Keynote speakers

Don Mitchell is a Distinguished Professor of Geography in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.  Don is a prolific writer:  He is the author of The Lie of the Land: Migrant Workers and the California Landscape (1996); Cultural Geography: A Critical Introduction (2000); and The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space (2003) as well as more than 100 articles and book chapters on the geography of homelessness, labor, urban public space, contemporary theories of culture, and the changing political economy of the university.  Recent books include The People’s Property? Power, Politics, and the Public, with Lynn Staeheli (2008), Justice, Power and the Political Landscape, edited with Kenneth Olwig (2009). and They Saved the Crops: Landscape, Labor, and the Struggle for Industrial Farming in Bracero-Era California, published on April Fools Day, 2012. 

He is currently at work on an NSF-sponsored project (again with Lynn Staeheli and with Kafui Attoh) called Public Life and Democracy in the United States and United Kingdom, as well as editing a guide book-cum-set of historical-geographic essays that examine the long, almost continuous history of uprising and riot in New York City (called Revolting New York, it is a project he inherited when his friend and mentor Neil Smith passed away in 2012).  In addition to receiving a MacArthur Fellowship, Mitchell has held a Fulbright Fellowships in the Institutt for Sociologi og Samfunnsgeografi at the Universitetet i Oslo and the Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo at the Universidad de Chile, and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.  He has been a Visiting Scholar at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow in the Advanced Research Collaborative at the CUNY Graduate Center.  At Syracuse University he is a recipient of the Wasserstrom Award for excellence in graduate education.  In 2012 he was the recipient of the Retzius Medal in Gold, one of the Vega Awards to be given by the King of Sweden on Vega Day, April 24, 2012.

Mitchell founded the People’s Geography Project (, was a founding member of the Syracuse Hunger Project, and serves on the advisory board of Syracuse Community Geography (


Links to Don Mitchell keynote at the Defining Landscape Democracy Conference

June 5 2015





MP4 with Smart Player (480p)

43,6 MB


MP4 with Smart Player (720p)

58,4 MB


MP4 with Smart Player (1080p)

65,3 MB


MP3 (Audio Only)

31,7 MB





 Jala Makhzoumi is Professor of Landscape Architecture (Affiliate), American University of Beirut. She is founding partner of UNIT44 (architecture, landscape, ecological planning, urban design) in Beirut Lebanon ( Jala’s work spans an international career of integrating practice, education and scholarly work, in particular in the Arab Middle East -- Lebanon, Iraq and The United Arab Emirates, where she is actively implementing her expertise on:

  • Urban Greening:
  • Greening cities and conserving biodiversity
  • Energy Efficient Landscape: ecological design and master planning
  • Landscape Heritage Conservation: development and local identity
  • Post-war Recovery: community inclusive development
  • Rural Landscapes: participatory development and heritage

Her unique contribution is to the introduction of the concept of ecological landscape in the Arab Middle East and applying new landscape-related approaches to post-war reconstruction in South Lebanon. Jala publishes extensively in scientific journals, delivers many invited talks and conference papers, and has authored several book chapters as well of books. Two of her books that represent the significance of her scholarship are Ecological Design and Planning: the Mediterranean context (1998 with Gloria Pungettie) and the co-editing of The Right to Landscape: Contesting Landscape and Human Rights (2011 with Shelley Egoz and Gloria Pungetti).

In addition, Jala is an exceptionally talented artist. She sketches on-site instead of taking photos, and her intricate pen-illustrations accompany her writing; her 2010 book Horizon 101 captures her poetic and inspirational spirit through a set of written reflections and watercolour paintings of a lost landscape. In 2013 Jala won the Tamayouz Award for Women in Architecture, announced in the Fall of 2012 by President of the RIBA. It is an excellence award for women who have contributed to the fields of architecture and construction throughout Iraq. She was also profiled on the Aga Khan webpage for Women in Architecture in 2014.






Published 3. February 2015 - 22:36 - Updated 1. December 2016 - 11:46