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Geographers on the Market: Ethan Bottone

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Ethan BottoneI am a historical and cultural geographer, interested in the intersections of race, ethnicity, disability, tourism, and critical GIS. I am a Ph.D. candidate (ABD, expected graduation in Spring 2020) in the Department of Geography at the University of Tennessee, where my dissertation research investigates critical aspects of mobility and tourism, specifically as embodied in the Green Book. Through the development of a new paradigm, the “black sense of movement” (heavily influenced by Katherine McKittrick’s “black sense of place”), I am working to entwine the epistemologies of black geographies and critical GIS to (counter)map spaces of travel in the United States to further understand how mobility was/is used for oppression and resistance, particularly within African American communities. I am particularly interested in the public memory aspect of the Green Book, and hope to investigate in the future how communities can remember and commemorate sites and spaces associated with historical black travel.

I am originally from Virginia, having grown up on the Eastern Shore. I received my BA from the University of Mary Washington in Geography/Biology in 2014. I (sadly) left the commonwealth in 2014 to pursue my MS at Ohio University, which I graduated from in 2016. My master’s thesis focused on the historical geographies of the early American frontier, specifically through an historical GIS study of land sale patterns in Perry County, OH. This research revealed a dialectic between white settlers and the US government that worked to influence both the historical and contemporary landscape of rural Ohio. 

Research from both my master’s and doctoral research has been published in peer-reviewed outlets such as Historical Geographer and Tourism Geographies, as well as in two edited volumes, Historical Geography, GIScience, and Text: Mapping Landscapes of Time and Place and Rhetorics Haunting the National Mall: Displaced and Ephemeral Public Memories. I have also published three book reviews featured in Southeastern Geographer, Historical Geography, and Material Culture. I have presented a variety of research at regional and national conferences, including the Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers, the American Association of Geographers, and the International Society of Landscape, Place, and Material Culture. 

While at UT, I have had the wonderful opportunity to teach four semesters of GEOG 101 (World Regional Geography) as the instructor of record, and I received much valuable experience from this time as IOR. Through my teaching, I work to create a student-centered style of teaching that establishes an inclusive, accessible, and flexible classroom that seeks to engage students of all backgrounds and identities in learning geographic concepts. My teaching has been recognized by the department, and I was awarded with “Outstanding Teaching Associate” in Spring 2019 and was nominated for the university-wide award at the same time. I have been invited to guest lecture on both my research and general expertise in several courses in the Geography department and the Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management department as well.

I would love nothing less than to continue my teaching and research career in a tenure-track academic position. Mentoring students and developing their passion for geography has been the best part of my graduate career, and I wish to continue working at a university where my research in historical US geography, critical GIS, and race/ethnicity can support community engagement projects and student involvement in research.