Dr. Serin Houston and Anastasia Tucker Co-Present at AAG 2024

Anastasia Tucker and I are co-presenting our paper, titled “A Story Map of U.S. Sanctuary Policies: Collaboration, Digital Scholarship, and Processual Thinking,” on April 20, 2024 at the American Association of Geographers annual meeting. We are thrilled to be a part of the “Digital Geographies: Migration. Method. Policy” session.

Here’s the abstract for our presentation: “The term sanctuary frequently circulates in public and political discourse and debate in the United States and often operates as a signifier of anti- or pro-immigrant perspectives. Without shared definitions for sanctuary and an uneven inclusion of evidence in stories and maps, however, the multifaceted meanings and practices of sanctuary are often obscured. In an effort to counter such reified soundbites about sanctuary, in this presentation we examine our interactive digital storytelling project about U.S. sanctuary policies passed from 2001-2014. Created with ArcGIS StoryMap software, our story map shows sanctuary is a process rather than a rigid and singular designation. From our dynamic spatial and temporal data visualizations to a curated visual palette to critical analyses that highlight complexity and context, we argue that our story map makes evident in content and form the necessity of understanding sanctuary processually. Thus, our story map challenges reductive thinking and holds the possibility of contributing to social change as viewers can sharpen their interpretations of sanctuary. We contend that this kind of digital scholarship, which in our case is rooted in collaboration, enables the alignment of form and content so as to readily convey complicated and geographically-attuned ideas to a broad audience. This strikes us as a noteworthy outcome from scholarly research. Therefore, we advocate for geographers to continue creating high-impact interactive and collaborative digital scholarship, such as story maps, to share findings in thoughtful, accessible ways and to enhance geographic literacy.”

And stay tuned! Our story map and archive, the latest publications from my U.S. sanctuary policy research, will be publicly available soon ~