Over the past two months, Dr. David Keeling, head of WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology, has made three international trips traveling more than 30,000 miles.
He returned on July 6 from Edinburgh, Scotland, where he presented a research paper at the annual conference of the Royal Geographical Society. With co-authors Dr. Holli Drummond, associate professor of sociology at WKU, and Dr. John Dizgun, assistant director of the Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS) and adjunct faculty in the Department of Geography and Geology, Keeling presented “Accessibility and Mobility in a Conflicted City: Medellín, Colombia,” reporting on recent work on the changing fortunes of Comuna 13, a poor neighborhood sprawled up the western slopes of the Andes mountains.
While at the conference, he also attended the annual general meeting of the editorial board of the Journal of Transport Geography in his capacity as Editor for the Americas. The journal is the second leading academic transport publication in the world, with an impact factor of about 2.97 and a growing reputation for publishing cutting-edge research on the theory and practice of transport geography.
In mid-June, Dr. Keeling spent 10 days in Buenos Aires, Argentina, primarily to conduct research for a second edition of his 1995 textbook on the city. Since the original publication of the monograph for the World Cities series, Buenos Aires and Argentina have undergone profound political and economic change.
Dr. Keeling is revisiting many of the major themes that characterized neoliberalism and globalization in the city during the early 1990s, with the aim of further understanding the successes and failures of these policies in the aftermath of the country’s near bankruptcy in 2001-2002.
During the visit to Buenos Aires, he also led two field trips around the city for students participating in the KIIS Argentina study abroad program led by Dr. Dizgun. A highlight was an analysis of the rehabilitated Puerto Madero neighborhood, with its futuristic landscapes and apartment towers.
Finally, in late May, Dr. Keeling spent two weeks in England completing research on the Lincolnshire by-pass railway line that is slated for upgrading to accommodate increased freight traffic. Dr. Keeling is working with Robbie Doughty, a rural planner in Lincolnshire, England, with the goal of understanding the impact of route rehabilitation on the local communities along the railway. An overview of the project was published in Summer 2011 in the American Geographical Society’s journal FOCUS on Geography. Dr. Keeling and Doughty are completing a detailed review of regional freight policy and its long-term implications for the western part of Lincolnshire county.
Contact: David Keeling, (270) 745-4555.