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Mathewson and Colten participate in traveling seminar in Brazil

Geography Professors Mathewson and Colten participate in Traveling Seminar in Brazil

Every two years a select group of international scholars participates in a traveling seminar in Brazil that focuses on cities and rivers.  The most exciting and distinctive aspect of the event is the thorough mixture of field trips and multi-disciplinary academic presentations.  Geography professors Kent Mathewson and Craig Colten received invitations to participate this year.

The group assembled in the city of Goiania before embarking on a multi-city itinerary by bus and by boat on the Rio Araguaia.  The theme of this years conference is: Cities and Rivers: Cultural and Environmental History.

Along the way the group participated in a mixture of field trips, cultural events in communities, and presentations by historians, landscape architects, architects, and geographers.  Scholars from the U.S., France, Portugal, and Brazil were on board.

Mathewson presented a paper entitled “New Orleans and the Mississippi River: A Braudelian Time Geography Perspective.”  Colten was unable to actually fly to Brazil and sent a video presentation entitled “New Orleans and Chicago: Riparian Culture at Opposite Ends of the Watershed.”

“This traveling seminar is a truly effective way for geographers to learn about a new country.  You are able to see more places and learn about them from local experts,” claimed Colten, who also participated in the event in 2014.  Professor Mathewson commented, “I was introduced to a part of Brazil, the campo cerrado (or savanna landscape) and its wildlife that I had not visited in my previous trips to Brazil.  I got to travel on the Araguaia River on one of the storied Amazonian river boats, see the famous freshwater dolphins, and tour Goías state by bus visiting a number of cultural and natural sites.”