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Patricia Ehrkamp to Deliver A&S Distinguished Professor Lecture April 21

Photo of Patricia Ehrkamp
Patricia Ehrkamp will deliver the 2022 A&S Distinguished Professor Lecture on April 21. Photo courtesy of UK College of Arts and Sciences.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 20, 2022)  Patricia Ehrkamp, professor and chair of the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky, is serving as the 2021-22 College of Arts and Sciences’ Distinguished Professor and will deliver the annual Distinguished Professor Lecture on Thursday, April 21.

Throughout her time at UK, Ehrkamp has established herself as a renowned educator, mentor and researcher.

“Receiving this distinguished professorship is a huge honor, and deeply humbling. I am grateful to my talented and dedicated colleagues in the College of Arts & Sciences for recognizing my work in this way.”

The lecture titled, “Geopolitics of Disability and the Horizon of Refuge,” will begin at 7 p.m. and will be offered in-person and via Zoom.

Geographic studies of migration have resoundingly demonstrated the pathways for people on the move are not simple linear trajectories, but routinely involve circuitous routes that may be repeated and often involve a great deal of waiting on paperwork, at border crossings, in detention and in refugee camps.

“While refugee resettlement offers a hope for durable refuge for some, the naturalization process itself can become another moment of great uncertainty,” said Ehrkamp, whose lecture will focus on collaborative research conducted in four resettlement sites across the U.S.

Ehrkamp’s lecture highlights the importance of providing refuge to those who have been displaced by war and conflict, while also emphasizing how the complex bureaucracies of resettlement and naturalization create potentially traumatizing experiences for refugees.

As an accomplished feminist and political geographer, Ehrkamp’s research considers the politics of immigration with a focus on refugee geopolitics and trauma, as well as belonging, citizenship and exclusion in the spaces of everyday life in the United States and Europe.

Ehrkamp’s work has received national and international recognition — appearing in leading journals, including the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Urban Geography, Progress in Human Geography, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Space and Polity, Environment and Planning A, and Social & Cultural Geography. 

Currently, Ehrkamp is working on a project funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), which analyzes the important role of post-traumatic stress disorder in admitting and resettling Iraqi refugees in the U.S. She also recently worked on another NSF-funded project, which examined the complex and changing geographies of immigration and belonging for communities of faith in the context of recent immigration and anti-immigrant legislation.

Ehrkamp, who is also dedicated to serving students, teaches undergraduate courses on Immigrant America and qualitative research methods. At the graduate level, she convenes seminars in social theory, social geography and political geography, among others.

“Professor Ehrkamp is an exceptional teacher and academic advisor. She teaches across the curriculum, holds NSF grants with her graduate students, created a UK core course on Immigrant America and has developed an online graduate certificate and master’s degree program in applied environmental and sustainability studies,” Christian Brady, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said in a previous release. “Her service to the university has helped cultivate a more inclusive and supportive work environment to create spaces of belonging in which faculty and students can thrive.”

The event is free and open to the public. Learn more here.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.