Isaac Rivera: Insurgent Cartographies

Isaac Rivera
Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Geography
CU Boulder


Insurgent cartographies are an expression of knowing the world from the standpoint of place. This talk delves into the concept of insurgency and its expressions as a modality of cartography and cultural memory, exploring the task for enacting anti-colonial pedagogies oriented towards liberatory geographies. This study begins through geo-historical analysis of the making and abolition of Columbus Day as a state holiday in its place of origin in Denver, Colorado, underscoring the coalitional capacities of Indigenous world-making practices that envisioned the undoing of the colonial celebration and its maintenance on geographical imaginaries. Using the (Re)Mapping Native Denver art exhibit as a case study in the making of Native counter-cartographies, a study on Native Denver’s ongoing efforts for institutional accountability, I show the radical possibilities of enacting insurgent cartographies from within the colonial University. I will conclude with a discussion on bridging the geo-humanities and geo-social sciences, acknowledging the necessity of both to realize liberatory futures. The insurgent cartographies enacted in the (Re)Mapping Native Denver art exhibit demonstrate the ongoing ways in which Indigenous movements choose to tell their stories of resistance and resurgence, reorienting geographical information systems (GIS) and the art of geography itself.


Dr. Rivera is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow for Faculty Diversity with the CU Geography Department.

Monday, February 19 at 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Institute of Behavioral Science, 155A
1440 15th Street, Boulder, CO 80309

Event Type



Students, Faculty, Alumni, Staff, Postdoc

College, School & Unit

Arts & Sciences




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