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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Place of the Year 2012: A Q&A with Joshua Hagen

As we continue to prepare for Place of the Year 2012, we’ve invited Joshua Hagen, Professor of Geography at Marshall University and co-author of Borders: A Very Short Introduction, to share his thoughts on the relationship between geography and current events. Here’s what he has to say….

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Place of the Year: A look back at past winners

Earlier this month, we launched Oxford University Press’ annual Place of the Year competition. For many, geography is just the next vacation, but understanding geography gives much more than fodder for travel fantasies. Geography provides insight into the forces driving people, events, societies, and technology — both past and present. With help from The Atlas of the World, 19th edition, here’s a look at past winning hotspots driving human history.

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Place of the Year 2012: Behind the longlist

Last week, we launched Place of the Year 2012 (POTY), a celebration of the year in geographical terms. As Harm de Blij writes in Why Geography Matters: More than Ever, “In our globalizing, ever more inter-connected, still-overpopulated, increasingly competitive, and dangerous world, knowledge is power. The more we know about our planet and its fragile natural environments, about other peoples and cultures, political systems and economies, borders and boundaries, attitudes and aspirations, the better prepared we will be for the challenging times ahead.”

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Announcing the Place of the Year 2012 Longlist: Vote!

As the year winds down, it’s time to take a look back. Alongside the publication of the 19th edition of The Atlas of the World, Oxford University Press will be highlighting the places that have inspired, shaped, and challenged history in 2012. We’re also doing things differently for Place of the Year (POTY) in 2012. In addition to our regular panel of geographers and experts, we’re opening up the choice to the public.

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Why should anyone care about Sudan?

2011 Place of the Year

By Andrew S. Natsios
For more than two centuries, Sudan has attracted an unusual level of attention beyond its own borders. This international interest converged in the last decade of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century as four independent forces met.

First, there is the rebellion in Darfur, which has generated greater international concern than any other recent humanitarian crisis. This long-neglected western region has been intermittently at war since the 1980s and claimed the lives of 300,000 Darfuris in its most recent phase. The rebellion beginning in 2002 led to an ongoing humanitarian emergency, costing Western governments

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After Yemen, what now for al-Qaeda?

2010 Place of the Year

By Alia Brahimi
“The air freight bomb plot should be understood as part of al-Qaeda’s pervasive weakness rather than its strength. The intended targets, either a synagogue in Chicago and/or a UPS plane which would explode over a western city, were chosen as part of the attempt to re-focus al-Qaeda’s violence back towards western targets and pull the jihad away from the brink.”

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The Blue Dress
Place of the Year 2009

15 years ago Albie Sachs was appointed by Nelson Mandela to South Africa’s first Constitutional Court. Here he talks about one of the most important buildings in the post-apartheid era and the artwork that makes its visitors pause.

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