inverted the assumption of island insularity. Instead of viewing islands as uniquely isolated, they are viewed as sites of contact amidst webs of movement and interaction, a perspective that easily merges with biological theories that stress network dynamics, dispersal, connectivity, and border zones of  interaction; social theories that stress the significance of places that serve as nodes within the web of flows that constitute contemporary social life; and cultural theories that stress borderland and hybrid identities forged by destabilized and moving individuals and that privilege "routes" over "roots.”

For this session (or sessions), we seek papers that join case studies with theoretical inquiries. Our overall goal is to locate the geographic study of islands within broader questions regarding the role of islands in cultural, social, and biological theory. Through these theoretical engagements, we hope to explore the role of islands as metaphor, laboratory, and/or model for understanding a changing world that includes and unites islands, mainlands, and oceans.

If you are interested in participating in this session, please contact Phil Steinberg at or Eric Clark at
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