Assistant Professor Sharlene Mollett of the University of Toronto Scarborough’s Department of Human Geography and Centre for Critical Development Studies is being recognized with the AAG 2018 Glenda Laws Award, as she is an outstanding critical social geographer, who has made a significant impact on feminist political ecologies. She has been influential in establishing the study of postcolonial intersectionality through her work on Latin America.
Dr. Mollett’s work has always been critical and cutting edge. She began her career studying race, gender and property rights in Honduras. In doing so, her work brought critical race theory into discussion with political ecology, something few scholars were considering at the time. She draws from postcolonial political geographies, historical geographies of race, as well as policy documents to reveal how modern day ex-patriot tourism development reinforces historically-produced racial regimes in the region. More recently, Dr. Mollett has turned her attention to space, power, rights and development. Specifically, she is exploring how power-laden historical geographies shape present day land claims and citizen rights. She argues that development discourses continue to dehumanize Afro-descendants and Indigenous peoples in Latin America, particularly women. Notably, Dr. Mollett was invited to speak about this work as the plenary speaker for the Jan Monk Distinguished Lecture at the 2016 AAG Annual Meeting.
With her work, Dr. Mollett intends to inspire justice-oriented debates in geography and contribute to on-the ground change in development practice. Importantly, she is increasingly bringing her research and writing to audiences beyond academia, through media publications and policy documents. Overall, her work has made significant contributions to discussions of race and gender in geography.
Dr. Sharlene Mollett is a most deserving recipient of the AAG 2018 Glenda Laws Award.