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  • Association of Pacific Coast Geographers Annual Meeting • 8–11 October 2008 Fairbanks, AlaskaAbstracts for Oral Presentations and Posters

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Oral Presentation Abstracts

Adams, Joy K.,, Humboldt State University. “Factoring in” Ethnicity: A New Approach to Identifying American Ethnic Regions. Roads play a central role in the economic, political, and social development of the communities they serve. Less widely recognized is the potential for transportation corridors to support place-based identities and to foster cross-cultural communication. In this paper, I discuss the development of the Highway 96 Tribal Corridor Management Plan (TCMP) for the Hoopa Reservation in northwest California. The TCMP is the product of a unique partnership that integrates the knowledge and efforts of multiple tribal entities, two academic institutions, and various levels of government in hopes of enhancing public safety, economic development, and transportation equity in geographically isolated tribal communities. I illustrate how transportation corridors can be managed not only to provide physical connections between places but also to facilitate social connections across histories and between peoples. My fellow researchers and I contend that through thoughtful design and culturally sensitive interpretation—driven by the vision and desires of stakeholders through a collaborative, “bottom-up” planning process—transportation corridors can become an ideal medium for conveying a sense of place to residents and general highway users alike. Based on our pilot project in the Hoopa Reservation, we have also developed a general blueprint to guide the development of future tribal transportation corridors, which we hope will prove useful to other indigenous communities, both within California and beyond. By clearing these conceptual pathways, our work actively contributes to current and emerging goals of context-sensitive transportation planning. Keywords: cultural interpretation, indigenous geography, northern California, transportation planning.

Aitken, Stuart C.,, San Diego State University. The Inevitability of Fathering. This paper is titled “The Inevitability of Fathering” as an ironic gesture pointing to Michel de Certeau’s notion of the “fictive barrier” of popular culture (and popular notions of parenting). Of course, there is nothing natural or inevitable about fathering, in the same way as it is problematic to suggest mothering is the more natural form of parenting. The paper is a challenge to the naturalness of [End Page 267] parenting and an attempt to reposition fathering and mothering as an emotional work (a labor, a toil) rather than the work of problematic spatial framings of fatherhood. Andy and Sue are adoptive parents whose emotional journey toward parenting paints an interesting picture of toiling beside (both with and against) medical science and its institutions. Andy helps me with this by illustrating his changes as a father, his changing partnership with Sue, and the evolution of their communal household as a thrown-together “event in space.” Doreen Massey’s conceptualization of throwntogetherness as a response to the exegesis of spatial framing helps me theoretically. Ethnopoetry as a narrative technique helps me empirically.

Alexander, Melinda,, Arizona State University. Do You See What I See? Evaluating Audience Perceptions of Transportation-related Art in Phoenix, Arizona. This paper evaluates the significance of transportation-related art in Phoenix, Arizona, through methods focused on audience experience and interpretation. Audience studies understands the users and viewers of art as producers of meaning and participants in the production of space, and takes into consideration that viewers of art bring different backgrounds and bodies of knowledge to encounters with art objects, thus experiencing them differently. I seek to understand how transportation in Phoenix is meaningful in the everyday lives of area residents through responses to art. This evaluation is organized around themes of particular local transit issues, visibility, and considerations of the meaning and enactment of “the public.” While art projects may draw attention to transportation modes and issues in Phoenix, many art projects remain “hidden in plain sight” and art is often experienced as something separate from everyday life. I suggest that experience of such art tends to be inchoate, not always registering as an experience. As Phoenix residents, we take our transportation system and the social and environmental issues that accompany car-based culture for granted. Still, there...


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pp. 267-293
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