Imagining Geographies Events | CMCMA | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Imagining Geographies

                                                                                                        Photo: Daniel Overturf

NOTE: This website & IG’s archival site – – are being updated. Soon we will provide access to our many video productions, Sharing Knowledge articles, and resources.  

     First two especially rich sections to be revised:

  • WATERS of So. Illinois:  Levees & Dikes IN & ALONG the Mississippi
  • Living Independently with Disabilities in Carbondale


Community Forum: Challenges of Poverty in Carbondale 

IG in collaboration with Sparrow Coalition & Carbondale Public Library.

All events take place in Carbondale Public Library.  Time:  5:30 – 7:00 pm. 


June 21:       Social Insecurity   On homeless seniors

Screening of new film by veteran homeless advocate Diane Nilan, Social Insecurity, about homeless seniors, followed by discussion with her. 

May 25:   Poor Health: Health Consequences of Multigenerational Poverty

Discussion of local manifestations of multigenerational poverty, ground in the research conclusion that “race and socioeconomic status are among the most powerful predictors of disease, disorder, injury and mortality.” 

PRESENTER/DISCUSSANTS: Angie Bailey, Community Benefits Manager, Southern Illinois Healthcare; Miriam Link-Mullison; Chief Administrator for Jackson County Health Department; and, Dhrubodhi Mukherjee, professor, School of Social Work, SIU.

April 20:  Sustainability for All Species: Insights for Communal Approaches to Poverty

Taking its lead from proximity to Earth Day, this meeting of the Community Forum on Poverty will engage in reconceptualizing poverty through two questions:

  • What does it mean to insure sustainability of all species? 
  • What communal actions can be taken to insure the sustainability of all species - including the poor - in our community?  

PROGRAM:  Screening of The Teachings of the Grass, Bioneer lecture by Native American plant biologist, Robin Kimmerer; panel with SIU researchers: Jonathan Gray (Communication Studies); Geory Kurtzhals,SIU Sustainability Coordinator; Sarah Lewison (Radio, TV & Digital Media); Karen Renzaglia (Plant Biology); Brent Ritzel.  Co-facilitators: Karen Renzaglia (Plant Biology) & Peter Lemish (Journalism). 

March 23:  Working with Vulnerable Children, Youth & Adults in Jackson County.

Following screening excerpts from Homeless Families in America, reports from social workers–Shannon Butler & Melinda Pierson–about the challenges facing vulnerable persons in poverty in Jackson County. 



June 23:   Listening to the Homeless in Carbondale. SPEAKER:  Josh Phillips, Ph.D. Department of Communication Studies, SIU.

Click to view presentation by Josh Phillips.

September 28:  Housing First Initiatives. SPEAKER: Dan Bryant, Executive Director, Opportunity Village, Eugene, Oregon.

Click to watch Dan Bryant's Presentation.

Click to watch Q & A with Dan Bryant.


October 27:  The Budget Crisis: Fates of the Vulnerable & Regional Social Services




Imagining Geographies is a multi-year, SIU College of Mass Communication and Media Arts led, university and region-wide initiative to advance improvements in the quality of life for all living beings in our civic spaces.

Domains IG Activity:  

  • Civic Soul media productions and Sharing Knowledge publications
  • Arts of Southern Illinois
  • Experiencing Environs
  • Imagining Community, Voices of Southern Illinois
  • Sustainability & Environmental Science, Policy, & Communication


Following initial Antarctica programming (2012), Imagining Geographies [IG] launched a multi-year focus on the land, lives, and arts of Southern Illinois. We do so through investigations and discussions of past histories and present issues that engage our imaginations in thinking about and expressing what our present-future lives might be like in this region, and we advance initiatives that seek to transform imagining into action.   



2012 Antarctica: 22 campus and regional events - multi-media installation, lectures, seminars, workshops, film series, and concert with SIU and guest artists and researchers. Collectively, an inter-disciplinary opportunity for insight into a formerly imaginary space of global significance.

2013 Land, Lives, and Arts of Southern Illinois
launched series of project initiatives and innovative policy proposals, such as Greening Carbondale via a Food Forest, COMPASS residential Geography from the Ground Up, 6 Southern Illinois Listening Sessions, SIU Colloquium on Advancing Transdisciplinary Research. 

2014 Land, Lives, and Arts of Southern Illinois: Events with focus on environmental justice & community rights. 

2015 – 2016 Land, Lives, and Arts of Southern Illinois: Civic Soul - a policy-centered, multi-platform media initiative involving research, civic dialogue programming, & media efforts on key policy issues (above) along with: Soldiers Among Us series; collaborations with Sparrow Coalition on Poverty & Homelessness.


University-wide: Office of the President - Office of the Chancellor - Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research - Daily EgyptianGraduate & Professional Student Council Morris Library - Sustainability Council & Green Fund; Student Organizations - Assn of Black Psychologists, National Assn Black Journalists, RealTalk.

Colleges & Departments:

EDUCATION & HUMAN SERVICES: Recreation & Health Education.

LIBERAL ARTS: Communication Studies, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, Theater.

MASS COMMUNICATION & MEDIA ARTS: Cinema & Photography, School of Journalism, Radio, Television & Digital Media, WSIU Radio & TV, Big Muddy Film Festival, Civic Communication Collective, Daily Egyptian, Global Media Research Center.


SCIENCE: Center for Ecology, Environmental Resources & Policy Program, Geology, IGERT Doctoral Program, Physics, Zoology Graduate Student Association.


ACLU, Carbondale ~ Anna Arts Center ~ Boys & Girls Club Carbondale ~ Carbondale Community Arts ~ Carbondale Public Library ~ Carbondale Times ~ Cristaudo’s Bakery & Café, Carbondale ~ Concerned Citizens of Carbondale ~ Eurma Hayes Community Center, Carbondale ~ GAIA House, Carbondale ~ Harrisburg Public Library ~ Healthy Southern Illinois Delta Network ~ Human Relations Commission, City of Carbondale ~ Inter-faith Council Carbondale ~ Keep Carbondale Beautiful ~ LaUnica Mexican Bakery, Carbondale ~ League of Women Voters ~ Longbranch Café & Bakery, Carbondale ~ Marion Public Library ~ NAACP, Carbondale ~ Nonviolent Carbondale Coalition ~ Racial Justice Coalition, Carbondale ~ Ralph Anderson Inter-faith Dialogues ~ River 2 River Arts Association, Union Co. ~ Shawnee High School, Wolf Lake ~ Social Action Committee, Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship ~ Southern Illinois Peace Coalition ~ SPARC: Shawnee Preparedness & Response Coalition ~ Sparrow Coalition, Carbondale ~ Sustainability Commission, City of Carbondale ~ The Southern Illinosian ~ WDBX, Carbondale.


Cade Bursell (faculty, Cinema & Photography), Jennida Chase (faculty, Cinema & Photography), Jonathan Gray (faculty, Communication Studies), Sarah Heyer (Director, Keep Carbondale Beautiful), Evan Kroeker (Carbondale resident), Geory Kurtzhals, SIU Sustainability Coordinator,  Novotny Lawrence (Chair, Radio, TV & Digital Media), Sarah Lawrence (Carbondale resident), Sean McMahan (Alum; Carbondale Boys & Girls Club & Brehem Academy), Hassan Pitts (Media staff, Mass Communication & Media Arts), Maurine Pyle (President, Carbondale Interfaith Council), Beth Spezia (Coordinator, Community Engagement, WSIU), Diana Brawley Sussman (Director, Carbondale Public Library).

    Ex Officio members: James Allen (Associate Provost for Academic Affairs; faculty, History); Jim Garvey (Interim Vice-Chancellor for Research; faculty, Zoology); Dafna Lemish (Dean, College of Mass Communication & Media Arts, faculty – Radio, Television, & Digital Media). MCMA Graduate students: Bowen Gao, Danyelle Greene, & Abimbola Iyun.