Karl Offen

  • Professor of Environmental Studies

Areas of Study

Education

  • PhD, geography, University of Texas at Austin
  • MA, Latin American studies, Ohio University
  • BA, University of California at Santa Cruz

Biography

I am an historical and cultural geographer whose research explores Atlantic environmental history, the history of cartography, and Afro-Amerindian interactions in Central America, Colombia, and the Caribbean basin.

At Oberlin I teach a 200-level course on Society and Environment in Latin America and the Caribbean (SELAC). I also teach a 300-level seminar in Political Ecology, a writing advanced course that explores how environmental ideas and outcomes are often linked to global political economies, colonialist assumptions and practices, racial formations, and social injustice.

  • Historical and Cultural Geography
  • History of Cartography
  • African Diaspora
  • Latin America

Notes

Karl Offen publishes book review

April 23, 2021

Karl Offen publishes book review of On the Backs of Tortoises: Darwin, the Galápagos, and the Fate of an Evolutionary Eden by Elizabeth Hennessy in the Journal of Latin American Geography

Karl Offen Publishes in Journal

January 12, 2020

Professor of Environmental Studies Karl Offen published "Subsidy from Nature: Green Sea Turtles in the Colonial Caribbean" in the Journal of Latin American Geography.

Karl Offen Presents at Environmental History Conference

August 5, 2019

Professor of Environmental Studies Karl Offen presented the paper "'Infinitt numbers': Green Sea Turtles in the Colonial Caribbean" at the 3rd World Congress of Environmental History held July 22 to 26, 2019, in Florianópolis, Brazil.

Karl Offen Presents Conference Paper

July 11, 2019

Professor of Environmental Studies Karl Offen presented "Robert Hodgson of the Mosquito Shore: Mapping a Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Imperial Life" at the Omohundro Institute's Early American History Annual Conference at the University of Pittsburgh in June, 2019.

Karl Offen Presents

December 5, 2017

Karl Offen, professor of environmental studies, presented "Environment and Space in Colonial Afro-Latin America" in September for the Department of Geography at Kent State University and in October for the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at the University of Pittsburgh The presentations were a shortened version of a chapter written for the book Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction, edited by Alejandro de la Fuente and George Reid Andrews and slated to publish in 2018 by Cambridge University Press.

The presentations illustrated how environment and space are constitutive of human experience, and they explored how Afro-Latin Americans established important cultural relationships with their environments and transformed abstract spaces into meaningful places in ways that profoundly influenced other dimensions of their lives and those around them.

Karl Offen Publishes

February 20, 2016

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Karl Offen, along with former colleague Robert Rundstrom, published “Indigenous People and Western Cartography" in Cartography in the Twentieth Century, volume 6 in the History of Cartography Series, edited by Mark Monmonier (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

Karl Offen Serves as Contributing Guest Editor

October 16, 2015

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Karl Offen was the contributing guest editor for a special issue of the Journal of Latin American Geography titled “Mapping Latin American Geographies." The table of contents can be viewed on this webpage.