Colloquium Series

Each fall, the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies hosts the Richard Murphy Memorial Lecture to highlight a prominent researcher. This lecture is funded through an endowment established in honor of the department’s first chairperson. Click here to view an interactive map of past Murphy Lecture speakers from 2011 to the present.

This Year's Lecture



UNM Geography & Environmental Studies Annual Murphy Lecture 

Friday 16 April @ 3 pm

Virtual Lecture and Q&A on Zoom: REGISTER HERE 

Speaker: Dr. Leila Harris, Professor, University of British Columbia

Topic: “Infrastructures of Inequality: Justice and Democracy at the Margins”


Abstract: This talk analyzes a decade of work on everyday processes and politics related to water (and sanitation) infrastructure, conditions and access in underserved communities of Accra, Ghana and Cape Town, South Africa. The work traces conditions and everyday meanings of uneven access to basic service infrastructures, particularly by highlighting narratives of belonging, exclusion, and inequity as key to the ways that community members navigate and respond to infrastructural conditions and politics. The work fits within the broader literature on critical infrastructural studies, and recent work that seeks to understand water access and insecurity not only in relation to public health, but broader notions of well-being, as well as emotional-affective and socio-political considerations—from senses of citizenship, to trust in government, and other key socio-political dynamics.


More about Leila Harris: Scholar profile at the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability 



Past Murphy Lecturers: 

2019: Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, World Resources Institute

2018: Eric Perramond, Colorado College

2017: Janet Franklin, University of California–Riverside

2016: Jeff Malpas, University of Tasmania

2015: Craig Allen, U.S. Forest Service–Los Alamos

2014: Sarah Elwood, University of Washington

2013: Harvey Miller, Ohio State University

2012: Paul Robbins, University of Wisconsin

2011: Alexander Murphy, University of Oregon