Keynote Information

Keynote Information


The 2018 25th Anniversary Gender, Place and Culture New Zealand Geographical Society / Institute of Australian Geographers Lecture
Taku ara ra … Ko Tūrongo rāua ko Māhina-a-rangi/My pathway is that of Tūrongo and Māhina-a-rangi: Living ancestral geographies.
Naomi Simmonds, Raukawa, Ngāti Huri – Wednesday, 11 July, 4:30pm


My ancestors Tūrongo and Māhinaarangi were geographers in their own right – they understood the importance of place intimately, mapping their story (our story), history, language, tradition, ceremony, knowledge and therefore themselves and their descendants into the land upon which their footsteps fell. In fact, our ancestors have been journeying for generations be it on foot, or by waka, or guided by the stars or transcending across worlds. Indigenous scholars are (re)generating land-based and place-based pedagogies whereby relationships to land place are not between owners and property as typified by colonialist mind-sets, but rather they are familial, intimate, intergenerational and instructive. These understandings draw on long and vibrant trajectories of Indigenous theory and practice that encompass the holistic nature of land and see the land as an active agent in the production of knowledge.

Laying claim to places through naming, renaming, surveying, mapping, privatising, and developing land is a key part of the colonial project, of which geographers have been complicit, and in many cases active agents in the physical, discursive, legal and spiritual separation of Indigenous peoples from their lands. Further, as Domosh has observed, patriarchal understandings of land, place and in particular stories of exploration and navigation, centre on the so called “heroic episodes of geography”, the feats of men and based on assumptions that “geographic inquiry was limited to a few elite, white males”. As such, it is often difficult to see through the colonial and patriarchal geographies layered (often so thick they seem impermeable) on top of Indigenous lands, in this case Māori lands.

In this presentation, I seek to intervene in geography’s colonial legacy that fails to account for the depth and multiplicity of Indigenous lands and place and their associated relationships and knowledges by drawing on the land-based pedagogies of my ancestors. Following the pathway of my ancestress Māhina-a-rangi, I argue that learning from and with, not simply about, land offers a conceptual and physical map that restores the unique ancestral pathways and lifeways embedded within tribal geographies. In doing so, I also reflect back and project forward my own pathways into and through the academy to understand more deeply the power and politics of Indigeneity, gender and geography.


This is a special year for Gender, Place and Culture. The Journal is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The theme for its celebrations is a Feminist Ethos of Care. ​ This lecture is one of a number of GPC 25th Anniversary Keynotes happening across the globe in 2018. It celebrates and honours Dr Simmonds’ outstanding commitment to – and care of – Māori women’s geographies.

Dr Naomi Simmonds (Raukawa, Ngāti Huri) is a lecturer with the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies, and senior researcher with Te Kōtahi Research Institute, at the University of Waikato. She is engaged in a range of Kaupapa Māori research projects pertaining to whānau wellbeing, decolonising emotions, land-based learning, hapū and iwi environmental management and public participation. Naomi works closely with her hapū and iwi to understand community engaged and culturally responsive environmental management and what this means for the wellbeing of the land, water and the collective.  Most recently, Naomi has been awarded a Marsden Fast-Start Grant for research that will retrace her ancestress, Māhinaarangi’s footsteps to reconnect with the tribal geographies along this trail. Naomi is a mother of two daughters and most of her spare time is spent at her marae, Pikitū, in the South Waikato.


The 2018 Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography New Zealand Geographical Society / Institute of Australian Geographers Lecture
Political positionalities in the Pacific: on surfacing deep ocean currents
Yvonnne Underhill-Sem, School of Social Science, University of Auckland – Thursday 12 July, 10:30am


“We sweat and cry salt water, so we know that the ocean is really in our blood” Teresia Teaiwa (1968-2017)

The intersections of gender and indigeneity are especially palpable for scholars who position themselves as feminist and/or indigenous and/or post-colonial development scholars of the Pacific. Substantive and significant debates about enduring inequalities, pressing poverty, urgent environmental issues and human injustice take on an urgency that too often invites rapid but superficial  knowledge making.  Yet these surface responses belie the existence of more profound politics of knowledge-making.  This keynote/paper engages with these tensions with reference to the processes of knowledge-making in recent development projects in the Pacific.  In the course of this discussion, I suggest yet another way to understand the convergence of feminist and indigenous theories and practices.


The Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography has sponsored an annual lecture at a major international geography or geoscience conference since 2002. Presented by leading scholars of tropical geographies from around the world, the lectures are published in the journal and are among its most widely read contributions. This is the first time the annual lecture has been held in New Zealand and we are proud to support Associate Professor Yvonne Te Ruki-Rangi-O-Tangaroa Underhill-Sem to present this SJTG Lecture at the NZGS/IAG 2018 conference. 

Yvonne Te Ruki Rangi o Tangaroa Underhill-Sem is a Cook Island, Niuean, New Zealander with close family ties to Papua New Guinea. Yvonne is Associate Professor in Development Studies in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Auckland. She is currently Director New Zealand Institute for Pacific Development (NZIPR), Co-Chair of the Research Advisory Group for the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (PWSPD) (funded by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), a member of the Marsden Social Science panel, and Deputy Chair of the PBRF Pacific panel. Yvonne’s research circulates around maternities, mobilities and markets and she publishes in the broad areas of gender and development, Pacific development and feminist political ecology.


The 2018 Antipode New Zealand Geographical Society / Institute of Australian Geographers Lecture
Global Red Power: Fanon and Mao on Turtle Island
Glen Coulthard, First Nations and Indigenous Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada – Friday, 13 July, 4:20pm


My lecture will detail the historical emergence in the late 1960s of what Max Elbaum has identified as the “ideological hegemony” of a distinctly “Third World” socialist approach to the critique of settler-colonial capitalism on the left in North America, albeit in my case with a focus on the left in Canada, and an emphasis on the theoretical draw of Frantz Fanon and Mao Zedong to Red Power-era activists specifically. I argue that the inherited conceptual apparatus associated with the Third World contributions of Fanon and Mao provided Indigenous internationalists with a language of political contestation that they fundamentally adapted and transformed to critically engage their own local, colonial situations. In foregrounding this subaltern history of Red Power-era thought and activism, it will be shown that the individual and collective decolonization of Indigenous nations through acts of militant cultural and material self-actualization – resurgence – has always been a critically polymorphous project deeply informed but not straightjacketed by the grounded normativities of place, land and culture.


The Antipode Lecture Series

Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography is owned by the Antipode Foundation, a charity that promotes the advancement of the field of critical geography. All surpluses generated by publishing are either [i] distributed in the form of grants made to universities and similar institutions to support conferences, workshops and seminar series or collaborations between academics and non-academic activists, or [ii] used to arrange and fund summer schools and other meetings, the translation of academic publications, and public lectures (see

Before now, the Antipode Lecture Series comprised sponsored sessions at the annual meetings of the American Association of Geographers and Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). We invite presenters who represent both the political commitment and intellectual integrity that characterise the sort of work that appears in the journal. Their lectures are filmed by our publisher, Wiley, and made freely available online; Wiley also arrange a reception. Speakers often submit essays to be peer-reviewed and, if successful, published in Antipode. Our archive of inspiring and provocative presentations can be viewed at

The AAG’s and RGS-IBG’s annual international conferences are widely seen as vital venues for the exchange of cutting-edge ideas–but they’re not, of course, the only ones. From 2018, the Lecture Series will be going on the road, reaching out beyond the US and UK to maximise the diversity of those contributing to our community, and facilitating engagement with scholarship from hitherto under-represented groups, regions, countries and institutions to enrich conversations and debates in Antipode.

Glen Coulthard (PhD – University of Victoria) is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and an associate professor in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program and the Department of Political Science. Glen has written and published numerous articles and chapters in the areas of Indigenous thought and politics, contemporary political theory, and radical social and political thought. He lives in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories.



The 2018 Progress in Human Geography New Zealand Geographical Society / Institute of Australian Geographers Lecture
Unsettling the Taken(-for-Granted)
Richard Howitt, Department of Geography & Planning, Macquarie University – Saturday, 14 July, 12:05pm


Histories of colonial plunder produced geographies that settler societies take-for-granted as settled. While some aspects of the settler imaginary have been unsettled in specific cases, and through the negotiation of new instruments such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, various national apologies and modern treaties, much unsettling remains to be done. New geographies of plunder, violence and abuse reinstate geographies of various kleptocracies across the planet, reinforcing the unnatural disasters of displacement, disfigurement and loss on many people, places and communities. This paper uses the framing offered by emergent discourses of Indigenous geographies to rethink the task of unsettling the taken-for-granted privilege of settler dominance in Indigenous domains.


At the RGS-IBG and AAG conferences each year, Sage sponsors the Annual Progress in Human Geography Lecture. These are presented, by invitation, by esteemed and influential scholars whose work is of interest across broad areas in Human Geography. The lectures are then normally published, post peer review, in the journal. Previous presenters of the PiHG lecture at AAG include Neil Smith, Gillian Hart, Helga Leitner and Charlie Withers. Sarah Elwood will present at AAG 2019.

In 2018, Prof Richie Howitt presented the Progress Lecture at AAG in New Orleans. We are delighted to have the opportunity to ask Prof Howitt to present the lecture again for the IAG/NZG conference audience.

Richie Howitt recently retired as Professor of Geography at Macquarie University, but remains linked to the Department of Geography & Planning there. His research focuses on Indigenous rights, particularly in Australia and East Asia. Current research includes ongoing investigation of Indigenous self-governance and a project on faith-based approaches to community development.


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