UW Research New Faculty Spotlight: Mia Bennett

Submitted by Nell Gross on
Mia Bennett

What is your Research Focus?

My research considers cultures and practices of “frontier-making,” from the Arctic to outer space and cyberspace. I’m particularly interested in the geopolitical issues relating to the development of infrastructure in these spaces as they begin to be enclosed.

In the Arctic, climate change is catalyzing new opportunities and tensions in the region as various actors seek to take advantage of growing accessibility of shipping routes and natural resources due to the retreat of sea ice. Yet political forces are also altering how development is unfolding in the region, from the rise of Asia to growing recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples, who comprise 10% of the Arctic’s population. To study the cultures and practices of how frontiers are imagined, mapped, and ultimately developed, I integrate spatial data science and qualitative methods within a critical theoretical framework. This allows me to provide historically and politically situated geospatial and statistical evidence to explain where, why, and how infrastructure is being developed, and with what consequences.

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New Faculty Spotlight